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Posts Tagged ‘Abrahamic Covenant’

There was a specific place where God was to be worshiped

PinkAs I pointed out many years ago in my Gleanings in Genesis, the contents of Genesis 4, though exceedingly terse, intimate that from the time of Adam onward, there was a specific place where God was to be worshiped. When we are told in verses 3 and 4 that Cain and Abel “brought an offering unto the Lord,” the implication is clear that they came to some particular location of His appointing. When we read that Abel brought “the firstling of his flock and the fat thereof,” we cannot escape the conclusion that there was an altar where the victim must be offered and upon which its fat must be burned. These necessary inferences receive clear corroboration in the words of verse 16, “And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord,” which can hardly mean less than that he was formally prohibited from the place where the presence of Jehovah was symbolically manifest. That place of worship appears to have been located at the east of the Garden of Eden.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

In one respect the world seemed to have suffered material loss by the visitation of the deluge

Arthur Pink“In one respect the world seemed to have suffered material loss by the visitation of the deluge. Along with the agents and instruments of evil there had also been swept away by it the emblems of grace and hope—paradise with its tree of life and its cherubim of glory. We can conceive Noah and his household, when they first left the ark, looking around with melancholy feelings on the position they now occupied, not only as being the sole survivors of a numerous offspring, but also as being themselves bereft of the sacred memorials which bore evidence of a happy past, and exhibited the pledge of a yet happier future. An important link of communion with Heaven, it might well have seemed, was broken by the change thus brought through the deluge on the world” (P. Fairbairn).

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

The longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah

Arthur Pink“The longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing” (1 Pet. 3:20), and “space” was granted the ungodly to turn from their wickedness. Enoch prophesied, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly committed, and of their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 14, 15). Noah too was “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Pet. 2:5), and therefore must have warned his hearers that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18). But it was all to no avail: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Eccl. 8:11). The evil continued to increase, till the divine patience was thoroughly exhausted. The threatened punishment came, the ungodly were swept from the earth, and the first great period in the world’s history closed in judgment.

The facts briefly stated above require to be carefully kept in mind, for they throw not a little light upon the covenant which the Lord God made with Noah. They explain the reason for the transaction itself, and impart at least some aid toward a right conception of the particular form it took. The background of that covenant was divine judgment: drastic, unsparing, effectual. Every individual of the ungodly race perished: the great Deluge completely relieved the earth of their presence and crimes. In due time the water subsided, and Noah and his family came from their place of refuge to people the earth afresh. It is scarcely possible for us to form any adequate conception of the feelings of Noah on this occasion. The terrible and destructive visitation, in which the hand of God was so manifest, must have given him an impression of the exceeding sinfulness of sin and of the ineffable holiness and righteousness of God such as he had not previously entertained.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

Noah is the connecting link between “the world that then was, and the earth which now is

Arthur Pink

I.

Noah is the connecting link between “the world that then was,” which “being overflowed with water, perished,” and the earth which now is “reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Pet. 3:6, 7). He lived upon both, was preserved from the awful judgment which swallowed up the former, and given dominion over the latter in its pristine state. A period of sixteen centuries intervened between the covenant of works which God entered into with Adam and the covenant of grace which He made with Noah. So far as Scripture informs us, no other covenant was instituted by the Lord during that interval. There were divine revelations, divine promises and precepts—in fact, the antediluvians enjoyed very much more light from heaven than they are commonly credited with. But during those early centuries, where grace abounded, sin did much more abound, until “God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth” (Gen. 6:12).

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Three-The Noahic Covenant

It only remains for us now to point out wherein the Adamic covenant adumbrated the everlasting covenant

Arthur PinkIt only remains for us now to point out wherein the Adamic covenant adumbrated the everlasting covenant. While it be true that the covenant of works and the covenant of grace are diametrically opposed in their character—the one being based upon the principle of do and live, the other on live and do—yet there are some striking points of agreement between them.

That engagement which the Father entered into with the Mediator before the foundation of the world was foreshadowed in Eden in the following respects.

1. Adam, the one with whom the covenant was made, entered this world in a manner that none other ever did. Without being begotten by a human father, he was miraculously produced by God; so with Christ.

2. None but Adam of the human family entered this world with a pure constitution and holy nature; so was it with Christ.

3. His wife was taken out of him, so that he could say, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Gen. 2:23); of Christ’s bride it is declared, “We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Eph. 5:30).

4. Adam voluntarily took his place alongside of his fallen wife. He was not deceived (1 Tim. 2:14), but had such a love for Eve that he could not see her perish alone; just so Christ voluntarily took on Himself the sins of His people (cf. Eph. 5:25).

