Mosaic covenant (works?)

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Preach

Puritan Board Sophomore
It's my understanding that a number of reformed theologians (Owen, Witsius, Boston) held that the Mosaic covenant, though it be part of the COG, was also a recaptulation of the covenant of works that God made with Adam. This is new for me.

I thought that the Mosaic covenant was part of the COG, but simply under the outward administration of law (ex. 10 commandments).

I've never heard of a recapitulation of the covenant of works. Can anyone comment on how this works and provide any historical detail to the thinking of the reformers on this issue?

How would this effect my preaching Sunday by Sunday? Thanks.
"In Christ",
Bobby
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
The Westminster Confession says this:

Chapter XIX.
Of the Law of God.

I. God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which He bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it: and endued him with power and ability to keep it.(a)

(a) Gen. 1:26, 27 with Gen. 2:17; Rom. 2:14, 15; Rom. 10:5; Rom. 5:12, 19; Gal. 3:10, 12; Eccles. 7:29; Job 28:28.

II. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness, and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables: (b) the four first commandments containing our duty towards God; and the other six our duty to man.(c)

(b) James 1:25; James 2:8, 10, 11, 12; Rom. 13:8, 9; Deut. 5:32; Deut. 10:4; Ex. 34:1.
(c) Matt. 22:37, 38, 39, 40.

and the Westminster Larger Catechism says this:

Q30: Doth God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?
A30: God doth not leave all men to perish in the estate of sin and misery,[1] into which they fell by the breach of the first covenant, commonly called the Covenant of Works;[2] but of his mere love and mercy delivereth his elect out of it, and bringeth them into an estate of salvation by the second covenant, commonly called the Covenant of Grace.[3]

1. I Thess. 5:9
2. Gal. 3:10, 12
3. Titus 3:4-7; Gal. 3:21; Rom. 3:20-22

Q92: What did God at first reveal unto man as the rule of his obedience?
A92: The rule of obedience revealed to Adam in the estate of innocence, and to all mankind in him, besides a special command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, was the moral law.[1]

1. Gen. 1:26-27; 2:17; Rom. 2:14-15; 10:5

Q98: Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?
A98: The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments, which were delivered by the voice of God upon mount Sinai, and written by him in two tables of stone;[1] and are recorded in the twentieth chapter of Exodus. The four first commandments containing our duty to God, and the other six our duty to man.[2]

1. Deut. 10:4; Exod. 34:1-4
2. Matt. 22:37-38, 40

[Edited on 1-28-2006 by VirginiaHuguenot]
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would consider myself as one of those men. The Word of God treats the Law as a unit Gal 3:25. The systematic categorizing of the Law into to the ceremonial law, the civil law, and the moral law that was originally formulated by Thomas Aquinas can be a bit misleading. It is better to view the Law as two fold; typological Kingdom and God's moral will. In other words God's moral will enshrines the Law but the Law itself is the Sinai covenant, given in the form of a typological republication of the Adamic covenant of works.

VanVos

[Edited on 1-28-2006 by VanVos]
 

R. Scott Clark

Puritan Board Senior
Here's fn 128 from a chapter in the forthcoming book:

Wollebius, Compendium, 1.21.17. It was widely held among the Reformed orthodox that the Decalogue was a republication of the covenant of works. To give but a few examples, John Owen, Herman Witsius, Leonard van Rijssen, Johannes Marckius, Peter Van Mastricht and Thomas Boston taught it. See Herman Witsius, The Economy of the Covenants Between God and Man, trans. William Crookshank, 2 vols. (1803; Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1990), 1,336"“337; Leonard van Rijssen, Compendium Theologiae Didactico-Elencticae (Amsterdam: 1695.), 89. John Owen, An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, ed. W. H. Goold, 7 vols., The Works of John Owen (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1991), 6.85. Johannes Marckius, Compendium Theologiae Christianae Didactico-Elencticum (Amsterdam, 1749), 345"“346; Peter Van Mastricht, Theoretico-Practica Theologia, 3 vols (Utrecht: 1699), 3.12.23. Pace D. Patrick Ramsey, "œIn Defense of Moses: A Confessional Critique of Kline and Karlberg," Westminster Theological Journal 66 (2005): 395, Boston appealed to the logic implied by the grammar of WCF 19.1 and 2. 19.1 which reasserts the doctrine of 7.2, that God "œgave to Adam a Law, as a Covenant of Works, by which he bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it: and endued him with power and ability to keep it." 19.2 says, "œThis Law, after his fall"¦was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments"¦." (Articles, 30"“31). The phrase "œcovenant of works," in 19.1, is appositive to the noun "œLaw." Thus the "œLaw" is reckoned here as a covenant of works. Thus when, 19.2 establishes "œThis law" as the subject of the verb to be, "œwas delivered," the antecedent of "œthis Law" can be none other than the "œLaw" defined as a covenant of works in 19.1. This reading of the confession caused Boston, in his notes in E. F. The Marrow of Modern Divinity (Scarsdale, NY: Westminster Discount Books, n.d.), 58, to exclaim, "œHow, then, one can refuse the covenant of works to have been given to the Israelites, I cannot see." These same theologians also held that Moses was an administration of the covenant of grace. The doctrine of unity of the covenant of grace and the doctrine of republication were regarded as complementary not antithetical.

