Republication and Rewards for Good Works

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Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
When we remember that believers will receive gracious rewards for their good works/"good works" in the context of grace already given, we can better understand what is happening in the typological rewards of the Old Covenant of enjoying the Land and remaining in the Land i.e. we can better understand what is happening than on a Republicationist understanding.

This from Louis Berkhof
P.542: Scripture clearly teaches that the good works of believers are not meritorious in the proper sense of the word. We should bear in mind, however, that the word "merit" is employed in a twofold sense, the one strict and proper, and the other loose. Strictly speaking a meritorious work is one to which, on account of its intrinsic value and dignity, the reward is justly due from commutative justice. Loosely speaking, however, a work that is deserving of approval and to which a reward is somehow attached (by promise, agreement, or otherwise) is also sometimes called meritorious. Such works are praiseworthy and are rewarded by God. But however this may be, they are surely not meritorious in the stricty sense of the word. They do not, by their own intrinsic moral value, make God a debtor to him who performs them. In strict justice the good works of believers merit nothing.

The Israelites enjoyment and tenure on the Land was related to their good works or bad works, but it was in the context of the grace already shown to them in being saved from the bondage of Egypt.
 
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Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Richard,

Leaving aside the discussion of republication for a moment, I think Berkhof's thoughts echo what Owen writes in Chapter 3 of his work on Temptation:
Christ Promises Freedom and Deliverance as a Reward for Obedience

Christ promises this freedom and deliverance as a great reward of most acceptable obedience (Rev. 3:10). This is the great promise made to the church of Philadelphia, wherein Christ found nothing that he would blame, “You shall be kept from the hour of temptation.” Not, “You shall be preserved in it”; but he goes higher, “You shall be kept from it.” “There is,” says our Savior, “an hour of temptation coming; a season that will make havoc in the world: multitudes shall then fall from the faith, deny and blaspheme me. Oh, how few will be able to stand and hold out! Some will be utterly destroyed, and perish forever. Some will get wounds to their souls that shall never be well healed while they live in this world, and have their bones broken, so as to go halting all their days. But,” says he, “‘because you have kept the word of my patience,’ I will be tender toward you, and ‘keep you from this hour of temptation.’” Certainly that which Christ thus promises to his beloved church, as a reward of her service, love, and obedience, is not [a] light thing. Whatsoever Christ promises to his spouse is a fruit of unspeakable love; that is so in a special manner which is promised as a reward of special obedience.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Thanks for the quote.

Leaving aside the discussion of republication for a moment

Yes. It can be quite tedious to knock holes in it, but also interesting to sift it and get a clearer understanding of the Mosaic - and New and Abrahamic - Covenants. I think the Republication debate will help theologians get a better understanding of these things.

I'm not knocking people like Horton and others that support the Republication thesis - not that I could knock such brothers.
 

Douglas P.

Puritan Board Freshman
From my understanding then, the only difference between Adam's tenure of the Garden and reward, and Israel’s tenure of the Land, was that Adam did not require Grace prior to the fall. I don’t think anyone is saying that Adam's would-be merit of the reward was, as Berkof defines it, the "proper sense of merit".

For me, I have little problem calling this a Republication of the Covenant of Works, but only under the prerequisite that outside of Christ the Law can only kill and condemn, so as to fend off the potential of a dualism.
 

Eohric

Puritan Board Freshman
The Israelites enjoyment and tenure on the Land was related to their good works or bad works, but it was in the context of the grace already shown to them in being saved from the bondage of Egypt.

Then why does the Law require perfect obedience? What you are saying would seem to imply then that at the national level Israel's obedience would have been accepted as imperfect, and the punishments brought on them for their wickedness would not have been so strong. Perhaps I am missing something, or drawing a false inference, but for God to show grace to the nation as an whole (leaving aside common grace, &c) would seem to imply that sort of thing.
 

Rev. Todd Ruddell

Puritan Board Junior
Although our works are not meritorious (as stated above) and every work tainted with imperfection and sin, the Lord often "rewards" even our faltering obedience as an encouragement to greater obedience, and chastises us with less punishment than we deserve to disciple and train us to avoid sins, and to learn to hate them, and love the good. Promises suspended upon obedience need not be meritorious, and punishments threatened need not be thought of a just in the forensic sense. The Lord uses temporal blessings and trials to bring growth in grace.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
From my understanding then, the only difference between Adam's tenure of the Garden and reward, and Israel’s tenure of the Land, was that Adam did not require Grace prior to the fall. I don’t think anyone is saying that Adam's would-be merit of the reward was, as Berkof defines it, the "proper sense of merit".

For me, I have little problem calling this a Republication of the Covenant of Works, but only under the prerequisite that outside of Christ the Law can only kill and condemn, so as to fend off the potential of a dualism.

