Puritan Board Freshman
All of this was in response to you saying:I'll address this question separately. In all my years interacting with my Baptist brothers they seem to miss a very key aspect of Christ's mediatorial work.
Christ is the alone Mediator between God and Man.
But the Mediatorial work of Christ is executed in three (not one) office.:
If Christ's mediation was, alone, His priestly office then there would be no participation in the NC apart from the elect.
But you have to really study the Scriptures (and follow our Confession) that unpacks everything according to these three Offices. You could actually organize the Confession as to whether or not a Chapter of the Confession after Christ as Mediator is introduced as falling into one of those three offices.
There's a reason why we call our TE's and REs Pastors, Ministers, or Elders and not Priests, Prophets, or Kings. It's because they administer or declare things and are not the Prophet, Priest, or King.
Consider Christ as Prophet. It is the ground or basis of the minister's authority to declare or preach the Word of God. The minister is a mouthpiece for the Prophet. Is preaching to the elect alone or is preaching to every hearer of the Word of God? Thus, as the minister declares the Word of God to sinner, regardless of being reprobate or elect, the New Covenant, in that sense, encompasses Christ's Prophetic office.
Consider Christ as King. By Whose authority do elders rule the Church? As they admit to membership and bind and loose is it not to both the elect and reprobate? Thus, Christ's Kingly Office is mediated to the Church as a whole and not to the elect alone.
Regarding the benefits of Christ that come from union with Him, that is the work of the Spirit. Yet, as noted, it is not as if the boundary of the New Covenant is constrained to those who actually possess the graces of union with Christ. As noted, Christ's Mediation under the CoG goes beyond merely hidden things but encompasses Word, Sacrament, and Discipline. If this were not the case then we would have to argue that the Church is somehow possessing of some authority with respect to the world that owes to itself and not to the Mediator under Whose authority it ministers His offices of mediation.
And this was my question:We do not state that the unregenerate are in Christ or that He mediates the benefits of the Covenant of Grace to them.
I'm not sure that I understand how this answers my question, especially because it is the response to your claim that Christ does not mediate the benefits of the CoG to the unregenerate. I would fully agree with this claim. But can you make more explicit what you mean in the relevance of the distinctions between Christ's various offices? Are you saying, "he mediates in different ways and different degrees and to different sub-groups in his various offices"? I was hoping, after you used 2 paragraphs to "Prophet" and "King" that you would have a similar development for "Priest", which is primarily what I understand the scriptures to intend when speaking of Christ's work as mediator. I need you to develop this more for me to understand what you're saying.Why is Christ not mediating the benefits for all those who are inside his covenant? And would one of those benefits be "I will be your God and you shall be my people"?
My understanding of Christ's mediation of the New Covenant is primarily built on Hebrews 8. It contrasts the mediators of the OC (earthly priests) and, beginning in verse 6, claims the superiority of Christ's ministry on the basis of the superiority of the covenant that he is mediating. I believe that Christ mediates for those in his respective covenant, just as the OC priests mediated for those who were in the old covenant. This is especially important because the substantial difference between the Old and the New are those very things that cause success where the other failed, by things that pertain to the sovereign work of the Spirit of God, writing the law of God on men's hearts, causing men to know God. The final result is that New Covenant members have their sins covered and forgiven on the basis of that Covenant. This cannot be said of the Old. John Owen (despite the fact he was a Paedobaptist) treated this well in his commentary:
"...Wherefore we must grant two distinct covenants, rather than a twofold administration of the same covenant merely, to be intended. We must, I say, do so, provided always that the way of reconciliation and salvation was the same under both. But it will be said,—and with great pretence of reason, for it is that which is the sole foundation they all build upon who allow only a twofold administration of the same covenant,—‘That this being the principal end of a divine covenant, if the way of reconciliation and salvation be the same under both, then indeed are they for the substance of them but one.’ And I grant that this would inevitably follow, if it were so equally by virtue of them both. If reconciliation and salvation by Christ were to be obtained not only under the old covenant, but by virtue thereof, then it must be the same for substance with the new. But this is not so; for no reconciliation with God nor salvation could be obtained by virtue of the old covenant, or the administration of it, as our apostle disputes at large, though all believers were reconciled, justified, and saved, by virtue of the promise, whilst’ they were under the covenant."
Owen, J. (1854). An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews. (W. H. Goold, Ed.) (Vol. 23, pp. 76–77). Edinburgh: Johnstone and Hunter.
When we grant the essential difference between the Old and the New Covenants we will start to see that it is the very nature of the New Covenant that none in it can fail in the way that the OC did. This has major import in asking who the members of this covenant are, and whether Christ's work of mediation of this covenant extends to all of them, the question that I initially posed to you, and that I feel hasn't been fully answered yet.