Kuyper on Covenants (Works/Grace) Part I

I’ll continue Andrew’s “Kuyper Quotes” theme from a few days ago. The following quotes concerning the covenants of works and grace are found in Kuyper’s fine work, The Holy Spirit (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1900).  Part II of this post is coming soon.

“…When God justifies a sinner He puts Him in a totally different state [than losable righteousness that Adam had pre-fall].  The righteousness of Christ becomes his.  And what is this righteousness?  Was Jesus in a state of rectitude only?  In no wise.  His righteousness was tested, tried, and sifted; it was even tested by the consuming fire of God’s wrath.  And this righteousness converted from ‘original rectitude’ into ‘righteousness vindicated’ was imputed to the ungodly.”  (Note of clarification: “original rectitude” is how theologians describe Adam’s standing in the garden before the fall.  “Righteousness vindicated” is how Kuyper describes obedience that passed a test, which Adam did not achieve.)

Kuyper continues:  “Therefore the ungodly, when justified by grace, has nothing to do with Adam’s state before the fall, but occupies the position of Jesus after the resurrection.  He possesses a good that can not be lost.  He works no more for wages, but the inheritance is his own.  His works, zeal, love, and praise flow not from his own poverty, but from the overflowing fullness of the life that was obtained for him.”  Kuyper here echoes the Reformed teaching that we’ve gained more in Christ than we lost in Adam.

It gets better.  “As it is often expressed: For Adam in Paradise there was first work and then the Sabbath of rest; but for the ungodly justified by grace the Sabbath rest comes first, and then the labor which flows from the energies of that Sabbath.  In the beginning the week closed with the Sabbath; for us the day of the resurrection of Christ opens the week which feeds upon the powers of that resurrection” (all above emphasis his) (p. 49).


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