Nicholas Batzig

The Symbolism of the Rainbow

Whatever symbolism men may wish to impose on the covenantal sign that God set in the cloud, we must return again and again to the truth of Scripture and to the God who has aimed the arrows of His wrath at Himself so that we might not receive them for all eternity.

Back in 2015, one of my sons asked me why there were so many rainbows on the television and internet. Most of us have have seen them on children’s books and clothing from our earliest days–and in recent years placarded on the television and internet–yet many have never stopped to ask the question, “What symbolism did God invest the rainbow with from the the day in which He first set it in the sky?” There is a rich biblical-theological answer to that question, and it would serve us well to consider what we are taught from the Genesis narrative–as well as from the rest of redemptive history. In his sermon, “The Hope of Noah,” Sinclair Ferguson explains the covenantal and redemptive nature of the bow in the sky:
“As with all of God’s covenants in the Bible…He always adds physical signs to them to reassure us. Yes, His word is enough–His word is His bond–but we are doubters; and so He gives us visible signs that say to us, “I really meant what I said; look at the sign!” And here he says to Noah, “I’m going to give you a sign–the bow in the cloud.” And, of course, we know what that is, the bow–the multicolored rainbow–but actually the word used in the book of Genesis is not rainbow, it’s warbow–the bow of war, the bow of battle. It is a picture of God, after hostility has ended and He has established His new creation, flinging His bow of war, His bow of judgment, into the skies as a reassurance to Noah, ‘Now, that there is reconciliation, you may enjoy the peace that you have with Me; you can be sure that there will never again be this kind of judgment on the earth, until, of course, the cosmic final judgment of all at the end of time;’ and so Noah, begins to enjoy the fruit and the spoils of war. Some scholars have even suggested, over the centuries–if you think about the rainbow as God’s military bow transformed into an ornament of great beauty, that hostility has ceased and that there is no arrow in the bow–that, if He has thrown the bow into the sky that way, the only place the arrow could have gone was into His own heart.’ I wonder if Noah ever could have pondered, ‘If God has thrown His bow into the sky, where is His arrow, and why does it point thus heavenward into His heart?’ And, of course, the rest of the story of the Bible will pick up on that idea–it’s only as God takes the judgment to Himself, into His Son Jesus Christ, that we might enjoy full and final reconciliation with Him.”1
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What Does “Salvation” Mean?

Scripture speaks of the salvation of believers in three tenses. Christians have been saved, they are being saved, and they will be saved. In redemption accomplished, Christ truly and really saved His people when He died and rose again. In the application of redemption, believers are being saved as Christ intercedes for them, sustaining them through their pilgrimage and enabling them to persevere in the faith. At the consummation, believers will experience the full application of the salvation wrought by Christ in the resurrection.

Almost no word so well captures the heart of the message of Scripture as does the word salvation. It appears more than 170 times in our English translations of the Old and New Testament. The related word, saved, appears approximately one hundred times throughout the pages of Scripture. But what is salvation? What does it mean for someone to be saved? The Scriptures provide us with several distinct answers to this question. The Bible reveals that God saves believers from their sin, the power of Satan, death, and the judgment to come. Taken together, these four aspects of the work of redemption help us understand the full-orbed biblical teaching about the salvation that God provides through the person and work of Christ.
In his birth announcement concerning the coming Christ, the angel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary that the Redeemer would be called “Jesus” because He would “save his people from their sin” (Matt. 1:21). Since sin is man’s great problem, we needed One who would save us from its guilt and power. Jesus is such a Savior. Since He is God (John 1:1–4; Rom. 9:5), He can conquer our greatest enemies: sin, death, and Satan. Since He is man (John 1:14; Rom. 1:1–4), He can represent all those for whom He died. On the cross, Jesus became the atoning sacrifice for the sin of His people. All the sins of the elect were imputed to Christ on the cross (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus died to deliver men and women from the guilt of their sin. Additionally, Christ died to break the power of sin in the lives of His people (Rom. 6:1–11). Because of the death of Christ, God has forgiven His people all their trespasses (Col. 2:13; Eph. 1:7).
God’s Word also reveals that Jesus died to save His people from the evil one. Since Satan was the one who led our first parents in rebellion against God, he needed to be conquered by the Redeemer. There is a close connection to our sinful bondage and the power of the evil one. The Apostle John explained that Christ came to destroy the works of Satan. He wrote: “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning.
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What Is Unconditional Election?

