You and I have a choice between two ways of living: we can live according to the covenant which the One True Creator God has made with His people, or we can live in disobedience.
It’s common to see these two ways of life compared and contrasted in Scripture. Jesus addressed this directly:
Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. (Luke 13:24)
Of course, we’re saved by the grace of God—but remember always that the grace of God draws us into a covenant relationship. The whole Biblical story can be described in terms of the covenants that God made with Adam and Eve, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and with Israel. He is the covenant God of all creation, and He is faithful.
We’ve been drawn into an unequal covenant.
This covenant is not a contract between equals; no, it’s a contract between God and us, between a greater and a lesser. God will never fail to keep his promises, but we will fail numerous times.
Adam and Eve were placed in a beautiful garden. God gave them a paradise in which to live, but He also gave them responsibilities. They were to till and tend the garden. They were to have dominion over the animals and over all the creation, and they could eat of the fruit of any of the trees in the garden except one. Even before the Fall there was, built into their relationship with God, responsibility and accountability.
We have been drawn into this covenant relationship, and in response to the covenant that we have with the Lord our God, we have covenant responsibilities. God has redeemed us so that He might make for Himself “a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” (Titus 2:14) We have been “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Will you choose obedience?
This doctrine of the two ways is a reminder to God’s people that we have a choice: either we can be faithful to the covenant, or we can choose to be faithless and disobedient. Moses spoke of this on the Lord’s behalf in Deuteronomy 30: “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19) And, to use the words of Joshua, “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve.” (Joshua 24:15)
“If anyone wishes to come after Me,” Jesus told His disciples, “he must deny Himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23) Paul told the Christians in Rome to “present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” (Romans 12:1) We choose between the two ways of life even in our every day actions.
The preceding was adapted by Rachel Motte from a sermon Dr. Sloan delivered at Kingsland Baptist Church on June 2, 2013. A video of his original remarks may be viewed here.