'Covenantal Faithfulness'

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AV1611

Puritan Board Senior
Well does he believe that the active obedience of Christ is imputed to the believer?

Yes, although he would not call it that. He would set it up somewhat like this: Christ is the faithful Israelite who succeeded where Israel failed and kept the torah. We are put into him. We are therefore enclothed with Christ's righteousness.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Well does he believe that the active obedience of Christ is imputed to the believer?

Yes, although he would not call it that. He would set it up somewhat like this: Christ is the faithful Israelite who succeeded where Israel failed and kept the torah. We are put into him. We are therefore enclothed with Christ's righteousness.

So he says that the person does not first have Christ's benefits imputed to him in order to be grafted into Christ, but receives the benefits because he is grafted into Christ?
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Well does he believe that the active obedience of Christ is imputed to the believer?

Yes, although he would not call it that. He would set it up somewhat like this: Christ is the faithful Israelite who succeeded where Israel failed and kept the torah. We are put into him. We are therefore enclothed with Christ's righteousness.

Does that righteousness guarantee us eternal life?
 

AV1611

Puritan Board Senior
So he says that the person does not first have Christ's benefits imputed to him in order to be grafted into Christ, but receives the benefits because he is grafted into Christ?

I think it fairer to say we have Christ's righteouness accounted as our own (imputed to us) by means of our being grafted into Christ. Here is the man himself:

Abraham’s true family, the single ‘seed’ which God promised him, is summed up in the Messiah, whose role precisely as Messiah is not least to draw together the identity of the whole of God’s people so that what is true of him is true of them and vice versa. Here we arrive at one of the great truths of the gospel, which is that the accomplishment of Jesus Christ is reckoned to all those who are ‘in him’. This is the truth which has been expressed within the Reformed tradition in terms of ‘imputed righteousness’, often stated in terms of Jesus Christ having fulfilled the moral law and thus having accumulated a ‘righteous’ status which can be shared with all his people. As with some other theological problems, I regard this as saying a substantially right thing in a substantially wrong way, and the trouble when you do that is that things on both sides of the equation, and the passages which are invoked to support them, become distorted. The central passage is in fact Romans 6, and I think it is because much post-reformation theology has tended to fight shy of taking seriously Paul’s realistic theology of baptism that it has sought to achieve what Paul describes in that chapter and elsewhere by another route. The Messiah died to sin; we are in the Messiah through baptism and faith; therefore we have died to sin. The Messiah rose again and is now ‘alive to God’; we are in the Messiah through baptism and faith; therefore we have risen again and are now ‘alive to God’. This is what Paul means in Galatians 3 when he says that as many as have been baptised in to the Messiah have put on the Messiah, and that if we thus belong to the Messiah we are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise. There is indeed a status which is reckoned to all God’s people, all those in Christ; and this status is that of dikaiosune, ‘righteousness’, ‘covenant membership’; and this covenant membership, in order to be covenant membership, must be a covenant membership in which the members have died and been raised, because until that has happened they would still be in their sins. ‘I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God; I have been crucified with the Messiah; nevertheless I live; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me’. If this is what you are trying to get at by the phrase ‘imputed righteousness’, then I not only have no quarrel with the substance of it but rather insist on it as a central and vital part of Paul’s theology. What I do object to is calling this truth by a name which, within the world of thought where it is common coin, is bound to be heard to say that Jesus has himself earned something called ‘righteousness’, and that he then reckons this to be true of his people (as in the phrase ‘the merits of Christ’), whereas on my reading of Paul the ‘righteousness’ of Jesus is that which results from God’s vindication of him as Messiah in the resurrection; and, particularly, that this is what Paul means when he speaks of ‘God’s righteousness’, as though that phrase denoted the righteous status which God’s people have in virtue of justification, whereas in fact the phrase, always and everywhere else from the Psalms and Isaiah onwards, refers to God’s own righteousness as the creator and covenant God; and, underneath all of this, I object to the misreading of several key Pauline texts that results, and the marginalisation in consequence of themes which have major importance for Paul but which this theology manages to ignore. The mistake, as I see it, arises from the combination of the Reformers’ proper sense of something being accomplished in Christ Jesus which is then reckoned to us, allied with their overemphasis on the category of iustitia as the catch-all, their consequent underemphasis on Paul’s frequently repeated theology of our participation in the Messiah’s death and resurrection, and their failure to locate Paul’s soteriology itself on the larger map of God’s plan for the whole creation. A proper re-emphasis on ‘God’s righteousness’ as God’s own righteousness should set all this straight. (Paul in Different Perspectives by N.T. Wright)​
 

