Further Study: The Two Covenants
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Read Ellen G. White, “The Law and the Covenants,” pp. 363–373, in Patriarchs and Prophets. “But if the Abrahamic covenant contained the promise of redemption, why was another covenant formed at Sinai? In their bondage the people had to a great extent lost the knowledge of God and of the principles of the Abrahamic covenant. . . … [Click to read more …]

Thursday: Ishmael and Isaac Today
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Paul’s brief sketch of Israel’s history was designed to counter the arguments made by his opponents who claimed that they were the true descendants of Abraham and that Jerusalem—the center of Jewish Christianity and the law—was their mother. The Gentiles, they charged, were illegitimate; if they wanted to become true followers of Christ, they must … [Click to read more …]

10: Laws and Promises – Thought Starters
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Madeline and Melvin were in love. No question about it. At every opportunity they would steal glances at each other and talk with nudges and grins. Everybody knew.1 They would soon be married. Then Melvin dropped a bombshell. Both Madeline and Melvin had been married before, and Melvin wasn’t ready to risk a repeat performance of … [Click to read more …]

Wednesday: Hagar and Mount Sinai
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What type of covenant relationship did God want to establish with His people at Sinai? What similarities does it share with God’s promise to Abraham? Exod. 6:2–8, 19:3–6, Deut. 32:10–12. 1 God desired to share the same covenant relationship with the children of Israel at Sinai that He shared with Abraham. In fact, similarities exist between God’s words to … [Click to read more …]

10: The Two Covenants – Teaching Plan
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Key Thought: Self-righteousness is referred to as the old covenant. The new covenant is the everlasting covenant of grace ultimately fulfilled in Christ. [Teaching Plan for “The Two Covenants” November 30, 2011] 1. Have a volunteer read Galatians 4:21-23. A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this … [Click to read more …]

Tuesday: Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar
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Why does Paul have such a disparaging view of the incident with Hagar? Gal. 4:21–31, Genesis 16. What crucial point about salvation is Paul making through his use of this Old Testament story?  1 Hagar’s place in the Genesis story is directly related to Abram’s failure to believe God’s promise. As an Egyptian slave in Abram’s household, Hagar likely … [Click to read more …]

Monday: The Abrahamic Covenant
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What covenant promises did God make to Abram in Genesis 12:1–5? What was Abram’s response? 1 God’s initial promises to Abram make up one of the more powerful passages in the Old Testament. These verses all are about God’s grace. It is God, not Abram, who makes the promises. Abram had done nothing to earn or merit … [Click to read more …]

Sunday: Covenant Basics
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Many regard Paul’s interpretation of the history of Israel in Galatians 4:21–31 as the most difficult passage in his letter. That’s because it is a highly complex argument that requires a broad knowledge of Old Testament persons and events. The first step in making sense of this passage is to have a basic understanding of an Old … [Click to read more …]