My Wedding

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Picture courtesy of Russ and Thet Photography

A month ago yesterday on Saturday, October 4th, 2014 at 3 PM at a beautiful church in Southern California before 105 witnesses I was married to my beautiful bride, Amaris.

CLICK HERE for audio.
CLICK HERE for transcript of audio.
PULSE AQUÍ para ver el texto del audio en español.
CLICK HERE for pictures of our wedding.
CLICK HERE for pictures of our engagement.

I wanted to share the audio and the transcript of the audio of my wedding with you so that all who listen and read may hear and know what weddings are all about: The Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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“Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.

‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’

This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband” (Ephesians 5:21-33, NASB).

Blood, Covenant, and Baptism by Chris Gautreau

The question ‘should infants be baptized?’ is actually an example of the tail wagging the dog. The question of baptism is a covenantal question. Thus, we need not ask if infants should be baptized, but rather, “how does one enter into covenant?” This, my brethren, is the crux of the matter. Both sides agree that covenant members ought to be baptized, but who is a covenant member and how did they become one? The question of baptism is secondary. Covenant membership has always been through birth. People are born into their respective covenants. This is why ‘offspring’ is such an important concept – “you and your offspring.”

A Paedobaptist on Facebook recently asked the question, “Where in the bible does it instruct [us] to exclude babies, or children according to age?” Let me first point out his misrepresentation of the Credobaptist position. Credobaptists do not include or exclude anyone based upon age, as his question implies. But more importantly, this Paedobaptist who holds to covenant theology does not understand the concept of covenant which, in turn, muddies his thinking regarding the concept of offspring.

Covenant membership is not about babies, children, or age per se, it’s about offspring. Now, this concept of offspring, like any other word or concept, must be understood in its own and varied context. Most importantly, it must be understood in its covenantal context. Why? Besides the fact that such principles fall under the category of Hermeneutics 101, this idea is explicitly taught in scripture –

not all Israel descends from Israel (Romans 9:6).

In other words, there are offspring of Abraham that do not physically descend from Abraham. Thus, we have different types of offspring. This is Paul’s entire argument in Romans 9:6-13. Calvinists are quite fond of this chapter. However, what most fail to understand is that Paul is not simply giving an argument about predestination, he’s giving a covenantal argument about predestination, and he uses Abraham’s two offspring to do so.

When Paul brings up Israel in Romans 9:6, he’s talking about covenant Israel. Look at verse 4 –

“…who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the COVENANTS…”

However, what Paul is doing here is contrasting the physical offspring of Abraham with the spiritual offspring of Abraham, but he’s doing so covenantally. There can be no mistake that Paul is speaking covenantally as his entire apologetic here in the Romans 9-11 context is the explanation of the rejection of physical Israel and the inclusion of the Gentiles –

For if their (Old Covenant Israel) rejection is the reconciliation of the world (New Covenant Gentiles)…” (Rom. 11:15).

To put it another way, Paul is giving us the contrast between the Old Covenant economy and the New Covenant economy. The Old Covenant was made with the physical offspring of Abraham, while the New Covenant is made with the spiritual offspring of Abraham. This is precisely why Paul says that Israel (physical) was broken off for their unbelief (Rom. 11:20a) and the Gentiles are grafted in by your faith (Rom. 11:20b).

Understand, a Jew was never broken off from his covenantal status prior to the cross “for their unbelief.” A covenant breaker was never a person who failed to have saving faith, but was a person who failed to keep the Law. It was failing to ‘do,’ not failing to believe that made them covenant breakers.

  • “Listen to My voice, and DO according to all which I command you.” (Jer. 11:4)

  • “Hear the words of this covenant and DO them.” (Jer. 11:6)

  • “Therefore I brought on them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to DO, but they did not.’” (Jer. 11:8)

  • “They have turned back to the iniquities of their ancestors who refused to hear My words, and they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.” (Jer. 11:10)

Likewise, a renewed heart was never a prerequisite for covenant membership prior to the cross. This should be obvious given the fact that 1) a Jew was physically born into the covenant and babies aren’t born with renewed hearts, and 2) circumcision symbolized the need for a renewed heart, not that one already had a renewed heart, and 3) if a renewed heart were a requirement for covenant membership we wouldn’t be having this debate.

However, something has changed since the cross and the establishment of the New Covenant and this is why Paul in his covenantal context tells us that covenant Israel has been “broken off for their unbelief” and the Gentiles are included “by your faith.” A renewed heart is now the necessary precondition for covenant membership. This is precisely what Jeremiah meant when he said, “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, NOT LIKE the covenant which I made with their fathers…” (Jer. 31:31-32). The “not like” is the now necessary renewed heart.  As a matter of fact, Paul’s words cannot be any more explicit. In Romans 9:8 Paul states, “That is, it IS NOT the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as offspring.” Paul could not have made it any clearer, covenantal status no longer comes through the flesh but through promise. And what is this promise? Nothing other than salvific election (as opposed to national election) in verse 9.

