The phrase "covenant of works" isn't in the Bible

Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by blhowes, Jun 18, 2005.

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  1. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I'm not sure why it is, either. Myself and others have been presenting our exegetical case for our understanding of what we call the Covenant of Works, and as Dan noted earlier, the only response I have seen has largely been just saying that what we presented for some reason doesn't qualify as a positive exegetical case, rather than directly answering our points and showing specifically how our inferences are not necessary from the text.

    One major problem I still have with your dichotomy is that I still have not seen even one Scripture text directly cited to confirm or even point to it in any way. Likewise, how is your dichotomy compatible with the point I made regarding the two highest commandments and their relation to the Decalogue? If the various possible actions that constitute loving God and loving our neighbors count as good works, how can Jesus say that the Decalogue is completely founded on them if obedience to negative restraints does not count as good works?

    We will only get as far on this issue as we do on the obedience-works issue, because this one is completely contingent upon it. I say that Adam's refraining from eating the fruit for the time that he did was a good work, which is what he was continually doing to merit continual life up until the fall. So again, if we come to a mutual understanding regarding the obedience-works issue, then and only then will we also come to a mutual understanding on this issue.
  2. JonathanHunt

    JonathanHunt Puritan Board Senior

    For the record, I am solidly credobaptist but pro-CoW. Of course I might quibble over the terminology, but thats just semantics.

  3. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member


    Actually, at the heart of the Federal Vision and the New Perspective (one might say that it is the main thing that they have in common, especially because there are significant differences) is a denial of the covenant of works, and the insistence on a monocovenantal structure.

    I would also say that the FV is more dispensational in outlook than truly covenantal. It just takes a different trajectory.
  4. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Fred's answer above is correct. CT is not the long road to FV. The FV is really a road less traveled to Romanism. If Rome (in this analogy) is a baby normally born by normal means, the FV is a test tube baby.

    These have nothing to do with CT, just as much as Arius had anything to do with an orthodox formulation of the deity and person of Christ.
  5. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    I´m sorry, but this isn´t quite accurate. The CoW may be central to NPP from a CT perspective, but is hardly necessary unless one sees the necessity of the CoW. However, since you see the necessity, I understand your point. To put the focus on the CoW though, in my opinion, is to fail to realize the heresy that it is, especially for those who don't hold to CT or a CoW. As for it being more dispensational, well, that just plain flabergasts me. I guess from my perspective it takes works too far by taking CT claims too far. From yours it must be that DT tends to be more Arminian, which would tend to be more prevalent amont Deut.
    The NPP is a view of justification by works and refutes sola fide. Furthermore, those who are adherents to the NPP can´t even agree amongst themselves because this heresy is so far removed from Scripture and follows no consistent hermeneutic. So any disagreement here may depend upon who we're reading. It´s another effort of men to justify themselves rather than recognize the filthiness of their own works. There´s nothing new about it. It´s the Pharisees turned Catholic turned NPP. I don't think there's a need to debate it further though. I think we all recognize it as the heresy that it is. And, I'd hate to take this thread on another rabbit trail. Here´s a good summary if anyone's interested -
  6. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    I think we´re dealing with semantics here. I say Adam would live, but that in living he is not gaining anything he didn´t already have. He had eternal life as long as he didn´t sin. Eternal life is a reward to those who are dead. Adam already had it, so it wasn´t offered as something more for obedience. Christ lived a perfect life in our stead. He died in our stead. He took our sin upon himself so that we could receive His righteousness. The twain are not the same.

    Chris, I´ve repeatedly asked for exegetical work and "œnone" has been given. Fred came closest with his line of queries in regard to Romans 5, but even he admitted that he was unable to fully engage at this time. Much commentary and philosophy has been proposed. Some good argumentation has been presented. Challenging verses have been well thought through and wielded. However, your claim that exegetical proof has been demonstrated is inaccurate. Before you ask me to give a definition of "œexegesis" I´ll ask it of you. However, it might be better to start another thread. This one is already a bit off track with tangents. You consider not doing something to be doing something. I don´t. I don´t get something extra for my fidelity. However, I do get punished for infidelity. Love is an action verb. I think that answers your question sufficiently. In fact, I really don´t see where you´re actually trying to understand what I´m saying. I recognize what you´re proposing; I just simply think you´re wrong.

