2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
The acts of God can be divided into two.
1. The external acts of God. The external acts of God are visible to us as they are done in time and we are creatures of time. These are his creation; providence and the redemption are external acts of God.
2. The internal acts of God. These acts of God are not visible to us; they are not done during our time, but in eternity. These were mysteries that were hidden before and now being revealed to us. Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself. (Eph 1:9)
Election is an internal act of God as it happened in eternity; the elect were in Christ in eternity therefore it was an internal act of God.
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Internal acts of God belong to his divine mind. There were operations and transactions involved among the godhead, with in the Trinity. These operations and transactions were in reference to the salvation of men.
Ps 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
The covenant of grace was an internal act of God as it was done in eternity. The covenant of grace is a compact or agreement made from all eternity among the divine Persons. It was established in the heavens before time.
Ps 89:2 For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.
3 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,
4 Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.
5 And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. (See Revelation 5:11-12)
Ps 89:28 My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.
29 His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.
The saints, the elect the church will come from the seed of Christ, the Messiah.
Ge 3:15 And I will put enmity (hatred) between thee and the woman, and between thy seed (offspring of Satan) and her seed (offspring of Christ); it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (See the offspring of Satan in John 8:44)
Ps 103:17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;
18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
Who planned redemption, the reconciliation? It was God the Father; he planned the reconciliation of men in council, designed it in covenant, and settled it with the other two persons; and he is not only the designer, but also directed the rules and directions in the covenant and took the authority. The command of the covenant was laid on Christ, and Christ took the office of the mediator of the covenant.
Joh 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Joh 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
Joh 14:31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
The covenant of the people was given to Christ.
In a marriage there is a covenant between the husband and wife, the marriage is rooted on this covenant relationship, you will love your mate in no matter what circumstances you will be in, rich or poor, happy or sad, in good health and sickness there is a love in that covenant relationship, in the same way God gave Christ the church before the foundation of the world. The church like any other unbelievers fell into sin, but Christ came to seek and to save them as God made a covenant for a people. Those people belong to Christ, he is the husband and he loves the church. The elect were lost, Christ came to open their eyes, we were prisoners to Satan and sin, in darkness, but Christ came to bring us from darkness to light.
Isa 42:6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
Isa 49:7 Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.
8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages.
Ac 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 18:10)
Christ is the covenant of grace, he is the first and the last in it, the sum and substance of it; he is everything, ALL in ALL in it.
Christ is the head of the church.
Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Eph 5:23; Col 1:18)
As the head of the church he nourishes the church supplies the grace to the church.
Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh.
Christ is the mediator of the covenant
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Heb 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
Heb 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Christ is the Testator Of The Covenant.
We saw the covenant of grace was an internal act of God. Gods will is sovereign and absolutely true, will not change. God was not obligated to make this covenant and he did it freely on his own council. This covenant executed in the form of a document in writing where he declares his will. This document is called the Testament. That is why we have the Old Testament and the New Testament. The difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament only the administration is changed, but the substance remains the same. In the Old administration there were the ceremonials laws, these were the shadows pointing to Christ, when Christ came you do not need the shadows anymore, as he was the fulfillment. In the Old administration the covenant of grace was limited to a certain people in a certain country, worshipping at a certain place, and sacrificing on the same altar. With the coming of Christ the covenant of grace was extended to all nations, there was no certain place as the altar is Christ himself.
The word testator comes from the word testament. What is the meaning of the testament? It is a document that is being executed by a person declaring his will. A testator is a man who makes and leaves a will at death.
God the Father declared his will in the covenant of grace. In a will, there are persons involved. Christ is the testator and all the elect the spiritual seed are given to him as his portion and inheritance.
De 32:9 For the LORD'S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.
Ps 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Lu 22:29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me.
Christ is the testator. All the elect from around the world become his people and shall reap the blessings of the covenant of grace for the glory of God.
The testaments or will are sealed and signed. The covenant that God made with Abraham had a sign and that was circumcision, but circumcision was not the seal of the covenant of grace, it was the seal to Abraham that he should be the father of believing Gentiles. The circumcision was not the seal of the covenant of grace, nor baptism is not the seal of the covenant of grace. The Holy Spirit gives assurance to the Lords people and seals them up to the day of redemption.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.
The blood of Christ is the seal of this testament by which it is confirmed as is called the blood of the New Testament.
Mt 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant.
In concluding, why did he give the covenant of grace to save any of mankind? Why did he give his only begotten Son Jesus Christ? Why did he look upon us and send us the Savior? Why did he give us the Bible, the word of God? Why is it that God saves only some and not the others? There is only one answer to all these questions and that is for His sovereign pleasure. Sovereign pleasure of God is his absolute, independent will.
What should be our attitude toward these great, marvelous deep, treasures of doctrine? There is only one word, and that is humility. Let me tell you either these doctrines can puff you up in the head and now you have learned all these you will see everyone inferior to you or it will truly humble you and you will come down to the level of the others who do not see these doctrines as you were one time and pray for them, and teach them the truth in love. True humility will produce love. Love is patience. God does not want any flesh to glorify in his presence. We should adore him with all possible humility and reverence. Now we have more reason to love God who has given us such great unspeakable mercy. We are worthless little creatures like a worm in the dust; we should feel that we are nothing, nothing less than nothing in comparison to the Majesty of heaven who had given us grace, mercy and wisdom of these great true doctrines.