The Covenants-Chapter 4b-The Covenant of Redemption

To the actual existence of the covenant of redemption, called by most writers the covenant of grace, the word of God bears, in every part, the amplest testimony.

The character of a “Surety,” for example, given to the Saviour in the divine oracles, necessarily involves the covenant, since the least that can be said of that relation, is that he who bears it, is constituted the representative of others, and thereby comes under an engagement to fulfill certain obligations in their name, and for their benefit. And when about to offer up his own life upon the cross, he said, “Lo I come to do thy will, O God.” But how could this fearful sacrifice have been known to be the will of God, had he not previously so declared it? The prophets abound in declarations affirmative of the covenant of redemption. To Messiah the Father said, “I the Lord have called thee,” “and will give thee for a covenant of the people; for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes; to bring out the prisoners from the prison; and them that sit in darkness from the prison house.” And again, “Thus saith the Lord,” “I will give thee for a covenant of the people.” But more fully, he says of him:- “If his soul” – (I follow the version of Lowth) – “shall be a propitiary sacrifice, he shall prolong their days, and the gracious purpose of Jehovah shall prosper in his hands. Of the travail of his soul he shall see” [the fruit] – “and be satisfied. By the knowledge of him, shall my servant justify many, for the punishment of their iniquities shall he bear. Therefore will I distribute to him the many for his portion; and the mighty people shall he share for his spoil, because he hath poured out his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sins of many; and he made intercession for the transgressors.” The last of the prophets, announcing his coming, says:- “The Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple; even the Messenger of the covenant whom ye delight in; behold he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.” From these and similar texts you learn, that by the gracious act of the Father, Christ the Son was constituted the Surety of his people; that when “he gave himself for us,” it was according to the previously declared will of God; and that he was called to this work by the Father, who, for our redemption, made his soul an offering for sin. Did all this occur without any previous consent or agreement? Who then can question the reality of the covenant of redemption?

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants

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Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 191

TO YOUNG PEOPLE

GRAND HOTEL, MENTONE. Dec. 23, ‘83.

DEAR CHILDREN,—

It pleases me to think of you all as full of glee and gladness to-day. Let us thank God for providing the Orphanage and then for giving us kind friends who think of our daily wants, and then again for finding another set of friends to make us merry on Christmas Day. You see the Lord not only sends us our daily bread, but something over. Let us together bless the Great Father’s name. I do not know how you can thank Him better than by becoming His own dear children, through believing in His Son Jesus. I hope every boy and girl will be found believing in Jesus, loving Jesus, and serving Jesus.

I am just a thousand miles away from you, but my love gets to you by one great leap. It is a little after seven on Sabbath morning, the sun is just up, and the sea is like melted silver. There are such sweet roses in my room, and just outside the window there are oranges and l mons. Don’t envy me, for I know the oranges are sour, and those which you will have to-day will be much better. Do not forget three cheers for Mr. Duncan. I shall listen between 1 and 2 on Tuesday, and if I hear your voices I shall just ride on the moon to you, and drop down from the ceiling. That is a great big if!

Be very happy and very kind to one another. Do not give the dear matrons and masters any trouble at any time. Obey immediately all Mr. Charlesworth’s rules, and make him happy, and then perhaps he will get quite stout.

God bless you, my dear girls and boys. Three cheers for the Trustees. No more, except my best love,

From

C. H. SPURGEON.

The Wednesday Word: Is it Enough to be Created for Him? Part 2

Colossians 1:16

“…all things were created by him, and for him:”

We have been created for Jesus. To absorb ourselves in our self-absorbed plans and dreams is to miss out on our purpose. Oh indeed, men may applaud us, but Heaven’s endorsement will be noticeable only by its absence.

Last time we demonstrated this truth in the story of Jonah. To further illustrate this point, let your mind go back to 1 Kings 17. The Lord had sent Elijah into hiding from wicked King Ahab. But, how would he survive in the wilderness? So, the Lord said to Elijah (and I paraphrase) “Don’t worry a thing about it, I have commanded the ravens to come and feed you.”

This is startling!

Why?

Because the most stingy and greedy birds in the world are ravens. They would rather plunder and pillage than share with anyone. But the Lord spoke to them and they obeyed. It’s as if they said, “Lord we were created by you and we are created for you.”

Then, consider Jesus on the day He entered into Jerusalem (Luke 19). He dispatched the disciples to bring him a little, unbroken donkey. Furthermore, He instructed them to respond to anyone who gave challenge to their right to take the donkey, “The Lord has need of him”. Imagine going up to a stranger’s house and taking a car without permission. But this is the equivalent of what they did and yes, they were challenged as to what they were doing but when they replied, ‘the Lord has need of him’ everything changed. “Oh, the Lord has need of him…that makes everything alright.” It’s as if they said of the donkey, “He was created by the Lord and He is created for the Lord.”

