"No one today, believer or unbeliever, is under the Mosaic law"

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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I just encountered this quote:

"No one today, believer or unbeliever, is under the Mosaic law. The Mosaic law can be divided into moral, ceremonial, and judicial. That three fold distinction is really a two-fold distinction: moral (unchanging) and positive (changing). However, moral, ceremonial, and judicial were all given to Israel on Mt. Sinai as a covenant of works for life in Canaan. And when the Old Covenant was abolished, the entire Mosaic law was abolished as it was given to Israel. In this sense, no one is under Mosaic law today."

Here is a further explanation and link:

"However, some of the Mosaic law overlapped with the eternal and transcendent moral law (Rom 2:14-15), which is the decalogue. Thus when the Mosaic law was abolished, what remained was the moral law that preceded and transcends the Mosaic law. All image bearers, believers and unbelievers, are obligated to obey the moral law.

The issue is whether the moral law serves as a guide for how to live or if it serves as a covenant of works. See LBCF 19.6 (and all of chapter 19 of the LBCF).

Barcellos: "Hearty agreement must be given when New Covenant theologians argue for the abolition of the Old Covenant. This is clearly the teaching of the Old and New Testaments (see Jeremiah 31:31-32; Second Corinthians 3; Galatians 3, 4; Ephesians 2:14-15; Hebrews 8-10). The whole law of Moses, as it functioned under the Old Covenant, has been abolished, including the Ten Commandments. Not one jot or tittle of the law of Moses functions as Old Covenant law anymore and to act as if it does constitutes redemptive-historical retreat and neo-Judaizing. However, to acknowledge that the law of Moses no longer functions as Old Covenant law is not to accept that it no longer functions; it simply no longer functions as Old Covenant law. This can be seen by the fact that the New Testament teaches both the abrogation of the law of the Old Covenant and its abiding moral validity under the New Covenant."
https://www.reddit.com/r/Reformed/comments/3rhzlf/ama_1689_federalism/


What are your thoughts?
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
However, moral, ceremonial, and judicial were all given to Israel on Mt. Sinai as a covenant of works for life in Canaan.


This is incorrect. It's incorrect because there is partial truth but knowing the author and the chaotic nature of his categorical errors, it's not what it seems. The condition of any covenant after the fall is faith (not of mans own doing but graciously given from God). To state that it's a covenant of works either: 1) gives way to multiple covenant of works or 2) misunderstands what the covenant of works was originally is and how it was given.

The covenant of works (or even a covenant of works) cannot be renewed.

This statement also misappropriates merit and blessings. Man cannot merit any temporal blessings.

Dealing with Barcellos is interesting. He is no dummy. However, his understanding of the mosaic covenant is lacking at best. In another post I briefly went over the idea of the substance and condition of the mosaic covenant. The old covenant is truly done away with because Christ has truly come. However, Hebrews is clear: what typologically represented Christ (prefigured) in the OT, is now fulfilled and abrogated in the new. The moral law wasn't abrogated, but the ceremonial was.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
I just encountered this quote:

"No one today, believer or unbeliever, is under the Mosaic law. The Mosaic law can be divided into moral, ceremonial, and judicial. That three fold distinction is really a two-fold distinction: moral (unchanging) and positive (changing). However, moral, ceremonial, and judicial were all given to Israel on Mt. Sinai as a covenant of works for life in Canaan. And when the Old Covenant was abolished, the entire Mosaic law was abolished as it was given to Israel. In this sense, no one is under Mosaic law today."

Here is a further explanation and link:

"However, some of the Mosaic law overlapped with the eternal and transcendent moral law (Rom 2:14-15), which is the decalogue. Thus when the Mosaic law was abolished, what remained was the moral law that preceded and transcends the Mosaic law. All image bearers, believers and unbelievers, are obligated to obey the moral law.

The issue is whether the moral law serves as a guide for how to live or if it serves as a covenant of works. See LBCF 19.6 (and all of chapter 19 of the LBCF).