Galatians 3 will further support what Paul stated in verse 8 of Romans 9. “Therefore, be sure that it is those who are OF FAITH who are sons (offspring) of Abraham.” And, “So then those who are OF FAITH are blessed with Abraham, the believer.” Verses 7 and 9.

When my Paedobaptist brethren tell me that Acts 2:39 (“For the promise is for you and your children…”) is an echo of the Abrahamic promise I simply ask them, “According to Paul, how is this Abrahamic promise fulfilled? Is it fulfilled physically or spiritually?” One need only read the aforementioned passages to find the answer – “it is NOT the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as offspring.”

Now Galatians 4 has much to say about this covenant issue. Allow me to quote this section in its entirety.

Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. For it is written,

‘Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear;

Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor;

For more numerous are the children of the desolate

Than of the one who has a husband.’

And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. But what does the Scripture say?

‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son,

For the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.’

So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.”

Here, like Romans 9, Paul is juxtaposing the physical offspring of Abraham and the spiritual offspring of Abraham. The Old Covenant with the New Covenant. The nation of Israel with the Church. He says, “These women are two covenants” (not two administrations). Each woman (covenant) has her own offspring. One “according to the flesh,” and the other “through the promise.” It was the one “according to the flesh” who represents “Mount Sinai” and the “present Jerusalem” (Old Covenant Israel) while the “child of promise” represents the “Jerusalem above” (New Covenant Church).

Just as in Romans 11 where Paul tells us that physical (unbelieving) Israel was “broken off” for their unbelief, here we are told that physical (unbelieving) Israel is “cast out” (verse 30). This ‘breaking off’ and ‘casting out’ is just another way of describing the end or cancellation of the Old Covenant. God no longer covenants with an unbelieving physical nation but has now entered into covenant with a believing spiritual nation.

Notice verse 31. PAUL says, “WE are not children of the bondwoman.” This is pretty interesting considering the fact that Paul was indeed a child of the bondwoman. Paul was most certainly born “according to the flesh” and under the slavery of the Law; yet, he no longer considers his fleshy relationship to Abraham as having any relevance but now sees himself as the spiritual offspring of Abraham, the only thing that now matters since the establishment of the New Covenant.

Once again, when my Paedobaptist brethren speak about the Abrahamic promise and the circumcision (baptism) of the children, I have to ask, “Who are the heirs of the Abrahamic promise in light of the cancellation of the Old Covenant and establishment of the New Covenant?” – “Cast out the bondwoman (Old Covenant) and her son” (children born according to fleshly descent), “For they are NOT (New Covenant) heirs.”

Thus, we see absolute cohesion between the words of Jeremiah and Paul. Jeremiah told us regarding the New Covenant that

I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.

Is this not exactly what Paul has said regarding the New Covenant in Romans 9-11 and Galatians 3-4?

Remember what I stated at the beginning. Covenantal status comes through birth; one is born into the covenant. Under the Old Covenant is was one’s physical birth, while under the New Covenant it is one’s spiritual birth –

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).

How Paedobaptists can teach that covenant status is still passed on through physical birth (who’s your daddy?) when Paul explicitly states that it is not is beyond my ability to understand.

That is, it IS NOT the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as offspring.”

As a matter of fact, the promise of offspring made to Abraham was actually fulfilled by Christ –

Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ.’” (Gal. 3:16).

In other words, the Abrahamic promise regarding his offspring was never about his multiple physical children, it was all about Christ. Thus, Paul concludes by saying,

And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:29).

Simply put, the New Covenant fulfilling of the Abrahamic promise is fulfilled in and by Christ, and only those who have placed faith in the risen Savior can rightly be called Abraham’s offspring, co-heirs with Christ, and the only proper recipients of covenantal privileges, including baptism.

But wait, there’s more. In order for us to fully grasp this idea of covenant and covenant membership, we must understand that these covenants are ‘cut.’ This means that these covenants were established in blood. “The blood of the covenant” or ‘covenantal blood’ is essential in making these covenants.

For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.  Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you.” And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:16-22)

You see, blood and covenant go hand in hand. You cannot have covenant without blood. This is precisely why it’s called “the blood of the covenant.”

So when we look at Exodus 24:8 we see that “the blood of the covenant” is “sprinkled on the people.” This act shows us who is covered by the blood and consequently who is under that covenant. God, through this covenant blood, established a covenant with the people of Israel.

What about the New Covenant? How was the New Covenant established? Was it not also through blood? Indeed it was! But this covenant was not established through the blood of “calves and goats” but with the blood of the Messiah. This too is called “the blood of the covenant” –

This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many” (Mark 14:24).

The book of Hebrews even describes this New Covenant blood in the same way that Exodus describes it –

and to the sprinkled blood” (Heb. 12:24).

Just as Moses “sprinkled” the covenant blood on the covenant people, so too is the blood of Jesus “sprinkled” on His covenant people.