Throughout the twentieth century, it was not uncommon for individuals to so associate the doctrine of election with John Calvin that they mistakenly concluded that the concept of election had originated with him. Far from finding its origins in the Genevan Reformer, the doctrine of election has long held a place in the history of the church because it is everywhere taught in Scripture. The early church theologian Augustine, in his tractate on John 15:15–16, appealed to the clear teaching of Romans 11:5–6 regarding the doctrine of election. He wrote:
What was it then that He chose in those who were not good? For they were not chosen because of their goodness, inasmuch as they could not be good without being chosen. Otherwise, grace is no more grace, if we maintain the priority of merit. Such, certainly, is the election of grace, whereof the apostle says: “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace.” To which he adds: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works; otherwise, grace is no more grace.”
Augustine was underlining the importance of the unmerited nature of election. God did not choose those He would save through Christ on account of anything in them by which they could have merited that salvation. God did not foresee something in those He saves that moved Him to choose them. God did not even choose them on account of Christ. Rather, He chose them even though they had nothing with which to merit His grace and had, in fact, demerited His favor. The idea of unmerited election is encapsulated in the Calvinistic acronym TULIP under the designation unconditional election (the U in TULIP). But what do Reformed theologians mean when they speak of the unconditional nature of election? Dr. R.C. Sproul defined unconditional election in the following way: “The Reformed view of election, known as unconditional election, means that God does not foresee an action or condition on our part that induces Him to save us. Rather, election rests on God’s sovereign decision to save whomever He is pleased to save.”

Conscience Binding, Media Ecology, and Theological Controversy

In all that we do, God calls us to seek the Scriptures for guiding directives for what we may or may not write online. Scripture and Scripture alone should bind our consciences. This is especially so with regard to what God requires of us in our stewardship of the internet. If we engage others online, we should do so acknowledging the many dangers that we will have to navigate. We should be slow to listen to the loudest voices, as they are often driven by impulsive zeal and an inflated sense of self-importance. 

There is something innate in the fallen hearts of men that gives them an insatiable desire to seek to bind the consciences of others on just about every given matter. Whether it is food preferences, education, parenting, or environmental considerations, most people love to bind the consciences of others to that to which their own consciences are bound. This is most notably seen in the way in which people assert their opinions about what others should be doing in a pandemic. It has also manifested itself in much of the social commentary about perceived social injustices. In all these things, it is right for believers to appeal to Scripture as the only rule of faith and life. For good reason, Protestants have long found Martin Luther’s bold declaration at the Diet of Worms to resonate powerfully in their souls. When commanded to recant his teaching, Luther famously stated,
“Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”
Conscience Binding
However, the notion of conscience binding is often more subtle among believers than it was in the day of the Reformer’s contentions with the Roman Catholic Church. Today, believers who adhere faithfully to the teaching of Scripture on biblical sexual ethics or socio-political theories frequently seek to bind the consciences of other believers who faithfully adhere to the same teaching of Scripture on these matters. Now, it is no longer enough that one confesses to believe the Scriptures about its teaching on sexual sin and racial unity in Christ. If one does not speak out as loudly, vehemently, and consistently as another online he is excoriated as not have true “convictions” about these matters. It usually plays out in the following way:
A vocal opponent of various forms of compromise and falsehood calls other believers to action. However, the action is generally unspecified. It is packaged with rhetoric about “courage,” “boldness,” or “taking a stand.” It riles up a certain group of individuals who then begin to echo the rally cry of a pressure group. It manifests itself through individuals in just about every denomination. What it often amounts to, however, is a self-admiring attempt to bind the consciences of other believers to speak out in the same way and to the same degree as said individual is speaking out on a social media platform or in a blog post. Under the auspice of “courage,” the rally cry goes out with as much conscience binding force as can be mustered.
This raises several important questions. Do we really grasp the nature of media ecology? Does God expect every believer to take to social media to bodily proclaim opposition to every unbiblical ideology and movement? Is it a lack of biblical conviction that leads others to avoid contention in our interactions with others online? What biblical principles ought to be guiding Christians in the way in which they write and speak publicly about these matters? How should Scripture govern the spirit with which we interact online on significant yet controversial issues that affect both the church and society? These are not easy questions to answer but they are worthy of our reflection.
Media Ecology
Most of us have not adequately reflected on the nature of media ecology. We have ideas and opinions about social media. We employ rhetorical figures of speech such as “dumpster fire” or “train wreck” when speaking about social media. We acknowledge the snare of being drawn into controversy with people we don’t really know and who would not have been, in bygone generations, without the sphere of our moral proximity. We understand the way in which social media can monopolize our time and energy; however, we have not yet fully grasped the “interplay between humans, technology, media, and the environment, with the aim of increasing awareness of mutual effects” (Oxford Bibliographies). I am not sure that any of us will fully have grasped the phenomenon of social media before we die. It is a lightening-fast moving, decentralized, ocean of media evolution and social interaction. Recognizing this should, at least, give us pause about what, when, how, and why we may say something online.
In 2006 Greg Reynolds wrote what is arguably the most careful treatment of media ecology at that time from a thoroughly Christian and Reformed perspective, The Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures. A look back at that work in 2022 is a fascinating sociological exercise. Reynolds wrote his book on the internet frontier. Facebook was in its early stages of development and Twitter did not yet exist. It was a different time. Chatrooms existed, but many us us quickly realized that we did not have the time or interest to jump into the fray of debate in them. The most heated contentions online were usually those found in the comment sections of a blog post. To look back at how much social media has changed the landscape of our world is worthy of deep reflection, expecially as it relates to our use of it in regard to engagement in theological controversy.
What, if any, responsibility do Christians have to make use of online platforms for the propagation and defense of the truth? What does God require of them? This question may sound strange, coming from someone who has spent 15 years writing and publishing articles, blog posts, podcasts, and social media content online. In short, I do not believe that God requires anyone to have a social media account, let alone to have to publish their convictions and opinions about anything in that forum–especially not in response to conscience binding calls to “courageous stands for truth.” Does God call us to take courageous stand for truth? Absolutely. Does he require us to do it on a social media feed or in a blog post? Absolutely not.
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Are Christians Totally Depraved?

