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Posts Tagged ‘Covenant of Works’

But,” says one, “how am I to know whether I am elect?

“But,” says one, “how am I to know whether I am elect?” Beloved, thou canst not know it by any outward profession. Thou mayest be of any church in the world, or of no church, and yet be one of God’s elect. Nor canst thou know it even by the sentiments which thou receivest as being true, for thou mayest know truth, and vet not have truth in thy soul; thou mayest be orthodox in thy head, and heterodox in thy heart; thou mayest believe everything, and yet be cast away at last. The only way whereby thou canst judge thyself is this: dost thou fear the Lord? Dost thou reverence his name and his Sabbath? Hast thou trembled at his Word? Hast thou cast away thy self-righteousness at his command? And hast thou come to him, and taken Christ to be thine All-in-all? I do not ask thee whether thou fearest hell; many fear hell who fear not God. Dost thou fear to offend a loving Father? Dost thou fear lest thou shouldst go astray from God’s commandments? Dost thou cry to him, —

Savior, keep me lost I wander?”

Dost thou ask him to preserve thee? And canst thou honestly say that, if thou couldst be perfect, thou wouldst be; that thou desirest to be freed from sin’ that thou hatest every false way? And is it thy dally groaning to be set free from guilt, and to be wholly surrendered to the Crucified? Lastly, canst thou say this after me, —

A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,

On Christ’s kind arms I fall:

He is my strength and righteousness,

My Jesus and my all?”

Then you are elect; then you are justified; then you are accepted; and you have no more reason to doubt your acceptance and your election than you will have when you stand before the throne of God, amid the blazing lustre of eternal glory. You are elect; and you always were elect. God hath chosen you; your fearing him is the evidence of it; and your believing in Christ, without any righteousness of your own, is a proof positive that you were chosen of God before the foundation of the world.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Covenant Blessings”- On a Thursday Evening in the summer of 1858, delivered at New Park street Chapel, Southwark, intended for reading on the Lord’s Day, July 1st, 1900, another sermon on this subject is sermon 3261 called “The Covenant”

 

As a responsible being, as a moral agent, as one who was endowed with free will, Adam had necessarily to be placed on probation

In the third place, as a responsible being, as a moral agent, as one who was endowed with free will, Adam had necessarily to be placed on probation, submitted to a real test of his fealty unto God, before he was confirmed, or given an abiding standing in his creature perfections. Because Adam was a creature, mutable and fallible, he was entirely dependent upon his creator; and therefore he must be put on trial to show whether or no he would assert his independency, which would be open revolt against his maker and the repudiation of his creaturehood. Every creature must necessarily come under the moral government of God, and for free agents that necessarily implies and involves two possible alternatives—subjection or insubordination. The absolute dominion of God over the creature and the complete dependence and subjection of the creature to God, holds good in every part of the universe and throughout all ages. The inherent poison in every error and evil is the rejection of God’s dominion and of man’s dependence upon his maker, or the assertion of his independency.

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

 

Sir, how can I know that I am elect?

III. Now I close by noticing THE CHARACTER OF THE PERSONS HERE REFERRED TO: “them that fear him.” Those who fear the Lord are in the covenant of his grace.

The anxious enquirer or the young convert oftentimes says to the minister, “Sir, how can I know that I am elect?” And the usual answer is, “You have nothing to do with that; you may think of that matter by-and-by.” Begging the gentleman’s pardon, that is not true. A sinner has everything to do with it. Instead of having nothing to do with election, he has everything in the world to do with it. But it is said that he need not trouble his mind about it. Perhaps he should not; but he will, and it is no source of comfort to tell him that he ought not. If I have a toothache, it is poor comfort for a physician to tell me that I ought not to have it. So, when a sinner is troubled about the doctrine of election, it is poor comfort to tell him he ought not to be troubled. The best way is to go fairly through the whole question, and say to him, “Do you fear the Lord? Then, so sure as you are a living man, you are elect. You have the fear of the Lord before your eyes; then you need have no doubt but that your name is in the covenant.” None have feared the Lord who were not first loved by the Lord. Never did one come, and cast himself at the feet of Jesus simply because he feared the penalty of sin; and none ever came to embrace the loving skirts of the Redeemer because he feared lest he should go astray, without having been first called, and chosen, and made faithful. No, the fear of God in the heart is the proof of being God’s elect one. If we fear him, we may believe that he will ever give meat unto us, and that he will always keep his covenant towards us which he has made for us in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Covenant Blessings”- On a Thursday Evening in the summer of 1858, delivered at New Park street Chapel, Southwark, intended for reading on the Lord’s Day, July 1st, 1900, another sermon on this subject is sermon 3261 called “The Covenant”

