OF BIBLE COVENANTS
THE COVENANT BETWEEN THE FATHER
AND THE SON
This is the covenant between the
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit before creation began. This covenant is referred
to in various ways as the foreknowledge of God, the will of God, the purpose of God,
the counsel of God, etc., Joh 4:34; 5:19-20,30; 10:17-18,36a; 12:49; 15:10; 17:4,18,24;
Act 2:23; 17:24; 1Co 2:9; Eph 1:4,9,11; 3:9,11; 2Ti 1:9; Tit 1:2; Heb 1:10; 4:3; 1Pe
1:2,20; Rev 13:8; 17:8.
This first covenant between the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Spirit includes the entirety of all the other covenants, and
includes the whole of the counsel and purpose of God for the ages of ages yet to come.
The other covenants are a progressive revelation of the first pre-creation covenant,
with each succeeding covenant revealing more of the counsel and purpose of God as
contained in the first covenant.
I. THE FATHER'S COVENANT OFFER (PROPOSAL)
TO THE SON
The covenant "offer" or
proposal toward a binding contract or covenant between God and whomever always includes
two major parts: sufficient contract information and a command to perform. The Father
offered or tendered the covenant to the Son: 1) in the form of the Father's counsel
and purpose which included a detailed covenant work description or work statement for
both the Father and the Son, and 2) a command from the Father to the Son to begin
performance of the covenant work statement. This command was to be obeyed perfectly by
the Son. To obey God's command was to accept God's covenant offer. However, to
disobey God's command was to reject the covenant offer.
A. COVENANT WORK DESCRIPTION.
The first covenant work statement or
description includes a detailed description of all the work to be performed by the
Father, by the Son, and by the Holy Spirit in this first and all-encompassing covenant.
Furthermore, the work description of the first covenant includes a detailed work
description of all the succeeding covenants. Here we are concerned with the work
description of the Father as it relates to the Son and the work description of the Son.
This should become quite obvious by the time we finish with the New Covenant, which
will continue to be a progressive revelation of the contents of that first covenant,
Eph 1:11; 3:1-11. Observe the many passages translated "forever and ever," or
"for ever and ever." Remember, this book provides an "outline"
study. By design, many details are not included.
- The Father's Part of the Covenant Work.
- Reveal His counsel (plan) for the ages to His Son before the foundation or creation
of the world, Joh 5:19-20; Eph 1:11; Act 2:23; 1Pe 1:18-20.
- Reveal the plan of redemption in which the Son is the Kinsman Redeemer -- this
required the Son to become a human (Phi 2:6-11; Lev 25:48-49 and whole chapter), be
born of a virgin (Mat 1:18-25), live a perfect life (1Pe 1:18-20; 2:22-24), be
crucified, die, be buried, raised, and glorified the third day, (Act 2:23; 1Co 15:3-4).
The plan of redemption includes three major redemption objectives as follows:
- Redemption of the covenant people as the FIRSTBORN sons of God, Exo 4:22-23; Heb
12:23; Rom 8:29; 1Pe 2:5,9; Tit 2:14; Eph 1:13-14. Study Leviticus chapters 11 through
15 and all passages in the Bible concerning the firstborn, firstlings, firstfruits, and
- Redemption of the "name" of the covenant people, which name may include
firstborn sons, God's elect, the covenant people, a specially purchased people, the
bride of Christ, saints, etc., Rut 4:10; Deu 25:5-7.
- Redemption of the "possessions" of the covenant people, Ruth 4:9; Exo 25;
Joh 3:17; Rom 8:19-22.
- Establish the court of heaven and serve as God and Judge, Dan 7:9-10; Rev 4 &
5; Job 1:6-12; 2:1-6; Luk 22:31-32; 2Ch 18:6-22.
- Give the Holy Spirit to the Son and supply every need of the Son through the Spirit
(Joh 3:34; Mat 4:1-11; Luk 4:18-21) and through angels, 2Ki 6:14-17; Dan 9:21-22; 12:1;
- Reveal the praises (excellences, attributes) of His Person to angels, demons, and
- Through the Son, Joh 14:6-11: Col 2:9; Heb 1:3-12.
- Through angels, Gen 3:24; Dan 7:9-10; Eze 1; 2Th 1:7-9.
- Through men, Heb 11; 1Co 15:1-2,44-45; Jud 14-15.
- Through nature, Gen 3:17-19; 6:17; 19; Exo 5-10.
- Reveal the exceeding sinfulness of sin to angels, demons, and men, Rom 1:21-32;
- Reveal the covenant information and knowledge to the Son and later to angels,
demons, and men, Phi 2:11; Luk 2:40,46-49; 4:22; Joh 5:19-20,30.
- Give the Son a specific covenant work to do, Joh 4:34; 5:19-23,36; 6:36-40;
7:16-18; 8:28-29,38,40; 9:4; 10:17-18,25,36-38; 12:27; 14:10-12,31; 17:4; 18:11.
