"Reformed" Baptist becomes Reformed

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Dan....

Puritan Board Sophomore
Just for the record, I have never known of a confessional baptist who does not distiguish between the invisible (or, eschatalogical) church and visible saints.

As for the terms "external/internal covenant", I do not find them in the London Confession (nor the Westminster for that matter), and hence I will avoid the use thereof.
 

wsw201

Puritan Board Senior
Dan,

I don't use these terms either. I find they cause more confussion than they're worth, so I stick to the language of the Standards.
 

Tertullian

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:4c7e17f10b][i:4c7e17f10b]Originally posted by Roldan[/i:4c7e17f10b]
Tert: "you seem to say that the New Covenant blessings have not been realized,"

ME: NOPE! PLease read the above article again or for the first time by Richard Pratt.

Kceaster posted a very clear and concise explanation of our distinctions and will not taint it with a reply from myself.

But if you have another question I will be glad to help.

Grace and Peace [/quote:4c7e17f10b]

So if you agree that God has forgiven New Covenant members sins and that God has regenerated their hearts... then how are any lost... if you disagree that God has done those things to New Covenant members please read my post again.

KC's post has gaps, he argues external/internal but he defines them the way the London Baptist Confession defines (Visible, Invisible) but clearly I can agree with my own Confession and remain Reformed Baptist, though he says that that is logicially impossible, KC's arguement has gaps, for even if I granted KC's point, why must Covenant members get the sign of the Covenant, for surely you can be in the Covenant and not get the sign, see Women in the Old Covenant.


To the Glory of Christ-Tertullian
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Dan....

[quote:680fd12be4][i:680fd12be4]Originally posted by Dan....[/i:680fd12be4]
Just for the record, I have never known of a confessional baptist who does not distiguish between the invisible (or, eschatalogical) church and visible saints.

As for the terms "external/internal covenant", I do not find them in the London Confession (nor the Westminster for that matter), and hence I will avoid the use thereof. [/quote:680fd12be4]

I guess I would have to argue that the definition of visible saints between paedo and credo is different. Or, at least Pastor Phillip would not define them the same.

Since everyone in the NC (under the current RB view) is saved, then everyone in the visible church who has been baptized and is a member in good standing is a member of the NC, and hence would be a visible saint. This does not allow for goats, or wolves for that matter.

If this is not your view, then you are not coming from the angle Pastor Phillip comes from, who is considered a confessional baptist.

In Christ,

KC
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Tyler....

[quote:cc7146d268]KC's post has gaps, he argues external/internal but he defines them the way the London Baptist Confession defines (Visible, Invisible) but clearly I can agree with my own Confession and remain Reformed Baptist, though he says that that is logicially impossible, KC's arguement has gaps, for even if I granted KC's point, why must Covenant members get the sign of the Covenant, for surely you can be in the Covenant and not get the sign, see Women in the Old Covenant.


To the Glory of Christ-Tertullian [/quote:cc7146d268]

You can be completely confessional with the 1689 but not follow the logical step of covenant inclusion. The reason this is the case is because you have no biblical warrant to exclude what has always been included in the covenant of grace, namely children. The covenant sign was applied to children under the OT administration and there is no mandate to stop this practice in the NT administration.

The visible/invisible church distinction is rather elementary to the covenant of grace. The only reason that it is misinterpreted is because of a bias against infant inclusion.

And I assure you, if there are gaps in this argument, they are not mine. I share them equally with those to whom this first came, namely the reformers.

In Christ,

KC

[Edited on 2-20-2004 by kceaster]
 

Dan....

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:63fe372a44]I guess I would have to argue that the definition of visible saints between paedo and credo is different. Or, at least Pastor Phillip would not define them the same. [/quote:63fe372a44]

True. The definitions are different. Per the London Confession, a visible saint is defined as:

[i:63fe372a44] All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, not destroying their own profession by any errors everting the foundation, or unholiness of conversation, are and may be called visible saints; and of such ought all particular congregations to be constituted.[/i:63fe372a44] - XXVI:2.

Per this definition, an infant child would not be considered a "visible saint".

[quote:63fe372a44]Since everyone in the NC (under the current RB view) is saved, then everyone in the visible church who has been baptized and is a member in good standing is a member of the NC, and hence would be a visible saint. This does not allow for goats, or wolves for that matter. [/quote:63fe372a44]

I'm having a difficult time following, are you saying that that goats and wolves would not be in the New Covenant, or that they would not be visible saints?

The Baptist would say that there are no goats and wolves in the New Covenant, although they may be among the visible saints. Being in the New Covenant and being a visible saint are not synonomous. One can be in the New Covenant and not be a visible saint (eg., a regenerate infant), and one can be a visible saint and not be in the New Covenant (eg., wolves).


[quote:63fe372a44]
If this is not your view, then you are not coming from the angle Pastor Phillip comes from, who is considered a confessional baptist.
[/quote:63fe372a44]

Pastor Phillip can speak for himself, but the Confession seems pretty clear on what a visible saint is.
 

wsw201

Puritan Board Senior
[quote:5e07ccf98e]
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I guess I would have to argue that the definition of visible saints between paedo and credo is different. Or, at least Pastor Phillip would not define them the same.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



True. The definitions are different. Per the London Confession, a visible saint is defined as:

All persons throughout the world, professing the faith of the gospel, and obedience unto God by Christ according unto it, not destroying their own profession by any errors everting the foundation, or unholiness of conversation, are and may be called visible saints; and of such ought all particular congregations to be constituted. - XXVI:2.

Per this definition, an infant child would not be considered a "visible saint".


[/quote:5e07ccf98e]

This is a very interesting point in that the LBCF does not actually define the "Visible Church" like the WCF does but defines "Visible Saints", although the LBCF does define the "Invisible Church".

But Dan, one of the problems that you and Phillip, as well as other RB's, seem to have is CT terminology (getting the jargon down is 90% of the battle). Granted, I am not too crazy about using this language either but if we can all get on the same page as to what these terms mean and how they are used we can come to a better understanding regarding the various positions.
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Dan....

I hope Phillip answers this, because it was my understanding that he sees visible saint and new covenant member as one in the same thing.

In the same way, a paedo would say that a visible saint = one who is in the visible church (although we would also allow infants since they received the covenant sign in the OT economy); a member of the CoG = one who is in the invisible church.

Since we cannot know who is in the invisible church, then we must admit that there are both elect and non-elect in the visible church. Further, since we can only see the new covenant in its external administration, we must admit that [i:493c8b3821]to our eyes[/i:493c8b3821] there must be elect and non-elect in covenant with God. That does not mean that they are actually in the covenant. That means that they have been placed in the outward administration but will not be known at judgment.

Where the rubber meets the road, then, is now we can see that the OC and the NC have the same sort of internal and external aspect. There were elect and non-elect in the OC (in the external sense) just as there are in the NC. Therefore, the prophecy in Jeremiah is not saying that the OC included elect and non-elect, but the new will only include the elect. It is saying that the NC will be marked by a more widespread obedience to the covenant, than the OC did. And I think we can see that. How many were the people of God in the OT compared to the time from Christ till now?

The NC includes non-elect. As an administration of the covenant of grace, it most certainly does include, in its external aspect, those who are not known by God.

The covenant of grace, then, is only the true people of God from all times and places. It is the invisible church. It is not equated with the NC since the OT saints are in the covenant of grace while still being under the OC administration.

