Thursday, June 12, 2008

Covenant of Grace

"[A covenant is] a gratuitous pact between God offended and man the offender, entered into in Christ, in which God promises to man freely on account Christ remission of sins and salvation, and man relying on the same grace promises faith and obedience." ~ Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology 2:175

I really like this definition of the covenant of grace between God and man. It points out that it is a relationship under sanction between God and man. It also makes it clear that the author of this covenant is God, man is a participant because of his state, and Christ is the fulfillment of the covenant. Finally, I like how Turretin states man's position in the covenant, "man relying on the same grace promises faith and obedience." Those are key words, "relying on the same grace," for they show that even our faith is because of grace. As Paul says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9, emphasis mine)

What a beautiful thought, the covenant of grace--the thought that God "the offended" would offer a means of redemption to "the offender" and even provide to the offender what is necessary to complete the covenant. How majestic is a God that would not only make a covenant of grace with His creatures (an immanence which in itself is incredible) but also, knowing the inability of His creatures, unconditionally and effectually assures faith for His chosen through the same grace! Immanence, provision, and assurance in one grace. It is this grace that prompted Paul to herald, "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God... To him be the glory forever! Amen." (Romans 11:33-36)

By His Grace,

No comments: