Saturday, May 25, 2013

Externally in the covenant? External blessings?

Galatians 3:16-17 makes it very plain that only the seed in Christ are members of the covenant (and in Christ the promise is sure to all the seed; cf. Romans 4:16). Romans 9:6-16 makes it very clear therefore that Esau was not a member of the covenant at all. And he did not simply receive "lesser non-saving blessings", but rather, God hated and reprobated him with all his descendents (Mal. 1:2-5).

To all the reprobate sons of Abraham, all those so close to the covenant while despising and profaning it, Scripture says: "the rest were blinded. (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway." (Rom. 11:7-10) Were these things blessings?
Or consider those Jews who heard the preaching of Christ Himself, in whose cities great miracles were performed, "Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight." (Matt. 11:21-26) Were the preaching and the miracles then blessings to these impenitent men?

Read how Scripture describes what you call benefits: "[it is impossible ...] If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned." (Heb. 6:6-8) I ask you then, is the water that falls on the ground which produces thorns and briers by it, a blessing to it? The word "But" contradicts that silliness.

How close was Judas to the covenant, how intimately did he relate to Jesus and the disciples? Yet did he receive any benefit thereby? No, otherwise Christ could not say of him, "it had been good for that man if he had not been born" (Matt. 26:24).

And sure Saul and Caiaphas and Balaam all prophesied by spiritual gifts, but were these good gifts blessings to them?

There is no blessing outside Christ, because the word of the law is this, "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them" (Gal. 3:10). They lie under the curse of God, with the whole wicked world, against which God's wrath is revealed from heaven (Rom. 1:18). As Christ said, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36).

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