Are Christians Under the Abrahamic Covenant?

Galatians 3:9: “So then they which be OF FAITH are blessed with faithful Abraham.” Blessed with faithful Abraham, NOT by faithful Abraham! Abraham is not the spiritual father. We are not blessed BY Abraham, but we are blessed WITH Abraham, through the same means of grace, through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Abraham’s Covenant was strictly peculiar to himself. Neither in the
Old nor in the New Testament is it ever said that the Covenant with
Abraham was made on behalf of all believers or that the Abrahamic covenant was given to those who believe the gospel. Abraham is called the father of those who believe the gospel.

God did not promise Christians that they will have a seed. If the same Covenant promise made to Abraham is made to Christians through Abraham, then that would means that there could be no justified child of God without a seed
Ferrell Griswald

We must distinguish between the two kinds of promises. Otherwise we shall fall into the error of others who insist that the spiritual
blessings belong not only to the natural seed of Abraham, but to the natural offspring of Christians as well. But spiritual blessings cannot be communicated by carnal propagation. Romans, chapter 9:6- 8: “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel which are of Israel: Neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but in Isaac shall thy seed be called. They which are the children of the flesh, THESE ARE NOT the children of God: but the children of the promise are
counted for the seed.”

Children of the flesh ARE NOT the children of God! The children of PROMISE, the children of GRACE, are counted for the seed! All of Abraham’s descendants did not participate in the spiritual blessings promised to him. As our Lord Jesus said in John 8:24: “ye shall die in your sins,” speaking to those who claimed to be Abraham’s seed. Nor do all the children of Christians enter into the spiritual privileges promised to Abraham. Only those who are chosen by God before the ages unto salvation. And who they are cannot be known until they believe.

Galatians, chapter 3, verse 7: “Know ye therefore that they which are of FAITH, the same are the children TEKNON of Abraham.” The infant is not of faith. The natural descendants of Abraham are not of faith. Only believers are the children of Abraham. Some may be the SPERMA , but they are not the children.

What then is the Covenant of Abraham? The great thing that the Covenant of Abraham secured to Abraham was that HE, and not anyone else, but that HE WOULD HAVE A SEED. When God made the Covenant, He said, “YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A SEED!” And THEN THROUGH YOUR SEED the nations of the earth will be blessed. So the Covenant was given to Abraham to secure for him a seed, and that God would be the God of that seed.

Now that’s not applicable to Christians. It cannot be said that this Covenant refers to Christians. Christians have no warrant whatsoever in the Word of God that God will be the God of their seed. He only saaid He would be the God of Abraham’s seed. Who are the seed of Abraham? True believers, through THE SEED, Christ, singular. It is not promised to Christians that they will have a seed.

The Abrahamic covenant promised that Abraham himself would have a seed, and that God would be the God of that seed. It is something like the promise that God made to Phinehas, when He said that you will always have a seed to be a priest, or to David, that he would always have a posterity to sit on the throne.

Let us look at the original promises that were made to Abraham, and see if they are applicable other than to Abraham himself. Genesis chapter 12, verse 2 and 3: “And I will make of thee a great nation,” Has he promised that to believers? Then He said: “and I will bless thee, and make thy name great;” Has God promised to make your name great? He may make it great, but He has not promised to do so.
Most of us will die in obscurity, not known outside of our own small circle He says: “thou shalt be a blessing;” Well, we may be a blessing in a small way but not in the way that all families of the earth shall be blessed

In Genesis chapter 17: 5, God says: “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many
nations have I made thee.” You and I have not been made fathers of many nations. Verse 6: “kings shall come out of thee.” How many kings have come out of regular Christians? He says, “your descendants will occupy Canaan.” You and I have probably never set foot on Canaan. There are many who will have to mourn along with David, who cried, “though it be not so with my house.”

Furthermore, the Covenant made with Abraham established no spiritual relationship between Abraham and his offspring. There was a physical
relationship, but no spiritual relationship. Still less, does it establish a relationship, a spiritual relationship between believers
and infants. Abraham was not the spiritual father of his own natural offspring, for spiritual qualities cannot be propagated by carnal generation. If there was any spiritual relationship between Abraham and his carnal offspring, it was as the result of THE SEED, Christ Jesus, our Lord. Therefore it is by GRACE and not by RACE, that men are saved.