When we consider the full-orbed teaching of Scripture about the believer’s relationship with his or her sin, we will have a right understanding of what we were, what we are, and what we one day will be. And we will be able to say with Newton: I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I wish to be. I am not what I hope to be. Yet, I can heartily join with the Apostle and acknowledge, “By the grace of God, I am what I am.”

John newton once famously summarized the believer’s experience with regard to his sin:
I am not what I ought to be. Ah! How imperfect and deficient! I am not what I wish to be. I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to what is good. I am not what I hope to be. Soon, soon, I shall put off mortality, and with mortality all sin and imperfection. Yet, though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be, I can truly say, I am not what I once was—a slave to sin and Satan. And I can heartily join with the apostle, and acknowledge, “By the grace of God, I am what I am.”
This is a beautiful sentiment about the way true believers are to view themselves in light of the regenerating grace of God in the gospel. We are no longer what we were (totally depraved), yet we are not what we will one day be (fully delivered from remaining corruption). Understanding these truths is vital if we are to advance in the Christian life.
The Westminster Confession of Faith explains the nature of the total depravity of all mankind: “We are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to all evil” (WCF 6.4). Reflecting on the doctrine of total depravity in the Calvinistic backronym TULIP, John Gerstner stated, “Total depravity is our one original contribution to TULIP. We are the dirty soil in which God plants His flower, and from our filth, produces a thing of divine beauty.” To see your need for the redeeming grace of God, you must first come to terms with the teaching of Scripture about what you are by nature—pervasively corrupt and evil.
Isaiah summarized the extent of depravity in an accusation against old covenant Israel: “From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness” (Isa. 1:6). Jeremiah set out the fraudulence of man’s sinful heart when he wrote: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9). Quoting the psalmist, the Apostle Paul testified, “None is righteous, no, not one” (Pss. 14:1; 53:1; Rom. 3:10).
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Take Heed