Adam could merit eternal salvation for himself and his offspring by maintaining his own original righteousness. The same is true for Christ but not for the Israelites or any other human being who are all born sinners and without a righteousness of their own.

The Israelites had all that they had from God in the context of His grace to them as sinners. They could only begin to merit, and continue to merit, their continued tenure and prosperity in the Land because of God's grace to them as sinners and God's gracious acceptance in Christ of the imperfect good works which He was graciously working in them.

To talk of the Mosaic Covenant as a Republication of the CoW is theological gobbledegook and deeply misleading.

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The Israelites enjoyment and tenure on the Land was related to their good works or bad works, but it was in the context of the grace already shown to them in being saved from the bondage of Egypt.

Then why does the Law require perfect obedience? What you are saying would seem to imply then that at the national level Israel's obedience would have been accepted as imperfect, and the punishments brought on them for their wickedness would not have been so strong. Perhaps I am missing something, or drawing a false inference, but for God to show grace to the nation as an whole (leaving aside common grace, &c) would seem to imply that sort of thing.

The moral law requires perfect obedience if we are to be right with God or perfect obedience by someone else suitable on our behalf. But the Old Covenant - and the New Covenant - didn't/doesn't require perfect obedience by us. There was provision made for sin in the sacrifices.

Even Horton says that Israel didn't have to demonstrate perfect obedience to remain in the Land and to prosper. How could she, or how could any individual? They were all already breakers of the CoW and sinners when God rescued them from Egypt.

Even if the Israelites had been such godly people as to remain in the Land, and even if the New Covenant Church hadn't been as wicked as she has been, the members of the Old and New Covenants would still have required a mediator, the ideal Jew, Christian and Man, to represent them before God for all their supposedly "little" sins.

The typological punishments that individuals or the nation faced under the Old Covenant weren't as bad as a lost eternity in Hell. E.g. if certain flagrant breaches of the 10C were proved by two or three witnesses, there was no typological sacrifice for sin, and the individual faced excommunication by execution carried out by the witnesses and the congregation under the supervision of the elders. But if the person suffering the typological penalty was a believer they went straight to Heaven, and did not suffer the reality to which the death penalty pointed.

The same goes for exile from the Land, which was shared by many true Israelites e.g. Ezekiel and Daniel.

On the other hand many Israelites who lacked the true covenant life may have prospered in the Land. These were just imperfect types of the wages of sin, the gift of God, and of God's rewards to His people.
 
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Eohric

Puritan Board Freshman
The moral law requires perfect obedience if we are to be right with God or perfect obedience by someone else suitable on our behalf. But the Old Covenant - and the New Covenant - didn't/doesn't require perfect obedience by us. There was provision made for sin in the sacrifices.

Deuteronomy 27-28 sound like a tall order to me, especially 27:26 and the curses of ch. 28; and yes, they had the provision for sin in the sacrifices that pointed to Christ. But how would you go about showing that national Israel was not required to obey to the uttermost the Law? Of course they could not do it without the Grace of God working in individuals, and even then no one obeys it without breaking at least once (in Adam), but is not God allowed to require impossible things in order to point towards resting in his grace?

On the other hand many Israelites who lacked the true covenant life may have prospered in the Land. These were just imperfect types of the wages of sin, the gift of God, and of God's rewards to His people.

Psalm 37 comes to mind.
 

TeachingTulip

Puritan Board Sophomore
Although our works are not meritorious (as stated above) and every work tainted with imperfection and sin, the Lord often "rewards" even our faltering obedience as an encouragement to greater obedience, and chastises us with less punishment than we deserve to disciple and train us to avoid sins, and to learn to hate them, and love the good. Promises suspended upon obedience need not be meritorious, and punishments threatened need not be thought of a just in the forensic sense. The Lord uses temporal blessings and trials to bring growth in grace.

Wise, encouraging words . . .

John Owen premises an entire work entitled "The Grace And Duty Of Being Spiritually Minded" upon this Scripture:

"For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Romans 8:6

The "reward" for faithful living, according to the word and Spirit of God, is life and peace in this earthly realm.

There can be no gain of the covenant promises according to merit, for all grace and everlasting life is given by God, not earned.

But we can achieve and enjoy a life of peace by being led by the Holy Spirit of God. (Romans 8:14)
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Deuteronomy 27-28 sound like a tall order to me, especially 27:26 and the curses of ch. 28; and yes, they had the provision for sin in the sacrifices that pointed to Christ. But how would you go about showing that national Israel was not required to obey to the uttermost the Law?

What do you mean by to the uttermost? Perfectly like Adam in the archetypal CoW?

If they had to keep the law to the uttermost, i.e. perfectly, in order to stay in the Land or remain as God's people, there was no hope, because they were all already sinners and breakers of the Two Great Commandments and the Ten Commandments. If they had to keep the law to the uttermost to get to Heaven, there was also no hope of that.

