The covenant and the promises: Why obedience is more than worthwhile
When you enter into a covenant with God, like Jesus did in His days as a man, you have unbelievable promises for your life!
“That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” Ephesians 2:12.
Israel had a covenant with God, and this covenant gave them many wonderful promises. However, if they were unfaithful to the covenant, they were punished, or chastised. On Mount Sinai, God had given them some commandments to keep.
A new kind of covenant with God is established
Jesus was born into mankind, and when He came into the world, He said, “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire. … In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—in the volume of the book it is written of Me—to do Your will, O God.’” Hebrews 10:5-7.
This was the covenant that Jesus established with His Father. This covenant entailed not only keeping some commandments, but doing the Father’s will. There were no limitations to doing the Father’s will. He had to offer up Himself in order to learn obedience. (Hebrews 5:8; Hebrews 9:14.) He had to give up His will; He had to die in order to do the Father’s will (John 6:38), and through the blood of the everlasting covenant, God brought that great Shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus, up from the dead. (Hebrews 13:20.) The promises of this covenant are much greater than the promises of the old covenant.
God could not establish this covenant with an entire people, but Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27. This concerns not only the Jews, but through the preaching of the gospel of Christ, these sheep are being gathered from among all peoples and nations. Jesus said, “And they follow Me.” They enter into the same covenant as Jesus. Baptism is a testimony to this. “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?” Romans 6:3-5. This is the death to our self-will so we can walk in the newness of life according to the Father’s will, just as Jesus did. Then Jesus becomes our Shepherd, and we become partakers of the same blood of the covenant, which also gives us the right to the resurrection from the dead, that is, the rapture, when we will meet Jesus in the clouds. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.)
The promises of the covenant
All the promises of the covenant will be fulfilled in us if we are faithful to the covenant—we have a right to them. Read about them, and it will warm your heart if you believe. To begin with, you no longer need to be anxious for yourneeds; the things you need will be added to you if you do God’s will. (Matthew 6:31-34.) Then, you will partake of and flee the corruption that is in the world. (2 Peter 1:4.) You become God’s heir and will be glorified together with Jesus. (Romans 8:17.) You will get to sit on Jesus’ throne together with Him as He sat down with His Father on His throne. (Revelation 3:21.) We could continue in this vein. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9.
Those who love Him keep His commandments. (John 14:15.) They are faithful in the covenant just as the great Shepherd of the sheep was, and they will live together with Him in glory. (2 Timothy 2:11-12.)
This article has been translated from Norwegian and was first published with the title “The covenant and the promises” in the periodical Skjulte Skatter (Hidden Treasures) in September, 1964.
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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.