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The Covenant of Works #10245
Wed Jan 21, 2004 8:26 AM
Wed Jan 21, 2004 8:26 AM

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WCF chap XIX : 1 says: God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works........

Genesis chap 2:16 says :And the Lord God commanded the man, saying........though shalt not eat of it.

How is this "command" a "covenant" ?

If it is a covenant,how is it a covenant of works ?

WCF XIX:2 says : This law....was delivered by God upon Mt Sinai.

Deuteronomy 5:2 says : The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us,even us, who are all of us here alive this day.

Does the "us" include Adam ?

Re: The Covenant of Works #10246
Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:08 AM
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Wooooo Mark,
You are treading on dispensational grounds with these questions! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

Its like getting a stick and poking at a wasp nest.

Fred

Last edited by fredman; Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:09 AM.

"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: fredman] #10247
Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:26 AM
Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:26 AM
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I'm probably showing my ignorance here, but I always thought the Covenant of Works was based on this passage in Genesis 1:

[quote]Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
Re: The Covenant of Works #10248
Wed Jan 21, 2004 12:09 PM
Wed Jan 21, 2004 12:09 PM
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Mark,

It is a covenant because of the life and death conditions attached by God. It is a covenant of works because it entails a testing of Adam. If Adam carried out his end of the test (his work) he would then receive the blessings promised by God. If not, then death.

A good book on the subject of covenants is, The Christ Of The Covenants by O. Palmer Robertson.

Stucco

Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: gotribe] #10249
Wed Jan 21, 2004 12:14 PM
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Gotribe,

I believe the passage you are quoting (Gen. 1:26-28) is what most would refer to as "The Cultural Mandate"

Stucco

Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: Stucco] #10250
Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:09 PM
Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:09 PM
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Thanks. I'll do a search on cultural mandate to learn more.


Trust the past to God's mercy, the present to God's love and the future to God's providence." - St. Augustine
Hiraeth
Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: fredman] #10251
Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:19 AM
Thu Jan 22, 2004 12:19 AM

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fredman said:
Wooooo Mark,
You are treading on dispensational grounds with these questions! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

Its like getting a stick and poking at a wasp nest.

Fred


You know Fred perhaps Mark is coming from a NCT viewpoint, after all they too insist that there is no "Covenant of Works"



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Re: The Covenant of Works #10252
Thu Jan 22, 2004 6:34 AM
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Knowing what Mark has posted in the past under his name of Howard, I doubt very seriously if he is defending NCT. I would hold to NCT; that is why I thought it funny Mark raised these questions.

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: fredman] #10253
Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:40 AM
Thu Jan 22, 2004 9:40 AM

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What law were Adam and others under before The 10 commandments were given in light of Deuteronomy 5:2 ?

If the the 10 commandments are the so-called moral law, then that makes the ceremonial, dietry ,and all other law immoral-including the law God gave to Adam BEORE Mt.Sinai.

Who dare say that about The Law of God ?

I am having great difficulty with WCF XIX :1,2. -as many folk said I would when looking into it.

Re: The Covenant of Works #10254
Thu Jan 22, 2004 1:41 PM
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okay, what is "NCT?" and..

I am on another board where this discussion is sort of taking place. There is a messianic Jewish Rabbi, who says that we as gentiles must follow the "Noadic law," and that he as a Jew must follow the Jewish law.

That did not ring true to me, and I have been through the Hebrew Roots thing before. It seemed to me before, having felt that I must follow the law, that the more law you learn, and begin to follow, the more law there is to follow, and it just never stops! It was like I stepped on a moving treadmill, and all of a sudden, walls went up around it, and the tread mill started going faster, and there was no way off. I realized I could not keep the law! lol. But that is one of the points of the new testament.

They got angry over there at me, probably rightly so, because I posted every single new testament passage concerning the law, and only afterward did I realize that the post was so long lol. Oh well.. anyway, they won't discuss it anymore anyway, but it is still on my mind.

I am not necessarily wondering WHICH laws we should follow, but how it is that we should follow the ten commandments, when it seemed that so much of the "law" described HOW to follow them. Like for instance explaining what sexual sin is etc. "Do not uncover the nakedness of".. whoever whoever etc.

A light just went off in my head when I read Pilgrims post that said that the ten commandments are summarized in the two law that Jesus gave. To love God,and love your neighbor. I can't believe that I never put them together. That the ten commandments are split in two parts, I knew that, and that there were two "new commandments, which are not new" given by Jesus. But then, how does a gay person say that he loves God? Or that he loves his neighbor? We know it's wrong, but I have a gay friend who insists that he is not living the wrong way, and that he does love God. How do I tell him he's wrong, if I don't give old testament examples? Or are there new testament examples too?

I hope I made sense.... I have to get off here now, and I have been quite distracted with my children while writing this post! LOL.. speaking of that.. Sanctus Stultus.. my children want to know your name, and Kim.. they love your dog, and Pilgrim.. they laugh every time they see the pipe smoking old man! LOL

Michele

Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: MHeath] #10255
Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:48 PM
Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:48 PM
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New Covenant Theology is an attempt to carve out a middle way between traditional Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism. Its focus is mainly on ethics. NCT clearly characterizes itself as superior to the old. It rejects the Ten Commandments in favor of the law of Christ. Bad mumbo-jumbo. Some who post here entertain and hold to its tenets.

"Covenant Theology" declares that the Old Covenant and New Covenant are particular aspects of a single covenant relationship and that there is an ongoing continuity between them.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: MHeath] #10256
Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:50 PM
Thu Jan 22, 2004 2:50 PM
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Quote
I am not necessarily wondering WHICH laws we should follow, but how it is that we should follow the ten commandments, when it seemed that so much of the "law" described HOW to follow them. Like for instance explaining what sexual sin is etc. "Do not uncover the nakedness of".. whoever whoever etc.

Michele,

You are referring to Lev. 20:7-19, no? That section deals with cohabiting with one's relatives outside of marriage, which too was prohibited (marriage and/or having sex with "near relatives". And to uncover one's nakedness is an English euphemism for sexual intercourse. These sins, being moral are simply applications of the Seventh Commandment, prohibiting adultery and implied in other passages in the New Testament, particularly in the writings of Paul, e.g., 1Cor 6:9, 10, 13; Gal 5:19-21; Col 3:5, where lasciviousness and fornication are mentioned. The judicial aspect of the O.T. laws, e.g., the stoning to death of adulterers is no longer applicable since they were confined strictly to the nation of Israel. But the moral aspects are perpetual and binding.

Quote
But then, how does a gay person say that he loves God? Or that he loves his neighbor? We know it's wrong, but I have a gay friend who insists that he is not living the wrong way, and that he does love God. How do I tell him he's wrong, if I don't give old testament examples? Or are there new testament examples too?

