Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Covenant of Creation

The current flap in reformed circles about the initial covenant with Adam as a covenant of works vs. a covenant of creation is unfortunate. Adam was not promised life if he obeyed what God said. He was promised death if he disobeyed. Gen 2:16,17. It is most certainly true that death entered through Adam's disobedience. Because of this, his offspring did not inherit the life that Adam once had and lost. Adam was in a state of righteousness at the creation. Although we do believe that this was a probationary period that God would have honored, like He did the elect angels, it does not at all follow that his obedience would have made him righteous or brought(bought) him eternal life. His obedience was a condition of maintaining that righteousness that he already had and in fact, inheriting eternal life. In the initial covenant God granted, by grace, life to Adam and Eve. Their job was to continue in that grace until the end, obeying all that God had commanded about the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Their failure to continue in obedience brought the consequences of the covenant upon them. They were to persevere, by grace, and thus receive the fulness of the promise.

This is analagous to our situation. God grants us life by grace. He chooses us in Christ, giving us promises of life if we obey. There is life in Christ for those who maintain fellowship with God in Christ, for those who do what God says. This is not maintaining 'getting in by grace' and 'staying in by works'. The getting in was by grace, the staying was also by grace. Adam rejected the grace of God when he disobeyed Him. We must not do the same. Otherwise, we will receive the sanctions of the covenant.

No comments: