Johannes Braun: Adam Would Have Merited His Reward

If Adam had remained upright and done everything which God required of him, he would indeed have merited his reward, but not condignly, as if either his own person or his works were equal in value to the reward. For no creature, no matter how perfect, can merit anything from God in that sense. […] Rather he would have merited ex pacto, according to the stipulation of the covenant—that is, according to God’s good pleasure.*

—Johannes Braun, Doctrina Foederum (1688; republished 1702), 259–260. Translated by Aaron Denlinger.

* Si Adamus stetisset omniaque fecisset, meritus quidem fuisset, sed 1. Non ex Condigno, quasi vel ipsius persona, vel ipsius opera tanto proemio digna fuissent. Nulla sane creatura, etiamsi perfectissima, apud Deum mereri potest. (1. quia Deo omnia debemus. Luc. 17:10. (2. Deo nullum potest adferri commodum cum sit אל שדי Deus sufficiens. Genes. 17. Vide Iob. 22:2. (3. quicquid homo boni habet, id habet à Deo. Phil. 2:13. Act. 17:28. 1. Cor. 4:7. (4. Nulla datur proportio inter opus creaturae, et fruitionem Dei. Nec etiam II. meritus fuisset ex congruo, scilicet propter eximia dona, quae à Deo acceperat. (1. quia Deus fuisset acceptor personarum, qui benefaceret ob propria dona, (2. quia in Adamo nulla fuit gratia gratum faciens, cum omnia à Deo habuerit. Ergo meritus fuisset ex pacto tantum, secundum stipulationem foederis, ex mero beneplacito Dei (pp. 259–60).

    Post authored by:

  • R. Scott Clark
    Author Image

    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

    More by R. Scott Clark ›

Subscribe to the Heidelblog today!


  1. Prof. I know that the Reformed teach that Adam would not have condignly merit a reward but did he in his disobedience merit
    a condign punishment, that the reward & punishment was diametrically applied.

Comments are closed.