rsc
 

TimeRedeemer

Puritan Board Freshman
It seems to me that once you recognize the Covenant of Redemption you see that Christ agreed to be put under the law (and though theologians seem tip-toey about saying it Grudem says it: the Mosaic law -- I mean, could Christ have fulfilled the law by in some way NOT eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? the law had to be reissued in, not a different form, but in a new way so that the Second Adam had something to be tested by); so the Mosaic law was reissued for the Second Adam to have the law to put himself under and to follow and fulfill to perfection (He being the only one who could do that).

So, the Mosaic Covenant is law for Christ but grace for God's elect. Grace because Jesus fulfills it for the elect.

It seems to me when I go through this subject in various sources that once you bring the Covenant of Redemption made in eternity between the Persons of the Godhead into the picture all the confusion is solved regarding whether the Mosiac Covenant is law or grace.
 

non dignus

Puritan Board Sophomore
Michael,

I know what you mean but the words, "So, the Mosaic Covenant is.....grace for God's elect.", while qualified in your whole statement, gives me the willies. I know I'm being persnickety here, but law and gospel are like oil and water.
 

TimeRedeemer

Puritan Board Freshman
This thread is [...] making me think of the distortions caused by those who are called "New Covenant" in my own calvinistic baptist circles.

How so?

Since I referenced Grudem (a Reformed Baptist) I'll assume you're referring to my comment, but I'll tell you: what Grudem writes on the covenants is not 'New Covenant Theology' (I'm referring to his Systematic Theology, and if what he writes there is NCT in some way - or if he's written such things elsewhere - I'll stand corrected, but it doesn't strike me as NCT in any way.

For the record, though it's hard to point to a source that represents full, on-the-mark understanding of Classical Covenant Theology, I am fully on the same page with classical covenant theology as it is laid down by the 16th and 17th century Calvinists (I hesistate to reference it because I havn't read all of it, but Witsius being representative for me) and by Geerhardus Vos in the 20th century.
 

TimeRedeemer

Puritan Board Freshman
(I think I'm subtley being accused of antinomianism here... Me and Thomas Boston, I guess?)

God's law is not a chain about our neck, it is the essence of our heart, as we are made in the Image of God. When we have the Spirit we not only are able to follow the law, but we desire to. But it is based on Christ's work.

I think this subject is yet another point, or intersection, of theology that gets a traffic jam of debate and confusion based on the failure to see the difference between pre- and post-regenerative states in God's elect.
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Perhaps it's just me, but I would prefer not to place the Mosaic covenant for the most part under the covenant of works. When one talks about the covenant of works, it usually means that covenant that God made with Adam, the one that is perpetually and eternally broken (Isaiah 24:5). Although I agree with Witsius that the Mosaic covenant was a reminder of the covenant which can never be kept, I don't agree that it is a republication. If we get a republication of the tax law, it means to us that we must abide by it in paying our taxes in order to be righteous before the IRS. Because men think in those terms, they might begin to make the connection that the Dispensationalists and others improperly make; namely, that there are two ways of salvation. You worked for it under the old, and you are shown grace in the new.

So, to me, republication automatically puts a dichotomy where Witsius says none exists. The law is the underlying theme of all covenants. And grace is there since the garden. Grace came to be because of the law, because man was unable to keep it.

