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 CovenantWho Are the Parties to the 'Noahic Covenant'?
Man's Condition: Overwhelming Sin and Misery
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.
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.
- 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
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!
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.
father wanted relief from God's curse upon the ground and rest from the
toilsomeness of labor. Therefore he named his son "Rest." (5:29) Was
his wish a man-centered wish?
- Also in the surrounding context
of the Noahic covenant, there came the single greatest manifestation of
the holy judgment of God that there has ever been in history, apart
from the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The Noahic Covenant is A Covenant of Grace: God Graciously Saves Some
- Was Noah saved because his righteousness merited it? (6:8-9)
- The particularity of God's salvation is mega-highlighted. Eight souls of all the race are saved. (1 Peter 3:21).
- Noah was saved through trusting the word of God.
God Promised Forbearance
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:
- What is the purpose of God's forbearance?
- How are we to relate to others during this present period of God's forbearance in judgment?