RamistThomist

Puritanboard Clerk
Well does he believe that the active obedience of Christ is imputed to the believer?

Yes, although he would not call it that. He would set it up somewhat like this: Christ is the faithful Israelite who succeeded where Israel failed and kept the torah. We are put into him. We are therefore enclothed with Christ's righteousness.

Agreed, or maybe something like "given the fact we are united to Christ, we participate/share in such and such blessings."
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
The basis of acquittal is Christ's righteousness imputed, not our own works.

From my reading of NTW I am not 100% convinced that he would deny this, hence he writes,
"What then about the ‘imputed righteousness’ about which we are to hear an entire paper this afternoon? This is fine as it stands; God does indeed ‘reckon righteousness’ to those who believe. But this is not, for Paul, the righteousness either of God or of Christ, except in a very specialised sense to which I shall return."

I know he is a bit wobbly on imputed righteousness however I think he gets there by arguing that we are placed into Christ. Instead of the paint being transfered from the tin to the clay pot, the pot is plunged into the tin of paint, so it gets what is in the tin just not how it has been done or explained in the past (if you follow what I am getting at).

Ultimately, I understand him to be saying that those ‘works’ with which the Christian will be vindicated on the last day are the fruit of the Spirit working within us thus providing evidence that one is in Christ. I don't get the impression that he is arguing the works are meritorious but are rather demonstrative or evidentiary.

It is not the same thing as the Reformed doctrine of the imputed righteousness of Christ. Union is not identical with imputation, nor does union automatically include imputation. Roman Catholics believe that we are united to Christ...and receive Christ's righteousness by infusion. This demonstrates that saying "union with Christ" simply is not enough. I freely grant the point that union with Christ ensures that His righteousness being imputed to us cannot be called a legal fiction. Union with Christ does not settle the point at all as to whether Christ's righteousness is infused into us or imputed to us. Of course, it is both: imputed righteousness for justification, and infused righteousness for sanctification. But these are distinct (though inseperable).
 

AV1611

Puritan Board Senior
It is not the same thing as the Reformed doctrine of the imputed righteousness of Christ. Union is not identical with imputation, nor does union automatically include imputation. Roman Catholics believe that we are united to Christ...and receive Christ's righteousness by infusion. This demonstrates that saying "union with Christ" simply is not enough. I freely grant the point that union with Christ ensures that His righteousness being imputed to us cannot be called a legal fiction. Union with Christ does not settle the point at all as to whether Christ's righteousness is infused into us or imputed to us. Of course, it is both: imputed righteousness for justification, and infused righteousness for sanctification. But these are distinct (though inseperable).

Is it not the case though that, for Wright, imputation is by means of union. Whether this is how the Reformed have taught it being irrelevant. NTW is open that he rejects a specific Reformed view of how it all works, all I am saying is that he gets to the same place but by means of a different route.

We have Christ's righteouness accounted as our own (imputed to us) by means of our being grafted into Christ.