Again, the O.T. examples of God's prohibition against homosexuality and judgment upon those who practiced such sins are relevant to those living in the N.T., for they are MORAL; i.e., they reflect the holiness of God, which is eternal and immutable. There are myriad passages which speak against the sins of homosexuality in the N.T., e.g., Rom 1:26ff; 1Cor 9:6; Eph 4:19; 5:12; 1Tim 1:10; 2Pet 2:6; Jude 1:7, 10.

In His Grace; and the "pipe-smoking old man",

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Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: Pilgrim] #10257
Thu Jan 22, 2004 3:07 PM
Thu Jan 22, 2004 3:07 PM
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Okay, it looks like I may have stuck my nose into a conversation that is way over my head LOL. I have heard of dispensationalism, and I think that is what I have always believed. Or rather, been taught. Does dispensationalism have more to do with eschatology than anything else? I do not discuss that.. because so much of what I believed before turned out to be a lie, and I really think God has shaken much of that doctrine that I learned, and started building again with the right stuff. It has taken a very long time though, as I am extremely cautious about what I read/take in. As a matter of fact, it has taken me about a year to get a handle on predestination, and believe that it is true!

So, my point I guess is.. where would I find something to read on dispensationalism and NCT, what it is exactly, and why one would think it's wrong?

I think this has a huge importance on how we live out our Christian faith, and I think it is probably vital to know this, and why it is either right or wrong. I mean the difference between keeping the whole law, or just some of it, or what ever and why and how.

I wonder if I should start another thread on the Hebrew Roots movement. Because so many messianic jews say that we are to follow the law. Of course, I have to say here, that I love the jews, am fascinated with things Jewish, so I am not trying to be or sound anti semetic at all. But I think Jews are saved in exactly the same way as any gentile. And I don't think that because we don't follow either any, or portions of the law, or because we don't write G-D, or because we don't say "shalom" that we are not holy.

Maybe I am not completely understanding the meaning of this thread.. I hope I didn't hijack it! But maybe it would be better to read up a bit on NCT and dispensationalism.

Okay.. that's it! Thanks so much!

Michele

Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: MHeath] #10258
Thu Jan 22, 2004 3:16 PM
Thu Jan 22, 2004 3:16 PM
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Michele,

There are quite a number of "flavors" of Dispensationalism today, so I can't make a definitive statement in regard to your question as to whether it effects only or mainly "eschatology". However, on the other hand I can say that Dispensationalism in ALL its various varieties effects more than simply eschatology. Further, "eschatology" deals far more than simply the "Second Coming", as even salvation is "eschatological". When you understand that eschatology is the doctrine of study that deals with the "last things"... with a heavy emphasis upon "things", you will realize that everything has a "telos", or end, purpose which God has ordained, even our salvation. So, the ramifications are complex and encompass a myriad subjects. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

As to where to start reading? I would point you here:

1) The Christian and the Law: PRAXIS: The Doctrine of the Christian Life.

2) Dispensationalism, etc.,: ESCHATOLOGY: The Doctrine of Last Things.

In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: fredman] #10259
Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:02 PM
Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:02 PM

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Quote
fredman said:
Knowing what Mark has posted in the past under his name of Howard, I doubt very seriously if he is defending NCT. I would hold to NCT; that is why I thought it funny Mark raised these questions.

Fred


Really Fred I thought you more a lite dispensationalist rather than a someone who holds to NCT. Learn something new tonight I guess.



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Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: MHeath] #10260
Fri Jan 23, 2004 8:12 AM
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Quote
what is "NCT?"


As much as I love these boys here at this site, I believe they will not provide you with a fair assessment of NCT.

A good place to research are two websites (they have links to others you can do further research)

In-depth Studies

Sound of Grace

A couple of notable authors who would lean toward NCT thought are DA Carson and Doug Moo. Moo's essay in the book Continuity and Discontinuity: Essay's in a continuing debate, does a good job of highlighting NCTs essential understanding of OT and NT ethics.
Also, two pastors, Tom Wells and Fred Zaspel, have co-authored a book called New Covenant Theology and can be purchased at the sound of grace site. It is a fine introduction to the issues and what NCTers are thinking. They even have a rejoinder to Richard Barcellos book giving a negative critique against NCT.

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: MHeath] #10261
Fri Jan 23, 2004 9:56 AM
Fri Jan 23, 2004 9:56 AM
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HI Michele,

Quote
what is "NCT?"

Fred has given you the sites that support NCT. He is right that both Carson and Moo have bent in that direction [I believe the same goes for New testament exegete Peter O'Brien]. I like all these authors, especially Carson [and I highly respect Fred, whom I PM frequently], though here I disagree with them. One passages that is debated in this issue is Matthew 5:17-48.

Here is an article by Greg Welty that, IHMO, provides a fair assesment of Carson's commentary on Matthew 5:17-48 (also some critique of Fred Zaspel's NCT). I have not been to the IDS website in a bit, so I don't know if Zaspel or others responded to Welty.

Perhaps this can open up some discussions. Here is the link to Welty's critique: http://www.ccir.ed.ac.uk/~jad/welty/carson.htm

In Christ,

Carlos


"Let all that mind...the peace and comfort of their own souls, wholly apply themselves to the study of Jesus Christ, and him crucified"(Flavel)
Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: fredman] #10262
Fri Jan 23, 2004 10:51 AM
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Pr 26:17 -
He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own Is like one who takes a dog by the ears.



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Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: fredman] #10263
Fri Jan 23, 2004 12:15 PM
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Hi Fredman,


It's funny how some people judge one's "fair" assessment of a subject, by whether one agrees with said subject or doesn't, isn't it?

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In His Hands,

Ruth

Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: Ruth] #10264
Fri Jan 23, 2004 12:45 PM
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It's funny how some people judge one's "fair" assessment of a subject, by whether one agrees with said subject or doesn't, isn't it?


(Fred) Yes it is funny, but generally true, because those who are opposed to a particular subject may not represent it properly. That is why it is much, much better to allow the proponent of a subject speak for himself.
For instance, I wouldn't turn to Charles Ryrie to give me a fair assessment of Covenant Theology, or Tim LaHaye for a fair assessment of Amillennialism. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
Re: The Covenant of Works #10265
Fri Jan 23, 2004 1:06 PM
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Mark,

For a better understanding of the WCF, especially regarding the issue of the Law of God and the covenant of works, I would point you to A.A Hodge's fine commentary (See chapters 7 and 19).

http://www.rtrc.net/documents/wcf/hodge/wcftoc.htm

In Christ,
Carlos

Re: The Covenant of Works #10266
Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:08 AM
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Adam was not under The same laws delivered at Horeb as the WCF chap XIX : 1 and 2 states (see Deuteronomy 5:2,3)

Until folk realise this , there will always be confusion as seen in Micheles post.

Moses, Paul and Christ Himself, say NOTHING about a so-called moral law. Nor should they, for it is unscriptural heathen philosophy.

Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: carlos] #10267
Sat Jan 24, 2004 4:14 AM
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Thanks Carlos. I do have Hodges book and I am not at all impressed with his comments on WCF XIX:1,2 either.

Re: The Covenant of Works #10268
Sat Jan 24, 2004 9:54 AM
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BookMark,
I should remember this because we had this in our Sunday school class, but I didn't take notes and have a bad memory!
Our pastor gave us the verses that are used to support the idea that there was a Covenant with Adam. (He is a Presbyterian not a Baptist).
Also this was over on the Puritan Board posted by Bryan and answered by a student at the Baptist Seminary in Louisville KY, Ben who is known there as SolaScriptura.

Quote
Covenant Of Works

I've been discussing this with a freind. To me Hosea 6:7 and Genesis 2:16-17 offer all the evidance needed to support such a covenant. However my freind disagrees that it is not enough evidance to place a doctrine this important on. The following is his opinion, and I'm wondering if, since this is still new to me, anyone would be willing to direct me toward some things I may have missed:

"In your own opinion, for my benefit, would you say that the covenant of works is necessary for the remainder of the covenant theology? I am sincere in my doubt that Hosea 6:7 demands any such covenant, and I am equally doubtful that Gen. 2:16,17 constitutes a solemn agreement, much less the details of the solemn agreement. So unless you can give some credible scripture to support it, I will likely not accept it. But that won't mean that I will have to disregard all covenant theology, will it?"

jsut in regards to his question concering if a covenant of works is nesscary to understand the rest of Covenant Theology. To me it seems yes because if there wasn't a covenant of works then Adam was under a covenant of grace and then the verses in Genesis 2 don't make sense. Why would he be said to die if he sinned?

Thanks,

Bryan
SDG


Quote
I would ask him why he doesn't believe that Hosea 6:7 indicates a covenant with Adam.
Even my baptist OT professors - who are NOT covenant theologians! - agree that this points to some type of covenant. So since the text clearly states that Adam broke "the covenant," I would say the burden of proof is on him to explain how there wasn't a covenant to break!
Admittedly, though, if Genesis 2: 17-18 were all we had, I wouldn't argue for a full blown covenant (though in the light of Hosea 6, I will!!!) because Gen 2 could be interpreted simply as a command... and there are lots of times where God gives a command and it isn't the establishment of a covenant.

I would also argue from Rom 5: 12- 21 on the basis that Paul is drawing a comparison with Adam and Christ. Since Christ is clearly the mediator of the New Covenant, then it would seem for the logic of Paul's thought to remain intact then Adam would also have to be the "mediator" of a covenant.

But at the end of the day I really do think the buck stops at Hosea 6:7 and the burden of proof rests on those who would deny the face of the text.

Re: The Covenant of Works #10269
Sat Jan 24, 2004 11:16 AM
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Quote

Adam was not under The same laws delivered at Horeb as the WCF chap XIX : 1 and 2 states (see Deuteronomy 5:2,3)


Ahh Mark I can see where you are getting confused let me show you dear brother where your going astray here.

[color:"FF0000"]And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day. (Deuteronomy 5:1-3)[/color]

Moses is speaking here of the Covenant of Grace not the Covenant of Works and in particular the particular administration of the Covenant of Grace that was being made with the people of Israel. (see also here Covenant of Grace by John Murray and The Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace delivered on Mount Sinai Thomas Boston)

Re: The Covenant of Works #10270
Sat Jan 24, 2004 11:58 AM
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Moses, Paul and Christ Himself, say NOTHING about a so-called moral law. Nor should they, for it is unscriptural heathen philosophy.


Mark,

Seriously, you should learn to curb your pejorative judgments against such well established doctrines. 95% (my estimation) of all Calvinists have held to an immutable and perpetual "moral law", which God established long before He even created Adam. For if there was no "moral law", then it would be illogical that angels could have rebelled and thrust out of God's presence. For, what would there be to rebel against, if there was no "moral law"? That the angels sinned against God is indisputable. And Scripture says that "sin is the transgression of the law"!

1 John 3:4 (KJV) "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."

Further, on what basis did the Fall occur, if there was no "moral law" for Adam to break? And what was the warrant for God condemning Cain when he killed Abel? What would you call what God told Noah in Genesis 9:6 if murder was not sin; the transgression of a "moral law"?

That the recognition and holding fast to the "moral law" of God is incontrovertibly part and parcel of the Christian faith, how is it you can say that it is a "heathen philosophy"? The fact is, the world at large, soundly rejects any such notion that men are accountable to God to keep His "moral law" and/or that they shall be judged on the basis of that "moral law" and consigned to everlasting punishment for its transgression.

Lastly, what was the vicarious atonement all about, if the Lord Christ wasn't punished for the sins of the elect? To deny that there is a universal, perpetual and binding "moral law" of God is to deny the entire Christian faith. I adjure you to reconsider this matter with all earnestness, or at least temper the manner in which you choose to reject it.

In His Grace,


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Re: The Covenant of Works #10271
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Mark, Mark.. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
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...Paul...say NOTHING about a so-called moral law


I beg to differ. Romans 5:12-21:

Quote
12Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned-- 13for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
15But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
18Therefore, as one trespass[5] led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness[6] leads to justification and life for all men. 19For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. 20Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


If you disagree, then please explain what is "trespass", "Disobedience, "sin", etc., especially in light of Pilgrim's post. Here is a great discussion from Charles Hodge's Romans commentary on this passage.

Quote
Until the law. The law here mentioned is evidently the law of Moses. The word acri is properly rendered until, and not during the continuance of, a sense which the particle has in some passages. Until the law is immediately explained by the words from Adam to Moses. Sin was in the world, i.e. men were sinners, and were so regarded and treated. Sin is not imputed, that is, it is not laid to one's account, and punished. See 4:8, "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity;" and the familiar equivalent expressions. "His iniquity shall be upon him," Numbers 15:31; and, "He shall bear his iniquity." The word (ellogeitai) here used, occurs nowhere else in any Greek writer, except in Philemon 18. The common word for impute is logizomai. When there is no law, mh ontoV nomou, there not being law. Sin is correlative of law. If there is no law, there can be no sin, as Paul had already taught, 4:15. But if there is no sin without law, there can be no imputation of sin. As, however, sin was imputed, as sin was in the world, as men were sinners, and were so regarded and treated before the law of Moses, it follows that there must be some more comprehensive law in relation to which men were sinners, and in virtue of which they were so regarded and treated. The principle here advanced, and on which the apostle's argument rests is, that the infliction of penal evil implies the violation of law. If men were sinners, and were treated as such before the law of Moses, it is certain that there is some other law, for the violation of which sin was imputed to them.


Mark, here are great lectures on covenant theology by Proffessor/pastor Dr. Ligon Duncan. Please read and consider carefully. We are not inventing human philosophy!

See here: Covenant Theology

in Christ,
Carlos

Re: The Covenant of Works #10272
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WCF XIX :1,2 says Adam was under the so-called moral law.
The bible says no such thing.

Paul is not talking about "moral" law. He is talking about THE LAW.

Gods Law is ONE. This Law , in its entirety, has been nailed to The Cross.

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The revelation of God's will to Adam, as recorded in the book of Genesis, is not there called a covenant; and some have doubted the propriety of using this term to denote it. If the word, in the Scripture use of it, signified, as it does in human transactions, a bargain made between equals, who are independent of each other, we might well reject the application of it to this subject. But in the sacred Scripture, it is used in a more extended signification. It denotes, 1. An immutable ordinance. Under this sense may be included an irrevocable will or testament. 2. A sure and stable promise. 3. A precept. 4. A mutual agreement. With this latitude of meaning, the word must be considered applicable in the present case; yet there would be no necessity to insist on its use, were it not that the Scriptures have used it in this application. See Hosea vi. 7, which may be more properly rendered than in the common version, "They, like Adam, have transgressed the covenant." So the same Hebrew phrase may be understood in Job xxxi. 33; Ps. lxxxii. 6,7.
As the term covenant is sometimes applied to a free promise, in which no condition is stipulated; it is proper to characterize that which was made with Adam as a covenant of works. It was a law, with a penalty affixed.
J. L. Dagg, D.D.
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How is this "command" a "covenant" ?

Re: The Covenant of Works #10274
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BookMark said:
WCF XIX :1,2 says Adam was under the so-called moral law.
The bible says no such thing.

Paul is not talking about "moral" law. He is talking about THE LAW.

Gods Law is ONE. This Law , in its entirety, has been nailed to The Cross.


Okay Mark so let me get this straight your beef is with the concept that revealed Law of God can be broken down to three distinct categories ie: Moral, Civil, Ceremonial.

So when Paul writes this: "ROM 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves" Your saying that Paul means that the gentiles are keeping the entire law, the civil statutes, the ceremonial statutes, and the moral statutes. Mark how can this be, since the gentiles unless exposed to the teaching of the Law by the Jews would have no concept of the ceremonial laws so defined or the civil laws so defined? It is more reasonable to assert that Paul here was talking about the decalogue which is the basis of the "moral laws". And since every man is made in the image of God and that means that God's character would have been imprinted so to speak upon man then so would the moral law too would have been placed into man. This is the only way that the gentiles would even have an idea of right and wrong.

Mark do you not recognize that there is a difference between the civil and ceremonial laws of the theocracy of Israel and the moral or ethical laws?

Pete

Re: The Covenant of Works #10275
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Sanctus rightly stated:
And since every man is made in the image of God and that means that God's character would have been imprinted so to speak upon man then so would the moral law too would have been placed into man. This is the only way that the gentiles would even have an idea of right and wrong.

Isn't this the same truth which Paul asserts in showing the necessity of Christ's atoning sacrifice; i.e., that ALL men are guilty of breaking the "moral law" of God? He says that ALL mankind died as consequence of breaking the "law" long before the Jews ever came into existence and longer yet before the Decalogue was given to Moses on Sinai, thus also showing that the Decalogue isn't the origin of the moral law at all, but a iteration of that law which was impressed upon the heart of men from the creation.

Romans 5:12-14 (ASV) "Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned:-- for until the law [Ten Commandments - Pilgrim] sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law [moral law - Pilgrim]. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam's transgression, who is a figure of him that was to come."


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Re: The Covenant of Works #10276
Sun Jan 25, 2004 11:10 AM
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Mark,


Will you interact with what Pilgrim, I, Pete,& others, have written to you? You keep writing "The bible says no such thing.." and the like, and continue to ignore the rebutalls.

in Christ,
Carlos


"Let all that mind...the peace and comfort of their own souls, wholly apply themselves to the study of Jesus Christ, and him crucified"(Flavel)
Re: The Covenant of Works #10277
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Hey..

Okay, I am coming from waaaaaaay behind here, and this coversation is way above my head lol. But I wonder if it's okay to just ask this question. This is still bothering me, the issue of "the law." It seems as though this thread has been more about whether we are under the law, or not under the law. So I hope I am staying on topic. I am also still trying to deal with the Hebrew roots issue, and the differences between the jew and the gentile.

Okay, I read the last half of the book of acts today. What I notice is that Paul did still observe the law to some extent. It is not clear how far he went though. He talked about "taking a vow" and having his hair cut. He never did speak against the "law." In fact, he said he had done nothing against it, in what he spoke or what he did. Or.. what he did NOT do. Like when he went to Jerusalem to pay alms and worship, or when he did not let any gentile in the temple etc.

Someone told me that the jews are bound to obey the "covenant" from birth, the Torah, and the gentiles are only bound to obey the four things listed in acts. Not commiting fornication, not to eat blood, etc. Sorry I am not listing the particular verses.

I know there is a whole bunch of stuff that is missing here. I am about to re-read the book of Romans and Galatians together so I can maybe get a better idea what Paul meant. But I had come to some idea like Mark, that we are not bound by the "law." And that the law we follow is of liberty.. not to sin, but that that moral law of God is written on our hearts. In our consciences. For the saved and the unsaved alike. As in, the letter of the law kills, but we follow now, as believers, the Spirit of that law.

Anyway, I may take another "break" after this so I can spend a few months digesting all this. Of course.. I may not lol. We'll see.

Michele

Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: MHeath] #10278
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Okay, never mind my questions, in case anyone was inclined to answer them! hehehe. I have been reading Romans today, and Acts. Half of my issues have been answered and resolved. I think in more reading, the rest will be answered.. we'll see.

