The Threefold Character Of The Covenant 

2 Samuel 23:5



When David looked to God's covenant, he found great solace for his soul in three distinct characteristics of it. He said, "The Lord hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure."

     THE COVENANT OF GRACE IS AN EVERLASTING COVENANT. It springs from the everlasting love of God for his elect (Jer. 31:3; John 17:23-24; Psa. 89:2-4). The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the Mediator and Surety of the covenant. It was made for us with him from the beginning, from everlasting, before ever the earth was made (Heb. 7:22; 8:6; Prov. 8:11-31). The promise of life in the covenant was made from eternity (Tit. 1:2). The blessings of the covenant were bestowed in eternity (Eph. 1:3). The salvation secured in the covenant is an eternal salvation (Rom. 8:29-30; II Tim. 1:9). As it is from everlasting, so also it is to everlasting. No matter what is done to God's elect, or done by them, God will not break his covenant nor alter the thing that is gone out of his lips (Psa. 89:30-37).

     THE COVENANT OF GRACE IS "ORDERED IN ALL THINGS". Everything in the covenant is ordered and orderly, being designed by God to fulfil a specific purpose or purposes. It is "ordered in all things" to secure the glory of the triune God, the Father for his purpose of grace (Eph. 1:3-6), the Son for his purchase of redemption (Eph. 1:7-12), and the Spirit for his operations of mercy (Eph. 1:13-14). And it is "ordered in all things" to secure the salvation of the chosen. All that was and is required for the accomplishment of our salvation was provided in the covenant from everlasting.

     THE COVENANT OF GRACE IS A SURE COVENANT. It is sure to Christ, our covenant Surety (Isa. 53:101-2). He shall surely see all his seed saved. The pleasure of the Lord will surely prosper in his hands. He will surely justify and give eternal life to all God's elect (John 17:2-5). The covenant is sure to all for whom it was made. All the promises of the covenant are yea and amen in Christ. All the blessings of the covenant are "the sure mercies of David" (Christ). It is a sure covenant because it is (1) founded upon the Word of God who cannot lie, (2) ratified by the blood of Christ who cannot fail, and (3) sealed by the Spirit's irrevocable seal.


Don Fortner