A Question About Covenant Keeping

Status
Not open for further replies.

Tom77

Puritan Board Freshman
This question is for presbyterians or anyone who knows presbyterianism well.

The question is: Is the elect, regenerate member of the covenant of grace (covenant of life aspect) [b:287a9108c7]required[/b:287a9108c7] to "keep covenant" by faith and evangelical obedience in order to "stay in" the covenant?

Now, this is NOT a question about whether the regenerate covenant member [b:287a9108c7]will[/b:287a9108c7] keep covenant. That is quite clear. The question is whether he [b:287a9108c7]must[/b:287a9108c7]. It's about what ought to be (ethical), not what will be (ontological).

Covenant membership in the internal / "covenant of life" aspect is the means of union with Christ, the covenant head. The covenantal relationship is THE relationship between God and His people.

So, to restate the question, are the works God produces in the believer (covenant faithfulness) necessary to keep the believer in the covenantal union?

If not, then explain why covenant faithfulness is required for members of the "purely legal arrangement" and not for those in the "covenant of life."





[Edited on 2-4-2004 by Tom77]
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:b3b34ad981]
So, to restate the question, are the works God produces in the believer (covenant faithfulness) necessary to keep the believer in the covenantal union?
[/quote:b3b34ad981]

I'll give it a shot. No, obedience is not required to stay in the covenant because all that was required for our salvation was accomplished in Christ. But, obedience is required morally because we as God's holy people love and obey His law and seek to please our heavenly Father. Our obedience is done through the work of the Spirit, and therefore even our staying in the covenant is a gift or grace from God.
 

Tom77

Puritan Board Freshman
I agree with everything you say except for what you say in the quotation below.

[quote:f581475b3b]
No, obedience is not required to stay in the covenant because all that was required for our salvation was accomplished in Christ.
[/quote:f581475b3b]

Does not presbyterian theology teach that sanctification is a "condition" of the covenant of grace?

Berkhof says, "If in our purview we include not only the beginning, but also the gradual unfolding and completion of the covenant life, [b:f581475b3b]we may regard sanctification as a condition in addition to faith[/b:f581475b3b]. Both are conditions, however, within the covenant" (Systematic Theology, 280-281).
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
It is a condition because it is an instrumental part to accomplishing the rest, not a condition in the sense that man must perform it on his own. Salvation ultimately is unconditional.
 

Tom77

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:ea90e42eb9]
It is a condition because it is an instrumental part to accomplishing the rest,
[/quote:ea90e42eb9]

Accomplishing the rest of what?

[quote:ea90e42eb9]
not a condition in the sense that man must perform it on his own.
[/quote:ea90e42eb9]

That man must perform it on his own is not in dispute. But how does the fact that man does not perform "faith" or "faithfulness" on his own mean that "faith" and "faithfulness" are not "conditions?"

[quote:ea90e42eb9]
Salvation ultimately is unconditional.
[/quote:ea90e42eb9]

Really? [b:ea90e42eb9]Must[/b:ea90e42eb9] we not fulfill conditions? Is that what the Bible teaches?

"but the one who ENDURES to the end will be saved" (Mk 13:13).

"Pursue . . . SANCTIFICATION without which none will see the Lord" (Heb 12:14)

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his DEEDS in the body, according to what he has DONE, whether good or bad" (2 Cor 5:10).

We are the house of Christ "IF we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope in Him firm until the end" (Heb 3:6).

"We have become partakers of Christ IF we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end" (Heb 3:14).

"Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through the same example of DISOBEDIENCE" (Heb 4:11).

"and it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean for the fine linen is the righteous ACTS of the saints" (Rev 19:18).

"and they were judged every one of them according to their DEEDS" (Rev 20:"13).

