Tag Archive | Gospel

The Law Commands All; The Gospel Promises All

Ralph Erskine, Sermons 1:213:

Hence we may see, if Christ be given for a covenant of the people, that the gospel strictly and properly taken, is a bundle of good news, glad tidings, and gracious promises; our text is a sum of the gospel, and it is a free promise, “I will give thee for a covenant of the people:” there is no precept nor commandment here. The law is properly a word of precept, but not the gospel: the law commands all, and the gospel promises all. It were a disparagement to the divine law, if it were not perfect and exceeding broad, if there were any duty we are called unto not enjoined therein.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/why-does-limited-atonement-matter.87650/page-3

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Nothing Else Than A Promise

James Fisher, Shorter Catechism explained, question 45:

in the gospel, strictly and properly-taken, as it is contra-distinct from the law, there can be no precept; because the gospel in this strict sense, is nothing else than a promise, or glad tidings of a Saviour, with grace, mercy, and salvation in him, for lost sinners of Adam’s family: according to the following scriptures, Gen. iii. 15; Isa. lxi. 1, 2, 3; Luke ii. 10, 11.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/why-does-limited-atonement-matter.87650/page-3, Comment 75

The Unbeliever is Already Condemned in the Gospel-Court

Ebenezer Erskine, Works, 1:383:

The unbeliever is already condemned in the gospel-court. Now, do not mistake this way of speaking, as if, when I speak of the gospel-court, I meant, that the gospel, strictly considered, condemned any man: the gospel, like its glorious Author, “comes not into the world to condemn the world, but that the world, through” it, “might be saved.” Neither do I mean, as if there were new precepts and penalties in the gospel, considered in a strict sense, which were never found in the book or court of the law. This is an assertion which has laid the foundation for a train of damnable and soul-ruining errors; as of the Antinomian error, in discarding the whole moral law as a rule of obedience under the gospel; the Baxterian error, of an evangelical righteousness different from the imputed righteousness of Christ; the Pelagian and Arminian error, of a sufficient grace given to every man that hears the gospel, to believe and repent by his own power.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/why-does-limited-atonement-matter.87650/page-3, Comment 74

The Gospel is a Word of Promise

Ebenezer Erskine, Works, 1:527-528:

You would know, that the gospel, strictly taken, is a word of promise. The first gospel that ever was preached to our first parents, when a dismal cloud of wrath was hanging over their heads in Paradise after the fall, was in a promise, Gen. iii. 15: “The seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent.” The gospel preached to Abraham, what was it but a promise of Christ? “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed,” Gal. iii. 8. And I think it observable, that the same thing which the apostle calls the gospel, ver. 8, he calls the promise, and the covenant, ver. 17—19. So that the gospel, strictly taken, is a word of promise: so Heb. iv. 1, 2, compared, — what the apostle calls “a promise of entering into God’s rest” in the 1st verse, he calls the gospel in the 2nd verse. And a God of love and grace dispenses his grace in a promise, for our encouragement to take hold of it in a way of believing; for there is nothing in which the faithfulness of God is so much engaged as in a promise, the very design of which is to be believed.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/why-does-limited-atonement-matter.87650/page-3, Comment 73

The Gospel Gives No New Laws

Ebenezer Erskine, Works, 1:300:

For if this be so, then inevitably we must first obey Christ as a king, by repenting and believing, in order to our being justified by him as a priest; besides many other dangerous consequences which are unavoidable upon this new law-scheme. All which are avoided, by teaching, with the strain of orthodox divines, that there are no precepts in the gospel strictly taken; and that Christ in the gospel gives no new laws, but enforces the old law, namely, the moral, which being adapted to the gospel-dispensation, obliges us to believe in Christ upon his being revealed to us in the gospel, and consequently to repent also in an evangelical manner. For that these duties of faith and repentance, as to their essence, are required in the very first commandment of the moral law, is indisputably evident; and I do think it strange, to find it controverted by any who embrace and own the doctrine of the church of Scotland, particularly the Larger Catechism, where that point is plainly determined, in the explication of the foresaid first commandment.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/why-does-limited-atonement-matter.87650/page-3, Comment 72

All Prescription of Duty Belongs to the Law

Herman Witsius, The economy of the covenants, volume 1, pp. 370:

The covenant of grace, or the gospel, strictly so called, which is the model of that covenant, since it consists in mere promises, prescribes nothing properly as duty, requires nothing, commands nothing; not even this, Believe, trust, hope in the Lord, and the like. But it declares, sets forth, and signifies to us, what God promises in Christ, what he would have done, and what he is about to do. All prescription of duty belongs to the law, as, after others, the venerable Voetius has very well inculcated. And we are by all means, to maintain this, if, with the whole body of the reformed, we would constantly defend the perfection of the law, which comprehends all virtues, and all the duties of holiness.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/why-does-limited-atonement-matter.87650/page-3, Comment 71

Pure Promise of Grace and Glory

Herman Witsius, The economy of the covenants, volume 1, pp. 367-368:

XII. Besides, when God proposes the form of the covenant of grace, his words, to this purpose, are mere promises, as we have lately seen from Jer. xxxi. and xxxii. Our divines therefore, who, in consequence of the quirks of the Socinians and Remonstrants, have learned to speak with the greatest caution, justly maintain that the gospel, strictly taken, consists of pure promise of grace and glory.

XIII. And indeed, if we are to take the promises of the covenant of grace altogether without exception, we could not, so much as in thought, devise any thing in us, as the condition of these promises. For whatever can be conceived as a condition, is all included in the universality of the promises. Should God only promise eternal life, there might be some pretence for saying, that repentance, faith, and the like, were the conditions of this covenant. But seeing God does, in the same breath, as it were ratify both the beginning, progress, uninterrupted continuance, and, in a word, the consummation of the new life; nothing remains in this universality of the promises, which can be looked upon as a condition of the whole covenant.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/why-does-limited-atonement-matter.87650/page-3, Comment 70