4- Covenants make Families

Go To the Beginning of this Booklet The Spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the First Millennium of the Undivided Early Church: An Overview of the Family Theology that Revolutionizes Bible Reading and its Implications Towards the Eventual Re-Establishment of the Undivided Early Church’s Unity in Diversity

Covenants make Families

What distinguishes a covenant from a mere contract is the exchange of persons (not just property or services) in a covenant family bond.  The one covenant still common in our age and culture is the marriage covenant – where two parties who were not related to each other swear the covenant oath and then together form a new family.  Moreover, covenants make bonds of Sacred kinship, because they are witnessed and guaranteed by the Deity by whom the covenant oath is sworn.  Adam was created with the supernatural adoption of the indwelling Holy Spirit, but lost it through sin.  God, foreseeing Adam’s inability to keep the gift of supernatural adoption into His Family, before Adam sinned united himself to Adam and his descendants (humanity) through a covenant adoption as well (on the 7th Day – 7 being the number of Covenant Oath, the Covenant being what made the 7th Day Holy), so that when Adam lost the supernatural adoption of the indwelling Holy Spirit, Adam and his descendants (all humanity – note the Hebrew word for humanity is adam) would still be God’s children through the lesser, legal adoption of covenant – whether they remained faithful to the Covenant Father or became estranged from Him (runaways). 

Jesus Christ “the New Adam” restored the supernatural adoption of the indwelling Holy Spirit (which Adam had lost), which makes all Christians children of God and brothers and sisters to each other not only as New Covenant Family members in good standing, but at a much higher and more wonderful level, as Pope Benedict XVI in The Meaning of Christian Brotherhood describes – but all non-Christians are still related to God as His children, and thus Christians are also still related in family bonds to all non-Christians, through the lesser covenant adoption of all humanity descended from Adam by God.  Thus all humanity indeed falls into Pope Benedict’s two categories of

1) the Christian brother – united to each other and God through covenant and the wonderful supernatural adoption of the indwelling Holy Spirit – or

2) the other brother – Covenant Family members estranged from the Covenant Father, lacking the marvelous bond which supernaturally unites all Christians under God the Father – the “other brother” whom Christians are called to seek to reconcile with their Father, bringing them back into living in the Father’s Household, the Christian Church (see 1 Timothy 3:15), living by the Family Rules (the New Covenant Moral Law of Love, encapsulated in the 10 Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount). 

So once one understands the succession of Biblical Covenants God used to gradually train His one human Covenant Family descended from Adam to higher and higher standards of love, one understands that the Bible reveals that every human being is in fact related to God as His children through covenant adoption –  as either 

1)   a Covenant Family member in good standing, who is from the “Olive Tree” (see Romans 11) of the faithful family line since Adam who remained in loving relationship with God the Covenant Father (or at least consistently repented and renewed the covenant soon after falling away), a Covenant Family member who lives under the Father’s House Rules (moral laws which train us to love like the Father loves), or as 

2)  a Covenant Family member who is estranged from the family, descended from a branch of the faithful “Olive Tree” since Adam and Noah which earlier fell away or was cut off for unbelief and sin, (becoming a “wild olive shoot”) and thus lost close connection with God’s Covenant Family – a Covenant Family member who no longer lives under the Covenant Father’s House Rules (Judeo-Christian morality) – a runaway or prodigal child who needs to be restored to full relationship with the Father and the Covenant Family through being reconciled with the Family’s Loving Father and coming into the New Covenant Church. 

Moreover, there are two Biblical kinds of adoption by God:  

1)  covenant adoption, whereby God legally adopts humanity as His children through making a covenant (as He did with the entire human race descended from Adam and Noah); and 

2) the supernatural adoption of the indwelling Holy Spirit of adoption, whereby God’s very life of love indwells a person to make them supernaturally related to God as His children – this is the condition Adam was created in but lost, which Jesus Christ the New Adam restores to members of His New Covenant Christian Church (though we still await the redemption of our bodies in the final resurrection, and until that Eternal Covenant era New Covenant Christians still struggle with sin – Romans 8:22,23, 7:14-25).

 © 2007 Peter William John Baptiste, SFO 

Go To the Next Section The Single Overarching Story Told in the Bible: The Gift, Loss and Eventual Restoration of the Indwelling Holy Spirit of Supernatural Adoption Through the Means of a Series of Lesser Legal, Covenant Adoptions Through Which God the Father of Love Raised His One Ongoing Covenant Family to Gradually Higher and Higher Stages of Maturity in Love

Go To the Beginning of this Booklet The Spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the First Millennium of the Undivided Early Church: An Overview of the Family Theology that Revolutionizes Bible Reading and its Implications Towards the Eventual Re-Establishment of the Undivided Early Church’s Unity in Diversity