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Christ and the Covenant

Charles HodgeGod is our God of the Covenant. Through Jesus Christ, God reveals He is our infinite portion and we are the objects of His love. According to Charles Hodge:

As Christ is a party to the covenant of redemption, so He is constantly represented as the mediator of the covenant of grace; … By fulfilling the conditions on which the promises of the covenant of redemption were suspended, the veracity and justice of God are pledged to secure the salvation of his people; and this secures the fidelity of his people. So that Christ answers both for God and man. His work renders certain the gifts of God’s grace, and the perseverance of his people in faith and obedience. He is therefore, in every sense, our salvation.

The condition of the covenant of grace, as far as adults are concerned, is faith in Christ. That is, in order to partake of the benefits of this covenant we must receive the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God in whom and for whose sake its blessings are vouchsafe to the children of men. Until we thus believe, we are aliens and strangers from the covenant of promise, without God and without Christ. We must acquiesce in this covenant, renouncing all other methods of salvation, and consenting to be saved on the terms, which it proposes, before we are made partakers of its benefits.

The word condition, however, is used in two senses. Sometimes it means the meritorious consideration on the ground of which certain benefits are bestowed. In this sense, perfect obedience was the condition of the covenant originally made with Adam. Had he retained his integrity he would have merited the promised blessing. For to him that works the reward is not of grace but of debt. In the same sense, the work of Christ is the condition of the covenant of redemption. It was the meritorious ground, laying a foundation in justice for the fulfillment of the promises made to Him by the Father. But in other cases, by condition we merely mean a sine qua non. A blessing may be promised on condition that it is asked for; or that there is a willingness to receive it. … In either case, the necessity is equally absolute. Without the work of Christ, there would be no salvation; and without faith, there is no salvation. He that believes on the Son hath everlasting life. He that believes not shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (“The Covenant of Grace”)

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