Thanks anyway!
Michele

Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: MHeath] #10279
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Michele,

Read through Timothy also. There are some passages there that speak of law(.i.e "the law is good if one uses it lawfully"; 1 Tim. 1:8-11).

in Christ,
Carlos


"Let all that mind...the peace and comfort of their own souls, wholly apply themselves to the study of Jesus Christ, and him crucified"(Flavel)
Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: carlos] #10280
Mon Jan 26, 2004 7:57 PM
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Okay, just some simple ideas here. Speaking about using the law, lawfully. In Acts, when Paul observes the Jewish customs and law, is he only obeying the law of love? As when he said that we are not walking in love if we eat meat in front of a weaker brother and make him stumble, or when he says that to the jews he is a jew, to the gentiles a gentile so that by being everything to all men he might save some? (Of course I paraphrased there LOL.)

Michele

Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: MHeath] #10281
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Michele,

Don't confuse the "law of love", which in the examples you gave have to do with the "law of liberty", aka: Adiaphora (things indifferent). In those situations, there is no "law" prohibiting the use of foods, etc., as they are all "good". It is one's conscience that prohibits one from partaking of them. And thus, for example, Paul could participate in a Jewish festival as just that, a festival that had no bearing upon his salvation. Circumcision is probably the best example however. For in one case, he allowed one to submit to it for the sake of the Gospel, but in another case, he flatly refused to it. For, in that case, those who demanded circumcision held that salvation was dependent upon it.

What this topic is about is the "MORAL law" of God, those laws which are the expression of God's very nature; i.e., that which determines what is holy and righteous. Mark and other Antinomians deny that Christians are "bound", under obligation to keep them, saying they were specifically Israelic; belonging to the nation of Israel and no one else. They would contend that because we are under "grace", then ALL the moral law is abrogated and no longer applicable to believers.

Of course we disagree. The "key", IMHO, is understanding how Paul, e.g., uses the word "law" and in what context he is using it. For a Christian, the law is not applicable for the obtaining of Justification. Nor is the law necessary to securing Sanctification. But rather the moral law is the RULE and GUIDE to becoming sanctified; to becoming more and more like Christ.

Anyway, perhaps that will give you more food for thought? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


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Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: Pilgrim] #10282
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yes yes yes.. and thank you <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

On the issue of the Jews though, I am pretty well convinced. While I believe that God has still not finished with the nation of Israel, nor with the jews, we are still ONE body. No one is better than another. If we are all saved in the same way, and we are all one body, then sanctification works the same for all. It's the work of God, through the Spirit. Not following Judaism. Though, i will concede that following say.. the dietary laws, a jewish Christian could say that he is walking in love toward his fellow jews who are not saved yet. Does that make sense? Is that what you just said? LOL

You made more clear the part I was confused about concerning your position on which law we are "under." Still thinking though..thanks Pilgrim!

Michele

Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: MHeath] #10283
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Though, i will concede that following say.. the dietary laws, a jewish Christian could say that he is walking in love toward his fellow jews who are not saved yet. Does that make sense? Is that what you just said? LOL

This may or may not be true. Again, I refer you to the record of Paul's missionary journey found here: Acts 16:1-3, where Timothy was circumcised so as to open opportunities to preach the gospel to the Jews. But in Gal 2:1-5, Paul adamantly refused to have Titus circumcised, also for the sake of the Gospel. Now, the difference to be seen here is that in one case, circumcision was not looked upon as being necessary for salvation, but in the latter case, it was. Thus, the first was done out of the liberty they had in Christ, to either do that or not do that for the sake of conscience. But on the other hand, in Galatia, it was a group of Judaizers who demanded that to be saved, one had to follow the law of the Old Covenant, to be saved. This latter group denied Sola Gratia and Sola Fide and was guilty of preaching/teaching "synergism"; i.e., faith+works=salvation.

The civil and ceremonial laws were abrogated when the nation of Israel was cast off and had served its purpose. But the moral law is perpetual and applies to all men everywhere and is used for various purposes; e.g., to bring conviction of sin to unbelievers and to be a guide which shows in practical terms what holiness and righteousness is, to which believers are called to be before God. (Matt 5:48; 1Pet 1:16).

As to the nation of Israel and the Jews having yet a major part in God's plan of redemption..... well, that's another topic for discussion and one which I of course, clearly disagree. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

See here: Paul's Theology of Israel's Future.


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Re: The Covenant of Works #10284
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Greetings BookMark:

I looked up "covenant of works" at biblegateway.com and there was no passage of Scripture found. I can only assume the concept is outside Scripture.

I suppose we could open the forum to include the Koran, or the Book of Mormon, or the musings of Buddah for that matter. Perhaps we could have everyone send in their favorite Confucious saying. But, I thought this website was for serious Christian discussion on theology.

My point is this....If it isn't in the 66 books of the Bible, don't bring it to the discussion board - unless you are prepared to have someone start quoting from the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" and claiming it has authority over your Christian life!

Re: The Covenant of Works #10285
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I looked up "covenant of works" at biblegateway.com and there was no passage of Scripture found. I can only assume the concept is outside Scripture....I suppose we could open the forum to include the Koran, or the Book of Mormon, or the musings of Buddah for that matter. Perhaps we could have everyone send in their favorite Confucious saying. But, I thought this website was for serious Christian discussion on theology.....[color:"0000FF"]My point is this....If it isn't in the 66 books of the Bible, don't bring it to the discussion board [/color]
Did you type your response on a computer? Are computers in the 66 books of the Bible? Is there a bibical doctrine of typing? Then why type?--bad argument <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/drop.gif" alt="" />

Doctrine is in the Bible. We are to have sound doctrine (1 Tim 1:3-10; 4:6, 13, 16; 5:17; 6:1, 3, etc.). Covenant of Works is a doctrinal principle. Please read the links below to learn more concerning this "biblical doctrine."


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: The Covenant of Works #10286
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I looked up looked up "covenant of works" at biblegateway.com and there was no passage of Scripture found. I can only assume the concept is outside Scripture.

I suppose we could open the forum to include the Koran, or the Book of Mormon, or the musings of Buddah for that matter. Perhaps we could have everyone send in their favorite Confucious saying. But, I thought this website was for serious Christian discussion on theology.

My point is this....If it isn't in the 66 books of the Bible, don't bring it to the discussion board - unless you are prepared to have someone start quoting from the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" and claiming it has authority over your Christian life!


<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/mad3.gif" alt="" /> What reasoning is THIS??? I just went to biblegateway.com myself and typed up "Trinity". To my surprise, nothing showed up<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />. I guess I can conclude that the early church fathers & church councils, and the untold number of theologians have made this up too. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bif.gif" alt="" />
As if the best of the reformed theologians were just sitting in their rooms making this stuff from thin air.

If you disagree, then please read the entire thread and join in on the discussion already ongoing.


in Christ,
Carlos

Last edited by carlos; Tue Jan 27, 2004 7:49 PM.

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Re: The Covenant of Works #10287
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1saved,
The word Trinity isn't in the Bible either, but we're not going to throw that away since the doctrine is plainly taught in the Bible!