This begs the question, who are His covenant people? Allow me to ask the question another way: To my Paedobaptist and Calvinist brethren, who did Christ shed His covenant blood for? Was it not for the elect and the elect alone? Since we have seen in Hebrews that you can’t have a covenant without the shedding of blood, and since Christ shed His New Covenant blood for the elect alone, does it not follow that only those who are covered by the blood of Christ can participate in the covenant established by that blood? You see, no person who holds to limited atonement can consistently believe that unbelievers, even reprobates, can participate in the New Covenant established in the blood of Christ.

This so called ‘covenant (infant) baptism’ held by Reformed Paedobaptists is anything but covenantal. It’s actually about as uncovenantal as one can be. This ‘covenant baptism’ of the Paedobaptists tells us that people who have NOT been sprinkled by the covenant blood are nevertheless covenant members and proper recipients of the covenant sign. As a matter of fact, this is a kind of Arminianism. Arminians have their “whole world” while Paedobaptists have their “whole household.” Arminians have the blood of Jesus failing to save everyone in the world while the Paedobaptists have the blood of Jesus failing to save everyone in the covenant. Not only is the Calvinist who holds to Credobaptism more covenantal that the Paedobaptist, they’re even more Calvinistic (5 points) than the Reformed; at least as far as consistency is concerned.

In summation, NEW Covenant membership comes through the NEW birth, and true covenant (circumcision) baptism is a baptism of one who has covenant blood. That’s how the fathers did it, that’s how the apostles did it. First comes the covenant blood, which establishes the covenant, then comes the covenant sign. You can’t have covenant baptism without covenant blood.

What is the Meaning of Hosea 6:7? – by Dr. Robert Morey

Robert-Morey-19-2497-283~ To access the file on PDF CLICK HERE ~

The following essay has been posted with permission.

~~

  But they like men have transgressed the covenant:

     there have they dealt treacherously against me. 

                                                      Hosea 6:7 (KJV)

Introduction

            The dogmatic theologian begins with his theological system as the starting point and then looks in Scripture to find proof texts to support it. The writers of the Westminster Confession were Dogmatic Covenant theologians. They wrote the WCF and presented it to Parliament for acceptance. To delay this move, Parliament told them that they needed to put biblical texts in the WCF to prove their chapters. The writers of the WCF rushed through the Bible and then placed proof texts in footnotes and then resubmitted it. Today, everyone admits that it was such a rush job that many of the texts they used to support the WCF are erroneous. There is no debate on this issue. Chapter seven of the WCF is a sad example of this problem.

Chapter VII

Of God’s Covenant with Man

I. The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto Him as their Creator, yet they could never have any fruition of Him as their blessedness and reward, but by some voluntary condescension on God’s part, which He has been pleased to express by way of covenant.

II. The first covenant made with man was a covenant of works,[2] wherein life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity,[3] upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.[4]

III. Man, by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein He freely offers unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved,[6] and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe.

[2] GAL 3:12.             [3] ROM 10:5-20.      [4] GEN 2:17.

What must be in order for what is to be what it is? In order to prove from Scripture there was a “covenant of works” with Adam in the Garden of Eden, you have to find a text in Scripture, which in its context has in view the right time period, the right person and refers to a “covenant of works” made with Adam. The WCF puts forth three texts to prove their position.

Footnote [2] refers us to Gal. 3:12 as a proof text there was a covenant of works made with Adam in the Garden at Creation. But Paul nowhere in the passages alludes to or refers to Creation, Adam in the Garden of Eden or any “covenant of works” made with him. Instead, Paul clearly has in view the covenant made with Moses on Mt. Sinai 430 years after Abraham. The text does not prove the WCF.

Footnote [3] refers us to Rom. 10:5-20. But verse 5 begins “For Moses writes…” Once again, Paul has in view the Covenant made with Moses on Mt. Sinai. There is no mention of a covenant of works made with Adam in the Garden of Eden. This is another bogus text.

Footnote [4] refers us to Gen. 2:17. Finally, we are given a text that deals with Adam in the Garden at Creation but nowhere are we told in the passage that there was a covenant of works made with Adam.

Some dogmatic covenantal theologians have argued that since Adam was commanded not to eat of the tree, he was given a law. This automatically means there was a “covenant of works” in which if he disobeys the law, he dies and if he obeys, he lives.  There are several huge problem with this position.