And what is this blessing? Galatians 3: 7: “Know ye therefore that they which are of FAITH, the same are the children of Abraham.” verse
9: “So then they which be OF FAITH are blessed with faithful Abraham.” Blessed with faithful Abraham, NOT by faithful Abraham! Abraham is not the spiritual father. We are not blessed BY Abraham, but we are blessed WITH Abraham, through the same means of grace, through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Was Abraham Esau’s father spiritually? Or Ishmael’s? Look at Romans 4: 11 “And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the
righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he would be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness would be imputed unto them also.” This is a household of faith, and not of natural generation. Abraham
rather than being the spiritual father of his own natural offspring, becomes the spiritual father only of The those who walk in the steps of his faith. And just as a believing father becomes a spiritual father only of those who walk in the likeness of his faith.

But are not Christians under the Abrahamic Covenant? Again, if you will turn to Galatians 3:14, you will see that the answer is, No!: “That the blessing of Abraham would come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we would receive the promise of the Spirit THROUGH FAITH.” The blessing of Abraham consists not in creating spiritual relations between believers and their infant offspring, but the Spirit of God. Those who are blessed with Abraham are those who are of the faith of Abraham, and not those who receive a parental oath at the time of their water baptism.

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20 Comments on “Are Christians Under the Abrahamic Covenant?”

  1. fuddybuddy Says:

    Great points, Mark! Amen.

  2. mark mcculley Says:

    Which covenant was everlasting? Please identify. I hope you don’t confuse the old covenant with the new covenant, because Hebrews clearly says that where there is a change of covenants, there is a change of law..

    ‎1. What is the spiritual meaning of water baptism? I hope you don’t identify “baptism” in the NT with water baptism, because In Romans 6 God baptizes the elect into Christ’s death and that’s not by water. But for now, tell me what you think the “spiritual meaning of water baptism”. 2. Left unsaid is what the “non-spiritual meaning of circumcision was to Abraham or to others who were circumcised, males, slaves etc. A promise was made to Araham that was never made to anybody else. But you don’t want to think about that, because you only want to see the spiritual meaning, which has to do with Abraham being circumcised AFTER Abraham was justified and believed the gospel.

    No way that Christ’s circumcision in Colossians 2 is circumcision of the heart or regeneration. Don’t assume that this text is saying the same thing as Romans 2, because Colossians 2 is talking abut the cross, the death of Christ, and about the justified elect being legally identified with Christ’s death, and thus cut off from Adam’s body, from Adam’s guilt. And anyway water is done by hands, so it can’t be the antitype. Water does not replace physical circumcision in Colossians 2. That’s an assumption read into the text. Also the part about one believing parent, no such thing in the old Abrahamic and Mosaic economies.

  3. markmcculley Says:

    Romans 2:28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical.

    So Ishmael was never an outward Jew, or was cut off from being an outward Jew? When? Were Esau and Ishmael in the outward “new covenant”? Were Jacob and Isaac in the new covenant?

    Romans 9: 6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”

    Since Abraham is the father of those who believe the gospel, does that mean that Abraham is not the father in any sense of Esau and Ishmael? Since Christ is the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham that His seed would bring salvation and the “new covenant”, does this prove that Esau and Ishmael were in the new covenant? I suppose the problem here is that Paul is not using the administration/substance distinction and therefore Paul’s “not all” makes it sound like some kind of antithesis.

    Romans 9:8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. 9 For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.”

    But it would be too simple to flat out say that Ishmael was “not a child of God” and not a “child of promise”. Better to ignore that there are various promises to Abraham, and assume that a promise to Abraham is also a promise to Ishmael, even if that promise turns out to be conditional.

    Romans 9: 30 What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it….

    But this is not normal or ordinary. Usually you have to be in the covenant, and then it’s conditional on if you pursue it the right way, like we do.

    Galatians 4: 21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar.

    But focus on verse 24, and see that the law is about Sinai and Moses, so this is not about Abraham, not about the two sons of Abraham, even though verse 22 talks about Ishmael also, and verse 23 sounds like there is no promise for Ishmael, but we know this is not true, because we know that the Abrahamic covenant has a promise for Ishmael also, even if it’s conditional. So the son of the slave born according to the flesh really has nothing to do with Abraham but only with Moses.

