Here are the four major covenants that have a direct bearing on every Christian’s relationship with God. It would greatly benefit every Christian to understand these, and it would help you to rightly divide the Word of truth.
1. The promises God made to Abraham, which are confirmed in Christ. (Galatians 3)
2. The Law of Moses (aka the old covenant). This was Israel’s covenant in the flesh.
3. The new covenant. This covenant replaced the old covenant (Israel’s covenant in the flesh). This covenant was given to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. Those who among the people of Israel believe the gospel are given this covenant and Gentiles who believe the gospel are grafted with them as the Israel of God.
4. The oath God made with David. God promised David that he would raise up one of his descendants, who would be the Messiah, to reign as King forever upon his throne.
David, was the great King of Israel after the flesh. Jesus Christ is the King of Israel being exalted at the right hand of God.
When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary he said concerning Jesus, “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him THE THRONE OF HIS FATHER DAVID.“ ~ Luke 1:32
In Acts 2, Peter interprets the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus at the right hand of God as THE FULFILLMENT of the scriptures that the Messiah would reign from the throne of David.
Therefore BEING A PROPHET, AND KNOWING that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, HE WOULD RAISE UP CHRIST TO SIT ON HIS THRONE; HE SEEING THIS BEFORE SPAKE OF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD EXALTED, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, SIT ON MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE THY FOES THY FOOTSTOOL. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both LORD AND CHRIST. ~ Acts 2:30-36
The apostle Paul referred to this as “the sure mercies of David.”
32 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers,
33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, HE SAID ON THIS WISE, I WILL GIVE YOU THE SURE MERCIES OF DAVID.
35 Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:
37 But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. ~ Acts 13:13-37
How do these covenants have a direct affect on the lives of Christians?
1. The blessing of Abraham, which is justification through faith in Jesus, is the inheritance of every believer. Through our faith in Jesus, we are members of the family of Abraham, which is the family of God.
2. Being in the family of God, no longer means being grafted into the nation of Israel, as was the case under the old testament. Under Moses, physical Israel was God’s covenant people, and being in covenant with God meant that one had to be a citizen of national Israel. This is no longer the case. The family of God consists of people from every nation, for God fulfilled his promise to Abraham, to make him the father of MANY NATIONS, through his Son Jesus Christ: the promised SEED of Abraham!
3. In Christ we become partakers of a new covenant. This new covenant was given to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In this covenant, believing Gentiles are grafted in with believing Jews as the Israel of God.
Paul uses the language of “the Israel of God” in Galatians 6 in conjunction with those who are circumcised, not with physical circumcision, but through the putting to death of the old man through the power of the Cross.
The apostle Peter says, “ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light…” ~ 1 Peter 2:9
4. Christ is the exalted King of glory, and we are his ambassadors as in a foreign land. His Kingdom is not of this world, but through us, his power and Kingdom saves people from the darkness in this world. We are his messengers and representatives, and his Kingdom reigns over darkness through his power, in his people, who are his ambassadors in this world.
One day, the King of glory will return and take over this world.