27 November, 2016


Modern Modified Calvinism and Covenant Theology

Modern modified Calvinism begins its destructive work in reference to Covenant theology in the Old Testament, because it does not acknowledge that the intent of the Gospel, except in special individual circumstances, was only to the House of Israel, and had no reference whatever to the heathen nations. Until such time as the Lord Jesus “came to His own, and His own received Him not” (John 1:11), the Gospel was addressed to the Jew first; afterwards it was addressed to the Gentile.

In the administration of the Gospel in the Old Testament, Israel as God’s Covenant people, represented the organised visible Church. The need for Ezekiel’s prophecy was that God’s people, who bore the sign and seal of the Covenant, had turned from the promises and obligations of the Covenant to idolatry. God had overthrown their land and led them into the captivity of Babylon, and had sent them the prophet Ezekiel to call the nation, in their calamity, to repentance.

Israel in the New Testament administration is still the Church. The middle wall of partition has been broken down, so that there is in Christ no difference between Jew and Gentile. While the Gospel was addressed to the Jew first in the Old Testament, it was in the New, addressed to the Gentile at the last commandment of our Lord, which He gave immediately before His ascension, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

The principle of the address of the Book of Ezekiel, however, has not changed. The address of that book was, and is, only to the House of Israel, God’s covenant people; and is without content or intent, concerning those who are not in the plan and purposes of God, numbered among the elect. To derive from the Book of Ezekiel the notion, that God desires the salvation of the reprobate, is to propose a doctrine which has nothing to do with the covenant of redemption and grace. There is nothing contained in the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which does not have reference to the fulfilment of that Covenant. Both Testaments in fact, comprise the “Book of the Covenant.” The preaching of the Gospel is simply a display of the Covenant of grace.

Modern modified Calvinism therefore, is destructive of covenant theology because it introduces an extra­Scriptural ground, namely a universal benevolence in God, as a basic reason for the preaching of the Gospel. It thereby makes covenant theology only an adjunct, if not redundant, and not the whole ground and purpose for the preaching of the Gospel.

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