An attack on covenant theology

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Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Care to examine the John 15 passage that I supplied you with? How could they be 'in Christ' and then not in Christ?

Just pickin your brain Randy.......these passages were monumental to me.



[Edited on 12-1-2004 by Scott Bushey]
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
John is talking about an individual being pruned. Not about believers being grafted in. Is halios the same word used in 1Corinthians 7 where the spouse and children are sanctified even though they aren't believers? I will get back to you. I am also doing homework with my children at the same time? I want to look closer. Look at what I wrote closer if you have time. Does Jesus Graft in Unbelievers into the Olive Tree? Are unregenerate people included in the Ephesians text? Answer some of my questions also. I could be wrong. Randy
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Scott,
I have just been listening to the Wilson/White debate, as I am sure you have listened to it. Correct me if I am wrong but was part of Wilson's argument that unbelievers were actually in the New Covenant since the author of Hebrews warns those in the NC and that those in the NC could actually be cut off (Rom 11 and 1 Cor. 10).

Could you help me clarify your position against Wilson's?

Thanks
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Yes. The Covenant of grace has believers and unbvelievers in it.

Mat 13:47 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
Mat 13:48 Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
Mat 13:49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
Mat 13:50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by puritancovenanter
John is talking about an individual being pruned. Not about believers being grafted in. Is halios the same word used in 1Corinthians 7 where the spouse and children are sanctified even though they aren't believers? I will get back to you. I am also doing homework with my children at the same time? I want to look closer. Look at what I wrote closer if you have time. Does Jesus Graft in Unbelievers into the Olive Tree? Are unregenerate people included in the Ephesians text? Answer some of my questions also. I could be wrong. Randy

John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away..........
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Okay, I am back. In John 15 it appears we are at the commencement of the New Covenant. Romans 11 would definitely apply here I believe. The Father is cutting off to graft in. He is also pronouncing the 11 clean even though one of them was pronounced unclean. Judas Iscariot was cut off and not allowed to enter into the New Covenant. I love John 15 also. I was regenerate during reading this book. When I read John 15:16 I just believed it. I didn't pray a prayer to receive Christ even though I did receive Him. I believed He was God eternal and that he died for my sin. It wasn't that complicated until I started getting involved with other Christians.
John 15:6 is a general statement about everyone.

By the way I am not a New Covenant Theologian. I don't think. Only because I really don't know what one is totally. I believe in the Covenant of Grace. Just a bit modified from the Presbyterian version. I believe in believers baptism. I don't care about the mode. As the children of Isreal were circumcised as babes, I believe a babe in Christ must be baptized as a sign of His covenant Relationship to God. I have never made this an issue though. In fact a couple of guys that have discipled and guys discipled by people I have discipled are Covenant Grads with Mdivs and a few others are Baptist. I don't make the Baptist happy because the mode doesn't bother me yet I don't make the Presbyterian's happy because I didn't baptize my boy's. In fact I could baptize a child if I was a minister. I wouldn't have a problem doing it. I wouldn't believe they were a part of the Church though. It would be more like a dedication for me. Kind of like Hannah and Samuel. I believe children die in an innocent grace that God has. He doesn't hold their sin against them till they are responsible for it. I am not smart enough to know when that is. I just believe God is merciful. Anyways that is where I am on this issue. What do you think? Okay I'm a nut.

Randy
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Randy,

It doesn't sound like you answered Scott.

Maybe an easier question - for those who were cut off, were they ever "not cut off" or "in?"
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I don't believe your Matthew verses are only about the Church. It is about the world in general.(v.49) I also believe Christ has all dominion so if we speak of His Kingdom it includes the world and His Church. He has dominion over all for the Church. Ephesians 1:21,22

[Edited on 12-1-2004 by puritancovenanter]
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I believe they were what it says. He takes it away. It could be a reference to being Isreal in the Old Covenant. They could be cut off or taken away. Like in Romans 11. Don't you Think?

Couldn't they be in Covenant Relation to God by the Old Covenant of works and be cut off?

[Edited on 12-1-2004 by puritancovenanter]
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Randy,

Here's the thing with that - we are grafted into the SAME vine and the same tree trunk (Rom. 11). (Same Covenant). Question is, now, which one is He talking about? ;)

Multiple choice:

We are grafted into the:
a) Covenant of Grace b) Covenant of Grace c) Covenant of Grace d) Covenant of Grace
:D


[Edited on 12-1-2004 by webmaster]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Calvin on John 15:2:

2. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit. As some men corrupt the grace of God, others suppress it maliciously, and others choke it by carelessness, Christ intends by these words to awaken anxious inquiry, by declaring that all the branches which shall be unfruitful will be cut off from the vine. But here comes a question. Can any one who is engrafted into Christ be without fruit? I answer, many are supposed to be in the vine, according to the opinion of men, who actually have no root in the vine. Thus, in the writings of the prophets, the Lord calls the people of Israel his vine, because, by outward profession, they had the name of The Church.