Barcellos: "Hearty agreement must be given when New Covenant theologians argue for the abolition of the Old Covenant. This is clearly the teaching of the Old and New Testaments (see Jeremiah 31:31-32; Second Corinthians 3; Galatians 3, 4; Ephesians 2:14-15; Hebrews 8-10). The whole law of Moses, as it functioned under the Old Covenant, has been abolished, including the Ten Commandments. Not one jot or tittle of the law of Moses functions as Old Covenant law anymore and to act as if it does constitutes redemptive-historical retreat and neo-Judaizing. However, to acknowledge that the law of Moses no longer functions as Old Covenant law is not to accept that it no longer functions; it simply no longer functions as Old Covenant law. This can be seen by the fact that the New Testament teaches both the abrogation of the law of the Old Covenant and its abiding moral validity under the New Covenant."
https://www.reddit.com/r/Reformed/comments/3rhzlf/ama_1689_federalism/


What are your thoughts?
That viewpoint seems to be what NCT teaches, and while the NC superseded the OC, the Moral law of God is still intact and given unto us today as the moral imperatives of God still abide today.
 

JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Junior
As a Presbyterian, I would really encourage you to read John Colquhoun, A Treatise of the Law and the Gospel. As advocating the WCF position, he distinguishes between the Law as a COVENANT OF WORKS and the Law as a RULE OF LIFE. Believers are no longer under the Law as a covenant of works, since Christ has fulfilled it perfectly and then atoned for all our sinful imperfections. It is in THIS sense that all those NT passages are speaking, that we are no longer under the Law, etc. But does that mean that believers are no longer under the Law AT ALL? No way. It's God's rule for His redeemed people. Though believers are no longer under the law, then, as a COVENANT of WORKS, they most assuredly are in every sense as a RULE of LIFE. The Law as a Covenant of Works says, "Do and live" but the Law as a rule of life says "Live and do." BOTH say "Do." But do you see the difference. Those under the Law as a covenant of works must do FOR life; those under the Law as a rule of life are commanded still to "do", but to do FROM life. The best I've read is Colquhoun, it's worth its weight in gold. Also good is Fisher's Marrow of Divinity.
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
"The whole law of Moses, as it functioned under the Old Covenant, has been abolished, including the Ten Commandments.

This sentence from the Barcellos quote is breathtaking to see. He seems knowledgeable, but I wonder what the above statement, for instance, means? Christ said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." Paul tells the children of the Ephesian church, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment [of the ten commandments] with promise; That it may be well with thee and thou live long upon the earth."

A statement like Barcello's above, and the arguments he has built around it, would have seemed arrogant to me as a Reformed Baptist; and seems more so as a convert to Presbyterianism. I am sure he does not mean anything to seem so and I don't want at all to impune his character or intentions, I'm sure they're honorable, and maybe it's me misunderstanding something. But I do wonder if good men don't sometimes dig in their heels and begin to argue for a system rather than what Scripture teaches.






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Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
This sentence from the Barcellos quote is breathtaking to see. He seems knowledgeable, but I wonder what the above statement, for instance, means? Christ said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill." Paul tells the children of the Ephesian church, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment [of the ten commandments] with promise; That it may be well with thee and thou live long upon the earth."

A statement like Barcello's above, and the arguments he has built around it, would have seemed arrogant to me as a Reformed Baptist; and seems more so as a convert to Presbyterianism. I am sure he does not mean anything to seem so and I don't want at all to impune his character or intentions, I'm sure they're honorable, and maybe it's me misunderstanding something. But I do wonder if good men don't sometimes dig in their heels and begin to argue for a system rather than what Scripture teaches.






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He seems to be coming to this as one holding to the NCT, as they also do see us only now being under the "Law of Christ".
 