    While Fred´s line of questioning was challenging, it still did not make a direct point. It did not exegete the passage. It asked questions that assumed answers. His logic is good, but the proof was not presented. Furthermore, to claim that I have to present an argument for something to prove the non-existence of the CoW is just plain wrong. We don´t adapt something because there isn´t another good or better explanation. We build our system of FACTS that can irrefutable be proven. Otherwise what we present is simply our thoughts applied to Scripture. We may be right, but have to acknowledge that our theories may be inaccurate. So, rather than sitting at the feet of the reformers and divines, stand on their shoulders and prove what the text itself says. For those who think we need the wisdom of the reformers and that they were par excellence, I ask, "œWhat did the early church do?" Were they in the dark because Calvin wasn´t there to explain theology to them? How about Augustine? Is his theology errant because he didn´t have the wisdom of Witsius? These guys are simply tools for us. They´re not infallible. In fact, much of what they´ve written is quite fallible. Calvin´s ecclesiology was way off base. I would say his view of baptism was as well, but this is not the place for it. Witsius, while brilliant, relies on philosophical argumentation too much, departing from Scripture in his effort to justify his reasoning. Was he a godly man? I assume he was indeed. But hardly inerrant.

    Here are a couple more articles others might be interested in. I have not looked them over carefully, but find myself in substantial agreement with them from what I´ve seen.
    Covenant Theology -'s_Binding_of_God.htm

    I´ll quote part of the second article, which deals with the CoW. Read this with an honest and open mind guys. I did (although I skimmed much), and it gave me a greater understanding and appreciation for where you´re coming from. If he mislabeled you, then I don´t understand as well as I think. But his statements seemed to bridge the gap a little bit. In fact, I could now call the pre-Fall relationship between God and Adam a covenant (mainly because of the first sentence above). However, as is stated in this article, "œworks" does not do justice to the relationship.
    So, I guess I´ll have to land in the neighborhood of Greg. I can now see how this could be called a covenant because God said He would do something and is bound to do it by His own Word. However, I hesitate to call it one on the basis that it neither is called one in Scripture nor does it look the same as the covenants of Scripture. Furthermore, to all who claim that Adam had to DO anything, there is simply no Scriptural basis.
  7. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't know if anybody was convinced on that post but I really appreciate you posting that.
  8. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior


    Perhaps this is arrogant of me to say this, but I don't want to go back to the garden. And personally, I really can't believe that Christ's perfect obedience and death on the cross only merits me Adam's state before the fall.

    This does not seem like the consumation of the marriage of the Lamb. Adam was not going to be the bride of Christ, was he?

    If Adam's state is what we have to look forward to, it doesn't inspire very much hope.

    In Christ,

  9. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    Thanks Jacob. By the way, nice hat. :D


    I'm sorry. Obviously I'm not getting through, for whatever reason. I don't believe that Christ's perfect obedience and death on the cross only merits Adam's state before the Fall. I never implied that, so if I miscommunicated please forgive me.

    Adam had eternal life, but was not glorified. He was able to sin. In our eternal glorified state we will not be able to sin. I'm not sure, but I don't think he was allowed to witness the full glory of God. He certainly wasn't in heaven. His body obviously was capable of decay, since being kept from the tree allowed him to die. In other words, being redeemed is a whole lot better than being created sinless.

    I hope that's more clear.

    Have a good night guys.

    For the King
  10. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    Oh, I see what happened. I added a line without seeing how the two sentences interacted. Gotcha. We, being dead, are offered eternal life in Christ. Adam simply had eternal life because of a lack of disobedience in his created state, however, he did not have the righteousness of Christ. Hope that clears it up. Sorry 'bout that. :um:

    [Edited on 6-22-2005 by Wannabee]
  11. kceaster

    kceaster Puritan Board Junior

    Great Joe! That clears up that question.

    Now, how was Adam to be glorified if he had not sinned? What was that based on? What predicated the full enjoying of God to all eternity for him?

    In Christ,

  12. biblelighthouse

    biblelighthouse Puritan Board Junior

    God "is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). Would you agree that this held true in the Garden of Eden, or has God changed since then?

