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Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Covenant of Redemption


The Covenant of Redemption
The Covenant between God the Father and God the Son

RECAP:   The Covenant of Works – with the first Adam

The covenanting parties:    God & Adam
Stipulations:  Adam must be perfectly obedient, including avoiding forbidden fruit.
Sanctions:   Death is the penalty for covenant breaking.  Obedience would be rewarded.

How do we know God’s arrangement with Adam was a covenant?
1)      All the components of a covenant are present.
2)      The Noahic covenant is not cut or inaugurated, but is “established”, pointing back to some previously existing covenant.
3)      Adam’s covenant is referred to as a covenant in Hosea 6:7 and Isaiah 24:7.


The Covenant of Redemption – with the second Adam (cf. Romans 5:12-21 & 1 Cor. 15:22,45)

The covenanting parties:    God the Father & God the Son
Stipulations:  Christ must be perfectly obedient as a man, and must pay for Adam’s sin.
Sanctions:     As a reward for obedience, the Father will give the elect to the Son.  Disobedience is impossible, because it is impossible for God to lie (Heb. 6:18).

How do we know the Father’s arrangement with the Son was a covenant?

1)      Romans 5 & 1 Cor. 15 tell us that God’s arrangement with Christ was covenantal:

In Adam, we all fell covenantally.  He was the federal head of the human race, and through his sin, every member of humanity fell into sin.

In Christ, we come to life covenantally.  Christ is the federal head of the church, and through his righteousness, the elect are saved.

If we fell covenantally through the first Adam, then the parallelism of Romans 5:12-21 & 1 Cor. 15:21,45 suggests that our salvation also occurs covenantally.  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Romans 5:19). “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:21). 


2)      Zech. 6:13 – “The counsel of peace shall be between them both” (between the Father and the Son). 

Then speak to him, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying:
      “Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH!
      From His place He shall branch out,
      And He shall build the temple of the LORD;
      Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD.
      He shall bear the glory,
      And shall sit and rule on His throne;
      So He shall be a priest on His throne,
      And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”’ 
(Zech. 6:12-13)

* Note:  Who is the “Branch” in the passage above?  The Branch is Christ (cf. Is. 4:2, 11:1; Jer. 23:5, 33:15; Zech. 3:8).


Why would there need to be a “counsel of peace” between the Father and the Son?  Why would there need to be peace made between the “Lord of hosts” and the “Branch”?  Peace is needed because the Son takes the elect to Himself, and has to pay for their sins.  Christ didn’t have to purchase His own peace with the Father; rather, He purchased OUR peace with the Father.  Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1).


3)      In Luke 22:29, Jesus refers directly to His covenant with the Father.

Jesus said, “And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me.” --- A clearer translation of this verse would be, “And I covenant upon you a kingdom, just as My Father covenanted one upon Me.
Detailed discussion of the covenant concept in Luke 22:29:
The Greek word diatithemai is used 7 times in the New Testament, including two times in Luke 22:29. It is the root word for diatheke which is the Greek word for "covenant". It always carries the connotation of "making a covenant" or "making a testament", but sometimes the English translation of this word masks some of the richness of its meaning. Sometimes it is merely quoted "make", but it is significant to notice that this word diatithemai is only used in covenantal contexts. You have already seen Luke 22:29. Here are the other 5 diatithemai passages, all of which directly involve covenantal concepts:
·         Acts 3:25 -- "Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made (diatithemai) with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed."
·         Hebrews 8:10 -- "For this is the covenant that I will make (diatithemai) with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people"
·         Hebrews 9:16 -- "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator (diatithemai)."
·         Hebrews 9:17 -- "For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator (diatithemai) liveth."
·         Hebrews 10:16 -- "16This is the covenant that I will make (diatithemai) with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them"
In the KJV Bible, the English word "make" is used over 140 times. The words tithemi and kathistemi are used, among many others. But the only time the word diatithemai is translated "make" is in the covenantal passages above.
Now let's look again at Luke 22:29 -- Jesus said, "I appoint (diatithemai) unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed (diatithemai) unto me"
In the KJV, the English word "appoint" is used 4 times. The Greek word tithemi is translated "appoint" in Matthew 24:51, and in Luke 12:46. And the word "kathistemi" is translated "appoint" in Acts 6:3. --- Luke had various words at his disposal which meant "appoint", but he chose diatithemai here in Luke 22:29. Why? Because the word diatithemai specifically carries the connotation of covenant-making. Every time it is used in the Bible, it carries this meaning

4)      Scripture tells us that the Father gave the Son things to do, and the Son accomplished those things in obedience.
* Look at Psalm 110 & Isaiah 53, as well as the following verses:
All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:37-40)
"But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.” (John 10:26-29)
“I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”  (John 17:4)


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