Entering into an everlasting covenant with a holy and eternal God is a very serious matter. So serious, in fact, that a soul intending to make such a covenant must possess a clear understanding of its enormous substance, importance, meaning and enduring quality.
Webster’s New-World Dictionary defines the word “covenant” as follows: 1. The promises made by God to man as recorded in the Bible. 2. The binding or solemn agreement made by two or more individual parties, etc., to do or keep from doing a specified thing. 3. An agreement among members of a church to hold to points of doctrine, faith, etc. Simply put, a covenant is an agreement and a promise. Both in a secular and religious sense it is an agreement between two persons, both of whom intend to keep their end of the bargain.
In the spiritual realm we find the most important covenant of all: that in which God promises eternal life through Christ Jesus unto all who will turn to Him in repentance, live in obedience to Him, and hold fast by His grace until life’s end – a two-way promise.
Essentially, there are two major Biblical covenants. The old covenant found in the Old Testament, and the new covenant found in the New Testament. The old covenant gave way to the new because Christ our Lord came to fulfil the law.
The old covenant was God’s promise to faithful Abraham and to his seed in succeeding generations. In Genesis 12:2-3, God spoke to Abraham saying: “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” The old covenant is further conveyed in Exodus 19:5: “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth is mine”. The old covenant is also elaborated on in Deuteronomy 7:9: “Know, therefore, that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, who keepeth covenant and mercy with them who love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations”.
The making of a covenant is an official acknowledgement of God’s promises to man and man’s intent to accept and be obedient to God’s promises and commandments. The covenant with God is conditional on man’s obedience until life’s end.
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