"Faith was not the condition of the Mosaic Covenant"?

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KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I am struggling with the idea that OT saints were in a promise of grace but not in a covenant of grace.

(And it isn't your job, Bill, to explain it to me. I am just thinking out loud.)
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I am struggling with the idea that OT saints were in a promise of grace but not in a covenant of grace.

(And it isn't your job, Bill, to explain it to me. I am just thinking out loud.)
All under the OC were saved by the provisions of the NC yet to come, as God credited the Cross to them.
I am still working through just how new was the NC, and is it the exact same thing as the CoG?
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
So, the Eternal and New Covenants are the same, in some way, as the CoG?

Ken,

Denault believes the CoG and the NC are one in the same. Chapter 7 of the 1689 LBC can interpreted that way if you read it carefully. The CoG in the OT is promised in Gen. 3:15 and is progressively revealed until the NC was ratified.


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Herald

Administrator
Staff member
I am struggling with the idea that OT saints were in a promise of grace but not in a covenant of grace.

(And it isn't your job, Bill, to explain it to me. I am just thinking out loud.)

Explain what? My lip is zipped.


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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
In another thread, I was asking the same question Bill seems to be struggling with: what covenant were the OT saints really in? If not the CoG, then ?? And, as Pergamum has said, a promise is not the thing promised. So, the OT saints couldn't have been in the "promise" of a covenant, they had to be in some kind of covenantal relationship with God.

I haven't read much of the material being discussed on these threads (as I am happily content with the consistency of the Presbyterian view of the covenants after spending years as a Baptist), but it seems as if the authors are trying to have their cake and eat it, too. They understand that the CoG has to be operational in the OT, else those saints are left stranded only in a promise (and while a promise of God is sure, it is surely not the same thing as the thing that He promised!); yet their ecclesiology (soteriology?) demands that the Church begin at Pentecost with a clean sweep from the sacramental past and new signs that mean new things.

To say, as one author above did, that the CoG was "revealed" at the Fall and "executed" at the Cross is fine (I would agree with that). But to say that it becomes "effective" whenever someone is joined to Christ by faith is where the author's position comes unraveled. I would agree with that statement, of course, as a Presbyterian; for a Baptist to say that, however, he has to answer the OP in the negative. If the CoG was "effective" when OT saints were joined to Christ, then it was operational (a la Westminsterian theology, because we believe that they were, in fact, joined to Christ by faith). To maintain the distinction that these authors wish to maintain, however, they must put those "joined to Christ by faith" solely in the NC and leave OT saints out in the cold - either not joined to Christ (which they surely wouldn't say) or not joined to Him by faith. The authors cited posit no other qualifiers (that I can see) than those two as determinative for inclusion in the CoG: 1) being joined to Christ; and 2) being joined to Him by faith.

In the end, their theology does not allow the OT saints to be in the CoG. So, we come full circle. If the OT saints were not in the CoG, what covenant were they in? And, most significantly, if it wasn't gracious, what was it?

Exactly Steve! You've summarized my concerns better than I did. We must hold tight to the truth that all believers (including those from the OT, too) were saved the same way. A promise of a covenant is not the thing promised. The Covenant of Grace HAD to be operational in the OT, or else we posit a different way of salvation.

A thing can be inaugurated before it comes to full consummation. Many baptists believe this with regards to "the last days" but 1689 Federalism rejects this with regards to the Covenant of Grace. OT believers participated in the Covenant of Grace, therefore, it was active even in the OT.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Exactly Steve! You've summarized my concerns better than I did. We must hold tight to the truth that all believers (including those from the OT, too) were saved the same way. A promise of a covenant is not the thing promised. The Covenant of Grace HAD to be operational in the OT, or else we posit a different way of salvation.

The 1689 Federalist believes that salvation worked the same way in the OT as it does today. They argue that the promise of the New Covenant was actually the promise of Christ, and His finished work. How else were OT believers saved but by looking forward to what the Christ would do? 1689 Federalists do believe there was a Covenant of Grace in the OT, but it was not exactly in the same form it would become under the New Covenant.

