Loyalty in Biblical Covenants

In what ways did biblical covenants require loyalty?

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The divine covenants, in many ways, required loyalty on the part of the vassals, in this case, the people of God. We can see that in the beginning, God, of course, told Adam that he could eat from every tree in the garden, but he put a restriction saying, "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." … And so, just as he required Adam's loyalty, we can see throughout the history of the biblical covenants that the Lord requires obedience, that he demands loyalty. Many mistakenly think that the covenant doesn't impose any obligation on the vassal. That's a mistake, a common error committed when interpreting biblical covenants. We can see in the law of Moses, in the prophetic books, and up to the new covenant, how God calls for obedience. The only reason we can be considered people who are loyal to the covenant is because Jesus Christ kept the terms of the covenant for us. He was obedient, perfectly and completely, to the terms of the covenant. He was completely loyal. And, by grace, his obedience is given to us. But even though it's not by works but by grace that we have received the righteousness of Christ, it doesn't mean we have no responsibility at all. The New Testament, time and again, makes it perfectly clear that they who are in covenant with God, and who profess faith in Christ, should demonstrate their loyalty by their obedience.

Answer by Dr. David Correa

Dr. David Correa is Pastor of Jesus Presbyterian Church and Director of the Youth Ministry Institute at San Pablo Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Merida, Mexico.