banner

About         Directions      Worship         Sermons

A Covenant
All God Ever Wanted

A New Covenant 2019

All God Ever Wanted

 “All God ever wanted was to be the God to a loving people.” –Tim Stidham

 This morning I am going to introduce our 2019 theme.  Every year we choose a theme for our sermon time together.  Remember, last year was The Story.  Then, we ended the year studying the Thessalonians.  From our study of The Story lots of questions came up as we flew threw the whole Bible.  What I would like to do this year is step aside from the stories of the Bible, so we can put together a coherent theology. 

 This year the structure will be different.  Instead, of moving through the Bible chronologically by following stories, we are going to move through our study systematically.  I have been doing theology for most of my 45 years as a preacher.  I guess, I want to organize my doctrine into something I can easily share with others. 

 I want you to help me capture my theology. I will be experimenting on you by exploring my theology.  So, you are the white rats in the laboratory.  You have always wanted to be a lab rat... this is your chance.  Together, we can organize my theology.  Each week I will share a piece of my understanding of God.  I will breakdown my beliefs for you to process.  As lab rats you can see if my sermons connect. 

 I don’t expect you to agree with all I say.  Your agreement or more importantly your disagreement is valuable to me.  It will force me to evaluate what I believe.  It will either encourage me to change my belief or reinforce what I do believe.  Let me give you permission to disagree.  I hope to have conversations with any of you who want to pursue things further.  I hope you care enough to engage.  Perhaps, in class, or after church, or over coffee, or even email... though that is harder.  I want us to work together to establish what we believe. 

 I am a bit intimidated by this challenge.  It is arrogant to come up with your own theology.  “Let’s just ignore 2,000 years of church history and create our own theology.”  But that is pretty much what I intend to do.   With your feedback, your help, I think we can detail a healthy theology. 

 All the Intellectuals here this morning are going... “WOO HOO” in their minds because they don’t say anything out loud.  All of our Enthusiasts are going, “This could be a long year.”  They do it say it out loud...

 Anyway, our theme for 2019 is... “A New Covenant.”  I debated a variety of different theme names.... A People of God; Covenant People; Jesus People; The kingdom of God; The God of the kingdom; the Covenant Kingdom.  But I ended with the simple version... “A New Covenant.” 

 The starting point to our year of theology is my opening statement...

 “All God ever wanted was to be the God to a loving people.” –Tim Stidham

 This morning, I want to show that this statement is true.

 ======

 Let’s begin in the Garden of Eden.  God created the world in perfection.  At the end of everyday of creation is the phrase... “It is good.”  Then at the end of all creation God said... “It is very good.”  God created what he wanted. God’s intention was to create a world that is very good.  God created a world for us to be happy and love all over Him!

 Listen for God’s desire in the 2nd chapter of Genesis...

 Genesis 2:7-9 Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.  And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.

 God created us.  God kissed us into existence.  God gave us a wonderful place to love.  Everything we needed to be his loving people, He gave us!

 Genesis 2:9-17 The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

 For love to be love there must be a choice not to love.  God loves us enough not to force us to be His loving people.  We need to know that our love of God is our choice.  God needs to know that we choose Him!

 Genesis 2:18-20 Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."  So out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.  The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 

 I can see Adam’s joy in discovering everything in the Garden.  I envision God asking him every evening... “What did you discover today?” “I found this weird animal I called a Baboon!”  But there was something missing!

 Genesis 2:21-25 So, the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.  And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.  Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

 The first blood shed may have been the surgery on Adam to create the covenant of marriage.  More on that later.  But Adam and Eve were God’s loving people!

 I think I am right...

 “All God ever wanted was to be the God to a loving people.” –Tim Stidham

 Skip, no one knows how many, thousands of years...

 =======

 To a man who is the most famous man to ever live?   Abraham...

 Genesis 17:7-8 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God."

 God chose a man.  God’s plan was this man to be the Father of His people.  God made a covenant with this man, so his offspring would be a people that God could love and be loved by them. 

 “All God ever wanted was to be the God to a loving people.” –Tim Stidham

 It began with Abraham.

 Skip 500 years or so...

 =======

 Moses has led the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage.  YHWH leads them to Mount Sinai...

 Exodus 19:1-6 On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai... There Israel encamped before the mountain, while Moses went up to God. The LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, "Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself.  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel."

 Thus, began the rocky relationship of the children of Israel with YHWH.  For a 1,000 years God worked with the Israelite nation to be his people.  God wanted a people who would be his loving representatives to the whole earth.

 “All God ever wanted was to be the God to a loving people.” –Tim Stidham

 But Israel mostly failed. Finally, in 586 BC God sent his people off into captivity.  They were not going to be the people YWHW wanted.

 But God left them with a promise of a... New Covenant.

 =======

 The prophets pointed to this this new covenant which would form the people God always wanted.

 Jeremiah 31:33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

 Ezekiel 11:19-20 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.

 Zechariah 8:8 and I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness.

 From the end of these prophets it was 500 years until the new covenant was formed.

 =======

 Jesus brought this new covenant.  In the upper room at the end of his ministry, Jesus told his disciples why he was to die on the cross.

 Luke 22:20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

 The death and resurrection of Jesus provided the blood and the power of a new covenant!

 Paul emphasized the promise...

 2 Corinthians 6:16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

 The writer of the letter we know as Hebrews... recounts this same refrain.

 Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

 This is where we live.  We are called to be people of the new covenant.  This is what we are going to explore this year!  We will discover what it means to be the people God loves; the people who love God; the people of the New Covenant!  I am excited.

 =======

 One day God will fully achieve what he intended from the beginning. One day God will join us on the new earth to be our God and we will be his loving people, forever.

 Revelation 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”

 Consistently through our entire scriptures...

 “All God ever wanted was to be the God to a loving people.” –Tim Stidham

 One day it will be!

 =======

 Throughout 2019 we are going to explore the New Covenant.

-- I plan on exploring the God of covenant...  It is a thing with God.

--We will discover that Covenant involves sacrament and symbol... There are amazing transactions and symbols of YHWH’s covenants.

--We will explore how the blood of Jesus forms this new covenant.

--We will spend some time on Baptism as entering the new covenant.

--I think we will discover that the Lord’s Supper is our continued renewal of the new covenant.

--Then, we will end with... How our lives as the people of God live within the new covenant.

 I am excited for this year’s Theme... A New Covenant!

 

Tim Stidham

January 6, 2019

Los Alamos Church of Christ



HOME

Los Alamos Church of Christ - 2323 Diamond Drive - Los Alamos, New Mexico - 87544 - (505) 695.5875