Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Thomas Bell: The Law Accompanies The Gospel in the Administration of The Covenant of Grace

The implications for preaching?
“The covenant of works cannot but attend the covenant of grace, considering the state of those to whom this last is administered. They are all such as are by nature under the covenant of works. And if they refuse to enter into the one, they mnst of necessity abide under the other. This being the truth, they are fairly warned of it. Hence it is no uncommon thing to find the doctrine of the two covenants, law and gospel, in one and the same text of scripture. So Mark xvi. 16. “He that believeth, shall be saved:” there is gospel. “ He that believeth not shall be damned:” there is law. So also John iii. 36. Meanwhile this offer of the one covenant accompanied with the high command of the other, cannot be called a gospel-covenant made with sinners. It is a setting life and death before them, blessing and cursing: bidding them choose the one, and flee from the other, Deut. xxx. 19. Were it a covenant, it would not be more a covenant of grace, than of wrath, of life than of death. “For while the one part would be, If thou believe, thou shalt be saved: the other would be, If thou do not believe, thou shalt be damned.” It is not a covenant therefore, but the solemn administration of the covenant of grace.
Thomas Bell, A Treatise on The Covenants of Works and Grace