There is a long history in Christianity of turning the covenant of grace into a covenant of works. This happens in a variety of ways. One way this can happens is by changing the nature of faith in salvation. In the Middle Ages, the church came to think and speak of faith as “formed by love,” i.e., by sanctification. There are ostensible evangelical Protestants who continue this errant tradition. There are other ways of corrupting faith, e.g., by reversing the order of conditions in the covenant of grace, by turning the consequences of faith into the prior (antecedent) conditions of faith. The good news is that the gospel is not that complicated nor is true faith that complicated. Mike (NoCo Radio) and I were together in studio recently to talk about these very things.
Mike Abendroth is pastor of Bethlehem Bible Church in West Boyleston, MA. He loves the gospel, the Reformation, and Reformed covenant theology. Presently he is preaching through the book of Hebrews, which has fueled his interest in and affection for seeing Christ in all of Scripture.
Here is the interview on the NoCo Radio site.
Distinguishing the role of good works, repentance, and even faith as a necessary CONSEQUENCE, as fruit of regeneration, is absolutely essential to understanding the gospel. If we get this wrong we are back into a covenant of works. Great discussion on this all important topic.