A council took place in heaven. The Triunity agreed that they would reach down to humanity and redeem it. It was a rescue mission. This agreement is also a covenant—the Covenant of Redemption.
In the Bible, covenants were unalterable agreements between man and man, and between God and man. The latter were never equal parties—God and humankind were never and are never equals!
In the covenant of redemption, however, the three parties—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—were equals in the covenantal agreement. Each one had a role to play in the planning, implementation, and completion of redemption—ultimately in heaven.
What is the Scriptural basis for the Covenant of Redemption?
There is no doubt that the plan of redemption was decided from the distant past; some theologians say from eternity past. It was an eternal decree.
Eph. 1:4 says that God chose us in Christ before the creation of the world. (A remarkable and profound statement!) The result was that “in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance of the riches of his grace which he lavished on us (vv. 7-8).
Eph. 3:11 teaches us that through the church God revealed his manifold wisdom to the heavenly rulers and authorities according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus the Lord.
2 Tim. 1:9-10 says that he called us to live a holy life, not because of anything we have done but because of his purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time; it has been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus.
Can the plan of redemption really be called a covenant?
Jesus spoke of Father’s promises made to him before his coming.
John 5:30, 43 say that he has come in his Father’s name.
John 6:38-40 says Jesus has come down from heaven to do the will of the Father, and the Son won’t lose the ones whom the Father has given him. The Father’s will is that those who look to the Son shall have eternal life.
In John 17:4-12 Jesus is praying the Great High Priestly Prayer, in which he praises his Father for giving to the Son disciples, to whom the Son has revealed the Father.
These promises are what covenants are made of.
Further, the OT speaks of the covenant with the Messiah. Ps. 89:3 is based on 2 Sam. 7:12-14, and this is the promise of an everlasting covenant with King David. Jesus is the fulfillment of these verses (Heb. 1:5; Luke 1:32). Is. 42:6 speaks of the Servant of the Lord, who is not merely Israel, and God will make a covenant through him. Jesus is the fulfillment of that promise.
Now let’s look at the part or role each person of the Trinity played.
What was the Father’s part?
In John 17: 2, 6 The Father agreed to give to the Son a people he would redeem for his own. The Father revealed to the Son those whom the Father had given him.
The Father sent the Son to represent him and the Spirit. John 3:16 is famous because it spells out this divine mission. God loved the world so much that he gave his unique Son. And Rom 5:18-19 says that through the obedience of one man many will be made righteous.
Through the virgin birth, the Father prepared a body in which the Son could dwell as a man (Col. 2:9; Heb. 10:5), so he could represent those whom he was to redeem of his own people, the Jews (Heb. 9:24). The Father gave to the Son all authority in heaven and earth (Matt. 28:18). This authority extended to include the authority to pour the Spirit in power to apply redemption to people (Acts 1:4; 2:33).
What was the Son’s part?
He agreed that he would come to earth and live as a man and under Mosaic law (Gal. 4:4; Heb. 2:14-18). He was tempted in every way that we humans were, but without sin (Matt. 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13; Heb. 4:15). He was commissioned to become perfectly obedient to all the commands of the Father (Heb. 10:7-9), even to the point of death on a cross (Phil. 2:8). He promised the Father that everyone whom the father gave to the Son would not be lost (John 17:12).
What was the Holy Spirit’s part?
He agreed to obey the will of the Father and empower the Son to fulfill the ministry laid out before the Son (Matt. 3:16; Luke 4:1, 14, 18; John 3:34). Redemption is eternal (Heb. 9:12), and the eternal Spirit (Heb. 9:14) applies the benefits of Christ’s redemption to the hearts of believers (John 14:16-17, 26; Acts 1:8; 2:17-18, 33).
How does this post help me grow in Christ?
This covenant was voluntarily entered into, between the three persons of the Triunity (Trinity). This shows how much each loved us the people. We were their highest creation; however, we sunk the lowest and needed the deepest and farthest redemption.
It has been well said that if you were the only one in all of the earth, God still would have sent his Son to rescue you and redeem you. He would have voluntarily sacrificed his life, so that his blood would cleanse your conscience (Heb. 10:22).
That’s how much he loved you—just as you are, no matter what you have done!
Written by James Malcolm