    You might say that Adam didn't need to "seek" God in any way. But then you would be saying that Adam had the fullest intimacy with God that is possible . . . equal to that of a man in the glorified state. But we can't say that, can we? If a person is glorified and incapable of sinning, then isn't that person closer to God than someone who is merely mutably holy? Or do you think that once you are in Heaven that you will be no more intimately close with God than Adam was? If Adam had something to gain in his relationship with God (namely glorification), then there was still some "seeking" to do.

    Instead of sinning, if Adam had persisted in seeking God, then God would have rewarded him (again, see Heb. 11:6). So, what reward could/would God have given Adam? The only reward God could have given Adam was glorification . . . eternal confirmation in holiness, a glorified body, and thus an eternally sealed intimate relationship with Himself.

    Why couldn't God have given Adam some other reward for seeking Him? Because there wasn't any other reward to give! Adam was already holy, already favored by God, and already as close to God and thankful to God as a mutably holy creature could be. God would have had to deny His own nature to withhold favor or intimacy from Adam, as long as he was in a holy state. So the only thing left for God to give Adam in his relationship to God was eternal life.

    1) God rewards those who seek him.
    2) Thus, if Adam had continued seeking God, then God would have rewarded him.
    3) The only thing Adam lacked in His relationship with God was confirmation in immutable holiness . . . eternal life.
    4) Thus, if Adam had continued seeking God and His favor, then God would have granted him eternal life.

    (#4 above is also confirmed by the parallelism between Adam in Christ in Romans 5.)


    [Edited on 6-22-2005 by biblelighthouse]
  13. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore


    Humbly I must disagree and I don´t think this you really mean what it sounds like you are saying (but I don´t want to put words into your mouth). For Adam would only die and thus decay for disobedience per the command and sanction for said disobedience "œon the day you eat"¦you shall surely die" (of the tree of knowledge of good and evil). This directly militates against the idea of decay prior to the test (covenant) entirely. The test period is inescapable anyway you slice it. And the test period was never meant to last forever but was temporary. That is Adam´s (and us through him) action of obedience/rebellion would dictate life or death. In totality and theoretically (for some) there are really four states if you will to consider: 1. Adam´s pre-fallen test period state (nothing yet lost or gained), 2. (This one is hypothetical past tense only) IF Adam had obeyed post-unfallen eternal life state (reward gained by the unfallen good obedient nature of man). 3. Post-fallen Adam/mankind (punishment gained by the now evil nature of man), 4. Redeemed through Christ the second Adam (reward gained by the disobedient on account of Christ and received by trust/faith alone).

    Furthermore, it seems that being redeemed IS to be re-created sinless in Christ, on account of Christ, judicially imputed righteous for Christ´s sake and Christ´s sake ALONE. That is the point of the parallel. If Adam being created sinless had remained so, then the reward of eternal life (pictured and placarded to Adam in the tree of eternal life which was the sacrament pointing to God the Son, through whom all things come into being and are sustained) would have been gained via Adam for all mankind. When the Tree of Life (the sacrament/sign holding out eternal life for obedience) was sealed and put under guard, God forever sealed that no one would be justified by his/her works/obedience "“ that way was closed forever to man by the fall of man. Nothing could be more plain.

    What seems to be missing when you state, "œbeing redeemed is a whole lot better than being created sinless", is the idea that IF Adam had obeyed the reward of eternal life would have been gained and out of the test period forever. That is man would have forever become sinless. This is what we lost in the fall. A hypothetical post-unfallen state would NOT mean that man would remain in a tension of eternal testing of obedience/disobedience with sin temptation and a fall possibility ever present for every man and woman for all of eternity. That wouldn´t be eternal life but constant potential life. No reward for obedience would be gained if the tension of testing remained.

    What you are really stating to be accurate in your comment above is, "œIn other words, being redeemed (by Christ) or (if having never fallen but found obedient through Adam) is a whole lot better than remaining in the test period forever". Christ gained what we lost in Adam and this we receive by faith (eyes fixed upon Christ as Christ, not new law giver), pure passive reception of the empty hand receiving the free gift of grace.

    Your's Togother In Christ,

  14. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    When you talk about Adam's test in this way, it sounds like you're saying God had established a certain time period (say 5 days or whatever) for Adam to be tested. If he obeyed for the entire period, the test would be over and he'd receive blessings. Is that what you're saying? If so, I was wondering if you or somebody else could provide scriptures to support the idea of his test being meant to be temporary in nature.
  15. biblelighthouse

    biblelighthouse Puritan Board Junior

    Bob, I already alluded to this above. See my post regarding Hebrews 11:6.