Therefore, the Mosaic covenant is an administration of the covenant of grace and where it exudes similarities with the covenant of works it is only as a basis of reminder that we cannot attain to it. Republication suggests that man either has or can, and so I would shy away from the term. If it is a republication, it is only in this sense - for Christ to obey, and thus through Him, so does any He has chosen for life.

In Christ,

KC
 

non dignus

Puritan Board Sophomore
God's law is meant to reveal the essence of our heart which is sinful. Both pre and post regeneration, we need a constant reminder by the law that we need Christ's law keeping.
 

TimeRedeemer

Puritan Board Freshman
I define it as Calvin classically formulated it.

Now, I'll ask myself a further question: How do I see the third use of the law?

I see it as being in sweet compliance with the grace of the Gospel... (WCF XIX.7)

Christian liberty is not freedom from the law, it is freedom from the law as a means of justification. Christian liberty is also being given the ability and desire to not just follow the law but to be, in effect, a being that acts from the law - or God's will - as our very own will. Christian liberty is liberty, regarding this apsect of it, from the bondage of self-will and freedom, or ability, to act from God's will as if it is our very will itself (which it is once regenerated and having the Spirit of God in us, though sanctification is by degree, &c.).

Having said the above, I go back to the continual thing I see in Reformed environments which is a policing atmosphere that is based on the failure to recognize pre- and post-regenerative states in God's elect.

Acting from God's will is what God's elect not only do, but it is what they are.

The promises of the Gospel are radical. Much too radical for many to accept. When you follow God's law - when you are able, by the Spirit, to follow, or to BE, i.e. have in your heart and your very volition, God's law - you become a real individual. That is liberty.

To continually conflate that with pre-regeneration 'follow the law' is horrendously off-the-mark and an epic stumblingblock keeping you from understanding the radicalness of the Gospel.

(No, because I used the word 'radical' it doesn't mean I have anything to do with any liberal 'Radical Theology' or whatever. The Gospel promises themselves are radical. It is a radical thing to be told you are, for instance, an heir of the living God of all Creation. This is how I am using the word.)

I realize these particular subjects are difficult ones for many to get their arms around, and they are equally difficult to explain one's position on without getting the usual round of interrogation (as Thomas Boston, I guess, found out), so I will show patience if anyone should question me further. (Usually, though, all I have to do is pull out some well-formulated quotes from as kind and unthreatening an influence as J. I. Packer, so...)
 

TimeRedeemer

Puritan Board Freshman
>When one talks about the covenant of works, it usually means that covenant that God made with Adam, the one that is perpetually and eternally broken

Broken but never abrogated.
 

R. Scott Clark

Puritan Board Senior
Originally posted by trevorjohnson
The giving of the law was a gracious act and a forward progress in the history of redemption - was it not?


The law was gracious and now grace is lawful.


This thread is making me think of Ernest Kevan's book, "The Grace of Law."

It is also, unfortunately, making me think of the distortions caused by those who are called "New Covenant" in my own calvinistic baptist circles.

Trevor,

Kevan's book was one-sided. It makes no mention of the wide use among the Puritans (Perkins, Ames, Owen et al) of the law/gospel distinction that was foundational to the Reformation. He did do better in a later book, but his grasp of the history of covenant theology in both is open to criticism.

It sounds pious to say "the law was gracious..." but such language has led to considerable confusion in Reformed circles in the modern period.

Let us be specific.

When we say the "the law" (I'm having Deja vu just now; we've had this thread before haven't we? - I'm sorry to be a broken record on this but it needs to be done) as a hermeneutical category, a kind of biblical speech, it means: "Do this and live." When God said, "The day you eat thereof you shall surely die," there was (if we ask the Reformed) no grace. That was pure law. Adam, not having fallen, did not need "grace" in the soteric sense.

When we say "gospel" as a category of speech, it means "Christ shall do or has done." These can only be confused at the cost of the gospel itself.

Now, speaking in redemptive-historical categories, which is the question before us, the Mosaic law was given, in the first place, as part of what Paul calls the "Old Covenant," the Mosaic covenant. That covenant was, at the same time, a legal covenant relative to the land and an administration of the covenant of grace. So two things were happening simultaneously.

