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Featured The Biblical truth of Calvinism as revealed in Scripture pt2.

Discussion in 'Calvinism & Arminianism Debate' started by Iconoclast, Nov 18, 2020.

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  1. Iconoclast

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    From Calvinism/Arminianism by W.R.DOWNING, used by permission

    The other thread was off to a promising start until derailed. Now we will pick up where we left off.

    Calvin viewed the Moral Law as corresponding to the “natural law” written by God upon the inner being of man as created in his image. He viewed the Moral Law as revealing the character of God over his creation and so binding in every sphere of life
    —individual, marriage, family, work, education, ethics, economics, church, social issues and state.
    Only as the state reflected the equity demonstrated in God’s Moral Law and the biblical law of love could there be true equity and justice.

    This would have a tendency to elevate the morality and purity of the church and society as a whole. It would also, under the idea of “sphere sovereignty,” view the king, rulers and government as under God and his Law rather than as the source of law (arbitrary humanistic law and a totalitarian state). This would find concrete expression in the religious and political struggles of the Netherlands, Scotland, England and America in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.

    Now we get to the scriptural base;
    APOLOGETICS

    Calvin’s view of Scripture necessarily formed the basis for a presuppositional apologetic. He viewed the Scripture as self–authenticating or self–attesting, and therefore receiving its authority from the internal witness of the Spirit.
    A consistent apologetic must take into consideration the free and sovereign and transforming nature of redemptive grace, the self–attesting and self–authenticating character of the Scriptures, and the natural or fallen state of man. The consistent Calvinistic apologetic is therefore presuppositional, reasoning from the Scriptures, not evidential, or reasoning to the Scriptures.


    What man needs is spiritual life, enablement and perception [regeneration], not merely information. Although previous Calvinists tended toward classical or evidential Apologetics, A consistent presuppositional [Calvinistic] apologetic has been developed and promulgated by such thinkers and apologists as Abraham Kuyper, Gordon H. Clark, Cornelius Van Til, John Frame and Greg Bahnsen.151
    It was Abraham Kuyper who, as a “neo–Calvinist,” went back to the Institutes and revived the biblical and historic Calvin.
     
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    SUMMARY

    The primary influence of the Calvinistic tradition has been theological. As a comprehensive scriptural system, it has affected every area of theology. In particular, the following:

    • The whole Calvinistic system is nothing more or less than a systemization of scriptural truth.

    The Institutes of the Christian Religion formed the essence or basis of all subsequent consistent systematic theologies.

    • Calvin brought the doctrines of predestination and election into the realm of practical Christian experience, “giving significance to the common man.”

    Every Reformed and Evangelical Creed, Confession and Catechism reflects Calvin’s influence.

    • Calvin’s practical emphasis on the Moral Law as applied to every sphere of life revolutionized and elevated Western religion, society and culture.

    • Calvin’s doctrine of the Church was rooted in practicality and discipline. His principle of the separation of church and state revolutionized the Western World and brought great political and social consequences.

    By holding to the self–attestation or self–authentication of the Scriptures through the testimony of the Spirit and taking into account moral depravity and the noetic effects of the fall, Calvin pointed the way for a consistent presuppositional apologetic.

    • The doctrine of the Christian ministry derived two principles from Calvin: that of an educated ministry to properly and consistently handle the Word of God and the principle of biblical pastoral counseling.

    • Calvin’s contribution to the doctrine of grace was his insistence upon “Common Grace” to explain the work of God in restraining evil and the existence of gifts and talents, apart from regeneration, for the fulfillment of the creation or cultural mandate.



    154 Cf. Abraham Kuyper, Op. cit., pp. 160–162; Heslam, Creating a Christian World–View, pp. 176–179; John T. McNeill, Op. cit., p. 430; Philip E. Hughes, “Grace,” Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, pp. 479–480; R. Kearsley, “Grace,” New Dictionary of Theology, pp. 280–281. 70
     
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    238 A revelational epistemology means that Divine revelation as inscripturated in the Word of God is the source of all true knowledge, that man cannot know anything aright unless he begins with God and his Word.

    239 Cf. Eph. 1:10–11 “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”

    240 Men do not hate predestination per se, but Divine predestination. They want to determine for themselves from their own pou sto, or depraved and self–centered point–of–reference.

    • God is absolutely sovereign, morally self–consistent [absolutely righteous], gracious, merciful and loving to both his creation in general and to his covenant–people in particular. He is the source, support and end of all things—all of reality is therefore necessarily theocentric and theological.

    • God is both the Creator and Interpreter of his creation. Thus, man can only know God, himself, truth and reality as God has been pleased to reveal these to him—the necessity for a “revelational epistemology”.238 Every fact in the universe is a created fact. There are no “brute” facts—every fact must be interpreted in the context of God.

    • God, as Creator and Interpreter of creation is the source of all law—physical law, spiritual law, moral law, social law. There is true freedom under law. The opposite of law is not freedom, but lawlessness.