BG

Puritan Board Junior
It seems to me that there has been a certain ebb and flow of different theologies coming into reformed Baptist circles in the past 20 years everything from dispensationalism, to progressive dispensationalism, new covenant theology An attempt at covenant theology and now this new genre which seems to be a combination of all of the others. I think what we are seeing in this thread and many others that are currently running on the board is an honest attempt by good man to maintain a credo Baptist position that is credible and consistent but a Big paradigm shift in theology may temporarily SEEM to give you a sure footing but may later prove to be problematic when you evaluate their impact on all the other doctrines of scripture. I know when I was a reformed Baptist I was always looking for a system or theology that would allow me to be consistent.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
The Mosaic covenant cannot be said to be a covenant of works simply. If it were, it would require perfect and personal obedience (why then a sacrificial system?). If it were a covenant of works, then why wasn't Israel kicked out of the land far earlier than it was? I am perfectly comfortable with saying that there are echoes of the covenant of works in the Mosaic covenant. But the substance of the Mosaic covenant was the covenant of grace. This is clear from the sacrificial system, if from nothing else, which points forward to the sacrifice of Christ.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
It seems to me that there has been a certain ebb and flow of different theologies coming into reformed Baptist circles in the past 20 years everything from dispensationalism, to progressive dispensationalism, new covenant theology An attempt at covenant theology and now this new genre which seems to be a combination of all of the others. I think what we are seeing in this thread and many others that are currently running on the board is an honest attempt by good man to maintain a credo Baptist position that is credible and consistent but a Big paradigm shift in theology may temporarily SEEM to give you a sure footing but may later prove to be problematic when you evaluate their impact on all the other doctrines of scripture. I know when I was a reformed Baptist I was always looking for a system or theology that would allow me to be consistent.
Think that you are spot on here, as there does seem to be a wide variety of theological views now expressing within refirmed Baptists groups, and think a latge part of that is due to many Baptists seeing the Church as being part of the NC itself, and that we do desire to construct theology that reflects that understanding of what the NC is, and what membership entails to being within it now.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
As a Presbyterian, I would really encourage you to read John Colquhoun, A Treatise of the Law and the Gospel. As advocating the WCF position, he distinguishes between the Law as a COVENANT OF WORKS and the Law as a RULE OF LIFE. Believers are no longer under the Law as a covenant of works, since Christ has fulfilled it perfectly and then atoned for all our sinful imperfections. It is in THIS sense that all those NT passages are speaking, that we are no longer under the Law, etc. But does that mean that believers are no longer under the Law AT ALL? No way. It's God's rule for His redeemed people. Though believers are no longer under the law, then, as a COVENANT of WORKS, they most assuredly are in every sense as a RULE of LIFE. The Law as a Covenant of Works says, "Do and live" but the Law as a rule of life says "Live and do." BOTH say "Do." But do you see the difference. Those under the Law as a covenant of works must do FOR life; those under the Law as a rule of life are commanded still to "do", but to do FROM life. The best I've read is Colquhoun, it's worth its weight in gold. Also good is Fisher's Marrow of Divinity.
I love this quote and I really hope that this is all these baptist men are trying to say.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
The Mosaic covenant cannot be said to be a covenant of works simply. If it were, it would require perfect and personal obedience (why then a sacrificial system?). If it were a covenant of works, then why wasn't Israel kicked out of the land far earlier than it was? I am perfectly comfortable with saying that there are echoes of the covenant of works in the Mosaic covenant. But the substance of the Mosaic covenant was the covenant of grace. This is clear from the sacrificial system, if from nothing else, which points forward to the sacrifice of Christ.
Yes, that is what I believe, too. Can baptists believe this consistently?
 

Jeri Tanner

Administrator
Staff member
I think it's that Ephesians 6:1 began to work in me toward paedobaptism, and along with that came a higher than ever view of the use of God's law in the life of the believer; I saw its graciousness, and seemed to me to be the same graciousness in the OT as in the New.


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Herald

Administrator
Staff member
I think Barcellos may be trying to make a categorical distinction between the eternal moral law of God (c.f Genesis 4:6-7), and the codified moral law (Exodus 20). One can say that the whole of the Mosaic Law has been abrogated without denying the existence of God's eternal moral law. Whether that distinction is valid is a separate question.
 

BG

Puritan Board Junior
Yes, that is what I believe, too. Can baptists believe this consistently?

If there is only one covenant of grace and the Mosaic covenant is an administration of the covenant of grace and if children are a part of that covenant then you just became a Presbyterian. If children are a part of the covenant of grace in the old covenant then in order to be consistent you must say that children are a part of the covenant of grace in the new covenant. If the Mosaic covenant is the covenant of grace you will have to apply that foundational thought to all of scripture, scripture interprets scripture this will not be a problem in many areas but there will be areas where as a Baptist you will need discontinuity and not continuity in able to be consistent.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, that is what I believe, too. Can baptists believe this consistently?