Bernard of Clairvaux once mentioned an old man who, upon hearing about any professing Christian who fell into sin, would say to himself: “He fell today; I may fall tomorrow.” The apostle Paul commended the same mindset when he wrote, “let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12). There is great wisdom in not trusting our own ability to stand. When I was a boy, my father would often say, “The person I trust least of all is myself.” It should shock us to hear a professing Christian say, “I would never do that,” or, “How could anyone do that?” The Scriptures record great sins of unbelievers and believers alike to instruct us in diverse ways. The former teach the unregenerate their need for the new birth. The latter teach the saints their need to distrust themselves. It is one thing to understand the sinful actions of unbelievers in Scripture; it is quite another to understand the sins of the saints.
Consider the following: If an innocent man could choose a piece of fruit over the infinitely valuable God (Gen. 3:6); if the most righteous man of his day could get so drunk that he passed out naked before his sons in his tent (9:21); if the most faithful man of his day could father a child with his wife’s handmaiden (16:1–4) and twice hand his wife over to other men (12:11–15; 20:1–2); if the mother of promise could laugh at the words of the God of promise and then lie to Him about doing so (18:9–15); if “righteous Lot” could greedily pick the most materialistic and sexually depraved place for himself and his family to live (13:8–13), and could hand his daughters over to the sexually perverse men of the city (19:4–8); if the son of promise could show partiality to his oldest son because he liked his hunting skills (25:28), and he, too, could hand his wife over to another man (26:6–11); and if the namesake of Israel could swindle his brother for a birthright (25:29–34), then so could I.
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Raised Through the Blood

One of the greatest assurances of salvation that we can have during our pilgrimage in this world comes from our knowledge of the definitiveness of our redemption in Christ. The fact that Jesus’s death actually atoned for our sins, produces a confidence in believers that nothing will separate them from the love of God. If Jesus died for us, who can undo what Christ has done?

What is the central message of Christianity? This is a subject of timeless importance in a day when many insist that the central message is kindness in interpersonal relations; or that it is justice in its variegated societal implementation. However compelling the case may be made for either of these, the Apostle Paul gave us the divinely inspired center of the Christian message when he wrote, “I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).
It is quite clear that the atoning death of Jesus stands at the center of the Christian message. “Christ died for sinners” is, in the words of Geerhadus Vos, “the center of gravity” in Christianity. But, this opens another question, namely, “How then should we view the resurrection?”
As a young Christian, I had a number of impassioned conversations with close friends about this subject. I would insist that the message of the cross was the center of the Gospel. They would insist, with the same emotional forcefulness, that the resurrection stood at the center since it culminated in the new creation. Citing Romans 4:24-25, one friend went so far as to say that the resurrection of Jesus was more important than His death on the cross. A number of years later, several colleagues in ministry encouraged me to read more Richard Gaffin, since he argued more persuasively that the resurrection, rather than the crucifixion of Jesus, was the epicenter of the Christian message. Interestingly, as I read Gaffin, I came across statements that seemed to go against that idea. Reflecting on Paul’s teaching in 1 Cor. 1:18-3:22 and Galatians 6:14, Gaffin makes the following assertion: “Paul’s exclusive and comprehensive epistemic commitment is to the crucified Christ.” This, of course, doesn’t mean that the cross is more important than the resurrection. In fact, I was imbalanced in my own understanding of the central message as a young Christian, because I didn’t yet understand that the saving work of Christ couldn’t be bifurcated without doing damage to the message of Christianity as a whole. This is why the Apostle Paul summarizes the heart of the Christian message in the following way when writing to the church in Corinth:
I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3).
The wrath-propitiating, sin-atoning, Satan-conquering death of Jesus on the cross, together with His burial and His resurrection form the central message of the Christian faith. When the Apostle Paul said, “I determined not to know anything among you expect Jesus Christ and Him crucified,” he was utilizing a theological synecdoche (i.e. the part for the whole). Apart from the death of Jesus, the resurrection is a legal fiction. Apart from the witness of His resurrection, the death of Jesus is a tragic failure.
One of the greatest assurances of salvation that we can have during our pilgrimage in this world comes from our knowledge of the definitiveness of our redemption in Christ. The fact that Jesus’s death actually atoned for our sins, produces a confidence in believers that nothing will separate them from the love of God. If Jesus died for us, who can undo what Christ has done? Jesus would have to be dethroned and His body put back in the tomb, for His saving work to be emptied of its efficacy. The work of redemption can never be reversed or overthrown because it was accomplished by the infinite and eternal, sinless Son of God whose death on the cross was a perfect sacrifice of infinite and eternal value. The efficacious death of Jesus is captured by the writer of Hebrews in the benediction he pronoucnced over the members of a church that was tempted to turn away from Christ.
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The Destroyer of All Darkness

Jesus came into this dark and fallen world as the new creation and to bring about a re-creation of all those for whom He died. He is “the Destroyer of the darkness.” In His death on the cross, Jesus comes under the power of darkness as the substitute of those who once lived in darkness. He put Himself under the wrath of God for the sins of His people in order to give them to light of the knowledge of the glory of God in Him. He is the light of the world who shines in the darkness (John 8:12). By His death and resurrection, Jesus destroys the darkness and disseminates the light of God’s grace and truth.  