    • In the context of eternal predestination, time or history progresses from the future into the present and from the present into the past. Promise and prophecy become present realities and then pass into history. History is not evolutionary but teleologically theocentric and Christocentric.239

    • God has eternally purposed and determined [predestinated] all things without exception.240 He has eternally purposed to save a given number from among sinful mankind—salvation is by grace alone and not by “chance” or by “works” [human effort or ability].

    • Man has been created in the image and likeness of God, and so exists, though fallen, as a rational or intelligent, morally–responsible creature of faith. He is meant to presuppose God and his Law–Word in every sphere of his life as a presuppositionalist, meant “to think God’s thoughts after him,” i.e., give the same meaning to everything that God has given to it. He was not meant to super–impose his own sinful meaning on created reality (i.e., re–define God’s created reality in terms of his own sinful “god–complex” and thought–process).

    • Man was given the “creation” or “cultural” mandate to subdue the earth and have dominion over it for the glory of God—the greatest and highest calling and motivation, which determines every area of life and activity and sanctifies every vocation as a form of worship.

    • God has given his Moral Law as the standard for mankind individually, socially, ecclesiastically and politically—an absolute moral, ethical and equitable standard for every area of life and reality.

    • Man as fallen is not autonomous, but a willing bondslave [dou/loj] to sin. He needs an effectual work of free and sovereign grace upon the basis of the Person and work of Christ and through the work of the Holy Spirit to save him from himself, from the guilt, penalty, polluting and reigning power of sin
    —salvation is from sin and its effects.

    • Calvinism as a philosophy of life is necessarily aggressive or evangelistic, as it possesses the only true hope for man spiritually, morally and socially. It is in the context of the Gospel and the efficacious work of the Spirit of God that both individuals and society are changed.







     
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    Some people laugh at the truth looking to carnal philosophy rather a biblically based scripture philosophy. here are some ideas people use to oppose the truth of Calvinism;
    THE OPPOSITION OF HUMANISTIC PHILOSOPHIES AND OTHER SYSTEMS TO CALVINISM

    Every humanistic philosophy during and since the sixteenth century has opposed Calvinism. This opposition arises from two major sources:

    The presupposition that man is autonomous, the source and interpreter of truth, and can live with meaning and purpose apart from a Sovereign God and his infallible Word. From the Renaissance and Enlightenment philosophy to modern existentialism, every school of humanistic thought has risen against the truth that man can only know himself and reality in the context of the self–disclosing, triune God of Scripture.

    Calvinism is the only consistent Christian theism, and so is the only Christianity that possesses an inclusive and consistent world–and–life view. Thus, Calvinism poses the only consistent and intelligent threat or alternative to humanistic philosophy. (Pelagianism, semi–Pelagianism or Arminianism are all essentially humanistic and deterministic as they begin with a rationalistic approach to Scripture, posit a “limited god,” the autonomy [“free will”] of man, and deny Divine absolute predestination).241

    In our own cultural and national history, the following philosophies, teachings or world–views have risen as the antithesis of biblical historic Christianity in general and Calvinism in particular:

    Rationalism. Rationalism holds that man is autonomous, and is to be guided by reason alone. It is the belief in the sufficiency of natural revelation and a denial of the necessity and authority of special revelation and the noetic effects of sin.

    Deism. Deism is the denial of an immanent God and the authority of his Word. Man is left without a definite, intelligent Word from God.

    Unitarianism. This system is anti–trinitarian—God is one, Christ is not Deity, the Scriptures are not the infallible, authoritative Word of God, man does not need reconciliation to God or redemption from sin.

    241 God foreknows whom and what he has predestinated. Cf. Acts 2:23 (Mark the significance of the const. ...th/| w`risme,nh| boulh/| kai. prognw,sei tou/ qeou/). To base Divine predestination on “foreknowledge” in the sense of mere prescience, is to make the Divine purpose relative to whatever impersonal force makes the ultimate determination. Thus, every system denying God’s absolute predestination is deterministic or fatalistic, whether it is conscious of this or not. 97

    Romanticism. An eighteenth and early nineteenth century sentimental and emotional reaction to the Rationalism of the Enlightenment. Romanticism portrayed man as inherently good, and nature as untouched by sin [the myth of the “noble savage”]. It looked upon Christianity as a religion of feeling, self–expression and love, and the Scriptures as the product of religious feeling.242

    Kantian Idealism. Kant divided all things into the phenomena (the world of sense perception)and noumena (things apprehended by thought), thus relegating God and spiritual realities into the realm of the noumena, or ultimately unknowable, and hence, ultimately to the realm of the irrational.

    Hegelianism. This philosophy, by its dialectic process of thesis, antithesis and synthesis, sought to make truth relative. Hegelianism considered the “spirit” of the people to be embodied in the state and its leaders—tending toward a totalitarian concept of an absolute or totalitarian state. The state thus becomes both the source and interpreter of all truth and law.243

    Transcendentalism. This movement was characterized by a pantheistic intuition—the immanence of the Absolute in the finite—the deification of man. This philosophy, more than any other in the nineteenth century, both controlled and devastated American life as a reaction against biblical and historic Christianity.

