1. The distance between God and the creature is so great, that although reasonable creatures do owe obedience unto Him as their creator, yet they could never have attained the reward of life but by some voluntary condescension on God's part, which He hath been pleased to express by way of covenant.1
1. Lk 17:10; Job 35:7-8.
2. Moreover, man having brought himself under the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace,2 wherein He freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ, requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved;3 and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life, His Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.4
2. Ge 2:17; Gal.3:10; Ro 3:20-21.
3. Ro 8:3; Mk 16:15-16; Jn 3:16.
4. Eze 36:26-27; Jn 6:44-45; Ps 110:3.
Fulton Footnote: By the words "offereth unto sinners life and salvation" etc., we do not understand that the gift of eternal life is offered to alien sinners, but should be understood as meaning the assurance or enjoyment of spiritual or divine life, as is taught in John 20:30,31 and Galatians 6:7,8. The following places in the Confession describe the alien sinners as being unable to accept an offer of life: Chapter XX., Section 4; Chapter IX., Section 3; Chapter III., Section 6; and for further explanation of the doctrine herein set forth and from which said doctrine is deducible, see Confession, Chapter XVII., Section 3; Chapter XVIII., Sections 3 and 4; Chapter X., Section 4; Chapter XX., Sections 1 and 4; 2 Peter 1:10, 11.
3. This covenant is revealed in the gospel; first of all to Adam in the promise of salvation by the seed of the woman,5 and afterwards by farther steps, until the full discovery thereof was completed in the New Testament;6 and it is founded in that eternal covenant transaction that was between the Father and the Son about the redemption of the elect;7 and it is alone by the grace of this covenant that all of the posterity of fallen Adam that ever were saved did obtain life and blessed immortality, man being now utterly incapable of acceptance with God upon those terms on which Adam stood in his state of innocency.8
5. Ge 3:15.
6. Heb 1:1.
7. 2Ti 1:9; Tit 1:2.
8. Heb 11:6,13; Ro 4:1-2; Ac 4:12; Jn 8:56.