[b:ea90e42eb9]Are there no conditions of covenant keeping?[/b:ea90e42eb9]







[Edited on 2-4-2004 by Tom77]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Tom,

Please be patient with me. I will reply to you this evening. This is the crux of the distinction between historic covenantal theology and the Federal Vision. Until I can give a short distilled answer (which will be much indebted to the thought of Dr. Ligon Duncan), I suggest that you take a look at the symposium documents on the Federal Vision at the kox presbyterian web site:

http://www.knoxseminary.org/Prospective/Faculty/Colloquium/

Blessings,
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
Tom,

I believe the Bible teaches that faith is the condition of the covenant. I believe this because Romans 11 tells us that it was because of unbelief that Israel was cut off from the root. Likewise, Paul warns us that although we stand by faith now, we should keep believing, otherwise we will be cut off as well. The New Covenant, like all other covenants, is conditional.

Now, as far as good works are concerned, we all know that faith without works is dead. A faith that does not produce good works is not saving faith. So in that sense, we can also consider works a condition, but only if we see them as being the result of faith.

And yes, the elect are required to keep the covenant, just as they are also required to believe the gospel. Salvation is conditional, and to deny this is the seed of hyper-Calvinism. If salvation is only unconditional, then Christ need not have died.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
[quote:af074edfb4][i:af074edfb4]Originally posted by Tom77[/i:af074edfb4]
I agree with everything you say except for what you say in the quotation below.

[quote:af074edfb4]
No, obedience is not required to stay in the covenant because all that was required for our salvation was accomplished in Christ.
[/quote:af074edfb4]

Does not presbyterian theology teach that sanctification is a "condition" of the covenant of grace?

Berkhof says, "If in our purview we include not only the beginning, but also the gradual unfolding and completion of the covenant life, [b:af074edfb4]we may regard sanctification as a condition in addition to faith[/b:af074edfb4]. Both are conditions, however, within the covenant" (Systematic Theology, 280-281). [/quote:af074edfb4]

You may wish to read all of Berkof's chapter on this topic.
"There is in the covenant of grace no conditoin that can be considered as meritorious. The sinner is exhorted to repent and believe, but this faith and repentence do not in any way merit the blessing of the covenant... Niether is it conditional in the sense that man is expected to perform in his own strength what the covenant requires of him. In placing him before the demands of the covenant, we must always remind him of the fact that he can obtain the necessary strength fro teh performance of his duty only from God. In a sense it may be said that God Himself fulfills the condition in the elect..."
"If we consider the basis of the covenant, it is clearly conditional on the suretyship of Jesus Christ."
"Again, it may be said that the covenant is conditional as far as the first conscious entrance into the covenant as a real communion of life is concerned. This entrance is contingent on faith, a faith, however which is itself a gift of God... It is only through faith that we can obtain an conscious enjoyment of the blessings of the covenant." (ST 280)

So these "conditions" when met do not secure anything eternally or maintain our place in the covenant since that is done by Christ. They only are necessary to our conscious enjoyment of the covenant, at least according to Berkof.

[Edited on 2-4-2004 by puritansailor]
 

Tom77

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:62f2b12d49]
So these "conditions" when met do not secure anything eternally or maintain our place in the covenant since that is done by Christ. They only are necessary to our conscious enjoyment of the covenant
[/quote:62f2b12d49]

Right. I agree with Berkhof. So, how does keeping covenant conditions that don't secure anything but our conscious enjoyment relate to our passing on judgment day, which is apparently according to works? Or are the two things (covenant keeping and judgment day) totally unrelated?






[Edited on 2-4-2004 by Tom77]
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Tom:
A change in heart will, and ought to, result in a change in actions. So it is with someone who truly has faith. He will not automatically do everything right, but he will continue to submit more and more, as he comes to understand and mature in faith. So faith results in different works that can be noticed or observed. These will show that one has faith. They may be meagre at first, and may not pass the judgment of some of us maybe, but they are works that God is pleased with nevertheless, for they are of faith.

So we see that works are a condition [u:f766062778]of[/u:f766062778] a faith unto salvation, not a condition [u:f766062778]for[/u:f766062778] salvation. They merit us nothing, but they are indicators of the faith we do have.
 

Tom77

Puritan Board Freshman
So, is faith the ONLY condition of keeping covenant in the covenant of grace?

