Yet not in virtue of this covenant, which stipulated obedience, but gave no power for it: but in virtue of the covenant of grace, which also belonged to them. What was it then? It was a national covenant between God and Israel, whereby Israel promised to God a sincere obedience to all his precepts, especially to the ten words; God, on the other hand, promised to Israel, that such an observance would be acceptable to him, nor want its reward, both in this life, and in that which is to come, both as to soul and body.
This reciprocal promise supposed a covenant of grace. For, without the assistance of the covenant Of grace, man cannot sincerely promise that observance; and yet that an imperfect observance should be acceptable to God is wholly owing to the covenant of grace, It also supposed the doctrine of the covenant of works, the terror or which being increased by those tremendous signs that attended it, they ought to have been excited to embrace that covenant of God.
This agreement therefore is a consequent both of the covenant of grace and of works; but was formally neither the one nor the other. A like agreement and renewal of the covenant between God and the pious is frequent; both national and individual. Of the former see Josh. Of the latter, Psal. It is certain, that in the passages we have named, mention is made of some covenant between God and his people. If any should ask me, of what kind, whether of works or of grace? I shall answer, it is formally neither: but a covenant of sincere piety, which supposes both. Hence the question, which is very much agitated at this day, may be decided: namely, Whether the ten words are nothing but the form of the covenant of grace?
This, I apprehend, is by no means an accurate way of speaking.
But the ten words contain only a prescription of duty fenced on the one band by threatenings, taken from the covenant of works; on the other, by promises, which belong to the covenant of grace. Hence the scripture, when it speaks properly, says that a covenant was made upon these ten words, or after the tenor of those words, Exod. The form of the covenant is exhibited by those words, which we have already quoted from Exod. I deny not, that the ten commandments are frequently in scripture called the covenant of God.
But at the same time, no person can be ignorant, that the term covenant has various significations in the Hebrew, and often signifies nothing but a precept, as Jer. Thus Moses explains himself on this head, Deut. The ten words, or commandments, therefore, are not the form of a covenant properly so called, but the rule of duty: much less are they the form of the covenant of grace: because that covenant, in its strict signification, consists of mere promises and, as it relates to elect persons, has the nature of a testament, or last will, rather than of a covenant strictly speaking, and depends on no condition; as we have at large explained and proved, B.
Jeremiah has shown us, that the form of the covenant of grace consists in absolute promises, chap. In like manner, Isa. Least of all can it be said, that the ten words are nothing but the form of the covenant of grace, since we may look upon them as having a relation to any covenant whatever.
They may be considered in a twofold manner. Precisely, as a law. As an instrument of the covenant. As a law, they are the rule of our nature and actions, which HE has prescribed, who has a right to command. This the were from the beginning, this they still are, and this they will continue to be, under whatever covenant, or in whatever state man shall be. As an instrument of the covenant they point out the way to eternal salvation; or contain the condition of enjoying that salvation: and that both Under the covenant of grace and of works. But with this difference; that under the covenant of works, this condition is required to be performed by man himself; under the covenant of grace it is proposed, as already performed, or to be performed by a mediator.
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Do you have responsibilities or you respond? Do you have a relationship with God or you have a religion? The law needs doing, legalism, responsibly, religion, tradition and works while grace only needs obedience responding. Law and Grace are totally different and they cannot mix. They are like oil and water which cannot mix. No man sews a piece of new cloth on an old garment, or the patch will shrink and the tear will be worse.
Jesus was teaching about law and grace. That you cannot have something new while you still hold to the old. You cannot be under grace while still under the law. Jesus is a Jesus of grace not of the law and He is not with you as you struggle doing the works of the law. He does not mix Himself up. In giving out the Ten Commandments, God spoke in seventy different languages a prove that the Ten Commandments were given to the whole world.
This is proven by the Jews scribes early scripts. This was achieved by the Holy Spirit thus you do not need to read or study the laws but when you are born again, the Holy Spirit writes the laws in your heart. He leads, commands and guides you that when you go astray, you hear His voice instructing you. The word Christian comes from the word Christ-like.
You cannot be a Christian when you are not living like Jesus Christ. Living like Christ is living under grace neither under the law nor mixing law and grace. Mixing law and grace is being under the law and you are still in the old covenant dispensation of the law and condemnation awaits you. Many people do not know which side they are. They claim to be Christians yet the go back to the law and still claim doing the works obeying the law as part of salvation.
People under the law or mixing the law and grace deny that salvation is by grace through faith. The claim that to be saved you need works. Being under the law and mixing up the law and grace, you will never inherit the kingdom of heaven. I have this wanna be Christians close to me who judge me by the laws yet I have clearly stated that I am not under the law. They push to put me under slavery but I am in grace freedom ; no turning back!
If you have these wanna be Christians around you who judge and try to put you under the law, stand firm to the truth. There are many laws in the bible, many you neither know nor heard of. So if you are struggling to fulfill only ten laws, what about all other laws? And breaking one law is breaking all laws so which law do you obey? Jesus abolished the law, even the Ten Commandments, and He is the absolute fulfillment of the laws.