Interaction with URCNA Report on FV (13): Covenant, Election and Salvation (c)

The Report says (3.D.1) says, “However, the FV tendency to identify covenant and election in an unqualified manner renders saving election loseble, election being conditional upon covenant faithfulness.

Statements like this seem far removed from the actual testimony of FV authors. What follows are some statements from John Barach (“Covenant and Election” in The Federal Vision) which disprove the above claim.

a. “God has predestined some people who deserve eternal damnation to eternal glory with Christ instead, while not predestining others. This is the Bible’s teaching from Genesis 1:1 on through the whole of Scripture. God didn’t predestine anyone to glory because of something in that person, but simply out of His sheer love and grace in Christ. God initiates, not because He sees anything in us, but out of sheer grace. That predestining choice is unchangeable. The number of people who will enter into final glory is the number of people God always intended to enter into final glory with Christ. That predestining choice is unthwartable” (17).

b. “Deuteronomy 7 is one of the passages that teach us unconditional election: ‘Not because you were great in number, but because God loved you and He is faithful to His oath.’ In Deuteronomy 9:4-6 God goes further and says that He isn’t blessing Israel because of her righteousness, either. Her blessings weren’t due to anything in Israel herself. It was entirely God’s grace” (26).

c. “We are God’s chosen people, not because of anything in ourselves, not because of anything we have done, but because of His sheer grace” (27).

d. “We need to hold three things together as we think about the relationship between covenant and election. First, God has eternally predestined an unchanging number of people out of the whole world to eternal glory with Christ. We read that in Genesis 1:1 on. We know that from Ephesians 1:11: God “works all things after the counsel of His will.” Second, God’s covenant includes some who have been so predestined to eternal glory with Christ, but it also includes other who have not been predestined to eternal glory with Christ but who will apostatize. Third God addresses His people as a whole, and that includes each one in the covenant, head for head, as His elect” (31-32).

e. “On the last day we will look back and we will see God’s grace every inch of the way. God gave us life. God worked in all the details in our lives. God, in grace, united to us in Christ, the Elect One, and He kept us in Him. He worked in us to will and to work (Phil.2:13). He worked in us so that we responded to Him in faith and trust and we persevered. We owe it all to Him, to His choice, to His grace. We will enter into final glory with Christ exactly according to God’s eternal predestinating decree” (38).

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