A. The distance between God and the creature is so great that even though rational creatures owe obedience unto him as their Creator, they could never have attained the reward of life unless by some voluntary condescension on God 's part, that he he has been pleased to express in the form of covenant:Job 35: 7,8; 113: 5.6; Isa . 40: 13-16; Lk. 17: 5-10; Acts. 17: 24,25.
Some have questioned whether it is appropriate to speak of the covenant of works God did with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Actually the word covenant does not appear in the narratives of Genesis.However, the essential parts of the covenant are present:
A clear definition of the parties involved, a number of legally binding provisions stipulating the conditions of relations, the promise of blessings for obedience and the condition for those blessings.
In addition, Hosea 6: 7, referring to the sins of Israel, says: "They are like Adam have transgressed the covenant"! This passage sees Adam lived in a covenant relationship that had broken in the Garden of Eden.Furthermore, in Romans 5: 12-21 Paul sees Adam and Christ as the heads of the people they represent, something that is entirely consistent with the idea that Adam was part of a pact before the Fall.
In the garden of Eden, it seems that it is quite clear that a number of provisions that legally linked and define the relationship between God and man. The two sides appear clearly when God speaks with Adam and gives commands. The requirements of their relationships are well defined with the commandments God gives Adam and Eve (Genesis 1: 28-30; 2: 15) and Adam direct commandment: "You can eat from all the trees in the garden, but the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat. The day you eat of it you shall surely die "(Genesis 2: 16-17).
In this statement to Adam about the tree of knowledge of good and evil there is a promise of punishment for disobedience: death, we must understand in a comprehensive manner in the sense of physical, spiritual and eternal separation from God death death. ' In this promise of punishment for disobedience is implied a promise of blessing for obedience. This blessing would be to not receive the death, and the implication is that the blessing would be the opposite of "death."
Involve endless physical life and spiritual life in terms of a relationship with God would continue forever. The presence of the "tree of life in the midst of the garden" (Gen. 2: 9) was also a promise of eternal life with God if Adam and Eve met the conditions of that covenant relationship through complete obedience to God until it is decided the test time was over.
After the Fall, God drove Adam and Eve from the garden, partly to avoid "stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever" (Gn 3: 22).
Another evidence that covenant relationships with God included a promise of eternal life if Adam and Eve had obeyed perfectly is the fact that even in the New Testament Paul speaks as if perfect obedience, if possible, lead to life. He says that "the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death" (Romans 7: 10, literally "commandment that was for life") and. in order to demonstrate that the law is not based on faith, quote Leviticus 18: 5, which says the following about the provisions of the law: "Whoever does these things shall live by them" (Gal 3: 12; Romans 10: 5).
Other covenants in Scripture generally have a "signal" associated with them (such as circumcision, baptism and the Lord's Supper). No "sign" for the covenant of works in Genesis clearly designated as such, but if we were to mention one, would probably be the tree of life in the midst of the garden.
If you participated in that tree, Adam and Eve would have participated in the promise of eternal life that God would. The fruit itself had no magical properties, but it would be a sign by which God externally guaranteed the internal reality would happen.
Why is it important to say that relations between God and man in the garden were covenant relationships? Doing so reminds us of the fact that these relations, including obedience commands and promises of blessing for obedience, was not something that happened automatically in the relations between the Creator and the creature ..
For example, God did not make any kind of pact with the animals that he created. ' Neither the nature of man as God created claiming that he had some kind of fellowship with man and God made a promise that had to do with their relationships with men or that gave the man some clear direction with regard to 10 he would.
All this was an expression of parental love of God for man and woman he had created. In addition, when specifying these relations as "covenant", we can see the clear parallel between this and the following relationships covenant that God had with his people. If all the elements of a covenant are present (clear stipulations of the parties involved, a statement of the conditions of the covenant and promise of blessings or punishment for disobedience), there seems no reason why we should not refer to these as a covenant because that was what they really were.
Although the covenant that was before the Fall has been expressed by various terms (such as Adamic covenant or agreement of nature), the most useful designation seems to be "covenant of works", since participation in the blessings the covenant clearly depended on obedience or "works" from Adam and Eve.
As with all covenants God made with man, no negotiations on arrangements here. God sovereignly imposes the covenant of Adam and Eve, and they have no possibility to change details. All they can do is accept or reject it.
Are you still in force the covenant of works? In several important ways it is.
First, Paul implies that perfect obedience to God's laws, if possible, lead to life (see Rom 7: 10; 10: 5; Gal 3: 12). We should also note that the punishment in this agreement is still in force, "For the wages of sin is death" (Rom 6: 23).
This implies that the covenant of works is still in effect for every human being apart from Christ, although no sinful human being can comply with its provisions and get their blessings. Finally we should note that Christ perfectly obeyed the covenant of works for us because he committed no sin (1 Peter 2: 22), but obeyed God in everything for us (Rom 5: 18-19).
On the other hand, in many ways, the covenant of works does not remain in force:
(1) We no longer have to deal with the specific command not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
(2) Since we all have a sinful nature (both Christians and non - Christians), we are unable to comply with the provisions of the covenant of works by ourselves and receive benefits, because when people apply directly only we receive punishment.
(3) For Christians, Christ has satisfactorily complied with the provisions of this agreement once and forever, and we get no benefits through real obedience from us, but relying on the merits of the work of Christ.
In fact, for Christians today think that we are obliged to try to win God's favor by obedience would be away from the hope of salvation. "All who live by the works of the law are under curse is evident that by law no one is justified before God" (Gal 3: 10-11).
Christians have been freed from the covenant of works because of the work of Christ and have been included in the new covenant, the covenant of grace (see below).
A. In addition, having the man brought the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace : Gn. 3:15; Psalm 110: 4 (with He 7: 18-22; 10: 12-18); Eph. 2:12 (Ro 4: 13-17 and Gal . 3: 18-22 . ); I have 9:15.
B. In which freely offers to sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring faith in him so that they can be saved: Jun. 3:16; Ro. 10: 6.9; Gal. 3:11.
C. And promising to give his Holy Spirit to those who are ordained to eternal life, to give them willing and able to believe: Ez. 36: 26,27; June 6. 44.45.
Theologians speak of another kind of covenant, a covenant which is not between God and man, but between the members of the Trinity. It is the covenant that call the "covenant of redemption." This is an agreement between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, through which the Son agrees to become a man, to be our representative, to obey the demands of the covenant of works on our behalf and pay the penalty for sin that we deserved .
Do the Scriptures teach their existence? Yes, because it speaks of a specific plan and purpose of God in which agreed the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in order to win our redemption.
As the Father, this "covenant of redemption" included an agreement to give the Son a people that he would redeem to be his Genesis 17: 2, 6), send the Son to be his representative Gn 3: 16; Romans 5: 18-19), prepare a body for the Son dwell in him as a man (Col 2: 9; Hebrews 10: 5), accept him as representative of the people who have redeemed (Heb 9: 24), and give him all authority in heaven and on earth (Mt 28: 18), including the authority to pour out the power of the Holy Spirit and applying redemption to his people (Acts 1: 4; 2: 23).
From the Son, he agreed to come to this world as a man and live as a man under the Mosaic Law (Galatians 4: 4; I 2: 14-18), and to be submitted in perfect obedience to all the commandments of father (Heb 10: 7-9), is humiliate himself and would obedient unto death on the cross (Phil 2: 8). The Son also agreed to train a people for himself so that none of the Father would give him lose Gn 17: 12).
The role of the Holy Spirit in the covenant of redemption sometimes overlooked in discussions on the subject, but it certainly was unique and essential. He agreed to do the will of the Father and fill and empower Christ to carry out his ministry on earth (Mt 3:16; Luke 4: 1, 14, 18; Jn 3: 34), and apply benefits the redemptive work of Christ to believers after Christ returned to heaven Gen 14: 16,17,26; Acts 1: 8; 2: 17-18, 33).
Referring to the agreement between the members of the Trinity as a "covenant", reminds us that it was something undertaken voluntarily by God, not something I had to get because of their nature. However, this pact is also different from the covenants between God and man because the parties involved make it as equal, while in the covenants with man, God is the sovereign Creator imposed by the provisions of the covenant by own decree.
On the other hand, it is like the covenants God made with man in containing the elements (specifying the parties, conditions, and promised blessings) that make a pact.
When the man did not get the blessing offered in the covenant of works, it was necessary that God established other means, one by which man could be saved. The rest of the Scriptures after the story of the Fall in Genesis 3 is the story of God's action in history to accomplish the wonderful plan of redemption so that sinful people could come into fellowship with him.
