Scripture: Genesis 3
Confession Chapter 7: God’s Covenant
1. 1The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although men, endowed as they are with reason, owe obedience to Him as their Creator, yet they could never have attained to life as the reward had not God, in an act of voluntary condescension, made this possible by the making of a covenant.
Job. 35.7,8 Luke 17.10
2. 1Furthermore, since man, by reason of his fall into sin, had brought himself under the curse of God’s Law, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace, in which He freely offers life and salvation by Jesus Christ to sinners. 2On their part He requires faith in Him that they may be saved, and promises to give His Holy Spirit to all those who are elected unto eternal life, in order that they may be made willing and able to believe.
Gen. 2.17, Ps. 110.3, Ezek. 36.26, 27, John 3.16, 6.44, 45; Rom. 3.20, 21, Gal. 3.10
3. 1God’s covenant is revealed in the Gospel; in the first place to Adam in the promise of salvation ‘by the seed of the woman’, and afterwards, step by step, until the full revelation of salvation that was completed in the New Testament. 2The salvation of the elect is based upon a covenant of redemption that was transacted in eternity between the Father and the Son; and it is solely through the grace conveyed by this covenant that all the descendants of fallen Adam who have been saved have obtained life and a blessed immortality; for the terms of blessing which applied to Adam in his state of innocency have no application to his posterity to render them acceptable to God.
Gen. 3.15, John 8.56, Acts 4.12, Rom. 4.1-5, 2 Tim. 1.9, Titus 1.2, Heb. 1.1-2, 11.6,13
Outline of the Chapter
- Our need of a covenant
We humans need God’s kindness if we are to be saved. God has done this by making a covenant.
- The character of the covenant
Through this covenant - the ‘Covenant of Grace’ – God offers us salvation in Christ, and empowers us to believe His promise by the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
- The features of the covenant
The Gospel was first revealed to Adam, then progressively through the Old and into the New Testament. God’s grace to us is entirely dependent upon the prior commitment of the Father and the Son to save us (the ‘Covenant of Redemption’). There is no salvation by obeying the Law – only by trusting in Christ.
1. Read Conf. 1.1. Why can’t we save ourselves, and what is a ‘Covenant’?
2. Read Conf. 2.1. ‘What is the Covenant of Grace,’ and how do we see that spoken of in Genesis 3.15?
3. Pick out the features of this Covenant as it’s introduced in Gen. 3.15. How do we see Christ in it, and His Good News?
4. What are the terms of the Covenant which we must keep in order to be saved (Conf. 2.2), and how does God make that possible?
5. Check 1 Corinthians 15.20-22. How do these verses explain and commend God’s covenant faithfulness.
6. What have you learned about the Covenant today? Do you see God any differently, and if so, how?