Laws of Representation


Hebrews 7:22   ...  Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.

The role of the representative is critical to understand our covenant with God
In human affairs a representative acts on our behalf, and so makes us present where we cannot personally be.


A covenant (Hebrew berith, Greek diatheke) is a legal agreement between two or more parties. 
A covenant is a contract or agreement between two or more parties.  
Covenant is how God has chosen to communicate to us, to redeem us, and to guarantee us eternal life in Jesus.  

A Biblical covenant is a sacred agreement between God and a person or group of people.
God sets specific conditions, and He promises to bless us as we obey those conditions.
When we choose not to keep covenants, we cannot receive the blessings.
In some instances we suffer a penalty as a consequence of our disobedience.

There is a common pattern to the covenants found in the Bible.  

Basically, it is as follows.  

1.   The initiating party describes himself and what He has done.
2.   Then there is a list of obligations between the two (or more) parties.  
3.   What follows is the section dealing with rewards and punishments that govern the keeping and breaking of the covenant.  
4.   Covenants have signs that represent the covenant promises.  

Covenants can be conditional or non-conditional

A conditional covenant might depend on the faithfulness of one more parties, and the covenant is invalidated should one or both break the conditions. 
An example of this is the Adamic Covenant where God promised Adam eternal life if Adam remained obedient to God's word. 

An unconditional covenant is one that is not dependent on the faithfulness of the parties, but remains valid. 
The Noahic Covenant (Noah – now-u) is unconditional in that it is God's promise to never destroy the earth again by water. 
There is no condition for the covenant.

All covenants in the Bible between God and man are originated by God and are an act of his grace.

Covenant Signs

Covenants have signs that represent the covenant promises.  

·        The Adamic Covenant was made between God and Adam, where Adam would have everlasting life based on obedience to God (Gen. 1:28-30; 2:15).  The sign was the Tree of Life (Gen. 2:9).
·        The Noahic Covenant (Noah – now-u) was between God and Noah (now-u) and was the promise by God to never destroy the earth again by a flood (Gen. 9:11).  The sign of the covenant is the rainbow (Gen. 9:13).
·        The Mosaic Covenant was between God and the Israelites, where they would be a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6), and the sign of the covenant was the tablets of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 24:12).
·        The New Covenant is between Christ and his church and consists of obtaining eternal salvation.  The covenant sign is baptism (Col. 2:11-12) with the continued participation in the covenant via the Lord's Supper (1 Cor. 11:25).


Covenant making between people groups was very common in the Old Testament Bible days.
It was mostly for protection.
When a weaker group entered into a covenant with a stronger group, the stronger group was bound by covenant to protect the weaker group.
Covenants can be entered into either by individuals or by groups of people such as families, tribes, clans, etc.
We also see this carried out in other parts of the world such as Africa and South America.

A representative is essential when a covenant is entered into between more than two people at one side.
When a group of people are prepared to enter into a blood-covenant with another group or individual, they will select a man from among them to "represent" them in the covenant making.
This person becomes the "representative" for the entire group.

Who is a “representative”?

1.   The representative is one who stands in the place of another, and is authorized to act or speak on the behalf of the others.
2.   This person must be enough like the others in the group to serve as an example or type of the group members.
3.   This person must know the needs and desires of those he represented and he spoke as and for them to the other party of the covenant.
4.   The representative had to be of the same blood as the family, or group, he was representing and was known as the guarantor of the covenant.
5.   Because the representative had made the covenant, the people whom he represented were also in the covenant.
6.   The representative as well as the people was bound to obey the terms and conditions of the covenant and enjoy the blessings (or curses for violation).
7.   It was his job to see that all the promises and terms of the covenant were kept.

Identified with the people

When the representative entered into a blood-covenant with another, the people he represents were said to be "in him".
He is acting on their behalf as a "substitute" for them.
He is a substitute in the sense that the people need not enter in the covenant personally again.

The representative has perfectly "identified" with the group he represents.
Therefore, the group and the guarantor are acting and speaking "as one" in the covenant making process.

So, when two tribes come together to make a blood-covenant between them they both send forth their representatives.
When the covenant ceremony is completed the two tribes are now in union with each other and are seen "as one" to the rest of the world.

Jesus was our representative in the Covenant of Grace with God


The Adamic Covenant was made between God and Adam.
Adam would have everlasting life based on obedience to God (Gen. 1:28-30; 2:15). 
The sign was the Tree of Life (Gen. 2:9).

Adam stood in this covenant as a representative man to the whole human beings.
This is teaching us that Adam is a representative head.