This is where Pastor Phillip and I disagree. He thinks that the CoG is the NC. And, because he equates the NC with the CoG, and because he believes the NC only encompasses the elect (i.e., visible saints), then he is faced with excluding two groups of people (by external administration) that are in the bosom of God: the OT saints and the elect infants of covenant members. The OT saints cannot be members of the NC because there is no passage of Scripture that shows that sort of transition, where they could be under the Mosaic and yet, after Christ, are transformed to the NC.

And, we know why he excludes infants. There is no explicit scriptural mandate (in the NT) to include them (by administration of the covenant sign).

The only reason I can fathom why the 1689 restates the WCF in this way, and does not make the visible/invisible church distinction the way the Assemby did, is because they are opposed to infant baptism. This is the lowest common denominator of their whole theology.

I point to infant baptism as the key factor of why NCT has sprung up in recent years.

I know this opinion will cause dissatisfaction with my brothers, but I really believe that at the heart of the argument is the fact that they believe it is Catholic to do so. This doctrine must be destroyed simply because it is associated with Rome. From that basic understanding, dogmas formed by interpreting the scriptures in novel ways, or by ignoring key parts, or by pitting inspired Scripture against inspired Scripture, showing the NT to be "more" inspired than the OT.

But at the heart of it all, is infant baptism.

Look at this board. (I am sorry for ranting by the way, and it is not directed solely at you, Dan, or Phillip.) I have said it before and I'll say it again, we could start a thread on ballroom dancing and end up debating infant baptism in some way shape or form. Look at the posts. It is overwhelming how much time we spend boxing each other about the ears on the subject of infant baptism.

Of course, I blame the baptists. After all, that is their title. The reason they are called baptists is because of their stance on baptism. But really, if it were not infant baptism as the underlying burr under our collective saddles, it would be something else. By nature, we as the "competent" theologians we are, thrive on debate and argument. We want to show ourselves approved, right?

But paedos are as much to blame as anyone else. Perhaps, way back when, there was something someone could have done to stem this tide of divisiveness over this issue. I wish there had been. And, there is not a day that goes by that I pray that God would unite His church once again.

Well, I must get off my soapbox now. I am sorry to have gone on like this. I pray you'll all understand my heart. I wish that we could all agree, but, I love you all even if we don't.

In Christ,

KC
 

Dan....

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:a7be122819]
In the same way, a paedo would say that a visible saint = one who is in the visible church (although we would also allow infants since they received the covenant sign in the OT economy); a member of the CoG = one who is in the invisible church.

Since we cannot know who is in the invisible church, then we must admit that there are both elect and non-elect in the visible church. Further, since we can only see the new covenant in its external administration, we must admit that to our eyes there must be elect and non-elect in covenant with God. That does not mean that they are actually in the covenant. That means that they have been placed in the outward administration but will not be known at judgment.
[/quote:a7be122819]

Okay, up to this point.




[quote:a7be122819]
Where the rubber meets the road, then, is now we can see that the OC and the NC have the same sort of internal and external aspect. There were elect and non-elect in the OC (in the external sense) just as there are in the NC.
[/quote:a7be122819]

Here is where we part ways.

You will notice that the London Confession does not refer to the Old Covenant, (nor even the New Covenant at that matter) as an administration of the covenant of grace. It says that this covenant was revealed first of all to Adam and afterwards by farther steps, but it never identifies any of the covenants of promise as administrations of the covenant of grace.

I do not mind the use of the term "administration", so long as we understand that by that term we do not mean that these covenants of promise were to be themselves identified as the covenant of grace.

Rather than saying that the covenants of promise were "administrations of the covenant of grace"; I prefer saying, as does the confession, that the covenant of grace was revealed through these covenants.

It appears to me that there are at least two possible interpretations of the London Confession on the identity of the covenant of grace:

1. It can be said that both the Old Covenant and the New Covenant are administrations of the one covenant of grace (though each by itself is not the covenant of grace).

Or,

2. It can be said that the Old Covenant, though not being itself the covenant of grace, reveals the covenant of grace, which is identical to the New Covenant.

It appears that Waldron (and possibly Chantry???) hold the first.

Malone holds the second.

The actual verbiage of the confession could be interpreted either way. I am not aware of which way the authors stood on it.

If yone reads the London Confession in light of the Westminster Confession, then he ends with the first interpretation. If he reads it apart from the Westminster Confession, (in my opinion) he is more likely to arrive at the second.

One may argue that the confession should be read in light of the way that the Westminster was written; however, such an argument would have no reason for why the authors of the confession totally leave out paragraphs 4, 5, and 6.

Personally, I agree more with the second interpretation, although that is not necessary for the baptistic position.

According to the first interpretation, the Old Covenant administration included both elect and non-elect, while the New Covenant is with the elect alone.

According to the second interpretation, the Old Covenant was a covenant with both elect and non-elect, and the New Covenant is a covenant with the elect alone.

[quote:a7be122819]
Therefore, the prophecy in Jeremiah is not saying that the OC included elect and non-elect, but the new will only include the elect.
[/quote:a7be122819]

This is what I would say. This appears to be what Pastor Way would say, and this interpretation is not in opposition in to the London Confession as it is written.




[quote:a7be122819]
This is where Pastor Phillip and I disagree. He thinks that the CoG is the NC. And, because he equates the NC with the CoG, and because he believes the NC only encompasses the elect (i.e., visible saints), then he is faced with excluding two groups of people (by external administration) that are in the bosom of God: the OT saints and the elect infants of covenant members. The OT saints cannot be members of the NC because there is no passage of Scripture that shows that sort of transition, where they could be under the Mosaic and yet, after Christ, are transformed to the NC.
[/quote:a7be122819]

The elect of all ages are included in the New Covenant. See Hebrews 9:15.

[quote:a7be122819]
And, we know why he excludes infants. There is no explicit scriptural mandate (in the NT) to include them (by administration of the covenant sign).
[/quote:a7be122819]

I have not read Phillip to say that there are no infants in the New Covenant. We (Phillip, I, and the London Confession) do not identify infants as "visible saints". The two are not synonomous. There are visible saints that are not in the New Covenant, and there are New Covenant members who are not visibly saints.

[quote:a7be122819]
The only reason I can fathom why the 1689 restates the WCF in this way, and does not make the visible/invisible church distinction the way the Assemby did, is because they are opposed to infant baptism. This is the lowest common denominator of their whole theology.
[/quote:a7be122819]

You are correct in seeing that the London Confession does not define visible saints in the same way that the Westminster does the visible church. The two reasons that appear to me are:
1. They were congregationalists
2. They did not see their infant children as visible saints.

[Edited on 2-20-2004 by Dan....]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Dan,

Help me out here. I understand the way you have laid out the two "options" or interpretations of the covenant of grace. I have yet (not meaning from you, but in my studies) to see any hard evidence from any covenantal theologian (baptist or presbyterian) that equates the covenant of grace with the new covenant before Malone and some of the new baptists. Maybe Joe can help us here - but my understanding is that Chantry and Waldron are following classical baptistic covenant theology, and that Spurgeon held the same views.

Here is my problem. And again, I am COMPLETELY unconcerned with infant inclusion in the covenant at this point. While I think that is an important doctrine, I think it is not germane here, and leads to a side path. Thus I think your and KC's discussion involving it has clouded the matter a bit.

Let's assume (for argument's sake) the following to get at the main point.

