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 provideth and offereth to sinners a mediator, and life and salvation by him; and requiring faith as the condition to interest them in him, promiseth 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 hath appointed them to salvation.
Virtually every word is rich in meaning. Let’s see how Vos interprets and clarifies.
Why was it necessary for sinners to have a Mediator in order to be saved? A Mediator was necessary because sinners could not reconcile themselves to God.
What does Christ, our Mediator, provide? He provides salvation from sin, and eternal life, to those who receive him.
What is the meaning of the word interest in this question? The word interest here means making sure that they will share in the benefits provided by the Mediator.
How do we get faith in Jesus Christ? Saving faith in Jesus Christ is a gift of God. We do not have it of ourselves, or by nature. No one can really believe on Christ unless God has given hint the gift of faith.
That last points is so often not understood or not taught today.
Since saving faith is a gift of God, do we need to try to believe on Christ, or should we just wait until God gives us the gift of faith? Although it is true that saving faith is a gift of God, and we cannot get it of ourselves, still it is our duty to strive to believe on Christ. If we really want to believe on Christ, that is a sign that God is giving us the gift of faith.
What other things does the Holy Spirit work in our hearts and lives besides faith? He works “all other saving graces,” including repentance and sanctification with all that they include.
All this results in our wanting to obey God.
Why should a Christian want to obey the law of God? A Christian should want to obey the law of God as an evidence of the truth of his faith and thankfulness to God.
What other reason is there why a Christian should want to obey the law of God? A Christian should want to obey the law of God because that is “the way which God hath appointed to salvation.” This does not mean that obeying God’s has is any part of the ground of our salvation, but that being saved from sin unto righteousness, obedience to the law is the way that God has appointed for a saved person to walk in, and the person who is really saved will want to forsake sin and follow righteousness more and more.
My wife decided that she preferred saying that we obey God because we love him. One could put it that way.
We love God because he first loved us, even while we were sinners. Even more amazing he knew us and loved us before the foundation of the world.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
1Jn 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
Deu 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.