Adam representing all human beings entered into a covenant with God.
Adam, the representative, broke the covenant.
Through Adam came the punishment for breaking the covenant to all human beings.

1 Corinthians 15: 45  So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. (NIV)

Romans 5: 12  "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.

The transgression was from one man, Adam.
And death reigned through Adam.
Adam is the source of death.


After Adam the next important covenant about the future of Man was made with Abraham.
From Abraham started a new covenant of blessing through faith
God selected Abraham as representative man to all human beings and tested his faith in Him.

Abraham was asked to sacrifice his only son as a burned offering.
Abraham had only one son.
His only son was the fulfillment of God’s promise to him that Abraham’s descendents will be as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sand in the shore.

That means, the representative Abraham was asked to sacrifice as a burned offering his only son and through him all his descendents as many as the stars and the sand.

In Hebrews it says that, Abraham, by faith, sacrificed his son and through him all his descendants were sacrificed.
When Abraham sacrificed his son, we were “in” Abraham and “in” his only son.
Abraham is our covenant representative and Isaac (his son) is our representative for the descendents of Abraham

Hebrews 11: 17   By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, (NIV)

Romans 4: 3  What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”  (NIV)

Genesis 15:6  Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Galatians 3: 6 - 9
So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.
Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”
So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. (NIV)

Galatians 3: 14   He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.


In human affairs a representative acts on our behalf, and so makes us present where we cannot personally be.
Christ is a representative to man.

Jesus always has represented and always shall represent his people before the face of God, the throne of grace and the judgment seat.
He stands for us, and we are always present in him.
This means we are chosen in him, accepted in him, righteous in him, glorious in him.
Whatever He is before God, He is for us.
And so we are complete in him.

Adam was the first representative man who entered into a covenant with God.
When Adam broke the covenant by disobedience, the entire human beings who were “in him” broke the covenant.
So all men fell from the grace of God into the punishment for sin.

In order to fix this situation, God had to find a way to restore mankind.
His solution to the problem was:

·        Finding a human that was as holy as God Himself and one without sin
·        He could represent the human family as a covenant "representative" and enter into a covenant relationship with the Father.   


The Scripture declares that Jesus is the Word that became wrapped in flesh and became part of the human family.
As such He would grow and experience every aspect of human life just as we do.
He would experience everything a child experiences, a teenager experiences, a grown man would experience.

Jesus also had His free will to choose just as we do.
He experienced all the temptations, the pains, the emotions, the distresses, the joys, the privations and the limitations, everything that we experience through our lives.
Yet He made the choice not to yield to the temptations and sin.

He perfectly identified with humanity, as a part of the human family, and yet did it without sinning.
Jesus became the perfect representative for the human family.
In order to do this He had to give up all the attributes of His being God when He came to the earth and live as a mere mortal human.

If He hadn't, He could not be that perfect human that would become the representative for the human family.
But the whole human family was in sin.
There is no meaning in making a covenant between a holy God and a sinful race of man.
Moreover Jesus, a human being without sin is not a perfect representative for a sinful race.
So Jesus had to do two things that had to be done before this covenant making could be completed.

·        Pay the penalty for sin in the human family
·        Break the power of Satan and sin over the human family

A representative

Christ’s work is on behalf of us (hyper) not always instead of us (anti).

Christ stands as our representative in the larger area of our life.
Jesus is our substitute (replacement) as the sacrificial lamb for the atonement of our sin.
The sacrifice of Jesus is very important, but does not cover the whole area of works done by Jesus.

1 Corinthians 15: 3, 4
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

The death of Jesus Christ was a substitute sacrifice for sin.
We need not offer any more sacrifices for the atonement of our sin.
It is done once and for ever.

When Jesus was dying on the cross, He was at the same time:

1.   The man who offer the sacrifice
2.   The sacrificial lamb
3.   The High Priest of the sacrifice.

A substitute work is once for all.
We need not repeat it again, because a substitute is already provided.

 ·        We need not offer a sacrifice for sin again
·        We need no other sacrificial lamb
·        We need no high priest for a sacrifice

Jesus our representative

Romans 6:10   The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

Jesus died to sin, not as a substitute, but as a representative.
The verse does not mean that we shall not have to die in sin (substitute).
It rather says that we should and can die in sin, because our representative died to sin. (representative).


Jesus is our representative in the covenant with God
We were “in Jesus” when He made the covenant

Jesus is our representative means:

We can and should live like Him

So that the blessings according to covenant will come to us.

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