Answer this question for me: What is a covenant?…“Well it’s a sort of promise, right?” “Is it a kind of a business deal?” “Why are you even asking me about this ‘Christianese’ word?” “No one really uses that term anymore.” If you’re like me, then you have a hard time coming up with a definition that articulates exactly what a covenant is, and you’re probably wondering why the term covenant even matters today.
The concept of a covenant is important because:
- It is what God entered into with His people starting in Genesis with Adam.
- It is primarily why God continues to be faithful to His people throughout history, even when they blow it over and over and over.
- It is how the church is able to experience God’s grace.
God wants to communicate who He is and what He does in ways we understand, and covenants are perhaps the most important way God does this.
The bad news is that we suffer from spiritual amnesia: we forget what God said and promised. We have probably heard countless times that God loves us; we may witness God working in a powerful way in someone’s life; we might personally experience God’s grace in a powerful way. But if you’ve had a relationship with Christ long enough you have at some point forgotten these things and chased after a false promise. The good news is that even though we forget about what God has communicated, He hasn’t.
All that to say, the more we get an understanding of what God communicated through covenants, the more our worship and enjoyment of Him will increase. The next few posts will continue to examine the concept of covenant. We’ll get a working definition of covenant, examine specific covenants God made with particular individuals (Adam, Abraham, etc.), and develop a richer understanding of what it means that Christ has fulfilled God’s covenant.