No Symmetry Between Salvation and Damnation

Certain covenant theologians need to read this over again:

 “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life,” (Rom. 6:23). Why, as he contrasts life with death, does he not also contrast righteousness with sin? Why, when setting down sin as the cause of death, does he not also set down righteousness as the cause of life? The antithesis which would otherwise be complete is somewhat marred by this variation; but the Apostle employed the comparison to express the fact, that death is due to the deserts of men, but that life was treasured up solely in the mercy of God. In short, by these expressions, the order rather than the cause is noted.  The Lord adding grace to grace, takes occasion from a former to add a subsequent, so that he may omit no means of enriching his servants. Still, in following out his liberality, he would have us always look to free election as its source and beginning. For although he loves the gifts which he daily bestows upon us, inasmuch as they proceed from that fountain, still our duty is to hold fast by that gratuitous acceptance, which alone can support our souls; and so to connect the gifts of the Spirit, which he afterwards bestows, with their primary cause, as in no degree to detract from it.

~ John Calvin Institutes Book 3, Chapt. 14.21

Calvin, agreeing with Paul, shows an important way in which the work of Christ was not like the work of Adam.  Death is earned.  Life is graced.

Eden and Exodus

Genesis 29:1-14 exudes Edenic imagery right from the beginning. Jacob has just left “the house of God,” where he saw heaven and earth united, and he proceeds east-ward. This is the direction of the garden (Gen. 2:8), and it should come as no surprise that Jacob encounters water, livestock, and of course, a woman who will be his bride.

This story is a clear parallel to the earlier account of Isaac’s servant meeting Rebekah (which is also a new Adam and Eve story), but this time Laban (who we have also met before) is no longer a friend. Like the Pharaohs and Emperors who always forget the good guys, so too does Laban turn on Jacob. Our new Eden becomes a new Egypt, and an Exodus will be required.