David the King, the representative, the head, sins, and Israelites die. But the distinction between the covenant of works and grace is getting at something that is of vital importance, as it has to do with the Gospel. Secondly, because of your sin, my unbelieving friends, you can’t even think past the fall to think about fair. Sin in the world, death in the world, judgment in the world, condemnation in the world, the reign of death in the world, and ultimately the condemnation of us all. In other words, the one place to look for salvation is not our own works, or the works of other men even saintly men. May He add His blessing to it. But He will, in fact we can say, He has won the battle. Look at verse 12: “Through one man, sin entered into the world.” Look at it again. They forgot to whom they spoke five minutes ago. He’s not merely repeating himself, he’s not merely recapitulating what he’s already said, he’s actually pulling back and saying, “Let me explain to you some of the underlying reasons for the purposes of God and why salvation has to be this way. They thought Christ plus this, equals salvation. The belief that God made 2 personal covenants with humanity, the covenant of grace and the covenant of works. We ask it in His name, Amen. Now, that’s very important because Paul is speaking to people who think that in order to be right with God they’ve to do certain things. He wins the blessing of the covenant of works on all of the progeny of Adam who put their trust in Jesus. I’m going to bring out Michael Jordan for you. ... APUSH Chapter 2: American Experiments 1521-1700 27 terms. And I can categorically, without having any prophetic powers or omniscience today say that voice that is whispering in your ear, “That’s not fair reject Him,” that’s the voice of the evil one, the enemy of your soul, Satan who is seeking to destroy you. I. I don’t know what you’re complaining about.” You get the point. The covenant of works, instituted in the Garden of Eden, was the promise that perfect obedience would be rewarded with eternal life. You not only see the nature of Adam’s sin here, but you see the fact of our sinnerhood. God gave him an express command, and Adam broke that command. The covenant of grace indicates God’s promise to save us even when we fail to keep the obligations imposed in creation. He has authored, co-authored, edited, or contributed to numerous books. So Paul is resuming his argument here in verse 18. Look up at verse 12, you will see a “just as” in verse 12, but you’ll never see a “so also.” You’ll see protasis, but no apodosis for any of you grammarians out there. “You know, you Christians, will fall for anything. So Paul here is focusing us on the one act of Adam as the problem for us all. And for all those reasons, I believe that your only wise response is to accept what God has said in His word, and flee to Christ for grace. Think about it. Now let me also say in passing, seemingly problematically, Paul does an interesting parallel in this passage. It is His perfect righteousness, gained via His perfect obedience, that is imputed to all who put their trust in Him. And so beginning in Romans, chapter 5, verse 12, he wants to explain to you the parallels which exist between Adam and Christ, our first head, our federal representative, Adam, who fell in his rebellion against God from the state of righteousness and grace which God had blessed him with. The Bible says that it is by grace we are saved, and not of our works. Because He is concerned for justice and fairness. And that his original sin had consequences for us. And in the same way, the Bible certainly doesn’t speak of covenant there. Yet there is in some sense what some theologians have called a “covenant of works.” Probably the best defense of the notion that covenant is introduced in these chapters is the book by Michael Horton called Covenant and Eschatology. Think again of David, in a less than favorable way this time. And what’s Paul trying to do? You can’t even think there, your mind is darkened by sin. How is it that it is fair? And as a result, that kind of sin nature pervades our race. David wins, Israel wins. It is not by your works, it is by His one work. Covenant. Seek to be righteous before God in your own strength, and you will lose, unless you run from your works to the one man, the one work, the right man, Jesus Christ. That voice once said to Eve, that’s not fair, reject Him. The two-covenant view holds that there is the covenant of works in the Old Testament made between God and Adam, and the Covenant of Grace between the Father and the Son, where the Father promised to give the Son the elect and the Son must redeem them. You have to add some of your own obedience, some of your own moral rectitude in order to commend yourself to God.' In Covenant theology, the Covenant of Works is the second of three