A Confessional question
Chapter 20 of the 1689 Confession of Faith (“Of the Gospel, and of the Extent of the Grace Thereof”) opens with the following statement:
1. The covenant of works being broken by sin, and made unprofitable unto life, God was pleased to give forth the promise of Christ, the seed of the woman, as the means of calling the elect, and begetting in them faith and repentance; in this promise, the gospel, as to the substance of it, was revealed, and [is] therein effectual, for the conversion and salvation of sinners.
To all you 1689rs (and others) out there, a question about the opening words: “The covenant of works being broken by sin, and made unprofitable unto life . . .”
Do you read that as a statement of consequence? Would an acceptable paraphrase be something like, “Because the covenant of works was broken by sin, and so made unprofitable to [not able to grant] life . . .” as if the covenant of works could and would have been profitable to life had it not been broken?
Or, if our confessing forefathers had wanted to say that, would they have said, “The covenant of works being broken by sin, it became unprofitable unto life, so God . . .”? In which case, what is the sense of the phrase as it stands?
A minor point, but interesting. Grateful for any thoughts in the comments. Thanks in advance.