The reason the older Reformed writers saw a republication of the covenant of works in Moses was the "do and live" language in Moses. Kline is helpful here. That works language was specifically about the land. The covenant of works was republished to the Israelites because Canaan was to be a sort of second garden. They were to go in and cleanse it, sanctify it, drive out the serpent. Instead, they married the seed of the serpent, made covenants with them and eventually were driven out themselves!

Of course, as fallen people, the Israelites could never keep the law and did not. Yahweh warned them before they entered the land that they would never do it and they did not. They sat down to eat and got up to play before they even received the formal covenant documents! The covenant was broken before it was ratified.

Against the old dispensationalists, those who were elect among the Israelites (not all Israel is Israel) were saved sola gratia, sola fide. Scripture is clear that there has never been any other way of justification. The covenant of grace is one, with distinct administrations. Had the old dispensationalists (through Ryrie) bothered to read the early fathers they would have seen that this is a basic biblical and Christian theme against the gnostics and, later, against the Albigensians, and, later, against the Anabaptists.

As a temporarily national people of God the law served in all three uses for them. In the first use (pedagogical) it drove them to Christ by teaching them the greatness of their sin (e.g., the episode of the firey serpents) and misery; in the second use it normed their civil life (hence the civil, cultic and moral laws); in the third use it normed their life, as believers, out of gratitude, before God (tertius usus legis -- as redeemed people, they were to love God and neighbor).

Yes, because the Mosaic, old, covenant was, on one level, an administration of the covenant of grace, it can be said to have been gracious and inasmuch as it can be called "the law" (to describe the entire covenant) one might, so qualified say "the law is gracious" but it's really not a helpful way of speaking. These qualifications get omitted too easily.

"Do this and live" is not grace, it's law. Even in the third use, the law does not help us obey, it merely demands obedience. Only grace, relative to sanctity and our response to Christ's work for us, helps us obey. There's no good reason to speak of "gracious law" and "legal grace"! (Rom 5:20 and 11:6 juxtapose them quite sharply).

Remember the medieval church taught "gracious law" and "legal grace" for 1000 years! That's why we had a Reformation.

Yes, grace was operating in the Mosaic covenant inasmuch as the people only really entered the land at all by grace, nevertheless, God consistently spoke to them about their tenure in the land in conditional, legal terms. "If you do...I will." "When you do...I shall." "Because you have/have not...I have."

Thus, despite the grace operating under, as it were, the Mosaic covenant, as many have noted, the ground on which they were exiled and on which the glory finally departed was not a "fall from grace," but the violation of the law. So the older Reformed writers were right to see a legal element or a republication of the covenant of works.

This is the structure of Paul's argument in Galatians 3. The Abrahamic covenant/promise was established 400 years before Moses. The latter did not revoke the former. The latter was temporary and superimposed (the best way probably to translate Paul's verb there) on top of Abraham. It was only temporary and it was distinctively legal. Those who relate to God only on the basis of Moses (Gal 4) are children of Hagar and not Sarah. See also Rom 9.

Indeed, the failure among modern writers to see that Moses was, in respect to the land, a covenant of works -- surely an over-reaction to the silly atomism of Dispensationalism-- has contributed to the loss of the doctrine of the covenant of works since, if Moses is all gracious or graciously legal (!?) then there's no basis to see republication.

The older writers, however, consistently argued that Moses was clearly legal and if so, then we could reason that the same sort of language to Adam could ALSO be taken as a covenant of works.

The loss of the CoW has, of course, been devastating to Reformed theology. Logically it is destructive of the doctrine of justification and the fruit of that logic and development is everywhere around us (e.g., the FV). That some (e.g., Murray) denied the CoW and held onto justification was blessedly inconsistent.

No, this is not the theology of the so-called New Covenant (Baptist) theologians. That is another kettle of fish altogether. The classic Reformed covenant theologians did not want to treat Moses as the New Covenant fellows tend to do.

As I tried to indicate in the long footnote above, the best reading of the WCF, following Boston and the Marrow men, is that it taught Moses as a covenant of works in certain regards and they drew this language from a number of Reformed writers (cited in the note) from the same period.

rsc
 

TimeRedeemer

Puritan Board Freshman
Originally posted by kceaster
Perhaps it's just me, but I would prefer not to place the Mosaic covenant for the most part under the covenant of works. When one talks about the covenant of works, it usually means that covenant that God made with Adam, the one that is perpetually and eternally broken (Isaiah 24:5). Although I agree with Witsius that the Mosaic covenant was a reminder of the covenant which can never be kept, I don't agree that it is a republication. If we get a republication of the tax law, it means to us that we must abide by it in paying our taxes in order to be righteous before the IRS. Because men think in those terms, they might begin to make the connection that the Dispensationalists and others improperly make; namely, that there are two ways of salvation. You worked for it under the old, and you are shown grace in the new.

