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Question

If I make a covenant with God and I didn't keep my side of the covenant, will God fulfil his part?

Answer

Thank you for your question. I hope and pray that this answer will be of real help to you as you seek after God. It is certainly a fascinating question, and though I would love to know a few more details about the covenant you speak of, I will seek to answer as best I can in general terms.

The very first thing that we must address is why you are making a covenant with God in the first place. The Bible actually doesn’t say anything of instructing a person to make a covenant with God, but instead is filled with the fact that God makes covenants with His people, promising to bless them if they will trust Him and walk in obedience to His Word.

People often do make promises to God that they will serve Him in certain ways, and maybe ask Him to bless them in return, but this is a dangerous thing to do, as failure to do what we have promised makes us out to be liars, people who do not keep our word. Even if we were able to perform what we’ve promised, this kind of idea is potentially the complete opposite of what true Christianity is all about.

The basic idea behind us making promises or covenants with God is this: if I do something for God, and serve Him well, then surely He will love me, and reward me for what I’ve done - He’ll bless me, and ultimately give me a place in heaven. However, this is nothing to do with the message of the Bible - this is what we call religion.

All religions, including a false version of Christianity, have their own ideas of what standard God requires from people to please Him, and if a person meets that standard then everything is okay, and that person is loved and accepted by God.

It’s what we might call a covenant of works, where our performance is the main requirement of the covenant. In fact, God made His own covenant of works with His people, but not for the reasons you might think. After rescuing the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt in the opening chapters of the book of Exodus, God proceeds to make numerous laws with His people, firstly for the governing of their lives together, and then for regulating the system of worship in the tabernacle. These laws in Exodus are also followed up by many others in the book of Leviticus, and what God essentially tells His people is this: "if you will obey these rules then you will know my blessing" (see Exodus 23:20-33, and also Deuteronomy 7:12-26 - when Moses was reminding the people of the covenant in Exodus).

However, we see from the history of Israel that even some of those we might know as the greatest of God’s servants, completely failed to keep the law in all its fullness. On it’s own the law presents to us a covenant which is just impossible for us to keep. Therefore the New Testament reveals to us what the law was really there to do - firstly it confirms what we already know in Romans 3:19:

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

The law was never there to give us the way to salvation, it was there to show us that we could never be good enough for God on our own, and in turn it was to point us to the real way of salvation, as we’re told in Galatians 3:24:

Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

So the purpose of the law wasn’t to save, but was to show us that we are sinners, and always fall short of the standard God requires of us. The law does this so that we might be ready to receive the real answer to our problem, and the only true way of salvation, which is found in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Himself sat with His disciples and spoke to them of the New Covenant that He was making with His people:

And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you”. (Luke 22:19-20)

What was this New Covenant that Jesus was about to make with His people? It was a covenant whereby He would take care of the sin and guilt in their hearts that was separating them from God. The law proved that we could never take care of our own guilt, but Jesus, the sinless Lamb of God, died the death that we deserve because of our sin so that we could be forgiven. The replacement of the covenant of works, with a New Covenant teaches us that favour with God could never be earned by our own efforts, but it must be given to us as a gift.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Ephesians adds another dimension to the picture by telling us that we’re saved by faith. We’re not saved by doing anything, going anywhere, or attaining to any kind of standard, but simply by believing that Jesus is the Son of God, and that His death has made a way for us to come to God. Of course, true faith will always lead us to act in obedience to God’s Word, but there’s never any glory for us - even the faith to trust in Christ in the first place is a gift from God, and therefore so is every other good fruit that flows from our new found relationship with God.

I don’t know where you stand in relation to God, or whether you have even heard the truth that I have been explaining above, but my encouragement to you is this: don’t depend on any covenant you may have made with God in the past for Him to bless you. How would you even know that God accepted the covenant anyway?

Why not simply begin to trust in the blessings that God wants to pour out on you in His Son - blessings that are not earned by our efforts, but free gifts for those who simply have faith in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Why don’t you, if you have not already, cry out to Jesus to save you from your sin and failure, and to grant you the gifts of forgiveness and eternal life that He gives to all those who come to Him? When you’ve done that, don’t begin to promise God that you’ll live better, just trust Him that He is more than able to grant you the wisdom and the strength you need to live a far better life than you could ever live on your own. It will take time, but as you give yourself to Him, as the Scripture says, He will ‘transform’ you from ‘glory to glory’ (2 Corinthians 3:18) and will one day welcome you into His house with the words ‘well done, good and faithful servant’ (Matthew 25:21).

Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:

  • Ephesians 2:1-10
  • Galatians 3
  • Hebrews 10:1-13

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

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* All Scriptures taken From The New King James Version of the Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answers 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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