The Baha'i Covenant
God created us out of love and when we respond to Him, we do so in love, and not because of the promise of heaven or fear of hell. We are drawn to the beauty of our Creator and recognize him through the Messengers he sends from age to age to make his will and purpose known to us.
The idea of a covenant between man and God is familiar to the followers of many religions. Jews understand that God entered into a covenant with them, promising to guide them as long as they obeyed His laws. Christians, too, understand that Jesus entered into a new covenant with His followers. In the general religious sense, a covenant is an agreement between God and humanity. In Baha’i terms, two covenants are recognized: the Greater Covenant and the Lesser Covenant. The Greater Covenant is an element of every religion and provides God’s assurance that He will send another Manifestation of God in the future. The Lesser Covenant is specific to the Baha’i Faith and involves Baha’u’llah’s assurance that the unity of His followers will be maintained. A unique feature of the Baha’i Faith is that the successorship—the leadership following the passing of the Founder of the Faith—is written, clear, and unmistakable. Since the whole function of the Baha’i Faith is to unite the human race, the instrument of unity cannot itself be allowed to fragment.
From the Hidden Words:
“O SON OF MAN! I loved thy creation, hence I created thee. Wherefore, do thou love Me, that I may name thy name and fill thy soul with the spirit of life.”— Bahá’u’lláh