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His Heavy, Humid Breath

08 August 2011 by Neil

Q. 31. With whom was the covenant of grace made?
A. The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in him with all the elect as his seed.

Q. 32. How is the grace of God manifested in the second covenant?
A. The grace of God is manifested in the second covenant, in that he freely provides and offers to sinners a Mediator, and life and salvation by him; and requiring faith as the condition to interest them in him, promises and giveth his Holy Spirit to all his elect, to work in them that faith, with all other saving graces; and to enable them unto all holy obedience, as the evidence of the truth of their faith and thankfulness to God, and as the way which he has appointed them to salvation.

The new covenant of grace is between God the Father and God the Son. The parties to this covenant don't have any points of contention and they don't misunderstand each other.  They don't work at cross purposes.  Their natures are the same, and they act on their covenant in harmony.  They don't need a mediator to work out their differences because they don't have any.

But there is also an interested third party peering in through the shop window. He'd break the glass if he could, but he's not strong enough. Good thing too, because he would not like the outcome if he had to face God the Father directly. The third party is a good-for-nothing malcontent. He pawns his good stuff to buy bad stuff, and he spends most of his time and thought cavorting with the wrong sort of woman. He wants what the woman has, but it's lethal to him. He needs what God has, but he cannot afford it. He is an enemy of both the Father and the Son, and given half a chance he would kill the Son [note: in fact, he has and would do so again -- ed.].  This fellow could use a good mediator.

Amazingly, the new covenant has as its aim the welfare of this incorrigible indigent. The new covenant is magnificently simple in its requirements, but deep and layered in its execution. One of the several provisions of the new covenant is to provide a Mediator for that loser and his heavy, humid breath against the window. The Mediator's role will be to stand between God the Father and the third party, in order work out a good end for the poor guy.

And you must get this: The Son volunteers for the job.