The Two Covenants
The Two Covenants
What are the two covenants? Why are they important? The two covenants are contracts that God made with man. These covenants are essential to understanding salvation. They are also the reason why God in the Old Testament seems “bad,” but God in the New Testament seems “good.” Many people disregard the Old Testament because God seems to contradict Himself. That is not true at all. It is simply because God made these covenants and is keeping them.
The Old Covenant
The Old Covenant was made with Abraham (Abram) and can be found in Genesis:
Genesis 15:12-18 – And the sun is about to go in, and deep sleep hath fallen upon Abram, and lo, a terror of great darkness is falling upon him; and He saith to Abram, knowing – know that thy seed is a sojourner in a land not theirs, and they have served them, and they have afflicted them four hundred years, and the nation also whom they serve I judge, and after this they go out with great substance; and thou – thou comest in unto thy fathers in peach; thou art buried in a good old age; and the fourth generation doth turn back hither, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete. And it cometh to pass – the sun hath gone in, and thick darkness hath been – and lo, a furnace of smoke, and a lamp of fire, which hath passed over between those pieces. In that day hath Jehovah ade with Abram a covenant, saying, To thy seed I have given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Phrat (YLT)
This passage is a bit complicated so let’s take it one step at a time. In verse 18, God says He made this covenant to give of all land to Abraham or all of man. The use of this word “covenant” is very important because God only makes a covenant with man three times in the entire Bible: once with the Old Covenant, once with the New Covenant, and once in a covenant with Noah about the restitution of all. The covenant with Noah is found in Genesis 9:8-17, which I already discussed in the Lake of Fire. So when God says that He gives the land to all of man, it means He is giving us authority and ownership of the Earth. It also means He is giving us authority and ownership of our own bodies, because man was made from the Earth as seen in Genesis 2:7:
Genesis 2:7 – And Jehovah God formeth the man – dust from the ground, and breathen into his nostrils breath of life, and the man becometh a living creature. (YLT)
This authority and ownership means we have liability for our actions. Therefore, we are liable for our actions. Even though God created sin, this covenant makes man now liable for sin. From Romans, we know this sin puts us in debt:
Romans 6:23 – for the wages of sin [is] death, and the gift of God [is] life age-during in Christ Jesus our Lord (YLT)
So the Old Covenant gives man authority, but also put us in debt because of our sin. Now you may be asking: why would God give us this responsibility? If He knows our sin will cause us to destroy ourselves, why would He give us authority of it with this covenant? Why can’t God just keep His authority? There are two reasons. One, it shows love and trust. When a parent gives a child their own room it shows that they trust their child with that room. It gives the child freedom to rule their room how they see fit. Two, it gives glory to God. A child may have a messy room and not take care of it, but every now and then, the child may clean it and take good care of it, out of their own volition. For those of you who are parents, you can understand how much pride you get if your child cleans their own room without you having to ask. It is the same way with God. When we choose to love and obey God, without Him asking us to, He gains pride and glory.
Another important thing to understand about this covenant is that it is a temporary ownership. Since God created man, He is ultimately responsibility for us. Going back to the room example, a child will eventually move out and the parents will take back the room. The room is apart of the house that the parents ultimately own. Therefore, God will eventually restore all things through His law of Jubilee as I said in the Lake of Fire.
In verse 13 of the Old Covenant (Gen. 15), God mentions a period of four hundred years. This is because four hundred years later, God makes the New Covenant which is a ratification of the Old Covenant.
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