The Bible makes it clear that only the Holy Spirit can open our eyes to the overwhelming grace of God. The “Good News” is so outrageous that we can’t fathom it without God’s help! This is why Scripture calls us to pray so we can receive it (2 Cor. 4:4, 6; Eph. 3:17-19). Sadly, the gospel can get trivialized by framing it in the language of merely a contract where God holds up one end of the deal and we hold up the other and everyone gets what they need. Instead, we need to understand it as a covenant.
As we can see, there’s a very different character—or heart—behind these two ways of relating. The contract tends towards self-protection and the covenant assumes both parties are willing to love self-sacrificially toward one another. Just as the Apostle Paul taught that love fulfills the law (Romans 13:8-10) so also covenant “fulfills” the contract and goes well beyond it. Where the contract is primarily about external circumstances of concern, the covenant is concerned with matters of the heart (internal).