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Covenants between Man and God in the Bible

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Introduction

´╗┐Introduction to covenants From the creation of man started the Covenants. God makes deals with men and they do it. In return, God does something for them. Covenants play an important role in the Old Testament. The meaning of Covenant in Basic English is ?a written agreement or promise.... between two or more parties, especially for the performance of some action.? (Webster?s Ninth Collegiate Dictionary). In religious terms, the idea of covenant is that of a pact, contract, arrangement or agreement. These changes are depended on the covenant that is made. Christians, unlike Jews, also have New Covenant. This new covenant is not shared by the Jews. In this essay I will be discussing more about the formation of covenants; its importance; types of covenants, and the characteristics of covenants. There are two types of covenants; Conditional and unconditional. ?Conditional covenant guarantees that God will do his part with absolute certainty when the human requirements are met.? An unconditional covenant is the declaration of the purpose of God. (Class notes) The first covenant is the Edenic covenant (Genesis 2:16-17). It was a conditional covenant because Adam and Eve had to obey God. Abrahamic covenant is considered as one of the most important covenant. It was an unconditional covenant because God required nothing of Abraham. The Mosaic covenant is considered the most significant covenant because in this covenant, God gives the Laws to the people of Israel. It is also a conditional covenant because the blessings directly depend on Israel?s obedience to God. New covenant is the last covenant; it was unconditional. People just have to accept the offer. Covenants are important because the divine-human relationship is based on covenant. If we are going to be the people of God, we are going to need to understand the means by which God has bound. God has used covenants to set the boundaries of this binding it stands to reason, therefore, that if we are to properly understand our relationship with God, we must understand the nature of covenants. ...read more.

Middle

Abraham, as a sign, circumcises Isaac when he was 8 days old (Genesis 21:3-4), (Student Resource). Mosaic Covenant The Mosaic Covenant is a covenant made between God and the nation of Israel. The most important covenant in the Old Testament is the Mosaic covenant (Lion Handbook 210). The covenant was made after he killed a guard and fled the country (Chapter Guide to Exodus 1-12). Mosaic covenant was made at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19-24). God made this covenant ?so that they would recognize him and serve him as the one living and true God, the provident Father and just judge, and so that they would look for the promised Saviour? (CCC#62). The Catechism of The Catholic Church describes the connection between the Abrahamic covenant and the Mosaic Covenant as such ?God chose Abraham and made a covenant with him and his descendants. This covenant ?was the decisive step in the creation of Israel as a nation? (Lion Handbook 210). By the covenant God formed his people and revealed his law to them through Moses.? (CCC#72). What this means is that the Mosaic covenant is a partial fulfilment of the Abrahamic Covenant. God initially made a covenant with Abraham; thorough Moses gave the Laws to guide the people. The Mosaic Covenant is especially significant because in it God promises to make Israel ?a kingdom of priests and a holy nation? (Exodus 19:6). The Mosaic Covenant is a conditional covenant. The blessings that God promises are directly related to Israel?s obedience to the Mosaic Law. If Israel is obedient, then God will bless them, but if they disobey, then God will punish them (student resource book). The blessings and the curses are written in Deuteronomy 28. Even if they sin and act against God, they will pay for their sins but will be saved because of the promise God made with Abraham. ?I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. ...read more.

Conclusion

People get baptised to cleanse their souls from sin. Baptise means to cleanse with water, this is why people baptise with water. But John said Jesus ?will baptise? you ?with Holy Spirit.? The new covenant has a different basis, and it presents a different basis of relationship between God and humans. The new basis is Jesus himself and his blood. Jesus did what we could not do, and he offers his sacrifice to us as a gift. Another sign in the New Covenant is the Last Supper. Jesus said, ?Take, eat; this is my body? (Matthew 26:26). In Scripture, leaven symbolizes sin, so bread without yeast represents holy God. The bread signifies the Son who was broken to save the humanity. Wine symbolised blood which the Son of Man will shed in order to be saved; ?My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins? (Matthew 26:27?28). The Last Supper is the Passover for us. If we remember this and take part in the covenant, we will be saved. Conclusion By analysing the covenants, I can see there are things that every covenant follows. These include sacrifices, rituals, signs and condition. Usually sacrifices are used to confirm a covenant. A sacrifice was seen in all of the covenants that I have studied. Rituals were carried out before the sacrifice. Rituals were used to make themselves clean. Signs are common in all of the covenants that I have studied. Abrahamic Covenant had circumcision as the sign. Circumcision was a sign of participation in God?s promises to Abraham. This sign was also seen in the Mosaic Covenant. In the New Covenant, Baptism was the sign of participation in God?s promises. The main condition in all these covenants is based on faith in God. Abraham had faith in God; because of this, God gave him promises and blessings. In the Mosaic Covenant, the people of Israel had to have faith and obedience to receive the blessings. The New Covenant is entirely based of faith. Anyone who have faith shall receive the blessings and be part of the promise. ...read more.

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