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"If God is sovereign, then his lordship must extend over all of life, and it cannot be restricted to the walls of the church or within the Christian orbit." Abraham Kuyper Common Grace 1.1.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Kuyper's Common Grace #CG1.1 Chapter 5

5. The Blessings of the Noahic Covenant

Kuyper reiterates the points made previously: the world after the flood is different to that before it. Everything was included in the covenant. The tendency has been to negect the Noahic covenant because it is not about "saving the soul". He then spends some time discussing the nature of the covenant - it was established by God (Gen 9:8-9 )and does not depend upon our agreement; it is not a contract.

"In this covenant, God binds only himself, and the ordinances with which he accompanies his covenant are not stipulations or conditions, but commands and statutes that God in his omnipotence institutes and imposes on man as his creation and as his subject." (46)
He then makes a distinction between the ordinances and the covenant: the ordinances are not included in the covenant.(46) The ordinances precede the covenant, they exist outside of the covenant. Three subjects are distinguished: God's intention (Gen 8:21-22) ; God's address to rescued humanity (Gen 9:1-8); and the establishment of the covenant (Gen 9:9-17).

God's address begins and ends with "pronouncing a blessing" (vv 1 and 7): be fruitful and multiply. Humanity is given:
  supremacy over the animals,
  permission to eat animals with a
  prohibition from eating the blood of animals, and
  the institution of the death penalty.
"These four items are to be understood as expressions of grace, and only in that way can they be correctly understood." (48)
Kuyper takes this prohibition to eat the blood as indicating that this practice took place before the flood and thus rejects the supposition that "before the flood all people would have been vegetarians." (51)

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