1. Infants are not in the new covenant.
2. Only those who are in the new covenant are to be given the sign of the new covenant (baptism)

Is this fair? I think this is what is the basic baptist argument.

Now, if the covenant of grace is the new covenant, we would say that the new covenant is made only with the elect. That means that since the covenant of grace is unbreakable and eternal (and has no external aspect - your words) all those in the new covenant are in the covenant of grace.

Now here is the $64,000 question: what do we do about those who make a profession and are baptized (thus given the sign of the covenant), but then make clear by their life (and perhaps even subsequent rejection of the faith) that they are not of the elect?

Now please note: I am not accusing baptists of inconsistency here. Presbyterians do the exact same thing with professors of faith. And I am NOT concerned with infants here.

What I am concerned with is the relationship of the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants and the covenant of grace. If we say that the new covenant [b:42bf85e14d]IS[/b:42bf85e14d] the covenant of grace, instead of merely being [b:42bf85e14d]the clearest administration/revelation[/b:42bf85e14d] of the covenant of grace, we have a problem. Either the covenant of grace is breakable, or else the new covenant cannot be equal to the covenant of grace. It has to be an historical administration of the covenant of grace. I can grant to you that it is the clearest expression of the covenant of grace; and that is why only those who make a credible profession receive the sign (for the sake of argument).

But what I cannot do is allow the new covenant to be the covenant of grace. Then the false professor is a real problem. Can you help me here?
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
To clarify my position....I'm with Dan and the LBCF completely!

Only the elect are in the NC. Visible saints are not necessarily elect. Visible saints are therefore not automatically in the NC. Visible saints may be sheep or goats, wheat or tares. If they are goats/tares then they are not in the covenant and will be removed from the field and judged. If they are sheep/wheat they are covenant members and will be partakers of the inheritance of Christ.

The New Covenant is a covenant in the shed blood of Jesus. It is a covenant He mediates. To be in the covenant is to be covered by His blood and have Him serving as your advocate before the Father. A person in the covenant of His blood cannot receive curses, for Christ became a curse for them.

As I have stated before, being a member of the covenant community (the visible church) does not mean that you are a member of the covenant itself. Only the elect are in the CoG/NC.

Phillip



[Edited on 2-20-04 by pastorway]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:3484575740][i:3484575740]Originally posted by pastorway[/i:3484575740]
To clarify my position....I'm with Dan and the LBCF completely!

Only the elect are in the NC. Visible saints are not necessarily elect. Visible saints are therefore not automatically in the NC. Visible saints may be sheep or goats, wheat or tares. If they are goats/tares then they are not in the covenant and will be removed from the field and judged. If they are sheep/wheat they are covenant members and will be partakers of the inheritance of Christ.

The New Covenant is a covenant in the shed blood of Jesus. It is a covenant He mediates. To be in the covenant is to be covered by His blood and have Him serving as your advocate before the Father. A person in the covenant of His blood cannot receive curses, for Christ became a curse for them.

As I have stated before, being a member of the covenant community (the visible church) does not mean that you are a member of the covenant itself. Only the elect are in the CoG/NC.

Phillip
[/quote:3484575740]

But Phillip, if you are not in the covenant, why do you receive the sign of the covenant? That was not the case in the Abrahamic covenant, nor the Mosaic. IN fact, the sign of the covenant is so closely identified with the covenant itself that the sign is called the covenant several times in the Scripture - "this cup is the new covenant in my blood"
 

Tertullian

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:d2e0cd9827][i:d2e0cd9827]Originally posted by kceaster[/i:d2e0cd9827]

You can be completely confessional with the 1689 but not follow the logical step of covenant inclusion. The reason this is the case is because you have no biblical warrant to exclude what has always been included in the covenant of grace, namely children. The covenant sign was applied to children under the OT administration and there is no mandate to stop this practice in the NT administration. [/quote:d2e0cd9827]

Of course you are assuming identity between circumcision and baptism, but I note it was not infants but males that were the main recepeients of circumcision, infants were included because they were males not because they were infants, now obvious the male emphasis has been replaced with the Disciple emphasis.


[quote:d2e0cd9827] The visible/invisible church distinction is rather elementary to the covenant of grace. The only reason that it is misinterpreted is because of a bias against infant inclusion. [/quote:d2e0cd9827]

Then I guess Ridderbos and John Frame must have a bais against Infant baptism

[quote:d2e0cd9827] And I assure you, if there are gaps in this argument, they are not mine. I share them equally with those to whom this first came, namely the reformers.

In Christ,

KC [/quote:d2e0cd9827]

Will I do agree with you there, both the Reformers and you have gaps :spin: (PS Just trying to be cute not disrespectful when I said that last line)

To the Glory of Christ-Tertullian
 

wsw201

Puritan Board Senior
[quote:83a203ccb0]
I do not mind the use of the term "administration", so long as we understand that by that term we do not mean that these covenants of promise were to be themselves identified as the covenant of grace.

Rather than saying that the covenants of promise were "administrations of the covenant of grace"; I prefer saying, as does the confession, that the covenant of grace was revealed through these covenants.
[/quote:83a203ccb0]

This would be correct. Each administration or further steps were simply those covenants that pointed to the consummation of the CoG with the advent of Christ.


[quote:83a203ccb0]
It appears to me that there are at least two possible interpretations of the London Confession on the identity of the covenant of grace:

1. It can be said that both the Old Covenant and the New Covenant are administrations of the one covenant of grace (though each by itself is not the covenant of grace).

Or,

2. It can be said that the Old Covenant, though not being itself the covenant of grace, reveals the covenant of grace, which is identical to the New Covenant.

It appears that Waldron (and possibly Chantry???) hold the first.

Malone holds the second.

The actual verbiage of the confession could be interpreted either way. I am not aware of which way the authors stood on it.

If yone reads the London Confession in light of the Westminster Confession, then he ends with the first interpretation. If he reads it apart from the Westminster Confession, (in my opinion) he is more likely to arrive at the second.

One may argue that the confession should be read in light of the way that the Westminster was written; however, such an argument would have no reason for why the authors of the confession totally leave out paragraphs 4, 5, and 6.

[/quote:83a203ccb0]

I would say that both of these interpretations are lacking. The New Covenant is not an administration of the CoG. It is the culmination/consummation/fulfillment of the CoG (the promise of a Redeemer), of which all the previous Covenants pointed to, which were administrations. In addition, the Old Covenant is not identical to the New Covenant. The Old Covenant pointed to the consummation of the Covenants in Christ, ie; the New Covenant.


[quote:83a203ccb0]
According to the first interpretation, the Old Covenant administration included both elect and non-elect, while the New Covenant is with the elect alone.

According to the second interpretation, the Old Covenant was a covenant with both elect and non-elect, and the New Covenant is a covenant with the elect alone.
[/quote:83a203ccb0]

This is where I get confused. Basically, anyone can agree to the stipulations of a covenant for whatever reason. Regarding the CoG, being fulfilled in Christ, the stipulations are basically "repent and believe". Considering the previous comparison of the Covenant of Grace and Effectual/General Calling, how could there not be non-elect in the Church?
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
[quote:f65c00c041][i:f65c00c041]posted by Fred[/i:f65c00c041]
But Phillip, if you are not in the covenant, why do you receive the sign of the covenant? [/quote:f65c00c041]

That is why we Baptists stipulate that those who receive baptism have made a credible profession of their faith and indicated as best we can tell that they are in the covenant.

Beside all that - is baptism the sign of the Covenant? I thought the CUP was the sign of the New Covenant in Christ's blood!! And it is specifically reserved for those who have examined themselves to see if they are in the faith. It is for those for whom Christ has shed His blood (hence due to the Doctrine of the Limited Atonement - the elect only!).

If someone who is not regenerate partakes they have eaten and drank condemnation - not the cup of blessing, the cup of the covenant in His blood shed for them.

Some of us do not hold that baptism and circumcision coorelate!!!

Phillip

[Edited on 2-20-04 by pastorway]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:f33c648669][i:f33c648669]Originally posted by pastorway[/i:f33c648669]
[quote:f33c648669][i:f33c648669]posted by Fred[/i:f33c648669]
But Phillip, if you are not in the covenant, why do you receive the sign of the covenant? [/quote:f33c648669]

That is why we Baptists stipulate that those who receive baptism have made a credible profession of their faith and indicated as best we can tell that they are in the covenant.

Beside all that - is baptism the sign of the Covenant? I thought the CUP was the sign of the New Covenant in Christ's blood!! And it is specifically reserved for those who have examined themselves to see if they are in the faith. It is for those for whom Christ has shed His blood (hence due to the Doctrine of the Limited Atonement - the elect only!).

If someone who is not regenerate partakes they have eaten and drank condemnation - not the cup of blessing, the cup of the covenant in His blood shed for them.

Some of us do not hold that baptism and circumcision coorelate!!!

Phillip
[/quote:f33c648669]

Phillip,

Now you have it!!! :bouncing:

Let's stick with the Lord's Supper analogy. Yes of course the Supper (the cup) is a sign of the covenant. So is baptism, just in a different way (both are signs, sacraments - or to use your parlance so as not to start another quibble, ordinances). The requirement for partaking of the sign and the benefits of the covenant is not election. It is not an infallible participation (i.e. sure and unconditional) in the covenant of grace. The requirement is membership in the new covenant.

For adults, both paedos and credos agree with how that membership comes about. Let's stay here and not get pulled astray on baptism - we are in complete agreement here. The membership comes from a credible profession of faith. One is in the new covenant, at least outwardly, by profession of faith. That profession may prove false.

What happens then? :puzzled:

Does it mean that the person was never in the covenant? NO! Paul's anser is not that there was simply [b:f33c648669]no benefit[/b:f33c648669] to such a person from the Supper, but rather (as you have so rightly pointed out) that the person has greater condemnation because of it. He has [b:f33c648669]eaten and drunk damnation[/b:f33c648669] (or condemnation) to himself. That is why Paul stresses the importance of self-examination. It is not a "no harm, no foul" thing. There are consequences - covenantal consequences - to such false partaking.

The problem comes when we speak of us "breaking the covenant." In reality, it would be better to speak of the covenant "breaking us." The covenant provides either blessings or cursings - depending on our obedience to covenant obligations. For the covenant of grace, that obligation is faith in the finished work of Christ, an obligation that is really only fulfilled by God; we cannot fulfill it because we have no ability to do so. But if we claim the covenant and do not fulfill it (by a false profession) our end is worse than if we had never claimed it to start with.

All this to say that it is possible to be in the new covenant, partake of its signs, and yet receive only cursings rather than blessings because of unbelief. There is no other way around it. If the new covenant = covenant of grace, then either all who profess are saved, or the covenant of grace is a covenant in which some can fall away.
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
The profession does not put you in the covenant. A visible saint is not necessarily in the covenant.

So if profession is not the "door" to the covenant (and neither is baptism or the Supper), then someone can profess, be baptized, and partake of the Supper and still not be in the covenant.

What is the door to the covenant? Christ is the door and those who are in Him are in the covenant. Entering the covenant, the doorway, is to enter salvation.

When you know Christ and He knows you. When your sins are forgiven and your heart circumcised. When you are regenerated, justified, and being sanctified you are in the covenant.

To profess such but not possess it no more puts you in the covenant than it will put you in heaven for eternity.

You see an outward administration that allows for covenant members to fall away. I do not.

Do we know for sure 100% of the time who is in the covenant. No way. That is why we warn those who are professors with the passages of apostacy. Warning that if they "fall away", they will go out from us because they were NEVER of us. Christ will say to these, "I NEVER knew you."

No relation. No covenant. No mediation.

The lost who were at one time "visible saints" do not receive covenant curses. They receive wrath and judgment for their sin because Jesus did not atone for them. The judgment will be more severe for them because they heard the truth - we are accountable for what we know. But the covenant in Jesus blood offers no condemnation to those in covenant with Him.

Jesus as a Mediator is never seen mediating curses. His role as a Mediator is the mediation of the covenant in His shed blood. Those for whom He mediates, He also prays! And Jesus does not pray for those who are not His (John 17:9).

I think that beyond the way CT confuses and compounds the covenants of Scripture, on both sides of the discussion there is a serious lack of understanding about Christ's role as the Mediator of the New Covenant!

To profess is not to be in covenant. To have the signs administered is not to be in covenant.

To have your heart circumcised (regeneration) - that is to be in the covenant.

Phillip

[Edited on 2-21-04 by pastorway]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Phillip,

I don't understand; how can I partake of the covenant meal and not be a part of the covenant?

How come professors and members of the church can partake and people off the street cannot? Why can't they? What is the reason we keep them from the covenant meal?
 

Roldan

Puritan Board Junior
[quote:c5bfd2f128][i:c5bfd2f128]Originally posted by fredtgreco[/i:c5bfd2f128]
Phillip,

I don't understand; how can I partake of the covenant meal and not be a part of the covenant?

How come professors and members of the church can partake and people off the street cannot? Why can't they? What is the reason we keep them from the covenant meal? [/quote:c5bfd2f128]

HMMMMMMM. Very inte-restin
 

Dan....

Puritan Board Sophomore
Pastor Greco,

[quote:4635d9474a]

Help me out here. I understand the way you have laid out the two "options" or interpretations of the covenant of grace. I have yet (not meaning from you, but in my studies) to see any hard evidence from any covenantal theologian (baptist or presbyterian) that equates the covenant of grace with the new covenant before Malone and some of the new baptists. Maybe Joe can help us here - but my understanding is that Chantry and Waldron are following classical baptistic covenant theology, and that Spurgeon held the same views.
[/quote:4635d9474a]


Have you had the oppertunity to read Dr. Malone's book yet? He does a much better job explaining the position than I can.


The Congregationalist John Owen aparently held that the New Covenant is the Covenant of Grace. I'll have to check the archives, but I believe Pastor Way posted a lengthy quote from Owen from his work on Hebrews chapter Eight; in that quoted section, it is quite obvious that Owen held a similar view of the covenant of grace.

[quote:4635d9474a]
Here is my problem. And again, I am COMPLETELY unconcerned with infant inclusion in the covenant at this point. While I think that is an important doctrine, I think it is not germane here, and leads to a side path. Thus I think your and KC's discussion involving it has clouded the matter a bit.

Let's assume (for argument's sake) the following to get at the main point.

1. Infants are not in the new covenant.
2. Only those who are in the new covenant are to be given the sign of the new covenant (baptism)

Is this fair? I think this is what is the basic baptist argument.