Was this true in the OT administrations of the covenant of grace? All the Israelites had to do to keep covenant was to believe? No works were required?

I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt... (Grace)
1. You shall have no gods before me. (command and covenant requirement?)
2. You shall not...
etc...
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
Keep in mind the distinction between the trascendant and the historical. From the transcendental perspective, Christ's perfect redemptive work in the Covenant of Redemption has secured infallibly the salvation of the elect. From this perspective you can say that salvation is unconditional. We did not do anything to merit our election. From the historical perspective, our works are very important to keeping the covenant, since good works are the result of true, saving faith. Thus, I believe the final judgment and covenant keeping are related. In the historical perspective, salvation is conditional.
 

Tom77

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:39de933d24]
Keep in mind the distinction between the trascendant and the historical. From the transcendental perspective, Christ's perfect redemptive work in the Covenant of Redemption has secured infallibly the salvation of the elect. From this perspective you can say that salvation is unconditional. We did not do anything to merit our election. From the historical perspective, our works are very important to keeping the covenant, since good works are the result of true, saving faith. Thus, I believe the final judgment and covenant keeping are related. In the historical perspective, salvation is conditional.
[/quote:39de933d24]

Is this what classical and mainline Presbyterians/Covenant Theologians believe? Do you know of any works in which this is discussed explicitly?

From a historical perspective, works are necessary to keep covenant and to pass on judgment day?

I was thinking more along the lines of "cause" and "effect," rather than transcendent and historical, but I think they are almost exactly the same idea. God in Christ causes the elect to believe and to obey. The "effect" is that the elect do believe and obey.

God causes the effect of belief and obedience, but He also REQUIRES it by way of covenant.





[Edited on 2-4-2004 by Tom77]
 

luvroftheWord

Puritan Board Sophomore
To be honest, my discussion of transcendent/historical perspectives is something I've developed on my own as a way to try to explain things, having been influenced by Frame's tri-perspectival view of knowledge. I suppose you could call my view a dual-perspectival view of history.

Again, as far as works are concerned, works in and of themselves count for nothing because without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11). But they are very important because genuine faith must of necessity produce good works. Otherwise, faith is dead, and dead faith never saved anybody.
 

Tom77

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:1d10c65b77]
Again, as far as works are concerned, works in and of themselves count for nothing because without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11). But they are very important because genuine faith must of necessity produce good works. Otherwise, faith is dead, and dead faith never saved anybody.
[/quote:1d10c65b77]

I completely agree with you. And, this point is crucially important. Well said.
 

Tom77

Puritan Board Freshman
So... This question is to anyone. HOW do presbyterians relate covenantal obedience to the judgment day? Is it connected in any way to the dual aspect of the covenant? If not, then how are judgment day and the covenant of grace related?
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Tom:
[quote:f73ff6b435]So, is faith the ONLY condition of keeping covenant in the covenant of grace? [/quote:f73ff6b435]
What do you mean by "condition"? Do mean, "My car is in excellent condition" or, "You can borrow my car on one condition."?

If you mean the second exclusively, then faith is not a condition of covenant keeping, for you can neither earn entrance, nor earn upkeep of that membership. That is not how faith works; or to be more exact, that is not how "perseverance of the saints" works. If we relied on our own efforts, we could not stay in the Covenant very long.

Faith is a gift of God that works in us to do and to will the works that the Father desires from us. They are more of a surrender than they are a positive action of any kind that is meritorious. Learning the faith is the same as living it, if it is taken to heart. It is a result, not a cause. The cause is God working in us to do His will.

This is the strength of the Baptist's affirmation in the sign baptism. They look for the qualities that show that a person is saved. This is what they insist on in all their discussions on this Board. They don't look at how hard someone is trying, because that doesn't necessarily mean election has been ascertained. They look for the conditions of faith. And it is for that reason, if not more, that we are so close to them as Presbyterians, for we do so too.

(This is just for example purposes, to demonstrate how faith [u:f73ff6b435]is[/u:f73ff6b435] a condition of faith in the right way. I hope I didn't misrepresent anything. This is how I understand it. )
 

Tom77

Puritan Board Freshman
By "condition," I mean necessarily and logically antecedent to fulfilling the requirement(s) of the covenant of grace. I do not mean "work."

