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RE: [Covenanted Reformation] Sproul VS Covenant

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  • J. Parnell McCarter
    Q.31 With whom was the Covenant of Grace made? A. The Covenant of Grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in him with all the elect as his seed.
    Message 1 of 8 , Dec 30, 2004
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      "Q.31 With whom was the Covenant of Grace made?

      "A. The Covenant of Grace was made with Christ as the second Adam,
      and in him with all the elect as his seed."

      In the new and better covenant, God the Father made an agreement with
      God the Son, Jesus Christ. Acting as the Mediator, as the
      Representative and Substitute for his people, the elect, Jesus Christ
      fulfilled all the conditions of the Covenant of Works that Adam had
      failed to fulfill. Jesus procured all the blessings of salvation for
      his people, and that salvation he gives to them all as a free gift.

      Q. 166. Unto whom is baptism to be administered?

      A. Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible
      church, and so strangers from the covenant of promise, till they profess
      their faith in Christ, and obedience to him,[1066] but infants descending
      from parents, either both, or but one of them, professing faith in Christ,
      and obedience to him, are in that respect within the covenant, and to be
      baptized.[1067]

      We must distinguish the Covenant of Grace in its spiritual essence (see q
      31) and its visible administration (see q 166). With respect to its
      spiritual essence, the Covenant of Grace is with the elect alone, and
      unconditional. But with respect to its visible administration (as
      exemplified in water baptism), the Covenant of Grace is with the visible
      church, and conditional. The conditions are true faith and repentance, for
      not all of the visible church will be saved, but only those with true faith
      and repentance. Of course, only the elect will have true faith and
      repentance, for they alone did Christ atone for and the Spirit regenerate,
      God working faith and repentance in them.

      Of course, there are many like Schilder, Schlissel, etc. who have denied
      that the Covenant of Grace in its spiritual essence is with the elect alone.
      Such are great errorists, who undermine the doctrines of grace.

      On the other hand, we must beware the error of those who deny the Covenant
      of Grace in its visible administration is conditional, as if what we believe
      and how we live has no relation to our salvation. This tends toward
      antinomianism.

      - Parnell McCarter
    • Benjamin Hart
      OK, well what does Hebrews mean when it says the following? 2:1-4: Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift
      Message 2 of 8 , Jan 1, 2005
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        OK, well what does Hebrews mean when it says the following?
         
        2:1-4:  Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
         
        6:4-6:  4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 *if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
         
        10:26-31:  26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,"* *says the Lord. And again, "The Lord will judge His people."* 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
         
        Isn't it consistent Reformed orthodoxy that states that the covenant is made externally with any who take the name of Christ and are baptised, yet there is the internal aspect of the Covenant of Grace which is made with the elect, who shall surely not fall away?  Perhaps I didn't read Sproul carefully, but what he was saying seemed consistent with this.
         
        A caveat with respect to John Robbins - am I the only one who sees him as just loving to publicly bash people and sound like he's the church-appointed protector of orthodoxy?  Who would devote an article to the question of whether CS Lewis was in hell, and end insinuating he was?  I could go on forever about him and Clark, but I must restrain myself.  Am I the only one whose skin crawls whenever I read their writing?
         
        -Ben

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      • gmw
        Similar garbage was recently posted in Songs of Zion. It appears that the minions are out beating the bushes. gmw. ... we have heard, lest we drift away. 2
        Message 3 of 8 , Jan 1, 2005
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          Similar garbage was recently posted in Songs of Zion. It appears that
          the minions are out beating the bushes.

          gmw.