Perg, I'm not sure it is possible. If the Mosaic covenant is a covenant of grace, and is therefore the same in substance with the covenant of grace in its New Testament form, or administration (and therefore the same as the Abrahamic in substance!), then the position of children within the covenant is also the same. The essential point here is the continuity of the covenant of grace. If that is granted, then the Presbyterian position emerges inexorably. There would be nothing in the New Testament that would even remotely indicate that children are no longer part of the covenant, or that their position has changed, or that the sign of the covenant is no longer to be given to children. In fact, the indications are the other way. Jesus explicitly says that the kingdom of God belongs to such as these infants (infants is the word used there). Peter's sermon is a covenantal promise sermon in Acts 2, where he says the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off. Paul in 1 Corinthians 10 describes the covenantal baptism in Moses as a type for us (and don't forget that ALL the forefathers were baptized into Moses, no matter what age they were at the time, thus giving us an example of baptizo being used of infants in the New Testament).
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Junior
Perg, I'm not sure it is possible. If the Mosaic covenant is a covenant of grace, and is therefore the same in substance with the covenant of grace in its New Testament form, or administration (and therefore the same as the Abrahamic in substance!), then the position of children within the covenant is also the same. The essential point here is the continuity of the covenant of grace. If that is granted, then the Presbyterian position emerges inexorably. There would be nothing in the New Testament that would even remotely indicate that children are no longer part of the covenant, or that their position has changed, or that the sign of the covenant is no longer to be given to children. In fact, the indications are the other way. Jesus explicitly says that the kingdom of God belongs to such as these infants (infants is the word used there). Peter's sermon is a covenantal promise sermon in Acts 2, where he says the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off. Paul in 1 Corinthians 10 describes the covenantal baptism in Moses as a type for us (and don't forget that ALL the forefathers were baptized into Moses, no matter what age they were at the time, thus giving us an example of baptizo being used of infants in the New Testament).
But our contention is that the Presbyterians' position here is NOT logical. Children were included in the OC by being born, but inclusion did not confer or guarantee regeneration. This was during the time of types and shadows, when Israel was painting a picture (an imperfect one--a shadowy one) of a people separated unto God. Under the NC, physical generation does not mean automatic inclusion in the roll of Abraham's seed, because Abraham's spiritual seed are those who are regenerate. John the Baptist, announcing the Kingdom of God, warned the pharisees not to think to say to themselves that they had Abraham for their father--in other words, not to trust in their lineage, since God is able of even stones to raise a seed (a spiritual seed: the sort that matters) to Abraham.
And so children of believers in the NC, although possessed of many privileges and benefits accruing from godly parents, are not counted the spiritual seed of Abraham until they are born of the Spirit.
But Lane, if Peter's sermon about you and your children etc meant we are to include them in the covenant, why are "all who are far off" not included in the covenant by being born? Shouldn't we include in the covenant those whom God specifies, namely "as many as the Lord shall call," which are mentioned in the same breath?
A better understanding of this verse is that Peter is speaking to a throng who had just days before been clamoring for Jesus' crucifixion, and had called the responsibility for the Savior's blood on themselves and their children. They were rightly under conviction from Peter's accusation of their guilt. And so Peter reassures them that the promise of forgiveness is offered not only to them if they will repent, but to their children if they repent, yea, and to all the world, if they will repent and believe on Jesus.
 

PuritanCovenanter

The Joyful Curmudgeon
Staff member
John the Baptist, announcing the Kingdom of God, warned the pharisees not to think to say to themselves that they had Abraham for their father--in other words, not to trust in their lineage, since God is able of even stones to raise a seed (a spiritual seed: the sort that matters) to Abraham.
And that isn't the same for us in the New Covenant Church? How many examples do I need to expose you too. Do you really want to go here? Remember, I was a RB for 30 years. Lord, Lord, Did we not? Believe me, Apostasy is a real thing or the Lord wouldn't have had us worry about it. So is presumptive thinking that a person is regenerate when their lives don't reflect it.
 