theological covenants. No. Lab Final 54 terms. She believed that by teaching that good works were evidence of true conversion and salvation, ministers were still preaching a Covenant of Works rather than a Covenant of Grace. Fix that problem! Secondly, why is it that the imputation of Adam’s sin is fair? It is a system of theology that interprets the Bible’s philosophy of history through the lens of two or three covenants and is founded on Replacement Theology, which maintains that God has replaced the Jewish people with the church and that Christians are now God’s chosen people. As an instrument of the covenant they point out the way to eternal salvation; or contain the condition of enjoying that salvation: and that both Under the covenant of grace and of works. In other words you can’t talk about Adam and Christ and compare them without drawing out the bold contrast that exists between them. Have you noticed in this passage Paul uses three words to describe Adam’s sin: Transgression, trespass, and disobedience. In this sense, on the cross, Christ took upon Himself the negative sanctions of the old covenant. You can’t even think about how you would have functioned as a non-sinful person. We are left as the miserable sons of Adam, who can only look forward to feeling the full measure of God’s curse upon us for our own disobedience. Notice the words. You can’t even concede what an unfallen human being has with regard to intellectual and moral potential. III. averydaly33. That’s you in a fallen world. Our job is just to announce it. Scofield distinguished seven dispensations including that of innocence, conscience, civil government, promise, law, grace, and the kingdom period. The hallmark of traditional dispensationalism has been an acute biblio-centrality. The Bible is a covenantal story, and one that Paul, again, describes as "the covenants of promise" (Eph. He broke his command. And so God was gracious in the way that He constructed this. And the young man started arguing with the professor. Fifth and finally believers. Lord Sabaoth His name, from age to age the same, and He must win the battle.” What is Luther doing? Berith is derived from a root which means "to cut," and hence a covenant is a "cutting," with reference to the cutting or dividing of animals into two parts, and the contracting parties passing between them, in making a covenant ( Genesis 15; Jeremiah 34:18 Jeremiah 34:19). It was trespass in that Adam not only broke God’s commandment, but he did positively what God has explicitly and specifically, negatively told him not to do. The old Scofield Reference Bible defined dispensationalism in terms of seven distinct dispensations or time periods within sacred Scripture. I don’t understand how it is that Adam does something and it’s imputed to me. Yes. Why it is that you contribute nothing of your own righteousness to your standing of righteousness before God. We had been studying the imputation of Adam’s sin, but we hadn’t gotten yet to the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. In other words, a theology of plus pervaded the thinking of Paul’s opponents. And that sin can be imputed – I don’t understand this whole representative principle. But we can cover some of it. Notice the parallel. The CG takes the form of ancient land-grant treaties, in which a king would give land to a recipient as a gift, no strings attached. Tit 3:3. So Paul is not teaching in this passage that all are condemned, and all are saved, speaking of every last person that ever lived. May the Almighty God prosper the work here and may He abundantly bless the endeavours of all His people, sending His Holy Spirit with power to shed forth the pure light of Christ. And so Paul’s stress on all men is beautiful because he’s saying all of us are condemned, and all of us have only one hope, and that is Jesus Christ and saving faith in Him. ‘The sanctions of the covenant of works are revealed in nature, hard-wired into creation itself.’ ‘Keep in mind that the covenant of works was a covenant imposing personal obligation upon Adam.’ ‘So the doctrine of the covenant of works is not necessarily founded on the metaphor of God as an employer.’ Abraham believed, his descendants are blessed. But let me say this. And that’s exactly what he did in verses 15 through 17. But if you look at verse 23, you will see that Paul parallels all with something. He’s trying to draw their attention away from their singular acts, from their individual acts, from their individual righteousness, to think about one act, one obedience, one righteousness done by Jesus Christ. Now you will appreciate this passage more if you will remember once more the audience context in which Paul is speaking this. When we understand Christ’s work of redemption in the New Testament, we focus our attention largely on two aspects of it. With those who are Christ’s, those who belong to Christ, those who belong to Him by faith, those who have trusted in Him. So we are not only in a predicament, we are personally culpable. COVENANT OF REDEMPTION IN THE THEOLOGY OF JONATHAN EDWARDS: THE NEXUS BETWEEN THE IMMANENT ... years of graduate work in the Master of Theology and Doctor of Philosophy Program at ... good things that helped them to grow in God’s grace during our stay in the United States. Some of you are saying, “That’s not fair.” I know that. So it’s not just breaking the law, it’s breaking of an explicit prohibition. The biblical covenants form the unifying thread of God’s saving action through Scripture. Poor innocent us.” The prophets told the people of Israel, don’t do that because God was going to judge them for their own sins. He is an optimal representative. You’ll see a “just as” and a clause associated with it, but you’ll not see a “so also,” a responding, an ending clause, a concluding clause of the article. Reformed covenant theology has traditionally seen in this passage a “covenant of works“ between God and Adam. Covenant of Works. When the Holy Spirit guides our search of Scripture, we can “study to show ourselves approved unto God” (2 Timothy 2:15) and discover the beauty of a grace that produces good works. Believers, I’ve got five answers I’d like to give you to that question. And what Paul wants to press upon them is that it is Christ alone who brings our salvation, and it is faith alone in what He has done alone that brings to us our right standing before God. Now again, before you argue with that, let’s get one thing clear first. The covenant of works says that to get to heaven you must do good works. We’re going to be looking at verses 18 and 19, but let me ask you to allow your eyes to roam back to verse 12, because you will remember that in verse 12 Paul began a sentence which he did not complete. Chapter 3, “The Covenants of Works and of Grace,” describes and defends a traditional “covenant of works” and then sets it over against the “covenant of grace.” This is seen most importantly in the work of Jesus as the new Adam. Now why is Paul using three different terms to describe Adam’s sin? Paul is talking to Jewish folk who think that in order to be saved, you’ve got to become like them. Summary . Covenant of Grace. Not fair. . Dr. Ligon Duncan 2:12). He’s proud. In other words, Paul is saying it was willful. Let me give you an answer to that. Covenant of works. . In the Old Testament the Hebrew word berith is always thus translated. You didn’t exist when Christ did what He did, but you know what? Beyond the negative fulfillment of the covenant of works, in taking the punishment due those who disobey it, Jesus offers the positive dimension that is vital to our redemption. Abraham believes God. Donate Now. Dr. R.C. in all its fullness to as many people as possible. Help me.” Then, I’d like to address unbelievers because is in a congregation of this size there have got to be a skeptics who are saying. Think of it, He’s sitting around in the time of Moses, and He decides that He’s going to take on the most powerful kingdom that ever lived, or ever was in that day, the king of Egypt. We’re involved in this thing. What does it mean that “by His wounds we are healed”. Adamic covenant. In this very passage, in other words, Paul makes it clear that the salvation of Jesus Christ does not extend to every last person, but to those who receive that salvation by faith. And look at the progression of Paul’s thought. And it has to do with the very point that Paul is making. That’s the way it was. Those who will say that at some level our individual righteousness must commend us to God in salvation, either through the ceremonial law, or through our keeping of the moral law. I think I’ll send frogs. Covenant Theology is the dominant theological system of most mainline Protestant churches. He doesn’t say, “Okay, look, I’m going to sweep those sins under the closet. He says, “Through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.” Now once again, we’re back to that universalism thing. One thing he wanted to tell you in verses 13 and 14, another thing he wanted to tell you in verses 15 through 17. Where the Eternal Covenant was made between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Covenant of Grace is made between God and Man. Salvation is for those who believe. In that section, which will run all the way to the end of chapter 8, he is concerned to pull back and give you a deeper, a broader background and understanding for what he has taught you so far. But the distinction between the covenant of works and grace is getting at something that is of vital importance, as it has to do with the Gospel. A consensus was not reached, and religious tensions mounted. There is a “just as” for which there is no “so also” in verse 12. That