  1. It is built on speculative theology that tries to use human reason to fill in the gaps between the text of Scripture and what you want to prove. To argue “it is only rational that…” or “it is reasonable to assume that” means you are trying to “go beyond what is written.” That process is directly condemned in 1 Cor. 4:6.
  2. Hermeneutically, you cannot turn a positive command into a negative prohibition or a negative prohibition into a positive command. When Paul told women to wear modest clothing does this mean that men must wear immodest clothing?
  3. Just because God commanded Adam not to eat of the tree and then warned him that if he disobeyed he would die cannot hermeneutically be turned into a positive promise that if he obeyed he would earn eternal life. The “death” in view is physical death and any “life” in view would only be physical life and has nothing to do with eternal life, per se.
  4. Ah, says the speculative theologian, but Adam was commanded not to eat the fruit. This means a “covenant of works” had been made with him. Really? Every time God gives a command to someone in Scripture, does this mean a new “covenant of works” was made with them? Are there not thousands of commands to hundreds of people in the Bible, unbelievers as well as believers? Are there thus thousands of covenants? Commandment = covenant? Where is this stated in Scripture? Nowhere.

Modern covenant theologians have given up any attempt to use the three texts submitted by the WCF committee. Faced with an utter lack of biblical support for a covenant of works made with Adam in the Garden at Creation, they had to find something. They think they have found their proof in some modern translations of Hosea 6:7.

(NASB)

But like [a]Adam they have transgressed the covenant;

There they have dealt treacherously against Me.

   [a] or Like men

(NIV)

As at Adam,[a] they have broken the covenant;

    they were unfaithful to me there.

       [a] or Like human beings

(NLT)

But like Adam,[a] you broke my covenant

    and betrayed my trust.

       [a] Or But at Adam.

Those covenantal believers who believe that a covenant of works was made with Adam in the Garden of Eden at Creation have seized hold of these modern translations and with triumph announced they finally have a biblical text that establishes their doctrine. But their triumphal attitude is unwarranted because they did not bother to exegete the Hebrew text.       

Hosea 6:7 was translated in older translations such as the Calvin’s Geneva Bible or the KJV,

“But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they trespassed against me.” 

            The Hebrew word keadam was translated as referring to men in general or to a specific place where disobedience took place. There was no reference to Adam in the Garden of Eden at Creation being given a covenant of works.

(CJB)

“But they, just like men, have broken the covenant, they have been faithless in dealing with me.

(GNV)

But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they trespassed against me.

(JUB)

But they have transposed the covenant as of men: there they have rebelled against me.

(GNT)

“But as soon as they entered the land at Adam, they broke the covenant I had made with them.

(NET)

At Adam they broke the covenant; oh how they were unfaithful to me!

(NIV)

As at Adam, they have broken the covenant; they were unfaithful to me there.

(NRSV)

But at Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me.

(CEV)

At a place named Adam, you betrayed me by breaking our agreement.

            The best exegetes noticed that the specific form of the Hebrew word “adam” combined with the word “there” meant a specific town. Thus it was not a specific proper name, per se.  Or it might refer to men in general or to Gentiles. In terms of Hebrew grammar, keadam combined with the word “there” should not be translated as the proper name “Adam.” Matthew Henry cites Buhl,

Buhl, in Zeitschrift für Kirchliche Wissenschaft, Part 5, 1881, throws some light on the enigmatical phrase keAdam, by pointing out that Adam is employed in many places to express all the other races of mankind as opposed to Israel. Thus, he translates Jeremiah 32:20, “Thou who didst perform wonders in Israel, as well as in Adam.” Similarly Isaiah 43:4, on which Delitzsch remarks that those who do not belong to the chosen people are called Adam, because they are regarded as nothing but descendants of Adam. In this passage the emphatic position of the Hebrew pronoun hemmah lends significance to the contrasted term Adam. The meaning, therefore, is—the Israelites, who should be a chosen race, belong now, through their violation of the covenant, to the heathen: have become, in fact, Lo’Ammi. (Comp. Hosea 1:9.) The word “there” in the last clause may refer to some local sanctuary, notorious for idolatrous corruption. This is confirmed by the mention of localities in the next verse. We prefer, however, to understand it (with the Targum of Jonathan) as referring to the Holy Land.

            The normal way of writing “Adam” in Hebrew as a proper name is not keadam. The form of the word refers to wicked men in general or to a wicked place, a town that had a shrine dedicated to Adam and hence was called “”Adam.”

  • John Calvin

Some thus render the word אדם, adam, — “As the covenant of man have they transgressed it,” transferring it to the genitive case, “And they have transgressed the covenants as if it was that of man;” that is, as if they had to do with a mortal man, so have they despised and violated my holy covenant; and this exposition is not very unsuitable, except that it somewhat changes the construction; for in this case the Prophet ought to have said, “They have transgressed the covenant as that of a man;” but he says, ‘They as a man,’ etc. (37) But this rendering is far from being that of the words as they are, ‘They as men have transgressed the covenant.’ I therefore interpret the words more simply, as meaning, that they showed themselves to be men in violating the covenant.

And there is here an implied contrast or comparison between God and the Israelites; as though he said, “I have in good faith made a covenant with them, when I instituted a fixed worship; but they have been men towards me; there has been in them nothing but levity and inconstancy.” God then shows that there had not been a mutual concord between him and the Israelites, as men never respond to God; for he sincerely calls them to himself, but they act unfaithfully, or when they have given some proof of obedience, they soon turn back again, or despise and openly reject the offered instruction. We then see in what sense the Prophet says that they had transgressed the covenant of God as men.