5. In consequence of this, Adam fell beneath the curse of God; in like manner Christ bore the curse of God (cf. Gal. 3:13).

6. The father of the human family was their federal head; so is Christ, the “last Adam,” the federal head of His people.

7. What Adam did is imputed to the account of all those whom he represented; the same is true of Christ. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19).

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

In what sense is the covenant of works abrogated?

Arthur PinkIn what sense is the covenant of works abrogated? and in what sense is it still in force? We cannot do better than subjoin the answers of one of the ablest theologians of the last century. “This Covenant having been broken by Adam, not one of his natural descendants is ever able to fulfil its conditions, and Christ having fulfilled all of its conditions in behalf of all His own people, salvation is offered now on the condition of faith. In this sense the Covenant of Works having been fulfilled by the second Adam is henceforth abrogated under the Gospel.

Nevertheless, since it is founded upon the principles of immutable justice, it still binds all men who have not fled to the refuge offered in the righteousness of Christ. It is still true that ‘he that doeth these things shall live by them,’ and ‘the soul that sinneth it shall die.’ This law in this sense remains, and in consequence of the unrighteousness of men condemns them, and in consequence of their absolute inability to fulfil it, it acts as a schoolmaster to bring them to Christ. For he having fulfilled alike its condition wherein Adam failed, and its penalty which Adam incurred, He has become the end of this covenant for righteousness to every one that believeth, who in Him is regarded and treated as having fulfilled the covenant, and merited its promised reward” (A. A. Hodge).

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

The very fact that we go on breaking the covenant of works and disobeying the law of God, shows our oneness with Adam under that covenant

Arthur PinkThe very fact that we go on breaking the covenant of works and disobeying the law of God, shows our oneness with Adam under that covenant. Let that fact be duly weighed by those who are inclined to be captious. Our complicity with Adam in his rebellion is evidenced every time we sin against God. Instead of challenging the justice which has charged to our account the guilt of the first human transgression, let us seek grace to repudiate Adam’s example, standing out in opposition to his insubordination by gladly taking upon us the easy yoke of God’s commandments. Finally, let it again be pointed out that if we were ruined by another, Christians are redeemed by Another. By the principle of representation we were lost, and by the same principle of representation—Christ transacting for us as our surety and sponsor—we are saved.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

The federal constitution which was given to Adam, was of divine appointment

The simplest and most satisfactory way of reconciling with human reason the federal constitution which was given to Adam, is to recognize it was of divine appointment. God cannot do what is wrong. It must therefore have been right. The principle of representation is inseparable from the very constitution of human society. The father is the legal representative of his children during their minority, so that what he does binds his family. The political heads of a nation represent the people, so that their declarations of war or treaties of peace bind the whole commonwealth. This principle is so fundamental that it cannot be set aside: human affairs could not move nor society exist without it. Founded in man’s nature by the wisdom of God, we are compelled to recognize it; and being of His appointment we dare not call into question its rightness. If it was unjust for God to impute to us Adam’s guilt, it must equally have been so to impart to us his depravity; but seeing God has righteously done the latter, we must vindicate Him for doing the former.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

Of necessity the creature is subject to the Creator, and his loyalty and fealty must be put to the proof

Arthur PinkOf necessity the creature is subject to the Creator, and his loyalty and fealty must be put to the proof. In the nature of the case only two alternatives were possible: the human family must either be placed on probation in the person of a responsible and suitable head and representative, or each individual member must enter upon his probation for himself. Once again we quote the words of Bishop: The race must have either stood in a full-grown man, with a full-orbed intellect, or stood as babies, each entering his probation in the twilight of self-consciousness, each deciding his destiny before his eyes were half-opened to what it all meant. How much better would that have been? How much more just? But could it not have been some other way? There was no other way. It was either the baby or it was the perfect, well-equipped, all-calculating man—the man who saw and comprehended everything. That man was Adam.”

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

We do not mean the human race is now suffering for something in which they had no part

Arthur PinkIn saying that the guilt of Adam’s offense is imputed to all his posterity, we do not mean the human race is now suffering for something in which they had no part, that innocent creatures are being condemned for the act of another which cannot rightly be laid to their account. Let it be clearly understood that God punishes none for Adam’s personal sin, but only for his own sin in Adam. The whole human race had a federal standing in Adam. Not only was each of us seminally in his loins the day God created him, but each of us was legally represented by him when God instituted the covenant of works. Adam acted and transacted in that covenant not merely as a private being, but as a public person; not simply as a single individual, but as the surety and sponsor of his race. Nor is it lawful for us to call into question the meetness of that arrangement: all God’s works are perfect, all His ways are ordered by infinite wisdom and righteousness.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant