A Testament provides information to individuals:
The written Word of God is what we regard as His Testimony to us. It expresses His Will. It is a source of information to us or witness against us, irrespective of what response a person might have toward it. God’s Word testifies to us explaining the right Way of Life.
[Deuteronomy 30:19] I call Heaven and Earth to testify against you … choose life or death
[Hebrews 12:1] … encompassed about by a great cloud of faithful witnesses …
[Hebrews 3:16] “For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all …”
[Romans 10:21] God extends extraordinary chances to His chosen.
A Covenant is an agreement made between two parties:
When we recognize the importance of the Testimony, we are placed in a position to either respond positively to the information or not. A positive commitment on our part creates a Covenant relationship between us and the Testifier. A Covenant is a binding agreement between both parties. The distinction between a Testament and a Covenant is an important realization. Since both Old and New Covenants are based on the same standard of righteous conduct, the Laws of God, we should not think of the Law as “done away”.
[Ephesians 2:12] … baptism seals our commitment to our calling and the Way of Life.
[Hebrews 8:8] … circumcision once exhibited a covenant commitment (but they failed)
[Romans 2:25-29] … today, circumcision of the heart is a more effective situation.
[Exodus 19:5] . our Covenant relationship makes us a special people to God.
[Exodus 31:16] . Sabbath, keeping . throughout all generations, is a perpetual covenant.
[2nd Kings 17:38] “And the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; …”
[Nehemiah 1:5] …God… keeps covenant and mercy for them … who observe his commandments
[Psalm 111:9] “He hath commanded His covenant for ever: holy and reverend is His name.”
[Ezekiel 20:37] “… and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:”
[Romans 11:27] “For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”
[Hebrews 8:6] “He is the mediator of a better covenant … established upon better promises.”
The commitment to Baptism affects a Covenant with God
All too often, individuals seek baptism without adequate counsel and fail to realize what kind of a life commitment their action implies. It should never be taken lightly. Being put under those waters, which represent the death of our ‘old man’, we must remain faithful to the end of our lives. While most Christian denominations practice what is called “the Lord’s Supper” or “Communion” on a frequent basis throughout the year, the origin of such a practice was actually the Passover Supper Christ observed with His Disciples on the eve of His crucifixion. The True Christian practice is to observe the Passover once a year. By so doing, we renew our Covenant with our LORD, and any who do not participate in the Service and in His foot-washing example risk being ‘none of His’, as He emphatically said to Peter in John 13:8.
[Acts 2:38] Repent and let every one of you be baptized … for the remission of sins.
[Luke 22:15] He said … With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer
[John 13:8] Jesus said unto him, “If I wash you not, you have no part with Me.”
[John 1:12] … as have received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God.
[Mark 1:15] The time is fulfilled, … kingdom of God is at hand: repent … believe the gospel.
[Luke 3:3] … preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
[Acts 3:19] Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,
[Acts 26:20] … that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
[Revelation 3:19] As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Abandoning ones’ Covenant relationship with God results in Eternal Death:
Not all people realize the seriousness of making a Covenant with God. Upon doing so, He also is making a Covenant with us! Entering into the New Covenant opens our minds and wills to His Laws, which by His Spirit are implanted into our minds and hearts. It is and should be our heart’s desire to remain obedient thereafter.
[Hebrews 10:26-29] Spurning the Gift of the Holy Spirit imposes a spiritual death sentence. [Hebrews 12:25] … do not refuse Him who speaks to us …
[Luke 19:27] … those who would not that I should reign over them … slay them before Me. [Hebrews 10:26-27] .. no space for repentance with those who reject the gift once given …
The New Covenant is based on God’s Law (the Commandments):
The all-important TERMS of the New Covenant are clearly stated in both Old and new Testaments. What needs to be made clear is that the replacement of the Old Covenant with the New Covenant does not void the Law. Once the New Covenant is established with one called-out by God, that same Law is implanted in the heart and mind of that individual. The righteous Laws of God are thereby made a Way of Life for us once we enter into that Covenant relationship. The major difference between the Old Covenant and the New is the shift from a fear-based approach to a love-based approach.
[Hebrews 8:8-10] … I will put my laws in their minds and write it upon their hearts
[Jeremiah 31:33] … I will put my laws in their minds and write it upon their hearts
[Matthew 22:40] Ten Commandments are the base framework for the Law and Prophets.
[Romans 7:16] I consent unto the Law that it is good
[Romans 7:12] Law is Holy and the commandment is holy and just and good.
The Old Covenant taught righteous values to a largely unconverted nation:
We might wonder why the Old Covenant was not effective and sufficient for all time. Understanding what was inadequate with it deals with the nature of the recipients. They as a nation were not given the Holy Spirit at that time. Just being given the Testimony and the Law of and by itself was insufficient. Though they appeared to sincerely Covenant with God at Mount Sinai, their Will Power alone didn’t do it. There were physical blessings to those who were obedient, but that did not equate to true conversion. They, for the most part, remained carnal as the natural man is. God has a place for them in the future, but at present, He holds most under a veil of blindness, unable to grasp the full Plan, reserving them mercifully to a calling in an age when a better environment for conversion will be in place: That being the millennial Kingdom of God, with all practicing His True Religion and with Satan under restraint.
[Romans 11:26] All Israel shall be saved (but they aren’t all being called now!)
[Galatians 3:19] The Ceremonial Law was added because of unbelief / disobedience
[Revelation 20:12] The books will be opened unto them for understanding
[Revelation 11:19] … the Temple was opened for ALL (it wasn’t so before?)
[Ezekiel 37:12-14] In the second resurrection, Israel will be given God’s Spirit.
This is an Excerpt from the book: The Message to God’s Called-Out Ones by the Christian Church of God Grand Junction Colorado. You can read the entire book at the link above.