    Biological and Social Darwinism. The idea of evolution has been applied both biologically and socially. As all life allegedly evolves from lower species, so society is in the process of evolving. This, as most humanistic philosophies, presupposes a totalitarian state and the perfectibility of man through social [statist] institutions.

    Philosophical Pragmatism. Pragmatism is a method or tendency in philosophy which determines the meaning and truth of all concepts by testing their practical results.

    Philosophical Relativism. Relativism is a system of thought which denies absolutes, or the possibility of objective and absolute truth. Ethics and morality are not absolute [no objective or absolute right or wrong], but are relative to the given situation [“situation ethics”].

    Socialism. This is the political system which holds the group control of the population, property and the production and distribution of wealth. As man is naturally sinful or depraved, political socialism is usually coercive, becoming Fascist or Marxist.







     
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    242 R. V. Pierard, “Romanticism,” Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, pp. 959–961. 243 The German philosopher, Georg W. F. Hegel (1770–1831), greatly influenced modern thought religiously, philosophically and politically. His pantheistic views helped form the basis for Transcendentalism. His dialectic provided an impetus for Rationalistic or radical biblical criticism and religious Liberalism. His political views gave an impetus to the idea of an absolute or totalitarian state, the rise of “Manifest Destiny” and the welfare or socialist state. “Hegelian Clubs” were popular in the U.S. during the early part of the nineteenth century [1830’s–]. See “The ‘Calvinistic Tradition’ and Social Issues” for a further discussion of Hegelianism. 98



    Marxism. Marxist–Leninism is based on Hegelian dialectic and Social Darwinism, and applied to observable social processes as “dialectical materialism.” It is characterized by “scientific atheism.” Marx held that “the human consciousness is the supreme deity.”

    Positivism. This is the philosophical system of Auguste Comte, which, denying the supernatural, positively evaluates facts by the scientific method [correlating the facts of observation] and seeks to apply these to society.244 This is especially evident in our government social philosophy and statist “progressive” education.

    Political Liberalism. Liberalism is the political philosophy which advocates personal freedom for the individual, and a democratic form of government with reform in political and social institutions. From its humanistic base and apart from the restraints of Divine Law, it necessarily results in the “tyranny of the majority.”

    Religious Liberalism. A religious philosophy deriving from earlier Unitarianism, Enlightenment philosophy, German Rationalism and socialism. It expresses itself in a denial of biblically–revealed religion, a radical or destructive “higher” criticism of the Scriptures, and opposes doctrinal distinctives and authoritarianism. Religious Liberalism was the religious counterpart of political Liberalism and became the “Modernism” of the twentieth century.

    Freudian Psychoanalysis. Although not directly a philosophy, the system of Freud (1856–1939) was based upon his personal presuppositions and furthered his own philosophy. Freud was an atheist, existentialist and determinist [fatalist]. He dismissed religion “as a particularly damaging species of illusion,” and pointedly hated Christianity. Freud’s system possessed its own philosophy, psychology and ethic. Freud’s world–and–life view was essentially one of sexuality and subsequent tension between the id (the unconscious, repressed, largely sexual impulses) and the superego (the socially–desired behavior and the sublimation of sexual impulses through socially–acceptable channels) upon the ego (the conscious self, filled with tension, suppression, guilt and anxieties).245 Darwin considered man as an animal, Marx and Comte considered man as a social animal, Freud considered man as a sexual animal, driven by the pleasure–principle of sexual gratification. His influence has found expression in: the idea of collective social guilt (society, not the individual, is the real problem; the individual is the “victim” of social repression); the “medical model” for sinful
    behavior;246 modern, shameless self–expression, or the “permissive society;” the sexual revolution, the acceptance of all types of sexual perversion; the modern “drug culture;” and the modern existentialist movement in which man exists without purpose in a hostile environment.

    Empiricism. This approach to knowledge and reality holds that all knowledge is based on sense experience. It is necessarily anthropocentric, materialistic, relativistic and subjective.

    Existentialism. This deterministic philosophical outlook denies the objective nature of truth and reality and therefore retreats into a subjective self–consciousness to find any meaning.

    The “New Age” Movement. This is a revival of ancient Gnosticism and nineteenth century Transcendentalism, with its mysticism, worship of “spirits” [Satanism], reincarnation, cosmic consciousness, radical feminism, “animal rights,” radical pantheistic ecology and the worship of “Gaia” or “Mother Earth.”247


     
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    I COVENANT THEOLOGY OR THE ETERNAL REDEMPTIVE PURPOSE

    …that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” John 17:2

    INTRODUCTION

    A proper understanding of the eternal redemptive purpose or “Covenant of Grace”368 is necessary before approaching the “Doctrines of Grace” in a consistent way.

    God has always dealt with man within a covenant relationship—from a principle of representation and imputation—and not merely on a personal basis.
    This was and is the Divine prerogative by right of both creation and redemption. Human beings have no say in this matter or right to complain against it as mere creatures of God (Rom. 9:19–24).369 Man was created to live in a covenant relationship with God (Gen. 1:27–28; 2:16–17; Jn. 17:1–2; Rom. 8:28–31; Eph. 1:3–14). There have been two covenants that determine the state of man before God—what are commonly called the covenant of works and the covenant of grace.