    If Adam wasn't as completely blessed, glorified, and close to God as is concievably possible (and he obviously wasn't), then there was still some "seeking" to do on his part. And God always rewards those who diligently seek Him. Thus, it would have been against God's nature to allow Adam to continue in "probation" forever . . . eventually, God would have rewarded Adam with eternal life. Again, please see my post above for more detail.

    In Christ,
  16. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    I see what you're saying and I guess that's about as close as we can get to the scriptures explicitly saying that the Genesis account was a time of testing with a fixed time limit (known only to God) for the test.

    I don't see any hint of it being this kind of a test in the Genesis account.

    Gen 2:16,17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

    God commanded Adam not to eat of the tree and said in the day he eats of it, he'll die. 'In the day' sounds pretty open ended to me, as in 'whenever' or 'if you ever'. I guess that's where the necessary inference comes in.
  17. biblelighthouse

    biblelighthouse Puritan Board Junior

    So are you rejecting the idea that Adam needed to seek God in any way?

    Or are you rejecting the idea that God would have eventually rewarded Adam for seeking Him?

    From your statements above, it sounds like you must be rejecting one of these two things. I am just wondering which one.

    Thank you,
  18. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    No, I'm rejecting the idea that God had set a time limit for a test. I'll have to give your logic some more thought, but my first impression is that there are vast differences between how we apply that verse before the fall vs now. It would seem that if we wanted to be consistant, the way we apply the verse now should be the same as we would apply it to Adam, and vice verse.

    Let's assume that Adam didn't fall and diligently sought after God. The test period runs out and Adam is rewarded with eternal life (?).

    To be consistant, we'd also have to apply it to ourselves in the same way. God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek God, so if I diligently seek God for some period of time, He will reward me with eternal life. But that's not true. In our case, I am rewarded if I diligently seek God through Christ. Its different for Adam. Using that verse before and after the fall may be comparing apples and oranges. (or so it seems)
  19. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    Thanks Kevin,
    Now, I'm feeling like you're setting me up. I kinda feel like a deer in the headlights. But, I'll bite.
    I don't think Adam could have been glorified without sinning. I think he could fully enjoy a relationship with God as an unfallen man, perfect in his creation, but not glorified. In the Garden he could sin, in glory he could not.

    Joseph, you're assuming that Adam sought God. We have no record of that. There is no indication that this was necessary whatsoever. It is impossible to try to reconstruct his condition/situation insofar as his condition after the Fall (our condition) is so different. There simply is no parallel.
    You would be putting words in my mouth to make the statements you're making about what I've said. His relationship before the Fall was as full as it could be in a perfect creation. However, I sufficiently addressed that in my response to Kevin above.
    You're summary is purely hypothesis with no Scriptural ground. It makes sense, but departs from Scripture. Hebrews 11:6 is dealing directly with fallen humanity, not the pre-Fall condition. To read this into Adam's situation in the Garden is to depart from the clear meaning and the context of the passage. If you're going to do this then you either need to be able to back it up with clear Scriptural references or define the hermeneutical principles that allow you to make this assumption.

    Thanks for the response Larry,
    I agree with much of what you say. However, a test period is not necessary. It's reading too much into the narrative. Adam was simply in one perfect condition as long as he didn't sin. That's all we can absolutely know from Scripture. Fallen man is tested. The comparison just doesn't add up to the pre-Fall condition.
    Much of what you're saying makes sense. However, your statements;
    read far too much into what is given. Adam was not justified by his obedience. He didn't need justification because he hadn't sinned. This just takes the parallel too far. If you're going to make statements like this you need to use verses that make it clear. You're analogy is quite plain. But you're Scriptural justification for it is not.
    If Adam hadn't sinned he wouldn't have become anything. He would have continued as he was. There was no test period to come out of. Or, if there is, there is no Scriptural reference to it that we can clearly make a case from. This is reading our philosophy/system into Scripture. To make statements like; "IF Adam had obeyed the reward of eternal life would have been gained and out of the test period forever." and "A hypothetical post-unfallen state would NOT mean that man would remain in a tension of eternal testing of obedience/disobedience with sin temptation and a fall possibility ever present for every man and woman for all of eternity. That wouldn´t be eternal life but constant potential life. No reward for obedience would be gained if the tension of testing remained." simply add too much to the context. Every facet of what you're proposing is possible. However, there is too much speculation and forced parallel without a clear Scriptural referent. This is philosophy, not exegesis, nor even exposition.
    Also, I'm not saying what you imply in your last paragraph. I am saying, "Being redeemed from our depraved state is far better than remaining in the perfect pre-Fall condition. One is being perfect humanity, the other is to be glorified in/with Christ. One would be to inherit the world, the other is to inherit the riches of the Kingdom of God." No comparison!

