The WCF is not about dispensationalism as people commonly understand dispensationalism today. I believe there is a finite number of covenants God has has made for the benefit of the elect, and all of those serve the greater purpose of God in creating man to start with. Gershner has some good opinions. This is what I wrote about his lecture-it is largely a paraphrase…God is so high above us-so infinitely transcending us, so that we as creatures of the dust could never do anything to merit his attention-so the covenant is regarded as an infinite condescension from God to us mere finite creatures
The first covenant was a covenant of works- made with Adam – if Adam was perfect in obedience he’d be o.k.-That covenant was a condescension too, for how could Adam’s obedience merit eternal life? God established the covenant with Adam that if he did such and such…whatever he did would never have merited eternal life though God was gracious to let it be good enough.
Man by his fall made the covenant of works impossible, so God made another covenant-that of Jesus Christ-requiring faith in him, that they may be saved. God promised to make all those ordained unto life to have salvation; and to give all the Holy Spirit to make them willing and able to believe.
Adam’s human works did not deserve eternal life. Covenant of grace though is pure grace-Adam at least had to do something in the covenant of works. The latter makes one think that he does something that lets him be saved. Covenant of grace alternatively has even faith being supplied with God’s grace.
Jesus Christ-the testator-the word testament indicates the kind of agreement. God gave up his own Son for our death, and Jesus Christ agreed to atone for our sins. It was a testament bequethed by the testator.
The Westminster divines were opposed to dispensationalism. The church in the Old Testament was also a covenant of grace- (in a legal dispensation) administered differently though. In the OT the legal dispensation was a difference of mode rather than of essence. That legal dispensation put one in the right way of grace-one wasn’t actually saved through works, such that dispensationalists think.
There are not two different covenants of grace-there is just one covenant of grace in the Old and New Testaments. There is just a difference in form.
Christ the mediator-it pleased God in His eternal purpose-to be the mediator between God and man. Two whole perfect, distinct natures-the Godhead and manhood, were joined together in Christ. Sinners does not belong in human nature-it was incurred by the fall. Christ did not take on a nature with sin. He was sanctified and anointed by the Holy Spirit. Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, equal with the Father, yet when he took upon human nature he obeyed God as if he were a man.
Jesus willingly undertook the role of being crucified and died.