The Messianic Covenant -- By: Ken M. Campbell

Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 15:3 (Summer 1972)
Article: The Messianic Covenant
Author: Ken M. Campbell

The Messianic Covenant

Ken M. Campbell*

The story of the Bible is the account of the accomplishment of God’s eternal plan, despite the fall, to form a people for eternal communion with Himself. That plan, of course, centers on the work, in time and space, of God’s own Son, who before the foundation of the world offered Himself as an obedient Son to redeem His chosen people. He who was eternally God the Son was born the Servant of the Lord (Isaiah), the head of his people (Paul), the representative of the new humanity.

The Messianic covenant was established in order to undo the consequences of the breaking of Adam’s covenant, by restoring man to fellowship with God through identification with the second Adam in his death and resurrection. By union with Christ, the great covenant keeper, man may again experience union and communion with his Maker and Redeemer.

Already in the delay of final judgment1 on Adam and his seed in Genesis 3 we observe the grace of God in operation. This ‘common’ grace of God is the prologue to the proto-evangelium in Genesis 3:15, which offers the first intimation in Scripture that God will intervene and Himself provide another Adam—the Son of Man, the Last Adam.

In Romans 5:12–21, Paul draws an analogy between the first and second Adams. He declares that Adam is the federal head of the human race, and that ‘through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, for that all sinned’ (Rom. 5:12). Sin was imputed to all men because all sinned in Adam. However, ‘if by the trespass of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God, and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound unto the many’ (Rom. 5:15). ‘So, then, as through one trespass the judgment came unto all men unto condemnation, even so through the one act of righteousness the free gift came unto all men to justification of life. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous’ (Rom. 5:18–19).

Paul’s argument is patently dear. One man, Adam, was appointed representative head of the human race; he sinned, and by this one act

*Graduate student at Westminster Theological Seminary.

of rebellion, all who are in him are accounted guilty and condemned. S...

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