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Covenant Theology Discussion


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  • Advanced Member

This is a two person thread. Any others who wish to comment need another thread.

 

I am opening this thread for discussion - the debate isn't happening.

 

I am aware of the Wiki CT link.

 

What I propose to do is establish a CT system taking into account the overall position of this board, to see to what extent we can find Scriptural agreement from an independent baptist perspective.

 

Our Bible is divided into OT & NT. The word "testament" does not occur in the OT, and where OT quotations & equivalent expressions occur in the NT, "covenant" is used. We should therefore consider that the words are synonymous, though there may be shades of differences in particular contexts. (Where a legacy or will is intended.)

 

There are over 300 references to "covenant" throughout Scripture, so some form of CT is essential to understanding Scripture.

 

A Biblical covenant is a promise of blessing by God, & may be conditional or unconditional. To be effective, OBedience is required.

 

The first covenant was with Noah:

Gen. 6:18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.

....

22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

As Hebrews records:

By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

In faith & OBedience, Noah responded to the warning & the promise. He built an ark. When judgement fell, Noah & all in the ark were safe.

 

The rainbow covenant was made with all the earth after the flood.

Gen. 9:11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.

That covenant is unconditional - nothing man can do can affect it - but there is a qualification:

Gen. 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

 

The first promise to Abraham, not specifically a covenant, is:

Gen. 12:Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him;

That is in covenant format - an unconditional promise to which Abraham responds with faith & OBedience.

God continues with the land covenant:

Gen. 15:18 In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: 19 the Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, 20 and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, 21 and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

The land was promised, but the people had to take possession. Both Joshua & Solomon claimed God had fulfilled the promises. The land apportionment in Ezekiel 47-48 is not as extensive.

 

We have thus 2 covenant promises to Abraham - a blessing for all families of the earth and a promise of land for his descendants.

 

When we come to the NT, there is no mention of the land covenant, except in the form of a question - Acts 1:6 but the blessing to all families of the earth does get several mentions including the justification for the Gospel for the Gentiles without circumcision. Acts 3:25 Gal. 3:8

 

Moses is particularly concerned with the covenant of works - the old covenant requiring OBedience. It begins with a wonderful declaration of love, to which the people respond with a declaration of OBedience:

Exo. 19:And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of JacOB, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will OBey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the Lord commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.

 

In Exodus 24, after the 10 commandments, the covenant is ratified by blood:

And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do. And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the Lord. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be OBedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.

 

Israel broke those promises of OBedience repeatedly, & all mankind likewise are sinners, living under the just condemnation of a holy God. Jesus was born into the covenant nation as their covenant surety, was perfectly OBedient the covenant terms, yet suffered for man's breach of covenant to redeem us by his precious blood. 

 

Those Exodus covenant promises are specifically taken up in the NT & applied to Christian believers:

1 Peter 2:But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not OBtained mercy, but now have OBtained mercy.

 

Heb. 9:18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 20 saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.

 

Above all, though, Jesus himself applies Exodus 24 to himself at the last supper:

Mat. 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

 

The old covenant blood gave the elders of Israel a sight of the heavenly glory. The new covenant blood opens heaven to all believers in Jesus.

 

I hope, thus far, we have an essential agreement on CT.

 

When Hebrews quotes Jeremiah's NC statements, a new covenant with Israel (& Judah), is he excluding Gentile believers from an Israel covenant? Not at all. The NT writers make it very clear that Gentile believers are saved by repentance & faith in the same way as Jews. We become children of Abraham by faith, & are blessed according to the covenant promises, secured by the NC blood of Jesus, and that is an everlasting covenant:

Heb 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 

A final point - the covenant relationship is often expressed in the terms of I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.  A relationship seen throughout Scripture and perfection realised in glory. Rev. 21:3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Covenanter
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

The covenant of the land in Gen. 15 is unconditional since Abraham was put into a trance and the Lord sealed the covenant himself.

 

And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.
In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

 

Slaughtering animals and then cutting them in half, and then the two parties "passing between" the parts

symbolized what would happen to a party to the covenant that broke the covenant.

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  • 3 months later...
  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Brother Covenanter,

 

I recognize that the original intent of this thread was for a discussion between the two of us on the subject matter of your opening post.  Please understand that I did not neglect the discussion because I was not at all interested, but because we never received "site permission" for the discussion/debate format that I had somewhat proposed.  At this point in time, I remain uncertain how to proceed.

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  • Advanced Member

Brother Covenanter,

 

I recognize that the original intent of this thread was for a discussion between the two of us on the subject matter of your opening post.  Please understand that I did not neglect the discussion because I was not at all interested, but because we never received "site permission" for the discussion/debate format that I had somewhat proposed.  At this point in time, I remain uncertain how to proceed.

Agreed - the special arrangements never happened. If you are agreeable, we could try one to one, & request others not to contribute until, say we had each made 5 posts.

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  • Moderators

Agreed - the special arrangements never happened. If you are agreeable, we could try one to one, & request others not to contribute until, say we had each made 5 posts.

Or you can wait until such time as the owner of this site (Admin -- Bro Matt) decides to give the green light instead of assuming that his time constraints and priorities may, should, or possibly do mesh with yours.

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Or you can wait until such time as the owner of this site (Admin -- Bro Matt) decides to give the green light instead of assuming that his time constraints and priorities may, should, or possibly do mesh with yours.

 

Counsel received; Patience engaged.

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