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Christ died in fulfillment of the covenant’s requirements

Most blessedly were several features of the everlasting covenant typed out in Eden. Let us consider these features:

4. Christ died in fulfillment of the covenant’s requirements. It was absolutely impossible that an innocent person—absolutely considered as such—should suffer under the sentence and curse of the law, for the law denounced no punishment on any such person. Guilt and punishment are related; and where the former is not, the latter cannot be. It was because the Holy One of God was relatively guilty, by the sins of the elect being imputed to Him, that He could righteously be smitten in their stead. Yet even that had not been possible unless the spotless substitute had first assumed the office of suretyship; and that, in turn, was only legally valid because of Christ’s federal headship with His people. The sacrifice of Christ owes all its validity from the covenant: the holy and blessed Trinity, by counsel and oath, having appointed it to be the true and only propitiation for sin.

So too it is utterly impossible for us to form any clear and adequate idea of what the Lord of glory died to achieve if we have no real knowledge of the agreement in fulfillment of which His death took place. What is popularly taught upon the subject today is that the atonement of Christ has merely provided an opportunity for men to be saved, that it has opened the way for God to justly pardon any and all who avail themselves of His gracious provision. But that is only a part of the truth, and by no means the most important and blessed part of it. The grand fact is that Christ’s death was the completion of His agreement with the Father, which guarantees the salvation of all who were named in it—not one for whom He died can possibly miss heaven: (John 6:39). This leads us to consider—

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part One-The Everlasting Covenant

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The Covenants-Chapter 9h- The Teachings of the Covenant

It may be instructive to mark the precise point of time at which the church of Christ became a visible organization. To do this we must ascertain what it is exactly, which places the church in this visible state. It is as you will at once see, upon reflection, not spirituality, nor orthodoxy, nor both these together, but external form. Without spirituality, and orthodoxy, there can certainly be no true church. They are essential to its very existence. Yet these alone, do not constitute its visibility, since in that case it would have been visible long before the days of Abraham. And there are many men eminently pious, in the present day, who whatever may be their devotion to God, are not literally connected with the visible church; which could not be the case if spiritual qualities only, were necessary to that union. What more is required then, to make these good men members of the church? They must, I answer, be baptised, and receive the Lord’s supper. These ordinances, therefore, mark the line of separation between the church and the world. In the truth of this statement, we have, happily, the concurrence of every denomination of Christians. They all teach that those who are baptised, and received at the Lord’s table, are thus united with the church, and that those who are not so baptised, and received, whatever may be their piety, or excellence in other respect; are out of the visible church. These ordinances, doubtless, do not draw the line of distinction between the church and the world, exactly where God will place it at the last day, because they are administered by fallible men, who are liable to mistake the claims of those who receive them. Many, we have reason to fear, are in the visible church, who will not, at the last day, be found on the right hand of the Judge; and many are probably, not in the visible church, who will have a place then in the church triumphant. It is, nevertheless, true, that the ordinance, usually called sacraments, mark the established boundaries between the world and the visible church.

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

Having voluntarily undertaken the terms of the everlasting covenant, a special economical relationship was now established between the Father and the Son

Most blessedly were several features of the everlasting covenant typed out in Eden. Let us consider these features:

3. Having voluntarily undertaken the terms of the everlasting covenant, a special economical relationship was now established between the Father and the Son-the Father considered as the appointer of the everlasting covenant, the Son as the God-man mediator, the head and surety of His people. Now it was that the Father became Christ’s “Lord” (Ps. 16:2, as is evident from vv. 9, 11; Mic. 5:4), and now it was that the Son became the Father’s “servant” (Isa. 42:1; cf. Phil. 2:7), undertaking the work appointed. Observe that the clause “took upon him the form of a servant” precedes “and was made in the likeness of men.” This explains His own utterance “as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do” (John 14:31; cf. 10:18;12:49). This accounts for His declaration, “My Father is greater than I” (John, 14:28), wherein our Savior was speaking with reference to the covenant engagement which existed between the Father and Himself.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part One-The Everlasting Covenant