So, to me, republication automatically puts a dichotomy where Witsius says none exists. The law is the underlying theme of all covenants. And grace is there since the garden. Grace came to be because of the law, because man was unable to keep it.

Therefore, the Mosaic covenant is an administration of the covenant of grace and where it exudes similarities with the covenant of works it is only as a basis of reminder that we cannot attain to it. Republication suggests that man either has or can, and so I would shy away from the term. If it is a republication, it is only in this sense - for Christ to obey, and thus through Him, so does any He has chosen for life.

In Christ,

KC

Kevin, you started your post by saying you don't like to call the Mosaic Covenant a covenant of works, then you ended by observing that it is just that for the Son, or Second Adam. This is the whole point. This is the understanding regarding it being a covenant of works. Which it is. For the Saviour -- regarding justification. For man a covenant of works as a curse. Something that we can't do and can't be justified by. So it's only Christ's accomplishing of it - fulfilling the law - that makes the Mosaic Covenant gracious for us. That keeps the Mosaic Covenant a part of the Covenant of Grace overall.

My problem with all this is: this was all worked out a long time ago. At some point it just needs to be seen; and taught clearly I might add.

The WCF, notice, has the boundary of it all.

What Reformed theologians and Calvinists in general should be active with is the intersection of Covenant Theology and practice at this point. Vos leads the way there with the subject of eschatology vis-a-vis Covenant Theology...
 

TimeRedeemer

Puritan Board Freshman
>Kevan's book was one-sided. It makes no mention of the wide use among the Puritans (Perkins, Ames, Owen et al) of the law/gospel distinction that was foundational to the Reformation. He did do better in a later book, but his grasp of the history of covenant theology in both is open to criticism.

This is something that baffles me as well: that theologians who get book contracts can have such fundamental non-understandings of aspects of Covenant Theology. Do you think there is something else going on here? Perhaps because on-the-mark Covenant Theology is apostolic biblical doctrine itself in such a direct, seeing-the-parts-in-relation-to-the-whole way that if a person has yet to see completely, for instance, the Doctrines of Grace - and accept them - he's just going to make very basic mistakes with Covenant Theology no matter what?

What bothers me is this: when I first came to Covenant Theology -- I was able to see it. I just was. I was able to see it in it simplicity (the way the Bible is simple once you can see it). And I'd pick up books by a Robertson, or read articles by a Murray, and I'd say, "come on, guys! what are you doing here?" I.e. I'd say, why maul up the simplicity of it. Packer can see it. Sproul seems to be able to see it. Berkhof saw it. Witsius could see it. Calvin saw it, if he didn't have the standard terminology to work with. Olevianus as well, in the same way. Ames, Boston and a hundred others could see it.

But it's not taught to Christians in general, and seemingly can't be, because it's made to be so contentious and complicated...when it isn't (when you can see it).

Obviously a Westminster Confession of Faith, and a Berkhof (even the WCF I say) didn't elucidate Covenant Theology in a way that allowed it to be seen as the overarching structure of all and everything in theology, and perhaps that is what is being awaited.

I do think, though, the very simple underlying pattern that is man in a state of innocence, sin, grace, and glory (such as Boston uses to structure his classic, covenant theology work Human Nature in its Fourfold State) is an example of how one can explain all this simply. As a pattern it's not used enough, I don't think.
 

Preach

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think I see the distinction. Thanks all.

Now, for those who do not hold that the Mosaic covenant was a reproduction of the covenant of works (though we all agree within or subsumed under the COG), how does Christ's work fit into the picture?

For those who hold that the Mosaic covenant is a reproduction of the COW, is it necessary that the COW be reproduced? Isn't it enough to say that the second Adam achieved what the 1st Adam did not? In other words, we all agree that Christ's work was indeed work for Him and grace for us. Whay do you see it as necessary that God had to reproduce that COW again in history? Thanks.

"In Christ",
Bobby
 

R. Scott Clark

Puritan Board Senior
Originally posted by Preach
I think I see the distinction. Thanks all.