    So it comes down to what the “new” in new covenant means. Does it mean “utterly” new or a “gradually a little” new or “someday in the end” new or “different in kind” new or “conditioned only on Christ” new? Is the new covenant in ANY WAY different from the Abrahamic covenant? Not when you talking to baptists, because then you need to keep it simple so they can get it .

    Since Scott Clark has used the rhetoric of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend News already , let me do so as well. REALLY?

    We tend to come out with the same presuppositions with which we entered. This is a long debate. It will not be resolved here soon. And it’s not because one side is stupid or rebels against God’s Word. Even when we make a distinction between outer and inner, that does not mean that we need to say that the never-justified yet are in the new covenant. Waiting to see who God calls is not only about waiting for Gentiles to come in. Unless we have an over-realized eschatology, we know that some of our children have not yet been called. The promise of the gospel was never for those who never believe it.


    “Reformed covenant theology” is on the way to a general ineffective atonement

    Ineffective Unjust Indefinite atonement says that Christ is the priest for all the non-elect and that all the non-elect are in the new covenant

    new covenant theology say that as many as are elect (no more , no less) will be in the new covenant

    Reformed “covenant theology” says that all the covenants are really one “the covenant of grace” and thus they say that the new covenant includes some who are non-elect. While they don’t teach that all of the non-elect are in the new covenant, they do teach that some of the non-elect are in the new covenant.

    Of course, the continuity they so firmly affirm, they also later qualify and take back, when they make a distinction between those who are only externally in “the covenant of grace” and those who are internally in “the covenant of grace”. They also have a distinction between “in the covenant” and “of the covenant”.

    Lutherans have two kinds of “new covenant people”—
    1. Those who have their sins paid for, who eat the humanity of Christ in the sacrament, but who do not have the Holy Spirit and who do not believe the gospel.
    2. Those who have their sins paid for, who eat the humanity of Christ in the sacrament but who also have the Holy Spirit and believe the gospel.

    For Lutherans, both believer and unbeliever partake of the substance of Christ but with differing outcomes, one to life but the other to judgment. For Calvin, a person either receives both Christ and the Spirit, or neither Christ nor the Spirit. Unbelievers do not receive the Spirit, therefore they do not (in the “sacrament”) receive Christ.

    “The matter now disputed between us, is whether unbelievers receive the substance of Christ without his Spirit.” Lutherans say that, if Christ is truly present he is present independent of the communicant’s new birth or faith or unbelief.

    Calvin says that one cannot truly partake of Christ without partaking of His life-giving Spirit.
    Since Christ was baptized with the Holy Spirit, Christ is not where the Spirit is not.

    Garcia, “Christ and the Spirit”, in Resurrection and Eschatology, ed Tipton and Waddington, p430

  5. markmcculley Says:

    Horton: The classification of “unconditional” and “conditional” covenants isn’t helpful, they argue, because there are elements of each in every biblical covenant.However, their argument assumes that the mere presence of commands indicates a mixture of unconditional-conditional aspects in the basis of the covenant itself. At this point, Reformed theology has traditionally appealed to a distinction between basis and administration. The mere presence of commands says nothing about the basis of a covenant itself.

    mark: so far, so good, Commands don’t make things conditional But Horton does bring back conditonality

    Horton: Concerning covenant theologians, Wellum, “Ironically, however, they agree with the Arminian exegesis and conclusion as applied to full covenant members who are not elect” (75). This isn’t quite accurate. We hasten to add the qualification in verse 9: “Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation” (v. 9). The writer does not know for certain that each and every member of the new covenant is justified, but exercises charity since they are not among the open apostates. A Baptist interpretation cannot account for this category of covenant beneficiaries who spurn the objective blessings delivered to them and fall away, while an Arminian interpretation cannot account for the distinction of this group from those who were in fact united to Christ.

    mark: but this simply assumes that there are non-justified members in the new covenant, which is the thing to be proven, but Horton assumes it because he assumes straight continuity with Abraham (as if all discontinuity were with Moses, but Abraham himself had two sons)

    Horton: jewish branches that didn’t yield faith were broken off to make room for living Gentile branches that share the faith of Abraham in Christ. And yet he adds, “They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you” (vv. 16b-21). The whole tree is holy, but dead branches will be pruned. The whole church of Corinth is addressed as “the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus” (1:2). And yet, among that very number are members he will later upbraid them for not excommunicating!

    mark: thus Horton teaches that members of the new covenant lose their sanctification and their membership, because it’s all conditioned on faith

    and then Horton becomes quite open in his conditionality, as much as Kline or Piper or Schreiner: To be claimed as part of God’s holy field comes with threats as well as blessings. Covenant members who do not believe are under the covenant curse. How can they fall under the curses of a covenant to which they didn’t belong? If faith is the only way into membership (693), then why all the warnings to members of the covenant community to exercise faith and persevere in faith to the end?