The Covenants-Chapter 9g- The Teachings of the Covenant

4. From these covenants, together with the history of Israel, and instructions of the prophets, you learn, fourthly, that the gospel church was not visible until the coming of Christ. Men eminently pious; deeply imbued with the spirit of true religion, existed in every age; not among the Jews only, but also among the Gentiles. They were all believers in the Messiah promised as yet to come. But they were not visibly organized as the kingdom, or church of the Redeemer. The gospel covenant, which was their guide, and support, has existed, as we have seen, from “before the foundation of the world.” It is, therefore, really the oldest of all the covenants. It is consequently, called the new covenant, not in respect of the date of its origin, but of the period of its visible administration, which did not commence until after the old covenant had served its purposes, was fulfilled, and had passed away. For all that concerned holiness, and salvation, it was, nevertheless, fully as effective immediately after the fall, as it is at this hour. Christ Jesus was “A Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”[13] All who in any age have been saved, have obtained their deliverance through faith in him. Up, however, to the time of his personal appearing upon earth, there was no formal outward organization. The only external administration was legal, and typical. To any one who will maturely examine the subject, these facts must be apparent. Readily may you trace the approach of the church to the period of’ its visibility. Previous to the advent, the covenant, and kingdom of Christ, are ever spoken of, as being in the future. By Ezekiel Jehovah said, “I will establish unto you an everlasting covenant.”[14] And, in another place, “I will bring you into the bonds of the covenant.”[15] By Daniel he said, “In the days of these kings [the Roman Emperors] will the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; but it shall break in pieces, and consume all these kingdoms; and it shall stand forever”[16] Thus did all the prophets speak of the church, up to that moment when the Old Testament dispensation was closed. The kingdom was not yet formally inaugurated. You open the new Testament, and what do you there find? John the Baptist comes, “preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”[17] “Messiah the prince” appears. He is recognized in his baptism, as the “Son of God.”[18] Having entered upon his ministry, he proclaims of the kingdom, “It is nigh thee, even at the doors;” at this moment, “the kingdom of God is within you.”[19] To which an apostle adds, “Now is come the kingdom of our God.”[20]

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

In order for him to execute His covenant engagement it was necessary for Christ to assume human nature and be made in all things like unto His brethren

Most blessedly were several features of the everlasting covenant typed out in Eden. Let us consider these features:

2. In order for him to execute His covenant engagement it was necessary for Christ to assume human nature and be made in all things like unto His brethren, so that He might enter their place, be made under the law, and serve in their stead. He must have a soul and body in which He was capable of suffering and being paid the just wages of His people’s sins. This explains to us that marvelous passage in Hebrews 10:5-9, the language of which is most obviously couched in covenant terms: the whole displaying so blessedly the voluntary engagement of the Son, His perfect readiness and willingness in acquiescing to the Father’s pleasure. It was at the incarnation Christ fulfilled that precious type of Himself found in Exodus 21:5. Out of love to His Lord, the Father, and to His spouse the church, and His spiritual children, He subjected Himself to a place of perpetual servitude.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part One-The Everlasting Covenant

The Covenants-Chapter 9f- The Teachings of the Covenant

Thus have we seen that there is no reason for the further separate nationality of the Jews, and no scripture in support of the opinion that they will ever be restored literally to Canaan. And, besides, the gospel has long ago, “broken down the middle wall of partition” between the Jews, and the Gentiles. Henceforth “they are one fold,” and have but “one Shepherd.” “God is no respecter of persons.” In his sight there are no distinctions among men; “neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond, nor free.”[11] The rejection of Christ’s doctrine by the Jews, led to the persecution, and dispersion of the disciples, and thus became “the riches of the world.” What now shall be their conversion, but life from the dead?”[12] When “the fullness of the Gentiles shall have come in;” that is, when Christians of all nations, shall become Christians indeed; shall act towards Israelites as they do towards other men ; their prejudices will cease, they too will be converted, and make up their part of the fullness of the riches of Christ. The Jews were the “true olive tree,” of which Christ is the root and fatness. When they rejected him, they as branches, were broken off, and the Gentiles, branches of the wild olive, were grafted in; or took their place in relation to Christ. But when their unbelief shall cease, they shall be restored to the favor of God, as humble followers of him “who died for all, that those who live, should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him who died for them, and rose again.”

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

Christ was set up in the eternal counsels of God as the head over and heir of all things

Most blessedly were several features of the everlasting covenant typed out in Eden. Let us consider these features:

1. Christ was set up (Prov. 8:23) in the eternal counsels of the three-one Jehovah as the head over and heir of all things: the figure of His headship is seen in the Creator’s words to Adam, “have dominion over the fish of the sea,” and so forth (Gen. 1:28). There we behold Him as the lord of all creation and head of all mankind. But, second, Adam was alone: among all the creatures he ruled, there was not found a help-meet for him. He was solitary in the world over which he was king; so Christ was alone when set up by God in a past eternity. Third, a help-meet was provided for Adam, who was one in nature with himself, as pure and holy as he was, in every way suitable to him: Eve became his wife and companion (Gen. 2:21-24). Beautifully did that set forth the eternal marriage between Christ and His church (Eph.45:29-32). Let it be carefully noted that Eve was married to Adam, and was pure and holy, before she fell; so it was with the church (Eph. 1:3-6). (For much in this paragraph we are indebted to a sermon by J. K. Popham.).

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part One-The Everlasting Covenant