Here is the man himself:

Abraham’s true family, the single ‘seed’ which God promised him, is summed up in the Messiah, whose role precisely as Messiah is not least to draw together the identity of the whole of God’s people so that what is true of him is true of them and vice versa. Here we arrive at one of the great truths of the gospel, which is that the accomplishment of Jesus Christ is reckoned to all those who are ‘in him’. This is the truth which has been expressed within the Reformed tradition in terms of ‘imputed righteousness’, often stated in terms of Jesus Christ having fulfilled the moral law and thus having accumulated a ‘righteous’ status which can be shared with all his people. As with some other theological problems, I regard this as saying a substantially right thing in a substantially wrong way, and the trouble when you do that is that things on both sides of the equation, and the passages which are invoked to support them, become distorted. The central passage is in fact Romans 6, and I think it is because much post-reformation theology has tended to fight shy of taking seriously Paul’s realistic theology of baptism that it has sought to achieve what Paul describes in that chapter and elsewhere by another route. The Messiah died to sin; we are in the Messiah through baptism and faith; therefore we have died to sin. The Messiah rose again and is now ‘alive to God’; we are in the Messiah through baptism and faith; therefore we have risen again and are now ‘alive to God’. This is what Paul means in Galatians 3 when he says that as many as have been baptised in to the Messiah have put on the Messiah, and that if we thus belong to the Messiah we are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise. There is indeed a status which is reckoned to all God’s people, all those in Christ; and this status is that of dikaiosune, ‘righteousness’, ‘covenant membership’; and this covenant membership, in order to be covenant membership, must be a covenant membership in which the members have died and been raised, because until that has happened they would still be in their sins. ‘I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God; I have been crucified with the Messiah; nevertheless I live; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me’. If this is what you are trying to get at by the phrase ‘imputed righteousness’, then I not only have no quarrel with the substance of it but rather insist on it as a central and vital part of Paul’s theology. What I do object to is calling this truth by a name which, within the world of thought where it is common coin, is bound to be heard to say that Jesus has himself earned something called ‘righteousness’, and that he then reckons this to be true of his people (as in the phrase ‘the merits of Christ’), whereas on my reading of Paul the ‘righteousness’ of Jesus is that which results from God’s vindication of him as Messiah in the resurrection; and, particularly, that this is what Paul means when he speaks of ‘God’s righteousness’, as though that phrase denoted the righteous status which God’s people have in virtue of justification, whereas in fact the phrase, always and everywhere else from the Psalms and Isaiah onwards, refers to God’s own righteousness as the creator and covenant God; and, underneath all of this, I object to the misreading of several key Pauline texts that results, and the marginalisation in consequence of themes which have major importance for Paul but which this theology manages to ignore. The mistake, as I see it, arises from the combination of the Reformers’ proper sense of something being accomplished in Christ Jesus which is then reckoned to us, allied with their overemphasis on the category of iustitia as the catch-all, their consequent underemphasis on Paul’s frequently repeated theology of our participation in the Messiah’s death and resurrection, and their failure to locate Paul’s soteriology itself on the larger map of God’s plan for the whole creation. A proper re-emphasis on ‘God’s righteousness’ as God’s own righteousness should set all this straight. (Paul in Different Perspectives by N.T. Wright)​
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
I reject utterly the idea that Wright gets to the same place, only by a different route. He rejects the idea that Christ has earned a righteousness which is then reckoned to us. He says it himself in the very same quotation you gave. Furthermore, there is this quotation from WSPRS:

If we use the language of the law court, it makes no sense whatever to say that the judge imputes, imparts, bequeaths, conveys or otherwise transfers his righteousness to either the plaintiff or the defendant. Righteousness is not an object, a substance or a gas which can be passed across the courtroom. For the judge to be righteous does not mean that the court has found in his favour. For the plaintiff of defendant to be righteous does not mean that he or she has tried the case properly or impartially. To imagine the defendant somehow receiving the judge's righteousness is simply a category mistake. That is not how the language works.

Of course, Wright is talking about the Father's righteousness. However, in doing so, he also rules out imputation of the Son's righteousness, when he comments that righteousness cannot be transferred. Piper deals with this exact question in chapter 8 of his critique of N.T. Wright (pp. 117-132). The question here is not whether we share in Christ's vindication. The question is how do we share in Christ's vindication. There is nothing in Wright's formulation with which a Roman Catholic would take exception. Out of curiosity, why are you seeming to defend him?
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
P.S.

