God’s Covenants And Promises Is One Of The Most Important Concepts And Central Themes Found In The Bible! The Promises Of God, in an unconditional covenant means God will fulfill it in His time. We will look at five covenants. They are: Implied Covenant with Adam, Noahic Covenant, Abrahamic Covenant, The Mosaic Covenant, and The New Covenant, or The Covenant Of Christ.
“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Jeremiah 31:33 (KJV)
“And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates….” Genesis 15:17–18 (KJV)
“And I will give the men that have transgressed my covenant, which have not performed the words of the covenant which they had made before me, when they cut the calf in twain, and passed between the parts thereof.” Jeremiah 34:18 (KJV)
“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21 (KJV)
“As at Adam, they have broken the covenant, they were unfaithful to Me there.” Hosea 6:7 (NIV)
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17 (KJV)
“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21 (KJV)
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed, it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15 (KJV)
“And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you. And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you, from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.” Genesis 9:8–11 (KJV)
“But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require, at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man, at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed, for in the image of God made he man.” Genesis 9:4–6 (KJV)
“And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations. I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud. And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh, and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud, and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.” Genesis 9:12–17 (KJV)
“And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.” Genesis 17:7–8 (KJV)
“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee, and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 12:1–3 (KJV)
- God’s promise of land is expanded with the Land Covenant (Deuteronomy Chapters 29 and 30).
“In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.” Deuteronomy 30:16 (KJV)
- God’s promise of descendants is expanded with the Davidic Covenant and its promise of the coming King Messiah (2 Samuel 7:11–16; 1 Chronicles 17:10–14).
“But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and His throne shall be established for evermore.” 1 Chronicles 17:14 (KJV)
- God’s promise of blessing is expanded through the New Covenant.
“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:33–34 (KJV)
“And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.” Genesis 17:9–14 (KJV)
“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. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” Exodus 19:5–6 (KJV)
“And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.’” Exodus 24:8 (KJV)
“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep, for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore, for it is holy unto you, every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death, for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done, but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord, whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever, for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” Exodus 31:12-18 (KJV)
The New Covenant
“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3 (KJV)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8–9 (KJV)
“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17–19 (KJV)
“And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree.” Romans 11:17 (KJV)
“That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Galatians 3:14 (KJV)
“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God, walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham, for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.” Genesis 17:1-6 (KJV)
“And David my servant shall be king over them, and they all shall have one shepherd, they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt, and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever, and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.” Ezekiel 37:24–25 (KJV)
What? Now what does this mean do we need to follow the Mosaic laws or not? State it plainly!
Although the New Testament cites many individual Old Testament laws as valid, it does not specify a general category as permanently valid. However, when it declares laws obsolete, it uses large categories. In Acts 15, it is “the Law of Moses.” In 1 Corinthians 9:20, it is “the law.” In Galatians 3:17, it is “the law” that came 430 years after Abraham, that is, at the time of Moses. In Ephesians 2:15 it is “the law with its commandments and ordinances,” the law that separated Jews from Gentiles. In Hebrews 8:13 it is the Sinai covenant. Although various terms are used, there is a consistency in what is meant. A large category of law is being declared obsolete. That does not mean that every command within the category is obsolete, but the package itself is.
What is the New Testament explanation for this significant change in divinely given laws? It is a change in covenants, or the agreements between God and humanity.
Why should the death of Christ cause God-given laws to become outdated? The Bible gives a simple explanation: Christ brought a new covenant. The book of Hebrews makes this clear in chapters 7 to 10. Although the focus in Hebrews is on the ceremonial laws relevant to the priesthood, the conclusion is more broadly stated, it is the covenant itself that is obsolete (8:13). A new covenant has replaced the Sinai-Moses covenant. The new covenant has some similarities to the old, but it is a new covenant.
Hebrews uses strong terms, laws are set aside, changed, abrogated, abolished, because one covenant has ended and another has begun. Of course, since the old and the new covenants were given by the same God, we should expect some similarities. We should expect moral laws to be found in both covenants. It should be no surprise that laws against adultery, which existed before Abraham, should also be included in the Sinai covenant, a later and larger package of laws. But we accept those laws as valid today not because they were given to Moses (the fact that a law was given to Moses does not automatically make it valid), but for other reasons.
Paul tells us that the Law of Moses was a temporary addition to the Abrahamic promises (Galatians 3:16-25). The Sinai covenant, which includes civil laws and ceremonial laws, was designed to come to an end when Christ came. The Scriptures are not annulled, of course, but the laws there are no longer binding, because of the action of Christ.
This is also brought out especially clearly in the book of Galatians, chapters 3 and 4.