Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. – John 4:34
“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me…For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me…I have come in my Father’s name…” – John 4:30, 36b, 43a
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” – John 6:37-40
” No one takes it (my life) from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” – John 10:18
“Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him… I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” – John 17:1b-2,4-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will…” – Ephesians 1:3-6
…God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began… – 2 Timothy 1:8-9
Most of these passages above speak of Jesus doing the will of the Father. Others identify the time when this will was made known, before the foundation of the world, before the ages began. Jesus prays for the glory he had with the Father before the world existed. Unfortunately, my space is limited to share many more passages in both Old and New Testaments that speak of this agreement within the Trinity. It was the promise of the Father to give a people to the Son. It was also the will of the Father for the Son to die to redeem what he knew would be fallen creatures. The Holy Spirit agreed to apply the salvation that was purchased by the Son to the redeemed.
There is admittedly some controversy among theologians about calling this agreement-before-time a covenant. I won’t take the space to discuss that, only to acknowledge its existence. I believe all the elements of a covenant are here. Promises were made among the persons of the Trinity. Conditions existed for the blessing. The Son had to fully obey God’s law to earn the salvation of those given to him by the Father. For Jesus, our salvation was a matter of works so that for us it is a matter of grace.
The pre-time covenant of redemption can be defined as “the covenant established in eternity between the Father, who gives the Son to be Redeemer of the elect and requires of him the conditions for their redemption; and the Son, who voluntarily agrees to fulfill these conditions; and the Spirit, who voluntarily applies the work of the Son to the elect.” (From Sacred Bond by Michael G. Brown and Zach Keele)
Recognition of this pre-time covenant has done several things for me that I think you will appreciate as well.
- It has deepened my personal sense of security knowing that my name was written in the lamb’s book of life before the foundation of the world as one of those given to the Son by the Father. (Rev. 21:27)
- It has increased my sense of security about the world in which we live. All that exists was created to carry out this pre-time covenant among the Trinity for the purpose of glorifying the Trinity. Therefore I can be confident that this world will not spin out of control. Wars and rumors of wars (the nightly news) do not disrupt my life.
- This pre-time covenant is the foundation for all covenants that were made in time. All of the other covenants play a role in carrying forward the Biblical narrative created by this pre-time covenant. This covenant establishes the framework for understanding the entire storyline of Scripture. Before I understood the role of covenant, the storyline of Scripture for me didn’t make as much sense. Now I find it to be one wonderfully coherent story from beginning to end. This has helped me immensely to understand the Bible.
If you would like to delve more deeply into the subject of the Biblical covenants, I recommend reading Sacred Bond. You can click on the image below and be taken to Amazon where you can purchase a copy.