I was not saying that Wright was saying that imputation was by means of union. I was saying that Wright uses union to try to say the same thing as imputation. My point is that it doesn't.
 

AV1611

Puritan Board Senior
Out of curiosity, why are you seeming to defend him?

I am not defending him, I am just trying to understand what he actually advocates.

As you note, that quote is refering to the Father's righteousness (i.e. the Judge's) not Christ's. To say that he rules out the imputation of the Son's righteousness in arguing that righteousness cannot be transferred is, in my mind, a misreading of him, especially when he has stated that "the accomplishment of Jesus Christ is reckoned to all those who are ‘in him’" and goes on to say, "This is the truth which has been expressed within the Reformed tradition in terms of ‘imputed righteousness’, often stated in terms of Jesus Christ having fulfilled the moral law and thus having accumulated a ‘righteous’ status which can be shared with all his people. As with some other theological problems, I regard this as saying a substantially right thing in a substantially wrong way".

NTW seems to be noting that whilst the righteousness cannot be transferred we get it by being placed into Christ. :2cents:
 

AV1611

Puritan Board Senior
I was not saying that Wright was saying that imputation was by means of union. I was saying that Wright uses union to try to say the same thing as imputation. My point is that it doesn't.

It doesn't in terms of NTW's presentation (i.e. his case is internally inconsistent) or it doesn't in terms of standard Reformed theology (i.e. NTW is not Reformed)?
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Out of curiosity, why are you seeming to defend him?

I am not defending him, I am just trying to understand what he actually advocates.

As you note, that quote is refering to the Father's righteousness (i.e. the Judge's) not Christ's. To say that he rules out the imputation of the Son's righteousness in arguing that righteousness cannot be transferred is, in my mind, a misreading of him, especially when he has stated that "the accomplishment of Jesus Christ is reckoned to all those who are ‘in him’" and goes on to say, "This is the truth which has been expressed within the Reformed tradition in terms of ‘imputed righteousness’, often stated in terms of Jesus Christ having fulfilled the moral law and thus having accumulated a ‘righteous’ status which can be shared with all his people. As with some other theological problems, I regard this as saying a substantially right thing in a substantially wrong way".

NTW seems to be noting that whilst the righteousness cannot be transferred we get it by being placed into Christ. :2cents:

This still does not answer the question. Wright may think he is saying substantially the same thing in a different way, but it is precisely the "other way-ness" that is the problem. The idea of the alien righteousness of Christ being imputed to us is at the very heart of the Reformation. As Piper notes, Wright's formulation offers no distinction between the imputed and the imparted righteousness of Christ (see p. 126). If we are in Christ, and what is true of Christ is true of us, how then do we distinguish between justification by imputation and sanctification by impartation? How would you distinguish Wright's position from Rome? It is the distinctness of justification and sanctification that is the very issue here. Rome denies it, and so does Wright.
 

AV1611

Puritan Board Senior
This still does not answer the question. Wright may think he is saying substantially the same thing in a different way, but it is precisely the "other way-ness" that is the problem. The idea of the alien righteousness of Christ being imputed to us is at the very heart of the Reformation. As Piper notes, Wright's formulation offers no distinction between the imputed and the imparted righteousness of Christ (see p. 126). If we are in Christ, and what is true of Christ is true of us, how then do we distinguish between justification by imputation and sanctification by impartation? How would you distinguish Wright's position from Rome? It is the distinctness of justification and sanctification that is the very issue here. Rome denies it, and so does Wright.

I will re-read Piper and have a wee ponder. :handshake:

Incidently, when you say that NTW denies the distinctness of justification and sanctification is that your interpretation of what he says or has he actually said that?
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
This still does not answer the question. Wright may think he is saying substantially the same thing in a different way, but it is precisely the "other way-ness" that is the problem. The idea of the alien righteousness of Christ being imputed to us is at the very heart of the Reformation. As Piper notes, Wright's formulation offers no distinction between the imputed and the imparted righteousness of Christ (see p. 126). If we are in Christ, and what is true of Christ is true of us, how then do we distinguish between justification by imputation and sanctification by impartation? How would you distinguish Wright's position from Rome? It is the distinctness of justification and sanctification that is the very issue here. Rome denies it, and so does Wright.

