The salvation that is promised to penitent sinners is referred to in Scripture as a “covenant”—the agreement that God enters into to save those who come to Him through Christ. This covenant is made up of many essential elements, including forgiveness of sin, life in the resurrection, and the gift of the Spirit. These are all different promises in that one work of salvation that touch the different areas of the believer’s life, each one focused on the person and work of Christ. Let us look through this kaleidoscope of grace and see the beauty of the work of Christ our redeemer—He is the Covenant.
When you find you have no righteousness, look to the covenant to furnish you: “For his name shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” When you find you have no strength, look to the covenant to furnish you, for it says, “My strength shall be perfect in thy weakness.” When you find you have no life or liveliness, look to the covenant to furnish you, for it says, “I am the resurrection and the life.” When you feel little of the Spirit’s influences, look to the covenant to furnish you, for it says, “I will pour water on him that is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground.” When you find you have much sin and guilt in and about you, look to the covenant for pardon, for it says, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for my name’s sake.”
When you find your lusts and corruptions to be powerful and prevalent, look to the covenant for mortification, for it says, “Sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” When you find little or no holiness taking place in your hearts and ways, look to this holy covenant, and it will make you more holy.
“When God enters in a covenant relationship with men, He sovereignly institutes a life-and-death bond.”—O. Palmer Robertson
(Adapted from Ralph Erskine, Works 1:186)