Covenant Perspectives Between Particular Baptists and Our Reformed Heritage


This was a short response I made concerning the differences between what Particular (Reformed) Baptists believe and what our Reformed heritage teaches.   I just thought I would repost it here.

From my point of view things depended upon the substantial differences between the Old and New Covenants. As a Reformed Baptist I understood them to be different substantially. It took me years to understand what my Reformed brothers were meaning when they were telling me that the Old and New Covenants were the same in substance concerning the Administration of the Covenant of Grace. I always viewed the Old Covenant as some covenant that was a mixture of both the Covenant of Grace and the Covenant of Works. I saw the Old Covenant as something that was totally different than the New Covenant even by its very nature. That skewed my understanding concerning who was considered a Covenant Member in the Church. When I started to understand that the Mosaic Covenant was not a Covenant of Works in any way shape or form, but that it was purely an administration of the Covenant of Grace, things became much clearer. Covenant membership in the Church had not changed and the Old Covenant was just as much an administration of the Covenant of Grace as much as the New Covenant was. That isn’t necessarily based upon good and necessary consequences. It is based upon good hermeneutics. Thus the sign and seal of the Old and New Covenants are also basically the same in substance and signify the same thing even though they differ in what was performed. Both point to being regenerate and Born Again.    Both are signs and seals of our Union with Christ which proceeds regeneration.

Here is where I start discussing this.

Additional note…
There was a follow up comment to which I replied.

JM stated, “Plenty of Baptists understand the paedobaptist view of the Sinaitic Covenant…we just reject that understanding.”

I want to ask and mention a few things JM. Which view of the paedo baptists concerning the Old Covenant are you referring to? Part of my problem lay in misreading some of them as I was looking through the eyes of John Owen who held to a minority view during the time of the Divines at Westminster and that of Meredith Kline. I also read all I could and saw through the eyes of Fred Malone and other well known authors who departed from the Presbyterian and Majority Reformed understanding. Just to be clear, I am not so sure they truly understood it. I have been quite surprised by the number of gentlemen, even Seminary trained Presbyterian and Reformed men, who didn’t understand this position. I can even name some of our most noted Professors who either don’t or just reject it also. I have even been quite surprised about the whole Union with Christ discussion in the past few years. RMS

In a recent discussion on the PB we discussed a blog that stated this.

In debates concerning the republication of the covenant of works within the Mosaic covenant, anyone who holds to the Westminster Confession or the London Baptist Confession confesses that the same law that was given to Adam was delivered to Moses. At the very least, then, the confessions teach a republication of the covenant of works.

The last sentence is part of the problem. And the blogger is no slouch. The blog is actually pretty good. It just simply is not true concerning the last sentence bolded above. As Ruben noted concerning the quote, “The rest of the post and the nature of the case, show that it should have read “the confessions teach a republication of the law.

It might have been a misstatement on Sam’s part. I make them all the time. But the sympathy to what he noted stands true for many guys. And therein lays the problem. A lot of guys don’t realize what is being said and taught with the distinctions needed. I for one am working on it.

WCF chapter 19.