Sunday, May 20, 2012


Believers are told to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).  There are two approaches to “rightly dividing” God’s Word:  by studying either the Covenants or the Dispensations.  Covenants are agreements or verbal contracts between two entities.  It is my understanding that there are seven covenants between God and man:  The Edenic Covenant, The Adamic Covenant, The Noahic Covenant, The Abrahamic Covenant, The Mosaic Covenant, The Davidic Covenant, and The New Covenant. 

Another way to “rightly divide God’s Word is by studying its Dispensations (specific periods of time in which God reveals man’s responsibility as stewards of new revelation).  Unlike the seven Dispensations, some of the Covenants overlap, and some are eternal in nature.  And, with Dispensations, man is accountable for knowing the “light” revealed in previous Dispensations as well as the one in which he is living.  The main difference between studying Covenants verses studying Dispensations is that the former focuses upon God’s role, and the latter addresses man’s responsibilities.     

Covenants are divided into two categories:  Conditional, and Unconditional.  A Conditional Covenant is a bilateral Covenant in which a proposal of God to man is characterized by the formula:  IF you will…, THEN I will….  An Unconditional Covenant is a unilateral Covenant, and it is a sovereign act of God whereby He unconditionally obligates Himself to bring to pass definite blessings for His people.

There are two Conditional Covenants between God and man:  The Edenic Covenant (Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15-17), and The Mosaic Covenant (Ex. 20:1 – Deut. 28:68).  The Edenic Covenant is also the Dispensation of The Age of Innocence (#1).  The Mosaic Covenant is also The Dispensation of The Age of the Law (#5).

The other five Covenants are unconditional; they are promises made by God which do not take into account man’s response.  They are:  The Adamic Covenant (Gen. 3:14-19); The Noahic Covenant (Gen. 9:1-17); The Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:1-3, 7; 13:14-17; 15:1-21; 17:1-21; 22:15-18; The Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:11-16); and The New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34; etc.).  These covenants relate to the dispensations thusly:  The Adamic Covenant with The Age of Conscience (#2); The Noahic Covenant with The Age of Nations (#3);  The Abrahamic Covenant with The Age of Promise (#4); The New Covenant with The Age of Grace (#6); and The Davidic Covenant with The Millennium Age (#7).

Regardless of which approach one takes to studying the Scriptures,
Studying will always be rewarded by giving the
Holy Spirit something to bring to your remembrance!

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