A leading author in the 1689 Federalist movement recently wrote to me:

"We believe that Christ is the Mediator of the Covenant of Grace, which is called the New Covenant in the Scriptures, and that this covenant was effective, even before its blood was shed which secures all its blessings (c.f. Heb. 9:15). We also believe that the New Covenant was given into promised form before becoming a formal covenant, and was intertwined with the Old Covenant, and tied with it through types and shadows. Therefore, it [the Covenant of Grace] is not unconnected with the Old Covenant; the Old Covenant not administering the Covenant of Grace itself, but being a type of it."

Perg, on a side note; I am taking the defense position on 1689 Federalism for the purpose trying to prove it true or false. By arguing for the position I force myself to deal with its argumentation. I like a lot of what I see, but I still have questions.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
The 1689 Federalist believes that salvation worked the same way in the OT as it does today. They argue that the promise of the New Covenant was actually the promise of Christ, and His finished work. How else were OT believers saved but by looking forward to what the Christ would do? 1689 Federalists do believe there was a Covenant of Grace in the OT, but it was not exactly in the same form it would become under the New Covenant.

A leading author in the 1689 Federalist movement recently wrote to me:

"We believe that Christ is the Mediator of the Covenant of Grace, which is called the New Covenant in the Scriptures, and that this covenant was effective, even before its blood was shed which secures all its blessings (c.f. Heb. 9:15). We also believe that the New Covenant was given into promised form before becoming a formal covenant, and was intertwined with the Old Covenant, and tied with it through types and shadows. Therefore, it [the Covenant of Grace] is not unconnected with the Old Covenant; the Old Covenant not administering the Covenant of Grace itself, but being a type of it."

Perg, on a side note; I am taking the defense position on 1689 Federalism for the purpose trying to prove it true or false. By arguing for the position I force myself to deal with its argumentation. I like a lot of what I see, but I still have questions.
So the OT believers are not actually saved by the Covenant of Grace, but only by a promise of the Covenant of Grace? And if they are saved by the Covenant and not a mere promise, then how can we not say that the Covenant of Grace was active in the OT?
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
So the OT believers are not actually saved by the Covenant of Grace, but only by a promise of the Covenant of Grace? And if they are saved by the Covenant and not a mere promise, then how can we not say that the Covenant of Grace was active in the OT?

Clearly I'm not speaking for Mr. Brown here, however these are good questions. If the OT saints were saved the same way (in Christ) as we are today, and Christ being the mediator of the covenant of Grace, it necessitates that the CoG was in effect before the administration of the new covenant.

I still do not understand what they mean by "the new covenant was given into promised form before becoming a formal covenant". The second covenant made is the covnenant of Grace whereby God offers salvation and all the promises in Christ (WCF 7 & WLC 30-36). The issue is that the baptist seem to have this "holding tank" mentality with their theology. They use terms like "credit" to describe what they mean.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
The 1689 Federalist believes that salvation worked the same way in the OT as it does today. They argue that the promise of the New Covenant was actually the promise of Christ, and His finished work. How else were OT believers saved but by looking forward to what the Christ would do? 1689 Federalists do believe there was a Covenant of Grace in the OT, but it was not exactly in the same form it would become under the New Covenant.

A leading author in the 1689 Federalist movement recently wrote to me:

"We believe that Christ is the Mediator of the Covenant of Grace, which is called the New Covenant in the Scriptures, and that this covenant was effective, even before its blood was shed which secures all its blessings (c.f. Heb. 9:15). We also believe that the New Covenant was given into promised form before becoming a formal covenant, and was intertwined with the Old Covenant, and tied with it through types and shadows. Therefore, it [the Covenant of Grace] is not unconnected with the Old Covenant; the Old Covenant not administering the Covenant of Grace itself, but being a type of it."

Perg, on a side note; I am taking the defense position on 1689 Federalism for the purpose trying to prove it true or false. By arguing for the position I force myself to deal with its argumentation. I like a lot of what I see, but I still have questions.
Their position to me seems to be that while the Lord saves by same means in both OC/NC, based upon the Cross of Christ, that the NC was somehow different from OC as regarding the CoG, and that the saved under the OC were to be seen included into the Church, but that the Church itself was instituted under the NC , Is that correct?
 

kainos01

Puritan Board Senior
Their position to me seems to be that while the Lord saves by same means in both OC/NC, based upon the Cross of Christ, that the NC was somehow different from OC as regarding the CoG, and that the saved under the OC were to be seen included into the Church, but that the Church itself was instituted under the NC , Is that correct?

