Is The Covenant With God
Unconditional Love?

The covenant with God is conditional even though many people…ministers included…say that God loves them unconditionally.

At best this is a thought virus and at is probably a heresy.

The words covenant and unconditional can never go together because they contradict each other. And contradictions never lead to truth…they are always false.

As you read down the page and become aware that Covenants (religious agreements) and Contracts (civil agreements) have identical elements…you may wonder why that is so important to understand.

The reason is because…

God only relates to his people by contracting with them.

And contracts…by definition…always have conditions

that are binding on both parties

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What makes the covenant a contract?

As you have begun to suspect every contract…whether it is a religious covenant with God or a civil real estate contract…has required elements…

  • ...Mutual exchange of lawful benefits…
  • ...Explicit conditions of performance binding on both parties…
  • ...Both parties act freely without duress
  • ...There is a penalty clause for failing to fulfill the conditions of the contract

The fundamental element in the contract with God is the exchange of benefits.

When benefits are offered and accepted …obligations are incurred and a contract goes live and online (so to speak).

The covenant with God puts our relationship to God on a sound rational basis…as opposed to only a mystical basis.  

We cannot merely believe or pray to be in God’s good graces…under the covenant we know God’s will…we know what we have to do.

And we know what the penalty will be if we don’t fulfill the conditions of the contract. Failing to live up to the conditions of our contract with God is sin. And it activates the penalty clause.

When God applies the penalty for breaking our contract with him…he is not acting without mercy. He must apply the penalty clause because…

both parties must act and fulfill

the agreed upon conditions of the contract

Even God must act according to his covenant promises. Read Psalm 44...not as a prayer...because it is not a is a covenant story.

And in that psalm the Israelites...politely but firmly...inform God that he has always been quick to fulfill his covenant promises...but now he is slow to perform under the contract...even though the Israelites are holding to their part of the agreement.

They ask God why he is asleep...then they demand that he awake and arise and do as he promised.

Then look at some of the early covenants God has made with his people...

You see all of the elements that define a contract in these covenants.

Unconditional love and the scriptures

Those who hold fast to the idea that God loves them unconditionally do not know the Scriptures.

When the rich man asks Jesus how to obtain eternal life (Mt 19:16ff) Jesus tells him to keep the Commandments.

The Commandments are the covenant conditions for getting to heaven and eternal life.

The Mosaic covenant between God and his people underlies the salvation promised in The New Testament. This point is made elaborately in the gospel of John...

  • ...If you love me you will keep my commandments (Jn 14:15)…
  • ...Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me (Jn 14:21)…
  • ...Whoever does not love me does not keep my words (Jn 14:24)

No one can read those words and hold that there are no conditions on the loving relationship between God and his people.  

And the loving part of the contract...the covenant that God binds himself to perform as agreed.  We can trust him.

And it is the minister's job to make sure that the relationship between God and the people is intact. 

If people's contracts with God are in default none of their good works will save them (Mt 7:21ff).  God has promised.

So...those in ministry who help form and direct the spiritual lives of the people always need to ask "Do you keep the Commandments?"

Because the very definition of ministy is acting to bring both minister and people closer to God.

Serious boundary problems based on the false notion that God loves us unconditionally can lead to breaking the covenant with God. For an can go from (the covenant to spiritual direction adultery.

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