Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Covenant of Redemption

The covenant of redemption is the theological term for the agreement that was made between the God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit in how they were going to redeem for themselves the elect. This covenant is not mentioned by name in scripture but it is clearly implied that an agreement had been made between the Godhead. Much like the term Trinity does not apear in scripture but is clearly seen. Here is a quote by Charles Hodge explaining where this idea can be seen in scripture...

"In Psalm 40, expounded by the Apostle as referring to the Messiah, it is said, "Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will," i.e., to execute thy purpose, to carry out thy plan. "By the which will," says the Apostle (Heb.10.10), ''we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Christ came, therefore, in execution of a purpose of God, to fulfil a work which had been assigned Him. He, therefore, in John 17.4, says, "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." This was said at the close of his earthly course. At its beginning, when yet a child, He said to his parents, " Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" (Luke 2.49.) Our lord speaks of Himself, and is spoken of as sent into the world. He says that as the Father had sent Him into the world, even so had He sent his disciples into the world. (John 17.18). "When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman." (Gal. 4.4). "God sent his only begotten Son into the world." (1 John 4.9). God "sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (Verse 10.) -Charles Hodge-

Below is a transcript from a Spurgeon sermon where he describes this covenant and then wonders what it would have been like to be to hear this covenant being made.

“Now, in this covenant of grace, we must first of all observe the high contracting parties between whom it was made. The covenant of grace was made before the foundation of the world between God the Father, and God the Son; or to put it in a yet more scriptural light, it was made mutually between the three divine persons of the adorable Trinity.”

“I cannot tell you it in the glorious celestial tongue in which it was written: I am fain to bring it down to the speech which suiteth to the ear of flesh, and to the heart of the mortal. Thus, I say, run the covenant, in ones like these:”

"I, the Most High Jehovah, do hereby give unto my only begotten and well-beloved Son, a people, countless beyond the number of stars, who shall be by him washed from sin, by him preserved, and kept, and led, and by him, at last, presented before my throne, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. I covenant by oath, and swear by myself, because I can swear by no greater, that these whom I now give to Christ shall be for ever the objects of my eternal love. Them I will forgive through the merit of the blood. To these will I give a perfect righteousness; these will I adopt and make my sons and daughters, and these shall reign with me through Christ eternally." Thus run that glorious side of the covenant. The Holy Spirit also, as one of the high contracting parties on this side of the covenant, gave his declaration, "I hereby covenant," saith he, "that all whom the Father giveth to the Son, I will in due time quicken. I will show them their need of redemption; I will cut off from them all groundless hope, and destroy their refuges of lies. I will bring them to the blood of sprinkling; I will give them faith whereby this blood shall be applied to them, I will work in them every grace; I will keep their faith alive; I will cleanse them and drive out all depravity from them, and they shall be presented at last spotless and faultless." This was the one side of the covenant, which is at this very day being fulfilled and scrupulously kept. As for the other side of the covenant this was the part of it, engaged and covenanted by Christ. He thus declared, and covenanted with his Father: "My Father, on my part I covenant that in the fullness of time I will become man. I will take upon myself the form and nature of the fallen race. I will live in their wretched world, and for my people I will keep the law perfectly. I will work out a spotless righteousness, which shall be acceptable to the demands of thy just and holy law. In due time I will bear the sins of all my people. Thou shalt exact their debts on me; the chastisement of their peace I will endure, and by my stripes they shall be healed. My Father, I covenant and promise that I will be obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. I will magnify thy law, and make it honourable. I will suffer all they ought to have suffered. I will endure the curse of thy law, and all the vials of thy wrath shall be emptied and spent upon my head. I will then rise again; I will ascend into heaven; I will intercede for them at thy right hand; and I will make myself responsible for every one of them, that not one of those whom thou hast given me shall ever be lost, but I will bring all my sheep of whom, by thy blood, thou hast constituted me the shepherd—I will bring every one safe to thee at last."

-Charles Spurgeon-

Imagine, that for all who believe, our names were written in the Lamb’s book of life since before the foundations of the world. The Triune God has covenanted to save us, and who can stay His hand. This is eternal security,

God Bless,

Doug

11 Comments:

At Monday, March 27, 2006 9:35:00 AM, Blogger Jada's Gigi said...

