You are likely familiar with God’s various covenants with His people, but do you find yourself struggling to understand how they all fit together within the biblical narrative, or what they have to do with you? Tom Schreiner’s “Covenant and God’s Purpose for the World” (part of Crossway’s series called Short Studies in Biblical Theology) clarifies the role of each covenant and how they all fit together in the biblical narrative, serving to deepen our understanding and love for God, His Word, and His redemptive plan for His creation. You can find this book in our online bookstore by clicking here.

Schreiner works to place each of the covenants in their context within redemptive history. As he does so, you will see that the Old Testament covenants aren’t something Christians can just read past because we’re living under the New Covenant. Instead, the Old Testament covenants are like the sides for a good steak dinner. A steak lacking the right sides will always feel like it’s missing something. We, too, will be lacking something if we fail to rightly understand the role and function of each of God’s covenants. Our love for God, our enjoyment of the Bible, and our delight in Christ are all bound to increase as we better understand the role each of the covenants plays in redemptive history.

The book’s greatest strength is Schreiner’s ability to connect each covenant to Christ and the New Covenant established in His own blood. The final chapter, in particular, is worth the price of the book because of Schreiner’s work to show how each covenant is fulfilled in the redemptive work of Christ. In doing so, we are helped to better see and marvel at the glory of Christ and what He has accomplished for our eternal good.

Another strength of the book is Schreiner’s ability to show the relationship between each of the covenants, not just their relationship to the New Covenant. Our ability to understand the Bible is strengthened when we begin to see the connections between the Adamic and Mosaic covenants, and between the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants.

A third strength is the book’s accessibility. Not only is the book short (144 pages), but Schreiner has also written at a lay level. He carefully defines his terms and does not fill the book with seminary-level jargon. He clearly and faithfully points to the Scriptures, arguing his points from the biblical text, and in so doing, helps us read and understand our Bibles better.

This book is sure to be particularly helpful to our congregation with our current sermon series in Hebrews. Hebrews is going to point us back, and indeed has already done so, to various points in the redemptive story of the Bible. “Covenant and God’s Purpose” will help fill in many of the details that the author of Hebrews expected his audience to know.

This book would also serve moms and dads well as they seek to teach their children more about God and the story of the Bible. Understanding the covenants will help parents teach their children to see just how glorious the God of the Bible truly is.

Happy reading!

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