    Good comments Bob.

    There is not one single verse or passage that can be given to support the idea that Adam sought God, or needed to, in any way. He did hide from Him though. I see a consistent imposition of the idea that Adam needed something in the Garden. He needed a mate, Scripture makes that clear. He needed fellowship with God, but that was provided. But Scripture says nothing about him seeking anything.

    Absolutely, to both! Scriptural references to both/either please. I've already addressed the Hebrews passage.

    More good observations Bob.

    To get back to the subject, again, the CoW is being proposed from inferences by saying that it had to be this way because it wasn't that way. No clear biblical exegesis being done. Clear biblical references aren't being given.

    Thanks guys. I appreciate your desire for truth.
  20. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Are you ready to toss out all other NI's in scripture as well as it seems as if you are saying that just because we cannot draw out the literal term, covenant of redemption then it must mean it is not biblical. Personally, I don't know why everyone here is running around chasing their tail on this one as Matt and Fred have showed the rationale in regards to Adam being the first federal head.

  21. biblelighthouse

    biblelighthouse Puritan Board Junior

    No, you need to consider the full context of everything I said. The reason God could *only* have rewarded Adam with eternal life is because Adam already *had* everything else! If God was going to reward Adam, then the reward would have to be eternal life.

    It is not the same with us, because we lack far more than just eternal life. So God can reward us in many other ways when we seek him. We are not in the same state as Adam, so God can give us good things (other than eternal life) that are truly rewards.

    Bob, I hope that clarifies what I meant.

    Scott, I agree that the federal headship argument is very key. But I'm not sure why you say that the rest of us are "chasing our tails" . . . I got my Hebrews 11:6 argument from Matt in the first place, off his sermon series on the covenant of works.
  22. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm saying that we are being taken down rabbit trails. The key here is that, If I can quote Wannabee, 'It's not in the bible'. The answer to that rationale is, NI. There are many things in scripture which we embrace via NI. As well, so does Wannabee. As I have previously said, if you toss one, you must toss them all. The question remains, does Joe (wannabee) want to be consistant with that which he is holding our feet to the flame with?

    [Edited on 6-22-2005 by Scott Bushey]
  23. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    Thanks Scott.
    You make a good point. Obviously we use NI. My contention is that the CoW is necessarily NIs stacked on NIs. It's simply too far removed from Scripture. The Trinity is a great point. Each person of the Godhead is clearly found in Scripture. In order to get the CoW too many "inferences" have to be applied. This is where your hermeneutic principles have to be explained if you are going to go there. You have to limit your hermeneutic or you can make Scripture say anything you want it to. We both know that. So, if you are going compile this many "inferences" in order to build your systematic, give the principles that both allow you to do so and restrict you from going too far. If you can't define these then you need to back up and start over, establishing your principles and remaining consistent. To be clear, I'm not saying you have to agree with me on this. I am saying you really need to be clear in your exegetical process. This is what I've been asking for all along, but no one has taken me up on it.

    Kevin might be working on something though, one step at a time. I appreciate your patience Kevin. It tends to narrow down our disagreements to a manageable unit that, if nothing else, we can agree to disagree on.

    Another consideration. There doesn't seem to be unanimous agreement on exactly what the CoW is.
    a) Some would claim that it's simply the fact that God said Adam would die if he ate the forbidden fruit, and that he could eat of any tree in the Garden. By stating this God is bound to His Word. It's really simple, and I can buy the principle, though I don't think the title fits.
    b) Some say that it is more than that. They claim that Adam is actually earning his right to stay in the Garden. This is an inference that cannot be substantiated. We do not have enough pre-Fall information.
    c) Some say that Adam would receive greater reward if he hadn't disobeyed. Again, inferences based on philosophy, not exegesis.

