A Covenant between God and Man
For the Sanctification and Renewal of the Church


It was God who started a covenant with man. God created the man with holiness (Sanctification of the Church),

but when he sinned against him, God by His merciful heart, wanted to bring him back (Renewal of the Church),

and He wanted to have a relation with man under certain conditions for his salvation.


God fulfilled His promises and was honest in spite of our dishonesty. The covenant of God with man was an

everlasting one.


The first covenant that God made with man was in the days of Noah, before and after the deluge. The condition

that God stipulated was that man should leave the wicked world that was condemned to death and annihilation,

and enter into the ark to be saved and have life, security, and peace. Noah and his sons joined that covenant,

and thus they gained God's blessing, the rest of the people who did not join the covenant were punished by death.

The blessing for anyone who entered the ark was a symbol for the life of anyone who entered the Church, as he

would be under the guardianship and the care of God.


After the ark had come to land, and after Noah had presented an acceptable sacrifice to God, God was satisfied

and said, "This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is

with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant

between Me and the earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the

cloud; and I will remember My covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the

waters shall never again become 'a flood to destroy all flesh." (Genesis 9:12-15).


The second covenant was made between God and the great patriarch- "Now the Lord had said to Abram: Get out

of your country, from your kindred and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a

great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless

you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."(Genesis 12:1-3)


Later on, there was another covenant with Abram, that is, the covenant of circumcision, of which the Lord said,

"This is my covenant which you shall keep between me and you and your seed after you. Every man or child (boy)

among you shall be circumcised... And it shall be a token of the covenant between me and you. And the

uncircumcised man or child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised that soul shall be cut off from his people;

he hath broken my covenant." (Genesis 17).


Circumcision was a symbol of the death of the body, so that we throw out the reason of death (Sin) from our body,

and might obtain life. Circumcision symbolizes baptism, in which we die with Christ so that we may live with Him.

The covenant stated that he who was not circumcised would be cut off from His people, exactly like anyone who is

not baptized wouldn't be saved.


We notice that the covenant included a blessing to those who joined it and abided by the words of God, as well as

a punishment to those who did not join and also disobeyed. So a punishment was for anyone who broke the

covenant, like that which was given to the one who was uncircumcised.


Later on, there was another covenant; the covenant which God gave to Moses, was sprinkled with blood.  For the

first time, it was a written covenant for all people, including blessings and curses.


Moses took the Book of the Covenant and read to the people saying: "All that God said shall he obeyed, "then

Moses took some of the blood and said,"this is the blood of the covenant which God made with you about all these



The Ten Commandments constituted a covenant between God and the people. The Commandments were written

on two tablets that were called the "tablets of the covenant" and were put into a tabernacle, which was called

the "tabernacle of the covenant."


The tabernacle of the covenant was a symbol of the presence of God with His people. The observance of the

commandments meant that God was their God and that they were His people. According to this covenant, God

gave them the commandments to obey, and in return, He would guard and bless them.


All the commandments of God and all the scriptures were a covenant. This is why the old scriptures have been

called "the Old Testament" and the scriptures after the coming of Christ are called "the New Testament". The Holy

Bible exemplifies a covenant between us and God.


Whoever believes in the Holy Bible, should recognize that there is a covenant between him and God. As long as we

are the children of God, and as long as we are believers, we are bound by this covenant.


The New Covenant was made by Christ
St. Paul the apostle says of the Lord Christ that, "He is the mediator of a better covenant which was established

upon better promises," and they are really better promises.  With the Old Covenant (Testament) God had Promised

Land, which was a symbol of the Land of the Living in the New Covenant (Testament) of Christ. The fact that it is

overflowing with milk and honey is a symbol of "what no eye has seen, no ear has heard of, and of what has never

occurred to the mind of any human being." The abundance of posterity symbolizes the spread of faith and the

increase of the number of believers, and the extent of age symbolizes eternity.


There is another covenant that we establish with God from the beginning of our life through baptism. This is why

the baptized one (or on his/her behalf, the Godparents) during the ceremony recite openly: "I renounce Satan; I

renounce Satan; I renounce Satan."


During baptism we also make a vow to believe in God and follow His ways, and in the new life in which we have

worn Christ when the baptized says: "I believe in Christ our Lord" (3 times).


Another covenant in our life that we keep with God is by partaking in the Eucharist (taking His Body and His



It is the covenant that was made on Maundy Thursday, the day in which God made the covenant with his

disciples and gave them His Flesh and His Blood, which is called by the Church "Covenant Thursday." God said to

His disciples: "Each time you eat from this bread and drink from this cup you preach my death, acknowledge my

resurrection and remember me until I come." So when we celebrate the Eucharist, we keep in our memory a

covenant that we pledge with God each time we partake of it. 


We also enter into a covenant with God whenever we make a vow. We often undergo pressure in case of sickness,

adversity, demands or desires, and make vows beyond our capacity and liability of execution.


A covenant with God should be regarded with seriousness and not obligation. We should know with whom we are

making an agreement. It is with God, the Creator, the Infinite, the Imperceptible, the God of gods. We should also

know the punishment for those who break the covenant. We do not have to try to do away with those vows or try

to change or delay them, because it is written in the scripture, "You had better not make vows at all, rather than

make vows and not execute them. "


In his epistle to the Hebrews St. Paul, the apostle,  explained the punishment for those who do not keep the 

covenant, saying: "Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled

the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and

insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And

again, “The LORD will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."

(Hebrews 10:29-31)


All the covenants of God which are made with the fathers of Old and New Testament, are covenants made with

us personally. Regarding this, Moses says: "The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord made

not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day."

(Deuteronomy 5:2 & 3)


Our covenants with God are sprinkled and approved with the Blood of Christ (Who did the eternal Covenant by

His Blood). This is why St. Paul said (about the consecration of the believer that with the blood of the covenant

with which he has been consecrated): "Our sins are obliterated at baptism by the Blood of Christ," and such is the

case in the sacrament of Confession and the sacrament of the Eucharist, in which we take the Blood of Christ,

which purifies everything.


With celebrating the Sanctification of the Church (the church is the people who believe in God) we remember that

God created us and sanctified us with His breath. And by the Renewal of the Church, we renew our covenant with

God who renewed us after we had sinned by the Blood of His only-begotten Son. The Sundays coming after, the

church is remembering dispensation of our Lord Christ and how God the Father by His great love toward mankind

sent His Son to save and keep the covenant that we failed to keep.


We pray to God to grant us the will power to be honest with Him and keep the covenant that is between us and

Him. Amen.