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You will want to read this post and article on "solo scriptura":

Click here: http://www.the-highway.com/forum/showthr...;o=&fpart=1


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Re: The Covenant of Works #10289
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My point is this....If it isn't in the 66 books of the Bible, don't bring it to the discussion board - unless you are prepared to have someone start quoting from the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" and claiming it has authority over your Christian life!


Most surprisingly, no one has done that in this discussion, either with the Catholic Church's catechism or any other. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bif.gif" alt="" />


Kyle

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Re: The Covenant of Works #10290
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Will you not answer the challenges to your post?


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Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: carlos] #10291
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Carlos

I have been off line since Sunday so I havent been able to "interact" for a while. There is so much confusion here regarding the Law and what it means. Nothing in this thread has addressed the issues I raised in it IMHO.

Gods Law is ONE LAW which has been nailed to the cross. May I respectfully suggest that you read my "queries" here again and then have a look at the thread "people miscalled Antinomians"

Christians are led by The Spirit NOT The Law <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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Mark,
I don't know what to do with myself. I am sitting here utterly speechless. At one point in the past, Mark, you were a vehement defender of paedobaptism and all the theological ramifications that attend to it. Now you are treading into the area of New Covenant Theology (who are credobaptists by the way). When I said you are an enigma, I sure wasn't expecting it to be wrapped up in a contradiction also. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/jawdrop.gif" alt="" />

Fred


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Mark,

I agree with Fred that you are indeed a puzzle. You keep writing the one-liners, but yet wont' interact with the arguments. I stand by what I said. You're statements have been rebutted...at least answer them [ I have read the other threads btw]. If you don't think the issue has been addressed properly, then in the replies "demonstrate" so. You know, for someone who is ardent against baptists, I have no clue how you are ending up in the camp of NCT and the like <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/spin.gif" alt="" />. As Fred hinted, you are aware that it is the baptists who hold to this position, right? In the past, some groups like the socinians held to a form of it, according to Francis Turretin's(1627-1688) magnificent work, "The institutes of Elenctic theology".


in Christ,
Carlos


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Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: carlos] #10294
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well, regardless of Mark's endearing quirks, I believe he still has a legitimate point. That being, how exactly is the divine mandates of Genesis 2 a "covenant?" I understand it to be more of a creator/creature distinctive, rather than an actual covenant. When God reveals his purposes in a covenant, the first real mention of any covenant is by God in Genesis 6:18 given to Noah and his family. Eventually, this covenant is completed in Genesis 9:9 where you have God laying down specific terms in relation to this covenant, ie, I will no more destroy the earth with water. This covenant is also called an everlasting covenant, meaning that God will never break this covenant. It is then sealed with the sign of a rainbow. Though there are some similarity in the outline to God's command to Adam in Genesis 2, I think one is hard pressed to declare that it is an acutal covenant being made. I believe that is Mark's contention, and I for one agree with him - heaven help me.

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: fredman] #10295
Fri Jan 30, 2004 4:01 AM
Fri Jan 30, 2004 4:01 AM

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Was Adam under the "moral" (10 commandments) law as WCF X1X:1,2 states even though this law was not given to any until Horeb (see Deuteronmy 5 "...The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers,but with us,even us ,who are all of us here alive this day) ?

What does "and,as such" mean in WCF X1X:2 ?

Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: fredman] #10296
Fri Jan 30, 2004 10:42 AM
Fri Jan 30, 2004 10:42 AM
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carlos Offline
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HI fred,
I guess this would be our first sparring so to speak <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />. Whether we end up agreeing or not, I pray that we may be edified in this.

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Fred wrote:
well, regardless of Mark's endearing quirks, I believe he still has a legitimate point. That being, how exactly is the divine mandates of Genesis 2 a "covenant?" I understand it to be more of a creator/creature distinctive, rather than an actual covenant. When God reveals his purposes in a covenant, the first real mention of any covenant is by God in Genesis 6:18 given to Noah and his family. Eventually, this covenant is completed in Genesis 9:9 where you have God laying down specific terms in relation to this covenant, ie, I will no more destroy the earth with water. This covenant is also called an everlasting covenant, meaning that God will never break this covenant. It is then sealed with the sign of a rainbow. Though there are some similarity in the outline to God's command to Adam in Genesis 2, I think one is hard pressed to declare that it is an acutal covenant being made. I believe that is Mark's contention, and I for one agree with him - heaven help me.


I would disagree that this is just a simple creator-creature distinctive. The fact that word "covenant" is not stated explicitly does not in of itself negate the reality of it.
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The fact that the context of Genesis never refers to this relationship as a "covenant" is not a significant objection to this. For example, in 2 Samuel 7 God makes a promise to David that his dynasty would rule Israel. Although the passage which narrates the giving of this promise does not call the promise a covenant, we know from Psalm 89:3, 19-37 and 2 Samuel 23:5 that it was in fact a covenant. Likewise, since the essential elements of a covenant are present in the Genesis narrative, we should conclude that God made a covenant with Adam even though the word "covenant" is not used narrative account( Matt Perman)”


As state above, I believe that all the elements of the covenant are there, as been demonstrated by many theologians from Vos down to Grudem (see comments below from dabney for proof). Not only that, as been stated before, Hosea 6:7 makes a strong case for it, and the onus is on those who disagree. No doubt others have attempted to change it to mean "like man" or "at adam", where the former makes no sense and the latter simply is not attainable. I agree with am full agreement with Wilehus Brakel in “The Christian's Reasonble Service", as he writes:
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” (1) If one were to translate it with the word “man,” it would take away the emphasis of this text, for the words “as Adam” are added here to maximize rather than minimize the crime. What force of emphasis, yes, what purpose would there be to state that they had broken the covenant like other men who also are but members of the covenant. In order for them to transgress a covenant, they of necessity must be in the covenant; that is, they would have to transgress the covenant as they or their fellow members of the covenant did. This certainly makes no sense, and therefore Adam here refers to the first man."


Is not Adam the “Federal head and represenstaive of his posterity”, a type of him[Christ] that was to come”(Romans 5:12-21, 1 cor 15:22 )? If he is so, is it not done so on the basis that there was a covenant with Adam- That his posterity would have either received either life or death upon the condition of adam’s obedience; Adam stood in the place of all his posterity. We know the end result of adam’s disobedience to the command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge, as clearly demonstrated by Paul in Romans 5:12-21. “"By the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation”(5:18). So i stand by my thesis that, “God gave a law to Adam, and which was in the form of a covenant, and in which Adam stood as a covenant head to all his posterity”( John Gill, “A body of doctrinal divinity”).