- Send the Son on a mission to do the specified covenant work, Joh 3:17; 5:30;
7:28-29,33; 8:14-18,26,42; 11:42; 12:44-50; 13:16-20; 14:24; 17; 20:21.
- Maintain communications and respond to the prayers of the Son as stipulated in the
covenant, Luk 6:12; Joh 11:41-42; 17.
- The Son's Part of the Covenant Work.
- Become human in order to be our Kinsman Redeemer,Mat 1:18-25; Joh 1:1-3,14; Phi
2:6-11; Heb 2:14.
- Live a perfect life in order to be the spotless Lamb of God, Joh 1:29; 2Co 5:21;
Heb 7:26; 1Pe 2:22-24; 3:18.
- Be ordained as High Priest so that as High Priest He could offer Himself as the
covenant Sacrifice (only a priest can offer sacrifices, Heb 7:27; 9:13-27), Mat
3:13-17; Exo 29; Lev 8.
- Submit to and overcome temptations and trials in order to be our Kinsman Redeemer,
Mat 4:1-11; Heb 2:17-18; 4:14-15; 5:1-9; Rut 4 & 5; Deu 25; 1Pe 1:18-20.
- Submit to and overcome temptations and trials in order to be the Second Adam and
create a new race of mankind, Mat 4:1-11; Heb 2:17-18; 4:14-15; 5:1-9; Rom 5:12-14; 1Co
- Do all His works by the Holy Spirit, Luk 2:44; Mat 3:1; Luk 4:14,18-21; Mat
12:18,28; Joh 3:34.
- Always do the Father's specified covenant will and work only, Joh 4:34;
- Manifest Himself to Israel by His baptism, masterful teaching, and many teachings,
Joh 1:31; 7:46; Mat 8:28; 9:27; 12:23; 21:9,15.
- Establish, teach, and train the church in the specific covenant work the Father
sent Him to do and which He would send the church to do, Joh 1:35-51; Mat 16:13-28;
28:18-20; Heb 9:13-27; Joh 13-21.
- Offer Himself as the covenant Sacrifice, Phil 2:6-11; Gen 3:15; Jn 1:29; Heb 7:27;
9:14,26; Mat 26:39-44.
- Overcome all enemies and endure God's wrath against sin in His death, Heb
2:9,14; 12:2; Mat 27:46; Psa 22:1.
- Create a new man (a new race of mankind) in His resurrection, Act 13:30-33; 1Co
15:44-50; Eph 2:10-16; 2Co 5:16-17; Col 2:9--3:11.
- Ascend back to heaven and intercede for the covenant people, Act 1:9-11; Heb
- Return to the earth to reign and put down all enemies, Act 1:9-11; 3:18-21; Heb
10:12-13; Jud 14-15; 2Th 1:7-9; 1Co 15:21-28.
B. FATHER COMMANDED THE SON TO BEGIN COVENANT PERFORMANCE.
This is obvious from
the many, many passages saying that the Father "SENT" the Son to do a
specific, agreed upon (therefore, covenant) work, Joh 3:17,24; 4:34; 5:23,24,30,36,38;
6:29,38,39,40,44,57; 7:16,18,28,29,37; 8:16,18,26,29,42; 9:4; 10:36; 11:42;
12:44,45,49; 13:16,20; 14:24; 15:21; 16:5; 17:3,18,21,23,25; 20:21.
Forty-two times in the Gospel of John
alone the Father is said to have "SENT" the Son to do a specified,
predetermined work, and clearly the Son AGREED to do ONLY what the Father
"SENT" Him to do. From the rest of the New Testament (New Covenant), it is
clear that the work the Father "SENT" the Son to do was a COVENANT work.
1. Be Born Under the Law Covenant (a
covenant requirement) in order to fulfill the Law Covenant and to redeem the covenant
people OUT OF the Law Covenant INTO the New Covenant, Gal 4:4-6; 3:13.
2. Be Born of Woman (a covenant
requirement), Gen 3:16; Isa 7:14; Mat 1; Luk 1:26-56; 2:1-38; Gal 4:4.
3. Be Born as the Son of Man (a
covenant requirement), Pas 8:4-6; Dan 7:13-14; Mat 8:12; 13:41; 16:13-17,27-28; 19:28;
24:27,30,37,39,44; 25:13,31; 26:64; Mk 14:62; Joh 1:51; 5:27.
4. Be Born as the Son of David (a
covenant requirement) to rule on the throne of David over the covenant people -- a
covenant promise, Mat 22:41-45; Luk 1:26-35; Rev 3:7; 5:5; 22:16.
5. See 2. a. Through n. Above, all of
which are COVENANT works which Christ performed. All the works of Christ on earth were
covenant works. All the works of Christ now as the New Covenant Mediator are covenant
works. All the works that Christ will ever perform will be covenant works of the New
II. COVENANT ACCEPTANCE BY THE SON
Christ accepted the covenant
"offer" and began covenant performance, the first part of which was the
creation of the heavens (and much later the earth, Job 38:4-7) and the fullness of
them, Gen 1:1; Joh 1:1-3; Col 1:16-17. Christ is still performing the covenant work and
will forever continue to do so precisely as the covenant stipulates.
III. COVENANT LEGALITY
God is perfect in righteousness, Mat
5:48. All His ways, His works, and His Word in Its entirety express His covenants, and
are all righteous and perfect altogether. "...God is light and in Him is no
darkness at all," 1Joh 1:5; Psa 18:30,32; 19:7.
IV. COVENANT CAPACITY
In secular contracts,
"capacity" refers to good mental health on the part of the contractor to whom
the contract is awarded. Here we have quite a contrast in Bible contracts or covenants
of redemption that is, in secular contracting the party or parties to whom the contract
is awarded must have the capacity (mental health) to perform the contract; however, in
contracts between God and sinful humanity, the whole human race is enslaved in sin and
therefore each individual without exception is completely without strength or desire to
enter into a contract of complete and voluntary self-denial, a perfect love for God,
and an unwavering obedience to the holy lifestyle God requires, Rom 1:21-32; 3:9-19;
Eph 2:1-5; Isa 53.
However, God loved us with a perfect
love, gave His Son to pay our sin debt, and sent His Spirit to operate on our minds and
wills and bring us to the place where we are able to make rational, spiritual,
God-honoring decisions, and perform the covenant work, See above scriptures plus Joh
6:44; 1Jo 4:19; Joh 3:19-21; 14:6; Psa 19:1-6; 139; Joh 1:9; 12:32; Acts 14:16-17;
17:26-27; Rom 1:18-20.
God made the first move in the covenant
between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit before creation, which prepared the
way for the the Bible covenants of redemption -- “redemption” speaks of a merciful
deliverance of those who could not otherwise be delivered out of enslavement to sin and
its effects. There are secular (Government) contracts prepared for the
"handicapped," but nothing to compare with the hopeless condition of sinful
By natural birth, all humanity has a
totally and hereditarily depraved nature. We are totally unable within ourselves to
make the right decisions which God's Word (God's covenant) requires. God must
quicken the sinner's mind in order for him to make the right decision. This fact is
still true with us who are saved and fully in the covenant position: our minds must
still be constantly being renewed day by day in order to prove the good, acceptable,
and perfect will of God, Rom 12:2; Eph 4:23.
Christ, however, as the Son of God and
also as the Son of man, was perfect and without sin in all His ways according to the
covenant requirement, 2Co 5:21; 1Pe 2:22-24; 1:18-20; 3:18; Mat 27:3-5,19,24; Luk
23:4,14-15,20,22. Christ was in perfect mental health and spiritually mature. He was,
is, and always will be able to perform the covenant by the Holy Spirit as the covenant
prescribes -- all authority and power in heaven and earth required to perform ALL the
works of God are given to Christ, Luk 2:44; Mat 4:1; Luk 4:14,18-21; Mat 12:18,28; Joh
3:34; Psa 91; Mat 26:53; 28:18-20; 1Co 15:27.
V. COVENANT CONSIDERATION
"consideration" is the "pay" the contractor receives for performing
work required by the contract. Bible covenant “consideration” is expressed in the form
of the covenant PROMISES, which are too numerous to be included in the discussion of
each of these covenants -- see the New Covenant promises. The promises were and are
first made to the Son (to Christ) and then to the covenant people whom God has
predestined to share in the firstborn sonship of Christ. Christ is the Firstborn Son of
God and therefore the firstborn of mankind out from the dead into a glorified body, Col
1:18; Rev 1:5.
(compensation, return, pay check), in part, is the inheritance of all the covenant
promises, Gal 3:14-19,29. This also includes the inheritance (joint inheritance with
the Father) of all the Father possesses (Heb 1:2), the chief of which is the fullness
of the divine attributes infused into His human body in His resurrection, Col 1;18; Rev
1:5; Acts 13:30-33; 1Co 15:44-50; Col 1:19; 2:9; Heb 1:3. This was and is a unique and
singular covenant promise to the covenant people of whom Christ is the Firstborn, and
into which sonship the faithful covenant people will be received when Christ
VI. RATIFICATION OF COVENANT BY CHRIST
“Ratification” means to give formal
or official approval and acceptance to, as in ratifying a contract. This was done
initially when Christ accepted the covenant offer and began performance of the
covenant. Final ratification came with the crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection,
and glorification of Christ. Both of these are necessary in the Bible covenants of
redemption, Heb 9:16-17 (11-28), See also Gen 3:21; 4:1-7.
The covenant between the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Spirit before creation is best revealed to us in the New Covenant,
and will be eternally expressed in the New Covenant with ever continuing and
predetermined modifications which are already incorporated in that first covenant.