Of course there was and is a plan. The cross was not Plan B, it was the intention of the Father and the rest of the Godhead (since they are One) from before time that a perfect sacrifice be offered up to redeem the portions of His Son that were strewn across time and in so doing creating the perfect companion for His Son, the Bride of Christ...all this to expand the fellowship of the Godhead. This whole thing is about fellowship and God expanding Himself. And to think so many people think this is about them.

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 9:39:00 AM, Blogger H K Flynn said...

I'm glad you post on this, Doug. Although it is somewhat speculative, I think you do have to use your imagination to understand what isn't explicit in the Scriptures. I still tilt strongly toward Dispy Speculation : )

But it is interesting to see this so vividly and worshipfully portrayed : )

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 9:44:00 AM, Blogger Doug E. said...

Jada,

Well said!

Doug

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 9:50:00 AM, Blogger Doug E. said...

Hey H.K.

There is a bit of speculation in its exact content for sure, but many dispensationalist tend to hold to this covenant too. Lewis Sperry Chafer being one of them. Thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy your thoughts.

God Bless,

Doug

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 1:23:00 PM, Blogger Kendall Touchton said...

Ah the promises of God. I love hearing about or reading on the covenants (both those between the Godhead and between God and man)which He has kept and are even being displayed before our eyes. Lives being transformed and sanctified - people being prepared for heaven and glory - all because of the Spirit and Jesus' finished work. I remember an OT verse which is repeated throughout that says "I will be their God and they will be my people." There is no shadow of a doubt - His will will be done.

I am very grateful for eternal security and I am both saddened and angered by those who would teach that salvation is in our hands, for, "Salvation belongs to the Lord!" (Jonah 2).

I was curious, have you read Erickson's Sys Theo? I am reading Grudem's for class, but was thinking about buying both Erickson and Berkhof. I was wondering your opinion of them. Also, Richard Rorty - isn't he big in the postmodern movement? That should be an interesting read. And one more - the quote by Hodge - i sthat from his Sys Theo (I have it but haven't read it yet)? Anyway I really enjoyed your post.

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 2:54:00 PM, Blogger Doug E. said...

Hey Kendall,

I love hearing this topic also, It gives strength to my weary soul.

I have Millard Erickson's systematic, but I have not had the chance to read through it. But what I have read I have enjoyed. It seems to be a bit stronger than Grudem's. And Berkhoff's is even stronger, but it is a bit harder to read.

You are right about Richard Rorty, he is the posterboy of postmodern philosophy. The book is quite painful. :-) But when you have someone telling you that you can't really know anything with language because language is a social construct which is contingent and can never be true, it kind of makes you wonder why someone would write an entire book using language and try to tell you anything at all.

It is helpful in understanding their arguments though.

Doug,

P.S. Where are you going to school?

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 3:34:00 PM, Blogger Kendall Touchton said...

Exactly! Their arguments defeat themselves because they are self-contradictory! Anyway, I am going to school at Boyce College, the undergrad of the Southern Bapt. Theo. Seminary in Louisville, KY.

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 3:37:00 PM, Blogger Kendall Touchton said...

Oh, I almost forgot. I don't understand when you use the term "stronger." Do you mean that they are more exhaustive?

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 3:38:00 PM, Blogger Kendall Touchton said...

Are you going to go to the TFG conference?

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 3:51:00 PM, Blogger Doug E. said...

Hey Kendall,

By stronger I do mean more exhaustive, and more exegetical. They go a bit deeper into the text of scripture. I like Grudem, and I think He is right about many issues. I'm just not always convinced by his arguements even when I tend to agree with his point of view. His systematic handles more like an intro. Even though the others are stronger, I highly recommend Grudem. One thing I really like about his book is that at the end of each chapter he tells you where to go if you want to read a bit deeper. That is priceless.

Doug

P.S. I would love to go to the TFG conference but I can't make it unfortunately.

 
At Monday, March 27, 2006 6:43:00 PM, Blogger edwardseanist said...

I was just talking about this topic today. One of my friends is interested in learning more about the Reformed faith but has problems with our cessationist position. I told him, "I believe in the work of the Spirit of God probably more than you do." It is interesting, the Arminian view makes the Trinity seem like the Godhead must be in disagreement about how salvation is accomplished. According to the Arminian position The Father chooses a people, the Son redeems them, but the Spirit can only draw? Why is it that the Spirit does not accomplish His work??

The point is (as you have clearly pointed out) that all three persons of the Trinity accomplish our salvation and they cannot be thwarted.

Good Post!

 

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