For those who hold that the Mosaic covenant is a reproduction of the COW, is it necessary that the COW be reproduced?

We have usually spoken of a "re-publication," by which I take them to mean "re-promulgation of the original law in different circumstances."

Why necessary?

Why 613 commandments? Why the ritual regulations? Why 40 years in the desert? Why redemptive history at all? Peter and Paul teach that these things (e.g., 1 Cor 10) were examples for us. The entire Mosaic epoch was a sermon illustration. Why do preachers use sermon illustrations?

Isn't it enough to say that the second Adam achieved what the 1st Adam did not? In other words, we all agree that Christ's work was indeed work for Him and grace for us.
Well, we should, but FV and Shepherdites don´t agree, of course. They have Jesus trusting and obeying and they have us trusting and obeying just like Jesus. Pelagius applauds from wherever he is. Isn´t it wonderful that Jesus set such a good example for us to follow and isn´t equally wonderful that we can do it, if we just put our minds to it?
This distinction between law for Christ and grace for us is essential but widely misunderstood or ignored or denied.
Way do you see it as necessary that God had to reproduce that COW again in history?
Well, "had to" is problematic. "Willed to" we can discuss, but "had to" implies a sort of obligation that doesn't exist. Strictly speaking God only "has to" exist, be God, be what he is (immense, good etc). He wills to enter into relations with humans, he wills to save his elect. Having willed to create, elect in Christ, save etc it can be said that he "had to" (as a consequence of his will) work out redemption according to his will.

Again, why put Moses in a basket? Why 400 years in Egypt? Why 10 plagues instead of one?

God willed to tell a grand story with lots of threads, plot lines, characters, dozens of scenes all culminating in Christ. Redemptive history means that salvation comes from outside history but is profoundly embedded in it. Christ came to draw together all the threads of that redemptive history, to be the yes and amen of all of God's promises.

In doing so, he fulfilled the Adamic covenant of works, and he also became God's true Israel, his obedient Son (Matt 2) who went down to Egypt and was called out not to be saved, but to save. As the Israel of God he fulfills their legal obligations too. That covenant was ratified in blood and they swore before God to do everything written in the book of the law, but only Jesus did it.

Chary about speaking of Moses as a covenant of works? Are we equally chary about speaking of Jesus´ obedience? If Jesus is both the 2nd Adam and the true Israel, the natural Son (not adopted) then why hesitate, Because dispensationalists might capitalize on it? If we preach grace properly then folk will always say, "œlet´s sin that grace may abound." It happens. That´s why Romans doesn´t end in ch. 9!

rsc
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by TimeRedeemer
>When one talks about the covenant of works, it usually means that covenant that God made with Adam, the one that is perpetually and eternally broken

Broken but never abrogated.

Exactly, and that's why I would rather put Christ's obedience not under the Mosaic covenant per se, but under the covenant obviously given to the first Adam. The law was in the garden, just as God was in the garden. The law was "published" to Adam and his seed, though not in the form of the 10 commandments, or at least if it was, God did not command them to be written down. And thus, if Christ is to obey perfectly the law of God, the law which was present many years before the Mosaic rendering, then Christ was not merely fulfilling the republished law of the Mosaic covenant, but the law as a whole from the very beginning. And that law is never abrogated as you have stated.

In Christ,

KC
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
Concerning the necessity of the republication of a National typological Covenant of Works to Israel I believe Meredith Kline said it best:

Much more than the works-probation aspect of Jesus´ task was included in the revelatory design of the typal kingdom. It prepared a public context in world history in which the meaning of Jesus´ mission as a whole might be communicated effectively. For example, an exposition of the priest-king role of Jesus was afforded by the institutional integration of the Israelite temple cultus and the Davidic monarchy within the theocratic kingdom.

Besides preparing an appropriate context for the messianic mission, a broadly pedagogical purpose was served by the typal kingdom in that it furnished spiritual instruction for the faithful in ages both before and after the advent of Christ (1 Cor 10:11). Thus, in addition to calling attention to the probationary aspect of Jesus´ mission, the works principle that governed the Israelite kingdom acted as the schoolmaster for Israel, convicting of sin and total inability to satisfy the Lord´s righteous demands and thereby driving the sinner to the grace of God offered in the underlying gospel promises of the Abrahamic Covenant. (Recognition of this preparatory contribution of the law does not depend on acceptance of the suggested understanding of the paidagogos of Gal 3:24,25.)