          --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, Benjamin Hart
          <benhartmail@y...> wrote:
          > OK, well what does Hebrews mean when it says the following?
          >
          > 2:1-4: Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things
          we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through
          angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience
          received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a
          salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was
          confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness
          both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the
          Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
          >
          > 6:4-6: 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,
          and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the
          Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of
          the age to come, 6 *if they fall away, to renew them again to
          repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God,
          and put Him to an open shame.
          >
          > 10:26-31: 26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the
          knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
          27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery
          indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has
          rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or
          three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will
          he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot,
          counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common
          thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said,
          "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,"* *says the Lord. And again, "The
          Lord will judge His people."* 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into
          the hands of the living God.
          > Isn't it consistent Reformed orthodoxy that states that the covenant
          is made externally with any who take the name of Christ and are
          baptised, yet there is the internal aspect of the Covenant of Grace
          which is made with the elect, who shall surely not fall away? Perhaps
          I didn't read Sproul carefully, but what he was saying seemed
          consistent with this.
          >
          > A caveat with respect to John Robbins - am I the only one who sees
          him as just loving to publicly bash people and sound like he's the
          church-appointed protector of orthodoxy? Who would devote an article
          to the question of whether CS Lewis was in hell, and end insinuating
          he was? I could go on forever about him and Clark, but I must
          restrain myself. Am I the only one whose skin crawls whenever I read
          their writing?
          >
          > -Ben
          >
          >
          > __________________________________________________
          > Do You Yahoo!?
          > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
          > http://mail.yahoo.com
        • thebishopsdoom
          V. Moreover, as we restrict this covenant to the Elect, it is evident we are speaking of the internal, mystical, and spiritual communion of the covenant. For
          Message 4 of 8 , Jan 1, 2005
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            "V. Moreover, as we restrict this covenant to the Elect, it is
            evident we are speaking of the internal, mystical, and spiritual
            communion of the covenant. For salvation itself, and everything
            belonging to it, or inseparably connected with it, are promised in
            this covenant, all which, none but the Elect can attain to. If, in
            other respects, we consider the external economy of the covenant, in
            the communion of the word and sacraments, in the profession of the
            true faith, in the participation of many gifts, which, though
            excellent and illustrious, are yet none of the effects of the
            sanctifying Spirit, nor any earnest of future happiness; it cannot be
            denied, that, in this respect, many are in covenant, whose names,
            notwithstanding, are not in the testament of God." (Witsius, Economy
            of the Divine Covenants, bk 3 ch. 1)

            -thebishopsdoom
          • J. Parnell McCarter
            ... made externally with any who take the name of Christ and are baptised, yet there is the internal aspect of the Covenant of Grace which is made with the
            Message 5 of 8 , Jan 1, 2005
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              >Isn't it consistent Reformed orthodoxy that states that the covenant is made externally with any who take the name of Christ and are baptised, yet there is the internal aspect of the Covenant of Grace which is made with the elect, who shall surely not fall away?  Perhaps I didn't read Sproul carefully, but what he was saying seemed consistent with this.

               

              Yes, but at least 2 reformed denominations, and many people as well, have had a hard time grasping it.  This is especially true among the Dutch Reformed, because the 3FU do not go into as much detail regarding the doctrine of the covenant as the Westminster Stds.  

               

              There are many, like Schilder and the Canadian Reformed Church, who have denied that the Covenant of Grace in its spiritual essence is with the elect alone.  They have asserted that all covenants are conditional by their very nature.  But this error undermines the Biblical doctrines of grace, which recognize that salvation is of free grace to God’s people.

              On the other hand, we must beware the error of those who deny the Covenant of Grace in its visible administration is conditional, as if what we believe and how we live has no relation to our salvation.  This tends toward antinomianism.  It is an error that Hoeksema and the Protestant Reformed Churches have tended towards.  They have denied that there is any sense in which the divine covenant can be conditional.  This explains in large measure why the Protestant Reformed Churches have denied the Covenant of Works (with its conditionality), and they have rejected that adultery is just cause for divorce, severing the marriage covenant.  Hoeksema wrote: "
              The marriage bond is absolutely indissoluble. It cannot be broken. No more than the union between Christ and His church can be dissolved, no more can the marriage tie ever be severed. It is a most intimate union of life and for life, which only death can dissolve."

