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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

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