Robert Rollock on effectual calling and the covenant of grace

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
God’s effectual calling is that, whereby God calleth out of darkness into his admirable light, from the power of Satan unto God, in Christ Jesus, those whom he knew from eternity, and predestinated unto life, of his mere favour, by the promulgation of the covenant of grace, or preaching of the Gospel.

Such also as be called by the same grace of God, answer, and believe in him through Jesus Christ. This answer is of faith, which is, in very truth, the condition of the promise which is in the covenant of grace. Wherefore our effectual calling doth consist of the promise of the covenant (which is under condition of faith) and in faith also, which is nothing else but the fulfilling of the condition.

For the reference, see Robert Rollock on effectual calling and the covenant of grace.
 

brandonadams

Puritan Board Freshman
Owen takes that one step further, noting that the covenant of grace itself promises that faith to those who are members of the covenant and that the effectual call is God making the covenant of grace with elect sinners. Commenting on Hebrews 8:10-12

A covenant properly is a compact or agreement on certain terms mutually stipulated by two or more parties. As promises are the foundation and rise of it, as it is between God and man, so it compriseth also precepts, or laws of obedience, which are prescribed unto man on his part to be observed. But in the description of the covenant here annexed, there is no mention of any condition on the part of man, of any terms of obedience prescribed unto him, but the whole consists in free, gratuitous promises..

It is evident that there can be no condition previously required, unto our entering into or participation of the benefits of this covenant, antecedent unto the making of it with us...

It is contrary unto the nature, ends, and express properties of this covenant. For there is nothing that can be thought or supposed to be such a condition, but it is comprehended in the promise of the covenant itself; for all that God requireth in us is proposed as that which himself will effect by virtue of this covenant...

It is evident that the first grace of the covenant, or God’s putting his law in our hearts, can depend on no condition on our part. For whatever is antecedent thereunto, being only a work or act of corrupted nature, can be no condition whereon the dispensation of spiritual grace is superadded. And this is the great ground of them who absolutely deny the covenant of grace to be conditional; namely, that the first grace is absolutely promised, whereon and its exercise the whole of it doth depend.

Unto a full and complete interest in all the promises of the covenant, faith on our part, from which evangelical repentance is inseparable, is required. But whereas these also are wrought in us by virtue of that promise and grace of the covenant which are absolute, it is a mere strife about words to contend whether they may be called conditions or no. Let it be granted on the one hand, that we cannot have an actual participation of the relative grace of this covenant in adoption and justification, without faith or believing; and on the other, that this faith is wrought in us, given unto us, bestowed upon us, by that grace of the covenant which depends on no condition in us as unto its discriminating administration, and I shall not concern myself what men will call it.



[A]ll with whom this covenant is made are effectually sanctified, justified, and saved… The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in the new covenant, in its being and existence, in its healing, repairing efficacy, is as large and extensive as sin is in its residence and power to deprave our natures. — This is the difference about the extent of the new covenant, and the grace of it: Some would have it to extend unto all persons, in its tender and conditional proposition; but not unto all things, as unto its efficacy in the reparation of our natures. Others assert it to extend unto all the effects of sin, in the removal of them, and the cure of our natures thereby; but as unto persons, it is really extended unto none but those in whom these effects are produced, whatever be its outward administration, which was also always limited: unto whom I do subscribe. (Hebrews 8:10)

Where there is not some degree of saving knowledge, there no interest in the new covenant can be pretended… Persons destitute of this saving knowledge are utter strangers unto the covenant of grace; for this is a principal promise and effect of it, wherever it doth take place. (Hebrews 8:11)
 
Top