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Page 338

Scripture speaks of conditions to be met to teach us that repentance, faith, and obedience are necessary in the lives of those who will be saved. But these conditions are not such that they must first be fulfilled by a person's own efforts before they can be included in the covenant. This teaching would return the second covenant to the works of man. No; repentance, faith, and obedience are earned and graciously given to the elect by Christ. By means of His Spirit, He freely plants and exercises these inward-working graces in the hearts of the saved, converting their wills, that the corresponding outward-working fruits are evidenced in their lives.

In this manner, Scripture teaches that there are "requirements" or "conditions" which must be found in the lives of the saved, and yet, these "requirements" are actually "benefits" that are graciously earned by, and applied to, the hearts of the elect by Jesus Christ their Covenant Head.



    Augustine once wrote the following prayer, "Lord, give what Thou commandest, and then command what Thou wilt."

    How does this statement express the truth of the Covenant of Grace, that the "conditions" required from those included in the covenant are actually benefits graciously given to them by God through their Covenant Head, Jesus Christ?

    Rev. Brakel wrote the following, "How desirable, how firm is this covenant in which all the heavy conditions are laid upon the Surety, and all the blessings come to the members of the covenant by the Mediator Jesus Christ, in whom all the promises are yea and amen."

    What serious error will be the result from teaching that man, from himself, needing to meet the requirements of a "conditional covenant" or "conditional gospel"?



The requirements and promises of the Covenant of Grace between God the Father and the Son (and in Him His elect) are specified in the following charts. Note how that the corresponding "requirements" of God's church are actually gracious, God-given benefits, freely granted to them through Christ their Covenant Head:

 

Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

- Romans 11:5-6

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

- Ephesians 2:8-10

 

Why is the truth of, and the security from, trusting in God's grace undermined by the teaching that man must produce instead of receive the grace to bring forth repentance, faith, and obedience?


 

For it became Him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.

- Hebrews 2:10-11

 

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