Friday, August 31, 2007

The Central Over-Arching Themes of Scripture

There are three main over-arching themes stretching across Scripture’s story line.

1. God’s Sovereign Rule. God is the omnipotent creator, sustainer, director, and governor of all things in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. As King, God’s domain involves, but is in no way limited to, both the law (covenant of works) and the gospel (covenant of redemption/grace). His sovereign rule extends from eternity to eternity.

2. The Law. The law as a reflection of God’s own inflexible and perfect purity requires perfect obedience for life and promises death to any moral agent who sins against it. There is “grace” in the law inasmuch as God (1) created human image bearers in the first place, (2) established the law covenant in the garden, and (3) revealed its requirements to Adam. But, there is no redemptive grace because there is no provision or promise of redemption for sinners in the law covenant.

3. The Gospel. The good news of Scripture always involves redemption from sin and misery. Thus, there was no “gospel” to Adam before the fall. The gospel is that the Father sent Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit to take on a human nature, to live, to die, and to rise again in order to redeem the elect and to restore creation to its pre-fall state such that it would become nothing but blessing to the elect once again. This gospel is not merely an announcement or revelation of such facts and unconditional promises, but it is also a conditional promise and command, declaring that whoever believes in Christ for redemption from sin and misery is by that faith alone joined to Christ and thereby justified (given the ownership/right to eternal life by faith alone) and sanctified (given the experience/enjoyment of eternal life through faithful good works) for the glory of God alone.

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