2 Timothy 2:24-25
I agree.I never said that the COW was obsolete. In fact, I said the opposite. I don't think (respectfully) JD, that you understand what I am saying.I've been sitting back and observing, and I wanted to put down a few thoughts. I find it problematic to see a covenant of works as obsolete. If the covenant of works did in fact cease with Adam, then there was no need for Christ to fulfill all the terms of the covenant of works.
Ironically, the Westminster Divines use the Decalogue for their proof texts for the covenant of works. I agree with most in here that mosaic covenant is under the overarching covenant of Grace, but the substance or the works principle in the COW is definitely republished. Is the covenant in and of itself a covenant of works? Nope. But is the substance of that covenant made in creation republished? Yep.
Does that mean that Israel could earn their justification before God? No, and I don't think that is what those who are at WSC are saying. What they are saying is that there are two types of covenants that are put out through redemptive history. Just as Galations 4:21-31 says:
21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia;  she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,
“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than those of the one who has a husband.”
28 Now you,  brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman."
The popular view that everyone seems to be advocated in here is that the covenants that were made with Abraham and Moses are not two covenants, but just one and the same covenant. The covenant made on Sinai (which most of you believe is all about Grace), Paul says bears children for slavery. This other covenant, made with Abraham, is said to bear free children. If the covenant of Sinai is not a republication of the COW, why does Paul says that this covenant bears slavery?
Passages such as Romans 2:13 clearly says that God will justify a man by their works. If the covenant of works was still not in effect, then such passages would make absolutely no sense unless you take a Norman Shepherd, FV, or New Perspective hermeneutic.
The Law being republished in Sinai was not meant to be a means of justification in and of itself, but it was meant to show us are inability to fulfill the terms of that covenant. If the works principle was not republished, then there is no reason to provide a sacrificial system for atonement. Israel many times broke the terms of this covenant which were provided in the Decalogue, and God many times required Sacrifice for Israel to receive blessings from God.
It is (almost) funny to hear that I have a New Perspective or Shepherd hermeneutic.
The Law was indeed still a CoW to those outside Christ at the time of Sinai. No one (in a Westminsterian view) is denying that. What some of us are questioning is the propriety of saying that Sinai as a covenant was a republication of the covenant of works. It is a very different thing from Law as a principle of works ("do this and live") and the Law as a covenant.
I believe I gave some thoughts on that in Galatians 4:
I think the problem with noting that the Law was a re-publication of the CoW is not that it cannot be understood in a proper sense but it can also lead to an improper understanding of the larger purpose of adding the Law.
In Galatians 3, Paul asks an important question that I believe goes to the heart of the matter:
If the Law is, indeed, a strict re-publication of the CoW then it would have to be said to be contrary to the promises of God. Paul notes that the Law is added within the structure of a CoG, given to those who were heirs to the promise and not to all men.21Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
This is bound to sound pejorative and I don't mean to be so but I think there is a sense in which it is the very error that Paul is railing against to view the Law as a "Do this and live", which is what the CoW is. That is to say that it is the Judaizers who have apprehended Moses as essentially saying "Do This and Live" when, in fact, Paul labors the point that if Moses was delivering this then he would be against the Abrahamic Promise and God Himself would have broken a Promise to Abraham.
Thus, calling the Law a republication of the CoW goes too far. From a pedagogical standpoint, it communicates the wrong thing. Now, I realize that there is some subtlety here and that men need to be taken for what they're really communicating and not merely what the "headline" says. As far as it goes, I understand what some are saying by it and don't have a huge problem with it. But, as headlines go, the average man in the pew might miss the wider purpose of the Law if he merely views the Law as being contrary to the Promise when, in fact, Paul clearly states it is not contrary to the Promise but was given to fulfill the Promise.
I obviously have respect for some Reformers in the past that used this language (though certainly not all did) but I think we can all agree how we've seen language mis-used in recent years and I really think it is not trivial where some have taken the republication of the CoW concept as something we ought to be concerned to qualify every time we use the term.
My own view of this is that the Law was added for a gracious, pedagogical purpose where, even in the giving of the Law, the Gospel is telescoped. Certainly there were those that tried to interpret the Law as another CoW (i.e. the Pharisees) but we need to let God decide what the real purpose is and how the regenerate were to view the Law as preparing us longingly for the Messiah. It is the Gospel that the generation in the wilderness were said to reject.
Finally, haven't we all seen those that take the explicit Gospel of the New Testament and turn it into a "republication of the CoW"? From the Be-Attitutdes to the Purpose Driven Life, the message of grace will always be twisted into a "Do This and Live". It's not the Law that kills but the sinful heart when it comes into contact with it (Romans 7:13-14). The CoG is ever twisted by the fallen soul unless God is gracious to grant life by it.