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Question

What is the difference between a promise and a covenant made to God?

Answer

Thank you for asking your question about promises and covenants. 

A promise is a verbal declaration that a person will do a particular action. For example, a child might say 'I promise to clean my room' or we might say 'I promise to always be good'.

There is a phrase that says 'promises are easily broken', and this can often be the case. A child may not clean their room or we might end up doing something wrong. 

A covenant is a declaration that is evidenced by a physical symbol. For example, when two people get married they exchange rings and sign a paper document to legalise the marriage. The physical symbol of rings and paper remind the married couple that they are married to each other and the covenant that they have made together. 

In the Bible, God made a covenant with Abraham, and the physical symbol was circumcision. With every Israelite male being circumcised, this was a collective agreement between God and his people. 

We read that God will never break the covenant he has made with his people. he is always faithful. "I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips" (Psalm 89:34).

Regarding making a promise or covenant with God, this is something that we are not to do. Indeed, how would we know if God accepted a promise or covenant? Similarly, how would we be sure that we could keep it? 

We sometimes try making promises and covenants with other people and - as outlined at the start of this answer - we do not keep them. How much worse it would be if we make and then break a promise or covenant with God! 

God however, has made a covenant with us, one that cannot be broken. The new covenant that God has with his people is sealed by the shedding of Jesus' blood on the cross. We have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh (Hebrews 10:19-20). 

Don't put your trust in words or our actions, but place your trust in Jesus to save you, through the covenant of his blood shed for you on the cross. If you have never put your trust in Jesus, asking for the forgiveness of your sins, then I encourage you to do so today!

Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:

  • Genesis 17:9-14
  • Matthew 5:33-37

I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video

I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church

Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question

*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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