Through understanding the covenants in the Bible, we see that God fulfils his promise to save a sinful people for himself, to forgive our sins and reconcile us to him through Christ. Christ is the One in whom all God’s covenant promises find their “yes and amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Through Christ, the only perfect covenant-keeper, God shows himself to be the One who is faithful, good, loving, holy and entirely trustworthy.
All of us will experience the pain of broken promises at some point in our lives. Whether it is disappointment and hurt when a trusted friend betrays our confidence or the devastation of adultery in a marriage, we know what it is like to have promises broken. In fact much of our lives are characterised by broken promises, from the empty words of politicians to the lies we often read and hear in the media. These days, being true to one’s word is a rare quality.
In the midst of this myriad of broken promises we face in this sinful world, God is the only One who truly and perfectly keeps his promises, all of the time. Because he is infinitely good, he is faithful and true to all his promises. In fact, the Hebrew word ’êmêt, which is often translated as “faithfulness” in the Old Testament, also means “truth.” Faithfulness and truth are therefore inextricably connected. God’s promises are true, because he is faithful. God does not lie. Thus he is always true to his word.
God Will Be True to His Covenant Promises
God is not only faithful and true in an abstract sense, but he is faithful and true to us as his own people. How is this so? God expresses his faithfulness to us through covenants that he makes with his people. What then do we mean by “covenant”? And why are covenants relevant?
Simply put, a covenant is a promise with obligations. God’s covenants with us contain the nature of his promise to be our God and we his own people. In the covenants in the Bible, God makes unbreakable promises to be faithful to his people. His people are to respond to his promises through covenantal obligations. From God’s covenants with Adam to Noah, Abraham to Moses, and David in the Old Testament, through to the New Covenant in Jesus Christ, we see God’s faithfulness expressed.
What relevance then do these covenants have in our lives?
Our Relationship with God is Covenantal
Firstly, they show us that our relationship with God is covenantal. Covenants are the way in which God relates to his people.
Our relationship with God is not something that happens in isolation.