The Christian Faith is Defined by Covenant
Why Faith Must be Restricted to the Covenant
Lesson 10 of 13
Have you noticed that the word “restriction” can sometimes leave a bad taste in your mouth? Our natural inclination is to come and go as we please—to be free-spirited. Many times because Christians misunderstand the word restriction they fight against it, thinking it is a call to legalism. Let me assure you that it is not.
Understanding what God means by “restriction” makes all the difference in the world. God made a promise to Himself (Hebrews 6:13) and to humanity concerning the terms of our redemption. And then He restricted His covenant terms to the Oath He made (Hebrews 6:17), that our faith might be made living and perfect only in Him.
God wants us to understand that He bound Himself to the terms of our redemption and that He preserves His tradition in faith, not in stone. God is living, not dead; He is the living tradition of our faith and desires our faith to be made living in Him. The Bible declares: “Can two walk together accept they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)
God set in Himself certain terms that He would abide by, and faith takes on that meaning for us and is empowered by God only within that context. It is, therefore, important that we know the terms of God's restriction, that we may reciprocate “in kind” and restrict our faith to them.
Do you know that God did not accept the children of Israel as they were (on their own terms)? He only accepted them on the terms of the covenant He gave them. God accepted their faith when they brought their sacrifices to the temple and observed the Sabbath laws, dietary laws, feasts days, and cleansing laws.
And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God REQUIRE of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
Both in the old testament and in the new God uses the word “covenant” to let us know that which He has bound Himself to for our experience. A covenant describes the boundaries to which God has restricted Himself, for the purpose of providing redemption upon the grounds He set to prove faith.