Posted On July 16, 2020

Covenant Breakers

by | Jul 16, 2020 | Hebrews, Featured

Hebrews 3:16–17, “16 For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses? 17 And with whom was he provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?”

The warnings that the author of Hebrews gives about abandoning Christ are real warnings. The potential for apostasy and condemnation is not merely hypothetical. People really do break the covenant.

Hebrews 3:16–17 proves that people really can and really do break the covenant with God. The people with whom God was angry in the wilderness were not those who were outside the covenant. They were the ones who left Egypt with Moses and pledged at Sinai to enter into covenant and obey all of God’s laws (Ex. 19). They really were a part of God’s covenant, and yet they broke that covenant, and thus forsook all of the blessings that were promised in it. The book of Hebrews uses this story as a basis for warning Christians to persevere, thereby proving that the new covenant can be broken as well.

The fact that Hebrews gives real warnings and teaches that the new covenant can be broken might seem strange to those of us from a Reformed background. After all, are not the elect secure in their salvation? Surely it is not possible for the elect to lose their salvation?

The answer is yes, the elect are absolutely secure in their salvation. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:38–39). No one can snatch us from the Father’s hand (John 10:28).

How then can these warnings be real? The answer lies in the concept of covenant. When God makes a covenant, He makes a covenant with both believers and unbelievers, with both the elect and the reprobate. This goes against much of the teaching we hear today, but it is the historic position of the Christian church. We often see the idea expressed in the distinction between the invisible Church and the visible church. The visible church consists of all professing believers. Some of them are true believers. Some of them confess Christ outwardly, but really lack saving faith. On the other hand, the invisible Church consists of true believers and true believers only.

The Reformed tradition recognizes that the Bible teaches both divine sovereignty and human responsibility. God is in control of all things. Human beings are responsible to keep the covenant. In the book of Hebrews, God gives us real warnings so that human responsibility is not invalidated, but rather sustained because the warnings motivate the invisible Church to keep the faith.

Coram Deo

It is a sobering thought that every local church probably has people within it who profess Christ but in reality are far from the kingdom. Though we may not know who those people are, we must remain aware that they exist. Pray that all the people in your church may not only profess faith, but also possess it by God’s grace.

Covenant Breakers, Copyright (2020), Ligonier Ministries.

Related Posts

The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ

The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ

On today’s episode, a listener writes in and asks Dave, “Why Is Jesus Christ Unique?” The Importance of the Uniqueness of Jesus. The Uniqueness of Jesus in Scripture. The Heresy at Colossae and Paul’s Response to It. The Centrality of Christ. The Superiority...

Sweet Peace

Sweet Peace

Peter Bilhorn (1887) wrote, “Through Christ on the cross peace was made, my debt by His death was all paid; no other foundation is laid for peace, the gift of God’s love.  Peace, peace, sweet peace!  Wonderful gift from above!  O wonderful, wonderful peace!  Sweet...

Expressing Love and Care For Our Church Leaders

Expressing Love and Care For Our Church Leaders

Romans 16:3-5a, “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. Greet also the church that meets at their house.” “I’d like to be involved in gospel...

Phoebe’s Commendation

Phoebe’s Commendation

Romans 16:1-2, “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant[a] of the church at Cenchreae, 2 that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.”...

A Virgin Birth, the Big Bang, and Why Christmas Happened

A Virgin Birth, the Big Bang, and Why Christmas Happened

The Virgin Birth “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isa. 7:14) “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins....

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Weekly Roundup 7/13/2020-7/18/2020 - Servants of Grace - […] Covenant Breakers by Ligonier Bible Study https://servantsofgrace.org/covenant-breakers/ […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share50
Tweet11
Email
Reddit
Share