    Horton: God promises his saving grace in Christ to each person in baptism, whether they embrace this promise or not. Yet they must embrace the promise in faith. Otherwise, they fall under the covenant curse without Christ as their mediator. The word proclaimed and sealed in the sacraments is valid, regardless of our response, but we don’t enjoy the blessings apart from receiving Christ

  6. markmcculley Says:

    David Engelsma: It is gross heresy, to say nothing of being contrary to the central and best in the Reformed tradition, that Horton affirms that God promises saving grace in Christ to every baptized baby. For a Reformed theologian, it is the same as to affirm that God promised saving grace to Esau in his circumcision.

    This affirmation implies that God failed to keep His promise. His promise failed. And because God’s promise has its origin in His attitude or purpose of grace and is itself the expression of divine grace, grace (not now the fictitious common grace, but the saving grace of God in Christ) is resistible, inefficacious, and impotent. The reason, they will say, is the unbelief of Esau. Whatever the reason, grace does not realize itself in one to whom God is gracious. Regardless of the reason for grace’s impotence, the teaching is heretical.

    There is still a witness in the Reformed community to the truth that the grace of God in Christ in the covenant and with regard to covenant salvation is particular and sovereign, or efficacious–a grace governed by eternal predestination, election and reprobation, the latter being as odious to the Reformed community as it ever was to Jacob Arminius and his spiritual father, Pelagius. This witness is slandered by the Reformed community of scholars as “hyper-Calvinism.”

    I have refuted this charge, from the Reformed creeds, including the Reformed baptism form; from Calvin; from Bavinck; and from Scripture in my book, Covenant and Election in the Reformed Tradition.I have written a book devoted to the subject of hyper-Calvinism, taking up, treating carefully, and thoroughly explaining hyper-Calvinism–what it is, wherein it goes wrong, and who are and who are not hyper-Calvinists, Hyper-Calvinism & the Call of the Gospel. It will come out shortly in a third edition. The Reformed community, including Horton, is well aware of this PR refutation of the charge against the PRC and explanation of the issue. Rather than refute it, they ignore it.

    Especially in the heresy of the federal vision, a threat to all the conservative Reformed and Presbyterian churches in our day, God exposes the doctrine of a gracious, saving, covenant promise to all the babies of believers alike. They try, but they have a harder time to ignore the issue as God confronts them with it than they do with regard to the confession of the PRC. David Engelsma

  7. markmcculley Says:

    P1 God promises to save the elect children born of Christian parents.
    P2 God promises to save the elect children not born of Christian parents
    (John 1:13; Gal 3:7-9; Rom 9:7-8, 11, 24-26; 10:11-13; 11:17; Eph 1:4-10,)
    C1 Physical heritage is irrelevant to God’s promise to save the elect.
    P3 Physical heritage is irrelevant to God’s promise to save the elect.
    P4 God’s covenantal faithfulness is determined by His promise to save the elect.
    C2 Physical heritage is irrelevant to God’s covenantal faithfulness. Brandon Adams, they are equivocating on what the promise is, precisely. Is it to the elect, or is it to all our children generally?
    P4 God’s covenantal faithfulness is determined by His promise to save those who he has promised to save.
    P5 God has promised to (among others) save the children of believers.
    C God shows His faithfulness (among other ways) when He saves (among others) the children of believers.
    In which case, there is nothing unique about the salvation of the children of believers since God’s faithfulness is also demonstrated (“among other ways”) when he saves the children of non-believers

  8. markmcculley Says:

    John 8:37 I know you are descendants of Abraham, but you are trying to kill

    56 Your father Abraham was overjoyed that he would see My day; he saw it and rejoiced.”

    57 The Jews replied, “You aren’t 50 years old yet, and You’ve seen Abraham?”

    58 Jesus said to them, “I assure you: Before Abraham was, I am.”

    59 At that, they picked up stones to throw at Him. But Jesus was hidden and went out of the temple complex

  9. markmcculley Says:

    Notice one of the promises of the Abrahamic covenant Genesis 15: 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know this for certain: Your offspring will be foreigners in a land that does not belong to them; they will be enslaved and oppressed 400 years. 14 However, I will judge the nation they serve, and afterward they will go out with many possessions

  10. Bryan Estelle (the law is not of faith)— By the time of the New Testament Israel’s disobedience has triggered the curse sanctions. Therefore, the new covenant context has essentially changed matters … What was prototypical during the Abrahamic covenant has been eclipsed by what is antitypical [eternal life].