verse says, “As in Adam, all die; so in Christ all shall be made alive.” So there again is that all parallel. But before you get to the 'that’s not fair,' let’s first think about what Paul is saying, because before you get to verse 18, six times Paul says the same thing. Our Lord, the sentences of this word are dense with truth, but clear as day. At the heart of this question of justification and imputation is the rejection of what is called the covenant of works. It’s not fair that what he did would impact me. In the way that God goes about saving us through Jesus Christ, He shows meticulous concern for justice. So if, in the way of grace, God is concerned for fairness and justice, is it not reasonable to work back to the fact that in the original relationship that He has sustained with man, that He was concerned with fairness and justice? It was transgression, that is, he crossed the line that God told him not to cross. Having done that, however, he now goes back to discuss the continuities or parallels between Adam and Christ. Is Paul teaching that everybody is saved? Thirdly, it’s disobedience. But the distinction between the covenant of works and grace is getting at something that is of vital importance, as it has to do with the Gospel. Poor, innocent me. Your gift enables our worldwide outreach. Look at the first part of 19. Over and over in the Bible we see these principles. And when there are areas of mystery that we do not understand, we are on very good ground to assume God to be doing that which is right because He has proven Himself to us in the way that He dealt with us in His Son. Don’t do it, but he does it. The biblical covenants form the unifying thread of God’s saving action through Scripture. It remains unpublished, but available here in old English in its entirety. Ligon Duncan (MDiv, Covenant Theological Seminary; PhD, University of Edinburgh) is the Chancellor & CEO of Reformed Theological Seminary and the John E. Richards Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology. He can decide He’s going to wipe out the most powerful kingdom in the world. And others said, 'Well yes, Christ saves you, but it’s Christ keeping the ceremonial law of Moses.' Now Paul not only speaks about our predicament, he speaks about our culpability. And it is simply this: In your own strength confide, and you will lose. Indeed, Charles Ryrie has stated that a sine qua non of dispensationalism is a literal, normal or plain interpretation of Scripture.1 The hallmark of reformed covenant theology has been a Godward-oriented … Therefore, Christ’s work of active obedience is absolutely essential to the justification of anyone. The Bible says that it is by grace we are saved, and not of our works. And He says, let Me see, how am I going to take down Egypt? They forgot where they were fifteen minutes ago. Well, that’s a very good question, and I think I’ve got an answer for you. On the one hand, we look at the atonement. Paul has already described it in you, especially at the end of chapter 1, chapter 2 and the beginning of chapter 3. This is a faithful saying, that they which believe in God, be careful to maintain good works.' The covenant of grace says to get to heaven it is by God’s grace and not by our works. This covenant requires an active faith, … And finally, if we were to look at I Corinthians, chapter 15, verses 22 and 23, we would find a verse that is very similar to Romans 5:18. First, you’re not in a position to judge. Summary . The first covenant mentioned in the Bible – that of works – was made by God with man, but the second – that of grace – was made between God the Father and God the Son (as we are told in John 6.39-40, 17.9 and 17.24). Historic covenantal theology makes an important distinction between the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. There is nothing less than our salvation at stake in this issue. What is that something? Okay, well in giving Adam as our representative, it would be like you’re in a million-dollar contest at half time of the national championship game in April. As mentioned above, covenant theology emphasizes that there is only one covenant of grace, and that all of the various redemptive covenants that we read of in the Scripture are simply differing administrations of this one covenant. For those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. Recommended Resource: The End of the Law: Mosaic Covenant in Pauline Theology by Jason Meyer Really, from 1:18 all the way to 3:20 Paul has been showing you that you were a sinner. May God bless you as you do. You make a heap of all your bad works; and all your good works, and you flee from them to the one work of Jesus Christ which alone saves. You can’t even get out of yourself to think in those categories. The “so then” could also be translated “consequently,” “therefore,” or “just as.” 