    Among those espousing the above, or slight variations thereof, there is a differing hermeneutic. It's inconsistent. Therefore, each position needs to provide the hermeneutical principles that allows for (or mandates) them to come to their conclusions. They also need to demonstrate what principles keep them from going too far; i.e. if one holds to "b)," why can't "c)" be possible and vicey versey.

    I think this is ultimately the foundation of our disagreement.
  24. biblelighthouse

    biblelighthouse Puritan Board Junior

    What Scriptural proof do you have that there "simply is no parallel" between Adam's condition and ours? I'd like to see you try to prove that one. There are a lot of parallels: Adam was human, and so are we. Adam was created, and so are we. Adam was obligated to obey God's law, and so are we. I could go on and on. Are there differences too? Of course! But you have no grounds for your statement that there is "no parallel" whatsoever.

    Are you suggesting that Adam could have pleased God, even if he had been totally devoid of faith?

    To quote Hebrews 11:6 more fully, "without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

    I am not saying that Adam needed to have faith in the cross like we do. But he did need to have faith in God. It is not possible (even concievably possible) to please God without having faith in Him.

    Would you agree that Adam knew God's holy character better than we, since Adam was untainted by sin? If so, then wouldn't he have known that God "is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him"? Or are you suggesting that God holds us to a higher standard to please Him than the standard to which He held Adam?

    On the contrary, the burden of proof is on you. Hebrews 11:6 simply says that it is impossible to please God without faith, and that anyone coming to God must believe that He exists, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. No qualifications are given. So if you want to argue that Adam didn't have to have faith, that Adam didn't have to believe God existed, and that Adam didn't have to believe God rewards seekers, then you need to prove Scripturally why Adam was held to such a different standard. On what Biblical basis do you make such a distinction with Adam, concerning Hebrews 11:6? Why wouldn't you think it would apply to him, Eve, etc.? Prove your case Scripturally.

    On the contrary, God said that His Law was intended to "give life". Adam didn't have eternal life. So if he had kept the law perfectly, he would have been rewarded with eternal life.

    But Scripture does reveal that Adam was not yet confirmed in eternal life . . . immutable holiness . . . glorification. And I think we all agree that the glorified state in the eternal presence of God is MUCH better than even Adam's original state. So there WAS certainly something for him to "seek" in his relationship with God. And as I pointed out, Hebrews 11:6 says that you can't please God if you do not believe that He rewards those who diligently seek him. (Or are you holding Adam to a *lower* standard than fallen man?)
    Since you reject #1, you necessarily reject the fact that glorification in immutable holiness in God's eternal presence is better than Adam's original state. If it isn't better, then of course Adam had no reason to seek God. But I think we agree that glorification IS better . . . so your rejection of #1 makes no sense.

    Your rejection of #2 directly contradicts Hebrews 11:6. And you have not yet met the burden of proof to tell me why Adam was somehow held to a *lower* standard for pleasing God than fallen men are.

    On the contrary, the Biblical exegesis is very clear to many of us on this board. If it's not clear to you, that doesn't mean there is any problem with the Bible or with the exegesis. Many of us on here agree that "clear biblical references" have been given many times.

    Like Scott pointed out earlier, Romans 5 is still very much at the top of the list here. If Jesus saves us covenantally via works, and if Jesus is the "second Adam", then Adam himself obviously was in a works-based covenantal state as well. I think anyone who denies that is searching for some way to reject the CoW, for some reason or other.

    Why are you so against the CoW? What doctrine would you have to give up if you accepted the CoW doctrine?

    [Edited on 6-22-2005 by biblelighthouse]
  25. biblelighthouse

    biblelighthouse Puritan Board Junior

    OK, I understand. Thank you for the clarification. You hit the nail right on the head.

    Scott, I am with you 100%.

    In Christ,
  26. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    I'll not address all you've said because it appears that you're reading around me, instead of truly trying to understand what I'm saying. I've been clear. We can agree to disagree, but please stop imposing things on what I'm saying. You ask for Scriptural proof for me saying something didn't exist. The burden of proof is always on the one who claims something is, not on one who claims something isn't, at least until the first one has given substantial proof. Applying doctrine regarding salvation to the pre-Fall condition needs to be backed up by proof that Adam was constrained as we are. It's just too much being read into the meaning.