Faith is not the cause of our salvation. It does not merit salvation. It does not earn salvation. Faith has no "value" in itself. Rather, the value of faith is found in its object - the Lord Jesus Christ.
 

Tom77

Puritan Board Freshman
1. Are the ten commandments part of the covenant of grace (as they WERE a part of the Mosaic covenant)? If so, then their purpose is primarily to direct the believer in evangelical obedience.

2. If the ten commandments are part of the covenant of grace (as they WERE a part of the Mosaic covenant... and the New Covenant?!?), then the covenant of grace requires obedience.

3. The Bible (and the confession) says that on judgment day, our judgment includes a consideration of our works of obedience (obedience to the ten commandments as they come to us in the hands of Christ).

4. If the covenant of grace requires obedience, and if we are judged on judgment day by our obedience, then judgment day and the covenant must be connected.

SO, WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE COVENANT OF GRACE AND JUDGMENT DAY?


Of course, the easiest thing to do would be to say that the ten commandments of the Mosaic covenant are not part of the covenant of grace, but are a re-publication of the covenant of works. But, most presbyterians I know are not quite willing to say that.





[Edited on 2-4-2004 by Tom77]
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
[quote:5b8c48ed0e][i:5b8c48ed0e]Originally posted by Tom77[/i:5b8c48ed0e]
By "condition," I mean necessarily and logically antecedent to fulfilling the requirement(s) of the covenant of grace. I do not mean "work."[/quote:5b8c48ed0e]
This sounds like a contradiction. That doesn't mean it is, but it can certainly be taken that way. For the "antecedent requirement" for salvation could be contstrued as a "on one condition" type of work.

[quote:5b8c48ed0e]Faith is not the cause of our salvation. It does not merit salvation. It does not earn salvation. Faith has no "value" in itself. Rather, the value of faith is found in its object - the Lord Jesus Christ. [/quote:5b8c48ed0e]
This is not entirley accurate. Faith does indeed have value. Otherwise it would not be an esteemed condition of faith. How can it be that the object of faith has value but the faith has no value?

As I suggested above, I think this a question on the "perseverance of the saints." For an answer to that I would go to the Canons of Dort and the WCF to see what the Presbyterian ought to believe.
 

Tom77

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:3ed01b2f00]
For the "antecedent requirement" for salvation could be contstrued as a "on one condition" type of work.
[/quote:3ed01b2f00]

No, there is not "one condition." Obviously the meritorious ground of justification is the active and passive obedience of Christ alone. The instrumental condition is faith. Faith, as an instrument, is logically antecedent to salvation.

[quote:3ed01b2f00]
Faith does indeed have value. Otherwise it would not be an esteemed condition of faith.
[/quote:3ed01b2f00]

"It" would not be a condition of faith?! What do you mean?

[quote:3ed01b2f00]
How can it be that the object of faith has value but the faith has no value?
[/quote:3ed01b2f00]

What I said was that faith in "itself" has no value. Every person has "faith." Faith is only of value if its object is Jesus Christ. So, nothing about faith, per se, is valuable because its value is dependent upon its object.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Tom:
I can't help but think that we are playing "Ring Around the Rosie" with words. I'm not into that. Now I need to explain the differences between "faith" and "faith", and that is supposed to be a given on this Board.

I'm sorry, but I have said enough in this discussion. Best wishes in your query.
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
I am not understanding what you are asking about the judgment.

Believers will not be judged for their works on judgment day - Christ already paid for them on the cross (Rom 8:1). Instead, they will be rewarded for their works of obedience (2 Tim 4:8; 1 Cor 3:11-15, 4:5).

The Judgment Seat of Christ has nothing to do with a declaration of salvation, justification, or any such thing. The works we have done "in the flesh" (wood, hay, stubble) will be burned up, and the works produced in us by the Spirit working in us by faithful obedience (gold, silver, precious stones) will be purified. There is not a "judgment" here, but a [i:12b2fce48d]bema seat[/i:12b2fce48d], a place of blessing.

Phillip
 

Tom77

Puritan Board Freshman
Not only good works will be judged. Bad works will also be taken into account (see 2LBCF 32.1).

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his DEEDS in the body, according to what he has DONE, whether good or bad" (2 Cor 5:10).

"Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through the same example of DISOBEDIENCE" (Heb 4:11).

"and it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean for the fine linen is the righteous ACTS of the saints" (Rev 19:18).

"and they were judged every one of them according to their DEEDS" (Rev 20:"13).



[Edited on 2-4-2004 by Tom77]
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
[quote:87fc1fd231][i:87fc1fd231]Originally posted by Tom77[/i:87fc1fd231]
Not only good works will be judged. Bad works will also be taken into account (see 2LBCF 32.1).

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his DEEDS in the body, according to what he has DONE, whether good or bad" (2 Cor 5:10). [/quote:87fc1fd231]

Recompensed. Paid, rewarded - not judged. There is no condemnation (no judgment) for those in Christ, otherwise His atonement fell short.

[quote:87fc1fd231]"Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through the same example of DISOBEDIENCE" (Heb 4:11). [/quote:87fc1fd231]

Can one who is saved fall away by disobedience? No. Otherwise we have no doctrine of perseverance.

[quote:87fc1fd231]"and it was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean for the fine linen is the righteous ACTS of the saints" (Rev 19:18). [/quote:87fc1fd231]

Rewards for the good works since the bad were burned up at the judgment Seat of Christ and are no more.

[quote:87fc1fd231]"and they were judged every one of them according to their DEEDS" (Rev 20:"13).[/quote:87fc1fd231]

Check the context. The "they" are the lost who are thrown into the lake of fire and die the second death. This is not referring to believers.

Did Christ atone for our sins? All of them? Then there is no judgment for believers. The price has been paid, in full, and we have been declared righteous having the active obedience of Christ imputed to us by faith.

Phillip
 

Tom77

Puritan Board Freshman
Yes, recompensed. We will go to heaven if we perservere in holiness, but not if we don't. However, all of the saints will persevere. We will go to hell if we don't have holiness "without which none will see the Lord." I do not believe the 2 Cor 5 passage is talking about heavenly "rewards." I think it's talking about the reward of heaven and hell.

I believe there is one judgment for believers and unbelievers, and Revelation 20:11-15 describes it - the great white throne and judgment by deeds. All will be judged there by their deeds.

No we cannot fall away, but the point I'm making is that we MUST not fall away. Divine sovereignty and human responsibility go together. The warnings of the warning passages are meant to spur us on to obedience, and their requirement of perseverance is directed both to the professing believer and the professing unbeliever. Whoever does not persevere to the end will go to hell whoever does persevere to the end will go to heaven.

"and He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on the left. Then the king will say to those on his right, come you who are blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world [b:dc0e16a46c]FOR[/b:dc0e16a46c] I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me" (Matt 25:33-36).

We will be invited to our inheritance (partly) BECAUSE of what we have done.





[Edited on 2-5-2004 by Tom77]
 

Tom77

Puritan Board Freshman
James Buchanan in [u:73d0e10958]Justification[/u:73d0e10958]

Buchanan says, "Declarative justification is specially referred to; and this is represented as DEPENDING partly on the practical fruits of faith, by which it is proved to be alive and active, and partly on divine testimony bearing witness to their acceptance" (237).

Citing Dr. Chalmers with approval, Buchanan says, "I would have every preacher insist strenuously on these two doctrines - a present justification by grace, through faith alone - and a future Judgment according to works; and all faithful ministers have made use of both, that they might guard equally against the peril of self-righteous legalism, on the one hand, and of practical Antinomianism on the other" (238-239).

John Murray, in his commentary on [u:73d0e10958]Romans[/u:73d0e10958] says:

"Good works as the evidences of faith and of salvation by grace are therefore the criteria of judgment and to suppose the principle, "who will render every man according to his works" has no relevance to the believer would be to exclude good works from the indispensable place which they occupy in the biblical doctrine of salvation" (1:78-79).

