Posted November 29, 2016
Called to Watch for Christ's Return written by Martyn McGeown - a new RFPA author! A few days before Jesus gave his life on the cross, his disciples asked,...
|Click here for published materials on The Covenant of Grace|
The nature and essence of the covenant of grace between God and his people has been a subject of disagreement in the church world in general, and more particularly within the Reformed community. Most view the covenant as a mutual agreement between God and man, a pact between two equal parties, with mutual stipulations and promises. Many, especially in the Presbyterian tradition, make a distinction between two or more covenants - the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. Still others have no covenant concept whatsoever, preferring to understand salvation in individualistic terms.
The development of the doctrine of the covenant of grace, together with its practical implications, is perhaps the major contribution of the PRCA to a fuller and clearer understanding of biblical truth in the context of the Reformed Faith. A significant portion of this development and defense of the truth of the covenant is embodied in RFPA publications.
The covenant of grace is the living relationship of friendship established by God, between himself and his people in Christ. This covenant is unilateral—established, maintained, and perfected by God alone. The Scriptures teach that there is only one covenant of grace, beginning with Adam and culminating in the perfection of eternity. The covenant is realized by the atoning death and resurrection of Christ, the head and mediator of the covenant. Faith is never a condition of the covenant, but rather the gift of God by which he includes his elect in his covenant, the means by which the elect enjoy the fellowship of God and willingly carry out the demands of the covenant, living in obedience to the Lord. The covenant is organic, which means that God establishes it with believers and their seed in the line of continued generations. And the covenant is not a means to an end, but is the goal of all history. (Genesis 17:7, Acts 2:39, Acts 16:14-15, Galations 3, Psalm 89)
Read more about the distinctive Reformed view of the covenant of grace in this excerpt from the preface of Doctrine according to Godliness by Ronald Hanko.