The covenant of grace!
(Charles Spurgeon, "The Blood of the Everlasting Covenant!" 1859)
"The blood of the everlasting covenant!" Hebrews 13:20
Long before the day-star knew its place,
long before God had spoken existence out of nothing,
long before angel's wing had stirred the unnavigated ether,
long before a solitary song had disturbed the solemnity of the silence in which God reigned supreme
— the Father had entered into solemn counsel with Himself, with His Son, and with His Spirit — and had in that council decreed, determined, purposed, and predestined the salvation of His people!
On the Father's part — thus ran the covenant. I cannot tell it to you in the glorious celestial tongue in which it was written. I am glad to bring it down to the speech which suits to the ear of flesh, and to the heart of a mortal. Thus, I say, ran the covenant in lines like these:
"I, the Most High Jehovah, do hereby give unto My only begotten and well-beloved Son — a people, countless beyond the number of the stars . . .
who shall be washed from sin by Him;
who shall be preserved, and kept, and led by Him; and
at last, who shall be presented before My throne without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing by Him.
I covenant by oath, and swear by Myself, because I can swear by no one greater, that these whom I now give to Christ — shall forever be the objects of My eternal love!
These, I will forgive through the merit of my Son's blood.
To these, I will give a perfect righteousness.
These, I will I adopt and make My sons and daughters.
And these shall reign with Me through Christ eternally!"
The Holy Spirit also, as one of the contracting parties of the covenant, gave His declaration, "I hereby covenant, that all whom the Father gives to the Son —
I will in due time quicken.
I will show them their need of redemption.
I will cut off all their groundless hopes, and destroy their refuges of lies.
I will bring them to the blood of sprinkling.
I will give them faith whereby this blood shall be applied to them.
I will work in them every grace.
I will keep their faith alive.
I will cleanse them and drive out depravity from them.
And they shall be presented at last, spotless and faultless in Heaven!"
This was the one side of the covenant, which is at this very day being fulfilled and scrupulously kept.
The Lord Jesus also, as one of the contracting parties of the covenant, gave His declaration, "My Father, on My part, I covenant that in the fullness of time, I will become man. I will live in their wretched world — and for My people, I keep the law perfectly. I will work out a spotless righteousness for them, which shall be acceptable to the demands of Your just and holy law. In due time, I will bear the sins of all My people. You shall exact all their debts upon Me. By My stripes — they shall be healed. My Father, I covenant and promise that I will be obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. I will magnify Your law, and make it honorable. I will suffer all that My people ought to have suffered. I will endure the curse of Your law — and all the vials of Your wrath shall be emptied and spent upon My head! I will then rise again, and ascend into Heaven. I will intercede for them at Your right hand. I will make Myself responsible for every one of them — that not one of those whom You have given me, shall ever be lost! I will bring all My sheep of whom, by My blood, you have constituted Me the Shepherd — I will bring every one safe to You at last!"
Christ can say of what He promised to do, "It is finished!" He has paid the debts of all the elect. He has, for His people and for their redemption — suffered the whole of wrath divine. Nothing remains now, except that He shall continue to intercede for them — that He may safely bring all His redeemed to glory. All for whom Christ died, shall be pardoned — all justified — all adopted.
The Spirit shall quicken them all, shall give them all faith, shall bring them all to Heaven. And they shall, every one of them, without hindrance, stand accepted in the Beloved.
The antiquity of the covenant of grace demands our grateful attention. It is a truth which tends to elevate the mind. I know of no doctrine more grand than this! It is the very soul and essence of all Scripture! In sitting down and meditating upon it — I confess my spirit has sometimes been ravished with delight!
Can you conceive of the idea, that before all things — God thought of you? That when as yet He had not made His mountains — He had thought of you; you, a poor puny worm? Oh this cannot make us proud — but it must make us feel happy!