Others explain the words thus, “They have transgressed as Adam the covenant.” But the word, Adam, we know, is taken indefinitely for men. This exposition is frigid and diluted, “They have transgressed as Adam the covenant;” that is, they have followed or imitated the example of their father Adam, who had immediately at the beginning transgressed God’s commandment. I do not stop to refute this comment; for we see that it is in itself vapid.

But they like men …] Literally, But they—they like (other) men transgress the covenant (or, perhaps, the ordinance, see on Hosea 8:1). The word rendered ‘men’ (’âdâm) means ordinary or less privileged men, as in Psalm 82:7 and most probably Job 31:33, ‘If I covered like (common) men my transgressions.’ It is assumed (as in Job l.c.) that ordinary men are addicted to certain vices, and that such privileged persons as Job or the Israelites ought to act up to a higher standard. The mention of the transgressions of ‘(other) men’ reminds us of Isaiah 24:5, where the inhabitants of the world are said to have ‘transgressed commandments, violated the statute, broken the perpetual covenant’, partly perhaps with reference to the ‘law written in the heart’, and partly to Genesis 9:1-16. The Targum, the Talmud, and the Vulgate (followed by Delitzsch on Job 31:33) render, ‘like Adam’, but the Book of Genesis says nothing of a ‘covenant’ with Adam.

  • Keil and Delitzsch

But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.

  • Coke’s Commentary

Hosea 6:7. Like men— It should be rendered.

  • Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown
  1. like men–the common sort of men (Psalms 82:7 ). Not as Margin, “like Adam,” Job 31:33 . For the expression “covenant” is not found elsewhere applied to Adam’s relation to God.

  • World Biblical Commentary

The concern of this statement is not how the covenant was broken “there at Adam,” but that by treating the covenant “like dirt,” the nation has betrayed (בגד) Yahweh himself. Here in Hosea ברית “covenant” appears only for the second time. In 2:20[18] the term denoted the future universal covenant. In the present passage the Mosaic covenant is clearly at issue. Its stipulations were Israel’s law; when broken wholesale, the covenant was negated and Israel brought under its curses (cf. 4:1–2; 4:6; 8:12). The people were guilty of treason.

  • A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Amos and Hosea
  1. But they like men have transgressed the covenant] Israel as a whole is spoken of, not merely the priests, nor the prophets. Upon the whole “like men,”§ i.e. after the manner of men, human-like, is to be preferred to “like Adam” (for which are urged T and V; the fondness of Hosea for early allusions, cf. 2:3, 9:10, 11:8, 12:4; the other occurrences of this phrase, Jb. 31:33, Ps. 82:7, and the parallel in Rom. 5:14), because of (1) G (v.s.); (2) the absence of any account of a covenant with Adam in Genesis; (3) the fact, that not until P is אדם used as a proper name; [1]

  • John Gill

Like the men of old, the former generations, as the Targum; meaning either the old inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites; or the men of the old world at the time of the flood, who were a very wicked and abandoned generation of men; or like men in common, depraved and degenerated, fickle and inconstant, vain and deceitful, and not at all to be depended upon; especially like the lower sort of men, the common people, who have no regard to their word, covenant, and agreement; or particularly like such men that are given to penury, and make no conscience of oaths and covenants ever so solemnly made: or, as others read the words, “but they have transgressed the covenant like man’s”.

  • A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Hosea

aThe word ברית is apparently indefinite. Two of the ancient versions (see below) render the word ‘my covenant’ interpreting the word of Yahweh’s covenant. That the reference is to that covenant is, however, far from certain (see further in the commentary).

bReading with Codex 554 (de Rossi) and Wellhausen, together with most recent commentaries בְּאָדָם, the name of the town mentioned in Josh 3:16 which is identified with the modern ed-Damiyeh at the mouth of the Jabbok, on the east bank of the Jordan approximately forty two kilometres north of the Dead Sea. That a place-name was indicated is virtually certain in view of the following שׁם ‘there’ and of the place-names mentioned in the subsequent verses. The MT reads כְּאָדָם which appears to mean ‘like Adam’ or ‘like man’.

The ancient versions together with Jerome and Rashi, following MT, understand the phrase to mean ‘like Adam/like men they have broken my covenant’. שׁם, ‘there’, is therefore understood to denote the good land (of Israel), comparable to the garden of Eden (Rashi). Amongst modern commentators, e.g., Harper, van Hoonacker and Qyl have taken ‘like man’ to mean ‘after the manner of man’. The interpretation is, however, contrived and yields a weak if not meaningless sense in the context.

That the word constitutes a reference to Adam/Man has attracted the support of, e.g., Nyberg, Ridderbos and van Gelderen. It is doubtful, however, whether Adam could be said to have transgressed a covenant or whether his transgression of the divine command is here referred to since that is not the case anywhere else in the OT (cf. Rudolph).