    THE COVENANT OF WORKS

    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Gen. 1:27–28)

    And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Gen. 2:16–17)

    368 There are two diverse approaches to Covenant Theology—Reformed tradition and the historic Baptist view. The great distinction between Reformed tradition and the historic Baptist position is that the Baptists have held that there are elements of diversity within the various covenants, while Reformed tradition has held that the Abrahamic covenant is identical with the “Covenant of Grace”. Reformed tradition, denying the diversity and straining the unity of the covenant
    makes no distinction between the promises made to Abraham personally and then to Abraham and his physical descendants concerning their nation and land, and then the spiritual promises made to Abraham concerning his spiritual seed and children. This “Reformed” approach was first put forth by Zwingli and Bullinger in their disputes with the Anabaptists, and was necessary to “prove” that circumcision was fulfilled in infant sprinkling. The truth is that God in free and sovereign grace chose one man, Abraham, and in Abraham, a nation, and in that nation, his Elect, his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the true and singular “Seed of Abraham,” and in him, all believers (Acts 7:2–3; Gen. 12:1–3; 17:1–7; Jn. 8:31–56; Rom. 2:28–29; 4:9–17; 9:6–30; Gal. 3:6–16; 4:4–5).

    The Scriptures further draw a distinction between national or physical Israel—the “seed of Abraham” (spe, rma v'Abraa, m), i.e., the Jews, and the “children of Abraham” (te,kna v'Abraa, m), i.e., believers from among both Jews and Gentiles. 369 The Scripture carefully maintains the Creator–creature relation. The Creator is absolute, sovereign and self–determining; the creature has no right to question the Creator (Rom. 9:20–21). 131

    The covenant of works was made with Adam. Adam stood before God not merely as an individual, but as representative Man [the federal head of the human race]. When Adam apostatized from God by disobedience to that covenant and fell, the entire human race fell in him and were constituted sinners in and by his transgression (i.e., the imputation of [Adam’s] original sin and its necessary consequences).

    Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman,370 Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.371 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.372 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.373 (Gen. 3:1–6)
     
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    Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.374 (Rom. 5:12)

    For all have sinned,375 and come short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23)

    Thus, man in Adam is a sinner (Rom. 5:12; 3:23), a covenant–breaker, a rebel, predisposed against God and his Law–Word (Rom. 8:7), alienated from a righteous, just and holy God, and now under the curse of the Law and the reigning power of sin. Personal obedience on the part of any individual can never deliver from either original sin or the guilt, penalty, pollution or power of sin because every human being is a sinner by imputation, by the inheritance of a sinful nature, and by personal transgressions or sins. Nothing can change or set aside the consequences of sin but the free and sovereign grace of God through the imputation of the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, any thought of salvation by works or human ability, or any cooperation between man and God is utterly foreign to the truth of Scripture and the necessity of salvation by grace alone.

    370 Sin did not come into the human race through the woman. As she was derived from her husband in creation and under his authority, he, as representative Man, was held wholly responsible. The human race fell in Adam, not Eve. Thus the Scripture preserves the unity of the race. 371 Eve’s sin in this matter was that she first acted without her husband’s authority, then both added to and deleted from the Word of God. Either Adam had not properly catechized her as to God’s exact word, or she failed to listen and comprehend. 372 The lie of the serpent was that man would be his own “god” [independent and autonomous], determining for himself what was right or wrong. The actual result was slavery to the power of reigning sin (Cf. Rom. 1:18–32; 3:10–18). 373 The first wrong step of Adam in this sinful affair was to fail to act responsibly as the God– ordained head of the marriage relationship. 374 Lit: “all sinned” (pa,ntej h[marton), aor., an event or act [in Adam, original] sin was imputed to all the human race in Adam’s fall. 375 pa,ntej ga.r h[marton (aor. same form as in Rom. 5:12, referring to original sin, See footnote 29), “For all sinned and [consequently] are continually coming short [u`sterou/ntai, pres. ptc.] of the glory of God.” 132

    THE COVENANT OF GRACE

    The covenant of redemption and grace refers to the eternal redemptive purpose of the triune God to save elect sinners. It is termed the “covenant of redemption” because it is redemptive in nature. It is termed the “covenant of grace” because in this covenant man is considered as a sinner and must be saved by grace alone. All three Persons of the Godhead are inherently involved in this eternal, redemptive purpose.

    God the Father preeminently elects, calls, justifies and glorifies.

    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. (Rom. 8:28–33)

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. (Eph. 1:3–11)
     
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    THE COVENANT OF GRACE

    The covenant of redemption and grace refers to the eternal redemptive purpose of the triune God to save elect sinners. It is termed the “covenant of redemption” because it is redemptive in nature. It is termed the “covenant of grace” because in this covenant man is considered as a sinner and must be saved by grace alone. All three Persons of the Godhead are inherently involved in this eternal, redemptive purpose.

    God the Father preeminently elects, calls, justifies and glorifies.

