A Covenant of Common Grace (Genesis 6:18, 8:20-22)

Peter Barnes: ACovenant of Common Grace, Genesis 6:18, 8:20-22 (8 March 2020)

Adam failed – Rom.8:3. God then begins to unfold a series of
covenant, starting with a covenant of grace with Noah – Gen.6:18.
That is the first time we find the word ‘covenant’ in Scripture.
1. A sacrifice for sin.
– 8:20; Heb.11:7. This is found in Leviticus 1:9. God was pleased with
this sacrifice – Gen.8:21a.
– looks ahead to Eph.5:2. Calvin said that without that understanding,
this would just be ‘play-acting and gymnastics’. Look past the shadow
to Christ’s sacrifice.
2. A covenant of common grace.
(a) No more universal floods. 8:21 should remind us of Gen.6:5. What
has changed? Man's heart? No, not at all. It is still evil. Calvin
preached: ‘Why does he not send one {a flood} every year and every
day? It is certain we never stop angering him.’ See Ex.33:3; 34:9.
– Our 'never' may not mean much (Mark 14:31). Everybody rests on
God's 'never' (Gen.8:21). Christians rest on Christ's 'never' (John 10:28).
(b) An orderly sequence in nature.
– 8:22. This order did not just happen. Without this rhythm in life, we
could not survive. All creation praises Him (Psalm 104, 148).
3. This points to a yet greater covenant of grace.
– Isa.54:9-10. Isaiah is looking ahead to a greater covenant of peace
which is like the covenant with Noah but greater.
– John 6:47. Noah's covenant is yours and mine, but Christ's covenant
only belongs to us through repentance and faith. Yet it is as certain,
once God has drawn us to faith in Christ. The assurance is that the
judgment has passed, and life everlasting belongs to all who are in
Christ by faith.