Wcf 7.6

Status
Not open for further replies.

zsmcd

Puritan Board Freshman
VI. Under the Gospel, when Christ, the substance, was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper: which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity, and less outward glory, yet, in them, it is held forth in more fullness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy, to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles; and is called the New Testament. There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations

Two questions:
1. What exactly does the confession mean when it refers to Christ as "the substance"?
2. How we are to understand the fact that under the Gospel the administration of the covenant of grace has more "spiritual efficacy"?
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
VI. Under the Gospel, when Christ, the substance, was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper: which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity, and less outward glory, yet, in them, it is held forth in more fullness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy, to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles; and is called the New Testament. There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations

Two questions:
1. What exactly does the confession mean when it refers to Christ as "the substance"?

Hodge is instructive:

1. The Covenant administered has from the beginning remained in all essential respects the same, in spite of all outward changes in its mode and administration.
(1) Christ was the Savior of men before his advent, and he saved them on the same principles then as now. He was "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," (Rev. 13:8); "a propitiation for the sins that are past," (Rom. 3:25; Heb. 9:15). He was promised to Adam and to Abraham as the Savior of the world. (Gen. 3:15; 17:7); 22:18. He was symbolically exhibited and typically prophesied by all the ceremonial and especially by the sacrificial system of the temple. (Col. 2:17; Heb. 10:1-10.) He was especially witnessed to as the Savior from sin by all the prophets. (Acts 10:43.)
(2) Faith was the condition of salvation under the old dispensation in the same sense it is now. (Heb. 2:4; Ps. 2:12.) The Old Testament believers are set up for an example to those who are called to exercise faith under the New Testament. (Rom. 4, Heb. 11)
(3) The same gracious promises of spiritual grace and eternal blessedness were administered then as now. (Compare Gen. 17:7 with Matt. 22:32; and Gen. 22:18 with Gal. 3:16. See, also, Isa. 43:25; Ps. 16:; 51:; 73:24-26; Ezek. 36:27; Job 19:25-27; Dan. 12:2,3.)

2. How we are to understand the fact that under the Gospel the administration of the covenant of grace has more "spiritual efficacy"?

Again, Hodge:

3. The present dispensation of the covenant is superior to the former one-
(1) Because while it was formerly administered by Moses, a servant, it is now administered visibly and immediately by Christ, a son in his own house. Heb. 3:5,6.
(2) The truth was then partly hid, partly revealed, in the types and symbols; now it is revealed in clear history and didactic teaching.
(3) That revelation has been vastly increased, as well as rendered more clear, by the incarnation of Christ and the mission of the Holy Ghost.
(4) That dispensation was so encumbered with ceremonies as to be comparatively carnal; the present dispensation is spiritual.
(5) That was confined to one people: the present dispensation, disembarrassed from all national organizations, embraces the whole Earth.
(6) That method of administration was preparatory: the present is final, as far as the present order of the world is concerned. It will give way only to that eternal administration of the covenant which shall be executed by the Lamb in the new heavens and the new earth, when there shall "be gathered together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth." (Eph. 1:10.) More than this is not yet made known.

Examining the proof texts in line with the section are also important:

WCF 7.6. Under the gospel, when Christ, the substance, (Col. 2:17) was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper: (Matt. 28:19-20, 1 Cor. 11:23-25) which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity, and less outward glory, yet, in them, it is held forth in more fullness, evidence, and spiritual efficacy, (Heb. 12:22-27, Jer. 31:33-34) to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles; (Matt. 28:19, Eph. 2:15-19) and is called the new Testament. (Luke 22:20) There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations. (Gal. 3:14, 16, Acts 15:11, Rom. 3:21-23, 30, Ps. 32:1, Rom. 4:3, 6, 16-17, 23-24, Heb. 13:8)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top