[/quote:4635d9474a]


Here is where you may have misunderstood me. No one is saying that there are not infants in the New Covenant. Nor are we saying that only those who are in the New Covenant are to be baptized. We do not know who is really in the New Covenant. If the above were true, then we would not know who to baptize and who to not baptize. If this is your assumption about what is "the basic baptist argument", then I completely understand why you have a problem with it. Now if we rephrased your assumptions to the following, then maybe we could get somewhere:

1. Infants are not visibly saints.

2. Only those who are visibly saints should be baptized.


[quote:4635d9474a]
Now, if the covenant of grace is the new covenant, we would say that the new covenant is made only with the elect. That means that since the covenant of grace is unbreakable and eternal (and has no external aspect - your words) all those in the new covenant are in the covenant of grace.

[/quote:4635d9474a]

Correct.


[quote:4635d9474a]
Now here is the $64,000 question: what do we do about those who make a profession and are baptized (thus given the sign of the covenant), but then make clear by their life (and perhaps even subsequent rejection of the faith) that they are not of the elect?

[/quote:4635d9474a]



Well, if we went with your above two assumptions, then we both would be scratching our heads. But if we recognize that not all visible saints are in the covenant, then we would say:

Those who profess faith and are baptized, who later prove that they are not of the elect, are not/were not in the New Covenant. Visibly, they were saints and were baptized, yet they no longer are visible saints and should come under church discipline and finally expulsion if they will not repent.


[quote:4635d9474a]
What I am concerned with is the relationship of the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants and the covenant of grace. If we say that the new covenant IS the covenant of grace, instead of merely being the clearest administration/revelation of the covenant of grace, we have a problem. Either the covenant of grace is breakable, or else the new covenant cannot be equal to the covenant of grace. It has to be an historical administration of the covenant of grace.

[/quote:4635d9474a]


Your conclusion would be based upon a premise that the New Covenant can be broken. The syllogism:

1. The New Covenant can be broken.

2. The Covenant of Grace is the New Covenant.

*Therefore, the covenant of grace can be broken.

Obviously, as one who sees the New Covenant as an unbreakable covenant, I disagree with premise #1.


[quote:4635d9474a]
But what I cannot do is allow the new covenant to be the covenant of grace. Then the false professor is a real problem.

[/quote:4635d9474a]



The false professor is only a problem if we conclude that his is actually in the New Covenant. On this we obviously do not agree.

[Edited on 2-21-2004 by Dan....]
 

Dan....

Puritan Board Sophomore
Pastor Wayne,

[quote:5ffebde8e9]
I said....
It can be said that the Old Covenant, though not being itself the covenant of grace, reveals the covenant of grace, which is identical to the New Covenant.

You replied....
In addition, the Old Covenant is not identical to the New Covenant.
[/quote:5ffebde8e9]

I think I was a little sloppy in the above, as aparently it could be read two ways.

Per this interpretation, the New Covenant is the covenant of grace. The New Covenant is not identical to the Old Covenant.



[quote:5ffebde8e9]
The New Covenant is not an administration of the CoG. It is the culmination/consummation/fulfillment of the CoG (the promise of a Redeemer), of which all the previous Covenants pointed to, which were administrations.
[/quote:5ffebde8e9]

:eureka:
Hmmm..... I'm going to have to put some thought in to that.

Actually, I don't think I've heard this view from Classical Covenant Theology before. Most I've read say that the New Covenant is an administration of the covenant of grace.



By the way, does this mean that are you disagreeing with Pastor Greco and Kevin, who say that there are non-elect in the New Covenant administration, though there are not non-elect in the covenant of grace?


[Edited on 2-21-2004 by Dan....]
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
So again I ask the same question. Then why do we allow professors to take the covenant meal?

This makes no sense. If the cup is the new covenant in Christ's blood - and I take that in a non-Roman fashion to be that the sign of the covenant is spoken of here as the covenant itself - then how do professors partake of the covenant without partaking of the covenant?

I'm really not trying to get to infant baptism or infants here. I'm trying to establish the historic reformed view of the covenant of grace, which is seen as existing throughout the Scriptures, but as [i:4493a8d387]most fully and best revealed[/i:4493a8d387] in the new covenant.

Here for example is John Gill on 1 Corinthians 11:25,
[quote:4493a8d387]saying, [i:4493a8d387]this cup is the New Testament[/i:4493a8d387], or covenant, [i:4493a8d387]in my blood[/i:4493a8d387]; alluding to the old covenant, which was ratified and confirmed by the blood of bulls, and which was called "the blood of the covenant", (Ex 24:8) but the new covenant was established with Christ's own blood, of which the wine in the cup was a sign and symbol; for neither the cup, nor the wine in it, can be thought to be the covenant or testament itself, by which is meant the covenant of grace, [b:4493a8d387]as administered under the Gospel dispensation[/b:4493a8d387]; called new, not because newly made, [b:4493a8d387]for it was made from everlasting[/b:4493a8d387]; or lately revealed, for it was made known to our first parents immediately after the fall, and to other saints in succeeding ages, though more clearly exhibited by Christ under the present dispensation; but it is so called in distinction from the old covenant, or [b:4493a8d387]former mode of administration of it {that is, the covenant of grace - FTG}[/b:4493a8d387], under the Mosaic economy; and it is always new, and will be succeeded by no other; and it provides for and promises new things, and which are famous and excellent, and preferable to all others[/quote:4493a8d387]

Gill here is saying exactly what I am saying. That the covenant of grace is BIGGER than the new covenant. The new covenant is the best administration and revelation of it, but it is not the SAME as it.

This does absolutely no harm to the doctrine of baptism (I think there are other issues that do that), but to equate the new covenant and the covenant of grace is I think an error that confuses the duopleuric (as opposed to monopleuric) nature of the covenant of grace. You do have to have two parties to have a covenant. One of the parties can undertake to fulfill the obligations of the other if he is unable (as in our case), but man does have obligations. If he does not meet them, the covenant breaks him.

I have not read Malone. But if he truly teaches that, contra Waldron, Chantry, Martin, Gill, Spurgeon and 1689, then he has cut his nose off to spite his face. He may have an argument for credobaptism that destroys the foundation of the covenant and puts in jeopardy the 3rd use of the law.

Dan, can you cite for me any baptist that specifically says that the new covenant IS the covenant of grace? Not an administrtaion, or a revelation, but that the two are EQUAL?

[Edited on 2-21-2004 by fredtgreco]
 

Dan....

Puritan Board Sophomore
Pastor Greco,

Actually, it appears that Gill is agreeing with New Covenant=Covenant of Grace.

Notice,

[quote:27e34e1093]
saying, this cup is the [b:27e34e1093]New Testament[/b:27e34e1093], or covenant, in my blood; alluding to the old covenant, which was ratified and confirmed by the blood of bulls, and which was called "the blood of the covenant", (Ex 24:8) but [b:27e34e1093]the new covenant was established with Christ's own blood[/b:27e34e1093], of which the wine in the cup was a sign and symbol; for [b:27e34e1093]neither the cup, nor the wine in it, can be thought to be the covenant or testament itself, [u:27e34e1093]by which is meant the covenant of grace[/u:27e34e1093], as administered under the Gospel dispensation[/b:27e34e1093]; called new, not because newly made, for it was made from everlasting; or lately revealed, for it was made known to our first parents immediately after the fall, and to other saints in succeeding ages, though more clearly exhibited by Christ under the present dispensation; but it is so called in distinction from the old covenant, or former mode of administration of it {that is, the covenant of grace - FTG}, under the Mosaic economy; and it is always new, and will be succeeded by no other; and it provides for and promises new things, and which are famous and excellent, and preferable to all others
[/quote:27e34e1093]

Did you see that???? Gill said that the New Covenant, that which was established in Christ's own blood, [b:27e34e1093]is[/b:27e34e1093] the covenant of grace!!!