Again, God clearly defines the provisions of the agreement that would specify the relationship between him and those who would be redeemed. In these specifications are some variations in detail throughout the Old and New Testaments, but the essential elements of a covenant are all there, and the nature of those essential elements remain the same throughout the Old and New Testaments.
The parties to this covenant of grace are God and the people he redeem. But in this case Christ fulfills a special role as "mediator" (Heb 8: 6, 9: 15; 12: 24) which meets for us the conditions of the covenant and thus reconciles us with God. (There was no mediator between God and man in the covenant of works.)
The condition (or requirement) from participation in the covenant is faith in the redemptive work of Christ (Rom 1: 17; et al.). This requirement of faith in the redemptive work of the Messiah was also the condition for the blessings of the covenant of the Old Testament, as Paul clearly demonstrated by the examples of Abraham and David (Rom 4: 1-15). They, like other Old Testament believers, reached salvation looking forward to the work of the Messiah was to come and put their faith in him:
But while the condition to start in the covenant of grace is always alone and faith in the work of Christ, the condition to continue in the covenant is understood to obedience to God's commandments. Although this obedience does not work in the Old Testament or the New Testament to gain merit with God, if our faith in Christ is genuine, will produce obedience (see James 2: 17), and obedience to Christ in the New Testament is considered a necessary evidence that we are true believers and members of the new covenant (see 1 John 2: 4-6).
The promise of blessings in the covenant was a promise of eternal life with God.
That promise appears frequently repeated throughout the Old and New Testaments. God promised that he would be their God and they would be his people. "I will establish my covenant with you and your descendants as an everlasting covenant for all generations. I will be your God and the God of your descendants "(Genesis 17: 7). "I will be their God, and they shall be my people" (Jer 31: 33). "They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will make with them an everlasting covenant "(Jer 32: 38-40; Ezekiel 34: 30-31; 36: 28; 37: 26-27).
That theme also appears in the New Testament: "I will be their God, and they shall be my people" (2 Cor 6: 16; d a similar theme in verses 17-18, also 1 Peter 2:.. 9-10) . Speaking of the new covenant, the author of Hebrews quotes Jeremiah 31: "I will be their God, and they shall be my people" (Heb 8: 10). This blessing finds fulfillment in the church, which is the people of God, but finds its best fulfillment in the new heaven and the new earth, as John sees in his vision of the coming age: "I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Here, among human beings, is the abode of God He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God" (Rev. 21: 3).
The sign of this covenant (the outer physical symbol of inclusion in the covenant) varies between the Old Testament and the New Testament. In the Old Testament the outward sign of the beginning of relations covenant was circumcision. The signal then covenantal relationships was the continued observance of all parties and ceremonial laws that God gave the people at various times in its history. In the new covenant the start signal of relations covenant is baptism, while the signal of continued relations is participation in the Lord's Supper.
This pact is known as "covenant of grace" because it is completely based on the "grace" of God or unmerited favor to those who redeems.
A. This covenant is revealed in the gospel; first, Adam in the promise of salvation through the seed of the woman, and then through additional steps to complete their full revelation in the New Testament:Genesis. 3:15; Ro. 16: 25-27; Eph. 3: 5; Tit. 1: 2; I 1: 1.2.
B. And that is grounded in federal and eternal transaction that was between the Father and the Son about the redemption of the elect: Psalm 110: 4; Eph. 1: 3-11; 2 Tim. 1: 9.
C. And it is only through the grace of this covenant as all descendants of the fallen Adam who are saved obtain life and blessed immortality, man being now utterly incapable of being accepted by God under those conditions in which it was Adam in his state of innocence: Jun. 8:56; Ro. 4: 1-25; Gal. 3: 18-22; I have 11: 6, 13, 39,40.
Although the essential elements of the covenant of grace are the same throughout the history of God's people, the specific provisions of the covenant vary from time to time. At the time of Adam and Eve, there was only a brief hint of the possibility of having relationships with God that we find in the promise about the seed of the woman in Genesis 3: 15 and the previous and loving God's provision of clothes for Adam and Eve (Gen. 3: 21).
The covenant God made with Noah after the flood (Genesis 9: 8-17) was not a covenant that promised all the blessings of eternal life and communion with God, but only one in which God promised to all mankind and the animal kingdom that the earth would not be destroyed by a flood.