    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. (Rom. 8:28–33)

    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. (Eph. 1:3–11)

    God the Son is identified with the elect of the Father and becomes their Mediator, Surety, Redeemer and Advocate or Great High Priest.

    Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Rom. 5:1–2)

    Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 8:34–39)


    These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

    And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

    And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word...I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them...

    Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled...I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world...They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth...and for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. (Jn. 17)

    Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. (Gal. 3:13)

    For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. (1 Tim. 2:5)

    ...God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. (2 Tim. 1:8–10)

    For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:11–14)

    ...we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him



    134





    the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. (Heb. 2:9–18)376

    Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Heb. 4:14–16)

    Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. (Heb. 7:25–27)

    But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (Heb. 9:11–12)
     
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    God the Spirit applies the finished work of the Son to the elect in their experience, making Christian experience both possible and necessary.

    And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Rom. 5:5)

    Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. (Rom. 8:12–16)

    Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Rom. 8:26–27)

    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Gal. 5:22–23)



    376 Omit the word “man” in v. 9 (u`pe.r panto.j), lit: “for every...,” to be supplied by the context. 135
    In order to redeem sinners, God the Son became incarnate, not merely as Savior and Redeemer, but necessarily and pointedly as Representative Man. The covenant of grace was especially made with the Lord Jesus Christ—the “Second Man” [in contrast to the “first Man,” Adam] and the “Last Adam” [in contrast to the “first Adam”].

    For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Cor. 15:21–22)

    And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. (1 Cor. 15:45–47)

    By our Lord’s active obedience (his perfect life lived in conformity to the Law and its fulfillment) and passive obedience (his vicarious suffering and death, which paid the Law’s penalty, removed its curse, and answers to the righteousness of God, Rom. 1:16–17; 3:24–26; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13), those whom he represents are delivered from the curse of the Law (Gal. 4:4–5; 3:13), justified and reconciled to God (Acts 13:38–39; Rom. 5:1–11; Heb. 9:12).

    Note the development of Rom. 5:12–21.
    In this passage the parallel between the Two Representative Men—Adam and Christ—is worked out by the inspired Apostle to reveal the identification of the entire human race with Adam in condemnation and the redemption of the elect in their identification with Christ. Just as Adam’s sin [one act of transgression] has been imputed to the entire human race [all those identified or in union with him] unto condemnation, so the righteousness [one righteous act, the work of redemption] of Christ is imputed to all those for whom he died [those with whom he is identified or are in union with him]. (The development of the argument is in an introverted form: A–B–B–A).

    A) Condemnation (v. 12–14). The human race stands condemned in Adam as its covenant head—the reality of the imputation of Adam’s sin to all his posterity—original sin.

    Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.378



    377 This passage, Rom. 5:12–21, is vital to and a necessary preparation for a proper understanding of Rom. 6 and sanctification. Sanctification is not merely a process of human determination and endeavor, but derives from the believer’s union with Christ and the imputation of righteousness, i.e., there is a necessary and real relation between justification [righteousness imputed] and sanctification [righteousness imparted by grace].

    his relation can be clearly seen in Rom. 6 with regard to the death of Christ and the radical breach with reigning sin, and to the resurrection of Christ and a holy life. The issue in this study, however, is the reality of both Adam and Christ as Representative Men and the respective imputation of both sin and righteousness. 378 This does not assert that the Law did not exist from Adam to Moses, and therefore sin was not imputed. Sin was imputed, even to those who had not sinned against a known, codified commandment as had Adam. Further, Adam was a “figure” [type] of Christ in the sense that he stood as Representative Man. 136
     
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    EVERY HUMAN BEING IS IN ONE OF TWO COVENANTS

    Thus, every human being is included in one of two covenants: either in [union with] Adam or in [union with] Christ; either under the curse of the Law or redeemed from that curse through the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ; either under the reigning power of sin or freed from the reigning power of sin. Those who are unregenerate, unconverted and therefore yet in their sins, are under the curse of the Law, under its condemnation and utterly alienated from a righteous, just and holy God. Those who are resting in Christ by faith have been brought into union with Christ with all its covenant blessings: justification, reconciliation, forgiveness of sins; are positionally sanctified, definitively sanctified, being practically sanctified, and will inevitably be glorified.382

    379 The comparison is between “the many” in Adam and “the many” in Christ, i.e., those identified respectively with each—covenant language. 380 “Entered” (pareish/lqen), Lit: “came in alongside [the existing state of things]”. The Law is the Divine “straightedge” that reveals the crookedness [perversion] of sin. 381 The Law in its codified form “came in alongside” as a straightedge to reveal the perverseness of sin. 382 The pervasive argument of Romans 1–8 is that those who are justified by faith are also sanctified, and those who are justified and sanctified must inevitably be glorified. Paul under inspiration reasons from the context of the eternal, infallible, redemptive purpose. 137

    It is in the context of this eternal, redemptive purpose of God to fully and finally redeem those he has chosen to salvation in his free and sovereign grace that we must view the “Doctrines of Grace.” From the Scriptures they reveal a consistent and unified redemptive purpose from eternity that infallibly reaches from Divine foreordination to final glorification. To separate the redemptive purpose from its scriptural, covenant context is to fragment and isolate the various aspects of the redemptive purpose and distort the Scriptures.
    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Rom. 8:28–34)
     
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    the relation of the eternal redemptive purpose or “Covenant of Grace” to the “Doctrines of Grace”:

    • Salvation is not by chance but by Divine purpose. The redemptive purpose of God is both eternal and covenantal. To state this is to assert eternal and unconditional predestination.