  11. Meredith Kline—References to the two-level nature of the promises have been unavoidable in various connections in our analysis of the Abrahamic Covenant … As the kingdom promises come to fulfillment in two successive stages, each is identified as a divine remembrance of Abraham or of the covenant made with him…
    Judah assumed the royal supremacy in Israel in the appointment of David as king. He, with his successors under the old covenant, were level one. Then David’s dynasty reached a distinctive second level of kingship in the coming of Jesus Christ and his inauguration of the new covenant in his blood…
    Two distinct levels of fulfillment, one provisional and prototypal, the other messianic and eternal, are clearly distinguishable in the king promise given to Abraham.
    Development of the twelve sons of Jacob into the twelve-tribe nation of Israel constituted a fulfillment of the promise of the kingdom people at one level… Equally obvious is the Bible’s identification of a realization of the promise of the Abrahamic seed at another level.
    When Paul in Romans 9-11 defends God’s covenantal faithfulness in the face of Israel’s fall, he bases his case on the identification of the promised seed as the individual election, a remnant-fullness of Jews and Gentiles, spiritual children of Abraham, all like him justified by faith (Rom 9:7,8; cf. Rom 4:16; Gal 3:7)… That is, the promise of the seed is thereby lifted into the messianic, or new covenant, level where Gentile and Jewish believers are gathered together in the united assembly of the heavenly altar…
    That the territory eventually occupied by Israel fully corresponded with the geographical bounds defined in the promise is explicitly recorded in Joshua 21:43-45 and 1 Kings 4:20,21 (cf. Num 34:2ff.; 1 Chr 18:3; Ezek 47:13-20)… in the New Testament there are clear indications of a positive kind of the shift to the second level of meaning of the land promise. With surprising abruptness the New Testament disregards the first level meaning and simply takes for granted that the second level, cosmic fulfillment is the true intention of the promise…
    The issue between covenantal and dispensational hermeneutics is not one of spiritualizing versus nonspiritualizing interpretations of the second level kingdom. For, contrary to a common allegation, the covenantal system as well as the dispensational allows for the geophysical dimension of that kingdom. The basic question at issue is rather how to construe the relation of the two levels of the promised kingdom of the Abrahamic Covenant to one another.

  12. Meredith Kline–“How Abraham’s obedience related to the securing of the kingdom blessings in their old covenant form is a special question within the broad topic of the role of human works … Abraham’s faithful performance of his covenantal duty is clearly declared to sustain a causal relationship to the blessing of Isaac and Israel. It had a meritorious character that procured a reward enjoyed by others…Because of Abraham’s obedience redemptive history would take the shape of an Abrahamite kingdom of God from which salvation’s blessings would rise up and flow out to the nations. God was pleased to constitute Abraham’s exemplary works as the meritorious ground for granting to Israel after the flesh the distinctive role of being formed as the typological kingdom, the matrix from which Christ should come… The obedient Abraham, the faithful covenant servant, was a type of the Servant of the Lord in his obedience, by which he became the surety of the new covenant.”

  13. Robert Strimple–“The Westminster Confession says that the moral law that God gave to Adam as a covenant of works is the “very same law” that continues to be a perfect rule of righteousness for us; and it was that law that was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai” But that law does not continue as a covenant of works for us, and it was not delivered upon Mount Sinai as a covenant or works for the children of Israel. This may not be what some on our faculty would like it to teach. But it is what the Confession teaches.”

    theonomist George Gillespie—If The analogy betwixt the Jewish & the Christian church faile, the argument of Baptisme from circumcision will faile also…The state of the Jewish church is y a warrantableness for the analogy of the Old Testament & New. If we must cut loose the argument of the Jewish church, how shall we prove pedo-Baptism?