              See http://www.rsglh.org/a_history_of_the%20church's%20doctrine%20of%20marriage%20and%20divorce.htm to read the Protestant Refd perspective :

              "Convinced by this great theologian that the Word of God does indeed teach marriage as a lifelong, unbreakable bond in reflection of the everlasting covenant of grace, the Protestant Reformed Churches have steadfastly confessed and practiced this doctrine of marriage with its implications for divorce and remarriage to the present day. In doing so, they have broken with a significant aspect of the Reformed tradition. This tradition goes back to the 16th century Reformation itself, having its source in Calvin and Luther. It is a doctrine of marriage that views marriage as a breakable bond. Sinful human actions can dissolve what God has joined together. The sins that can break the bond are fornication and desertion."

              - Parnell McCarter

               

               

               

            • Maggie Conley
              Perhaps I didn t read Sproul carefully, but what he was saying seemed consistent with this. For the record, the February 18th article quoted was taken a tad
              Message 6 of 8 , Jan 2, 2005
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                Perhaps I didn't read Sproul carefully, but what he was saying seemed consistent with this.

                 

                For the record, the February 18th article quoted was taken a tad bit out of context – or at least it seems to me it was.

                 

                I have been a regular subscriber to Tabletalk for almost three years now and this past year on Hebrews has been wonderful.

                 

                The summation of this day’s devotional says this:

                 

                “The Reformed tradition recognizes that the Bible teaches both divine sovereignty and human responsibility.  God is in control of all things.  Human beings are responsible to keep the covenant.  In the book of Hebrews, God gives us real warnings so that human responsibility is not invalidated, but rather sustained because the warnings motivate the invisible Church to keep the faith.

                 

                “It is a sobering thought that every local church probably has people within it who profess Christ but in reality are from the kingdom.  Though we may not know who those people are, we must remain aware that they exist.  Pray that all the people in your church may not only profess faith, but also possess it by God’s Grace.”

                 

                 

                Lest I type the ENTIRE article (and I can if necessary) the point of this article is that the Covenant is made by God, and broken by man.  Men break it over and over, and only God remains true, and only God enables men to remain true, by His Grace in the Faith which He Gifts us.

                 

                Maggie – who begins a new year of Tabletalk in James yesterday.

                 

                 

              • Edgar A. Ibarra Jr.
                Maggie, Very beautiful and sobering about those that are in the visible body but not in the invisible body. Thank you for posting this! -Edgar ... seemed ...
                Message 7 of 8 , Jan 2, 2005
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                  Maggie,

                  Very beautiful and sobering about those that are in the visible
                  body but not in the invisible body.

                  Thank you for posting this!

                  -Edgar

                  --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, "Maggie Conley"
                  <mmpconley@s...> wrote:
                  > "Perhaps I didn't read Sproul carefully, but what he was saying
                  seemed
                  > consistent with this."
                  >
                  > For the record, the February 18th article quoted was taken a tad
                  bit out
                  > of context - or at least it seems to me it was.
                  >
                  > I have been a regular subscriber to Tabletalk for almost three
                  years now
                  > and this past year on Hebrews has been wonderful.
                  >
                  > The summation of this day's devotional says this:
                  >
                  > "The Reformed tradition recognizes that the Bible teaches both
                  divine
                  > sovereignty and human responsibility. God is in control of all
                  things.
                  > Human beings are responsible to keep the covenant. In the book of
                  > Hebrews, God gives us real warnings so that human responsibility is
                  not
                  > invalidated, but rather sustained because the warnings motivate the
                  > invisible Church to keep the faith.
                  >
                  > "It is a sobering thought that every local church probably has
                  people
                  > within it who profess Christ but in reality are from the kingdom.
                  > Though we may not know who those people are, we must remain aware
                  that
                  > they exist. Pray that all the people in your church may not only
                  > profess faith, but also possess it by God's Grace."
                  >
                  >
                  > Lest I type the ENTIRE article (and I can if necessary) the point of
                  > this article is that the Covenant is made by God, and broken by man.
                  > Men break it over and over, and only God remains true, and only God
                  > enables men to remain true, by His Grace in the Faith which He
                  Gifts us.
                  >
                  > Maggie - who begins a new year of Tabletalk in James yesterday.
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