Here are demonstrations of the elements of a covenant in the covenant with adam, by R. L Dabney:
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“The evidences that God placed Adam under a Covenant of Works are well stated by the standard authors. A covenant, in its more technical sense, according to Turrettin, implies: 1. Two equal parties. 2. Liberty to do or not do the covenanted things before the covenant is formed. In this sense there could be no covenant between God and man. But in the more general sense of a conditional promise, such a transaction was evidently effected between God and Adam, and is recorded in Gen. 2:16, 17. There are—1st the two parties. God proposing a certain blessing and penalty on certain conditions, and man coming under those conditions. It has been objected that it was no covenant, because man’s accession to it was not optional with him: God’s terms were not a proposal made him, but a command laid upon him. I reply, if he did not have an option to accede or not, he was yet voluntary in doing so; for no doubt his holy will joyfully concurred in the gracious plan. And such compacts between governors and governed are by no means unusual or unnatural. Witness all rewards promised by masters and teachers, for the performance of tasks, on certain conditions. 2. There was a condition: the keeping of God’s command. 3There was a conditional promise and threat: life for obedience, and death for disobedience. That the promise of life was clearly implied is shown by the fact itself, that life is the correlative of death, which was threatened in the covenant. For the soul not to live, is to die; not to die, is to live. We argue next, from the natural law of conscience, which expects life for obedience, as death for transgression. Did this fatherly dispensation to Adam suspend the favorable part of this universal law, and thus place him in a worse, instead of a more hopeful condition? Heb. 11:6, tells us "he that cometh unto God must believe that He is, and that He is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.," Here we have a general principle of service: surely Adam’s introduction into Paradise did not revoke it. Third: During his rectitude, Adam evidently enjoyed the use of the "Tree of Life," which was a sacramental pledge to him of the promised result. And when the covenant was broken, his partaking of this seal was forbid den, as utterly inconsistent with the new state of things. Unless Adam had had before him the promise of life for obedience, this would have been idle. Fourth: That the correlative promise of life was given, appears from the relation of Adam and Christ, the second Adam. Both were representative heads. The covenant which fell through in Adam’s inept hands, was successfully accomplished in Christ’s. But the result through Him was a "justification of life." And in the frequent contrasts which the Epistles of Paul draw between the justification of works and of faith, it is never hinted that the impossibility of the former now arises from anything in the covenant of works, but only from man’s sin and lost estate. See Rom. 8:3, 4….. Every one is familiar with the Bible account of the condition of this covenant: the eating or not eating of the fruit of a tree called the "tree of knowledge of good and evil." This prohibition was, obviously, a "positive command.".. Was this the only command Adam now had to observe: the only one by the breach of which he could fall? Presbyterians answer this in the negative. We regard all the moral law known to Adam is represented in this command, as the crucial test of his obedience to all. The condition of his covenant was perfect compliance, in heart and act, with all God’s revealed law. This is manifest from the unreasonableness of any moral creature’s exemption from the law of God, which is immutable. It appears also, from all the representations of the covenant of works, quoted in a previous paragraph; where the obedience required is to the whole law. It appears, finally, from this obvious view: that a consistent sense of moral obligation was the only thing which could have given to Adam’s compliance with the positive prohibition, any moral significance or worth… The seal of the covenant is usually understood to be the tree of life, whose excellent fruit did not, indeed, medically work immortality in Adam’s frame, but was appointed as a symbol and pledge, or seal of it. Hence, when he had forfeited the promise, he was debarred from the sign. The words of Gen. 3:22 are to be understood sacramentally


Let me know you're disagreements.

Also, do you agree that the decalogue is no longer binding upon believers, but rather a different law, "the law of christ", replaces it? if so, How is that possible in light of Matthew 5:17-48, Matthew 22:36-38?

brother in Christ,
Carlos

Last edited by carlos; Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:02 AM.

"Let all that mind...the peace and comfort of their own souls, wholly apply themselves to the study of Jesus Christ, and him crucified"(Flavel)
Re: The Covenant of Works #10297
Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:51 AM
Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:51 AM

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Greetings Susan,

I don't follow your logic. If not directly found in Scripture, the doctrine in question must be discerned by the teaching of the Holy Spirit or answered directly by God as a result of the petitioner's faith.

Convince me that Calvin received his doctrine by discernment taught by the Holy Spirit or prove to me he received it directly from God as Paul had to do with the disciples who walked with Christ, i.e. Peter, John, etc.

Let's compare what Calvin wrote to what Scripture says. If it doesn't entirely hold up, there's a problem with claiming ALL the writings of John Calvin can be used as doctrine within the Church.

I'm saying: Some of what John Calvin wrote was true. Some of what Martin Luther wrote was true. Some of the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church are true and some of the teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church are true. Some of what Arminius taught was true. Some of the teaching of John Wesley and George Whitefield are true. Please notice I'm purposedly leaving out the name of Cyrus Scofield for God does not change! The point is that none of the various Christian Churches teach ENTIRELY correct doctrine.

When you point out the speck in your brother's eye, did you first remove the log that is within your own eye, so you could see more clearly?

In criticizing the doctrine of your brother, did you make absolutely sure your doctrine was absolutely correct first? If you did not, you need to repent your sin for you have not followed Jesus' words.

Re: The Covenant of Works #10298
Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:07 PM
Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:07 PM

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1Saved,
Even though I suspect you are only here on this board to fight, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and answer your question and try to ignore all your personal attacks. Perhaps the Lord has brought you to this forum to show you the truth and I don't wish to put any stumbling blocks in your way by reacting to your unkind words.

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Let's compare what Calvin wrote to what Scripture says. If it doesn't entirely hold up, there's a problem with claiming ALL the writings of John Calvin can be used as doctrine within the Church.


No one on this board thinks that Calvin was inerrant. I am positive you aren't either! Nor do I claim to be. Some in the reformed camp who are embracing hyper-Covenental teachings are those who have put Calvin on the same level as the writers of Holy Scriptures. Even the best of men are men at best, yet God has gifted the church with teachers and preachers, and has given us faithful leaders to guard His sheep. We are to be on our guard agains traditionalism that does not line up with Scriptures, no matter how much the man is revered. We must be Bereans and compare anyone's teaching with God's Word. There are many false teachers out there.

Here is my church's teaching on our doctrinal beliefs:

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We believe that the only infallible standard for faith and life is the Holy Bible. It alone is inspired by God Almighty, and it alone is free from all errors in every matter to which it speaks (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Consequently, we claim the Holy Bible as our primary standard for all that we believe and do. What it affirms, we seek to affirm. What it commends to be practiced, we seek to practice. What it condemns, we seek to condemn.