    Salvation is by free and sovereign grace alone. There is no place for meritorious human ability (salvation by works, “free–will” or self–effort). Salvation cannot be synergistic [cooperation between man and God], but necessarily monergistic [the work of one, God alone].383

    • Saving grace is infallible or efficacious. It cannot be frustrated in its gracious and glorious design.

    • Salvation, as presented in the Scriptures, is particularistic, not universalistic—not everyone is included in the “Covenant of Grace”. God purposes, designs and effects the salvation of particular individuals, he does not approach mankind in a universal, general or indefinite sense. Divine election, the atonement and the working of efficacious grace are all particular in nature.

    • Because of the covenantal nature of the redemptive purpose, those who are the objects of saving grace are brought into vital union with the Lord Jesus Christ as surely as they were once in union with Adam. This union with Christ in his death and resurrection–life is spiritual, effectual, experiential and indissoluble. Thus, the elect are enabled to persevere unto the end.



    383 “Synergistic,” from su,n “together with,” and e;rgon, “work.” “Monergistic,” from mo,noj, “one,” and e;rgon, “work.” 138

    Such is the glorious nature of the eternal, redemptive purpose, or “Covenant of Grace:”

    “How vast the benefits divine, which we in Christ possess!

    We are redeemed from guilt and shame, and called to holiness.

    But not for works which we have done, Or shall hereafter do,

    Hath God decreed on sinful men salvation to bestow.

    The glory, Lord, from first to last, is due to thee alone;

    Aught to ourselves we dare not take, or rob thee of thy crown.

    Our glorious Surety undertook to satisfy for man,

    And grace was given us in him before the world began.

    This is thy will, that in thy love we ever should abide;

    That earth and hell should not prevail to turn thy word aside.

    Not one of all the chosen race but shall to heav’n attain,

    Partake on earth the purposed grace and then with Jesus reign.”

    —Augustus M. Toplady, 1774384



    II TOTAL DEPRAVITY OR HUMAN ABILITY

    “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…” Jeremiah 17:9

    The term “depravity” derives from the Latin de, “thoroughly, down to the bottom of, completely” and pravus, “crooked”. “Total depravity” denotes that every part of man’s personality or nature has been permeated by sin and negatively affected by the Fall. Total depravity is not absolute depravity, or the idea that man is as bad as he can be. The major issues concerned in total depravity are that (1) man is depraved by virtue of the inheritance of Adam’s sinful nature, and (2) that the will, as the free expression of the given nature, has been negatively affected by the Fall. Thus, man suffers from both total depravity and a spiritual, moral inability.

    THE SCRIPTURES

    And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Gen. 2:16–17)385

    And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Gen. 6:5)

    384 Trinity Hymnal, Baptist Edition, 1995. Hymn Number 95. 385 Although Adam did not die physically, he did die spiritually, i.e., he became depraved and unresponsive to spiritual realities—a spiritual “corpse.” 139

    Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (Psa. 51:5)386

    The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. (Psa. 58:3)387

    But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa. 64:6)388

    The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer. 17:9)

    For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mark 7:21–23)

    What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Rom. 3:9–12)

    NOTE: “under sin” v. 9. (u`fV a`marti,an ei=nai), emph. pos. Sin is here portrayed as a reigning power that holds complete sway over unregenerate mankind. The following verses are simply an amplification of this truth in its expression. Cf. Rom. 6 for sin personified [by the def. art.] as a reigning monarch that holds absolute sway over its kingdom. The awfulness, enormity and pervasiveness of sin may be seen from the following:
     
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    391 zhtei/n to.n qeo,n( eiv a;ra ge yhlafh,seian auvto.n kai. eu[roien( kai, ge ouv makra.n avpo. e`no.j e`ka,stou h`mw/n u`pa,rcontaÅ evn auvtw/| ga.r zw/men kai. kinou,meqa kai. evsme,n... The witness of God in history and providence, especially as seen in the rise and fall of succeeding civilizations should be clearly noted by anyone acquainted with history and cause that person to seek out God.