 

Adam was constituted a responsible being

In the second place, Adam was constituted a responsible being, a moral agent, being endowed with a free will, and therefore he was capable of both obedience and disobedience. Moreover, though the first man was endowed with both natural and spiritual wisdom amply sufficient for all his needs, leaving him entirely without excuse if he made a false and foolish choice, nevertheless, he was but fallible, for infallibility pertains unto God alone, as Job 4:18 more than hints. Therefore, being fallible, Adam was capable of erring, though to do so was culpable to the highest degree. Mutability and fallibility are the conditions of existence of every creature; and while they are not blemishes, yet they are potential dangers, which can only be prevented from working ruin by the creature constantly looking to the Creator for his upholding grace.

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

 

The Arminian says there are some in the covenant who tumble out of it

The Arminian says there are some in the covenant who tumble out of it; that God has chosen some men, — that he justifies them, that he accepts them, and then turns them out of his family. The Arminian holds the unnatural, cruel, barbarous idea, that a man may be God’s child, and then God may unchild him because he does not behave himself. The idea is revolting even to human sensibility. If our children sin, they are our children still; though chastened and punished, yet never do they cease to be numbered amongst our family. There are many of God’s children who have gone astray from him, and been chastened for it; but it were an idea too barbarous to suppose that God would unchild his child for any sin he doth commit. He keepeth fast his covenant; he loveth them, sinners though they be. He keepeth them from running riotously into sin; and when, sometimes, they go astray, as the best of them will, still his loving heart towards them is unchangeably the same. I do not serve the god of the Arminians at all; I have nothing to do with him, and I do not bow down before the Baal they have set up; he is not my god, nor shall he ever be, I fear him not, nor tremble at his presence. A mutable god may be the god for them; he is not the god for me. My Jehovah changeth not. The god that saith to-day, and denieth to-morrow; that justifieth to-day, and condemns the next; the god that hath children of his own one day, and lets them be the children of the devil the next, is no relation to my God in the least degree. He may be the relation of Ashtaroth or Baal, but Jehovah never was nor can be his name. Jehovah changeth not; he knoweth no shadow of turning. If he hath set his heart upon a man, he will love him to the end. If he hath chosen him, he hath not chosen him for any merit of his own; therefore he will never cast him away for any demerit of his own. If he hath begotten him unto a lively hope, he will not suffer him to fall away and perish. That were a breaking of every promise, and an abrogation of the covenant. If one dear child of God might fall away, then might all. If one of those for whom the Savior died might be damned, then would the Savior’s blood be utterly void and vain. If one of those whom he hath called according to his purpose might perish, then would his purpose be null and void. But, children of God, you may lay your heads upon the covenant, and say, with Dr. Watts, —

Then should the earth’s old pillars shake, And all the wheels of nature break, Our steady souls should fear no more Than solid rocks when billows roar.”

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Covenant Blessings”- On a Thursday Evening in the summer of 1858, delivered at New Park street Chapel, Southwark, intended for reading on the Lord’s Day, July 1st, 1900, another sermon on this subject is sermon 3261 called “The Covenant”

 

Adam was mutable or subject to change

While in our present state perhaps it is not possible for us to fully solve this profound problem, yet it is our conviction that we may perceive the direction in which the solution lies. In the first place, Adam was mutable or subject to change. Necessarily so, for mutability and creaturehood are correlative terms. There is only One “with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (Jam. 1:17). The essential attributes of God are incommunicable: for the Deity to bestow omniscience, omnipotence, or immutability on others would not be to bring into existence creatures, but would be raising up gods, equal with Himself. Therefore, while Adam was a perfect creature, he was but a creature, mutable and not immutable; and being mutable, he was subject to change either for the better or for the worse, and hence, liable to fall.

