I.) Covenant of Redemption
Involves the Parties who work together to affect Mankind’s redemption
Rooted in eternity
Displays harmony within Trinity (Eph. 1:3-14)
Jesus constantly say’s that he has come to do the Father’s will
Scripture plainly teaches the reality of this council of redemption. Especially in the writings of John, the Father is repeatedly said to have sent the Son. For but one example, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Christ spoke of a commission given Him by the Father. For instance, toward the close of His earthly ministry He reported, as it were, to the Father: “I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4). In such a passage, among others, as Isaiah 53:12 prominent mention is made of the reward given by the Father to the Son for His accomplished work: “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Just as clearly does Scripture teach that the Holy Spirit was sent by the Father and the Son. Jesus promised His disciples “the Holy Ghost, whom,” he said, “the Father will send in my name” (John 14: 26), and He described the third person of the Trinity as “the Comforter, whom I will send you from the Father” (John 15: 26).
In short, before the world was, the Triune God formed a plan of salvation to be executed in its several reciprocally distributed parts by the Father as Sender and Principal, by the Son as Sent, Mediator, and Sender, and by the Holy Spirit as Sent and Applier.
II.) Covenant of Works (Covenant of non-Redemptive Grace)
Life was promised to Adam; and in Him to his posterity, upon the condition of perfect and personal obedience (WCF)
Was it gracious?
III.) Covenant of Grace (Covenant of Redemptive Grace)
The Structure Of Ancient Covenants –
George Mendenhall – UM (Law and Covenant in Israel and The Ancient Near East)
Meredith Kline took the time to look closely at Mendenhall’s conclusion as it pertains to Scripture.
Preamble -- Identifies Sovereign Of Treaty (Ex. 6:2-5)
Historical Prologue – Brief Hx. of relationship between Suzerain and Vassals (Ex. 20:2)
Stipulations – Terms of agreements (Ex. 20)
Sanctions – Blessings and Cursing measured against the Stipulations (Dt. 28:1-8, 15-20)
It is absolutely essential that, at this point, we don’t turn Covenant Theology into quid pro quo Theology. We must understand that the given Law is not an abstract list of moral rules that we keep in order to curry favor. Rather it is the case that because we have experienced the graciousness of our Covenant God that we take seriously His law. God’s Grace is always prior for the Christian (cmp. Ex. 20:1) and our response, in the context of covenant, is a loving obedience (John 14:15), driven by Gratitude to the God who has done all, including working in us the desire and end of obedience (Phil. 2:13, Eph. 2:10, Is. 26:12)
1. Geerhardus Vos in his “Biblical Theology” writes this:
"The law was given after the redemption from Egypt had been accomplished, and the people had already entered upon the enjoyment of many of the blessings of the berith (covenant). Particularly, their taking possession of the promised land could not have been made dependent on previous observance of the law, for during their journey in the wilderness many of its prescripts could not be observed. It is plain, then, that law-keeping did not figure at that juncture as the meritorious ground of life-inheritance. The latter is based on grace alone, no less emphatically than Paul himself places salvation on that ground.
Vows & Ratification (Gen. 15:17-18)
Swearing oaths and vows enacted treaties in the Ancient World. Covenants were ratified by vows visibly preformed by cutting covenant. In the cutting of covenant self-maledictory oaths were being taken that should either of the parties violate the Covenant it should be done unto them that which had been done to these sundered animals.
With Abraham God cuts covenant alone. He calls upon Himself the maledictory cursing for covenant breaking, swearing by His own name. The symbolism is clear here: If God fails to keep Covenant, he will be torn asunder like the Animals.
Now, can anyone tell me what the ratification Ceremonies are in the Renewed and Better covenant?
Deposit – Ex. 25:21-22
A place where one could go to, in order to consult the covenantal agreement.
Another way of understanding Covenant arrangements.
From Ray Sutton's, "That You May Prosper"
T – Transcendence (Corresponds to Preamble and Hx. Prologue above)
Covenants universally include the idea of God’s Transcendence. Transcendence is not the idea that God is distant but rather that God is distinct. Transcendence upholds the Creator Creature distinction. Men do not share in God’s ontological being. This Transcendent Covenant God is Lord over all. The result of this is that in Covenant Theology God alone retains absolute Sovereignty since God is the Suzerain that enters into Covenant with His people.
The implication of this is that, temporally speaking; no man or Sphere (Family, Church, State) is allowed to have absolute power. All are hemmed in by God’s sovereign Word.
H – Hierarchy
Covenants taught a concept of authority, or Hierarchy, based on representation. In this way God makes known His transcendence on earth. (Dt. 1:12-17)
Adam was a covenant head who had, because of his place in the covenant, been given delegated authority, and so was God's representative. Satan tempted Adam by offering Adam Divine authority instead of delegated authority in the Covenant.
Within each Covenant of Scripture you will find a Covenant head who is part of God’s representative hierarchy here on earth. It is the way that God brings His concrete sovereignty to bear in this world.
In the different covenantal Sphere’s that are taught in Scripture you see the same thing. (Family – Father, Church – Elders, State – Magistrates) and yet, as we said earlier none of these are absolute. They are hemmed in by God’s Word and by the doctrine of interposition when God’s Word is grossly neglected in any realm. This representative principle makes everyone accountable to someone and leaves absolute Sovereignty to God alone.
E – Ethics – Corresponds to Stipulations and Sanctions
O – Oaths
S – Succession – The Covenants that we are concerned with in Scripture are generational.
In Adam’s Fall, we fell all
Noah’s Covenant still holds true
Abraham’s covenant is continued as we are Abraham’s seed (Romans 4)
Mosaic covenant is continued as Christ did not come to abrogate the Law (Mt. 5:17)
Davidic covenant is continued as Christ reigns as David’s Greater Son and we are His people
Renewed and better covenant is the full grown tree of the Acorn started
Because we see the Covenant as being generational and not individualistic we bring our children in obedience and place them in the legal and personal relationship that the covenant establishes believing God’s promises to our children and obeying His commands. Because we bring them on the basis of God’s promises and commands we deal with our children as Christians and we teach them what it means to live a life of repentance and faith.