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Re: Adam violated the Covenant of Works

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  • thebishopsdoom
    The person I am in discussion with is a Belgie who is contending that Adam sinned and transgressed against the Covenant of Grace, and that there was no
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 2001
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      "The person I am in discussion with is a Belgie
      who is contending that Adam sinned and transgressed
      against the Covenant of Grace, and that there was no
      distinct Covenant of Works. He says that the WCF is wrong
      to call it such."<br>A number of Dutch today do this
      and argue that the CoW is a Scots/Brits abberation.
      But...<br>From R.S. Clark:<br>"Zwingli... also taught a covenant
      of works before the fall and a covenant of grace
      after the fall... Johannes Oecolampadius
      (�1531...taught a remarkably mature covenant theology including
      the doctrine of the covenant of redemption, the
      covenant of works and the covenant of grace... The two
      most important Reformed covenant theologians of the
      late 16th century were the chief authors of our
      catechism, Caspar Olevian (1536-87) and Zacharias Ursinus
      (1534-83). Ursinus lectured on the covenant theology of the
      catechism in Heidelberg for about fifteen years and later,
      until his death, at his school in Neustadt. His
      covenant theology is clear from his lectures and Larger
      Catechism (1561) which he used in his seminary and
      university classes.<br>Ursinus defined covenants in general
      in terms of the covenant of works, since the Gospel
      can only be understood against the background of the
      Law. In the covenant of works, God placed conditions
      upon Adam, the head of all humanity, which he
      accepted, to obey his covenant God. The sign of the
      covenant was the tree of life... Why is the covenant not
      more prominent in the Heidelberg Catechism? The answer
      is in two parts. One of the chief aims of the
      catechism was to present the Reformed faith to Lutherans in
      the Palatinate. By 1562, when the work on the
      catechism was underway, the Lutherans had strongly
      criticized Reformed covenant theology [because the
      terminology was similar to terminology used by medieval
      Fransiscans]. Therefore, the committee wanted a more ecumenical
      tone for the catechism. The second reason is that
      Ursinus and Olevian were commissioned to the explain the
      catechism in the schools in terms of what we know as the
      classic Reformed federal theology: covenant of
      redemption, covenant of works and covenant of grace. Even
      though the catechism did not use the technical covenant
      language, the authors of the catechism clearly understood
      the catechism to teach the substance of covenant
      theology... J. H. Heidegger and Turretin produced the
      Helvetic Consensus Formula (1675), a brilliant summary of
      Reformed covenant theology in the late 17th century. In
      Canon VII they taught that, "Having created man in this
      manner, he [God] put him under the Covenant of Works, and
      in this Covenant freely promised him communion with
      God, favor and life, if indeed he acted in obedience
      to his will." If Adam kept the covenant, he would
      enter into eternal blessedness, which was signified by
      the Tree of Life (Canon VIII). What Adam refused to
      do Christ the Second Adam did for us. They
      explicitly criticized the Arminians who rejected the
      covenant of works (Canon IX). Following the Reformed
      mainstream, they also taught the eternal covenant of
      redemption (Canon XIII). Against the Remonstrants, they
      upheld faith (sola fide) as the only condition for
      entering the covenant. Obedience flows from justification
      out of gratitude. "In accordance with these two ways
      of justification the Scripture establishes these two
      covenants: the Covenant of Works, entered into with Adam and
      with each one of his descendants in him, but made void
      by sin; and the Covenant of Grace, made with only
      the elect in Christ, the second Adam, eternal. [This
      covenant] cannot be broken while [the Covenant of Works]
      can be abrogated."<br>See also
      <a href=http://spindleworks.com/library/stienstra/CovWorks.htm target=new>http://spindleworks.com/library/stienstra/CovWorks.htm</a>
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