Christ, the Guarantor of the One, Eternal, Unconditional Covenant of Grace
Grace is the work of God to direct unmerited favor to His elect saints. God has initiated the terms of the covenant, which is the unconditional promise of all that He will do for the salvation of His people.
The covenant is eternal (Heb 13:20), but it must be made active. The means of activation is the death of Christ, the Testator (Heb 9:16). The will of God, spoken in the words of promise, takes effect when God’s representative fulfills the requirement of the covenant (Heb 6:17). Stated another way, Jesus kept the Law of righteousness with utter perfection (Mt 5:17). Thus, as the head of the covenant, all of the provisional blessings contained in the covenant belong to Him (Eph 1:3). He bestows His blessings, upon whom He wills to be His beneficiaries (Heb 8:10). These beneficiaries are the heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17).
At the death of Christ, the inheritance was released, and a token was sent to the beneficiaries (2 Cor 5:5), named in the will of the Testator (Rev 13:8; 17:8), that is, the covenant of grace. The full inheritance is reserved in heaven (1 Pet 1:4). It is kept in trust, according to the terms of the will. The grace of the token (the Holy Spirit) is sufficient for each beneficiary’s life and ministry. We have a foretaste of unimaginably good things to come (Rom 8:18).
The will of God, the author and keeper of the covenant, can be read when one opens the holy Bible. There are a few ideas for us to consider, in the terms of the will, secured by Christ, our surety (Heb 7:22).
First, God is free to do as He pleases (Ps 115:3; 135:6). When God’s will was drawn up, to be read, He revealed His purpose — Christ securing and applying eternal salvation for His chosen people (Eph 3:11; Heb 5:9). Nothing, and no one, constrained God in any way. He did as He pleased.
Second, the reason God is free to establish, and do all His holy will (Eph 1:11), is because He alone is sovereign. The sovereignty of God is observed throughout the Bible. The Bible informs us that when God established His eternal covenant, and revealed its terms, He was declaring His sovereign will.
Third, God’s salvation is an eternal salvation (Heb 5:9). The triune Godhead is eternal (Dt 33:27; Is 9:6; Heb 9:14; 13:8). The good pleasure of God, from which comes His eternal counsel, containing His eternal will, eternally decreed, and then, written down by the prophets and apostles, and proclaimed to all creation in time (Mk 16:15) — all of it is eternal. This removes all notions of uncertain conditions, added to God’s eternal, hence, unchanging covenant terms (Heb 6:17).
Fourth, God is eternal; therefore, God is immutable (unchangeable). God is perfect; therefore, any change, addition or subtraction, would render God…not God. He cannot change, which seems like a hindrance in the mind of sinful men, who need to change for the better. We must remember God is not in the image of the creature, but vice versa. He is perfection, and we fall far short of that standard. What God has established, stands, forever.
Fifth, there is perfect certainty with the omniscient God, who knows the end from the beginning, being the Alpha and Omega (Rev 21:6; 22:13). In other words, God knows Himself, and His decisions are as perfect as Himself. He does all things well. Therefore, what God has decreed accomplishes God’s purpose with absolute certainty. God knows what He is doing, and He is certain to do all His eternal purpose.
Sixth, God’s eternal purpose is definite. He has not established His covenant with uncertain, indefinite terms. He has left nothing to chance, nothing to luck, nothing to mere possibility, nor probability. The Lord knows those who are His (2 Tim 2:19), even as Christ Jesus knows His sheep by name (Jn 10:3). They are definite in number because God knows where each lost sheep is to be found. He goes and He gets each one. Not one of them is missing (Jn 10:28–29; Rom 8:35–39).
Seventh, God is personal. Yahweh is His name, even as Jesus is the name of His Son. He gives His elect, redeemed people in Christ, the right to be called, “children of God (1 Jn 3:1).” His love for His beloved is intimate (Song of Songs). He makes Himself known to His people (Ps 9:16; 48:3; Rom 1:18–20), who grow in love for God, as they grow in knowledge of who He is in truth (2 Pet 3:18).
Eighth, God has made the salvation of His definite elect incredibly simple, saying, “I will do it (Ps 37:5; 52:9; 1 Cor 1:30; Rom 8:30).” This is the meaning of “unconditional.” The unconditional covenant of grace is God doing all that the established terms of the covenant stated (Ps 57:2; 138:8; Is 26:12). Simply put, God does what He promises He will do. He is faithful and true (Rev 3:14; 19:11).
Finally, God has told us that, in love, in eternity, He predestined His church to be the beneficiaries of His eternal salvation (Eph 1:4-5). The Father chose His people in eternity past (Rom 11:5; 1 Pet 2:9; Rev 13:8; 17:8). Christ, the Son, died, according to the terms of the eternal covenant. He activated the covenant. As a result, the Spirit was given to the beneficiaries, as a pledge of the fulfillment of God’s unconditional covenant (2 Cor 1:22; 5:5). He who began a good work in eternity, and who began a good work in you, Christian, will surely bring His work to completion (Phil 1:6). He sealed His promises with His oath and covenant, and His Word, the terms of His will, must be accomplished.
Spokane Valley, Washington
November 17, 2021