“Covenants”

When we decide to purchase a house or a car, before we sign that contract we need to know the obligations, warranty, interest rate and many other details. Somewhat the same procedure is followed before accepting a job. What are the requirements, the salary, the perquisites, the retirement and severance package? In short, the details of the contract. Many contracts have due dates for full or partial payments and penalties for non-compliance.

The term used in the Bible is covenants which has almost the same definition. It is a conditional promise made to humanity by God. After the flood God told Noah and his sons that he would establish his covenant with them and all life on earth that never again would the earth be destroyed by flood (Gen 9:11). The promise was verified with a rainbow (Gen 9:13).

God’s covenants were conditional. “Now IF you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.” (Ex 19:5) The oral response by the people of Israel to Moses was, “We will do everything the Lord has said…” (Ex 19:8) God had to remind them of the covenant many times because they failed to keep their promise (Jud 2:1-2). In David’s Psalm of thanks, he reminds the people of God’s faithfulness to the covenant made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (1 Ch 16:15-18). Solomon states that God has kept his covenant of love with his servants who have continued wholeheartedly in his ways (2 Ch 6:14). God expected them to also honor their marriage covenant with the wife of their youth (Mal 2:14). God knew that mankind would not fully keep his covenants and therefore, through Jeremiah, a NEW covenant was promised (Jer 31:31-34).

This promise is explained in detail in the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament (Heb 8:8) (Heb 9:15) (Heb 12:24). The old covenant is now obsolete (Heb 8:13). The New Covenant also has some details that God wants us to write on our minds and hearts (Heb 8:10-12). Christians enter into this covenant (relationship) by loving obedience (Acts 2:38) to claim the forgiveness of sins by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ (Rom 6:3-6) (1 Pe 1:19) (Rev 1:19). Once we are in Christ (Rom 8:1) we are covered with honors—heirs of God (Rom 8:16-17) priests (1 Pe 2:5, 9) saints (Rom 8:27) (Eph 1:1, 15) etc, etc. How could anyone break this covenant? (Heb 6:4-6) (Heb 6:10)
—Jim Bailey