Covenant is an alliance or oath, is a legal agreement between two or more people, in which they accept the commitment of obeying and keeping the conditions, to ensure the respect and fulfillment of what has been agree upon.
The Bible is a document of covenant, the Old Testament and the New Testament which are the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. In Latin, the word testament also means covenant. In the Bible, we also find a guidance in how to establish a covenant; basically, whoever initiates the covenant describes himself and what he has done; followed by a list of obligations between both or more parties involved, which includes a section of rewards and penalties they will have because of keeping or breaking the covenant. The 10 commandments fall in this category.
“Walk before Me and be blameless. 2 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly… for I have made you a father of many nations.” Genesis 17: 1 – 5
A covenant between God and Man is a solemn oath, followed by signs and sacrifices. This relationship is sealed with promises of blessings by fullfiling it or curses by breaking it.
We see in the Bible the Old and the New covenant, that is only one: Is the plan of salvation, that is the will of God for all human beings, is the Eternal Covenant between God and us. The Old Covenant, was established first between God and Adan in the garden of Eden and later was renewed with Abraham.
” In your seed, all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” Genesis 22: 18.
He was accepted by faith “And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:6
And perfected in the death of Jesus at the cross, and when Jesus affirms and validates it with his blood it was called The new covenant. The terms of the old or covenant of the law was: Obey and you will live. Conditions that God established in Mount Sinai, giving the 10 commandments to the people of Israel through His mediator, Moses, which whom He sealed this Alliance. By accepting the covenant of the Law, the Israelites became a special property for God, under His terms.
“And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them.” Ezekiel 20: 11
“You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 18: 5
“Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law by observing them.” Deuteronomy 27: 26
To fulfill, respect and obey the 10 commandments was the foundation of the old covenant.
“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.” Exodus 19: 5
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write these words, for according to the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” 28 So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.” Exodus 34: 27 – 28
The new covenant is simply an arrangement to restitute the harmony of man with the divine will of God, through His son Jesus Christ, placing the human being in a position of being able to obey the law of God.
“But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Jeremiah 31: 33
This new Alliance was established over the promise of forgiveness of sins and the grace of God to transform us and align us with the principles of his law. Jesus is the mediator and is the foundation of the new covenant, and entered into effect with his perfect sacrifice in the cross.
“And for this reason, He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” Hebrews 9: 15
The new covenant, has unique and wonderful promises, with wider and everlasting benefits, that makes it different from the old covenant and its purpose is to keep it valid in the life of all Christians in this time.
“But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.” Hebrews 8:6
The Lord, promises to write every promise of His Word in our hearts and our minds and give us the capacity to keep His commandments inside of us.
“Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Hebrews 8: 8 – 10
We need to understand that the conditions established by God in the new covenant to receive eternal life, are the same that existed under the old covenant; they are based on obedience. Then, the old covenant has the same value today, as in the time the Lord made the covenant with the people of Israel. But even more today, in the times we are living, because in the new covenant; we are one in Jesus.
And because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we have receive the seal of the New Covenant, which is the Holy Spirit inside of us, “who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” 2 Corinthians 1: 22
The seal of the Holy Spirit in our heart, is one of the promises of the new covenant. It is He, who gives us the conviction of sin and the power and motivation inside of us to obey God, through the transforming power of his presence.
“I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” Ezekiel 36:27.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are in a process of renovation one day at a time.
“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who[a] is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1: 13 – 14
With the new covenant we can also go directly to God through his son Jesus Christ.
“by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.” Hebrews 7: 22
The new covenant is sealed with the baptism, when we accept the sacrifice of Jesus and we submit totally to God and his perfect will. We can only receive forgiveness through Him. “or I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds[a] I will remember no more.” Hebrews 8: 8 – 12
“how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” Hebrews 9: 14 – 15,
There is no difference, because now we are all one in Jesus, incredibly, Jews and gentiles will enter together in the relationship of the new covenant with the Messiah and in the same manner, even when Jews had the advantage of being the chosen people of God and having received the divine Word before the gentiles.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3: 28 – 29
This blessing of Abraham is also extended to us the gentiles through Jesus Christ, because all the ones that are in Christ are lineage of Abraham and heirs of the promise.
“that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith..” Galatians 3:14
The Covenant of Abraham is generational and is for all Israel and is still active, because a new covenant does not eliminates the previous one.
“Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. 16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,”[a] who is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ,[b] that it should make the promise of no effect.” Galatians 3: 15 – 17
And is the sacrifice, death and resurrection of Jesus in the cross that confirms the New Covenant.
“Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[a] 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham… that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:5-7 & 14
While we live in these bodies, the Christians will be imperfect beings, but, God made a commitment with us through the new covenant and this is the way He redeems and guarantees to us eternal life in Jesus Christ. A covenant is a promise and the promises of God, cannot be broken because they are based on His pure and unending character and it offers a wonderful future for all humanity. In this new covenant not only enters the Jewish nation, but also the people of God, composed of Christians anointed with the Holy Spirit, of all nations of the world, which is us, all those who believe in Jehovah and have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.