Kimchi understands the phrase to constitute a comparison between the transgression by Israel of Yahweh’s covenant and the transgression by a man of a covenant with his neighbour. According to this view a grammatically possible translation of MT can be secured: ‘they have broken the covenant like that of a man’, i.e. as though it were merely an agreement between men. Amongst modern commentators this view has found the support of, e.g., Ehrlich and Riessler. A similar but different view is taken by Rabbi Eliezer of Beaugency (twelfth century) who understands the clause to mean ‘they have broken my covenant as though I were a mere man’.[2]

  • Matthew Henry

They, like men, have transgressed the covenant, that covenant which God made with them; they have broken the conditions of it, and so forfeited the benefit of it. By casting off mercy and the knowledge of God, and other instances of disobedience, [1.] They had contracted the guilt of perjury and covenant-breaking; they were like men that transgress a covenant by which they had solemnly bound themselves, which is a thing that all the world cries out shame on; men that have done so deserve not again to be valued, or trusted, or dealt with. “There, in that thing, they have dealt treacherously against me; they have been perfidious, base, and false children, in whom is no faith, though I depended upon their being children that would not lie.’’ [2.] In this they had but acted like themselves, like men, who are generally false and fickle, and in whose nature (their corrupt nature) it is to deal treacherously; all men are liars, and they are like the rest of that degenerate race, all gone aside, Ps. 14:2, Ps. 14:3 . They have transgressed the covenant like men (like the Gentiles that transgressed the covenant of nature), like mean men (the word here used is sometimes put for men of low degree); they have dealt deceitfully, like base men that have no sense of honour.

  • Garrett, D. A. (1997). Hosea, Joel

6:7 To what does “Adam” refer? Candidates include the following. (1) Adam is the first man, the original sinner, and thus the model for Israel’s unfaithfulness. But “there” implies that “Adam” is a place, as do the parallels “Gilead” and Shechem,” and this seems to rule out this interpretation. (2) Adam is the city of that name on the Jordan river. The problem with this interpretation is that the city is mentioned only in Josh 3:16 as the place where the waters of the Jordan heaped up prior to Israel’s invasion of Canaan. Otherwise, it seems to have no significance. (3) Adam should be emended to Admah, the city of the plain that perished along with Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19:29). Hosea does mention Admah in 11:8. Otherwise, this emendation has little to commend it since Admah did not break any covenant of which we know. (4) The text should be translated something like, “They have walked on my covenant like dirt.” This involves several unusual interpretations of the Hebrew, so that it cannot be considered probable.186

We thus appear to be at an impasse. A solution is possible, however, if one takes note of the unusual language the text employs. When it says, “like Adam,” the reader naturally assumes that it refers to the most famous transgressor in the Bible, the man Adam. But when it says “there,” the reader’s reference point shifts, and he must assume that “Adam” is a place name. Inasmuch as there were shrines throughout Israel at the time of Hosea, we need not be surprised that the town of Adam would have had a shrine, nor need we suppose that the shrine there was in any respects unusual.188 It appears that Hosea singled out the shrine at Adam not because of some peculiarity about the town, but because of its namesake. The prophet has made a pun on the name of the town and the name of the original transgressor. His meaning is, “Like Adam (the man) they break covenants; they are faithless to me there (in the town of Adam).”[3]

  • New Bible commentary: 21st century edition

Most commentators read ‘as at Adam’, a place mentioned in Jos. 3:16 where the waters of the Jordan were cut off, allowing the people of Israel to cross over into the promised land. If this reading is right, Adam, a town in Gilead on the way to Shechem, had become a place of violent robbers (8–9). We do not know of specific violent acts there, but the coup against Pekahiah was carried out by Pekah and fifty men from Gilead (2 Ki. 15:25). It is quite likely that priests were involved in this or in similar deeds (9: cf. 2 Ki. 11, where the priest Jehoiada played the major role in a useful coup). V 10 sums up the situation again in terms used before.[4]

            Since the traditional Jewish and Christian translations of Hosea 6:7 do not refer to Adam in the Garden of Eden at Creation and to his breaking a covenant, the burden of proof to change the text to “Adam” instead of men in general or to a place falls on the modern translators. Most of them insert a footnote that reveals that they are aware the word keadam refers not to Adam per se but to men in general or to a place. That footnote reveals that they were not sure it is a reference to Adam. This alone should give pause to covenant theologians that this passage should not be used as the ONLY text to prove an entire system of theologian.


Conclusion

When you only have one text that may or may not support your doctrine, you are on very shaky ground. This is the case with the so-called covenant of works made with Adam in the Garden of Eden at Creation. There are no other texts that support that idea. My own exegesis came to the conclusion that Hosea 6:7 refers to a city that had a shrine dedicated to Adam where wickedness took place that violated the Mosaic covenant.