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Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Junior
And that isn't the same for us in the New Covenant Church? How many examples do I need to expose you too. Do you really want to go here? Remember, I was a RB for 30 years. Lord, Lord, Did we not? Believe me, Apostasy is a real thing or the Lord wouldn't have had us worry about it. So is presumptive thinking that a person is regenerate when their lives don't reflect it.
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you: it IS the same in the NT church, that's why we don't baptize infants. And to be sure apostasy is a real danger, but RB's contend that those who apostatize without later repentance were never saved. "Lord, lord! Did we not?" they'll cry, and He will say: "I NEVER knew you."
I'm sure the issue of presumption without fruits answering to repentance is viewed similarly by RBs and Presbyterians alike--puzzled why you bring it up in this context. ?
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
But our contention is that the Presbyterians' position here is NOT logical. Children were included in the OC by being born, but inclusion did not confer or guarantee regeneration. This was during the time of types and shadows, when Israel was painting a picture (an imperfect one--a shadowy one) of a people separated unto God. Under the NC, physical generation does not mean automatic inclusion in the roll of Abraham's seed, because Abraham's spiritual seed are those who are regenerate. John the Baptist, announcing the Kingdom of God, warned the pharisees not to think to say to themselves that they had Abraham for their father--in other words, not to trust in their lineage, since God is able of even stones to raise a seed (a spiritual seed: the sort that matters) to Abraham.
And so children of believers in the NC, although possessed of many privileges and benefits accruing from godly parents, are not counted the spiritual seed of Abraham until they are born of the Spirit.
But Lane, if Peter's sermon about you and your children etc meant we are to include them in the covenant, why are "all who are far off" not included in the covenant by being born? Shouldn't we include in the covenant those whom God specifies, namely "as many as the Lord shall call," which are mentioned in the same breath?
A better understanding of this verse is that Peter is speaking to a throng who had just days before been clamoring for Jesus' crucifixion, and had called the responsibility for the Savior's blood on themselves and their children. They were rightly under conviction from Peter's accusation of their guilt. And so Peter reassures them that the promise of forgiveness is offered not only to them if they will repent, but to their children if they repent, yea, and to all the world, if they will repent and believe on Jesus.

Your interpretation of Acts 2 commits the same error that N.T. Wright commits in his exegesis of 1 Corinthians 1:30. Wright says about that passage that Christ's righteousness cannot be imputed to us on the basis of that verse, because of the three items in a row: righteousness, sanctification, and redemption (he caricatures the Reformed view by saying then that Christ's sanctification and redemption would then have to be imputed to us as well). He does not understand that three items in a series do not force any kind of uniformity on how they are being understood in the context. If I say "light, heat, and cold" that does not mean that any of the three have to relate to the context in exactly the same way as the other two elements in the series. So, back to Acts 2, just because "you, your children, and all those who are far off" are three items in a series does not mean that the promise has to apply to all three of these groups in exactly the same way. We know that already, just given the time sequence that is pretty much implied: the promise is for you right now, for your children in the near future, and for those who are far off in the distant future. The promise does refer to belief and repentance, as you say, but the sign of that promise is baptism. This does not mean that baptism should be applied to all those who are far off while they are far off. Repentance can come first for "you." Baptism could come first for the children, and a combination for those who are far off. So, your objection has no weight.

I might also remind you of 1 Corinthians 7:14 implies a physical continuity of covenantal promise, the very physical component you think is not present in the NT.
 

Ben Zartman

Puritan Board Junior
^^ That is not how we see 1 Cor. 7:14! There is no covenantal promise there--sanctification there does not mean they are made regenerate--it means that if the wife remains with her unbelieving husband, there are not a bunch of children running around with no visible father; they would be considered at first glance to be bastards, and illegitimate.

But I think one of the biggest problems of the Presbyterians is that they seem equate the word "Covenant" with "Family." Jesus showed that family associations had nothing to do with actual regeneration--He came not to bring peace but a sword. In the old administration of types and shadows, the children were included by birth, but were not necessarily saved....but we've been over this already.

But back to the main body of your objection--that 'three items in a list' don't always have aught to do with each other is kind of an acrobatic interpretation. It COULD be this or it COULD be that because in another place there's an unrelated list--please don't take offense, brother, but it seems a real stretch of logic to me.
 

BG

Puritan Board Junior
So you're saying that a man and woman legally married who have children together that their children are bastards.

You may want to cross-reference first Corinthian's 7:14 with Malachi 2:15

15Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring.
 
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