The Father/Child Covenant Relationship :
The covenant relationship that we have with God through Jesus is a Father/child covenant. All the promises in the Old Testament had stipulations with them–such as–if you will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful to do all his commandments. . .the Lord will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you. (Deut. 28)
The Old Testament tells us that God’s people, the Israelites, could not keep their end of the covenant even though God had set it up allowing for their weaknesses and providing unending restoration for them. Their carnal nature was in command of their behavior, causing them to be led astray to the point of being alienated from the life of God. At the appointed time, God sent Jesus.
Jesus kept man’s part of the covenant perfectly because He was born of a woman so that he would be like us, but He was born of the Holy Spirit so that He could be spiritually alive like Adam was before the fall. You see, that’s how He overcame. That’s how He perfectly kept His end of the covenant, He walked by the spirit and not by the flesh. Now in order to walk by the spirit and not by the flesh He had to love God with all of His being, He had to cleave to God and hate evil, He had to spend much time in prayer, and He had to be subject to God and resist evil. In other words, He overcame the same way He told us to. Once He had lived a sinless life, He bore our sins and death so that if a person will choose Him as their Lord instead of the devil they can have their sins washed away and be born again of the Spirit of God. Through that process, God is able to restore the person to spiritual life–the life that Adam and Eve had before the fall. For the person who does this, the mandate is the same as at the beginning–hearken unto to God only–do righteousness–walk by the spirit and not by the flesh.
Through this process, we are reconciled to God–this means that he is our Father again as he was Adam’s Father. Truly, all the promises in the Bible are for God’s children and are what he always intended to do for his children.
Since Jesus is the only one who perfectly obeyed the stipulations, the covenant is between the Father and Jesus. The covenant is in full effect for all those who receive and abide in Jesus. ( II Corinth. 1:20)
Since the covenant is between the Father and Jesus, it is not based on the recipient’s performance–it is based upon Jesus’ past performance, therefore as long as the believer abides in Jesus, (see John 15) all promises are “yes” for that believer.
But what I want you to see is that this covenant is a description of the Father/child relationship that Christians have with God.
He promises to take care of his children, meet their needs, put them over in life, protect them, deliver them, heal them, teach them, minister to them, and discipline them. In other words–be all that a Father should be. The believer’s part of the covenant is to trust and obey Him and He made this possible by providing for them to be born again of His Spirit. He provided all that was needed so that Christians can walk by the spirit and not by the flesh. He took care of their sin. He restored them to himself. He provided the perfect example in Jesus. Jesus is their fore-runner. Jesus is their Savior, Lord, Shepherd, High Priest (study this office in O.T.). He is their big brother (study Jewish meaning here), He is the way, the Truth, and the Life. God gave them the written Word full of truth and grace. He gave them the Father/child covenant sealed in the blood of the Lamb so that it can’t be stolen. He has given them the Spirit of Truth so they can combat the liar. Jesus showed them the Father. Jesus is their role model and hero and there couldn’t be a better one ever.
God tells His children to spend time with Him so that the very important bonding between Father and child can take place.
In this Father/child relationship, believers are children. They have a lot to learn–a lot of growing to do. Not knowing enough, children generally make a lot of mistakes, but the parents are very happy with them as long as they are learning and growing. Even if they are having a slump in their growth, the parents are still happy with them because they love them and they understand these things. Jesus portrays God as a loving Father and He compared the Father’s behavior to earthly Fathers so we can too.
So God is asking His children to determine to be like Him, to repent, receive His Spirit, and renew their mind with the Word which reveals the mind and Spirit of Christ. Seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Spend quality time with Father. Father God is happy with His children who will do these things. If you are not doing this, meditate upon your wonderful relationship with Father God and realize that your whole future depends upon your developing this relationship.
Another thing I want you to see in this Father/child relationship is that God’s love is not hard to understand–it can be compared to the love of the best Father for his children. So we don’t have to deserve it. He loves us because of who He is (our Father)and who we are (His children).
Jesus is the one who taught about the Father. In Matthew 5:16 He says we should behave as Father God does so that the world can see Him. Also Matthew 5:48 teaches that a person’s actions show who their Father is. Inevitably a person will act like their Father. John 8:38-44 The saying, “Like Father, like son is for the most part true. That is why God provided a way to get His Spirit back in His children, so He could be their Father and train them up right.
Jesus teaches believers to trust God as their provider of all good things. Matthew 6:8-7:21. I count twenty-two times that Jesus teaches about our Father in heaven. Eighteen times in Matthew alone, he talks of God as his personal Father. Jesus definitely showed us the Father.