Promise in Christ or in a Covenant

Justin Johnson

There are two ways to buy a house: make a promise to pay in the future, or pay it all up front.

If you make a promise to pay, the provision is always future, and there is always a possibility that either party can breech the contract. Paying up front makes a promise to pay needless, but requires a huge one time payment.

Salvation is a purchase of God. He redeems lost sinners while building an eternal house. Since the world began, God has been building the house of Israel for an eternal inheritance on the earth. He did not provide the inheritance up front, so he gave Israel a promise to pay, a covenant of promise.

Israel’s covenants of promise were God’s obligations to provide salvation, blessing, and earthly inheritance in the future.

To make the promise sure, covenants were declared. How does Israel know the promise is sure? The covenant is made in blood and guaranteed with death of the buyer. This is called a surety or mortgage (a death promise).

God made a promise to pay to Israel, a divine mortgage, to be fulfilled in his kingdom come to the earth. The blood of Christ was the down payment and surety of the future provision for that nation.

The Fulfillment of God’s Mortgage

Israel was blessed with these covenants of promise. He made no such covenants of promise with any other nation. While God’s complete provision is extended to the future, the promise ensures it will be Israel that will inherit the earth.

When the terms of the covenants of promise are fulfilled, then there is no longer any need for the covenants. They are finished. The mortgage can be ripped up, because the house is paid for.

However, Israel’s covenants of promise have not yet been fulfilled. They have not yet received their salvation, worldwide blessing, earthly inheritance, or many other promises given to them through their covenants of promise (Heb 8:11; 13:14; Rom 11:26-27).

This is why God’s covenants are critical for the future earthly inheritance of Israel. Without them, what hope do they have that God will make final payment?

God’s Present Payment Plan

Today, we are not partakers of God’s promises in covenants to receive future salvation and blessing. God has another payment plan that has bought the house of God, which is the church, the body of Christ (1 Tim 3:15).

God has already promised an earthly habitation to Israel through a covenant of future promise. The new creature abides in heavenly places, and we can be placed into this household today if payment is provided in full immediately.

This transaction with the church of God is described through the revelation of the mystery of Christ, which is without Israel and without covenants. Instead of striking a covenant with the church for future provision, God has declared this purchase paid in full through the blood of Christ.

Just like paying for a house up front, this required a huge lump sum payment in the beginning. The cross is where we find this sufficient payment for all.

No More Waiting

Before the revelation of the mystery of Christ, the only way to receive any hope of salvation or blessing from God was through Israel’s covenants of promise. Israel’s covenants of promise are still waiting future provision.

But now the blood of Christ is offered for direct entry into the household of God (Eph 2:13).

Since Christ has already made the full payment through his blood, and there are no other obligations to the church, God can provide everything to us now without the need for a covenant.

Whereas Israel’s covenant promises them a complete package when the kingdom comes, we are complete in Christ now (Col 2:10). Whereas Israel is still waiting for their Day of Atonement where the blood of Christ is applied to their nation, we have “now received the atonement” (Rom 5:11).

There is no more waiting for the fulfillment of Israel’s covenants of promise to receive salvation. What they have been promised in payment, we now possess. Now is the day of salvation by the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery!

Christ has done it all, it is all paid for up front the moment we believe (Eph 1:13).

Christ vs. Covenant

How very different trusting the finished payment of Christ is from trusting a future promise of provision. Christ and a covenant are different. Christ is a person who made a payment. A covenant is a promise that has not yet been provided. If the promise has been delivered, rip up the mortgage!

If a house is paid for up front, there is no covenant or promise that is needed, there only need be the person rich enough to pay for it.

We have that person in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the riches are unsearchable (Eph 3:8)!

Our message today is not one of entering into contract with God, or partaking of God’s promise in a covenant made with Israel. We preach that all men can partake of God’s promise in Christ by the mystery gospel (Eph 3:6).

While no believer would deny God’s faithfulness to keep his promises to Israel, and it was because of those promises that Christ came, especially now that we know the mystery of God’s will in Christ, but certainly possessing a thing is much better than a future promise of a thing.

According to the mystery of Christ, the body of Christ now preaches and possesses salvation, whereas Israel is still waiting the fulfillment of their covenants of promise made for the earth.

God will keep the covenants for Israel through Christ, but beware of anyone who would take your paid for house in heavenly places and put it back under a mortgage! They are robbing you of the unsearchable riches of Christ!

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Published: August 29, 2015
Last Modified: August 31, 2018
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