When God wanted to assure Abraham of the certainty of his word of promise, he made a covenant (Gen 12; 15; 17). 3. God’s covenants are living relationships. I love reading and studying the Word of God, which I’ve done for over 40 years. He serves as board chairman of the Gospel Coalition and blogs at DeYoung, Restless, and Reformed. But God graciously promises that a “seed of the woman” will come (Gen. 3:15), a greater Adam, who will reverse the effects of sin and death. Adam, and all humanity, is created as God’s image-son, a priest-king to rule over creation (Gen. 1:26-28; cf. ― Ligon Duncan Just as two bookends hold together a row of books, the covenant of works and the covenant of grace hold together the storyline of Scripture. All of these patterns will eschatologically terminate in Christ and God’s new covenant people, the church. New Covenant Theology New Covenant Faith and Doctrine for the Very Last Times. For example, within new covenant theology, some deny a creation covenant, others deny Christ’s active obedience, and others are not nuanced in their grasp of God’s moral law in relation to the Decalogue. The third and final section lifts issues that arose in the preceding sections for further expansion, including ancient near Eastern backgrounds to covenant theology, New Testament scholarship, Israel and the nations, Dispensationalism, New Covenant theologies, and the relation of covenant theology to assurance and to the sacraments. The apostle Paul and the book of Hebrews both talk about this (Gal 3–4; Heb 8–9), and their own understanding goes back at least 600 years earlier to the time and writings of the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah who foresaw a coming new covenant not like the old, broken one (Jer 31:31–34). All Christians agree that “covenants” are central to the Bible’s story and that God’s redemptive plan unfolds over time reaching its fulfillment in Christ. These words are best translated into English as “covenant” (not testament) because it is a relationship between two living parties, not a legal enactment effected by the death of one party whereby a living party receives a bequest, an important difference. If you want to study more of covenant theology, here are some resources, generally ordered from shorter and simpler to more demanding. The salvation of Gentiles is not part of the fulfillment of the promises made to Israel as a nation now realized in the church. To grasp better the latter views, let’s first briefly describe the basic points of the former views. A divine covenant (Hebrew, berith; Greek, diatheke) (as distinguished from those made between human parties in the Scriptures) is a God-initiated, binding, living, relationship with blessings and obligations. No doubt, new covenant fulfillment involves an “already-not yet” aspect to it. By the middle of the 1500s Zwingli, Bullinger, Calvin and others had articulated fundamental aspects of covenant theology in response both to medieval Roman Catholic and contemporary Anabaptist interpretative errors, especially pertaining to the relation of the Old and New Testaments, deliberately citing the church fathers as informing their views and confirming the importance of the covenants in their exposition of redemptive history. Covenant theology became influential in all the various branches of Reformed evangelical Protestantism (Presbyterian, Continental Reformed, Anglican, Congregationalist, Independent, and Baptist). Baptism does not signify what circumcision did for Israel under the old covenant. (3) The Israel-Christ-Church relationship across redemptive-history. Our obedience to God in his gracious covenants of promise is not the ground of our entrance into or our maintenance of our covenant status, rather our obedience, obligation, responsibility, or works are produced by the Spirit’s work in us. They order the totality of life here and now. God is holy and just; he is the moral standard of the universe, but we have sinned against him. It pre-existed the formulation of dispensationalism by several centuries. New Covenant Theology New covenant theology typically does not hold to a covenant of works or one overarching covenant of grace (although they would still argue for only one way of salvation). Copyright © 2020 The Gospel Coalition, INC. All Rights Reserved. The previous covenants are forever Scripture, which is for our instruction and growth (2Tim. The Gospel that offers Jesus Christ to sinners is an invitation to enter into a covenant relationship with God. 1:3-4; cf. The wealthy Christian also needs to remember that he or she will “disappear like a flower in the field … in the midst of a busy life,” (James 1:11). How did that title get there? There is no provision in God's plan for those who never hear the gospel. Covenant theology organizes God’s plan in history by God’s covenantal dealings with humans. Always. 2:15; John 15:1-6), and David’s greater son who rules the nations and the entire creation as Lord (Acts 2:32-36; Rom. This death may entail either the death of the covenant-breaker or the death of a substitute. We glorify him in enjoying him, and we enjoy him in glorifying him. The church is not directly the “new Israel” or her replacement. NEW COVENANT THEOLOGY: What It Is and How It Differs from Covenant Theology Gary D. Long Extract (including the Dedication page, Preface, Contents, Chapter 1 and Appendix D) of a ... system which, for the enhancement of the Gospel, strives to provide a more accurate way to For this reason: each covenant contains both elements, but with a clear distinction between the covenant in creation before and after the fall, and that redemption is grounded in Christ alone. 11:10, 16; cf. In regard to my statement of faith, it lines up well with the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. Rather, in Christ Jesus, the church is God’s new creation, comprised of believing Jews and Gentiles, because Jesus is the last Adam and true Israel, the faithful seed of Abraham who inherits the promises by his work (Gal. J. I. Packer, Introduction to Herman Witsius’s, Louis Berkhof, “Man in the Covenant of Works,” and “Man in the Covenant of Grace,” in. Life with God is not simply about what comes after death but also about living with and for him now. As a movement, Dispensationalism began in the early 19th century among the Brethren in England and quickly spread to other countries. The Gospel Coalition Says Gay Pride Flag Same as Noah’s Rainbow, Represents Safety. In addition, in Christ, the land promise is also fulfilled and consummated, as the one who wins the new creation by his work and who, when he returns, will usher in the new creation (Rom. 3:26-4:7). The New Testament writers variously describe Jesus as the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant promises, the New Covenant prophecy of Jeremiah, the covenant inauguration ceremony of the Mosaic covenant in Exodus 24:8, and the Passover lamb. With the odd exception, dispensational theology affirms credo- over paedo-baptism. 1:9-10), and how we are to live as God’s people today. 1:1-3; cf. 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