Were you aware that God has made a contract with you?
This occurred to me recently as I was thinking about the most well known scripture in the Bible.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John chapter 3, verse 16)
But first, let me explain what a contract is, which I learned at university.
Three elements of a contract
There are three basic elements of any and all contracts. Without these an enforceable contract does not exist. They are:
● An offer
● Acceptance of the offer
● Consideration given to “seal the deal.”
To start a contract one person must make an offer to someone detailing what the contract will be about. The offer could be written or verbal, and when dealing with people and contracts, it’s always a good idea to have the terms of the contract in a written form.
The second stage of the contract is acceptance of the offer by those to whom the offer was made. This may be by signing on the dotted line, or it could be verbal and sealed with a handshake.
At this point though, the contract still has no legal validity until the third stage is completed: the giving of consideration.
Consideration is something of value that passes between the parties. It could be the supply of goods. It could be the paying of money or a deposit. It could be services rendered. Whatever it is, it must be something of value to the parties to make the contract effective and legal.
God’s offer to man
In the same way, God has made a contract with humanity for any that choose to take up His offer. His contract has the same three elements of offer, acceptance and consideration.
Think about John chapter 3, verse 16 again.
First, God has offered man a life in eternity with Him. Eternal life is “the offer” in God’s contract with man.
He has offered many other things as well to bring man into His fold. He offered to set man free from sin, to set man free from the law, to remove condemnation, and to give man the victory over the flesh. He has promised to pour out His Holy Spirit on all flesh so that man can be transformed into the image of God.
All of this is part of His offer to man.
The acceptance of God’s offer
Then we see the second part of the contract, which is the need for faith. It is those who believe in Christ who go to the next stage, which is “acceptance.”
When we accept Christ we are responding to God’s offer and so the beginnings of the contract are made.
But it is not complete until the third stage is set in place: consideration, or something of value being given.
Consideration in God’s contract
In a human contract the consideration does not have to be much at all to ratify the contract. In fact, there was a court case that established a single dollar was sufficient to execute the contract.
In my working life, I was involved in negotiating a contract between a government body and private corporation where there were millions of dollars on the line. The government body gave the corporation access to many acres of land to build an industrial plant using a lease agreement. How much was the lease for? One dollar for the term of the contract.
That was the consideration in that agreement worth tens of millions of dollars, and yet it was based on and executed with consideration of just one, lousy dollar!
But God is not like man. He did not give the minimal amount possible as consideration to seal His contract with mankind. No, He gave the most valuable “thing” in heaven and earth.
God gave His only begotten Son to die for our sins so that we could have the promise of eternal life.
When it comes to a “thing” of value, what is more valuable than your life? And what life was or will ever be more valuable than the life of Jesus Christ?
This was the “consideration” given by God, and all we need to do is accept His contract through faith to receive eternal life.
So we see that the New Covenant is actually a contract between man and God and it promises eternal life to those who will contract with Him. A contract signed in the precious blood of Jesus. A contract that offers eternal life, in exchange for sin. A contract of reconciliation and redemption, rather than guilt and condemnation.
Will you accept the offer made by God who gave the precious life of His Son as consideration so that you could receive salvation? Will you enter into this contract with God?
Since retiring from work, John Lemmon now spends his time teaching, preaching and writing about the word of God, online and offline, answering God's call on him to “Speak to my people.” You can connect with John on Twitter (@JohnBLemmon) or on his website: freegiftfromgod.com/ or listen to his podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/the-free-gift-from-god-podcast/id1440682375