The tradition of exchanging rings at weddings began in Africa, long before Christ came. Christians adopted the practice. Rings symbolize the covenant couples make to love and remain faithful to each other until death separates them. Covenants are important, not only in marriages, but also in God’s dealings with humans. God made a covenant with Abraham. We read in Genesis Chapter 17 that God appeared to him and said, “I am El Shaddai—God Almighty. Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. I will make covenant with you, by which I guarantee to give you countless descendants.” God then provided a symbol of that covenant—the rite of circumcision. By submitting to that rite, each male was declaring allegiance to the covenant God made with Abraham. But since it was conditional, unless their inner attitude was one of obedience to God, the outer act meant very little. Israel’s failure to abide by that covenant is what led God to promise a New Covenant. Christ came and shed His blood to establish the new one. Under it, God saves us when we place our faith in Christ’s shed blood. Before He died, Christ instructed His followers to eat the bread and drink from the cup in remembrance of Him. But unless, inwardly, we submit to Christ and desire to please Him, we derive little benefit from the bread and cup.
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