In agreement with God
In agreement with God
An agreement is called covenant and is defined as;
“A covenant in general is a mutual contract, or agreement between two parties, in which the one party binds itself to the other to accomplish something upon certain conditions, giving or receiving something, which is accompanied with certain signs and symbols, for the purpose of ratifying in the most solemn manner the contract entered into, and for the sake of confirming it, that the engagement may be kept inviolate.”
- Zacharius Ursinus (1534‐ 1583)
“…………………the doctrine of the covenants is at the core of theology, and the health of any theological system depends on its understanding of this truth………………..”
“………..It was God who started to make a covenant with man. He wanted to have a relation with him under certain conditions. God executed his promises and was honest in spite of our dishonesty. The covenant of God with man was an everlasting one…………….” (5)
Covenant between God & Man
“A covenant denotes the agreement of God with man by which God promises his goods (and especially eternal life to him), and by man, in turn, duty and worship are engaged... This is called two‐sided and mutual because it consists of a mutual obligation of the contracting parties: a promise on the part of God and stipulation of the condition on the part of man.”
- Frances Turretin (1623‐1687)
God’s Covenants Are Permanent (2)
“…………….When God makes a covenant it is here to stay! .......... We need to take seriously Jesus’ words, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled”………….. (Mat 5:17, 18).”
How does God enforce his agreement, by threat?
“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said… In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; ……………….” – Genesis 3:16-20
God’s covenant with Adam
“The first covenant made with man was a Covenant of Works, wherein life was promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.” Thus, the Covenant of Works was made with Adam before the Fall. According to M. E. Osterhaven, the Covenant of W orks consisted of three things:
“(1) a promise of eternal life upon the condition of perfect obedience throughout a probationary period;
(2) the threat of death upon disobedience; and
(3) the sacrament of the tree of life.”
1. Covenant of works.
2. Covenant of grace and
3. Covenant of redemption.
God’s covenant with Noah and his sons.
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, "Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth." …. " --------- (Genesis 9:8-17)
God’s covenant with Abram
"Now the Lord had said to Abram: `Get out of your country, from your kindred and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. " ----(Genesis 12:1- 3)
God’s covenant with people.
The Ten Commandments constituted a covenant between God and the people. They were written on two tablets that were called the `tablets of the covenant' and these were put into a tabernacle, also called the `tabernacle of the covenant.' The tabernacle of the covenant was a symbol for the presence of God with his people. The observance of the commandments meant that God was their God and that they were his people. According to this covenant, God gave them the commandments to obey, and in return, He would guard and bless them. (5)
The Holy Quran –
Sura 2: Al-Baqarah
[2:27] “Those who break Allah’s covenant after ratifying it and sever what Allah has ordered to be joined and do mischief on earth it is they who are the losers.”
[2:40] “O Children of Israel! Remember My favor, which I bestowed upon you, and fulfill (your obligations to) My Covenant (with you), so that I fulfill (My obligations to) your covenant (with Me) and fear none but Me.”
Sura 3: Al-'Imran
[3:77] “Verily those who purchase small gain at the cost of Allah’s covenant and their oaths they shall have no portion Hereafter (paradise). Neither will Allah speak to them nor look at them on the day of Resurrection, nor will He purify them and they shall have a painful torment.”
[3:112] “Indignity is put over them wherever they may be, except when under a covenant (of protection) from Allah and from men; they have drawn on them the wrath of Allah and destruction is put over them. This is because they disbelieved in the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.,) of Allah and killed the Prophets without right. This is because they disobeyed (Allah) and used to transgress beyond bounds (in Allah’s disobedience crimes and sins)”
Text 31; “Those persons who execute their duties according to My injunctions and who follow this teaching faithfully, without envy, become free from the bondage of fruitive actions.”
Text 29; “I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.”
Text 24 “One should therefore understand what is duty and what is not duty by the regulations of the scriptures. Knowing such rules and regulations, one should act so that he may gradually be elevated.”
Though I have taken Christian Theology as a major example it is the same with many religions.
On the one side is the God and the other party is Human being, the agreement, contract or covenant is between these two parties. Work involved is obeying the God’s laws, commandments, instructions, etc., the reward or payment is Heaven (pleasure, peace or protection) and the penalty or punishment is Hell (pain, abandonment, violence).
What is this entity called God? ...................
2. THE COVENANTS OF WORKS AND OF GRACE by Walter J. Chantry (http://www.chapellibrary.org/files/archive/pdf-english/cove.pdf )
3. Genesis II – Presenter’s Guide: Week #9 – God’s Covenant with Noah (http://www.mercifulredeemer.org/ )
4. NEW COVENANT THEOLOGY COMPARED WITH COVENANTALISM by Michael J. Vlach ( http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/tmsj18i.pdf)
5. A Covenant between God and Man by H.H. POPE SHENOUDA III.
7. Translation of the meanings of The Noble Quran in English language by Dr.Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al – Hilali and Dr. Muhammad Mushin Khan.(Islamic University, Al-Madinah, Al-Munawwarah).
8. “Bhagavad Gita As It is” – (“Srimad Bhagavatam Tenth Canto Part One” by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, courtesy of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, www.krishna.com .”)