~~

Bibliography

[1] Harper, W. R. (1905). A critical and exegetical commentary on Amos and Hosea (p. 288). New York: C. Scribner’s Sons.

[2] MacIntosh, A. A. (1997). A critical and exegetical commentary on Hosea (pp. 236–237). Edinburgh: T&T Clark International.

[3] Garrett, D. A. (1997). Hosea, Joel (Vol. 19A, pp. 162–163). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Carson, D. A., France, R. T., Motyer, J. A., & Wenham, G. J. (Eds.). (1994). New Bible commentary: 21st century edition (4th ed., pp. 772–773). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.

Marriage: A Call to Die

“[Ephesians 5:25] is a naked call to love with a willingness to sacrifice, even unto death. Recognizing this, Mike Mason, author of the classic The Mystery of Marriage, says pointedly that marital love is like death – it wants all of us. I agree. If you do not understand this, you do not know what marital love is. It claims everything. Mason goes on by likening marital love to a shark:

‘And who has not been frightened almost to death by love’s dark shadow gliding swift and huge as an interstellar shark, like a swimming mountain, through the deepest waters of our being, through depths we never knew we had?’ 1

The realization of what this call means may at first be frightening, but it is also beautiful, because a man who embraces such a love will experience the grace of death to self. Marriage is a call to die, and a man who does not die for his wife does not come close to the love to which he is called. Christian marriage vows are the inception of a lifelong practice of death, of giving over not only all you have, but all you are.

Is this a grim gallows call? Not at all! It is no more grim than dying to self and following Christ. In fact, those who lovingly die for their wives are those who know the most joy, have the most fulfilling marriages, and experience the most love. Christ’s call to Christian husbands is not a call to be doormats, but to die. As we shall see, this can mean a death to our rights, our time, our perceived pleasures – all liberating deaths. This is truly a male thing, a masculine thing- for it takes a strong man to die.” 2

~~

  1.  Mike Mason, The Mystery of Marriage (Portland: Multnomah, 1985), p.52.
  2. Hughes, R. Kent. “Discipline of Marriage.” Disciplines of A Godly Man. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001. 35-36. Print.

Charles Spurgeon on Humility

“It is of the utmost importance to us to be kept humble. Consciousness of self-importance is a hateful delusion, but one into which we fall as naturally as weeds grow on a dunghill. We cannot be used of the Lord but that we also dream of personal greatness, we think ourselves almost indispensable to the church, pillars of the cause, and foundations of the temple of God.

We are nothings and nobodies, but that we do not think so is very evident, for as soon as we are put on the shelf we begin anxiously to enquire, ‘How will the work go on without me?’ As well might the fly on the coach wheel enquire, ‘How will the mails be carried without me?’ Far better men have been laid in the grave without having brought the Lord’s work to a standstill, and shall we fume and fret because for a little season we must lie upon the bed of languishing?

God sometimes weakens our strength in a way at the precise juncture when our presence seems most needed to teach us that we are not necessary to God’s work, and that when we are most useful, He can easily do without us. If this be the practical lesson, the rough schooling may be easily endured for assuredly it is beyond all things desirable that self should be kept low and the Lord alone be magnified.”

~~
– Charles H. Spurgeon, “Laid Aside, Why?” The Sword and Trowel, May, 1876, London.

Come, See the Omniscient Messiah – John 4:27-30 by E.B. Salazar

photo 1

CLICK HERE for audio and outline.

On Sunday, June 1st I had the great privilege to preach for the first time at my church, Grace Providence Church, on John 4:27-30.  It was quite a challenging passage for me, as I am used to teaching Systematic Theology, and this is a very short and simple passage.  The Lord was merciful to open my eyes to behold wondrous things out of His law (Ps. 119:18).  It is a rich passage full of very practical instruction to God’s people on who is Jesus to us individually, as a church, and how that knowledge fuels (or should fuel) our zeal for the spreading of the Gospel to all the unlikely sons and daughters of God spread all throughout the world (Is. 43:6; Rev. 9:5).

May this Samaritan woman teach us how to behold the glorious, omniscient Christ.

Docetism: First Heresy of the Early Church

fuzzy-jesusTaken from Dr. Robert Morey’s The Trinity: Evidence and Issues.

~~

“What must be in order for what is to be what it is?  Given the theophanies of the Old Testament and the early Jewish literature, we would expect to find that the first heresy to afflict the Church would be a denial of the humanity of Jesus.  And when we turn to the New Testament, we find that the earliest heresies refuted in the New Testament denied the humanity of the Christ, but not His deity.

