Dec 5, 2022

5 Ways Covenant Theology Applies to Everyday Life

4 Min Read

Our family goes to Christ Covenant Church. The school that meets on our campus, and is a ministry of the church, is Covenant Day School. Our denomination’s college, as well as the seminary, is named Covenant. Yet many people, even those who are part of such churches or academic institutions, do not understand the meaning of covenant theology, and therefore, do not understand why it matters for everyday life. So, I want to give you five reasons why covenant theology is important for daily living, which I hope will also inform your understanding of covenant theology overall.

1. Covenant theology reminds us of a perfect promise.

When someone breaks a promise to us and we are confused or devastated, covenant theology reminds us that Someone has made a better promise to us. There is no way that we could have reached out to have a relationship with the creator God. But amazingly, He has reached out to us by way of His covenant. He has promised, “I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people” (Lev. 26:12). You may be crushed today because of a broken promise, but take comfort, dear believer. God has chosen us in Christ to be His people and He always keeps His promises.

2. Covenant theology reminds us that the Bible is a living book.

When we are tempted to guide our lives by other books instead of first turning to God’s Word, covenant theology reminds us that the Bible is a better book. It reveals the bigger picture of who God is and who we are. Through His Word He reveals our need (seen in the covenant of works) and His perfect supply (seen in the covenant of grace). God’s Word will reveal to you “wondrous things” (Ps. 119:18). Its words “are pure words” (Ps. 12:6). It consistently testifies of Christ (John 5:39). It has the power to convert the soul (Ps. 19:7). It comforts God’s people (Rom. 15:4). Its author is God, and it is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16–17).

3. Covenant theology reminds us that Christ is the center of our story.

When we are tempted to believe that our suffering, sin, or service is the core of who we are, covenant theology reminds us that Christ is the center of our story, as well as the bigger story of redemption. In fulfillment of the covenant of redemption, Christ accomplished the redemption that God the Father appointed, and the Holy Spirit applies (see John 17:1–26; Eph. 1:3–14; Heb. 13:20). He is the second Adam who brought life instead of death (Rom. 5:12–21). He is the final Noah who saved His people through the cross (Col. 2:12–15). He is the final Abraham in whom all the families of the earth are blessed (Eph. 2:11–22). He is the prophet greater than Moses (Heb. 3:1–6). He is the final David who reigns in perfect justice and righteousness (Acts 2:25–36). And He defined His death in covenantal terms (Luke 22:20), revealing that He is the fulfillment of the new covenant, which is the climax of the covenant of grace.

4. Covenant theology reminds us of the implications of God’s free grace.

When we are tempted to believe that our good works add something to our salvation, or that our sin excludes us from salvation, covenant theology reminds us that justification and adoption are acts of God’s free grace, and sanctification is the work of God’s free grace (see the Westminster Shorter Catechism A. 33, 34, 35). Everyone deserves God’s wrath (Eph. 2:1–3). But God is “rich in mercy” and love and saves His people by grace (Eph. 2:4–5). This salvation is not a possibility, but a certainty (Eph. 2:6–7). God’s call is effective because God has purposed our salvation (Eph. 2:8–9). Therefore, we can be confident that God will complete the salvation He has begun in us (Eph. 2:10; Phil. 1:6). This in no way endorses licentiousness on the one hand, or legalism on the other. Instead, it frees us to “strive . . . for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).

5. Covenant theology reminds us that believers are part of a community.

If we are tempted to think we can lead a life of individualism, covenant theology reminds us that believers are part of a different kind of community. When we are saved, we become part of the family of God. In this community, we are to serve one another with the spiritual gifts that Christ has given to us (Eph. 4:7–8). We are to grow up together, walking in truth, love, light, and wisdom (Eph. 4:25; 5:1–5, 8–9, 16–21). We are to gather together for worship on the Lord’s Day (Heb. 10:25). Recognizing Christ is king, and that His presence is with us, we are to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:18–20). As we do this, we must set our eyes on the city to come, the new Jerusalem, in which we will behold the face of our beloved Bridegroom, enjoy the spiritual blessings that are ours in Christ, celebrate the consummation of God’s promises, and stand beside those from every tribe, tongue, and nation to worship the Lamb of God forever (Rev. 22:1–5).

Covenant theology is of immense daily benefit because it points us to the gospel. Because of Christ, believers have received a better hope that is based on a better covenant, which is founded upon better promises that guarantee better possessions in a better country (Heb. 7:19, 22; 8:6; 10:34; 11:16).