  14. markmcculley Says:

    David Gordon: It was necessary for there to be a covenant that, at a minimum, preserved two things: memory of the gracious promises made to Abraham and his “seed,” and the biological integrity of the “seed”itself. Sinai’s dietary laws and prohibitions against inter-marrying with the Gentiles, along with Sinai’s calendar and its circumcision, set Abraham’s descendants apart from the Gentiles, “saving” them (in some degree) from their desire to inter-marry with the Am ha-Aretz until the time came to do away with such a designation forever.

  15. markmcculley Says:

    It is to be remembered that there were two covenants made with Abraham. By the one, his natural descendants through Isaac were constituted a commonwealth, an external, visible community. By the other, his spiritual descendants were constituted a church. The parties to the former covenant were God and the nation; to the other, God and His true people. The promises of the national covenant were national blessings; the promises of the spiritual covenant (i.e., the covenant of grace), were spiritual blessings, reconciliation, holiness, and eternal life. The conditions of the [national] covenant were circumcision and obedience to the law … There cannot be a greater mistake than to confound the national covenant with the covenant of grace, and the commonwealth founded on the one with the church founded on the other.”

    -Charles Hodge, Church Polity (New York: Scribner, 1878), 66

  16. markmcculley Says:

    What is “the blessing of Abraham”? Did God promise more than one blessing to Abraham?

    Did God promise Abraham the church, or did God promise Abraham Christ?

    Did the three old covenants (Abraham, Moses, David) only have one promise each?

    Can a covenant have one promise for everybody, another promise for some of the non-elect but not everybody, and another promise only for the elect?

    Can one covenant have more than one promise?

    Does the fact that Isaac is promised to be in the genetic line of the Messiah prove that all those in the genetic line of Isaac are elect? No. Does the fact that Jacob is promised to be in the genetic line of the Messiah prove that anybody outside the genetic line of Jacob is non-elect? No.

    Some promises are both elect and non-elect. Other promises are only for the elect.

  17. markmcculley Says:

    Brandon–In you shall all the nations be blessed.” What does “In you” refer to in that promise? It refers specifically to the Messiah, Abraham’s seed. “It does not say, ‘And to offsprings,’ referring to many, but referring to one, ‘And to your offspring,’ who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void.” This covenant promise was that in Christ all the nations would be justified. But if the nations could be justified through the law of Sinai, then Christ died for no purpose, which would make the promise void.“For if the inheritance [righteousness] is based on the law, it is no longer based on the promise [of Christ], but God graciously gave it [righteousness] to Abraham through the promise [of Christ]” referring to how God “preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham…

    Brandon– Galatians 3:18 does not teach that inheritance by promise is synonymous with inheritance by gift/grace/faith in distinction from inheritance by due/works/law. Therefore Galatians 3:18 does not teach a distinction between a covenant of promise and a covenant of law. Therefore Galatians 3 does not establish the unity of the Abrahamic and New Covenants in distinction from the Sinai Covenant. Therefore the Abrahamic Covenant may, in fact, be a covenant of law/works for the typical kingdom of Abraham’s carnal offspring in unison with the Sinai Covenant.

  18. markmcculley Says:

    Graham Shearer—“Sinclair Ferguson’s account of covenantal conditions, where the outcome of the covenant for each person is conditioned on their response, risks being too individualistic and atomised since Ferguson places the outcome of the covenant on the response of each individual baptised. But, in the new covenant, Christ’s death has sanctified his people, as their priest, in order to make sure that the blessing of the Spirit would come to them. There are two ways of being in the new covenant – by faith and genealogy or by genealogy alone. All those who are included in the new covenant receive the blessings won by Christ’s mediating work.

  19. markmcculley Says:

    Brandon Adam –The Mosaic Covenant did not, in fact, add a national element to Abraham. The national element is Abrahamic and it is fulfilled in
    the Mosaic. … God saving a nation from physical slavery and bringing
    them into the literal land of Canaan is the fulfillment of a promise
    God made to Abraham So did God promise Abraham a nation and the land of Canaan or not? The inflexible “Abraham is not Moses” paradigm cannot and does not give a consistent yes or no answer.

    Lee Irons goes on to interpret the use in the case of Isaac, as a “nonliteral” extension. Isaac is not “literally” an “only child”. This is not really a stumbling block– anyone can call someone an only child, even if they aren’t, and by doing so they suggest a raft of implicatures. In the case of Isaac, he is the only child that counts, the child of the promise, or in Irons’ terms, the legitimate heir.

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