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Page 264

How are both God's grace and justice seen in the Covenant of Works?

    Robert loves his dog and his dog loves him. He has a bone which he has decided to give to his dog. This is Robert's decision and it reflects his love for his dog, for he is not bound to give this bone.

    Robert wants to place a condition upon his dog's receiving this bone; he desires to test his dog's obedience. This is to his dog's liking, for it loves Robert's attention and wants to obey him.

    Robert holds up the bone and says, "Beg!"

    When his dog sits up and begs, Robert pats it, gives it the bone, and says, "Good dog."

    If we look at this example and ask, "What is the real reason why the 'reward' bone was received?" we must answer, "Because Robert wanted to give him one." The obedience of his dog is its duty; it did not earn the right to require a bone from Robert by begging. Rather, Robert wanted to give his dog the bone and decided to make this act of obedience the condition upon which this gift would be given.

    How does this example help picture that which took place in the Covenant of Works? God graciously promised man eternal life upon the condition of willing obedience, which was man's duty and desire. Man's obedience was his expected duty. It would not earn a right to require a special reward from God, but God graciously decided to make man's act of obedience the condition upon which the gift of eternal life would be given to him.

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