As I said before, have no problem with calling the covenants of promise "administrations" of the covenant of grace, so long as we do not say that they [b:27e34e1093]are[/b:27e34e1093] the covenant of grace.

Aparently I'm on the same page with Gill here.
 

Dan....

Puritan Board Sophomore
[quote:045723a2e1]
Dan, can you cite for me any baptist that specifically says that the new covenant IS the covenant of grace?
[/quote:045723a2e1]

1. See the quote that you provided above from Gill.

2. Here is Fred Malone, in [i:045723a2e1]The Baptism of Disciples Alone[/i:045723a2e1]:

[quote:045723a2e1]
John Owen likewise cautions against making the covenants of promise equivalent to the covenant of grace as Louis Berkhof does. Berkhof states:

This [Abrahamic] covenant is still in force and "essentially identical" with the "new covenant" of the present dispensation. (Berkhof, Systematic Theology, 633)

It is this error that causes paedobaptists to include organic elements of some Old Testament covenants of promise automatically in the Covenant of Grace, as if those covenants of promise were themselves the Covenant of Grace and, by inference, the New Covenant itself.

[b:045723a2e1]According to Owen, however, the New Covenant alone [u:045723a2e1]is[/u:045723a2e1] the pure Covenant of Grace[/b:045723a2e1], revealed in the Old Testament in terms of the promise of grace to come in Christ. Therefore the Abrahamic covenant itself cannot constitute the Covenant of Grace, or be "essentially identical" to it.

Owen's view of the Covenant of Grace as essentially the promise of salvation in the Old Testament covenants of promise, [b:045723a2e1]revealed later [u:045723a2e1]as[/u:045723a2e1] the New Covenant[/b:045723a2e1], illustrates why the best definition of a covenant remains that of a bond, promise, or solemn oath further defined in content by the particular revelation concerning each covenant.

-pgs. 64,65 Emphasis mine.
[/quote:045723a2e1]

[Edited on 2-21-2004 by Dan....]
 

Tertullian

Puritan Board Freshman
[quote:306ee6a27d][i:306ee6a27d]Originally posted by fredtgreco[/i:306ee6a27d]
Phillip,

I don't understand; how can I partake of the covenant meal and not be a part of the covenant?

How come professors and members of the church can partake and people off the street cannot? Why can't they? What is the reason we keep them from the covenant meal? [/quote:306ee6a27d]

Please forgive my ignorance... but I am really having a hard time understanding the argument here. I mean what exactly is the problem with a Non Covenant member taking unlawfully the Covenant sign through deception? Does the Covenant sign place someone in the Covenant? I think that is a rather superstitious and dubious position to hold at best. But if not that, then why does receiving the Covenant sign mean that you must be part of the Covenant, for if the Covenant sign does not place someone in the Covenant then why cannot a non-Covenant member partake of it unlawfully and sill remain a non-Covenant member who has broken the established procedure of the Covenant? Or do you have to be in Covenant to break the Covenant, if this is so, then is everyone who hears the Gospel but does not repent become part of the Covenant because they have not submitted to the Covenant terms? That stance seems rather puzzling as well, so what exactly is the problem with a non-Covenant member taking a sign of the Covenant and still remaining a non-Covenant member.

To the glory of Christ-Tertullian
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:407688b935][i:407688b935]Originally posted by Dan....[/i:407688b935]
Pastor Greco,

Actually, it appears that Gill is agreeing with New Covenant=Covenant of Grace.

Notice,

[quote:407688b935]
saying, this cup is the [b:407688b935]New Testament[/b:407688b935], or covenant, in my blood; alluding to the old covenant, which was ratified and confirmed by the blood of bulls, and which was called "the blood of the covenant", (Ex 24:8) but [b:407688b935]the new covenant was established with Christ's own blood[/b:407688b935], of which the wine in the cup was a sign and symbol; for [b:407688b935]neither the cup, nor the wine in it, can be thought to be the covenant or testament itself, [u:407688b935]by which is meant the covenant of grace[/u:407688b935], as administered under the Gospel dispensation[/b:407688b935]; called new, not because newly made, for it was made from everlasting; or lately revealed, for it was made known to our first parents immediately after the fall, and to other saints in succeeding ages, though more clearly exhibited by Christ under the present dispensation; but it is so called in distinction from the old covenant, or former mode of administration of it {that is, the covenant of grace - FTG}, under the Mosaic economy; and it is always new, and will be succeeded by no other; and it provides for and promises new things, and which are famous and excellent, and preferable to all others
[/quote:407688b935]

Did you see that???? Gill said that the New Covenant, that which was established in Christ's own blood, [b:407688b935]is[/b:407688b935] the covenant of grace!!!

As I said before, have no problem with calling the covenants of promise "administrations" of the covenant of grace, so long as we do not say that they [b:407688b935]are[/b:407688b935] the covenant of grace.

Aparently I'm on the same page with Gill here. [/quote:407688b935]

No. You are not. What do you think this sentence means:


[quote:407688b935]
by which is meant the covenant of grace, as administered under the Gospel dispensation
[/quote:407688b935]

The "Gospel dispensation" is the new covenant. The new covenant is the covenant of grace in the sense that it is the best administration of it, but it is not EXACTLY EQUAL TO IT.

Why is that important? Because the Abrahamic covenant is also the covenant of grace. So is the mosaic. Gill says that explicitly:
[quote:407688b935]the old covenant, or former mode of administration of it [/quote:407688b935]

The "it" there is covenant of grace.

You can't claim Gill here. You can't claim Waldron or Chantry, as I hva eshown from prevous quotes.

To get to the point, your quote from Malone is not useful. To be blunt, Malone has no clue about what Owen is saying. You have just quoted a conclusion - and a monumentally wrong one - by Malone. I'm NOT criticizing you; but Malone. He has bad covenant theology. Gill would take him to task, so would Spurgeon. He is bordering on New Covenant theology, and his idea have consequences.

I need a quote from a baptist, I'll say again - other than Malone - who says that the new covenant is EXACTLY the covenant of grace. Not the best administration. Not the culmination. Not the clearest expression. Not the most excellent. What you and Phillip (and Malone) are claiming here is that he new covenant is fundamentally different in KIND, not DEGREE from the Abrahamic, Noahic, and Mosaic. Gill rejects that. Spurgeon rejects that. The 1689 CLEARLY rejects that. The language is crystal:

In LBCF 7.2, it says that God made the covenant of grace, and then cites NOT ONLY GENESIS 2:17, but also [b:407688b935]GALATIANS 3:10[/b:407688b935]!!

In 7.3, it says:

[quote:407688b935]This covenant is revealed in the gospel; first of all to Adam in the promise of salvation by the seed of the woman, and [b:407688b935]afterwards by farther steps[/b:407688b935], until the [b:407688b935]full discovery[/b:407688b935] thereof was completed in the New Testament[/quote:407688b935]

Notice it is not the covenant of grace. It is teh "full discovery" of it. The covenant was seen in the prophets (LBCF cites Hebrews 1:1), including Moses.

