Brian Haines Index


 Sunday, April 7, 2013


The Bible is clear that as a Christian, we must have such an understanding of the principles of Christ that we can give an answer to the joy we have within us to those of the world. One of the most confusing areas brethren struggle with is with Bible Words. Words such as Justification, Sanctification, Redemption or Manifestation are abused by the denominations in order to justify doctrines that they believe or espouse. In this lesson we look at the word Covenant, and will see that when we understand this word, we understand the manner in which God interacts with mankind.

What is a Covenant? Paul tells us that a covenant is an unbreakable, unchangeable oath (Galatians 3:15). In simplest terms, a covenant is a law and a promise.  A law is a command or rule with a penalty for breaking; this can be found defined in Hebrews 10:16. We are very familiar with how law works; if we speed over the speed limit, we are quilty and could be fined. There is no reward for remaining under the speed limit with law. A promise is a contract or reward for the right completion of an action or omission; this definition can be found in Hebrews 8:6. We could then say that a contract is a promise to receive something, or a reward. A Covenant then is part law, part contract; we receive a reward if we meet the terms of it, but punishment if we do not.

Finally, we find that the bible gives us an example of a covenant; marriage is a covenant according to Scripture (Malachi 2:14, Matthew 19). We know that marriage is “till death do you part”. We also understand that if we “break” the marriage covenant, we are in a worse condition than before, as we cannot remarry or we become adulterers (Matthew 19). We can summarize what we have found to be true of a covenant in these terms:

                                1. It is meant to be permanent; it cannot be voided

                                2. It is ended by death (which is fulfillment)

                                3. Violation has penalties

The Bible is full of a number of covenants. When we began a study of them, we find that the covenant is the common means in which God enters an agreement with mankind. We need to understand that there have been multiple covenants with mankind in the past, but the Covenant of Christ is meant to replace them all.



Looking at the nature of covenants, the end of covenants, and the creation of covenants, we can discern a great deal about the purpose of our Lord’s coming and His death. According to Romans 7, it was necessary for Christ to die in order to end the previous covenants (which man had broken) and to restore man to God.

If we can understand the meaning of a covenant, a number of doctrines (and false doctrines) become easier to understand. We can know why the Ten Commandment cannot justify men today. We see why the instrumental music of David is no longer part of our life. We know Israel is no longer God’s chosen people. We can understand why Jesus had to die for our sins. We can believe that there is a Law of Christ. We can know that the Marriage covenant cannot be dissolved without permanent consequences