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

5. From the covenants now before you, is derived, fifthly, rich information regarding the scriptural qualifications for membership in the visible church of the Redeemer.

Dr. Hodge, in the article already noticed,[22] justly say; that “In no part of the New Testament is any condition of membership prescribed, other than that contained in the answer of Philip to the Eunuch who desired baptism, ‘If thou believest with all thy heart, thou mayest.’ Nor in the Old Testament is there any other condition prescribed.” Only believers in Jesus Christ are entitled to the distinction. Unhappily, however, this fact does not command universal concurrence, and these covenants are appealed to, as proof that infants, as well as believers, are to be baptised, and received into the church! And do they really furnish the authority claimed? It is assumed that “the covenant of promise to Abraham, of God in Christ,” for him, and his seed, is equally, and in all ages, literally a covenant with every other believer, for him, and his seed! But can this proposition be true? If God fulfils the covenant with Abraham, and his seed, to every other believer, and his seed, he does so, of course, in accordance with the terms of the covenant. Now turn back to that covenant, if you please, and examine it closely, that you may see what its promises are, and ascertain how, in the first place, they are to be fulfilled to every other believer, as well as to Abraham. These promises were, that God would make of Abraham a great nation; that kings should descend from him; that he, and his posterity, should possess the whole land of Canaan; that he would bless him, and make him a blessing; and that he should be the father of Messiah. These are its promises. And you are told by grave and learned men, that these are equally promises to every other believer! And are you expected to believe a proposition so preposterous? That there are multitudes who do credit it, is to me wholly unaccountable, except upon the supposition that they have never examined the subject.

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

IT is a wonderful thing that God should enter into gracious covenant with men

He will ever be mindful of his covenant.”-Psalm 111:5.

IT is a wonderful thing that God should enter into gracious covenant with men. That he should make man, and be gracious to man, is easily to be conceived; but, that he should strike hands with his nature, and put his august majesty under bored to him by his own promise, is marvelous. Once let that God has made a covenant, and I do not think it wonderful that he should be mindful of it, for he is “God that cannot lie.” “Hath he said, and shall he not do it?” Hath he once given his pledge? It is inconceivable that he should ever desert from it. The doctrine of the text commends itself to every reasonable and thoughtful man: if God has made a convenant, he will over be faithful of it. It is to that point that I would now call your attention with the desire to use it practically.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Covenant,” A Sermon Published on Thursday, Aug 3rd, 1911, (Spurgeon had passed away by now, having died in 1892), Another Sermon by C. H. Spurgeon, upon the same text, is No. 2,681 in Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, “Covenant Blessings.”

That on the ground of Christ’s willingness to perform the work stipulated in the covenant, certain promises were made to Him by the Father

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

5. That on the ground of Christ’s willingness to perform the work stipulated in the covenant, certain promises were made to Him by the Father: first, promises concerning Himself; and second, promises concerning His people. The promises which concerned the Mediator Himself may be summarized thus. First, He was assured of divine enduement for this discharge of all the specifications of the covenant (Isa. 11:1-3; 61:1; cf. John 8:29). Second, He was guaranteed the divine, protection under the execution of His work (Isa. 42:6; Zech. 3:8, 9; cf. John 10:18). Third, He was promised the divine assistance unto a successful conclusion (Isa. 42:4; 49:8-10; cf. John 17:4). Fourth, those promises were given to Christ for the stay of His heart, to be pleaded by Him (Ps. 89:26; 2:8); and this He did (Isa. 50:8-10; cf. Heb. 2:13). Fifth, Christ was assured of success in His undertaking and a reward for the same (Isa. 53:10, 11; Ps. 89:27-29; 110:1-3; cf. Phil.2:9-11). Christ also received promises concerning His people. First, that He should receive gifts for them (Ps. 68:18; cf. Eph. 4:10, 11). Second, that God would make them willing to receive Him as their Lord (Ps. 110:3; cf. John 6:44). Third, that eternal life should be theirs (Ps. 133:3; cf. Titus 1:2). Fourth, that a seed should serve Him, proclaim His righteousness, and declare what He had done for them (Ps. 22:30, 31). Fifth, that kings and princes should worship Him (Isa.49:7).

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

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

These principles are settled. Let them now be applied. John the Baptist began to draw the line of separation, by the administration of baptism to the repenting Israelites, thus making “ready a people prepared for the Lord.” The disciples by their baptisms, made it still more distinct. Now the visibility began dimly to appear, as in the distant horizon, the faint outline of a towering mountain. Christ himself finished it when in an upper room, the same night in which he was betrayed, he instituted, and administered the sacred supper. At that hour the separation was complete, the kingdom set up, and the church arose visible and bright, like the morning sun, shining without a aloud. The next day he died for his people, upon the cross; he was buried; he rose again; he “ascended up on high, leading captivity captive, that he might give gifts unto men.” Thenceforward when disciples were united with his followers, it is said of them, “The Lord added to the church daily, the saved.”[21] The exact point of time, therefore, at which the church of Christ became visible, was on the night of his betrayal, and at this moment of the conclusion of the sacred supper. From that moment it was the visible church of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenant

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

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