The Covenant of Eden
Covenants are important to God. He has chosen to relate to the human race and His people through covenants. The first covenant takes place in the Garden of Eden. The Lord said to our first parents, “The Lord commanded the man, saying ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.’” (Genesis 1:16-17)
Amazing! One rule in the garden. Life and death rested on obedience to one rule. We all know how that came out.
The Covenant of Noah
After the great flood, God made a covenant with Noah and the human race. “…I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.” (Genesis 8:21) This was an unconditional covenant. It was a covenant that rested entirely on God’s faithfulness and not on man’s.
The Covenant with Abraham
This covenant with Abraham reached around the world. “And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the family of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 12:2, 3) The Abrahamic Covenant was unconditional. It rested on the Lord to fulfill.
The Mosaic Covenant
Then the Lord made a covenant with Israel during the exodus. The Mosaic law comprised of 613 laws. These laws include the 10 commandments, the sacrificial system, the feasts and the cleanliness laws. God said, “All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God.” (Deuteronomy 28:2). This covenant was conditional. God would bless Israel if they obeyed God’s law. The tragic story of Israel was their inability to obey.
The Davidic Covenant
This unconditional covenant promised that Messiah would be heir to King David’s throne. (2 Samuel 6:16). When Jesus entered Jerusalem his last week on earth, the crowds shouted, “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:10) Jesus is our King of kings and Lord of Lords!
The New Covenant
Jeremiah prophesied that God would establish a new covenant. “Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. “And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, (Jer 31:31-34)
New Testament believers live in the light and miracle of the new covenant. Christianity is not about external obedience but inward transformation. (John 3:5-8) Grace through faith and not of ourselves is God’s way to salvation. Yes, out of faith comes obedience. (James 2:18) First things first. Our standing before God rests upon faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
Praise God for the new covenant. Sealed by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Received by faith alone in Christ alone.