And then remember when Jesus was entering Jerusalem on that donkey. The crowd was calling out their praises but there were those who wanted Jesus to silence them. The Lord’s reply was and is significant. He said that if the crowd refused to praise him the very stones would cry out. It’s as if He said, “These stones were created by me and they are created for me.”

Are you getting the point? All of nature gets it! The wind, the fish, the Ravens, the owners of the donkey and the inanimate stones all get it. They know that all has been created for Him. Have we grasped this yet? We are not independent of Him, we are not some untouched island.

We are created for Him.

We are here to glorify Him.

Let’s quickly take a trip to Heaven and listen in to what they are doing there. Peek in and see the 24 elders before the throne. Listen to what they are saying to Jesus. Their mantra is, “Thou art worthy to receive glory honour and power for thou hast created all things and for thy pleasure they were and are created”

He has created us for Himself and for His pleasure. So, is Jesus enough? Is building your life on Him enough? Perhaps you are saying, “I believe that I am created for Him but how do I put legs on this? How do I start living for Him in all things?”

There’s no law, no 7 steps to take. However, the words of a children’s Hymn are very helpful to answer this question. While not exhaustive, the insight it furnishes is very helpful; it says;

“O what can little hands do

To please the King of Heav’n?

The little hands some work may try

That will some simple need supply:

Such grace to mine be given,

O what can little lips do

To please the King of Heav’n?;

The little lips can praise and pray,

And gentle words of kindness say:

Such grace to mine be given,

O what can little eyes do

To please the King of Heav’n?

The little eyes can upward look,

Can learn to read God’s Holy Book:

Such grace to mine be given,

O what can little hearts do

To please the King of Heav’n?

Young hearts, if he his Spirit send,

Can love their Maker, Saviour, Friend:

Such grace to mine be given.”

As we purpose to set our life apart to the glory of God, He will lead us to the steps He has prepared. We have been created for Him!

Jesus is enough.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Chapter XI-Unconditional Election-5-Reprobation

The Reformed Doctrine Of Predestination

Chapter XI

Unconditional Election

5. REPROBATION

Statement — Comments by Calvin, Luther, and Warfield — Proof from Scripture — Based on the Doctrine of Original Sin — No Injustice is Done to the Non-Elect — State of the Heathens — Purposes of the Decree of Reprobation — Arminians Center Attack on this Doctrine — Under no Obligation to Explain all These Things.

The doctrine of absolute Predestination of course logically holds that some are foreordained to death as truly as others are foreordained to life. The very terms “elect” and “election” imply the terms “non-elect” and “reprobation.” When some are chosen out others are left not chosen. The high privileges and glorious destiny of the former are not shared with the latter. This, too, is of God. We believe that from all eternity God has intended to leave some of Adam’s posterity in their sins, and that the decisive factor in the life of each is to be found only in God’s will. As Mozley has said, the whole race after the fall was “one mass of perdition,” and “it pleased God of His sovereign mercy to rescue some and to leave others where they were; to raise some to glory, giving them such grace as necessarily qualified them for it, and abandon the rest, from whom He withheld such grace, to eternal punishment.”12

The chief difficulty with the doctrine of Election of course arises in regard to the unsaved; and the Scriptures have given us no extended explanation of their state. Since the mission of Jesus in the world was to save the world rather than to judge it, this side of the matter is less dwelt upon.

In all of the Reformed creeds in which the doctrine of Reprobation is dealt with at all it is treated as an essential part of the doctrine of Predestination. The Westminster Confession, after stating the doctrine of election, adds: “The rest of mankind, God was pleased, according to the inscrutable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy as He pleaseth, for the glory of His sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by, and to ordain them to dishonor and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice.”13

Those who hold the doctrine of Election but deny that of Reprobation can lay but little claim to consistency. To affirm the former while denying the latter makes the decree of predestination an illogical and lop-sided decree. The creed which states the former but denies the latter will resemble a wounded eagle attempting to fly with but one wing. In the interests of a “mild Calvinism” some have been inclined to give up the doctrine of Reprobation, and this term (in itself a very innocent term) has been the entering wedge for harmful attacks upon Calvinism pure and simple. “Mild Calvinism” is synonymous with sickly Calvinism, and sickness, if not cured, is the beginning of the end.