I will re-read Piper and have a wee ponder. :handshake:

Incidently, when you say that NTW denies the distinctness of justification and sanctification is that your interpretation of what he says or has he actually said that?

That is my interpretation. Wright is way too cagey to come out and say something like that, which would obviously put him out of step with the Reformation. Enjoy re-reading Piper. :cheers2:
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Citation of Piper on Wright is good on a couple of scores. First, in his Counted Righteous, he takes on Westmont prof Bob Gundry for following the NPP lead on getting rid of imputation. Then, in his recent Future of Justification, he actually sends his book to Wright for critique and modifies his writings accordingly. Seldom do we find a scholar vetting his book by the object of his critique to check for accuracy and fairness. I know that some of you are not Piper fans, but his books are a great resource on these topics.
 

mr_christian777

Puritan Board Freshman
Elect within the elect

Staying in the covenant is dependent on works. This goes back to their view of the covenant, which, properly speaking, is not made with the elect (acc. to the FV). Rather, covenant is, properly speaking, broader than election, including more people (acc to them).

I'm new here, but not to the FV. You dear Sir are mistaken. Do you believe the law of God to be gracious? do you believe that in the N.C. the law was written on our mind and placed in our hearts? Of course you do, we all do. So why would it be so completely foreign to expect God's people to follow God's law? It isn't. That is what we are supposed to do. God requires it of us. For it is the doers of the law who will be justified on the last day (Rom. 2:13).

So where then is the rub? It lies in your mistake. "Staying in the Covenant is dependant on works." What you mean, if I am correct, is works absent from faith. But a faith that is absent of works is no faith at all. So, a living active faith that naturally produces works of righteousness, love, joy peace, patience, kindness... etc. is what required of us as God's people who are in Covenant with Him. This is the greatness of the N.C., that God's law was written on our hearts and not on stone. Why? So we don't have to obey it? Nooooo. Becuase God is gracious and has given His law to His people for them to live righteous lives on this earth.

The basic structure of Covenant is Promise, obligation. Now our obedience to these obligations is not works, it is grace through and through, for it is God who enables us to what He requires. This is not new, but Augustine said it this way, "Command what thou will, grant what thou Commands."

You are also mistaken in saying that "covenant is, properly speaking, broader than election, including more people." What you mean again here is the decretally elect. God is only in Covenant with the decretally elect. But this is not so. For Israel was elect, but not all Israel was Israel (general elect, special decretally elect). There is an elect within the elect. Calvin taught this very same doctrine.

Besides, if God was only in Covenant with the decretally elect, then how is it that in Hebrews 10:26-30 ,that a person could “receive the knowledge of the truth”, and by their deliberate sinning, “profane the blood of the Covenant by which he was Sanctified“, and subsequently in verse 30 have the author say that this person who will be judged is to be considered “HIS (God’s) PEOPLE”?????

This person received the truth, was in covenant with God, was sancitified by the blood of the (new) covenant, was considered to be God’s people, and yet can still “spurn the Son of God, and profane the blood of the Covenant by which he was sanctified, and could outrag the Spirit of Grace”? This person will subsequently be judged by a fury of fire that will consume God’s adversaries (which this person is). If the New Covenant is only made with those who are decretally elect then how could Hebrews 10:26-30 make any sense?????

This where the concept of the covenant is most important. The covenant is not some abstract theological concept that only pertains to "out there", but it is the very substance and fabric of our relationship with God. This has huge implications for infant baptism. The way that you seem to be explaining this concept is like a Baptist would, which is another discussion for another day, how American Presbyterianism has been overtaken by revivalistic, Baptistic theology.

Anyway, I thought that I would just cut my teeth here at Puritan board by answering you on some controversy. Have a good day & God bless.
 