In the New Covenant era the perfect law of God is also held out to those in the covenant administration as the perfect and ideal standard to aim for; but how many in the New Covenant administration reach that standard. None. God knows this and tells us in the Old and New Testaments that we will always have the presence of sin in our hearts and lives in this life.

He also has made provision for us to deal with our sin in a covenantal way, through confession, forgiveness, cleansing and renewed obedience. The same was true under the Old Covenant.

Certain sins under the Old administration of the Covenant of Grace and under the New administration of the CoG are so flagrant that they have to be dealt in another way, such that the individual, or the congregation, or nation are put out of the visible administration of the Covenant. But this does not mean that any particular individual has lost his/her salvation or is unsaved.

Deuteronomy 27-28 sound like a tall order to me, especially 27:26 and the curses of ch. 28;

It wasn't such a tall order that sinners i.e. sinful Israelites couldn't produce these good - but very imperfect - works by God's grace and that they wouldn't be graciously accepted by God as evidence of the national faith in Him and love towrds Him.

Those within the New Covenant administration are not threatened with the typological curses of the death penalty by the congregation or temporary or final expulsion from the Land, none of which were imposed on those who sought to keep the law but didn't keep the law perfectly, but we are threatened with Hell (eternal death) if we turn out to be apostate, we know that we can be the subject of God's chastisements and the withdrawal of His felt presence, and of Church sanctions if we don't produce fruits in keeping with our profession.

Does that make the New Covenant a "tall order" and a Republication of the Covenant of Works? No. Neither is the Old Covenant.

And if these imperfect "good" works were produced by sinners by grace and graciously accepted by God inspite of the fact that these sinful Israelites deserved Hell, the Mosaic Covenant(s) or Sinaitic Covenant(s) are not a CoW or a RoCoW, but an administration of the CoG.

It seems less gracious to us because it was appropriate to a church under age, as the WCF calls Old Covenant Israel.

All that they had was ultimately in and through the gracious work of Christ. E.g.
For I want you to know, brothers, [fn] that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. (I Cor 10:1-4, ESV)

They were in a childhood and typologically-augmented administration of the CoG, of the Church and of the Kingdom of Heaven.

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Quote from Rhonda
The "reward" for faithful living, according to the word and Spirit of God, is life and peace in this earthly realm.

There are earthly and heavenly rewards for "good" works by the child of God but they are all of grace by pactum merit.

There would be no rewards for our good but highly imperfect works graciously produced in us by the work of the Holy Spirit were it not for Christ's great work on our behalf.

There is no room for boasting or holding that God is in our debt in a real sense. He has graciously "put Himself in our debt" by deigning to reward the good works of those He has saved in Christ, for Christ's sake, as well as taking them to glory.
 
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discipulo

Puritan Board Junior
To talk of the Mosaic Covenant as a Republication of the CoW is theological gobbledegook and deeply misleading????

Why?

Republication is not Replication. Imagine Herman Witsius even calls it repetition.

I don't imagine anyone doubting that Witsius knew what he was talking about.

The quest is to understand why the Apostle John wrote:

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Why Jeremiah 31, why the Old Covenant vs the New, why a slave haggar is Sinai, why Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy,

why the writer of Hebrews writes waht he does, etc, etc, etc

from Herman Witsius on Republication

The Economy of the Covenants (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed), Vol. II, 181-87.

in the ministry of Moses, there was a repetition of the doctrine concerning the law of the covenant of works


whereby Israel promised to God a sincere obedience to all his precepts, especially to the ten words; God, on the other hand, promised to Israel, that such an observance would be acceptable to him, nor want its reward, both in this life, and in that which is to come, both as to soul and body. This reciprocal promise supposed a covenant of grace. For, without the assistance of the covenant of grace, man cannot sincerely promise that observance; and yet that an imperfect observance should be acceptable to God is wholly owing to the covenant of grace. It also supposed the doctrine of the covenant of works, the terror of which being increased by those tremendous signs that attended it, they ought to have been excited to embrace the covenant of God. This agreement therefore is a consequent both of the covenant of grace and of works; but was formally neither the one nor the other

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Free chapter of Fesko,

Calvin and Witsius on the Mosaic Covenant

http://www.prpbooks.com/samples/9781596381001.pdf

Republication aside, now about Publication, not new I know, but I am finishing it now,

make sure you get Fesko's

Last Things First: Unlocking Genesis with the Christ of Eschatology

great exegesis, great chapter on the Covenant of Works, owes more than a little to GK Beale's masterpiece Temple and the Church Mission,

but never the less great book !!!
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
I don't imagine anyone doubting that Witsius knew what he was talking about.

