The Covenant Series, Part 2

Definition of Covenant

A covenant is a contract or agreement between two or more parties. Covenant is how God has chosen to communicate to us, to redeem us, and to guarantee us eternal life in Jesus Christ. These truths, revealed in the Bible, are the very basis for Christianity. The Bible is our 'covenant' document. The Old and New Testament are really the Old and New Covenants. The word 'testament' is Latin for Covenant.

There is a pattern in the covenants found in the Bible. The lst party describes himself and what he has done...then, there is a list of obligations between the two or more parties. What follows is the section dealing with rewards and punishments that govern the keeping and the breaking of the covenant. The Ten Commandments fit this pattern and are a covenant document.

Covenant is how God first decided to deal with mankind. We know this from studying the Eternal Covenant mentioned in Heb. 13:20...”May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep.” (NIV) In this covenant, God the Father and the Son made an agreement regarding the 'elect'. This covenant was made before the universe was created and it consisted of the Father promising to bring to the Son all whom the Father had given Him. The Son would become a man, become for a while lower than the angels, and be found under the law. The Son would die for the sins of man and become for a while lower than the angels and be found under the law. The Son would die for the sins of the world, and the Father would raise the Son from the dead.

The Eternal Covenant, then, leads to the Covenant of Grace. Where the Eternal Covenant was made between the Father and the Son, the Covenant of Grace is made between God and man. This latter covenant is where God promises to man eternal salvation based upon the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. The manifestation of that covenant occurs in our world in a sequence of additional covenants that God made with individuals...Adam, Noah, Abraham, the Israelites at Mount Sinai, believers in the New Covenant and so on.

Understanding Covenant is important for several reasons:

            • We learn that God deals with men through covenants.

            • Since a Covenant is an agreement, it is a promise made by God. Because we can rely on God's Word for eternity. We can take great comforting His covenant promising the eternal life in His Son.

            • It helps us to see the Bible as a cov enant document. The Old and New Testament are Old and New Covenants.

            • With Covenant understood as a framework through which the Bible was written, we can better understand it, God's Baptism.

Therefore...our relationship with our Lord is a covenant relationship. When we trusted in Jesus as our Savior, the Father just didn't forgive our sins and give us a free ticket to Heaven. God 'cut' a Covenant with you and with me. The God of the Universe not only came to cover your back but to become your very Covenant Partner!

Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!