The Covenant of Redemption is one of the three theological covenants of
Covenant theology: the Covenant of Redemption, the Covenant of Works, and the Covenant of Grace. This Covenant of Redemption refers to the
covenant within the
Trinity which established the plan of
salvation, i.e. the agreement within the Godhead that the Father would appoint the Son to give up his life for mankind and that Jesus would do so (cf. Titus 1:1-3).
Although it is commonly called the "Covenant of Redemption," some have suggested that this wording is inappropriate as applied to the Godhead.^[
citation\ needed]^ There are a few reasons this has been suggested.
1 - Usually, the two sides of a covenant are not equal. Rather, the covenant is established by a sovereign person/nation with a lesser person/nation. Historically (as in the
Old Testament) a King would covenant with a nation he defeated. On page 4 of Dr. O. Palmer Robertson's book, "The Christ of the Covenants", he summarized this by defining a covenant as "a bond in blood
sovereignly administered." Since the persons of the
Trinity are equal, there is no particular sovereign in this "Agreement of Redemption."
2 - A covenant was instituted by blood because it was a sign of what would happen to the person breaking the covenant conditions. In this respect a
testament are different. A
testament is enacted when the person dies, in a
covenant the person dies if he fails to uphold his conditions. Although the Agreement of
Redemption was for
Jesus the Son to die, it was not because He violated requirements placed on Him.
3 - One of the reasons for making a covenant is the possibility of one of the parties breaking that
covenant. The Agreement of
Redemption never had the possibility of failing in any respect.
It is therefore sometimes referred to as the "Intra-trinitarian Covenant."