One reason we do not believe that the covenant is an agreement or contract by which salvation is brought to God’s people has to do with the consummation of the covenant. The consummation of the covenant is its final realization and glory in the. everlasting and heavenly kingdom of Christ our Lord.
If the covenant is a contract or agreement to bring salvation, then at the consummation, when we receive the fullness of our salvation, the covenant is cast aside and discarded in the same way that any other contract would be finished and done with when all that had been contracted was completed.
But this cannot be. For one thing the covenant is everlasting. It is not something that is only useful for a time and then cast aside as a contract or agreement would be. It must, then, be something other.
We insist, therefore, that the covenant is a relationship or bond between God and His people in Christ. That relationship is described in Scripture by the covenant formula: “I will be your God and ye shall be my people.”
If that is indeed the essence of the covenant, that God is ours and we are His, then in heaven the covenant will not be left behind or set aside but fully realized. That is what heaven is all about--that we will be with God to glorify Him and to enjoy Him forever.
And that is exactly how Revelation 21:3 describes the glory of the new heavens and the new earth. When all is new there will be no more tears, no more death, no more crying or sorrow or pain. How wonderful that will be!
But even more wonderful is that which the voice from heaven foretells: “Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God.”
Notice that this passage has in it the same covenant formula that is used throughout Scripture: “I will be your God, and ye shall be my people.” There is nothing more desirable or wonderful than that!
Notice, too, that the passage speaks of God’s tabernacle. In the OT that was the place of His covenant, the place where He dwelled with His people and revealed Himself as their God (Ex. 29:42-46).
That OT tent was a type and shadow of better things, for it pictured the Lord Jesus Christ himself in whom and through whom God dwells with us and is our God, and by whom He reveals Himself to us in all His glory. In Christ He meets with us and speaks with us. In Christ He dwells among us. In Christ we know Him as the Lord our God.
- Volume: 9
- Issue: 4
Rev. Ronald Hanko (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: November 1979
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1979; Trinity, Houston, TX - 1986; Missionary to N.Ireland - 1993; Lynden, WA - 2002Website: www.lyndenprc.org/sermons/
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