Thomas Boston in [u:73d0e10958]Human Nature in its Fourfold State[/u:73d0e10958] says of the General Judgment:

"Men shall be tried, 1. Upon their works . . . 2. Their words shall be judged (Matt 12:37) . . . Not a word spoken for God and His cause in the world from love to Himself shall be forgotten. They are all kept in rememberance, and shall be BROUGHT FORTH AS EVIDENCES OF FAITH, and of interest in Christ. (Mal 3:16, 17)" (411).

Boston has an entire section recounting the fact that believers will be judged according to their works, as evidences of faith (397-431).

Classical orthodox Reformed Theology is replete with this teaching.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
At the judgment, our good works will be rewarded. Our sinful works have been blotted out in Christ therefore they won't factor in. And even the rewards for our good works (which have been wrought within by the Spirit) are not rewards of merit but of grace. God works in us, and gracefullly rewards us for that which he performed.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:0ed3916f73][i:0ed3916f73]Originally posted by Tom77[/i:0ed3916f73]
James Buchanan in [u:0ed3916f73]Justification[/u:0ed3916f73]

Buchanan says, "Declarative justification is specially referred to; and this is represented as DEPENDING partly on the practical fruits of faith, by which it is proved to be alive and active, and partly on divine testimony bearing witness to their acceptance" (237).

Citing Dr. Chalmers with approval, Buchanan says, "I would have every preacher insist strenuously on these two doctrines - a present justification by grace, through faith alone - and a future Judgment according to works; and all faithful ministers have made use of both, that they might guard equally against the peril of self-righteous legalism, on the one hand, and of practical Antinomianism on the other" (238-239).

John Murray, in his commentary on [u:0ed3916f73]Romans[/u:0ed3916f73] says:

"Good works as the evidences of faith and of salvation by grace are therefore the criteria of judgment and to suppose the principle, "who will render every man according to his works" has no relevance to the believer would be to exclude good works from the indispensable place which they occupy in the biblical doctrine of salvation" (1:78-79).

Thomas Boston in [u:0ed3916f73]Human Nature in its Fourfold State[/u:0ed3916f73] says of the General Judgment:

"Men shall be tried, 1. Upon their works . . . 2. Their words shall be judged (Matt 12:37) . . . Not a word spoken for God and His cause in the world from love to Himself shall be forgotten. They are all kept in rememberance, and shall be BROUGHT FORTH AS EVIDENCES OF FAITH, and of interest in Christ. (Mal 3:16, 17)" (411).

Boston has an entire section recounting the fact that believers will be judged according to their works, as evidences of faith (397-431).

Classical orthodox Reformed Theology is replete with this teaching. [/quote:0ed3916f73]

Tom,

I think that all this is exactly proper as long as three important clarifications are made (clarifications that are sadly lacking in NPP):

1. It is God who works in us, creating in us those good works that He has prepared for us beforehand.

2. Good works are not meritorious in and of themselves. We will not be acquitted at the judgment because of our good works. We will be acquitted because of the works of Christ, having His reighteousness imputed to us, His complete fulfillment of the covenant opf works. But at the same time, our good works are an evidence to us of our union with Christ, and hence our appropriation of the merit of Christ. In that sense they are [i:0ed3916f73]necessary[/i:0ed3916f73] but they are [i:0ed3916f73]consequent[/i:0ed3916f73].

3. One of the graces that God grants to the believer along with justification is the grace of perseverance. The justified believer can thus have assurance of salvation (viz. the Confession's treatment of the linkage between the evidence of good works, perseverance and assurance)

To say as N.T. Wright and Shepherd do, that there are two judgments, one eschatological and one temporal, is foolishness. There is but one criteria for judgment, and it is the perfect and complete fulfillment of the covenant of works. So our good works are not (and cannot be) the ground of our justification, but they are the necessary means by which we come to see that ground and be assured. They are not our clothes, but perhaps better described as the glasses we put on to help us see that we are not naked.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top