Why is Being in Covenant with God Important?
If we are in a covenant relationship with our God He is obligated to uphold His end of the covenant. And even when we are faithless He remains faithful (2 Tim 2:13).
Those of us who are married and who also made wedding vows should understand that those wedding vows made before God really represent a covenant (Malachi 2:14) with our spouses. Since our spouse is God's servant and because God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) it should be clear that He wants our marriages to last a lifetime. More importantly God wants our relationship with Him to last for an eternity.
“Come out from them and be separate [holy, set apart], says the Lord. Touch no unclean [unholy, impure] thing, and I will receive you.” And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor 6:17-18 ESV)
If we come out of the world and its influence over our flesh and minds/hearts and the resulting idolatry in our hearts then God will be pleased to be our heavenly Father and we will be His sons and daughters - His children. And as His children we are eligible to receive the children's bread [freedom & healing] from Him. I believe our relationship with our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus will benefit from knowing and believing that our God loves us so much that He establishes His relationship of love and grace with us through His covenant with us.
Nature Of Covenant
All covenants in the Bible between God and man have one or more of these six points of covenant. The Mosaic Covenant and the New Covenant have all six of these points.
- God initiates the offer of salvation. Offer is from stronger to weaker.
- The free-willed individual responds to God's offer.
- The covenant is ratified with an oath.
- Do's and Don'ts of covenant stipulations.
- Blessings and cursings.
- Sign or seal of covenant.
Kinds of Covenants
Purpose of Covenants
- Adopted as a people
- Saved from enemies; joined in war
- Mutual benefits
New Testament Salvation Covenant
The New Covenant
Jeremiah 31:31-34 (ESV) 31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Luke 22:19-20 (ESV)
19 And he [Jesus] took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
Hebrews 8:6-13 (ESV)
6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.
8 For he finds fault with them when he says:
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah,
9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
For they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
and I will remember their sins no more.”
13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
Six Points of Covenant
These six points of covenant are also part of the Old Testament covenant.
or click on Titles
Exodus 6:7 (ESV) I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God...
John 6:44 (ESV) No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.
John 14:6 (ESV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Revelation 3:20 (ESV) Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
John 15:16 (ESV) You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Matt 22:14 (ESV) Many are called, but few are chosen.
Romans 10:9-10 (ESV) ...if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
Hebrews 3:15 (ESV) As it is said,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
Revelation 3:20 (ESV) Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 (ESV) And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
Acts 8:36 (ESV) And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”
Hebrews 6:13-20 (ESV) 13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 7:17-22 (ESV)
17 For it is witnessed of him,
“You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.”
18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.
20 And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 21 but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him:
“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind,
‘You are a priest forever.’”
22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.
Matthew 22:36-40 (ESV) 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Ephesians 4:20-32 (ESV) 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Colossians 3:5-10 (ESV) 5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
1 John 5:1-5 (ESV) 1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
John 14:21 (NET) The person who has my commandments and obeys them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will reveal myself to him.
Matthew 25:31-46 (ESV) 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the only sign of the New Covenant which God makes with His Church. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is separate and distinct from water baptism. Jesus himself is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. He gives it so that we will be endowed with supernatural power to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). (See scriptures below...)
Jesus commanded water baptism in the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). It represents rebirth in Christ - the washing away of sins. But water baptism and Holy Spirit baptism were usually separate events.
1 Corinthians 12:13 (ESV) For in one Spirit we were all baptized [a sign evidenced by speaking in other tongues] into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
2 Corinthians 1:20-22 (ESV) 20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him [Jesus Christ]. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. 21 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us [the sign of speaking in other tongues] and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
Ephesians 1:13-14 (NET) 13 And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)—when you believed in Christ—you were marked with the seal [the sign of speaking in other tongues] of the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the down payment [guarantee] of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.
Here is the evidence from scripture that baptism in the Holy Spirit is the one and only sign and seal of the New Covenant and it is a separate event from water baptism.
John 1:32-33 (NET)
32 Then John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending like a dove from heaven, and it remained on him. 33 And I did not recognize him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining—this [Jesus] is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’
Luke 11:11-13 (NET)
11 What father among you, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, although you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give [the good gift of] the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Acts 1:4-5 (NET)
4 While he was with them, he declared, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait there for what my Father promised, which you heard about from me. 5 For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Acts 2:1-4 (NET)
1 Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like a violent wind blowing came from heaven and filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And tongues spreading out like a fire appeared to them and came to rest on each one of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them.
Matthew 12:34b (NET)
For the mouth speaks from what fills the heart.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (NET)
21 But it is God who establishes us together with you in Christ and who anointed us, 22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment [guarantee].
Ephesians 1:13-14 (NET)
13 And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)—when you believed in Christ—you were marked [by speaking in other tongues] with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the down payment [guarantee] of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.
Acts 10:44-48 (NET)
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were greatly astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, 46 for  they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, 47 “No one can withhold the water for these people to be baptized [a separate event from Spirit baptism], who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did [Pentecost], can he?” 48 So  he gave orders to have them [water] baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for several days.
Acts 11:15-16 (NET)
15 Then as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as he did on us at the beginning [Pentecost]. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, as he used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
Acts 8:14-17 (NET)
14 Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15 These two went down and prayed for them so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. 16 (For the Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, but  they had only been [water] baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then  Peter and John placed their hands on the Samaritans, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Acts 9:17-19 (NET)
17 So Ananias departed and entered the house,  placed his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came here, has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he could see again.  He got up and was [water] baptized, 19 and after taking some food, his strength returned.
Acts 19:1-6 (NET)
1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul went through the inland regions and came to Ephesus. He found some disciples there 2 and said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They replied, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 So Paul said, “Into what then were you baptized?” “Into John’s baptism,” they replied. 4 Paul said, “John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 When they heard this,  they were [water] baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, 6 and when  Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they began to speak in tongues and to prophesy.
The Sign & Seal of the New Testament Covenant