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A Covenant God

Deu 7:9-10 Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; [10] And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face.

Since the creation of the world, God’s relationship to man has been defined by specific requirements and promises, a covenant. God tells people how he wants them to act and also makes promises about how he will act toward them in various circumstances. For example, the Bible in Hosea says that the agreement between Adam and God in Genesis 1-3 was a covenant relationship.

The Bible contains several summaries of the provisions that define the different relationships between God and man that occur in Scripture, and it often calls these summaries “covenants.” With respect to covenants between God and man in Scripture, we may give the following definition: A covenant is an unchangeable, divinely imposed legal agreement between God and man that stipulates the conditions of their relationship. Starting with Noah, God speaks of an Everlasting Covenant arrangement and as mentioned above, it appears that God included His realationship with Adam as the basis (starting point) for this relationship. The definition includes the word agreement in order to show that there are two parties, God and man, who parties to the provisions of the relationship, the phrase “divinely imposed” is also included to show that man can never negotiate with God or change the terms of the covenant: he can only accept the covenant obligations. The Old Testament (known as the Septuagint), and, following them, the New Testament authors emphasized that the provisions of the covenant were laid down by one of the parties only, God.

There is much discussion and misunderstanding about this covenant relationship by modern theologians. For example some seem to elevate man to an equal partner, some imply that covenant is only between God and those who accept the terms, as if man has the ability to pick, chose, or refuse to accept the terms. God has given man the ability (freedom) to violate and receive consequences, but not the freedom to reject the terms. God’s Everlasting Covenant is with all of his creation! He has laid before all of His creation, life or death, blessing or curse. We choose!

This definition implies that covenants are “unchangeable.” They may not be changed once they are established. Although there have been many additional details specified in this covenant relationship God has made with man throughout the history of Scripture, the essential element at the heart of all of them is the promise, “I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jer. 31:33; 2 Cor. 6:16; et al.).

The term covenants is not meant to imply more than one covenant relationship between God and man, but more than one covenant revelation. In fact we believe that the Everlasting Covenant was planned before the world was formed and part of the mystery of Christ.

1 Cor 2:7-8 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: [8]Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

All of the Old Testament references to God’s Everlasting Covenant foreshadows (types) the New Testament in Christ.

Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,