Again, why is this so important? Because the new covenant is only different in DEGREE. What was true of the Mosaic and Abrahamic covenants - that one could be broken by the covenant, is true of the new. That is why the word of warning. None of this touches in the least the division among credos and paedos. But what I am describing divides the reformed (classic covenant theology) from new covenant theology. Malone is on his way to antinomianism.

Now he may not be there - in fact I am pretty sure that he not only is not, but is critical of NCT; but his theology WILL be taken in the next generation or two to that point. It is inevitable, just as the half-way covenant doctrine led to legalism. The old paths of classical covenant theology are the only safe paths for both paedos and credos.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
[quote:e35adc826b][i:e35adc826b]Originally posted by Tertullian[/i:e35adc826b]
[quote:e35adc826b][i:e35adc826b]Originally posted by fredtgreco[/i:e35adc826b]
Phillip,

I don't understand; how can I partake of the covenant meal and not be a part of the covenant?

How come professors and members of the church can partake and people off the street cannot? Why can't they? What is the reason we keep them from the covenant meal? [/quote:e35adc826b]

Please forgive my ignorance... but I am really having a hard time understanding the argument here. I mean what exactly is the problem with a Non Covenant member taking unlawfully the Covenant sign through deception? Does the Covenant sign place someone in the Covenant? I think that is a rather superstitious and dubious position to hold at best. But if not that, then why does receiving the Covenant sign mean that you must be part of the Covenant, for if the Covenant sign does not place someone in the Covenant then why cannot a non-Covenant member partake of it unlawfully and sill remain a non-Covenant member who has broken the established procedure of the Covenant? Or do you have to be in Covenant to break the Covenant, if this is so, then is everyone who hears the Gospel but does not repent become part of the Covenant because they have not submitted to the Covenant terms? That stance seems rather puzzling as well, so what exactly is the problem with a non-Covenant member taking a sign of the Covenant and still remaining a non-Covenant member.

To the glory of Christ-Tertullian [/quote:e35adc826b]

Tertullian,

The sign absolutely places someone in the covenant. That is why Paul makes the warning. Otherwise, why not have non-professor take the Supper? Why do credos require profession to baptism? Because they see that the sign involves the covenant, and they do not want those in the covenant who have no right to the privileges. To do so brings judgment.

It is not superstititon. I am NOT saying that you can sneak into the covenant and grab blessings. What I am saying is that you can be in the covenant and be THE WORSE off for it. That is why all the warnings in Scripture. There has to be a covenant, even in the NT that can be broken. Otherwise the passages in John 15 make no sense. Hebrews 6 makes NO sense.

But it cannot be the covenant of grace, because then you have a breakable covenant of grace and you have legalism. You have federal vision theology. You have new perspectivism.

Classical covenant theology is the only way to avoid the twin errors of presumptive antinomianism and presumptive legalism
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
[quote:16a359f1f3]But it cannot be the covenant of grace, because then you have a breakable covenant of grace and you have legalism. You have federal vision theology. You have new perspectivism.
[/quote:16a359f1f3]

Now Fred, you know that I do not hold in any way to Federalism. Stop and think for a minute. It is those in the CT camp that have initiated and run full force into Federalism. They have dragged a few CT Baptists with them, but this error is not making inroads into the churches I know that agree with me when it comes to the Covenants!

When we say that the CoG is the NC, we are upholding the fact that the covenant is not conditional or breakable. Understanding the NC as the CoG in no way makes it so.

Where we are having difficulty is that you believe that receiving the sign puts you in the covenant. We are not saying that. We are saying that you can receive the sign and still not be in the covenant! You are seeing our view of the covenants through your own lense!

Here is our viewpoint......the sign does not put you in the New Covenant. Regeneration puts you in the New Covenant.

As to the dilemma of the Supper.....that is exactly why we WARN everyone present before they partake to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith, because if they are not they are eating and drinking judgment....because the meal is not for them!!!

Eating the Supper does not make you a covenant member. Neither does baptism.

And Dan is correct in quoting Gill....he and Owen both (and I believe Pink too) say that the NC is the CoG.

The Bible nowhere uses the term Covenant of Grace. It does talk about the New Covenant in Christ's blood. So that is the covenant of salvation, the full revelation of God's redemptive plan in the Life and death and resurrection of His Son.

-Phillip

PS - Spurgeon also says that the "everlasting covenant" is the "covenant in Christ's blood", which we know is the New Covenant, for that is what Christ said Himself, "This is the New Covenant in My blood."

[quote:16a359f1f3][i:16a359f1f3]from Spurgeon on Hebrews 9:19-20[/i:16a359f1f3]
Let us take it so. The blood of Jesus is the blood of the covenant. Long before this round world was made, or stars began to shine, God forsaw that he would make man. He also foresaw that man would fall into sin. Out of that fall of man his distinguishing grace and infinite sovereignty selected a multitude that no man can number to be his. But, seeing that they had offended against him, it was necesary, in order that they might be saved, that a great scheme or plan should be devised, by which the justice of God should be fully satisfied, and yet the mercy of God should have full play. A covenant was therefore arranged between the persons of the blessed Trinity. It was agreed and solemnly pledged by the oath of the eternal Father that he would give unto the Son a multitude whom no man could number who should be his, his spouse, the members of his mystical body, his sheep, his precious jewels. These the Saviour accepted as his own, and then on his part, he undertook for them that he would keep the divine law that he would suffer all the penalties due on their behalf for offences against the law, and that he would keep and preserve every one of them until the day of his appearing. Thus stood the covenant, and on that covenant the salvation of every saved man and woman hangs. Do not think it rests with thee, soul, for what saith the Scripture "It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth but of God that showeth mercy." He said to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion." To show you that salvation is not by human merit, God was pleased to cast it entirely upon covenant arrangements. In that covenant, made between himself and his Son, there was not a word said about our actions having any merit in them. We were regarded as though we were not, except that we stood in Christ, and we were only so far parties to the covenant as we were in the loins of Christ on that august day. We were considered to be the seed of the Lord Jesus Christ, the children of his care, the members of his own body. "According as he hath chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world." Oh, what grace it was that put your name and mine in the eternal roll, and provided for our salvation, provided for it by a covenant, by a sacred compact between the Father and his eternal Son, that we should belong to him in the day when he should make up his jewels!

Now, beloved, in a covenant there are pledges given, and on those pledges we delight to meditate. You know what they were. The Father pledged his honour and his word. He did more; he pledged his oath; and "becaue he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself." He pledged his own word and sacred honour of Godhead that he would be true, to his Son, that he should see his seed; and that by the knowledge of him Christ should "justify many." But there was needed a seal to the covenant, and what was that Jesus Christ in the fulness of time set the seal to the covenant, to make it valid and secure, by pouring out his life's blood to make the covenant effectual once for all. Beloved, if there be an agreement made between two men, the one to sell such-an-such an estate, and the other to pay for it, the covenant does not hold good until the payment is made. [b:16a359f1f3]Now, Jesus Christ's blood was the payment of his part of the covenant; and when he shed it, the covenant stood firm as the everlasting hills, and the throne of God himself is not more sure than is the covenant of grace; and, mark you, that covenant is not sure merely in its great outlines, but sure also in all its details. Every soul whose name was in that covenant must be saved. Unless God can undeify himself, every soul that Christ died for he will have. Every soul for which he stood Substitute and Surety he demads to have, and each of the souls he must have, for the covenant stands fast. Moreover, every blessing which in that, covenant was guaranteed to the chosen seed was by the precious blood made eternally secure to that seed. Oh, how I delight to speak about the sureness of that covenant[/b:16a359f1f3]! How the dying David rolled that under his tongue as a sweet morsel! "Although my house," said he, "be not so with God,"-there was the bitter in his mouth; "yet," said he,-and there came in the honey, "yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure." And this sureness, mark you, lies in the blood; it is the blood of Christ that makes all things secure, for all the promises of God are yea and amen in Christ Jesus, to the glory of God by us.

