Secession Theologians and the Covenant

More and more theological conviction (1880) grew that the Covenant is a reality in history which is clearly distinct from God’s eternal decree of election: God has established his Covenant within the time with the believers and their children. In the Covenant He does not ask the question whether we belong to the number of the elect, but whether we accept Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the Covenant. And this ‘question’ is not obligation-free. It requires a response. It is a matter of God calling us. He calls us to believe in Christ, the ‘mirror of our election’ (John Calvin). In this way He fulfills his eternal decree of election unto salvation.

Those who like to join in the celebration of the victory– for it was a victory indeed!– of living in and thinking from the Covenant, can do so by reading the writings of men like W. H. Gispen and others. Those writers point the finger to the fact that, as a result of the influence of Labadism, church life for a long time took its starting-point in election and regeneration, rather than in the Covenant of grace as it was established with Abraham and his seed. Consequently those who desired to do their public profession of faith and to participate in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper were asked whether they by repentance and faith felt assured of their election and regeneration. If they were not aware of that, they were advised to withdraw lest they eat and drink judgment to themselves.

~ J. Kamphuis An Everlasting Covenant pg. 22