Herod the Great

What year was Jesus born? (choose your best guess)

Jesus was probably born in 1 AD
0% (0 votes)
Jesus was probably born in 1 BC
18% (2 votes)
Jesus was probably born in 2 BC
9% (1 vote)
Jesus was probably born in 3 BC
0% (0 votes)
Jesus was probably born in in 4 BC
55% (6 votes)
Jesus was probably born in 5 BC
9% (1 vote)
Jesus was probably born in 6 BC
9% (1 vote)
Jesus was probably born before 6 BC
0% (0 votes)
Other
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 11
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Covenants: Clarity, Ambiguity, and Faith (5)

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As I have said, at the most rudimentary level covenants are for the purpose of reinforcing plain speech about specific things. They do this formally in the terms of the covenant and its obligations upon specified parties. God holds human beings to the very words of their covenant oaths (Jer. 34:18, Ezek. 17:15c). The Bible also indicates that God “keeps covenant” (Deut. 7:9, Neh. 9:32, Dan. 9:4). We would expect no less from Him who cannot lie and who does not change.

Of all verbal communications, written and oral, surely the most steadfast and adamant are covenants. And surely the least ambiguous and fluid would also be covenants?

The oaths in the covenants

The oath is the decisive ingredient in any covenant. We have already taken a look at the oath which the people took in answer to God’s Book of the Covenant in Exodus. Now we need to examine, if only briefly, the oaths of the other Divine covenants which can be easily spotted in Scripture. (There are certain covenants of a speculative nature which it is impossible to pin down in the text of the Bible. These include the three theological covenants of Reformed covenant theology; the so-called “Adamic” and “Edenic” covenants of some sectors of Dispensational theology; and the “Creation” covenant of New covenant theology).

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Covenants: Clarity, Ambiguity, and Faith (Part 4)

Read the series so far.

If it were up to us …

If the Lord had relied upon men to fulfill their duties before fulfilling His oaths there would be no reason at all to make covenants in the first place. He was on the safest ground possible, and could have promised the universe without having to concern Himself about fulfilling anything. We all fail. Christians know that unless God is faithful to stand behind His promise in the gospel, we are all done for. Salvation under the New Covenant blood of Christ cannot depend upon us. Inner spiritual perfection is even more impossible for us to achieve than the outward obedience of the Law (1 Jn. 1:8, 10). If God’s promise of salvation and eternal life depended for an instant on our works, heaven would have one human inhabitant—Jesus!

It is for this reason that God only made one bi-lateral covenant with men: the Mosaic covenant. Exodus 24 records the solemn oath which the children of Israel took:

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