The Very Close Relationships Among God’s Covenants

Many Christians have the wrong idea that when God made each of His covenants, all previous covenants were abolished. The truth is all of God’s covenants (except maybe the possible Adamic Covenant) overlap some of the other covenants and some are fulfilled in the New Covenant.

Here is a summary of the relationships between the Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic and New Covenants:

 

The Noahic Covenant

 

God’s covenant with Noah will continue forever (see Genesis 9:16). Therefore, it overlaps the Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic and New Covenant periods.

 

The Abrahamic Covenant

 

The Abrahamic Covenant, which began long after God’s Covenant with Noah started, overlaps the Mosaic and Davidic Covenant periods and is largely fulfilled in the New Covenant.

Galatians 3:16-18 shows the Abrahamic Covenant was not set aside by the commencement of the Mosaic Covenant. Galatians 3:17 states: “And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.” Romans 4:6-12 reveals David prophesied that the Abrahamic Covenant continued into David’s time, which was many years after the Mosaic Covenant period began.

In Psalm 105:6-11, God declares His Covenant with Abraham was an everlasting covenant, so it did not cease when the Mosaic and later New Covenants began. Genesis 17:7 also says the Abrahamic is an everlasting covenant.

Many aspects of the Abrahamic Covenant were fulfilled in the New Covenant. Romans 4:11-25, Galatians 3:6-9 and 3:29 relate to this. Galatians 3:29 declares: “And if you are Christ's then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” In Luke 1:67-75, Zacharias prophesied that salvation through Jesus Christ was the fulfilment of some of God’s covenant promises to Abraham.

 

The Mosaic Covenant

 

The Mosaic Covenant overlaps the Davidic Covenant. Also, while the ceremonial aspects of the Mosaic Covenant finished at Jesus’ death (see Hebrews 10:1-10)[1], the moral parts of the Mosaic Law can be argued to still apply during the New Covenant period to unbelievers, showing them they are condemned by God to a deserved death penalty because of their failure to obey perfectly its commands every moment of every day (see 1 Timothy 1:8, Romans 3:19-20, 7:7 and 7:13). This death penalty involves spiritual death and physical death.

The ceremonial aspects of the Mosaic Covenant are the blood sacrifices, offerings, feast days and so on. The primary example of the moral aspects of the Mosaic Covenant is the Ten Commandments. The ceremonial aspects of the Mosaic Law applied to Israelites and those non-Israelites who chose to attach themselves to the Israelite nation in the period from the initial giving of the Mosaic Law up until Jesus’ death and resurrection.

 

The Davidic Covenant

 

The Davidic Covenant overlaps part of the Mosaic Covenant and is fulfilled partially in the New Covenant. 2 Samuel 7:12-17 shows David’s offspring would fulfil the Davidic Covenant. Solomon fulfilled the above to a limited extent. But Jesus Christ, David’s Son fulfilled it in a deeper sense. This is except the part about committing sin.

The second half of Hebrews 1:5 is a quote from 2 Samuel 7:14. In context, Hebrews 1:5 shows Jesus Christ would fulfil the Davidic Covenant: “…And again: ‘I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son’?” The Davidic Covenant has been partially fulfilled in the New Covenant period in that Jesus Christ now sits on David’s throne as King of kings in a heavenly sense (see Revelation 1:5 and Ephesians 1:20-23).

 

A sharp contrast between the New and Old but not between the New and others

 

The New Testament draws a sharp contrast in many but not all aspects between the New and Mosaic or Old Covenants (see 2 Corinthians 3:6-11, Galatians 3:19-4:31, Hebrews 7:11-10:18). But the New Testament does not draw such sharp contrasts between:

 

a)        the New Covenant and the Noahic Covenant.

b)        the New Covenant and the Abrahamic Covenant.

c)        the New Covenant and the Davidic Covenant.

 

This is because the Noahic, Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants are still operating in the New Covenant period, but the Mosaic Covenant is not.

 

Diagram illustrating the overlapping of God’s covenants

 

 <Follow Link to Diagram> (to be fixed)

 

 

Bible Study Question

 

1.         Summarise the relationships between the Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic and New Covenants.

 


 


[1] Some Bible teachers believe Ezekiel Chapters 40-48, Zechariah 6:12-13 and 14:16 show a limited number of features of the ceremonial law are to be practiced during the Millennium. It is highly debatable, however, whether the fulfilment of such verses in the Millennium is literal or symbolic.

 

 


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