In this sense the covenant with Noah, though certainly depends on God's grace or unmerited favor, seems to be quite different in terms of the parties (God and all mankind, not only redeemed), the condition mentioned (not It requires neither faith nor obedience on the part of man), and the blessing that is promised (that the earth would not be destroyed again by the flood is certainly a different promise of eternal life). The sign of the covenant (the rainbow) is also different in that it does not require an active or voluntary participation on the part of man.
But beginning with the covenant with Abraham (Genesis 15: 1-21; 17: 1-27), the essential elements of the covenant of grace are all present. In fact, Paul can say that "the Scripture ... preached before the gospel to Abraham" (Gal 3: 8).
In addition, Luke tells us that Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist prophesied the coming of John the Baptist to prepare the way of Christ was the beginning of God's activity to fulfill old promises to Abraham (to show mercy to . our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to Abraham our father), Luke 1: 72-73).
So that the promises of the Abrahamic covenant remained in effect even if you had been fulfilled in Christ (see Romans 4: 1-25; Gá.3: 6-18, 29; He 2:16; 6: 13-20).
What then is the "old covenant" in contrast to the "new covenant" in Christ? Not the whole of the Old Testament, because the covenant with Abraham and David are never called "old" in the New Testament.Rather, only the covenant under Moses, the covenant made at Mount Sinai (Ex 19-24) is called the "Old Covenant" (2 Ca 3: 14; cf. Heb 8: 6, 13), it would be replaced by the "cause it to rain pact" in Christ (Lk 22: 20; 1st Cor 11: 25; 2nd Corinthians 3: 6; Heb 8: 8,13; 9: 15; 12: 24).
The Mosaic covenant was the implementation of detailed written laws enforced for a while to restrict the sins of people and to be a guide to take us to Christ. Paul says, "So what was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the seed should come to whom the promise "(Gal 3: 19) was made," so that the law became our guide in charge to lead us to Christ "(Gal 3: 24).
We should not assume that there was grace for people from Moses to Christ, because the promise of salvation by faith that God had made to Abraham remained in force: Now.
Promises were made to Abraham and his descendants. The law, which came four hundred thirty years later, does not annul the covenant God had ratified previously; Had it done so, it would lapse Promise. If the inheritance is based on law, not based on the promise; But God gave it to Abraham through a promise (Gal 3: 16-18).
Furthermore, although the sacrificial system of the Mosaic covenant not actually removed sin (Heb 10: 1-4), it prefigured Christ, the perfect high priest who was also the perfect sacrifice, would bear our sins (Heb 9: 11 -28). However, the Mosaic covenant itself, with all its detailed laws, could not save people.
Not that the laws were in themselves bad, because had a holy God, but were powerless to give people a new life, and people could not obey perfectly: "Will the law against the promises of God? No way! If a law had been able to give life, then that justice would be based on the law "(Gal 3: 21).
Paul realizes that the Holy Spirit working within us can be trained to obey God in a way that the Mosaic Law could never, because he says that God "has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life "(2 Corinthians 3: 6).
The new covenant in Christ, then, is much better because it fulfills the promises made in Jeremiah 31: 31-34, as quoted in Hebrews 8: But the priestly ministry Jesus has received is superior to theirs, and the covenant of which is mediator is superior to the old, since it is based on better promises. For if that first covenant had been perfect, there would be no place for a second covenant.
But God, blaming his shortcomings, said, "The time will come, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I left them, saith the Lord.
So this is the covenant after those days with the house of Israel, saith the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds and write them in your heart. I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
No longer teach his neighbor, Ni Nadie teach his brother and He will say: "Know the Lord!"
For everyone from the least to the greatest, I will know. I Les forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins. " Call the "New" A Covenant That he has made the first old; And What it becomes obsolete and growing old Ya is about to disappear (Heb 8: 6-13).
In this new covenant there are blessings far superior, because Jesus the Messiah has come; he has lived, died and risen among us, and has atoned once and forever all our sins (Heb 9: 24-28); has revealed God to us a more complete Gen. 1:14; I 1: 1-3); He has written his laws in our hearts (Heb 8: 10).
This new covenant is the "eternal covenant" (Heb 13:20) in Christ, through whom we have eternal communion with God, and he will be our God, and we shall be His people.