Friday, February 17, 2012

yogrynch the philosopher 2

In continuing (which I am again daring to do) consideration of the fact of an everlasting covenant of grace, as opposed to a dispensational line of bull-crap of various covenants (notwithstanding the concept of a "new-covenant" which is merely a different manifestation of presenting the everlasting truth of grace that was there before the "beginning") I present some supporting scripture.

Consider Proverbs 8:22-36

“The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work,
    the first of his acts of old.
23  Ages ago I was set up,
    at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

24  When there were no depths I was brought forth,
    when there were no springs abounding with water.
25  Before the mountains had been shaped,
    before the hills, I was brought forth,
26  before he had made the earth with its fields,
    or the first of the dust of the world.
27  When he established the heavens, I was there;
    when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28  when he made firm the skies above,
    when he established the fountains of the deep,
29  when he assigned to the sea its limit,
          so that the waters might not transgress his command,
    when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30  then I was beside him
, like a master workman,
    and I was daily his delight,
          rejoicing before him always,
31  rejoicing in his inhabited world
    and delighting in the children of man
32  “And now, O sons, listen to me:
    blessed are those who keep my ways.
33  Hear instruction and be wise,
    and do not neglect it.
34  Blessed is the one who listens to me,
    watching daily at my gates,
    waiting beside my doors.
35  For whoever finds me finds life
    and obtains favor from the LORD,
36  but he who fails to find me injures himself;
    all who hate me love death.”

Now the above verses can be understood in more than one way.  Yes, in the broad sense, it can be understood as referring to "wisdom".  Yet, "wisdom" can also be the understanding of "truth".  Is it not said of Jesus, John 1:14  "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth."
John 1:17  "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."
For  various additional verses, check your concordances for "wisdom" and see how many refer to the "Lord" and the connection with Him.

In the context of Jesus being talked about in the quoted verses from Proverbs, "Grace and truth", as possessed by and integral to the very being of Jesus, were present before the creation.  Therefore the correct biblical understanding of the everlasting "covenant of grace" is that it is the primary driver or root of any other subsequent so-called covenant presentation.  The purpose of such seemingly additional "covenants" was to reinforce the supremacy of the original "covenant of grace."    The original covenant of grace was not superseded!  God does not change!  He is the same yesterday, today and forever!  Grace promised.  Grace planned.  Grace secured.  Grace realized.  From creation to consummation (ie the return of Christ) it is all grace!  God's grace ALWAYS initiates ANY covenant!

Consider that the Apostle Paul understood this, in what I will refer to here as the Titus revelation. 
Titus 1:1 -3 "Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, 2  in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages beganand at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior..."
The promise "before the ages began" can only refer to grace, which preexisted in the nature, person and yet-to-be manifested-in-human-form presence of Jesus Christ.  The "manifesting in his word" refers to subsequent events and  explanatory other "covenants" that took place AFTER the creating of man "in his image, after his likeness" that was discussed in the previous blog.

This concept is further explained by Timothy.  Please see 2Timothy 1:9, "who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,"

The everlasting concept of the workings of grace is additionally confirmed in 2Thessalonians 2:16   "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace..."

"Eternal" means eternal.  From everlasting to everlasting.  Grace.  Think on it and marvel at the conspicuous grace exhibited to and for us before the very foundation of the world!  I am sorry, but there it is, was, and ever shall be.   Grace.

The addendum
Let it be known that the existence from everlasting to everlasting of the covenant of grace IN NO WAY SUGGESTS UNIVERSAL SALVATION!  To suggest otherwise is STUPID!

Note that the very description of Christ as being "grace and truth" implies 2 things.  "Grace" suggests that there is to be judgment/justice/punishment/recompense.  "The wages of sin is death."  That all would be headed to a literal Hell - except for the saving grace of Christ on behalf of the elect - is not in dispute.

"Truth" suggests that there is to be lying/deception/untruth.  John 8:44  "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies."  1John 1:8  "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."


  1. Well said, Grace existed from the beginning, eternally.

    When we talk about covenantal theology the word covenant get misused often. We could help ourselves by thinking about it as relationship. We are in a relationship with God.

    Everyone is in a relationship with God, that is just the way it is, God being the creator and humans the creation, we can not escape some form of relationship.

    Most of humanity is in a broken relationship, one of works, under the law which everyone is born into. This is often referred to as the covenant of works, but lets understand this as a relationship with God based on what we do (ie: do this and die or do this and live).