David,
This and other posts strongly indicate that you are seeking validation for a view you already hold, rather than interacting with the ideas presented in these threads. Brother, I was a dyed-in-the-wool Dispensationalist and I even taught the classes in church when we had the charts on the wall of when the Church began (the "parenthetical" church, that is) and when all of the events of the eschaton would take place. I know the hold that those teachings and authors can have on one's mind. However, the views held on this Board - by Presbyterians and Reformed Baptists - are miles apart from the Dispensational stuff that I (and I think you) have/had in our blood. I would encourage you to interact and ask questions, to be sure. But above all: listen. Pray, study the Word, ignore the urge to challenge right now, and just listen. My heart's desire - and my prayer for you (and I am praying for you, by the way) - is that you will find truth in your seeking and, in the finding, glorify God.
 
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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
David,
This and other posts strongly indicate that you are seeking validation for a view you already hold, rather than interacting with the ideas presented in these threads. Brother, I was a dyed-in-the-wool Dispensationalist and I even taught the classes in church when we had the charts on the wall of when the Church began (the "parenthetical" church, that is) and when all of the events of the eschaton would take place. I know the hold that those teachings and authors can have on one's mind. However, the views held on this Board - by Presbyterians and Reformed Baptists - are miles apart from the Dispensational stuff that I (and I think you) have/had in our blood. I would encourage you to listen and ask questions, to be sure. But above all: listen. Pray, study the Word, ignore the urge to challenge right now, and just listen. My heart's desire - and my prayer for you (and I am praying for you, by the way) - is that you will find truth in your seeking and, in the finding, glorify God.
When does the RB position state that the church itself was found though, as the 1689 LBC that I have been reading through seem to me to be stating that the NC is somehow a new thing in contrast to the OC, and that Jesus found the Church proper at that time?
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Clearly I'm not speaking for Mr. Brown here, however these are good questions. If the OT saints were saved the same way (in Christ) as we are today, and Christ being the mediator of the covenant of Grace, it necessitates that the CoG was in effect before the administration of the new covenant.

I still do not understand what they mean by "the new covenant was given into promised form before becoming a formal covenant". The second covenant made is the covnenant of Grace whereby God offers salvation and all the promises in Christ (WCF 7 & WLC 30-36). The issue is that the baptist seem to have this "holding tank" mentality with their theology. They use terms like "credit" to describe what they mean.

Andrew,

I don't want to speak for the author I quoted (because he did not give me express permission to use his name), but the 1689 Federalist view has some other parts that have not been discussed at length in the various competing threads on the PB. One of those parts has to do with the Mosaic and Abrahamic covenants. The 1689 Federalists do not use the Mosaic or Abrahamic covenants to define the GoG where individuals could be part of the CoG without being regenerate. The 1689 Federalists believe this is in keeping with the Baptist confession. They would also say it's not baptism driving their covenant theology, rather it is their understanding of covenant theology that drives their view on baptism. It seems logical on the surface because Presbyterian covenant theology drives the Presbyterian view of covenant succession and baptism.

Again, I am not an apologist for 1689 Federalism. I'm not there yet, but I see a plausible argument that deserves vetting.


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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Andrew,

I don't want to speak for the author I quoted (because he did not give me express permission to use his name), but the 1689 Federalist view has some other parts that have not been discussed at length in the various competing threads on the PB. One of those parts has to do with the Mosaic and Abrahamic covenants. The 1689 Federalists do not use the Mosaic or Abrahamic covenants to define the GoG where individuals could be part of the CoG without being regenerate. The 1689 Federalists believe this is in keeping with the Baptist confession. They would also say it's not baptism driving their covenant theology, rather it is their understanding of covenant theology that drives their view on baptism. It seems logical on the surface because Presbyterian covenant theology drives the Presbyterian view of covenant succession and baptism.

Again, I am not an apologist for 1689 Federalism. I'm not there yet, but I see a plausible argument that deserves vetting.


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My understanding would be that both saved/unsaved with under the OC, but just the saved are seen included now under the NC.
 
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