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Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
Staying in the covenant is dependent on works. This goes back to their view of the covenant, which, properly speaking, is not made with the elect (acc. to the FV). Rather, covenant is, properly speaking, broader than election, including more people (acc to them).

I'm new here, but not to the FV. You dear Sir are mistaken. Do you believe the law of God to be gracious? do you believe that in the N.C. the law was written on our mind and placed in our hearts? Of course you do, we all do. So why would it be so completely foreign to expect God's people to follow God's law? It isn't. That is what we are supposed to do. God requires it of us. For it is the doers of the law who will be justified on the last day (Rom. 2:13).

Mr. Christian,

I think you might be arguing against a straw man (as to all FV proponents). Greenbaggins wasn't arguing for an anti-nomian position, as all who know him will agree.

If you are a FV proponent (I'm not sure if you are or aren't), you may want to consider that you agreed not to advocate FV on this discussion board. If you are a proponent, you should make it known to the Moderators. Here's an excpet from the guidelines:

"3. Federal Vision. The Puritan Board forbids the membership of "Federal Vision" proponents on this board. Every major NAPARC body has ruled the Federal Vision to be an un-Scriptural and un-Confessional doctrinal error that fundamentally re-casts doctines that are core to the Christian religion. Those who are proponents of this doctrine should refrain from registering and any members who embrace this doctrine should have the integrity to forfeit their membership privileges. Members who violate this rule will be suspended or banned."

Cheers,
 

christianyouth

Puritan Board Senior
Not only that, taken in context Romans 2:13 is not saying what MrChristian made it out to say. Paul's not saying to the Jewish teachers, "Remember, you need to start obeying the law so you can be justified!", but he is showing that the Jews who have the law don't obey it, and therefore need to be justified by faith. That's why he sums it up in Romans 3 by saying, "None are righteous, no not one."

I now realize how much the FV differs from Lutheran theology on 'final justification' or conditional security. It sounds like the FV are saying we will be judged by our works on the final day, therefore we have to live righteous lives, While the Lutherans are saying we have to keep believing and trusting in Christ.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
I know we just talked about Rom 2:13 on this board recently.

Rom 2:13 is a rebuke to people with a vain hope that simply possessing the law will make them right with God, not a proposition that indicates whether anyone can actually meet the condition of obedience unto justification. The propositional statement is categorical denial at the conclusion of the indictment, Rom 3:20 "For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin."

Soon as anyone finds a person besides Jesus Christ who is a "doer of the law," just send him to Mark 10:21.

The rest of us fall in that category of mere "hearers", because the only successful doer is a perfect doer, James 2:10. The rest of us keep finding ourselves in Rom 7 for some reason... Rom 7:21 "I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me." Is God going to do more to justify us that he has already? Gal 3:3 "Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?" Once we're "in the door" so to speak, are we now obliged to pursue some sort of "congruent merit" scheme to ensure our "final" justification? 'Pfwooot!' there goes assurance right out the window.

Thread is done. Lane, if you want to make a reply, you can either get right in here if you have the ability, or else I will open it again.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Staying in the covenant is dependent on works. This goes back to their view of the covenant, which, properly speaking, is not made with the elect (acc. to the FV). Rather, covenant is, properly speaking, broader than election, including more people (acc to them).

I'm new here, but not to the FV. You dear Sir are mistaken. Do you believe the law of God to be gracious? do you believe that in the N.C. the law was written on our mind and placed in our hearts? Of course you do, we all do. So why would it be so completely foreign to expect God's people to follow God's law? It isn't. That is what we are supposed to do. God requires it of us. For it is the doers of the law who will be justified on the last day (Rom. 2:13).

So where then is the rub? It lies in your mistake. "Staying in the Covenant is dependant on works." What you mean, if I am correct, is works absent from faith. But a faith that is absent of works is no faith at all. So, a living active faith that naturally produces works of righteousness, love, joy peace, patience, kindness... etc. is what required of us as God's people who are in Covenant with Him. This is the greatness of the N.C., that God's law was written on our hearts and not on stone. Why? So we don't have to obey it? Nooooo. Becuase God is gracious and has given His law to His people for them to live righteous lives on this earth.