Nevertheless, not all branches of the one, true Church of Jesus Christ are agreed on what the Bible teaches about certain doctrinal and practical issues. Therefore, in the interest of clarity and the promotion of greater unity, it is fitting that local congregations summarize their corporate understanding of the Bible's teaching on various important topics in a systematic way. These systematic creeds and confessions serve as a church's secondary standards and are always subservient to the Bible; for, as with any secondary and man-made standard, all creeds and confessions are subject to error and are only authoritative and binding on the human conscience insofar as they rightly summarize the teaching of Holy Scripture. Wherever a human creed or confession is indisputably shown to contradict the clear teachings of the Bible, that creed or confession must be amended or rejected accordingly. Conversely, however, wherever a human creed or confession rightly summarizes the teaching of God's Word it is authoritatively binding and cannot be denied by anyone.

Firstly, then, as a congregation within the universal Church of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:4), we affirm the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed as correctly summarizing the true Christian Faith, which was once and for all delivered to the Saints by Christ and His Apostles. Further, we believe that any group or organization which denies the doctrinal content of these early ecumenical creeds cannot rightly be called Christian.*

Secondly, as a congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, we not only affirm but also fully subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms as likewise rightly summarizing the system of doctrine given in the Holy Scriptures. These three doctrinal standards are part of our congregation's and denomination's constitution. And, while laymen of OPC congregations need not affirm these standards in every detail in order to be recieved as members, all OPC officers (i.e., ministers, ruling elders, and deacons) must vow to "sincerely receive and adopt the Cofession of Faith and Catechisms of this Church [i.e., the OPC], as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures."

Thirdly, as a congregation which is committed to Reformed and Presbyterian beliefs and practices, we also commend the reading of the Belgic Confession of Faith, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Cannons of Dort, though we do not subscribe to these standards denominationally, nor are they officially part of our constitution. Nevertheless, they are doctrinally sound documents summarizing the teachings of Holy Scripture and Reformed theology, to which we are unashamedly committed.

Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: carlos] #10299
Mon Feb 02, 2004 3:24 PM
Mon Feb 02, 2004 3:24 PM
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Canyon Country, CA
fredman Offline
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Hey there Carlos, et al,
I meant to answer this last week, but developments here at work as well as recent posts by 1Saved have been taking up my time. I am somewhat caught up on work, and 1saved seems to have slowed down his posting, so I can return briefly to my discussion of the Covenant of Works.

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I would disagree that this is just a simple creator-creature distinctive. The fact that word "covenant" is not stated explicitly does not in of itself negate the reality of i t


Well, on the contrary, I believe there is a significance to the fact that it is not called a covenant, particularly because no actual covenant takes place. By that I mean a couple of things:

First, as I pointed out, there is no specific mention of it being called a covenant. Now, I realize covenant proponents argue that lack of terminology is irrelevant, because the wording suggests such a covenant took place. However, contrasted to the biblical recorded of what we know are covenants, it would seem that if God had meant for his commands to Adam to be revealed as a covenant with him, he would have called it as such. If a succesion of covenants, built upon an eternal covenant of redemption and grace and one of works in time with Adam is how God deals in human history, there would be specific words to solidify such a system of theology. I would argue the same with Dispensationalists who believe God reveals His purposes in differing administrations. I don't find such terminology being used in relation to God's purposes either. The problem with covenant proponents, at least in my mind, is that there is a reading into the language of Genesis 2 that does not warrant such an inference. Usually, the reponse to my objection is to appeal to the term "Trinity." The Trinity is not mentioned in the Bible by name it is argued. Granted, that is true, however the theology of what is summarized by the word "Trinity" is something that is founded by the exegesis of the text of scripture. I don't believe such evidence, at least from what Covenant propents offer, is compelling, at least under the scrutiny of exegesis.
Second, I don't find the terminology of a covenant being expressed in Genesis 2. First, pulling from O. Palmer Robertson's book The Christ of the Covenants, his working definition for a covenant is A bond in blood sovereignly administered I would agree with his definition, but strangely, he abandons it when he appeals to a Covenant of Works. If his definition is accurate, then where is the bond in blood of the covenant of works? There is none. Second, with all the covenants mentioned in the OT, they are spoken of by either God, or the one to whom the covenant is made as an everlasting covenant, or one that is made forever, which speaks of it being unalterable. We see this with every major covenant Genesis 9:16, 17:7, 2 Samuel 23:5, Jeremiah 31:31ff, etc. I don't find the promise of everlasting or forever made with Adam, or even the type of promises God makes with the other individuals participating in those covenants.

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Not only that, as been stated before, Hosea 6:7 makes a strong case for it, and the onus is on those who disagree. No doubt others have attempted to change it to mean "like man" or "at adam", where the former makes no sense and the latter simply is not attainable.


(Fred) I am not sure you can make such a strong case for Hosea speaking about a Covenant of Works with Adam. I have read all of the various covenantal literature on this passage, and they all pretty much acknowledge that it is such an unclear verse to hang their hats on, but even after admitting such a problem with the passage, still insist that Hosea is talking about a Covenant with Adam. Now, I want to hear why you think the translation of this verse as "like man" makes no sense, when the immediate context implies that it does. If you look at the context, that begins back in verse 4, Ephraim and Judah are compared to being like men, or the typical way man in general transgress due to their sin. Hosea is setting up a series of contrasts to express the disobedience of God's people. Gilead, in the next set of verses, is said to be evildoers. Regardless of how the Hosea 6:7 is to be translated, I find it unusual that Covenant folks would go to such lengths to defend this so as to make their theologial system work. It is one of those obscure verses, and to appeal to it in defense of a supposed pivital doctrine that is foundational to a system of theology is stretching it in my opinion.

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Also, do you agree that the decalogue is no longer binding upon believers? if so, How is that possible in light of Matthew 5:17-48, Matthew 22:36-38?


(Fred) I would say that the law (decalogue) is no longer binding upon believers in that keeping it keeps idividuals in good standing as a member of a theocratic community as Israel was. Whereas the OC expression of the decalogue was external, the NC expression of it is now internalized by the members of the Church. That is a rather simplistic answer, but I am short on time and want to post this before days end. Maybe we can develop this aspect of your discussion in further posts.

I realize that more than likely I have wrestled to the ground a big tar baby by my responses. I expect a deluge of posts, but I must say that we are busy here at work and I may not get a chance to answer in a timely fashion. Please don't take that as a dodge; I am just forewarning everyone that I may take a while in responding.

Fred


"Ah, sitting - the great leveler of men. From the mightest of pharaohs to the lowest of peasants, who doesn't enjoy a good sit?" M. Burns
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