The Marrow of Modern Divinity is a 17th Century work that teaches concerning God’s Eternal Plan to redeem a people to his name to the praise of His grace. The work is set as a discussion between a legalist and a libertine about the role of the law in the life of a believer. An Evangelist happens along who is able to put the law in it’s proper perspective, as it relates to the salvation of men. Chapter 2 of the book covers God’s Plan of Salvation, purposed within Himself in Eternity Past, revealed in various stages through Biblical history, beginning with Genesis 3:15, and finally completed in His Son – Jesus Christ. God’s Plan of Salvation of mankind is commonly referred to by theologians as the Covenant (or Plan) of Grace; or the Gospel. Chapter 2 of the Marrow covers the Gospel outlined as follows: Gospel 1) Purposed, 2) Promised, and 3) Provided.
In part 1 of this review, we looked at God’s Purposing of Grace in the Everlasting Covenant (as Spurgeon called it). In this post, we’ll begin to look at the unfolding promise of grace as found in the pages of Scripture: from Genesis 3 to the coming of the Messiah.
Promise of Grace – To Adam
Genesis 3:15 – “And I will put enmity between thee [SATAN] and the woman, and between thy seed [Children of Wrath; Eph 2:3] and her seed [Christ particularly – Rom 1:3, Gal 3:19; and to those that are Christ’s – Rom 4:16, Gal 3:29] it shall bruise thy head [Christ will bruise Satan – Rom 16:20], and thou shalt bruise his heel [Death of Christ – Is 53:5]“.
[The bracketed notes are mine].
Says Evangelist – “This promise of Christ, the woman’s seed, was the gospel; and the only comfort of Adam, Abel, Enoch, Noah, and the rest of the godly fathers, until the time of Abraham.”
Commenting on this passage, Thomas Boston writes:
In this promise was revealed, 1. Man’s restoration unto the favour of God, and his salvation; not to be effected by man himself, and his own works, but by another. For our first parents, standing condemned for breaking of the covenant of works, are not sent back to it, to essay the mending of the matter, which they had marred before; but a new covenant is purposed,—a Saviour promised as their only hope. 2. That this Saviour was to be incarnate, to become man, “the seed of the women.” 3. That he behoved to suffer; his heel, namely his humanity, to be bruised to death. 4. That by his death he should make a full conquest over the devil, and destroy his works, who had now overcome and destroyed mankind; and so recover the captives out of his hand: “he shall bruise thy head, viz: while thou bruisest his heel.” This encounter was on the cross: there Christ treading on the serpent, it bruised his heel, but he bruised its head. 5. That he should not be held by death, but Satan’s power should be broken irrecoverably: the Saviour being only bruised in the heel, but the serpent in the head. 6. That the saving interest in him, and his salvation, is by faith alone, believing the promise with particular application to one’s self, and so receiving him, forasmuch as these things are revealed by way of a simple promise.