Covenant Faithfulness

God entered into a covenant of love with Israel promising to be faithful to them always.  Even when the people were unfaithful the Lord went on loving them with unfailing love.  His promise was repeated over and over in all Israel’s history “I will be your God and your shall be my people” and he kept to his promise.  For the covenant promise was fulfilled by unfailing love not by legal obligations.

The story of God’s covenant with Israel shows that we humans cannot be faithful as covenant partners.  For that reason the God who is love made a new kind of covenant with us not like the one he made with Israel.  In this new covenant God keeps both parts of the relationship himself.  His own Son comes as God among us fulfilling his part to be our God according to his covenant promise.  At the same time, Jesus also fulfils our part.  He is the true man who was faithful to God on our behalf because he lived as us before his Father.  In him we are faithful to our calling as God’s covenant partners. Not faithful because of our own faithfulness to God, but only because of the faithfulness of Jesus.

God’s Spirit brings us to faith in Jesus’ faithfulness and also joins us to Jesus, the faithful one, so that we share in his faithfulness to the Father. And so, our life in the new covenant does not depend on our faithfulness but rather on the faithfulness of the covenant God through his Son for us and his Spirit in us.  This makes the new covenant “better” by far.


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