    Since this relationship is broken, God has a second relationship which has also existed eternally which is based on God's grace. This is a relationship of grace, or the covenant of grace. God must elect us out of the relationship that is broken and "re-birth" us into this new relationship which He administers and we can not break or damage no matter how hard we try.

    Herein lies the 2 covenants/relationships which have both existed from the beginning of time/creation. One lead to Hell, the other to Heaven.

    Rick you did well to explain and support the covenant of grace. I look forward to your exploration and philosophizing of the covenant of works. The contrast is beautiful and shows the marvelous love of God.

  2. Mike, I fear you are reaching with your understanding of covenants. The convenant of REDEMPTION is the overwhelming theme throughout Scripture, regardless of additional word-plays of such things as "covenant of works" and blah blah blah. God's purpose has ALWAYS been redemption, via the covenant of grace, fullfilled - in the fullness of time - by the death on the cross of Jesus Christ.

    The covenant of works, ie the rationalizing of responses based on the law, is really quite simple.

    1. 1 law. - don't eat.

    This didn't work. Okay.

    2. 10 laws. (see 10 commandments.)

    This didn't work. Okay.

    3. More laws - the religious leaders got carried away. Dont eat. Don't work. Stone everyone. Have the do 'n don't lists handy.

    This didn't work.

    What does work? As it was in the beginning, the covenant of grace (redemption).


  3. I do not dispute the covenant of redemption/grace, in fact I celebrate it.

    I am concerned that you have missed the distinction that one needs to be reborn out of one covenant relationship with God into another, the covenant relationship of redemption/grace.

    Do you agree that there must be 2 covenants/relationships from the beginning of time?

  4. No. Only 1 overwhelming covenant from the beginning of time. Our confession and repentance is in response to the single convenant of grace, which we neglect to our peril.

    I am concerned you miss the full implication of what God said when He talked about creating man "In His image, after His likeness" That was the covenant God made to Himelf and has been satisfied, if you will, by the coming of Jesus.

  5. So if there is only one covenant relationship with God, then how could anyone be in Hell?

  6. Can one neglect the covenant of grace? You are bringing in a word - relationship - that is clouding the issue.

    Hebrews 2:3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard...

    There is not a "covenant of redemption relationship." There is a covenant of redemption. There is a vast difference adding in the concept of (conditional) relationship. As Hebrews 2:3 suggests, how can we escape if we neglect/ignore/dismiss/reject/replace this great salvation (as promised by God to Himself and fulfilled by the obedience of Christ unto death?

    Those who reject grace will be punished. There is neither doubt nor incongruity within the parameter of a single covenant of grace from everlasting to everlasting. There is no rattling of the "non-contradictory" cage. Genesis 3:15 was unconditional, yet neither was it all-inclusive.

  7. So how does your explanation fit with the Calvinistic point of Irresistible grace?

    By your statement some can and do reject Grace, and then are punished.

    So is everyone saved until they reject the grace of God?

  8. Re-read the Hebrews reference. It is not "my" statement.

    Irresistable grace simply means that Christ is not just a "potential" saviour (the bare-bones of Arminianism), but is in fact an actual saviour, dependent on nothing but His own good will and purpose towards His elect.

    No. Everyone is lost until redeemed per the everlasting covenant of grace. Don't chase down the mystery of God's sovereignty and (individual) man's responsibility.

  9. I think Irresistible Grace means a whole lot more than that. It speaks volumes into the Sovereignty of God. If Grace is poured out on you, you cannot resist or avoid it, If God calls you, you can only answer, the choice is not yours. By implying we can reject Christ or Grace is completely incorrect.

    So the question your comments raise is if everyone is lost, what covenant relationship are they in before they are redeemed?

    This bit of covenant theology is extremely important, if one misses the proper distinctions of the Bible, they end up misinterpreting all of what they read.

  10. Again, re-read the Hebrews passage. "I" am not implying we can reject Christ - stop trying to put words in my mouth I did not say, or are you accusing the writer of Hebrews of blasphemy? Have you even considered that dead people have no relationship, covenant or otherwise? Your last few comments and accusations towards me border on the absurd.

  11. You said
    "Those who reject grace will be punished. There is neither doubt nor incongruity within the parameter of a single covenant of grace from everlasting to everlasting."
    I have not read this in the Bible anywhere, I thought those were your words???

    I have re-read that Hebrews passage several times now, including the text both before and after in order to keep things in the proper context, and I do not see any support for your one covenant idea.

    Staying within Hebrews, let's look further
    Hebrews 7:22 *This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.*
    If Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant, does that not mean there must be a lessor covenant?

    Hebrews 8:7 *For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.*
    Here the apostle to the Hebrews makes direct reference to 2 separate and distinct covenants.