Of course he knew his Covenant Theology but he isn't the only Covenant Theologian e.g. the Westminster divines.

Republication is not Replication. Imagine Herman Witsius even calls it repetition
.

We have to first of all define what the CoW is, or the essential aspects of a CoW.

Then we have to compare it to the Mosaic Covenant or the aspect thereof that Republicationists see as the Republication. Both Republicationists and non-Republicationists may agree that there is such an element - or not.

Then we have to ask whether it is theologically and spiritually enlightening, or theologically and spiritually confusing and endarkening to call the Mosaic Covenant a Republication of the Covenant of Works (made with Adam).

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Why Jeremiah 31, why the Old Covenant vs the New, why a slave haggar is Sinai, why Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy,

There are various ways of dealing with these passages. There is often a relative difference between Old and New as their is with the Holy Spirit in Old and New, that is sometimes expressed in quite absolute terms.

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

The Torah was given in shadow and type and ceremony. When Christ came grace and truth stood forth without shadow, type and ceremony in all their unvarnished glory in Christ.

whereby Israel promised to God a sincere obedience to all his precepts, especially to the ten words; God, on the other hand, promised to Israel, that such an observance would be acceptable to him, nor want its reward, both in this life, and in that which is to come, both as to soul and body. This reciprocal promise supposed a covenant of grace. For, without the assistance of the covenant of grace, man cannot sincerely promise that observance; and yet that an imperfect observance should be acceptable to God is wholly owing to the covenant of grace. It also supposed the doctrine of the covenant of works, the terror of which being increased by those tremendous signs that attended it, they ought to have been excited to embrace the covenant of God. This agreement therefore is a consequent both of the covenant of grace and of works; but was formally neither the one nor the other

This all happens in the New Covenant through the law and the administration of the Covenant without the Old Covenant types, although the lessons of the types remain for the New Covenant believer.

Thanks also for the book recommendation, Cesar.
 

Eohric

Puritan Board Freshman
If they had to keep the law to the uttermost, i.e. perfectly, in order to stay in the Land or remain as God's people, there was no hope, because they were all already sinners and breakers of the Two Great Commandments and the Ten Commandments. If they had to keep the law to the uttermost to get to Heaven, there was also no hope of that.

And yet God brought upon them the curses which he prophesied, killed them, sent them into exile, and the rest, because they as a nation were unrepentant and stubbornly sinful. He required some sort of obedience from them in order to keep the land, which they consistently failed to render, hence why Christ gets the land (Galatians 3) by doing what they did not, obeying the law perfectly.

I tend to see the Mosaic covenant as a mixed covenant, but would definitely like to read different treatments of the subject. All I am trying to get at is how can one downplay the severity of the Law biblically, and make it just another administration of the CoG?

All that they had was ultimately in and through the gracious work of Christ. E.g.
For I want you to know, brothers, [fn] that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. (I Cor 10:1-4, ES

Hebrews 4:1, Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. (AV)
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
I tend to see the Mosaic covenant as a mixed covenant, but would definitely like to read different treatments of the subject. All I am trying to get at is how can one downplay the severity of the Law biblically, and make it just another administration of the CoG?

The Book of Hebrews presents the reality of God's wrath presented in the New Covenant as far more severe than the typological pointers to it in the Old Covenant.

In the New Covenant a false professor can go straight from being a communicant member in the New covenant administration to Hell. Someone who experienced an Old Covenant type of God's wrath e.g. the death penalty for Sabbath-breaking might go immediately to Heaven if they were true believers. The types of God's wrath were much less severe than the reality. The types are stripped away in the New Covenant.

We have to first define what we mean by a CoW according to the situation Adam was in, and then compare it with what e.g. Michael Horton is calling a RoCoW in the Mosaic Covenant.

Adam had to fulfil the CoW for himself.

The Israelites could avail themselves of the help of a Mediator i.e. Christ, who fulfilled the CoW for them.
 

TeachingTulip

Puritan Board Sophomore
The Book of Hebrews presents the reality of God's wrath presented in the New Covenant as far more severe than the typological pointers to it in the Old Covenant.

Where? Reference please.

I am open to learning about the Mosaic Covenant, which I believe to be a republication of the CofW's, being a mix of wrath and grace, but I truly have never heard it taught that the Covenant of Grace contains any threatening of wrath; let alone more "severe" threatenings than contained in the old CofW's.

