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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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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

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

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

A covenant that was confirmed before of God in or “to” Christ

September 24, 2019 Leave a comment

It is to that eternal compact the apostle makes reference when he speaks of a certain “covenant that was confirmed before of God in [or “to”] Christ” in Galatians 3:17. There we behold the covenant parties: on the one side, God, in the Trinity of His persons; and on the other side Christ, that is, the Son viewed as the God-man mediator. There we learn of an agreement between Them: a covenant or contract, and that confirmed or solemnly agreed upon and ratified. There too, in the immediate context, we are shown that Christ is here viewed not only as the executor of a testament bequeathed to the saints by God, or that salvation was promised to us through Christ, but there twice over we are specifically told (v. 16) that the promises were made to Abraham’s “seed, which is Christ”! Thus we have the clearest possible Scriptural proof that the everlasting covenant contained something which is promised by God to Christ Himself.

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

The Father covenanted with Christ that He should be the federal head of His people

September 17, 2019 Leave a comment

Let us consider now the various features of the everlasting covenant.

1. The Father covenanted with Christ that He should be the federal head of His people, undertaking for them, freeing them from that dreadful condemnation wherein God foresaw from eternity they would fall in Adam. This alone explains why Christ is denominated the “last Adam,” the “second man” (1 Cor. 15:45, 47). Let it be very carefully noted that in Ephesians 5:23 we are expressly told “Christ is the head of the church, and He is the saviour of the body.” He could not have been the Savior unless He had first been the head; that is, unless He had voluntarily entered into the work of suretyship by divine appointment, serving as the representative of His people, taking upon Him all their responsibilities and agreeing to discharge all their legal obligations; putting Himself in the stead of His insolvent people, paying all their debts, working out for them a perfect righteousness, and legally meriting for them the reward or blessing of the fulfilled law.

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

Hebrews 8:10

September 10, 2019 Leave a comment

Before leaving Hebrews 8:10 let us note the blessed tenor of the covenant as expressed in the words immediately following: “And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (vv. 11, 12). What conditions are there here? What terms of fulfillment are required from impotent men? None at all: it is all promise from beginning to end. So too in Acts 3:25 we find Peter saying, “Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers.” Here the covenant (not “covenants”) is referred to generally; then it is specified particularly: “saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth” be laid under conditions? No; be required to perform certain works? No; but, “shall be blessed,” without any regard to qualifications or deeds of their own—entitled by virtue of their interest in what was performed for them by their covenant head.

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