Anyone who has read the book of Genesis and the gospel of John will immediately notice the similarity of the opening words of each book. Genesis opens with those astonishing first words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth;” while John opens in this way: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” As a boy, I remember seeing that parallel but not understanding what it meant. I only came to understand it when the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, at the creation of the universe, shone into the darkness of my heart to give me the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:6). Significantly, that is the point of the parallel. In redemptive history, we are meant to understand that the coming of the Son into this world was the breaking in of the light of God’s grace and truth to bring about the re-creation of a world that lay in darkness. B.B. Warfield captured this in a profound way, when he wrote,
“The obvious resemblance between the prologue to John’s Gospel and the proem of Genesis is not a matter of mere phraseology and external form. As the one, in the brief compass of a few verses, paints the whole history of the creation of a universe with a vividness which makes the quickened imagination a witness of the process, so the other in still briefer compass traces the whole history of the re-creation of a dead world into newness of life. In both, we are first pointed back into the depths of eternity, when only God was. In both we are bidden to look upon the chaotic darkness of lawless matter or of lawless souls, over which the brooding Spirit was yet to move. In both, as the tremendous pageants are unrolled before our eyes, we are made to see the Living God; and to see him as the Light and the Life of the world, the Destroyer of all darkness, the Author of all good. Here too, however, the Old Testament revelation is the preparation for the better to come. In it we see God as the God of power and of wisdom, the Author and Orderer of all; in this we see him as the God of goodness and mercy, the Restorer and Redeemer of the lost. Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”1
In Christ, the triune God becomes “the Destroyer of all darkness.”
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The Most Thankful Person Who Ever Lived

Jesus thanked His Father for the hell that He would endure on the cross because He knew that it would result in the redemption of those that the Father had given to Him. In short, the three things for which Jesus expressed thanksgiving were all bound up in the work of redemption. In this, Jesus teaches us that above all the things that we should be thankful for–not just on one day in November, but every day of our lives–is the redemption that we have in His blood, the forgiveness of our sins. 

Believers often meditate on the love, the joy, and the peace of Jesus. However, most of us probably do not give enough attention to the thanksgiving of Jesus. One of the things that we can be certain of–concerning all of the sinless perfections of incarnate Son of God–is that Jesus expressed full and unceasing gratitude to His Father for every provision, every kindness, every protection, every soul-strengthening support and every miraculous act that the Father worked through Him during His earthly ministry. Without doubt, Jesus is the most thankful person who ever lived. And yet, while we may safely be assured of this, there are only a few instances in which the Scriptures tell us about the thankfulness of Jesus. This should strike us as strange, given all that the Scriptures teach us about our own need to be thankful.
Thankfulness–and a sinful lack of it–is one of the foremost teachings of Scripture. Though there are so many other passages, consider the teaching of Psalm 107, Luke 17:11-19 and 2 Timothy 3:2 in this regard. So, what are we to make of the fact that there are actually very few instances in Scripture that reference the thankfulness of Jesus? And, what can we then learn from the Scriptural record of the instances of His thankfulness? In his sermon “The First and Last Supper,” Sinclair Ferguson points out that Jesus’ emotional life was not always evident to us because He did not “let His emotions all hang out.” He explained:
“If you read through the Gospels you will learn a great deal from the Gospel testimony to the character and attractiveness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Occasionally, you will see His inner emotional life coming to expression. Occasionally, in a deep sense of truly righteous anger. On occasion, in the tears that flow from His eyes. And very rarely in the way our modest Lord Jesus Christ did not let His emotions all hang out.”
While there is a reservedness on the part of Jesus in revealing all of His emotions, the Gospel writers have recorded several instances in which Jesus verbalized thanksgiving to His Father. They can be found in Matt. 11:25; 15:36; 26:27; Mark 8:8; 14:23; Luke 10:21; 22:17, 19; John 6:11, 23; 11:41 and I Corinthians 11:24. What is remarkable about these instances of thanksgiving is that they can all be placed into one of three categories; and, each of these three categories are bound up in or related to the work of redemption. In short, Jesus’ thankfulness teaches us to pour out our own hearts in thanksgiving to God–above all, for the redemption that He has freely given to us in the Son. Jesus’ prayers of thanksgiving fall into one of the following three categories:
1) Thankfulness for the miracles that served the purposes of redemption. The Apostle John leaves us the record of Jesus offering thanks to God prior to performing two of His most noteworthy miracle–the miraculous feeding of the 5,000 (John 6:11), and the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11:41-42).
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Before Time Began