God's covenants have ever been sanctioned and ratfied with blood and[b:16a359f1f3] the covenant or the testament of eternal grace is ratfied with the blood of the Surety and Testator[/b:16a359f1f3].[/quote:16a359f1f3]

And here is more of Spurgeon on the New Covenant from Hebrews 12:

[quote:16a359f1f3]We have also come to Jesus, our Savior, who is all and in all. In him we live; we are joined unto him in one spirit; he is the Bridegroom of our souls, the delight of our hearts. [b:16a359f1f3]We are come to him as the Mediator of the new covenant. What a blessed thing it is to know that covenant of which he is the Mediator! Some in these days despise the covenant; but saints delight in it. To them the everlasting covenant, "ordered in all things, and sure," is all their salvation and all their desire. We are covenanted ones through our Lord Jesus. God has pledged himself to bless us. By two immutable things wherein it is impossible for him to lie, he has given us strong consolation, and good hope through grace, even to all of us who have fled for refuge to the Lord Jesus. We are happy to live under the covenant of grace[/b:16a359f1f3], the covenant of promise, the covenant symbolized by Jerusalem above, which is free, and the mother of us all.

We have come to the blood of sprinkling which has fallen upon [b:16a359f1f3]a covenant which never shall be broken[/b:16a359f1f3]; for the Lord hath made it to endure though rocks and hills remove. [b:16a359f1f3]This is called by the Holy Ghost "a better covenant, which was established upon better promises." We are come to the covenant of grace, to Jesus the Mediator of it, and to his blood, which is the seal of it[/b:16a359f1f3].[/quote:16a359f1f3]

And from Hebrews 13:

[quote:16a359f1f3]Now, in this covenant of grace, we must first of all observe the high contracting parties between whom it was made. The covenant of grace was made before the foundation of the world between God the Father, and God the Son; or to put it in a yet more scriptural light, it was made mutually between the three divine persons of the adorable Trinity. This covenant was not made mutually between God and man. Man did not at that time exist; but Christ stood in the covenant as man's representative. In that sense we will allow that it was a covenant between God and man, but not a covenant between God and any man personally and individually. It was a covenant between God with Christ, and through Christ indirectly with all the blood-bought seed who were loved of Christ from the foundation of the world. It is a noble and glorious thought, the very poetry of that old Calvinistic doctrine which we teach, that long ere the day-star knew its place, before God had spoken existence out of nothing, before angel's wing had stirred the unnavigated ether, before a solitary song had distributed the solemnity of the silence in which God reigned supreme, he had entered into solemn council with himself, with his Son, and with his Spirit, and had in that council decreed, determined, proposed, and predestinated the salvation of his people. He had, moreover, in the covenant arranged the ways and means, and fixed and settled everything which should work together for the effecting of the purpose and the decree. My soul flies back now, winged by imagination and by faith, and looks into that mysterious council-chamber, and by faith I behold the Father pledging himself to the Son, and the Son pledging himself to the Father, while the Spirit gives his pledge to both, and thus that divine compact, long to be hidden in darkness, is completed and settled-the covenant which in these latter days has been read in the light of heaven, and has become the joy, and hope, and boast of all the saints.

The new covenant speaketh on this wise, "Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. I will write my law in their hearts, and on their minds will I write them. I will put my fear in their hearts that they shall not depart from me." The prophets enlarge most instructively upon this new covenant. It is not a covenant of "if you will I will," but it runs thus, "I will and you shall." As a covenant this exactly suits me. If there were something to be performed by me I could never be sure, but as it is finished I am at rest. God sets us working, and we work; but the covenant itself dependeth wholly upon that great promise, "I will not turn away from them to do them good." So that it was right of Paul to pray that God would make us meet in every good work to do his will, because of old this was the master promise, that those for whom Jesus died should be sanctified, purified, and made meet to serve their God. Great as the prayer is, it is asking what the covenant itself guarantees.[/quote:16a359f1f3]

And on Jeremiah 31: (note - he preaches about the Covenant of Grace from Jereimiah 31, desribing the benefits of the New Covenant as the benefits of the Covenant of Grace. He preaches about this Covenant using the terms interchangeably!)

[quote:16a359f1f3]But [b:16a359f1f3]the new covenant, is not founded on works at all, it is a covenant of pure unmingled grace[/b:16a359f1f3]; you may read it from its first word to its last, and there is not a solitary syllable as to anything to be done by us. The whole covenant is a covenant, not so much between man and his Maker as between Jehovah and man's representative, the Lord Jesus Christ. The human side of the covenant has been already fulfilled by Jesus, and there remains nothing now but the covenant of giving, not the covenant of requirements. The whole covenant with regard to us, the people of God, now stands thus: "I will give this, I will bestow that; I will fulfill this promise; I will grant that favour."

And fourthly we shall endeavour to stir you up to make good use of this blessing, so freely and liberally conveyed to you by the [b:16a359f1f3]eternal covenant of grace; "I will be their God."[/b:16a359f1f3]

Stop just one moment and think it over before we start. In the covenant of grace God himself conveys himself to you and becomes yours. Understand it: God-all that is meant by that word-eternity, infinity, omnipotence, omniscience, perfect justice, infallible rectitude, immutable love-all that is meant by God-Creator, Guardian, Preserver, Governor, Judge,-all that that great word "GOD" can mean, all of goodness and of love, all of bounty and of grace-all that, [b:16a359f1f3]this covenant[/b:16a359f1f3] gives you, to be your absolute property as much as anything you can call your own. "I will be their God." [/quote:16a359f1f3]



[Edited on 2-21-04 by pastorway]
 

kceaster

Puritan Board Junior
Quoting Spurgeon, Gill, and Owens will really get all of the Baptists nowhere. It is not helpful when you quote someone with an underlying premise that is new and novel. NO ONE outside of the past 30 or 40 years has read them this way. NO ONE during their own time ever used the language you all are using. Your presupposition is slanting your view of what they had to say. As such, your own confessional standard gets watered down.

Please take a moment to think about what others from their time had to say. If they did not interpret it the way you are, why should you trust someone from our time?

This has revisionist written all over it. It is fine that you believe what you believe. You are thoroughly convinced that it is correct. But please don't pull someone in who would not agree with you.

There is some serious misinterpretation going on here. I suggest we all explore the historical side of this argument and see if we can use these quotes in the manner that we have.

As for the paedo side, those of us who hold the WCF as our confession, there can be no doubt. The CoG is the covenant God offered to man immediately after the fall. It has been differently administered in the time of the OT and in the NT. Christ (through Moses as type) has mediated both the OT, through shadow and the NT through revelation. The covenant of Abraham is Christ in shadow. The covenant of Moses is Christ in shadow. The NC is Christ in reality.

I think we have all been poisoned by our times. If we feel comfortable about being here, then fine. But we should not try to identify our beliefs with those of previous times. They knew not of them.

In Christ,

KC
 
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