    A vote on this board only proves a majority agree. It does not necessitate truth. Scott did a good job of bringing the focus back where it needs to be. I addressed his statements in a way that I think all can understand. Take the challenge or not. But there's no need to continue to try to corner me.

    I'm not aware of any. I'm simply seeking truth. The only reason I'm against what's been proposed is because I see it as an imposition on Scripture. That would concern anyone, including you. Please read through my last post.

    By the way, nice looking family. You ever get up to Bonham? I have lots of family from all around that area, from OK down to Corsicana to Tyler to... well all around there. Beautiful country.

  27. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    I've been thinking about this.
    Perhaps it's not the doctrine itself, although I have a problem with it according to my post above. It's the attitude and elitism that is engendered by some who proclaim it. Statements like, "You can't believe in imputed righteousness if you don't believe in the CoW," attempt to set those who adhere to this system on a pedestal and shows a superiority complex that is very disturbing. Not all are guilty, but enough has been said on this thread alone to make my point.
    If it is there then it's hidden. It's not clear from Scripture. The simple fact is that there is simply too much that is clear from Scripture to be binding people with doctrines that might be, or even probably are. We'll never mine the depths of what we can positively know, so focusing on the CoW is to take one's focus off of the clear teaching of Scripture. It will not help the widow raising children on her own. It will not make Christ clearer to the lost. And it does distract from the clear teaching of Scripture. No one is going to hell because they don't buy into the CoW. No one is less sanctified if they don't. No one is sinning if they don't. However, if, as I claim, it is not a valid doctrine, then all who adhere to it are guilty of adding to Scripture. So, I guess that is why I am threatened by the CoW.

    I answered the question honestly. I really don't want to debate this issue though, it would be yet another rabbit trail. Let's keep the focus on Scott's challenge and my follow-up, unless of course Bob desires to refocus (it is his thread after all :D ).
  28. Larry Hughes

    Larry Hughes Puritan Board Sophomore


    1. No for as Adam´s seed we would inherent the quality of eternal life federally through him.

    2. To continue along the consistency you propose we could not fall federally in Adam. Thus, each man "œhas the same chance as did Adam" which is not unlike what Pelagious argued eventually. If I´m hearing you correctly, perhaps I´m not. But Scripture clearly says we corporately fell in Adam.

    3. You are not rewarded for diligently seek God through Christ. You are graciously given Christ´s merit and this by faith, but make no mistake you or me are not rewarded for ANY of our doing. Neither you or myself or any man "œdiligently" seeks after God through Christ or otherwise such as it is perfect and sufficient. God´s Law requires absolute undiluted perfection and not wishful thinking and not us thinking in our minds vainly, "œI´m diligently seeking You Lord", but that yet in the end fails.

    Genesis 3:22, "œThen the LORD God said, "˜Behold , the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. NOW, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever-´therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life."

    This verse alone shows that eternal life was held forth as reward for the merit of obedience and thus duly removed after the fall.

    And as Matt said earlier anything you take from Adam´s work/failure, you subtract from Christ´s work/success. If all Christ did was to die for sins past tense in every persons life and not secure righteousness into the future and unto glorification, then no man is saved for no man has prevailed to date to NOT sin post-conversion in the least.

    Furthermore, "œeternal life" as the reformers rightly understood means just that, eternal life. It has the immutable quality self contained in its essence. Thus, to say I give you eternal life (whether had Adam obeyed or as Christ did for His people) and then take it away for a lacking of future obedience (as we experience this life in time) would be to offer anything but ETERNAL life.

    You are quite right Adam would not have been justified by his obedience because he hadn´t before sinned. But your equivocated the term "˜justification´ here. If one sins at all in light of the infinite perfect holy Law, one can never in and of themselves, neither partially or wholly, be justified. Adam would have simply earned the reward set forth and showed himself to BE just having never fallen.

  29. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate


    Adam didn't need justified. He needed glorified.
  30. blhowes

    blhowes Puritan Board Professor

    Thanks, Joe. I think I got everything I was looking for out of the thread (plus some), so feel free to focus wherever would be most helpful.

    I think I may just bow out of this thread for a bit. I've never thought about some of the things that are being said, so I'd rather give them some thought, pray about them, etc.

    Have fun,
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