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The covenant of grace is an everlasting covenant that was made in eternity between the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) before the world was created.
In 2 Samuel 23:5 we read; “Although my house be not so with God, yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure: for this is all my salvation and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.” When David says that God made with him an everlasting covenant, he does not mean that God entered into an agreement with David to save him and that David gave his approval for God to do it. David means that there was a covenant of salvation made for him and it was certain. David’s own house was in total disorder at that time, but he had his eye on a sure covenant that was in perfect order.
In the covenant, the Father appears as a representative of the Godhead. He sends forth the Son and the Holy Spirit to accomplish the end designed in the Holy Covenant. The Son appears in the covenant as a representative of the covenant people and therefore acts on their behalf and in their own interest. “I the Lord have called Thee in righteousness and will hold Thine hand, and will keep Thee and give Thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles, to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. (Is 42:6) The Son agrees to do a certain work in behalf of those chosen to salvation. The work agreed upon is the bringing in of an everlasting righteousness for them, by paying the redemptive price for their sins.
Christ is given unto the covenant people as a pledge of all the blessings of the covenant, as we read in Hebrews 7:22; “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.” Surety means “pledge”. The surety is the one who is legally responsible for a debt. Christ has fulfilled all the conditions of the covenant for the covenant people, and now, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, He dispenses the rewards which He received upon the completion of His work. “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom 8:32)
In Hebrews 9:16 Christ is called the testator of the covenant. “For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.” A testator is one who disposes of his effects by a will. The riches of the covenant belong especially to Christ. In Christ’s abounding goodness He bequeaths them to the covenant people.
Christ is called in Malachi 3:1, the messenger of the covenant; “The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant.” Christ came to the earth to make known the content of the covenant and to proclaim its glad tidings.
The Holy Spirit is the agent of the Trinity. By Him the blessings of the covenant are brought to those to whom they belong. The Holy Spirit appears as the One sent to sanctify those who are chosen and redeemed. He is sent by the Father and the Son to complete in the elect the purpose of the covenant, which is to bring the elect unto God.
The covenant includes sending forth the Holy Spirit to be with the chosen people of God. Christ promised to send the Holy Spirit upon His return to the Father in John 14:16; “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another comforter, that He may abide with you forever.”
In the covenant of grace there is included a work that will be done in the covenant people. This work is especially spoken of as belonging to the Holy Spirit. “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God .... That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit.” (John 3:3-6)
The covenant of Grace is called an everlasting covenant (Heb 13:20) because it shall endure forever. It is called a covenant of peace (Ezek 37:26) because it secures reconciliation between God and His chosen people. It is called a covenant of life (Mal 2:5) because life is the promise of the covenant. It is called a holy covenant (Luke 1:72) because it is a covenant between the Holy Persons in the Trinity and it provides the holiness needed for the elect people of God so they can live in His presence forever.
If God has done all this for you, what kind of response should you make?