In the Old Testament, God hears the prayers of His people on the grounds of the covenant He established with Abraham. When they prayed according to His covenant, God responded and honored His Word. He was bound to execute the decrees and the promises He made to Abraham according to this everlasting covenant.
This covenant is progressive in essence. When I say progressive it does not mean to undergo modifications or amendments to what was agreed upon between God and Abraham. Rather, God’s covenant is a continuous revelation of His exceeding goodness to His people from generations to generations. God’s requirements remain forever the same: That He is the God Almighty to Abraham, and that Abraham continues to walk in His ways and be blameless.
In the conclusion of Abraham’s life on earth, the God of Abraham has fulfilled His Word to him; but His covenant still making progress, it gets better and better as generations pass by. Here is the testimony of the blessings of God’s covenant to Abraham:
“Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things” (Genesis 24:1).
“So he said, ‘I am Abraham’s servant. The Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great; and He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys’” (Genesis 24:34-35).
“This is the sum of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived: one hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people” (Genesis 25:7-8).
Prior to God’s initiation of His covenant to Abraham, He made an awesome revelation of His wisdom when He declared Abraham is righteous in His sight, because of Abraham’s faith. In Genesis 15:6, “And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” It was also by the faith of Abraham that God made him justified. Righteousness is the ability to stand in the presence of God without any sense of guilt from sin. Justification is the act and the declaration of God that man is innocent of his sin.
Throughout his life, Abraham maintained to live by faith and in righteousness of God for it says in Habakkuk 2:4, “… But the just shall live by his faith.”
Also, Abraham did not waver in his faith. In Romans 4:19-22, “And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.”
In contrasts with the Old Testament covenant, the New Testament covenant is now a better covenant. The new covenant was established on better promises, and Jesus is the guarantee or the collateral of this new covenant.
“This new system was established with a solemn oath. Aaron’s descendants became priests without such as oath, but there was an oath regarding Jesus. For God said to Him, ‘The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow, You are a priest forever.’ Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God” (Hebrews 7:20-22 NJKV).
You see, the new covenant is established by the oath made by Jesus. He guaranteed that this is a better covenant with God. And why is that better?
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleansed your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:14-15 NKJV).
Because of the very blood of Jesus, was offered and cleansed our conscience, and we have received eternal life, the very life of God. In the new covenant, every believer is a partaker of God’s Divine Nature, a blessing that Abraham could not receive not until Christ had died on the cross, and has resurrected from the dead. Through that Jesus overcame sin, the effects of sin and the power of sin in our life.
Now as believers, we are the households of God. This is what the Apostle Paul is talking about when he mentioned the mystery of the Gospel – The Body of Christ. We are His Body. The Spirit of God lives through us and in us. You are not just a child of God but a member of His Body.
Every word of the New Testament belongs to the New Covenant. As a whole, it is the gospel of Christ. The Apostle Paul boldly confessed:
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith” (Romans 1:16-17 NKJV).
During His earthly ministry, Jesus told the Jews that Abraham had seen Him and he was glad. Of course the Jews could not digest what they heard. They were so furious at Jesus, and they’re about to stone Jesus to death. But lo and behold, the God of Abraham, who initiated the Old Testament covenant, is right there standing in the midst of them.
Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58 NKJV).