Memorial OPC Adult Sunday School, Spring 2008
A Brief Overview of Covenant Theology

(Using as a guide - Covenants: God's Way with His People, by O. Palmer Robertson) 

Part 4, March 30, 2008


The Noahic Covenant

Who Are the Parties to the 'Noahic Covenant'?
  1. Gen 9:9-12 speaks of God's covenant not only with Noah but also with his offspring and with all the living creatures for all future generations. A covenant that includes animals? cf. Jeremiah 33:20,25.
  2. Gen 6:18 speaks of God's covenant with Noah in particular, and specifies that what God is promising to undertake in this covenant is to save Noah and his household.
  3. Thesis: God's covenant with Noah was an administration of the one covenant of grace wherein God (1) graciously saved a chosen remnant of the human race; and (2) made a
    promise of forbearance to all living creatures, though to the eternal benefit of the elect
    only. 
Man's Condition: Overwhelming Sin and Misery
  1. WCF 7.1: "The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto Him as their Creator, yet they never could have any fruition of him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which He hath been pleased to express by way of covenant." Even prior to man's fall into sin and misery, a covenant was necessary for man to be blessed. How much more so after man's fall into sin and misery!
  2. Sinfulness. The first Biblical exposition of the condition of total depravity is very profound. (6:5) While there is a degree of external or civil righteousness maintained - see 9:6! - the heart is desperately wicked.
  3. Misery. 

The Noahic Covenant is A Covenant of Grace: God Graciously Saves Some
  1. Was Noah saved because his righteousness merited it? (6:8-9)
  2. The particularity of God's salvation is mega-highlighted. Eight souls of all the race are saved. (1 Peter 3:21).
  3. Noah was saved through trusting the word of God.

God Promised Forbearance
  1. God renewed his blessing and mandate to man to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. In order that this blessing and mandate might be established. God provided several things:
  2. What is the purpose of God's forbearance?
  3. How are we to relate to others during this present period of God's forbearance in judgment?