Gnostic Doctrine

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Covenant Relationship With God

Covenant Relationship With God

The Gospel of Thomas Saying 53

53. His disciples asked him: "Is circumcision useful or not?" He replied: "If it were useful then they would be born already circumcised. On the other hand, true circumcision in the spirit is entirely beneficial.'

A Personal Relationship With God

The most oft repeated feature of the promises to Abraham can be easily overlooked. Notice how the personal pronouns are the key words: " I will establish my covenant…between me and you and your descendants…to be your God…I will be their God" (Gen. 17:6-8).

God Almighty is committing Himself to Abraham and Abraham's seed in a way so insistent and so awesome that only contemplation of it can invoke the true sense of wonder which we ought to have at being in covenant relationship with God Almighty.

The fact that the basis of our relationship with God is an eternal covenant means that we do not drift in and out of fellowship with God according to our awareness of Him. We are His people. Every hour of every day.


There are two other things promised to Abraham and his descendants: “I will be their God…I will be with you” (Gen. 17:8; 26:3; 28:15 cf. Ex. 6:7). The Lord Jesus Christ is ‘God with us’ (Emmanuel, Is. 7:14).

For those of us who have part in these promises concerning Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God, God will be with us and guide us to that happy end. Time and again God’s people in their times of desperation have come back to these promises to Abraham, in their realisation that truly God is with us (e.g. 2 Chron. 32:7,8).

Covenant relationship with God means that He will give us foretastes of His future salvation by being our God now and going with us in salvation now (Ps. 111:9). And we will respond to this, and fulfil the truth of 2 Cor. 1:20, which says that the sure outworking of God’s promises to us results in us glorifying Him.

The Law of Moses was a conditional promise, because there were two parties; but the promises to us are in some sense unconditional, as God is the only “one” party (Gal. 3:19,20). And as if God’s own unconditional promise isn’t enough, He confirmed those promises to us with the blood of His very own son.

Bearing this in mind, it's not surprising that Ps. 111:5 states that God "will ever be mindful of His covenant". This means that He's thinking about the covenant made with us all the time! And yet how often in daily life do we reflect upon the fact that we really are in covenant relationship with God... how often do we recollect the part we share in the promises to Abraham, how frequently do we feel that we really are in a personal covenant with God Almighty?

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