As discussed in part one, all that is happening in scripture is because covenant relationship with God (law and love in harmony) has been broken by man and God is at work as the only one who can restore it.
Covenant of Works/Life: At creation, God’s relationship with Adam and his posterity whereby Adam was required, in his free estate, to obey and follow God, expressly evident in the command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Law is always present as God’s Holy character whereby Adam’s transgression is both a breach of legal precept and a personal offense. Because Adam despised the very heart of God in his disobedience, in the fall he lost his heart for God (and by consequence, a proper heart for man) in favor of his own self-determining pleasures.
Covenant of Grace: God eternal and triune relationship with His people (the church/elect in all ages), as they are united to Christ by grace, through faith. God’s Holy character will once again be written on/in the hearts (of flesh) of His people (not mere precepts), as regenerate and baptized by the Holy Spirit, in time. The relationship between God and His people is healed/redeemed by God. The legal breach and personal offense from Adam is satisfied by Jesus’ blood. The Cov. of Works requirement of perfect obedience and love is fulfilled in Jesus’ life. By substitution and mediation our guilt is credited to Christ and His righteousness is credited to us. This is the only means of salvation in both testaments of Scripture.
Covenant with Noah: God promises not to destroy the world by water again. The rainbow is given as a sign of remembrance. As a further clarification of the Cov. of Grace, those who find grace in God’s eyes are adopted and saved through even the most destructive circumstances of divine justice. Although Noah is said to walk with God, he is not credited for this as his own work, but it is instead a clear fruit of his already being a regenerate child of God, who follows God’s instruction and promises by the faith given to him.
Covenant with Abraham: A further clarification of the Cov. Of Grace, whereas the promises of inheritance, a son/linage, to be a blessing to nations and that God will be his God, are given to Abraham (and to his seed, by faith), but God assumes the responsibility of both parties to the covenant. The character of law and love, that man cannot live up to perfectly, God will absorb in Himself, yet God awards relationship to Abraham as if he had been perfect. By grace God promised all He did to Abraham, and yet God assumes the role of covenant breaker indicating Abraham (man) cannot possibly atone or pay the debt due for disobedience. In one sense the covenant is between God alone, as Christ is ultimately the Seed of Abraham in scope. In another sense the promises are clearly with man as to follow and believe that God will accomplish through time and flesh, His promises. Christ is clearly then the only one, as the God/Man, who satisfies both aspects of this covenant shadow in one person.
Covenant with Moses: Keep the covenant and be unto God a holy nation/people of priests. The dynamic of the mosaic covenant is that as God moves from identifying with individuals and families, they will now take on more of a national role in the world. They will be God’s people by name and as identified with a multitude of ceremonies and laws meant to indicate that because God lives among them, they must by Holy in all areas and ways of life. This external visual, is never meant to replace or augment the standing promises of God and walking with Him by faith. Yet over time the externals of the nation replace any heart felt zeal for God and the people continuously fall away, yet a remnant of faithful persons always remain, yet as always saved according to the Cov. of Grace. The mosaic covenant is usually incorrectly associated with the Covenant of Works, but as Paul indicates it is good if one uses it correctly. Law can never be removed from the character of God and thus to be in relationship with Him, there must be a spirit of love for God and His law always within us (holiness and righteousness). Yet people go wrong when they think the law keeping can result in or force their way into relationship.
Old Covenant (OC): A summary name for the Covenant of Grace as administered during the OT time period (Gen. 3:15), until the inauguration of the New Covenant. This Covenant was able to save by grace granting faith in the shadows of the messiah to come. It is still a work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration, new birth yet the life and work of Christ is veiled in symbols, ceremonies and types.
New Covenant: A summary name for the Covenant of Grace as administered from the resurrection of Christ until His second coming. Greater revelation and fulfillment of all the promises and previously associated types and shadows in the Old Covenant. By way of Jesus’ fulfillment of all things from the OC and the greater work of the Spirit and the clarity of the message of salvation, it’s deemed “greater” than the OC, but it is still the same Cov. Of Grace.