The deity of the Christ was not controversial until much later because the theophanies in the Old Testament had already established the idea of Yahweh coming to earth in human form.  The literature of early Judaism already spoke of Yahweh coming to earth as a man (Isa. 40:10-11; Mal. 3:1). It is, thus, no surprise to the Trinitarian the the first heresy to arise was Docetic Gnosticism.  As Millard Erickson pointed out, it was probably ‘the original heresy’ and ‘the object of the apostle’s rebuttal in 1 John.’ 1

He explains:

Docetism (from the Greek verb  δοκεῖν, ‘to seem’) was the belief that Jesus was not genuinely human, that he merely ‘seemed’ or ‘appeared’ to possess human nature.  Just as the Docetic Gnostics had no difficulty accepting the deity of Jesus but only the humanity, so they had no difficulty accepting the idea that Mary was a virgin, but only that Jesus was genuinely born. 2

In his commentary on 1 John, Lias notes:

The Gnostics denied that the Deity could be united to matter, which they believed to be essentially alien to the Divinity.  And so they denied the perfect manhood of the Son of God.

The classic commentator Robert Candlish explains:

In the dreamy and misty theosophy of the Gnostic anti-christs, any Christ whom they would acknowledge at all could be nothing else than a sort of effect or emanation of Deity, a detached portion of the divine nature, or wisdom, or love; altogether visionary and unsubstantial; but withal very sublime.  The idea of such a transcendental Christ being identical with the historical man, the man of ‘flesh and bones,’ Jesus, was an outrage on their philosophy . . . that he was truly and personally himself the Christ, in his man-hood and in his manhood’s history and experience, especially in his birth and in his death, their subtle notions of spirit and matter compelled them strenuously to deny. 3

The point of controversy in the earliest heresies had to do with a denial of the humanity of Jesus Christ, i.e., that the Christ was a real human being, a man of flesh and blood.  The Gnostics claimed that the divine Christ was a phantom or spirit manifestation, but not a real human being.  This is why the New Testament writers stressed the doctrine of the Incarnation as the test of orthodoxy.” 4

~~

  1.  Millard J. Erickson, The Word Became Flesh (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991), 45-46
  2.  Lias, 294
  3.  Robert S. Candlish, The First Epistle of John (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, n.d.), 180-181.
  4. Morey, Robert A. “God the Son.” The Trinity: Evidence and Issues. Las Vegas: Christian Scholar’s, 1996. 291-92. Print.

New Testament Exegesis Outline Template by D.E. Norczyk

15142_1171356645560_8276109_nIn preparation for an upcoming sermon I will preach at my church, Grace Providence Church, I was sent me the following template he created and uses to prepare his sermons.  Bless your pastors and never underestimate the work of a preacher.  It is hard work!

You can access the template here.

“But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, NASB.

“The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.” – Galatians 6:6, NASB.

John Calvin on the Humanity of Christ

As quoted in Dr. Robert Morey’s The Trinity: Evidence and Issues.

“Certainly those who imagine that the Son of God was exempt from human passions do not truly and sincerely acknowledge him to be a man.” 1

“Still the weakness which Christ took upon himself must be distinguished from ours, for there is a great difference.  In us there is no affection unaccompanied by sin, because they all exceed due bounds and proper restraint; but when Christ was distressed by grief and fear, he did not rise against God, but continued to be regulated by the true rule of moderation.  We need not wonder that, since he was innocent, and pure from every stain, the affections which flowed from him were pure and stainless, but that nothing proceeds from the corrupt nature of men which is not impure and filthy.  Let us, therefore, attend to this distinction, that Christ, amidst fear and sadness, was weak without taint of sin; but that all of our affections are sinful, because they rise to an extravagant height.”2

~~

  1. John Calvin, Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965), 3:227.
  2. Ibid., 227-228.
  3. Morey, Robert A. “God the Son.” The Trinity: Evidence and Issues. Las Vegas: Christian Scholar’s, 1996. 294-295. Print.

John Newton on Prideful Calvinists

john_newton“And I am afraid there are Calvinists, who, while they account it a proof of their humility that they are willing in words to debase the creature, and to give all the glory of salvation to the Lord, yet know not what manner of spirit they are of. Whatever it be that makes us trust in ourselves that we are comparatively wise or good, so as to treat those with contempt who do not subscribe to our doctrines, or follow our party, is a proof and fruit of a self-righteous spirit. Self-righteousness can feed upon doctrines, as well as upon works; and a man may have the heart of a Pharisee, while his head is stored with orthodox notions of the unworthiness of the creature and the riches of free grace. Yea, I would add, the best of men are not wholly free from this leaven; and therefore are too apt to be pleased with such representations as hold up our adversaries to ridicule, and by consequence flatter our own superior judgments. Controversies, for the most part, are so managed as to indulge rather than to repress this wrong disposition; and therefore, generally speaking, they are productive of little good. They provoke those whom they should convince, and puff up those whom they should edify.” 1,2

~~

  1. Gibson, David; Gibson, Jonathan (2013-11-30). From Heaven He Came and Sought Her: Definite Atonement in Historical, Biblical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspective (p. 18). Crossway. Kindle Edition.
  2. John Newton, “On Controversy,” in The Works of John Newton, 6 vols. (New York: Williams & Whiting, 1810), 1: 245.