The basic structure of Covenant is Promise, obligation. Now our obedience to these obligations is not works, it is grace through and through, for it is God who enables us to what He requires. This is not new, but Augustine said it this way, "Command what thou will, grant what thou Commands."

You are also mistaken in saying that "covenant is, properly speaking, broader than election, including more people." What you mean again here is the decretally elect. God is only in Covenant with the decretally elect. But this is not so. For Israel was elect, but not all Israel was Israel (general elect, special decretally elect). There is an elect within the elect. Calvin taught this very same doctrine.

Besides, if God was only in Covenant with the decretally elect, then how is it that in Hebrews 10:26-30 ,that a person could “receive the knowledge of the truth”, and by their deliberate sinning, “profane the blood of the Covenant by which he was Sanctified“, and subsequently in verse 30 have the author say that this person who will be judged is to be considered “HIS (God’s) PEOPLE”?????

This person received the truth, was in covenant with God, was sancitified by the blood of the (new) covenant, was considered to be God’s people, and yet can still “spurn the Son of God, and profane the blood of the Covenant by which he was sanctified, and could outrag the Spirit of Grace”? This person will subsequently be judged by a fury of fire that will consume God’s adversaries (which this person is). If the New Covenant is only made with those who are decretally elect then how could Hebrews 10:26-30 make any sense?????

This where the concept of the covenant is most important. The covenant is not some abstract theological concept that only pertains to "out there", but it is the very substance and fabric of our relationship with God. This has huge implications for infant baptism. The way that you seem to be explaining this concept is like a Baptist would, which is another discussion for another day, how American Presbyterianism has been overtaken by revivalistic, Baptistic theology.

Anyway, I thought that I would just cut my teeth here at Puritan board by answering you on some controversy. Have a good day & God bless.

I do think you have misunderstood me. I am by no means saying that works are unnecessary. I am merely saying that they are unnecessary for staying in the covenant of grace. Otherwise, I think Galatians 3:1-6 makes no sense at all. We cannot begin by grace and finish by works. No, it is grace all the way through life. Now, that grace works in us to produce good fruit, which is the evidence of our justification. But we do not keep our justification by works, and even our sanctification is not based on our works (see the WCF on sanctification, which says that it is an act of God's grace). In other words, works, while essential to the Christian life, are not part of justification in any sense, are not part of keeping justification in any sense, and are not the basis of sanctification, but the result of sanctification.

On the issue of covenant, the WLC says explicitly that the covenant of grace is made with Christ and with all the elect seed in him. If covenant is broader than election in its essence, then the WLC is wrong. I don't think you can accuse the WLC of being Baptistic. But I make a distinction here that Baptists do not typically make: there is a difference between the essence of the covenant (which is made with the elect) and its administration (which includes all children of believers). There is an inner and outer distinction, a visible/invisible distinction. On the basis of the covenantal administration Presbyterians baptize infants, and yet they do not partake of the substance of the covenant except by faith. This distinction makes perfectly good sense of the warning passages in Hebrews, since such persons partook of the covenantal administration, but did not partake of the essence of the covenant.

Indeed, these are the several positions on the covenant: 1. Baptists and Roman Catholics share one thing in common: the covenant is equal to the church. The difference is that for Roman Catholics the covenant is equal to the visible church, and for Baptists it is equal to the invisible church. That is a big difference, by the way. And so, in terms of the difference, they are polar opposites: for Roman Catholics, the visible church equals salvation. For Baptists, the invisible church equals salvation. In this respect the Reformed and the Baptists have always been on the same side. However, the Reformed add an additional element to the discussion: a covenantal administration that is visible, corporate, and objective (while retaining the individual, subjective element of the essence of the covenant). The doctrine of apostasy and baptism are both dependent on the covenantal administration. Hope this is clear. The Reformed, Presbyterian position, in my mind, is the only position that does justice both to the passages that talk about the essence of the covenant being salvation, and yet also the passages that talk about baptism and apostasy.
 
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