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

 

Some people believe in a rickety kind of covenant

Some people believe in a rickety kind of covenant, which I never could find in the Bible, a covenant that has conditions in it which you and I are to fulfill. If there was such a covenant as that, it would not be a covenant of grace, but of works. If the covenant of grace were made with men, — with those that should be saved, on condition of their believing, — it would be as impossible for any man to be saved on that condition as it would be on the condition of obeying, since faith is no more possible to unaided man than is perfect obedience. Faith in Christ is as difficult a thing, to a man dead in trespasses and sins, as is perfect obedience to every command of God. The covenant of grace is a covenant without any conditions on our part whatever, of any sort, in any shape, in any form, or any fashion. The covenant, in fact, is not made between us and God; it is made between God and Christ, our Representative. All the conditions of that covenant are fulfilled, so that there are none left for us to fulfill. The conditions were that Christ should suffer, and he has suffered; that Christ should obey, and he has obeyed. All that is done; and all that is now standing is the unconditional covenant, that God will give to all his elect, though dead in sin, power to live; that he will give to them, though black, perfect cleansing in the fountain filled with blood; that he will give to them, though naked, a robe of perfect righteousness; that he will ultimately accept them to dwell with him for ever in glory everlasting. This covenant, on which our hopes are built, this glorious covenant, is —

Signed, and sealed, and ratified,

In all things ordered well.”

Will God ever forget it? No; “He will ever be mindful of his covenant,” in everything that it guarantees, and towards every person who is interested in it. God will not suffer one single promise of the covenant to be unfulfilled, nor one single blessing of the covenant to be kept back. Every iota, and jot, and tittle of the covenanted purpose of God shall be fulfilled, and everything which he has promised to his people in the covenant, and which Christ hath bought for his people through the covenant, shall most infallibly be received by his people. As for the persons interested therein, not one of them shall be forgotten. If in the covenant, they shall most assuredly be saved, despite every attack of the devil, and all their own wickedness, and any casuality, so-called, of providence, or whatsoever may happen; all who are in the covenant must and shall be gathered in.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Covenant Blessings”- On a Thursday Evening in the summer of 1858, delivered at New Park street Chapel, Southwark, intended for reading on the Lord’s Day, July 1st, 1900, another sermon on this subject is sermon 3261 called “The Covenant”

 

Yet it is clear that the covenant of works proceeded on the assumption that man in his original condition—though “made upright” —was capable of falling

Yet it is clear that the covenant of works proceeded on the assumption that man in his original condition—though “made upright” —was capable of falling, just as the covenant of grace proceeds on the assumption that man, though fallen and depraved, is—through Christ—capable of being restored. “God made man male and female, with righteousness and true holiness, having the law of God in their hearts, and power to fulfil it; and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their will, which was subject to change” (Westminster Confession of Faith). In the closing words of that quotation some light is cast upon that mysterious question, How could a sinless creature first sin? How could one made “upright” fall? How could one whom God Himself had pronounced “very good” give ear to the devil, apostatize, and drag down himself and his posterity to utter ruin?

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

 

But the covenant here referred to is a better covenant than all these

But the covenant here referred to is a better covenant than all these, it is the covenant of grace. That is a sweet subject to preach upon. Suffer me to go back to the time when this covenant was made. It is older than the oldest things that man has ever seen; the covenant of grace is more ancient than the everlasting hills. It was made by God with Christ for us before all worlds were created. God had foreseen that man would be a sinner. Jesus Christ and his Father were determined to save him, and therefore a covenant was made between them. God the Son on his part stipulated that he would suffer all the punishment which all the elect deserved to suffer, that he would offer a perfect righteousness on their behalf, and pay all the demands of God’s justice. God the Father on his part covenanted that all the elect, being redeemed by the blood of Christ, should most certainly be accepted and saved. That is the covenant of which God is ever mindful.

Charles H. Spurgeon- “Covenant Blessings”- On a Thursday Evening in the summer of 1858, delivered at New Park street Chapel, Southwark, intended for reading on the Lord’s Day, July 1st, 1900, another sermon on this subject is sermon 3261 called “The Covenant”

 

The contracting parties in this covenant were God and Adam

“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shah not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shah surely die” (Gen. 2:17). The contracting parties in this covenant were God and Adam. First, God as supreme Lord, prescribing what was equitable: God as goodness itself, promising communion with Himself—in which man’s happiness principally lies—while treading the path of obedience and doing that which was well-pleasing to his maker; but God also as justice itself, threatening death upon rebellion. Second, Adam considered both as man and as the head and representative of his posterity. As man, he was a rational and responsible being, endowed with sufficient powers to fulfill all righteousness, standing not as a feeble babe but a fully developed man—a fit and fully qualified subject for God to enter into covenant with him. As head of the race, he was now called upon to transact in the nature and strength with which the Creator had so richly furnished him.

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