Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Question about the Covenant of Grace

I have a question about the Calvinistic concept of the Covenant of Grace. My understanding of this theological concept is that it refers to a great covenant which God made with the elect right after the Fall in the Garden. Dispensationalists are often criticized for using the expression "Dispensation of Grace" because God has shown grace throughout all his dealings with mankind. While dispensationalists acknowledge God demonstrates grace, we believe there is a difference between the grace God demonstrated in the past and the grace God demonstrated when Christ came.

So my question is this: John 1:17 says "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." According to Calvinistic thought, in what way is the grace shown through Moses different than the grace shown by Christ?

Now maybe I haven't expressed the question well, but it seems to me that this passage is teaching that the grace that came through Christ is different than the grace which God demonstrated in times past.


Blogger Daniel said...

The covenant of Grace is not a Calvinistic concept, it is a concept that is associated with "Covenant Theology" - and there are plenty of Calvinists (John MacArthur for example) who are not Covenant Theologians.

I don't buy the covenant of grace thing myself, but I am certainly Calvinistic in my soteriology.

To answer your question however, in John 1:17 the grace and truth that came through Christ are being set in apposition to the law which came through Moses.

We see the same kind of language again in the book of Romans, those who are in Christ are no longer under the law, but under grace, for there was something that the law could not do, that grace could - and that is found in Romans 6:6 - deliver us from sin's bondage. That was a "grace" that came only through Christ.

I don't know if that answered your question, and I am not a Covenant guy, so maybe you were looking for a different angle?

3:34 p.m.  

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