Thomas Watson on the Covenant of Grace

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C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher

The Believer’s Privileges in the Covenant of Grace – by Thomas Watson (1620-1686)

Thomas Watson (1620-1686) was one of the most highly esteemed nonconformist Puritans of his day, as well as being an extremely popular preacher. Today’s Reformed and Christian audience adores his simple style and biblical exposition which are filled with sound doctrine, practical wisdom, and heart-searching application.

In this work, Watson explains what the biblical privileges of the Covenant of Grace are for a believer. He demonstrates that such privileges are in fact benefits lavished on the Christian by the work and ministry of Jesus Christ, through his life, death, resurrection and present intercession.

It is impossible to divorce the privileges of a believer as a redeemed individual with the connection he has with Christ in the Covenant of Grace. Christ’s covenant, ministered to the believer through faith, is the mode in which the believer will obtain all the benefits offered. There are, according to Watson, twelve royal benefits of being in the covenant with Christ’s blood covering the believer. Such royal privileges surround death, the ministry of angels, the presence of Christ in glory, a blessed inheritance, clear knowledge, perfect love, the resurrection and glorification of our bodies, a holy disposition in heaven, a vindication of our reputations at the judgment, a complete sentence of absolution from sin, and a public and honorable mention of all the good which believers have done in this life.

After explaining his main text, “All things are yours,” (1 Corinthians 3:21), and expounding the twelve privileges, he spends the last third of the work showing important inferences which evolve out of this doctrine.

Finally, he completes the work with its longest chapter showing all the duties that a believer should exercise knowing, now, that he has received such privileges from Christ in the Covenant of Grace.

Watson’s style and illustrative manner is second to none in Puritan literature. His illustrations are often short, pithy and to the point. They paint wonderful pictures to drive home the truth of the Scripture-filled work on this most important topic. It is truly a work that ought not to be skimmed, or read in a rush, but rather, soaked in and meditated upon to milk out of it all its benefits, that Christ may be clearly seen.

This work is not a scan or facsimile, has been carefully transcribed by hand being made easy to read in modern English, and has an active table of contents for electronic versions.

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