    Although God is imminent in creation, history and providence, the unregenerate mind can only blindly grope after him. Such are the noetic effects of sin upon the unregenerate thought–process. 392 VApokalu,ptetai ga.r ovrgh. qeou/ avpV ouvranou/ (perf., emph. pos.), “stands revealed” much stronger than the simple pres. tense. “Hold” (katecovntwn), pres. ptc., “...are constantly or habitually holding down [suppressing]...” Unregenerate individuals constantly seek to suppress the truth by their sinfulness. “Without excuse,” (avnapologh,touj), without a defense, or apologetic. The witness of the created universe is so great as to leave men without a defense before God as to their accountability to perceive his eternal power and Godhead. ...gno,ntej to.n qeo.n ouvc w`j qeo.n evdo,xasan... “...having known God, not as God [emph. pos.] did they glorify Him...” This has great epistemological implications. Not to glorify God as he is marks a departure from truth and is the first step in apostasy. 393 avllV evmataiw,qhsan evn toi/j dialogismoi/j auvtw/n... Lit: “became futile in their reasonings...” When man turned from God, he turned from all possibility of knowing reality and truth. He became epistemologically bankrupt. kai. evskoti,sqh h` avsu,netoj auvtw/n kardi,aÅ “...darkened became their incapacitated heart...” avsu,netoj denotes the inability to put things together (from su,n, together with, and I]hmi, to put or place). In the fall, man lost the ability to grasp reality and truth inclusively, and became both fragmented and darkened [disoriented] in his thinking fa,skontej ei=nai sofoi. evmwra,nqhsan... “In the very process of professing themselves [pres. ptc.] to be wise, they became fools [aor.].” The term “fools” connotes the idea of insipid, mentally deficient. 142

    inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Rom. 1:18–32)394

    For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23)395

    Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. (Rom. 5:12)396

    But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. (Rom. 6:17–18)397

    For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. (Rom. 6:20)398

    Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (Rom. 8:7–8)399

    394 This passage describes the horrible ethical, intellectual, spiritual, moral and social history of mankind abandoned by God to its own sinful tendencies and passions. This has great epistemological implications Kai. kaqw.j ouvk evdoki,masan to.n qeo.n e;cein evn evpignw,sei( pare,dwken auvtou.j o` qeo.j eivj avdo,kimon nou/n, The terms (evdoki,masan... avdo,kimon) connote “disapproved” [after testing, rejected] or “reprobated” [Latin]. “being filled” is to be construed with each of the following: “all [kinds or forms of] unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness...” “Full of” is to be construed with each of the following: [being filled to the point of overflowing or bursting with] “envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity...” oi{tine" toV dikaivwma tou' qeou' ejpignovnte". They are such ones who [rel. pron., stressing character] as the judgment of God [emph. pos.] fully comprehending...” evpignw,sij denotes full or adequate knowledge. They are fully aware of Divine judgment upon their actions. 395 pa,ntej ga.r h[marton kai. u`sterou/ntai th/j do,xhj tou/ qeou/, “For all sinned [aor., sinned in Adam], and are continually coming short [pres., denoting continuous action] of the glory of God.” 396 “...all have sinned.” (pa,ntej h[marton). The aor. tense signifies an event, “all sinned [in Adam].” This refers to original sin, not subsequent or personal sins. 397 (u`phkou,sate de. evk kardi,aj eivj o]n paredo,qhte tu,pon didach/j) Lit: “...[that] to which you were handed over [emph. pos.] pattern of teaching...” Believers have been pressed—reshaped, conformed to, molded—into the Gospel pattern by the grace of God. They have become “willing bondslaves to righteousness.” 398 Unbelievers have never been free from the claims of righteousness. The idea is rather one of “disengaged.” Righteousness had no power to engage them, i.e., to motivate or empower them. 399 to. fro,nhma th/j sarko.j, emph. the content or process of thought. e;cqra eivj [enmity, hatred] qeo,n( tw/| ga.r no,mw| tou/ qeou/ ouvc u`pota,ssetai( ouvde. ga.r du,natai.\The unregenerate mind has a hatred for God and does not possess the dynamic or power (ouvde….du,natai) to submit to Divine truth. 143

    But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor. 2:14)400

    And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved.) (Eph. 2:1–5)401

    This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (Eph. 4:17–19)402

    And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses. (Col. 2:13)

    4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

    5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

    The reason given here is “the blindness of their own hearts”—a willful, culpable blindness. Man does not know God; man does not want to know God. 144
     
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    COVENANT THEOLOGY OR THE ETERNAL REDEMPTIVE PURPOSE


    …that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” John 17:2

    INTRODUCTION

    A proper understanding of the eternal redemptive purpose or “Covenant of Grace”is necessary before approaching the “Doctrines of Grace” in a consistent way.

    God has always dealt with man within a covenant relationship—from a principle of representation and imputation—and not merely on a personal basis.
    This was and is the Divine prerogative by right of both creation and redemption. Human beings have no say in this matter or right to complain against it as mere creatures of God (Rom. 9:19–24).369 Man was created to live in a covenant relationship with God (Gen. 1:27–28; 2:16–17; Jn. 17:1–2; Rom. 8:28–31; Eph. 1:3–14). There have been two covenants that determine the state of man before God—what are commonly called the covenant of works and the covenant of grace.

    THE COVENANT OF WORKS

    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Gen. 1:27–28)

    And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Gen. 2:16–17)

    There are two diverse approaches to Covenant Theology—Reformed tradition and the historic Baptist view. The great distinction between Reformed tradition and the historic Baptist position is that the Baptists have held that there are elements of diversity within the various covenants, while Reformed tradition has held that the Abrahamic covenant is identical with the “Covenant of Grace”

    . Reformed tradition, denying the diversity and straining the unity of the covenant makes no distinction between the promises made to Abraham personally and then to Abraham and his physical descendants concerning their nation and land, and then the spiritual promises made to Abraham concerning his spiritual seed and children.
    This “Reformed” approach was first put forth by Zwingli and Bullinger in their disputes with the Anabaptists, and was necessary to “prove” that circumcision was fulfilled in infant sprinkling.