So while I will agree that Randy is wrong here (sorry, Randy :eek: ) I would say (e) an administration of the covenant of grace, namely the new covenant.

:D
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by puritancovenanter
I believe they were what it says. He takes it away. It could be a reference to being Isreal in the Old Covenant. They could be cut off or taken away. Like in Romans 11. Don't you Think?

Couldn't they be in Covenant Relation to God by the Old Covenant of works and be cut off?

[Edited on 12-1-2004 by puritancovenanter]

The C.O.W. ended in the garden with Adam, unless of course you are willing to say that God saved men in the OT differently than He does now in the new??? The passage clearly says, "in me". Those that are in me that don't bear fruit I cut away.......

The Matt verse:

You say it's the world. So the world is in the net right? The net is the kingdom of God. So, the world is in the kingdom of God?



[Edited on 12-1-2004 by Scott Bushey]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Scott Bushey
Originally posted by puritancovenanter
I believe they were what it says. He takes it away. It could be a reference to being Isreal in the Old Covenant. They could be cut off or taken away. Like in Romans 11. Don't you Think?

Couldn't they be in Covenant Relation to God by the Old Covenant of works and be cut off?

[Edited on 12-1-2004 by puritancovenanter]

The C.O.W. ended in the garden with Adam, unless of course you are willing to say that God saved men in the OT differently than He does now in the new??? The passage clearly says, "in me". Those that are in me that don't bear fruit I cut away.......

The Matt verse:

You say it's the world. So the world is in the net right? The net is the kingdom of God. So, the world is in the kingdom of God?

Scott,

I agree with you that the world is not "in me" even in the sense that Calvin states on this passage - as you can see from above, I agree with his interpretation rather than Matt's - but the Covenant of Works is still in place today. All who are not in Christ are under the Covenant of Works.

But that is even worse for Randy's case and better for your point, for Romans 5 makes clear that those who are under the Covenant of Works cannot be in covenant relationship with Christ; they are under Adam.

~Note to Fred,
Sorry I hit edit instead of quote on my response.....

[Edited on 12-1-2004 by Scott Bushey]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Fred,
I disagree. The C.O.W. was ruined by Adam. It was in essence nuetralized by Adams sin and fall. Ever since this time, even if men were able to keep the law perfectly, it would have still been stained by Adams rebellion and resulting sin. This is why we needed Christ. He was sinless and could then fulfill the law where men in Adam could not.

The New Covenant began in Genesis:

Gen 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Scott Bushey
Fred,
I disagree. The C.O.W. was ruined by Adam. It was in essence nuetralized by Adams sin and fall. Ever since this time, even if men were able to keep the law perfectly, it would have still been stained by Adams rebellion and resulting sin. This is why we needed Christ. He was sinless and could then fulfill the law where men in Adam could not.

The New Covenant began in Genesis:

Gen 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."

Scott,

If the Covenant of Works were not still in place, then the punsihment of death would not be warranted. Man stands guilty of violating the Covenant of Works BECAUSE Adam sinned. The parallel between the CoW/Adam and CoG/Christ is THE fundamental distinction of Reformed theology. The continuation of the Covenant of Works is held by every single Reformed theologian I have ever read (Calvin, Owen, Turretun, Hodge, Dabney, Thornwell, etc, etc, etc.) If you can find one person who says that the CoW does not exist anymore (who is not wrapped up in the Federal Vision - since this contention is the fountain of all their errors) please let me know.

Life is still available by keeping the law perfectly. We know this for two reasons:

1. Moses says as much in the Pentateuch
2. It is the foundation for Christ's fulfilling of the CoW on our behalf.

And as I have said before - the New Covenant does not begin in Genesis, the Covenant of Grace does.
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Fred this is an inquiring question:

If men are under thw CoW (and they are) who are not in Christ, what makes those in covenant with God (say Korah) recieve more judgment than the aboriginy who never hears the Gospel? In other words, is there a "worse side" of the CoG in your mind that enacts greater wrath (i.e. cursings) for those who are covenant breakers? If there is not, how then are they different practically?
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by webmaster
Fred this is an inquiring question:

If men are under thw CoW (and they are) who are not in Christ, what makes those in covenant with God (say Korah) recieve more judgment than the aboriginy who never hears the Gospel? In other words, is there a "worse side" of the CoG in your mind that enacts greater wrath (i.e. cursings) for those who are covenant breakers? If there is not, how then are they different practically?

Men like Korah are in an outward administration of the Covenant of Grace (Abrahamic, Mosaic, New) and thus receive greater punishment - to whom much is given, much is expected (cp. Romans 3:1ff). But the unbeliever is "in Adam." There is no getting around that (Romans 5:12), and to be in Adam means to not be in Christ. Can a man be in Adam and in Christ at the same time? Romans 5 militates against this.

Also, the Catechism makes clear that the Covenant of Grace is made with the elect (WLC 31).
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Well that was fun. I got left behind. I just popped on for a minute. The net isn't the kingdom is it Sott? It is the Reaping of all souls isn't it?
Anyways more later. I have to go to shool. I volunteer at my boy's school. Talk tonight. No one has still answered my question, who is in the covenant according to Romans 11, Galatians 3, or Ephesians 2?. I am still working on yours.

