Dear Wes:

You asked, circuitously:

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Are you having difficulty understanding the difference between the Covenant of Redemption and the Covenant of Grace?

I answer, directly, no.

I am not having trouble understanding the two covenants you mention at all. I am well aware of the Covenenant of Redemption btwn the Father, Son and Spirit, as I have mentioned in prior posts, for, because of it, like David, the covenant of grace the Lord has established with me is "all my salvation and all my desire".

What I am having trouble understanding is exactly what I stated in my question to you about the contradictory nature of the two statements you made.

Quoting Berkhoff back to you with respect to the SUBJECT OF the Covenant of Grace:

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The prevailing opinion in Reformed circles is that it is the elect sinner in Christ.

Berkoff then tells us that because we don't know who is in the Covenant of Grace, that is, who are the elect, that therefore it is both an unequivocal covenant of grace with the elect and one that "includes some in whom the promises are never realized".

Therein lies the rub. This reasoning is faulty. It is either a covenant of grace to the elect or it is a covenant of works or wrath. It is not both. Because I don't know with absolute certainty who are other subjects of this covenant, it doesn't follow that therefore there are both elect and non elect in the Covenant of Grace. (I say other subjects because I believe the bible, and a multitude of Christian experience clearly teaches that we can know with absolute certainty with respect to ourselves, See Steven Nichols, "An Absolute Sort of Certainty", wherein he discusses Edwards and others on this subject.). As others have pointed out to you this is clarified in the NT which interprets the Old in the following statement, for example;

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From the Westminster Shorter Catechism
Q. 7. With whom was the covenant of grace made?
A. As the covenant of works was made with the first Adam, and all his posterity, so the covenant of grace was made with Christ, the second Adam, and in him with all the elect, as his seed, which are the Israel of God. "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made," (that is, not the promises of making all nations blessed.) "He saith not, Unto seeds; as of many but as of one, To thy seed, which is Christ."— Gal. 3:16. "This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel."— Heb. 8:10.

Words, as you know, have meaning. If they do not, then we are of all men most to be pitied. It is either a covenenant of works or a covenant of grace, it is not both.

Could you please answer the question from my prior post to you about the contradictory nature of the two statements. Simply quoting Berkhoff's contradictory statements doesn't make them any less contradictory. Nor does assuming "I am having difficulty understanding the issue".

What I am saying is this. I disagree with Berkhoffs interpretation. Yes, it appears from the OT statements that there is a covenant of grace established btwn Abraham and all who are circumcised outwardly. But we are told in the NT that the outward sign is not what is ultimately important, but rather the circumcision of the heart, the inward. This is a work of God, ultimately.

All men have the duty to obey the Lord's commandments, be they elect or not, thus the duty to outward circumcision applies to all, both in the visible church, Israel, Jewish by blood, and those not in by blood, just as in the OT all the members of the household were told to be circumcised as were converts not members of households. The Lord, then, (not "then" in time, but in eternity past, before the foundation of the world) decides who will benefit eternally from that outward circumcision, or that "profession" of which it is a sign.

As to our hermeneutic being different, mine is one that is based on the analogy of the faith, that is, it attempts to reconcile all the applicable scripture that applies to the subject, which is exactly what Berkhoff is attempting to do, albeit in a faulty way in my opinion. Thus I see no difference in our hermeneutic, but rather in our conclusions drawn from the same hermeneutic. There is a big difference.

In Him,

Gerry

Last edited by acts2027; Fri May 07, 2004 6:28 AM.