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Definition

The biblical covenants form the unifying thread of God’s saving action through Scripture, beginning explicitly with Noah and reaching fulfillment in the new covenant ratified through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Summary

The biblical covenants form the unifying thread of God’s saving action through Scripture. While some theologians argue that there are three covenants prior (the covenant of redemption, covenant of works, and covenant of grace), the first explicit covenant in Scripture is between God and Noah after the flood. The Abrahamic covenant follows soon after in Genesis, laying the groundwork for the nation of Israel and the coming Messiah, through whom God would bless all the nations of the world. The Mosaic covenant continues God’s dealings with the nation of Israel, the descendants of Abraham, calling them to reflect the glory of their Lord to the nations around them. The covenant made with King David pointed ahead of Israel to the coming Messiah, the one who would rule perfectly on David’s throne forever. It was not until Jesus came as Israel’s Messiah, however, that the covenants with man were kept perfectly and fulfilled. Jesus came to ratify the new covenant, promised in the Law and the Prophets, bringing along with it the eschatological blessings promised to God’s people.

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