Now that you understand why God uses the word “covenant” to explain to you the need for your faith to be acceptable to Him according to the terms He set for it, I’d like to explain to you the 4 steps to covenant faith, which the Spirit points out to us in Romans 4:12. These 4 steps are the same 4 steps that Abraham use to come into covenant with God and that is why the Spirit calls them “the steps of that faith of our father Abraham."
“Who also walk in the STEPS of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.” God first showed Abraham these steps to covenant faith to set the pattern for us now who believe in Jesus Christ. (Romans 4:12)
The 4 steps of covenant faith are: (1) Grace, (2) Faith, (3) Righteousness, and (4) the Seal (the baptism of the Holy Spirit). Let’s now look at how Abraham followed this same pattern. From the book of Genesis we understand that God called (grace) Abram out of his father’s house, and Abraham obeyed (faith), and God declared him (righteous) and then showed he accepted Abraham’s faith by the token of circumcision (the seal). (Genesis 12:1, Hebrews 11:8, Romans 4:11, Genesis 17:7-11).
These are the same vital steps that you will take to come into covenant with God. So let’s review how these steps apply to your salvation in Jesus Christ.
STEP ONE -- GRACE
What is covenant? Follow the 4-steps to covenant faith. Part 1 of 2 part video.
: You heard the word of truth. God makes Himself known to us by means of His knowledge and He inspires His knowledge by His grace to call you out of the world unto Himself. Grace is the voice of God you heard calling you and revealing to you, “This is Christ! Embrace Him!”
STEP TWO -- FAITH: You trusted and believed and made confession of faith. You obeyed the voice of God’s grace, yielding your will to the knowledge He gave you to embrace.
STEP THREE – RIGHTEOUSNESS: Your faith was a response to God’s grace, which meets God’s expectation perfectly. This is why God declares you righteous. Your faith is the perfect measure of His Son, Jesus Christ.
STEP FOUR – THE SEAL: God sealed your faith with the Holy Spirit (token) of promise. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the sign that God has made a covenant with you. This spiritual circumcision is walked out daily in your spiritual growth.
What is covenant? Follow the 4-steps to covenant faith. Part 2 of 2 part video.
The Spirit of the Lord reveals through the 4 steps of Abraham what takes place when you come into covenant with Him. He explains that after you hear the word of truth, after you believe and accept the testimony of Jesus Christ, then God seals your faith with the Holy Spirit, which is a sign of the covenant. God brings His love for you into a binding covenant of marriage, and the bond of His love is witnessed by a token (sign) of the Holy Spirit.
Apostle Paul confirms this to be true. He wrote, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” (Ephesians 1:13)
Your Repentance is Sealed
Your repentance must be sealed by the Holy Spirit in order for God to begin the work of healing your soul. It is the work of the Spirit that daily brings the life of Christ to the soul. This is what the apostles meant when they preached “repentance unto life”! “When they heard these things (that the Gentiles were baptized with the Holy Spirit as evidenced by tongues), they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” (Acts 11:18)
When faith is not sealed by the Spirit a believer experiences repentance unto death. In other words, the work of the Spirit is absent from faith and the initial repentance does not produce the life of Christ in the soul. A believer continues to live in condemnation and turns to repentance rather than the Spirit to find the life of Christ. Without the seal of the Spirit the Christian life is one of struggle against sin rather than the expected increase of the virtues of Christ.
Jesus Breathed on His Disciples
The gift of life is the most valuable gift of all. This is why Jesus breathed upon His apostles saying, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost,” John 20:22. Jesus was prophesying to them of the baptism of the Holy Spirit they would receive on the day of Pentecost when God would bring them into covenant with Him. This is God’s mind: “My Spirit shall be in them, and I will give them My life.”
Jesus, knowing this is what the Father planned to do, breathed on them as a sign of that which they would receive on Pentecost. There was a prophesy in that act. God was saying, “I will breathe My life anew in you. As I breathed into Adam at the beginning, and he became a living soul, so when I breathe in you again I will give you new life in Myself.”
When the day of Pentecost was fully come, the scriptures say that the Spirit of God came upon them and they spoke with tongues (Acts 2:4), thus fulfilling the sign that Jesus gave. God gave them the token of His love and power.
It is at this point, when they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, that covenant relationship began. And so it is with you. Your covenant relationship with God begins with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It cannot begin without this token. When God gives you the Holy Spirit, He is acknowledging your faith and setting His seal upon it.
Always remember: Just as the wedding ring is a sign of the covenant of marriage, the Holy Spirit is the witness to your union with God, and it is by the Spirit that God will sustain His relationship with you.
Last Revised: 2012-10-21