'So then' is the perfectly good word for it. Everything in between, from verses 13 through 17, consist of the two qualifications he wanted to make about what he was about to say. And others were saying, 'Yes, but it’s Christ plus keeping the Ten Commandments. This Covenant of Grace is where God promises eternal salvation to Man based upon the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Why it is that you can’t save yourself. So we can’t say, O, Lord, we’re just innocent bystanders, victims here. We’re all saved. Amen, and thus ends this reading of God’s holy and inspired word. I think I will send frogs. That’s your representative. Isn’t that a little confusing? He is summarizing for you Paul’s argument from Romans 5:12 to 19. So then, as through one transgression, there resulted condemnation to all men. You know, a guy has to stand at the fifty-yard line and throw ten straight passes through this shape, this thing fifty yards down the field. That is not a word of somebody who cares about you, that is someone who wants to destroy you. 9:5). Adam died at least 6,000 years before I was brought into being. Let’s hear God’s holy word. In other words, we had been talking about the fact that we were constituted sinners in Adam, but we hadn’t yet been talking about the fact that we were constituted as righteous in Jesus Christ. For permissions, view our Copyright Policy. Yes. Were you alive when Jesus was alive? Because He’s the judge, He’s in charge, that’s just the way it is. The Parallels Between the Broken Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace If you have your Bibles, I’d invite you to turn with me to Romans, chapter 5. I’d like to do it using these three categories. We are sinners in Adam. 34. I don’t understand how he can be my representative. . If we take away the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us, we take away justification by faith alone. Robert’s work, “The Mystery and Marrow of the Bible” is one of the best works on Covenant Theology in the history of the Christian Church. Whereas the covenant of works is conditional and promises blessing for obedience and cursing for disobedience, the covenant of grace is unconditional and is given freely on the basis of God’s grace. Also, the Bible says that if we are saved, it will be evident by our works. He’s saying to you here, “Now don’t forget, you are a sinner.” Don’t say, ‘Oh Paul, you’re saying the opposite of what the prophet is saying.’” You remember Isaiah and the late prophets often said to Israel, don’t say, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” In other words don’t say, “Heavenly Father, our spiritual forefathers were wicked and evil and they did bad things, and we’re paying the consequences for it. David stands in for the army of Israel. But notice the perfect parallel. The covenant of grace is, therefore, an extension and gracious fulfillment by Christ of the covenant of works for sinners who are in Christ. In the first covenant, works were required as the condition of life; … You’re saying, ‘Here we are Adam did something and we’re responsible for it.’” And Paul says, “Uh, uh, uh, you’re a sinner.” In every aspect of it you’re a sinner.” But He’s not done. And you’ll see it at the end of verse 18 and the end of verse 19, and that is your only hope. Robert Reymond writes:. The Ligonier Ministries site requires Javascript, but you’ve got Javascript disabled. What are the reasons that we have for believing that the imputation of Adam’s sin is fair, that it is fair for Adam to be our federal representative. First published in Tabletalk Magazine, an outreach of Ligonier. So David takes a census and 70,000 citizens of Jerusalem die. One man loses, one nation loses. This salvation must be received by faith. Where Adam failed to gain the blessedness of the tree of life, Christ wins that blessedness by His obedience, which blessedness He provides for those who put their trust in Him. Though covenant theology has been around for millennia, it finds its more refined and systematic formulation in the Protestant Reformation. Sproul was founder of Ligonier Ministries, founding pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Fla., and first president of Reformation Bible College. Its importance, however, has been heightened in our day because of its relationship to a theology that is relatively new. David and Goliath provide an example. Covenant of Grace. For instance, David and Goliath. Well, three reasons why Paul is not teaching that salvation has a universal scope or that the work of Christ results in the actual salvation of all men. He said, “It’s not fair, I didn’t exist when Adam was brought into being in this world. In Jesus’ name, Amen. After Adam broke this covenant, God made a new Covenant of Grace with Abraham (Genesis 18-19). 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