Covenants

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Covenants The Lord said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (Genesis 12:1-3) According to J.I. Packer, "Covenants are solemn agreements, negotiated or unilaterally imposed, that bind the parties to each other in permanent defined relationships, with specific promises, claims, and obligations on both sides." There are essentially two types of covenants in Scripture: a covenant of works and a covenant of grace. A covenant of works does not offer salvation and will result in the spiritual death of those who trusts their ability to fulfill their part of the covenant. The reason for this is because the covenant is annulled if either party fails to perfectly fulfill the conditions of the covenant. On the other hand, the covenant of grace is established upon a relationship that God maintains with those whom He has chosen. This covenant has characteristics that are considered unilateral or hierarchical. That is, such a covenant is mutually binding between the Sovereign and His chosen people, even though its implementation is entirely one sided. An example is the case of Noah. God's sovereignty is evident in His establishment of who was to be saved from the flood by means of the ark (He even decided the means whereby mankind was saved from eternal destruction through His Son Jesus Christ). Furthermore, God determined who should be saved, specifically, Noah, his sons and their wives. God himself administered the covenant, thus... ... middle of paper ... ...ligations, promises, and oaths. When someone enters into a covenant it is implicate that they will fulfill their obligations. From this it is obvious why a covenant is necessary in our relationship with God. God is under no authority but His own, he has no one to call him to account for what he does other than his own standards or righteousness. He has no obligation to anyone; he is completely independent of his creation, his creatures, and of Mankind. How do we know that he will keep his word? How can we be sure that in the end he will not deceive us? The only basis for our hope is that God has bound himself in a covenantal agreement with his people. He has more than promised, or given us his word; rather he has entered into a sacred contract, upon the penalty of death. It is precisely for this reason that we may be assured that He will fulfill all that He has said.
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