Our Covenant With God
Most Christians do not realize the seriousness of the covenant we have with God in that our responsibilities to the covenant demands a total commitment of our lives.
In our article this week, we will be looking at our covenant with God.
What is a covenant?
A covenant is an agreement between two or more people or groups of people in which there are mutual responsibilities and privileges.
A more common word today is the word contract; a contract is usually an agreement based on some financial and material commitment.
The word covenant is more powerful than contract because in a contract the issues at stake are merely financial, material and temporal. In a covenant however the issues at stake are spiritual and eternal involving the lives of those in the covenant.
Our covenant with God is an agreement between God and the Lord Jesus Christ with us as the beneficiaries and Jesus as the mediator and surety or guarantee of the covenant:
Hebrews 8:6 (KJV): But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
I John 2:25 (KJV): And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.
I John 5:11-12 (KJV): And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
Hebrews 7:22-25 (NIV): Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
In this covenant God allowed His Son to die in our place to make His life available to us. When we accept the sacrifice of God’s Son and receive eternal life, God expects us use this life to build a spiritual temple in our souls and bodies that God can inhabit to reveal the character and power of His Son through us.
If we do not build this temple and allow the true character and power of Jesus to show through us we are guilty of breaking the covenant the penalty of which is progressively: weakness, sickness and ultimately premature physical death.
It is vital to understand our covenant with God with this seriousness.
Purpose of the Covenant
The ultimate purpose of this covenant is, for us to build a temple in our souls and bodies in which God’s laws have been written, so His character and power can be expressed through us in this world, to the glory of God.
Put simply, God wants us to be exactly like Jesus when He was on the earth so that He can get the same glory from our lives.
Hebrews 8:10-11 (KJV): For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (KJV): What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
Ephesians 2:21-22 (KJV):
In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
Hebrews 2:9-11 (NIV): But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.
Romans 8:29-30 (NIV): For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
To do this, we are required to fear God and obey His commandments by faith and not by the flesh (i.e. our own natural human effort: see our article on obedience by the Spirit for details) or ceremonial observations of the Mosaic law.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 (KJV): Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Romans 4:13-16 (KJV): For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
I John 5:2-4 (KJV): By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
Attendant blessings of this covenant for us include:
Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost
Healing and good health for our bodies.
Divine protection and Long life
The degree to which we keep our part of the covenant is the degree to which we will enjoy the attendant blessings:
Mark 4:24-25 (KJV): And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
Also there are penalties for breaking or not keeping faithfully your part of the covenant:
1 Corinthians 11:30-32 (KJV):
For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
Many Christians are weak both spiritually and physically, sickly and die physically prematurely because they are not keeping their part of the covenant.
In our next article, we will see how to keep and enjoy the benefits of the covenant.