    The truth is that God in free and sovereign grace chose one man, Abraham, and in Abraham, a nation, and in that nation, his Elect, his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the true and singular “Seed of Abraham,” and in him, all believers (Acts 7:2–3; Gen. 12:1–3; 17:1–7; Jn. 8:31–56; Rom. 2:28–29; 4:9–17; 9:6–30; Gal. 3:6–16; 4:4–5).

    The Scriptures further draw a distinction between national or physical Israel—the “seed of Abraham” (spe, rma v'Abraa, m), i.e., the Jews, and the “children of Abraham” (te,kna v'Abraa, m), i.e., believers from among both Jews and Gentiles. 369 The Scripture carefully maintains the Creator–creature relation. The Creator is absolute, sovereign and self–determining; the creature has no right to question the Creator (Rom. 9:20–21)

    The covenant of works was made with Adam. Adam stood before God not merely as an individual, but as representative Man [the federal head of the human race]. When Adam apostatized from God by disobedience to that covenant and fell, the entire human race fell in him and were constituted sinners in and by his transgression (i.e., the imputation of [Adam’s] original sin and its necessary


    Failure to deal with the doctrines of grace by seeing the Covenant. nature of salvation as taught in the above portion is where 80% of the error comes in.
    Without the scriptures pointing the way,carnal philosophy, speculations, and failed theological ideas are offered as a poor substitute for the once for all time faith offered to the saints.
    God expects us to know the truth,go into all the world as ambassadors heralding His truth.
    We are not to offer doubt, and failed speculations.
     
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  14. Barry Johnson

    Barry Johnson Well-Known Member

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    " Calvin ....
     
  15. Barry Johnson

    Barry Johnson Well-Known Member

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    presupposition apologetics. Atheists love the philosophy of this one .
     
  16. Barry Johnson

    Barry Johnson Well-Known Member

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    What's wrong with just the bible alone?
     
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  17. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    "Barry Johnson,

     
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  18. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Amen.
     
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  19. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    While the scriptures are the greatest gift given to mankind, God saw fit to equip saints with faithful teaching and preaching of that word.


    11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

    12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

    13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

    14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

    15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

    False teachers come alongside the true, but they divert from scripture to philosophy.
    The Eunuch requested help, and Philip did not tell him, forget it, you are own your own.
    people who resist truth are truth suppressors.
    This was posted earlier in the thread, perhaps you missed it-
    Although God is imminent in creation, history and providence, the unregenerate mind can only blindly grope after him. Such are the noetic effects of sin upon the unregenerate thought–process.


    VApokalu,ptetai ga.r ovrgh. qeou/ avpV ouvranou/ (perf., emph. pos.),

    “stands revealed” much stronger than the simple pres. tense. “Hold” (katecovntwn), pres. ptc., “...are constantly or habitually holding down [suppressing]...” Unregenerate individuals constantly seek to suppress the truth by their sinfulness. “Without excuse,” (avnapologh,touj), without a defense, or apologetic.


    The witness of the created universe is so great as to leave men without a defense before God as to their accountability to perceive his eternal power and Godhead. ...gno,ntej to.n qeo.n ouvc w`j qeo.n evdo,xasan... “...having known God, not as God [emph. pos.] did they glorify Him...” This has great epistemological implications.

    Not to glorify God as he is marks a departure from truth and is the first step in apostasy.

    avllV evmataiw,qhsan evn toi/j dialogismoi/j auvtw/n...

    Lit: “became futile in their reasonings...” When man turned from God, he turned from all possibility of knowing reality and truth. He became epistemologically bankrupt. kai. evskoti,sqh h` avsu,netoj auvtw/n kardi,aÅ “...darkened became their incapacitated heart...” avsu,netoj denotes the inability to put things together (from su,n, together with, and I]hmi, to put or place).


    in the fall, man lost the ability to grasp reality and truth inclusively, and became both fragmented and darkened [disoriented] in his thinking fa,skontej ei=nai sofoi. evmwra,nqhsan... “In the very process of professing themselves [pres. ptc.] to be wise, they became fools [aor.].” The term “fools” connotes the idea of insipid, mentally deficient. 142

    inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Rom. 1:18–32)394
     
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  20. Barry Johnson

    Barry Johnson Well-Known Member

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    The examples we see in the bible actually use the bible . Look at the examples given in the bible . Calvinsm is like those faulty instructions you get for flat packing sometimes . One or two bits might correlate, but the majority is foreign to the thing your trying to build .Look how much ' apparent ' theology you have written, with barely any scripture. Good teachers let the scriptures stand as they are . They teach and encourage how to read and love their own discovery of the Bible.
     
    #20 Barry Johnson, Nov 21, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
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