Kingdom Prologue, page 353

[Edited on 1-28-2006 by VanVos]
 

TimeRedeemer

Puritan Board Freshman
>For those who hold that the Mosaic covenant is a reproduction of the COW, is it necessary that the COW be reproduced? Isn't it enough to say that the second Adam achieved what the 1st Adam did not? In other words, we all agree that Christ's work was indeed work for Him and grace for us. Whay do you see it as necessary that God had to reproduce that COW again in history? Thanks.

Because revelation is progressive in the Word of God? What we know of the law trangressed in the Garden is what God deemed us to have to know, but then it is fleshed out and made fuller.

There are also reasons having to do with (and I wish I could remember where I read this because I'd just reproduce it): narrowing, or defining things in the course of redemptive history and for the purposes of God's Plan overall from one man to tribes to nation to king to single line to Jesus Himself.

The law at Sinai made Israel a nation. Prior to that they were an agglomeration of tribes (we tend to think of them being 'Israel' even when in Egypt). I mean, they were Israelites, but they weren't the nation Israel.

So the law in the Covenant of Works and the law at Sinai are the same for the purposes and needs of the Second Adam in the history of redemption, it's just a fuller revelation, and it carries with it more meaning as well because it involves the 'vehicle', so to speak, the historical people and line of descent of the Saviour, etc.

Small observation: I tend to see Jesus' instruction to John regarding his mother (to take care of his mother) when He was on the cross as a fulfilling of His responsibility in following the 5th commandment. Like, so He couldn't be accused by the usual suspects of abandoning His mother and not caring about her. Just a little example perhaps of Jesus following the law. How much did Jesus follow the law of Moses to a 't'? -- to a 't'. Every jot and tittle. Innocent at birth, and innocent at death.
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
For all,

Witsius has a good section on why the OT (or as Witsius puts it, Mosaic economy) does not properly begin with the Mosaic covenant but from the garden. (Book III, Chapter III). Read beginning at section 20 through the end of the chapter.

I do not think that this suggests the COW was not republished with the Mosaic covenant, but it gives better perspective on the subject as a whole. He also makes it clear that the OT, and the Mosaic covenant in particular, is not merely a covenant of land, because the land was not given as a reward of the Mosaic covenant, but as the promise from the Abrahamic. Therefore, why would the Mosaic covenant be a republished covenant of works in order that the children of Israel attain the land of Canaan? They were not promised Canaan because of their performance of the Mosaic covenant, but because of God's faithfulness to His servant Abraham.

In Christ,

KC
 

TimeRedeemer

Puritan Board Freshman
Also, there is a 'type' correspondence between Jesus and the nation of Israel (Jesus' own life matches the history of Israel in striking 'typical' ways of course). Prior to Jesus death Gentiles weren't involved in that 'relationship' or correspondence. Afterward they were, but Jesus had to die first. So what I'm saying with that is there is a natural correspondence between Jesus and the Mosaic laws just as there is between the nation of Israel and the Mosaic laws. What Israel was given to do and couldn't do Jesus did.
 

TimeRedeemer

Puritan Board Freshman
>Exactly, and that's why I would rather put Christ's obedience not under the Mosaic covenant per se, but under the covenant obviously given to the first Adam.

I don't think anybody was excluding the law in the Garden. Perhaps when I said "do you think Jesus had to not eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?" you got that impression, but my assumption, though we take what the Word of God gives us, is that that law in the Garden corresponds as the same thing in essence with the laws given at Sinai, regarding what the Son, or Second Adam, had to fulfill that the first Adam didn't fulfill.

The law was in the garden, just as God was in the garden. The law was "published" to Adam and his seed, though not in the form of the 10 commandments, or at least if it was, God did not command them to be written down. And thus, if Christ is to obey perfectly the law of God, the law which was present many years before the Mosaic rendering, then Christ was not merely fulfilling the republished law of the Mosaic covenant, but the law as a whole from the very beginning. And that law is never abrogated as you have stated.

Yes. Still, though, since Scripture doesn't tell us more than the prohibition regarding the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil let's not deny God the possibility or prerogative of reissuing a set of laws for the Son to put Himself under and fulfill. If it comes from God and it says do this and live then that is connection enough regarding a connection between the Covenant of Works and the laws given at Sinai.