    Can this be explained according to your one covenant theology?

    Instead of trying to argue against what is actually written in scripture by apostles, how about trying to understand what these 2 covenants are so as to get the most out of scripture?

    1. Speaking of "your words", in the context of "not read in the Bible anywhere", please show passage & verse for "Irresistable grace."

      You, and I, know that those two particular words are not found together in the Bible. Neither is the word "Calvinism."

      Do not be such a smart-ass when you are trying to attack, it just belittles you. There are after all concepts and principles (irresistible grace, Calvinism, etc) that are gleaned from the whole of scripture, though the words themselves do not appear.

    2. It is not my intent to attack, just to get clarification from your comments. You claim the writer of Hebrews said we can reject grace, and I do not see it.

      This is a very major point, if we can reject grace, then I need to rethink my entire theology.

      Before doing that, because I do not think you are correct, I want to make sure this was from scripture, not just an error in interpretation or typing.

      So again I ask, where does the Bible state, or suggest so that we can glean it that grace can be rejected?

    3. Please refer to the main body of this post. Look under "The addendum. Read "That all would be headed to a literal Hell - except for the saving grace of Christ on behalf of the elect - is not in dispute."

      I said the writer of Hebrews was talking about "salvation" and the perils of rejecting it. This has nothing to do with efficacy of grace extended to the elect, or how irrestible it is. The call of God on an individual sinner for redemption is effective. YET the writer of Hebrews asks "How can we escape if we neglect..." which leads to the question neglect what?

      Salvation is by grace (by grace are you saved - Ephesians 2:5;8) In the context of what I was saying, grace and salvation were to be taken as interchangeable, based on the Ephesians connection. In other words, "how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation..." could be understood as "how shall we escape if we neglect such a great grace."

      Did I err in not mentioning the Ephesians passages? I certainly had them in mind, and I have no hesitancy at all to repeat "Those who reject grace (salvation) will be punished"

  12. Now, I need to be clear on what you are asking. Are you referring to the (various, that is more than two) covenants that God has made with man, in which case yes, there is a "better" covenant between God and man, OR are you referring to the covenant that God made with Himself (Let us make man in our image, after our likeness) which is, as I indicated, the primary covenant of grace/redemption that has not been superceded and is in existence from everlasting to everlasting?

    If it helps clarify things in your mind, I really don't give a hoot about the changeable covenants God makes with man (our sinful nature renders us as nothing but covenant breakers - the word "covenant" appears over 250 times in the Bible) My worship stems from the covenant of grace/redemption that God, who never lies, made with Himself. Hebrews 7:22 is only fully understandable in the context of Genesis 3:15, which I have already mentioned in previous comments. It is not just sensible to read a few verses before and after a quoted verse, it would also help if one read the whole Bible to "get the most out of scripture".

    Instead of trying to justify 2 covenants (which is, as I said before, dispensational in outlook and ignores multiple other "covenants"), why not rejoice, as you say you do, in the glorious truth of "Grace promised. Grace planned. Grace secured. Grace realized."

    It's all grace. Not works. Not us and what we do. Jesus and what He did.

    I want to make a statement that I believe sums it up, and I will ask you a question.

    The salvation of the elect was God’s intention from the very beginning of creation.

    Is this, or is this not so?

  13. I agree, it is from the very beginning, but that sums up grace and election only.

    You have managed to divert the conversation to something that we agree upon, rather than what the original issue was. I do not deny or question the covenant of grace. I claim you are missing the other half of the equation, which is just as important, albeit not for salvation, but for understanding God's sovereignty and grace.

    So, back on track, if I understand you correctly, you claim there is only one Covenant. We are all born into a covenant of grace, which has existed in eternity before the foundations of time.

    My question is still how can some people of this covenant go to hell, and some to heaven?

    1. Mike, here's the thing - you confuse the heck out of me.

      You say "I agree, it is from the very beginning, but that sums up grace and election only."

      Then you say, "how can some people of this covenant go to hell, and some to heaven?"

      What do you think election is? Who does it refer to? What are the effects/consequences of election? What are the effects/consequences of non-election?

      What do you think grace is? Who does it apply to? What are the effects/consequences of grace?
      What are the effects/consequences of the non-application of grace?

      Above all, just to encourage you to deeper thought, when was "the book of life" written, pre or post fall? Under the covenant of grace? Under the covenant of works? Under the "new covenant"?

      There is no "other half of the equation". It is all grace. There is no equation. The over-arching plan and purpose of God was and is to redeem a people for Himself.