Are We Under Any Covenants?

When the Bible speaks of covenants in the specific sense, it is speaking of the covenants given to God’s chosen nation Israel. No one today in the dispensation of Grace is a partaker of the covenants which are made between Israel and God.

Hebrews 8:7 speaks of the first covenant and the second covenant given to Israel. The first covenant describes the Law as given to Israel at Horeb:

“The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.” – Deuteronomy 5:2

The second covenant, or ‘better covenant’, is the ‘new covenant’ also given to Israel (Heb 8:13, 12:24).

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord;…” – Hebrews 8:10

And again in Jeremiah:

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:” – Jeremiah 31:31

Knowing that the covenants were given to Israel and Judah, Paul stated concerning his brethren according to the flesh, Israel,

“…to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;…” Romans 9:4

Gentiles and the Body of Christ

The covenants were between God and Israel regarding their future redemption as spoken of by the prophets since the world began. However, Gentiles in time past as well as those in the body of Christ today are not a part of the covenants.

Paul says,

“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:” – Ephesians 2:12

In order for a Gentile in time past to get the blessings of God they had to follow the provisions of the covenant. (See “Did Gentiles in the Old Testament get saved?” for more.) However, they were estranged from the covenants given to Israel.

During the dispensation of Grace, believers receive the benefits of the redemptive work of Christ on the cross outside of any covenant relationship. It was purely by God’s grace that we receive eternal life and the blessings associated with salvation. Otherwise grace would not be grace (Romans 11:6).

Today there is neither Jew nor Gentile. There is no special status before God for any nation today.

“For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” – Romans 11:32

Instead of a covenant providing the necessary terms of redemption, believers today are of the same body and partakers of the promise in Christ by the gospel of the grace of God (Eph 3:6, Titus 1:2-3). We receive the mercy and the grace of God apart from our adherence to any covenant given in time past, we receive it by faith (Romans 5:1, 8-10).

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Published: Tuesday, February 21st, 2006
Last Modified: March 29, 2016