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Page 359


Due to the essence of the Covenant of Grace being the offer of salvation, the elect are not distinguished from the baptized seed in this covenant presentation. It is believed, however, that God's offer will be fulfilled in the lives of the elect only, through the applicatory work of the Holy Spirit.

This presentation of the covenants retains the following advantages:

1. It includes the natural (baptized) seed of the church in a breakable covenant relationship, called the "Covenant of Grace," and only the elect (spiritual) seed in an unbreakable, eternal covenant relationship with God through Christ as their Head, called the "Covenant of Redemption."

2. In preaching and practice, this three-covenant presentation is very similar to the two-covenant presentation, found in View 1. Because the Covenant of Grace in View 3 is not necessarily saving, but is God's offering through Christ of salvation to the baptized seed, this view is very similar to the outward relationship to the Covenant of Grace presented in View 1. The Covenant of Redemption in this view (the saving covenant made through Christ, the Head of the elect), is very similar to the unbreakable relationship to the Covenant of Grace in View 1.

In summary, that which is taught as a two-fold relationship to one Covenant of Grace in View I is taught as two separate covenants in this view.

This division of the covenants, however, produces the following, primarily theological rather than practical, disadvantages:

1. This covenant division denies the eternalness and unbreakableness of the Covenant of Grace, for God's offer of salvation is neither eternal nor unbreakable. The Covenant of Grace is reduced to only a breakable offer and conditional promise.

2. In its covenant theology, this presentation obscures God's line of election from eternity into time. The Covenant of Redemption (or Counsel of Peace) refers to God's plan of salvation for His elect from eternity, but the Covenant of Grace is an offer to the natural seed, in time. (If the Covenant of Redemption would be given both an eternal and time aspect to correct this difficulty, then the church in time would be given two different, separate covenants, while Scripture only speaks of one.) This difficulty is primarily a theological one, however, as in practice, this view believes that God's offer and promise will be fulfilled in the elect only. The problem is that the elect, in time, are not clearly shown in its covenant theology.

3. It obscures the scriptural comparison of two covenants - the first being broken by Adam and the second being secured by Christ.


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