Please clarify. Otherwise, the rest of your post makes not sense to me at all.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Let me make a statement and ask a question. Could the Mosaic be a mixed Covenant without having the same attachment to the Covenant of Works? I am not sure that the Covenant of Works could be attributed to the Mosaic in the same way the Covenant of Works was implemented, performed, and prosecuted. The Mosaic has a mediator. What mediator is their in the Covenant of Works. If there was sin committed there was a mediator, sacrifice, and repentance. The Covenant of Works has none of those things. A one time simple violation led to only one thing. There was no mercy. There was no grace. In the Mosaic Civil / National Covenant of obedience there was a lot of mercy and grace that had all three elements of a mediator, sacrifice, and repentance. There was mercy and grace involved with the Mosaic. There was a patience (long suffering) for a stiff necked people. The Covenant of Works doesn't have that. So, there is a vast difference between the two.

Just thinking out loud.

I am not having a problem saying that the Mosaic might have a mixture of Covenant blessings in it. There are civil blessings or cursings for both the elect and non elect in the Mosaic. But there certainly is the most important blessing of being elect in the Covenant of Grace involved in the Mosaic.
 

TeachingTulip

Puritan Board Sophomore
Let me make a statement and ask a question. Could the Mosaic be a mixed Covenant without having the same attachment to the Covenant of Works? I am not sure that the Covenant of Works could be attributed to the Mosaic in the same way the Covenant of Works was implemented, performed, and prosecuted. The Mosaic has a mediator. What mediator is their in the Covenant of Works.

The Mediation of God always pertained to the Covenant of Grace, alone. The first promise of the gospel made to Eve was ratified by the shedding of blood and the covering of sins exemplified by the animal skins provided by God Himself.

There is no "mediation" in the Covenant of Works, for that covenant was established with man; causing man moral responsibility to perform said covenant. Which man failed to do or achieve.

No different with Adam than with Israel, when established under the republication of the same moral demands, under the Law of Moses.

I dare say, the provision of the Mediation of Jesus Christ, is the sole basis for the Covenant of Grace, which is not "mixed" but consist purely of grace, for all of this Covenant was performed by Jesus Christ on behalf of His.

In other words,'s the first CofW's was conditional upon the acts and obedience of the creature and the last CofG is unconditional; being performed and achieved by the obedience of the Creator, alone.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
The Book of Hebrews presents the reality of God's wrath presented in the New Covenant as far more severe than the typological pointers to it in the Old Covenant.

Where? Reference please.

I am open to learning about the Mosaic Covenant, which I believe to be a republication of the CofW's, being a mix of wrath and grace, but I truly have never heard it taught that the Covenant of Grace contains any threatening of wrath; let alone more "severe" threatenings than contained in the old CofW's.

Please clarify. Otherwise, the rest of your post makes not sense to me at all.

E.g.
He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Heb 10:28-29)


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From Sinai to Calvary the Covenant people had typological mediators in Moses, the priests and High Priest, the prophets and the kings which pointed to Christ, some individuals more than others.

The Israelites also had the true mediatorship of the pre-incarnate Christ, Who sometimes manifested himself as the Angel of the LORD.

The Israelites also had the grace of God in the finished work of Christ available to them under the typological and babyhood system that was provided by God as appropriate to that stage of redemptive history.
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. (Hebrews 9:15)
 

Eohric

Puritan Board Freshman
There is no "mediation" in the Covenant of Works, for that covenant was established with man; causing man moral responsibility to perform said covenant. Which man failed to do or achieve.

I thought Adam was the mediator between God with whom he was covenanted and his spiritual and physical posterity whom he stood for (Romans 5).

Let me make a statement and ask a question. Could the Mosaic be a mixed Covenant without having the same attachment to the Covenant of Works? I am not sure that the Covenant of Works could be attributed to the Mosaic in the same way the Covenant of Works was implemented, performed, and prosecuted. The Mosaic has a mediator. What mediator is their in the Covenant of Works. If there was sin committed there was a mediator, sacrifice, and repentance. The Covenant of Works has none of those things. A one time simple violation led to only one thing. There was no mercy. There was no grace. In the Mosaic Civil / National Covenant of obedience there was a lot of mercy and grace that had all three elements of a mediator, sacrifice, and repentance. There was mercy and grace involved with the Mosaic. There was a patience (long suffering) for a stiff necked people. The Covenant of Works doesn't have that. So, there is a vast difference between the two.
:up::up:

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E.g.
He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Heb 10:28-29)

A good passage dealing with a full, mindful, knowing, unbelieving rejection of Christ, with parallels to the OT dispensation (Hebrews 3-4); and under the New Covenant we have the same spiritual realities of the OT types; reconciliation (2 Cor 5); the sacrifice of Christ (Hebrews 9), and the rest. But you make it sound as if the NT is harsher than the Old, rather I would say that the spiritual import of things is more readily apparent, as you have said. The threatenings and warnings of Hebrews are made real by way of OT imagery, but not meant to discomfit a believer, rather to spur him on. But I suppose at this point I might be digressing.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I don't believe Adam was a mediator. He was a Federal Head. Christ became both by his person and work. Adam had no intercessor in the Covenant of Works. It was a direct Coram Deo. We have Christ as our intercessor and mediator. Adam didn't need one as Federal Head. At least not till he violated the Covenant of Works.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
I thought Adam was the mediator between God with whom he was covenanted and his spiritual and physical posterity whom he stood for (Romans 5).

Yes but the point is that Adam who was fulfilling the CoW had no mediator, unlike the Israelites, who had Christ and the types of Christ.

But you make it sound as if the NT is harsher than the Old,

The Old Testament types of God's wrath, e.g. being stoned to death by the congregation in the absence of an animal sacrifice and being removed and excommunicated from the Land of the living, are less severe than God's wrath in Hell. Possibly it happened very rarely even when God's law was being followed because the transgression had to be deemed gross enough to deny a sacrifice to the offender and the standard of proof for the death penalty was particularly high. See e.g. Numbers 15. Of course the person suffering this type and token of God's wrath may sometimes have been someone who had genuine faith in God as his Saviour.

But you make it sound as if the NT is harsher than the Old, rather I would say that the spiritual import of things is more readily apparent, as you have said. The threatenings and warnings of Hebrews are made real by way of OT imagery, but not meant to discomfit a believer, rather to spur him on. But I suppose at this point I might be digressing.

Whether or not Moses is "harsher" than Christ wouldn't make the Mosaic Covenant or an aspect thereof a RoCoW, anyway. You have to first define what you mean by a CoW, so that we can see if it corresponds to what you mean by a RoCoW or what Horton or others mean by it.

In Adam's case he was meriting salvation on his own account, although getting something far greater than his short probation warranted in and of itself; it was by pactum merit, although genuine merit of Adam's original righteousness.

The Israelites only merited Hell.

The Israelites couldn't get any good on their own account from God because they had already broken the CoW, demerited God's goodness and were sinners. They needed the grace of God to sinners, particularly saving grace, which can be traced to Christ. They needed saving grace for sanctification as well as justification i.e. in order to produce fruits by God's grace that would be graciously rewarded by God by continued prosperity and residence in the Land of Promise, a type of Heaven.

The Mosaic Covenant was just an administration of the CoG that had a discipline and picturebook theology that was appropriate to the childhood Church and childhood Israel. We are the adult Church/Israel.
 
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Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
And yet God brought upon them the curses which he prophesied, killed them, sent them into exile, and the rest, because they as a nation were unrepentant and stubbornly sinful. He required some sort of obedience from them in order to keep the land, which they consistently failed to render, hence why Christ gets the land (Galatians 3) by doing what they did not, obeying the law perfectly.

Being but on a quick break from work, this response must be brief. The portion I bolded above does not render a covenant legal or having a legal component, but is in perfect harmony with the Covenant of Grace as administered, as I hope to show that the same forms of conditions referred to above are present under the New Covenant administration as well. I would, in addition to some of the things cited already, direct one to a few New Testament passages: namely, Rev. 2:4-5 and Eph. 6:1-4ish (sorry, I can't check the precise reference at the moment). The second passage shows that, while the promise of remaining in the land may have been typical insofar as it respected Canaan as Canaan, nonetheless the foundation of it is perpetual, or else the Apostle's urging of the promise to New Covenant believers would be meaningless. The first passage also shows that the conditional promises and curses under which the New Covenant is administered (that word is important - for while the promise itself is absolute and unconditional on our part, nevertheless as it is administered it is conditional) are not found simply on a personal level, but on a corporate or ecclesiastical level as well. While the Mosaic administration of the Covenant of Grace was set forth under a predominantly legal form, and the New savors more of the grace which is the substance of both, nevertheless the same forms of conditionality (both personal and corporate) are found in both administrations.
 

TeachingTulip

Puritan Board Sophomore
There is no "mediation" in the Covenant of Works, for that covenant was established with man; causing man moral responsibility to perform said covenant. Which man failed to do or achieve.

I thought Adam was the mediator between God with whom he was covenanted and his spiritual and physical posterity whom he stood for (Romans 5).

Adam was the federal head of humanity; just as Jesus Christ acted as Federal Head of all His spiritual offspring. Jesus represented His people in His righteous works under the Law and acted as Mediator in His substitutional death and resurrection. Distinction between the two offices is necessary, in my opinion, in order to understand and appreciate imputed righteousness.

---------- Post added at 12:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:18 PM ----------

The Book of Hebrews presents the reality of God's wrath presented in the New Covenant as far more severe than the typological pointers to it in the Old Covenant.

Where? Reference please.

I am open to learning about the Mosaic Covenant, which I believe to be a republication of the CofW's, being a mix of wrath and grace, but I truly have never heard it taught that the Covenant of Grace contains any threatening of wrath; let alone more "severe" threatenings than contained in the old CofW's.

