The most repeated statement that God makes throughout the entire Bible is that, “He will be our God and we will be is His people.” This is the language and purpose of Covenant because everything God does is based on Covenant and everything He does it for is the purpose of His Kingdom. The ultimate reason for everything and the purpose of creation, redemption and salvation is that God would have a bigger family.
If we want to know God’s practices and purposes, His will and His ways then we need to understand His Covenants and His Kingdom. They are the keys that unlock our understanding of who He is and what He does.
In recent years there has been a great deal of focus on ‘The Kingdom of God,’ and rightly so, but unfortunately less emphasis on God’s Covenants. This has led to many Christians becoming Kingdom blessed but not Covenant based. The danger of this is that a Kingdom mindset without a Covenant understanding can lead to us knowing how to ‘soar’ when everything is going well but finding it difficult to ‘stand’ when life gets tough.
Kingdom purpose flows out of God’s Covenant promises and as the late John Stott rightly stated, “An understanding of the Bible is impossible without an understanding of Covenant, for the Old and New Testament’s are the Old and New Covenant’s.”
I have enjoyed researching and writing this book immensely. It has been a wonderful journey but at times extremely challenging. Firstly, because I have come to realise how vitally important God’s Covenants are to our everyday lives yet often there is little understanding of them. Any theological study that does not stress their importance is like a marriage course that fails to mention the need for love.
Secondly, the scope of study for this subject is vast and includes the whole of the Bible, as well as studying church history and theological discourses and disputes. There is a lot of agreement and also at times some disagreement regarding, the number of Covenants and heir theological implications.
Thirdly, the concept and practice of Covenant seems so ancient in our modern world with its contemporary lifestyle pursuing the new while forgetting the old. This is why, for example, marriage is often seen more as a contract instead of a covenant and the sacred bond it is meant to be.
As you go on and read this book may the words of Andrew Murray the great South African preacher and writer become your experience, when he said, “Understanding Covenant will open the very gate of heaven.”