The importance of the eternal covenant between the Father and the Son can never be understated. If God has promised to redeem a people for Himself through the obedience, sacrifice, and mediation of the Son from all of eternity, then we should have the strongest confidence in the perfection of the Son’s work. Believers should take great comfort in knowing that all the Father gave the Son will come to Him since the Son did everything that He contracted with His Father to do for their redemption. 

The Bible is structured by architectonic principles. Reformed theologians have, by and large, agreed that all of God’s special revelation is structured by a Covenant of Works and a Covenant of Grace. This is not to say (as many have wrongly charged) that Covenant theologians do not believe in a difference between the Old and New Covenants. Neither does it mean that they do not believe that there are distinctions between the Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, and New Covenant. Rather, it is to say that the biblical teaching about Adam and Christ (Rom. 5:12–21) is the structuring principle of all of God’s pre-lapsarian and post-lapsarian dealings with mankind. Prior to the fall, we were represented by Adam in the Covenant of Works. Had Adam, as federal representative, obeyed he would have secured eternal life and holiness for all his offspring. After the fall, mankind can only be saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ who obeyed for His people in the Covenant of Grace. The Adam/Christ structure of Scripture is what theologians have sometimes called the bi-covenantal structure of revelation.
However, insistence on a bi-covenantal structure of biblical revelation does not negate the reality of an eternal Covenant of Redemption (i.e., the pactum salutis). In fact, the better part of Reformed theologians have affirmed the existence of a pre-temporal intra-Trinitarian covenant in which the Father and the Son enter into a contract together on promises and obligations for the salvation. The Covenant of Redemption made before the foundation of the world is based on the agreement of the Father and the Son as to the Son’s obedience, sacrifice, and mediation. Some have considered such an arrangement to be distinct from the Covenant of Grace, while others have considered it to be the eternal aspect of the Covenant of Grace. What we can agree upon is the fact that before God created the world, the three persons of the Godhead entered into an agreement with one another for the plan of redemption.
Charles Hodge, in his Systematic Theology, set out what he believed to be the eight promises of the Father to the Son in the Covenant of Redemption. He wrote,
“The promises of the Father to the Son conditioned on the accomplishment of that work, were,
(1.) That He would prepare Him a body, fit up a tabernacle for Him, formed as was the body of Adam by the immediate agency of God, uncontaminated and without spot or blemish.
(2.) That He would give the Spirit to Him without measure, that his whole human nature should be replenished with grace and strength, and so adorned with the beauty of holiness that He should be altogether lovely.
(3.) That He would be ever at his right hand to support and comfort Him in the darkest hours of his conflict with the powers of darkness, and that He would ultimately bruise Satan under his feet.
(4.) That He would deliver Him from the power of death and exalt Him to his own right hand in heaven; and that all power in heaven and earth should be committed to Him.
(5.) That He, as the Theanthropos and head of the Church, should have the Holy Spirit to send to whom He willed, to renew their hearts, to satisfy and comfort them, and to qualify them for his service and kingdom.
(6.) That all given to Him by the Father should come to Him, and be kept by Him, so that none of them should be lost.
(7.) That a multitude whom no man can number should thus be made partakers of his redemption, and that ultimately the kingdom of the Messiah should embrace all the nations of the earth.
(8.) That through Christ, in Him, and in his ransomed Church, there should be made the highest manifestation of the divine perfections to all orders of holy intelligences throughout eternity. The Son of God was thus to see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied.”1
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