Please clarify. Otherwise, the rest of your post makes not sense to me at all.

E.g.
He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Heb 10:28-29)


"Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." Hebrews 10:38-39

This portion gives context and explanation of the earlier threatenings, and reveals they were not given to those justified by faith in Jesus Christ, but to those unregenerated, unbelieving hypocrites in their midst, who would draw back and fall into perdition.

So this remains a threat under the CofWs . . . not any threat under the CofG.

Else the doctrine and assurance of the "Perseverance Of The Saints" is endangered.

The Israelites also had the grace of God in the finished work of Christ available to them under the typological and babyhood system that was provided by God as appropriate to that stage of redemptive history.

The elect Israelites would receive the same irresistible grace of God in the finished work of Christ, but this grace was not made "available" to the nation as a whole. Else the doctrine of "Irresistible Grace" is endangered.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
So this remains a threat under the CofWs . . . not any threat under the CofG.

It remains a threat to any who are unregenerate but who under the administration of the New Covenant e.g. false professors in Presbyterian and Baptist churches.

The elect Israelites would receive the same irresistible grace of God in the finished work of Christ, but this grace was not made "available" to the nation as a whole. Else the doctrine of "Irresistible Grace" is endangered.

It was preached to the nation as a whole and the reprobate among them were responsible for neglecting it. The reprobate and unconverted elect Israelites would have been even more wicked without God's common grace to them.
 

TeachingTulip

Puritan Board Sophomore
So this remains a threat under the CofWs . . . not any threat under the CofG.

It remains a threat to any who are unregenerate but who under the administration of the New Covenant e.g. false professors in Presbyterian and Baptist churches.

But isn't this the big theological question of our day?

Are the unregenerate truly administered to and thereby functional under the CofG, or are they only outwardly and temporarily identified with the CofG through visible church membership?

The elect Israelites would receive the same irresistible grace of God in the finished work of Christ, but this grace was not made "available" to the nation as a whole. Else the doctrine of "Irresistible Grace" is endangered.

It was preached to the nation as a whole and the reprobate among them were responsible for neglecting it. The reprobate and unconverted elect Israelites would have been even more wicked without God's common grace to them.

I do not happen to believe in "common grace" at all; during the O.T. or N.T. I believe God's grace has and is bestowed unconditionally upon His elect people, only.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Concerning the membership of the Covenant of Grace and its administration I align a bit more closely to Mrs. Rush. The Covenant of Grace can administer some benefits as St. Paul stated. But it doesn't necessarily make one a member.

(Rom 9:4) Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;

(Rom 9:5) Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

(Rom 9:6) Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

(Rom 9:7) Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

(Rom 9:8) That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

In the New Covenant it is specifically stated who is a true member. If one does not have the Spirit of Christ he is none of His.

(Rom 8:9) But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Either you are in Union with Christ or you are not. Either you have precious like faith as Abraham in the New Covenant or you do not. That is why I still see the Mosaic as a mixed Covenant. I just don't see that the CofW have been republished.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Concerning the membership of the Covenant of Grace and its administration I align a bit more closely to Mrs. Rush. The Covenant of Grace can administer some benefits as St. Paul stated. But it doesn't necessarily make one a member.

Well that's part of the whole Reformed Baptist/Presbyterian discussion.

Either you are in Union with Christ or you are not. Either you have precious like faith as Abraham in the New Covenant or you do not. That is why I still see the Mosaic as a mixed Covenant. I just don't see that the CofW have been republished.

The law was republished together with typological penalties and rewards that were appropriate for the Church at that stage of redemptive history.

Eternal salvation was conditional on faith which was produced by irresistible grace, but the Old Covenant also had an outward administration that was not to be transgressed without consequences.

The same is true in the New Covenant period except the typological cast has been removed. The genius of the typology is that the lessons of the types remain for us New Covenant Israelites i.e. God designed the typology for both them and us.

The CoG under Old and New administrations has inner and outer aspects.

I don't know how a RoCoW would work respecting e.g. remaining in the Land.

It sounds - in a sense - semi-Pelagian, although that is not what is behind the idea. The believing Israelite would be personally saved by grace through faith, but the nation as a whole would have to top up by their own works of congruent merit in order to remain in the Land.
 

TeachingTulip

Puritan Board Sophomore
Concerning the membership of the Covenant of Grace and its administration I align a bit more closely to Mrs. Rush. The Covenant of Grace can administer some benefits as St. Paul stated. But it doesn't necessarily make one a member.

Well that's part of the whole Reformed Baptist/Presbyterian discussion.

I would beg to differ and venture to say this matter transcends denominationalism.

Or at least it should . . .


