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#10290 - Wednesday, January 28, 2004 1:36 PM Re: The Covenant of Works
carlos Offline
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Registered: Tuesday, May 7, 2002
Posts: 508
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
Will you not answer the challenges to your post?
_________________________
"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)

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#10291 - Thursday, January 29, 2004 2:55 AM Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: carlos]
Anonymous
Unregistered


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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#10292 - Thursday, January 29, 2004 5:48 AM Re: The Covenant of Works
fredman Offline
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Registered: Tuesday, July 30, 2002
Posts: 593
Loc: Canyon Country, CA
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
_________________________
"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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#10293 - Thursday, January 29, 2004 7:40 AM Re: The Covenant of Works
carlos Offline
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Registered: Tuesday, May 7, 2002
Posts: 508
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
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
_________________________
"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)

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#10294 - Thursday, January 29, 2004 8:12 AM Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: carlos]
fredman Offline
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Registered: Tuesday, July 30, 2002
Posts: 593
Loc: Canyon Country, CA
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

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#10295 - Friday, January 30, 2004 3:01 AM Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: fredman]
Anonymous
Unregistered


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 ?

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#10296 - Friday, January 30, 2004 9:42 AM Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: fredman]
carlos Offline
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Registered: Tuesday, May 7, 2002
Posts: 508
Loc: Philadelphia, PA
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.

Quote:

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.
Quote:
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:
Quote:
” (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:
Quote:

“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


Edited by carlos (Friday, January 30, 2004 10:02 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)

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#10297 - Friday, January 30, 2004 10:51 AM Re: The Covenant of Works
Anonymous
Unregistered


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.

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#10298 - Friday, January 30, 2004 2:07 PM Re: The Covenant of Works
Anonymous
Unregistered


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.

Quote:
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:

Quote:
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.

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#10299 - Monday, February 2, 2004 2:24 PM Re: The Covenant of Works [Re: carlos]
fredman Offline
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Registered: Tuesday, July 30, 2002
Posts: 593
Loc: Canyon Country, CA
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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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