For Christ's Crown and Covenant, Randy

:banana:

[Edited on 12-1-2004 by puritancovenanter]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Randy,
The distinction needing to be made here is that of the visible and the invisible church. The covenant of redemption is made up of the elect only. The C.O.G has the visible church members in it; believers and unbelievers. Whenever the reference is made to the elect, it is to the elect; if to the brethren, it is then to the visible church. No one knows whom the elect (visible) are, so the practical application is always to the visible church.


I believe Romans 11 was addressed in the contrast to John 15, no?

[Edited on 12-1-2004 by Scott Bushey]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by fredtgreco
Originally posted by Scott Bushey
Fred,
I disagree. The C.O.W. was ruined by Adam. It was in essence nuetralized by Adams sin and fall. Ever since this time, even if men were able to keep the law perfectly, it would have still been stained by Adams rebellion and resulting sin. This is why we needed Christ. He was sinless and could then fulfill the law where men in Adam could not.

The New Covenant began in Genesis:

Gen 3:15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."

Scott,

If the Covenant of Works were not still in place, then the punsihment of death would not be warranted. Man stands guilty of violating the Covenant of Works BECAUSE Adam sinned. The parallel between the CoW/Adam and CoG/Christ is THE fundamental distinction of Reformed theology. The continuation of the Covenant of Works is held by every single Reformed theologian I have ever read (Calvin, Owen, Turretun, Hodge, Dabney, Thornwell, etc, etc, etc.) If you can find one person who says that the CoW does not exist anymore (who is not wrapped up in the Federal Vision - since this contention is the fountain of all their errors) please let me know.

Life is still available by keeping the law perfectly. We know this for two reasons:

1. Moses says as much in the Pentateuch
2. It is the foundation for Christ's fulfilling of the CoW on our behalf.

And as I have said before - the New Covenant does not begin in Genesis, the Covenant of Grace does.

Fred,
I should have been clearer. The C.O.W. is left somewhat wanting...... I never said it was removed or gone. what I mean by this is, no one can keep it now. All of us have by default have failed at conception (because of Adams fall). Christ was able to fulfill it because He was born sinless, hence the C.O.W was not in the same state for Christ as it is for us.



[Edited on 12-1-2004 by Scott Bushey]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by Scott Bushey

Fred,
I should have been clearer. The C.O.W. is left somewhat wanting...... I never said it was removed or gone. what I mean by this is, no one can keep it now. All of us have by default have failed at conception (because of Adams fall). Christ was able to fulfill it because He was born sinless, hence the C.O.W was not in the same state for Christ as it is for us.

Agreed. I thought that it was a matter of clarity/precision, but this is such a vital issue in today's scene that we must be precise.

To be clear: the CoW has not changed at all. What has changed is our ability to keep it. But God is still just in holding us to the full requirements of the CoW even though we cannot perform them.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Okay, I am back. Let me ask you guys to back off a little bit. To much knowledge and I can't catch up.

Scott I am not sure John 15 and Romans 11 are comparable. One is a vine and the other is an olive tree. One talks about grafting the other talks about cutting away. I do have a response for that but I want to work through this slowly. I have a lot to learn. Maybe they are the same.
I am at question overload with you guys. Can we start on a path that will let me discover what the heck is going on. My presuppositiion is that we have entered the New Covenant. It is fully commenced but not fully consumated. Does that sound okay to start with? I don't believe Dispensationalist believe that is true.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Scott,

What would you say if I cross referenced John 15:2 with 1 Corinthians 3:14-17?.

If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyones work is burned up, he shall suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. Do you not know that your are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.


And do you think the New Covenant has been fully inaugurated or not?
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by puritancovenanter
Scott,

What would you say if I cross referenced John 15:2 with 1 Corinthians 3:14-17?.

If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyones work is burned up, he shall suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. Do you not know that your are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.

I don't see any connection Randy. Also, you should know that the "you" in this passage is plural, not singular in Greek. It has reference to the Church, not the individual Christian.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Fred. So it should say y'all are the temple. I thought It was a bit of a stretch also.

Now tell me why John 15:2 can't be the Old Testament unregenerates being cut away as I believe that is what Romans 11 is about?

Thanks Fred.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Scott, I do think John 15 and Romans 11 are related. Especially since they are both warnings to the church. I was told Fred Malone had a response in his book about John 15 so I am waiting to read that. I believe the Covenant of Grace's final destination is the New Covenant though. The others are only shadow administrations of the Covenant of Grace which finally culminate into the New Covenant, which we were told about long before in Abraham. I do know I am not a New Covenant Theologian now. I am still reading up on this. I do appreciate your help in asking me questions. The questions are helping me clarify things. I am reading your posts a little closer now.
Aint life good.
:banana:

For Christ's Crown and Covenant, Randy
 
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