Eternal salvation was conditional on faith which was produced by irresistible grace,

Eternal salvation is conditional upon God's election of whom will receive His grace, and His election was ~unconditional~ and not founded upon any acts, works, or decisions of His creatures.

but the Old Covenant also had an outward administration that was not to be transgressed without consequences.

Agreed.

But we do not have license to conflate the two truths.

The same is true in the New Covenant period except the typological cast has been removed. The genius of the typology is that the lessons of the types remain for us New Covenant Israelites i.e. God designed the typology for both them and us.[/quo

The CoG under Old and New administrations has inner and outer aspects.

I don't know how a RoCoW would work respecting e.g. remaining in the Land.

It sounds - in a sense - semi-Pelagian,

If you speak of the above view, I agree. But I was not willing to accuse you of such. At least you are aware of the significance of your words being misunderstood and inappropriately used.

The believing Israelite would be personally saved by grace through faith, but the nation as a whole would have to top up by their own works of congruent merit in order to remain in the Land.

Which I take to mean . . . the nation of Israel remained under the Law and the CofWs and only an elect remnant of Jews were given faith to believe in the Abrahamic promises of a Messiah, and were thereby saved under the CofG.

The unregenerate nation of Israel never "topped" off God's grace with acceptable works, and for that reason they were cast off from the land, permanently. (Romans 11:7-12)
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Concerning the membership of the Covenant of Grace and its administration I align a bit more closely to Mrs. Rush. The Covenant of Grace can administer some benefits as St. Paul stated. But it doesn't necessarily make one a member.

Well that's part of the whole Reformed Baptist/Presbyterian discussion.

I would beg to differ and venture to say this matter transcends denominationalism.

Or at least it should . . .

Yes, Mrs. Rush and Rich. I know Presbyterians and or Paedo Baptists who hold that the Covenant of Grace is only made with the Elect in both the Old and New. So it isn't necessarily and Reformed Baptist Distinctive.

Just to fuel the fire a bit I also see that the dichotomy of Grace and Law in the Republishment of the Covenant of Works doctrine has contributed a bit to many being Credo Alone guys. But that isn't my reason obviously.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Ronda
Eternal salvation was conditional on faith which was produced by irresistible grace,
Eternal salvation is conditional upon God's election of whom will receive His grace, and His election was ~unconditional~ and not founded upon any acts, works, or decisions of His creatures.

I know and believe all that. What I was saying is that people aren't saved without faith.

Ronda
but the Old Covenant also had an outward administration that was not to be transgressed without consequences.
Agreed.

But we do not have license to conflate the two truths.

Which two truths?

Ronda
The believing Israelite would be personally saved by grace through faith, but the nation as a whole would have to top up by their own works of congruent merit in order to remain in the Land.
Which I take to mean . . . the nation of Israel remained under the Law and the CofWs and only an elect remnant of Jews were given faith to believe in the Abrahamic promises of a Messiah, and were thereby saved under the CofG.

The unregenerate nation of Israel never "topped" off God's grace with acceptable works, and for that reason they were cast off from the land, permanently. (Romans 11:7-12)

But the RoCoW position must mean that God entered a covenant with all of Israel that she would retain the Land on her own good works and merit. No wonder the Pharisees followed a grace plus works system. They were just doing what God asked them to do - if the RoCoW position is correct.

Martin
Yes, Mrs. Rush and Rich. I know Presbyterians and or Paedo Baptists who hold that the Covenant of Grace is only made with the Elect in both the Old and New. So it isn't necessarily and Reformed Baptist Distinctive.

Well why are they baptising babies if they don't know that they are in the CoG in any sense i.e. if the baby happens to be non-elect and/or unregenerate.

Why are they baptising adults when they know they cannot be sure of their election and/or regeneration?

Martin
Just to fuel the fire a bit I also see that the dichotomy of Grace and Law in the Republishment of the Covenant of Works doctrine has contributed a bit to many being Credo Alone guys. But that isn't my reason obviously.

Well both the RoCoW position and the Credobaptist position are more dispensational, in the sense that there is more of a break between the Old Covenant administration and the New Covenant administration with both, so maybe they help to confirm each other in some sense. E.g. Circumcision was (partly?) a sign of the RoCoW and therefore was applied to all males in the nation indiscriminately, because the whole nation, saved and unsaved had to, and was asked to by God, and could merit prosperity and tenure in the Land on their own merits as a nation(?) And when the RoCoW fell away with the Old Covenant, circumcision and the inclusion of children in the RoCoW fell away (?)

I believe that both Credobaptism and the RoCoW are wrongheaded. In some ways the RoCoW is more wrongheaded than Credobaptism/ the Reformed Baptist position, in that RoCoW advocates are saying that sinful Israelites - saved and unsaved - could merit continued tenure and prosperity in the Land on their own account, as Adam would have merited Heaven on his own account, and that God asked them to do this.
 
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