COVENANT OF WORKS
“Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners….” (Rom 5:19 NLT). “This divinely chosen arrangement whereby Adam determined the destiny of his descendants, has been called the ‘covenant of works,’…” The Reformation Study Bible (ref#56, p13, “The Fall”).
My natural-born condition of wanting to decide for myself what is good or bad is the reason this covenant exists. FATHER, I am prone to establish for myself a collection of activities I consider good and bad and then work to do the good. Left to myself, without Your input, FATHER, it makes sense to me that if I work at being good You will bless me; this is the “covenant of works.” My part is to be as good as I can, Your part is to bless me and invite me into heaven—I hope—if I can just do enough good to satisfy You…
“…the human heart would much rather offer to God its works, no matter how costly, than humble itself to confess sin. That is the reason why man is always predisposed to go the way of works;…” Roy and Revel Hession (ref#100, p 80).
You, FATHER, established the “covenant of works” with Adam and Eve in the Garden. You were to be their GOD and they were to be Your people; You gave commands and they were to follow them. And You warned them about the consequences if they did not follow Your commands: “…you shall surely die’” (Gen 2:17 ESV).
The “covenant of works” requires obedience (Lev 18:5); perfect obedience leads to life (ref#63, p517). But now, as with Adam, if I break this covenant “the punishment…is still in effect…death” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p517-518).
Since I do not have the ability to obey every one of Your commands, my only choice is to give up directing my own life and put myself under the Lordship of CHRIST. If I trust Him to fulfill all Your covenant requirements for me, then I shall live forever and never die.
For this I am humbled, LORD GOD; JESUS is my escape from the covenant of works that I cannot keep. You are Jehovah-Jireh, my Provider.
“O HEAVENLY FATHER,
Teach me to see…
that Christ does not desire me…
to live in self-confidence in my own strength…”
The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p57).