1 Ch. III, sections III-VII.

2 Institutes, Book III, Ch. XXI, sec. I.

3 Pamphlet, Election, p. 10.

4 Warfield, Biblical Doctrines, p. 50.

5 Cunningham, Historical Theology, II, p. 398.

6 Historical Theology, II, p. 467.

7 Theology, p. 230.

8 Quoted by Ness, Antidote Against Arminianism, p. 34.

9 Ch. III:2: XVI:2, 3.

10 Warfield, Biblical Doctrines, art. Predestination, p. 63.

11 Ness, Antidote Against Arminianism, p. 31.

12 The Augustinian Doctrine of Predestination, p. 297.

13 Ch. III: Sec. 7.

Loraine Boettner- The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination

In Genesis 15:6, we find the earliest mention of three of the most important words which are used in connection with the sinner’s salvation

In Genesis 15:6, we find the earliest mention of three of the most important words which are used in connection with the sinner’s salvation, and most significant and blessed is it to see them here joined together. “And he [Abraham] believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness.” What a remarkable anticipation was this of the fuller unfolding of the Gospel which is to be found in the Prophets and the New Testament! It records the response made by “the father of all them that believe” (Romans 4:11) to the amazing promise which Jehovah made to him: that, despite his being so old (almost one hundred years), he should not only beget a son, but ultimately have an innumerable seed, and that from the same should spring the Messiah. As Romans 4:19, 20, states,

he considered not his body now dead… he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.”

First, here we have the simplest definition of faith to be found in the Bible: “he believed in the Lord.” More literally, “he amened Jehovah”: that is to say, his heart gave the answering assurance “it shall be so.” In other words, by implicitly receiving the Divine testimony, he “set to his seal that God is true” (John 3:33). He realized that it was the word of Him “that cannot lie.”

Second, we here learn what was God’s gracious response to that childlike confidence which so honored Him: “He counted it to him for righteousness.” The word “counted” means accounted or placed to his credit; the same Hebrew word being translated “imputeth”’ Psalm 32:2: “Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity”— charges it not against him. It is not the act of Abraham’s faith which is here referred to, but the glorious Object to which it looked, namely, his promised Seed and Son—his Savior.

Third, we are here taught how a believing sinner is legally constituted just before God. By nature he has no righteousness of his own, for so long as he be without Christ, his best performances are but as filthy rags in the sight of Divine holiness. Not only was Abraham destitute of righteousness, but he obtained it not by any efforts of his own: his faith was the sole means or instrument which linked him to a righteousness outside of himself. After citing his case, the apostle went on to say,

Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works” (Romans 4:6),

for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness” (Romans 10:10).

Since the above treats of such a vital aspect of the Truth, we will link with it and consider briefly Deuteronomy 25:1.

“If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.”

That is the first occurrence of this important word, and its setting more than hints at its meaning.

First, justification is entirely a judicial matter, being the sentence of pronouncement of the Judge of all the earth.

Second, it is the opposite of condemnation, and when one is condemned in the law courts he is not made wicked, but adjudged guilty.

Third, he is regarded as “righteous,” that is the Law has nothing against him—because in the believer’s case all its requirements have been fully met by his Surety.

We may also consider in this connection, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever” (Exodus 14:13). How deeply significant is that first mention of “salvation,” containing as it does all the prime elements of our spiritual deliverance. It was the Lord’s salvation, in which they had no part or hand, yea, they had to cease from all activity in order to see the same. It consisted of a miraculous deliverance from death. It was a present thing, which they experienced that day. It was complete and eternal, for they would see their enemies again “no more for ever.”

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

The most common meaning of the word is that which we have here: “I will send you another Comforter”

Before I discourse of the Holy Ghost as the Comforter, I must make one or two remarks on the different translations of the word rendered “Comforter.” The Flemish translation, which you are aware is adopted by Roman Catholics, has left the word untranslated, and gives it “Paraclete.” “But the Paraclete which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.” This is the original Greek word, and it has some other meanings besides “Comforter.” Sometimes it means the monitor or instructor: “I will send you another monitor, another teacher.” Frequently it means “Advocate;” but the most common meaning of the word is that which we have here: “I will send you another Comforter.” However, we cannot pass over those other two interpretations without saying something upon them.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “The Comforter,” A Sermon Delivered on Sabbath Evening, January 21, 1855

The Covenants-Chapter 4a-The Covenant of Redemption

4. THE COVENANT OF REDEMPTION.

Testimonies of its existence; period of its formation; purposes it contemplated; parties to the covenant; its promises.

The divine declaration, and appointment contained in the covenant of Eden, and which we considered in the last chapter, could unquestionably never have been made, had not God entertained towards men previous purposes of mercy. That when these purposes were formed, no sin had been committed by them, detracts from this proposition nothing of its force, or importance. It was, we must remember, the act of him who said, “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning; from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” It was impossible in the nature of things, that he should not foresee the defection, and fall of our race. All the events which mark the history of the universe, were necessarily before the omniscient mind, ere the existence of our world. Jehovah beheld and pitied our miseries, and moved by infinite grace, he determined to provide the means for our deliverance and salvation. This he was pleased to do in the covenant of redemption, now to be considered.

R. B. C. Howell- The Covenants