Here's the parallel: the devil. The devil defeated Adam in the garden (in the context of God's prohibition, eating of the tree). The devil tried to defeat Jesus, in the context though of the written law (you shall have no other gods before me, for instance) and Jesus defeated the devil. That is parallel and correspondence enough regarding the connection between the first and second Adam.
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by TimeRedeemer
I don't think anybody was excluding the law in the Garden. Perhaps when I said "do you think Jesus had to not eat of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?" you got that impression, but my assumption, though we take what the Word of God gives us, is that that law in the Garden corresponds as the same thing in essence with the laws given at Sinai, regarding what the Son, or Second Adam, had to fulfill that the first Adam didn't fulfill.

Yes. Still, though, since Scripture doesn't tell us more than the prohibition regarding the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil let's not deny God the possibility or prerogative of reissuing a set of laws for the Son to put Himself under and fulfill. If it comes from God and it says do this and live then that is connection enough regarding a connection between the Covenant of Works and the laws given at Sinai.

Now we get into the temporal or eternal nature of God's law. I'm going to say that it is eternal because the law is the permission to do that which pleases God and a prohibition of whatever offends God. Since He has never changed and never will change, what has pleased or offended His Sovereign Majesty remains the same. Therefore, whether given at Sinai or the garden of Eden, it is God's perfect law that Christ must in all respects obey.

I don't think we may say that there is any law to which man has been subject to that Christ has not obeyed. If there were, there remains a law that God commanded, but that Christ did not have to subject himself to. The righteousness by which any man is saved is Christ's righteousness. Therefore the law that man must obey, so must Christ.

In Christ,

KC
 

TimeRedeemer

Puritan Board Freshman
How about just saying Adam and Christ had to obey the Word of God?

Go back to the devil in this connection:

The devil got Adam (via Eve) to not obey the Word God gave to Adam concerning the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Then the devil tried to do the same thing with Jesus. He tried to get Jesus to deny or go against the Word of God (in this case the written Word). Of course Jesus didn't go against it and, unlike Adam, Jesus defeated the devil.

In both cases the line of attack and the temptation had to do with the Word of God.

Jeremiah 6:19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.

Word of God and Law of God, many verses can be presented showing the connection of course.
 

non dignus

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by TimeRedeemer
>When one talks about the covenant of works, it usually means that covenant that God made with Adam, the one that is perpetually and eternally broken

Broken but never abrogated.

The duty of the creature to love the Creator is never abrogated. The covenant proper to Adam however, is abrogated.

Witsius: " The law therefore remains as the rule of our duty; but abrogated as to its federal nature; nor can it be the condition by the performance of which man may acquire a right to the reward. In this sense the apostle says, "We are not under the law," Rom vi. 14. There is indeed still an indissoluble connection between perfect righteousness and eternal life, so that the last cannot be obtained without the first." bk 1, ch. 9, XXI

Sinners are not condemned by their failure in the covenant of works, they are condemned by Adam's failure.
 

TimeRedeemer

Puritan Board Freshman
Read section XVIII (1.9.18) of Witsius' book. "...one may conclude, that though man has really on his part broken the covenant, yet no abrogation of the covenant is made on the part of God."

Then he goes on with the caveat you quote, which is not the point I was making. In the sense I was writing (and in the sense of the very plentiful context I provided) my statement agrees with Witsius.

[Edited on 1-29-2006 by TimeRedeemer]
 

non dignus

Puritan Board Sophomore
quote]Originally posted by TimeRedeemer
Read section XVIII (1.9.18) of Witsius' book. "...one may conclude, that though man has really on his part broken the covenant, yet no abrogation of the covenant is made on the part of God."

Then he goes on with the caveat you quote, which is not the point I was making. In the sense I was writing (and in the sense of the very plentiful context I provided) my statement agrees with Witsius.

[Edited on 1-29-2006 by TimeRedeemer] [/quote]

Thank you for clarification. We can agree it was partially abrogated? :handshake:
1.9.19: "That abrogation of the part of God consists in this, that God has declared, That no man can, by virtue of this covenant, have friendship with him, or obtain eternal life; so that he has declared all to have forfeited the promise of the covenant and the hope of enjoying that promise according to that covenant."
 
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