As I have begun to get into this work, I keep digging up nuggets of gold. Witness this one that I just ran across this morning, from the Introduction by Olevianus, immediately following the piece I quoted yesterday:
"We can see from the following that this covenant between God and us is a gracious one and does not rest upon any condition of our own worthiness or merit, but exists through faith alone. For so far as God is concerned, He, strictly speaking, makes the covenant with us when He seals in our hearts through His Spirit the promise of gracious reconciliation offered in the gospel (Titus 3:5-7; 2Tim 1:9; Gal. 3:6, 28-29). So far as we are concerned, we receive it through faith alone when we are graciously endowed with the Holy Spirit who brings it about that we want to believe and are able to believe the gracious promise of reconciliation through Christ (Eph. 1; Joel 2; Isa. 59). If you look at the Mediator, our heavenly Father has indeed received from Him the price of reconciliation and we have satisfaction in Him. For in the same way the Mediator was graciously sent and given to us, and also imputes to use that merit, the covenant is also gracious. So this whole covenant is purely gracious and exists through faith alone. With respect to God, the offering of the promise of grace and the giving of Christ Himself is gracious. The reception on our part is also gracious because it is the action of God in us by which He seals His promise on our hearts. He does this so that having been acted upon, we might act, that is, that having been made believers by Him, we might believe (Eph. 2:1, 5-10). All of these things are clearly described in that promise of the new covenant in Jeremiah 31 that I referred to above.Despite the objections of some in the Federal Vision camp, or those more recently who seem to want to echo the Federal Vision's objection to ANY discussion of merit, the grounding of salvation in God's gracious election and the just imputation of Christ's righteousness to His elect is an OLD idea - is not the product of any newfangled hermeneutic. Olevianus, one of the architects of the Reformation in Europe, as one of the authors of the Heidelberg Catechism, clearly teaches here in this little section of the introduction to this work - and elsewhere within, and (Scott Clark will confirm this I'm sure, as a recognized scholar of Olevianus) throughout his writings - that Christ's merit, the merit of the Mediator, is applied to us. We are reckoned FULLY righteous in the sight of God - and that righteousness is, sorry to say to some recent objectors - a meritorious righteousness, for it is CHRIST's righteousness, properly speaking.
The reason why God wanted this covenant to be completely gracious was so that all glory might redound to Him alone...." (pp. 14-15, Caspar Olevianus, An Exposition of the Apostles' Creed)
How glorious is our Lord - how magnificent is His salvation, for He has granted and imputed the fully meritorious righteousness of Christ to filthy and depraved sinners such as you and me. We have to grasp both the depth of our sin, and the stupendous height of the righteousness we are imputed with, in order to really begin to understand the matchless grace of God...and, as we increase in our appreciation of the magnificence of this grace, we have all the more motivation toward thanksgiving and praise... and all indeed does to redound to God's glory!
Again, though my time in this book is small, I have to say it will be well worth the price. Grab a copy, which you can buy here and hear how this elder brother in the faith fleshed out the doctrines of the creed. You won't be sorry you did.
Our date for discussing this book and Caspar Olevianus with Dr. Scott Clark is now set - February 16 - on Covenant Radio. Look for the podcast (check the right-hand sidebar of this page for subscription instructions) and be on the lookout for rebroadcasts on our streaming station, Sola5 Radio. Daily announcements of programming highlights at Sola5 Radio may be accessed at the Sola5 blog.