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About the Covenant of Grace


S J Tanner


This website exists for the proclamation of God’s truth revealed in Scripture – the way of everlasting life through Jesus Christ. 

The books, articles and true stories provided here are committed to the biblical doctrines recovered by the Christian Church at the Reformation and taught by the Puritans and their successors. May the Almighty God prosper the work here and may He abundantly bless the endeavours of all His people, sending His Holy Spirit with power to shed forth the pure light of Christ.

The site is named “Covenant of Grace” because that covenant establishes God’s mercy and goodwill to man. The covenant was made in eternity between God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Before the world’s foundation God covenanted to give His only Son as a ransom, a sinless sacrifice, for the salvation of sinners. The Word of God says, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations (Psalm 89:2-4).

King David was an ancestor of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:1), and figuratively represented Him, as the Apostle Peter tells us (Acts 2:25-35). Matthew Henry’s commentary on Psalm 89 says: “The covenant is made with David; the covenant of royalty is made with him, as the father of his family, and with his seed through him and for his sake, representing the covenant of grace made with Christ as head of the church and with all believers as his spiritual seed.”

We know of mercy and truth and the pardon of sin because God speaks to us of these things through His infallible Word – the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. In this book God teaches us the way to glorify and enjoy Him for ever, and answers all the great questions of life. From the Bible we know that the Eternal God is the Creator of mankind and of the great universe in which we live, and that “in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). In this Word we are told of man's fall into wickedness, of the terrible destiny of our race, and of the Redeemer who was crucified for sinners.

God created man male and female, in his own image (Genesis 1:27), and sinless (Ecclesiastes 7:29). The first man on earth was called Adam, with whom God entered into a covenant, or solemn agreement – if he obeyed God's law he would live forever, but if he disobeyed he would surely die (Genesis 2:17). Adam was tempted into sin and rebelled against God's authority, bringing himself and all his descendents into enmity with the Lord, as the Bible says: "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12). This great fall from righteousness, this breaking of the covenant of works, caused mankind to lose the ability to choose between good and evil, or to please God in any way (Isaiah 64:6). The human race has lost communion with God and is constantly rebelling against Him. Such wicked beings cannot stand in the presence of the Holy One who created them, but await only eternal destruction in hell. “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:46).

It is against this background that our Creator, out of His everlasting love and mercy, has made the gracious covenant with His Son, who in time came to earth in the flesh, "made of a woman, made under the law" (Galatians 4:4; cf. Jeremiah 31:22, Luke 1:31). By the decree of God, Jesus was delivered into the hands of wicked men who crucified Him (Psalm 22, Acts 2:23) –  the Just One suffering the punishment due to sinners (1 Peter 3:18) and through the eternal Spirit he offered himself up to God (Hebrews 9:14), to save sinners of mankind who believe on Him (Genesis 3:15, John 3:16), and to wash away all their sins by His blood (I John 1:7). He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:18).

This new covenant did not require a man to gain eternal life by good works, but proceeded from the grace of God: we are saved by grace, through faith, that the promise might be sure to all the seed (Romans 4:16). We are told of Abraham (Genesis 15:6), that he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness". The seed is all the elect of God (Ephesians 1:4; 2 Peter 1:10), as Isaiah the Prophet foretold concerning the sinless Messiah: "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him . . . when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed . . . He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities" (Isaiah 53:10,11).

Even as Adam brought mankind into a state of sin and misery, resulting in everlasting punishment, so the Lord Christ brings salvation to sinners. This man is both God and man in one person; He is the Lord from heaven, the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 15:47; 2:8), the only Mediator between God and men. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all" (1 Timothy 2:5, 6). Christ is the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), and His resurrection from the dead completed the great work of redemption. Every man, woman or child who turns to Him in faith and repentance is a new creation in Christ Jesus, renewed in knowledge after the image of Him who created Him (Colossians 3:10). He is born again, and covered in the robe of the Lord our Righteousness (Zechariah 3:4), rejoicing to serve the living God by good works.

On the Last Day the Lord Jesus Christ will return to judge the world in righteousness, and His people will go into everlasting glory (Matthew 25:34), but the wicked will be punished with eternal torment (Mark 9:47-48). Jesus said of a city that rejected the Gospel in His time in Israel, “But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee” (Matthew 11:24). Then He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28 -30).  

According to the Word of God, one who is united with Christ by faith is justified or made righteous in God’s sight, and is therefore truly a Christian. From the moment of conversion to Christ a new Christian is a child of God, and the work of sanctification is begun: “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” (I Thessalonians 4:7). A man of God is no longer a slave to sin and Satan; he is a man who strives for holiness and fights against sin by the mighty working of the Holy Spirit within him (Ephesians 1:19). It safe to conclude that if you truly believe on Jesus Christ who is revealed in the Bible, you will, despite all the weaponry of the powers of darkness, most assuredly persevere to the end, and see God face to face in eternal glory.

"The LORD is gracious and full of compassion . . . he will ever be mindful of his covenant . . . He sent redemption unto his people; he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:4-5, 9-10).