It is important to realise that God defines His way of dealing with humanity in terms of Covenants or special agreements. God made a number of important covenants with people over the centuries. He made a covenant with Adam, with Noah, with Abraham, with David, with Jesus and through Jesus with us who are “in Christ”.
In ancient times, superior Kings set down the terms by which they would relate to minor princes or vassal kings. The LORD God, being the Ultimate King, being the King of Kings, and being the Creator and Ultimate Owner can set down the terms for any covenant He chooses to make with a person or nation. We don’t get to vote on it, we either accept or rebel.
In the covenants of God our part is always to listen to God and obey His voice. One of the primary ways we hear God’s voice today is through the written Word of God. So its important for people to have access to the Scriptures.
“ I am talking about the agreement I made with your ancestors when I brought them out of that furnace called Egypt.’ At that time I told them, ‘Listen to me and obey all the commands I give you. Then you will be my people and I will be your God.’” (Jeremiah 11:4)
This requirement did not change in the New Testament. Jesus said,
“My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27 ERV)
I do not believe that this requirement and provision of hearing God’s voice simply means we read the Bible and seek to do what it says – although it certainly includes that. God will speak to us by His Spirit also – and prompt us in different ways. We are to be led by the Spirit as mature sons of God (Romans 8:16). We don’t always need a written law to know what pleases God. Even in the times of the Patriarchs, Joseph knew that it would be a sin against God to sleep with his master Potiphar’s wife. As yet no commandment “Thou shalt not commit adultery” had not been given on any tablets of stone. Through his conscience, however, Joseph was in tune with the will of God and knew what he must not do. Had he failed there, he would most likely have aborted God’s plan for his life.
One of the major blessings of the New Covenant is access to God and answered prayer. Jesus said,
“Stay joined together with me, and follow my teachings. If you do this, you can ask for anything you want, and it will be given to you.” (John 15:7)
The way to stay joined to Jesus is to love others as Christ loves you. This can only be done by meekly trusting God for the spiritual resources of love with which to do this.
In the New Covenant we have forgiveness of sins, new spiritual life, and access to the promises of God. The Bible says:
“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” (2 Corinthians 1:20 ERV)
I understand this to mean that all Old Covenant promises also have application and validity for New Testament believers if we meet the conditions.
To know all the promises of God, we need to read all of the Bible with attention. This is another reason why it is so important to get Bibles to people. With the right instruction, and with the right heart attitude, they will begin to realise what God has given them in Christ. And the massive results this will create will bring thanksgiving, honor and glory to God.
Major Covenants Revealed in the Bible
God made a covenant with Adam and Eve that the seed of the woman [Jesus] would crush the head of the serpent [Satan].
God made a covenant with Noah not to destroy the world by flood again, and to institute the Seasons of the year. He also instituted new permissions for Noah, such as allowing him to eat meat. Penalties for murder were introduced explicitly at that time also.
God made a covenant with Abram and changed his name. God made 40 major promises to Abraham that are recorded for us in the Book of Genesis. The main one that concerns us is that through his Descendant all the nations of the earth (including us) would be blessed.
Later on God made a covenant with King David to build him an enduring House (lineage) and that His descendant would be on the throne forever. This was fulfilled in Jesus.
The New Covenant made in Christ’s blood was a covenant whereby God promises to wash away our sins truly, renew our minds and speak to us as we turn to the Lord and put our full trust in God through Jesus. It was established through the Death and Resurrection of Christ.
I believe that through the blood covenant with Christ, we enter into a place with God as co-heirs with Christ. We get to inherit all things – provided we endure and overcome in this life. This we can do by leaning on Jesus and with the help of the Holy Spirit and with His Word in our hearts.
All of these covenants contain specific promises to us. Jesus promised His peace to us for example. He promised deliverance to those who call upon His name in truth and continue in His Word. I believe the Scripture is clear that God gives forgiveness to those who meet His conditions. The same could be said for healing.
Above all this, the New Covenant promises direct access to God in the Holy of Holies to those who draw near to God by the blood of Jesus in full assurance of faith. Clearly this might involve the laying aside of doubtful things from time to time, but the things we have done wrong in the past do not prevent us from drawing as near to God as we would like to draw. This is only possible because the Blood Sacrifice of Christ took care of our guilt and shame and enables us to approach God with a righteousness that comes from Christ, not from ourselves.
Many books have been written on the Covenants and Promises of God. My encouragement to you is to keep reading and studying for yourself, and meditate on all the promises you can find that speak to your situation and the things you desire from God.