The one that is justified before Jehovah is then counted right or justified that he might be a part of the great sacrifice of God’s beloved Son Jesus, to the end that he might be a part of the mystery class and ultimately reign with Christ. The next thing indicated by the Scriptures is the begetting of such a one as a new creature. Begetting means the beginning. The begetting of the new creature, then, means the beginning of a newness of life. When justified by Jehovah, there results to him the right to live as a human being on earth, and this is what he immediately sacrifices. At the same time Jehovah begets him to a hope of life upon the high or heavenly plane, because he is called to a “high calling”, a “heavenly calling”. (Philippians 3:14; Hebrews 3:1) This begetting is in the nature of a contract or an agreement. Covenant is also a word used for contract. In order to make a contract there must be two or more parties, and there must be a consideration passing from one to the other. Where there are mutual promises, made on both sides, this is sufficient consideration. We will name the one whom we have been discussing as coming to justification Honest Heart.
Honest Heart presents himself to the Lord Jesus the high priest, fully surrendering himself and agreeing to do the will of God. There is the promise on his part, then, and he is one party to the contract through his advocate, the Lord Jesus. And when Christ Jesus the high priest presents him to the Father, Jehovah, the Lord Jehovah in substance says to Honest Heart: ’In consideration of the fact that you have turned away from the wrongful course, and have come to Jesus, and have made a full surrender of yourself in consecration, thereby exercising faith in his blood shed for you and your faith in my plan; and in consideration of the further fact that my beloved Son has imputed to you his merit to make you acceptable before me, I accept you and determine that you are right or justified, and accepting you as a part of his sacrifice, I give to you my exceeding great and precious promises that by these you might become partaker of the divine nature’.—2 Peter 1:4.
This is in harmony with St. James’ statement: “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures”. (James 1:18) The Psalmist shows that this begetting is in the nature of a contract when he says: “Gather my saints together unto me; those who have made a covenant [contract] with me by sacrifice”. (Psalm 50:5) Honest Heart now being begotten has the promise of life upon the highest plane, the divine nature. He is begotten to a new hope of life. St. Peter thus writes: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a hope of life by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved