An attack on covenant theology

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ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
This was directed at me on another forum;

Without trying to explain all the details of covenant theology I will simply say that it has many problems.

It begins by assuming two (or three) covenants that are never mentioned in Scripture.

It tries to unify scripture by saying that Biblical distinctions are merely different phases of the same Covenant of Grace. For example, they insist that the Mosaic Covenant is essentially the same as the Abrahamic Covenant. Yet, the apostle Paul asserts the distinctiveness of these two covenants in Galatians 3:18. Even a cursory reading of these two covenants reveals that the Abrahamic Covenant was unconditional whereas the Mosaic Covenant had many conditions attached.

It denies the distinctiveness of the gospel of grace and the gospel of the kingdom.

It denies the distinction between Israel and the Church.

It uses a double standard with regard to interpretation of Scripture. Covenant theologians use the historical-grammatical method of interpretation, except for passages concerning future events. When dealing with passages regarding the future of Israel or the kingdom of God they revert to Augustine´s allegorical or spiritualizing method of interpretation.

It places the believer under the law.

This last point, in my opinion, is probably the most devastating blow against Christian doctrine and practice. The Galatian error of law and works has plagued the church from its very beginning. Covenant theology has only served to promote this error.
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by houseparent
This was directed at me on another forum;

Without trying to explain all the details of covenant theology I will simply say that it has many problems.

It begins by assuming two (or three) covenants that are never mentioned in Scripture.

Is the Trinity ever blatantly mentioned in Scripture? What about women partaking of the Lord's Supper?

Originally posted by houseparent
It tries to unify scripture by saying that Biblical distinctions are merely different phases of the same Covenant of Grace. For example, they insist that the Mosaic Covenant is essentially the same as the Abrahamic Covenant. Yet, the apostle Paul asserts the distinctiveness of these two covenants in Galatians 3:18. Even a cursory reading of these two covenants reveals that the Abrahamic Covenant was unconditional whereas the Mosaic Covenant had many conditions attached.

That is a straw man. Commandments that are breakable being present in the Mosaic Covenant does not make the covenant as a whole temporal and conditional. Under that logic, the fact that there are breakable commandments and conditional blessings under the New Covenant would thus make it a conditional covenant as a whole as well.

Originally posted by houseparent
It denies the distinctiveness of the gospel of grace and the gospel of the kingdom.

What does this person think about the fact that "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness" (Rom. 4:3, ESV)? And what is to be made of the fact that the Book of Life written before the foundation of the world (containing all the names of God's redeemed) is "the book of life of the Lamb that was slain" (Rev. 13:8)?

Originally posted by houseparent
It denies the distinction between Israel and the Church.

Quite the contrary. It rather sets each in its proper place, the elect being the spiritual Israel in both Testaments, national Israel being its external expression under the Old, and the Church being its external expression under the New. The first of those facts is impossible to deny because of Christ being the spiritual redeemer of both Testaments as shown by Revelation 13:8. Those attacking Covenant Theology would agree with the second of those facts. The latter of those facts is shown by the many New Testament Scriptures speaking of those who trust in Christ (the Church) as being the one who are spiritually of true Israel under the New Testament.

Originally posted by houseparent
It uses a double standard with regard to interpretation of Scripture. Covenant theologians use the historical-grammatical method of interpretation, except for passages concerning future events. When dealing with passages regarding the future of Israel or the kingdom of God they revert to Augustine´s allegorical or spiritualizing method of interpretation.

This is once again a straw man. It is said that we "use the historical-grammatical method of interpretation, except for passages concerning future events," and that is called a double-standard. It is simply an acknowledgment of the different genres of Scripture. Exodus, Song of Solomon, Romans and Revelation all have very different genres, and it is a non-sequitor to call recognition of that fact a "double-standard." By their definition, ask them if they understand all of Jesus' parables as being historical. If not, then they are using a double-standard by their definition. That example should put genre-interpretation Covenant Theologians use with respect to apocalyptic passages into perspective.

Originally posted by houseparent
It places the believer under the law.

If that statement is criticizing Covenant Theology for putting believers under law in a salvific way, it is simply a misunderstanding of Covenant Theology. If it is critizinig Covenant Theology for putting believers under law in a sanctification and lifestyle way, I suggest the person making it take a single glance at all the times during His earthly life that Jesus talked about the law's eternal importance in the believer's life.

Originally posted by houseparent
This last point, in my opinion, is probably the most devastating blow against Christian doctrine and practice. The Galatian error of law and works has plagued the church from its very beginning. Covenant theology has only served to promote this error.

Ask Him to elaborate on just what he thinks Covenant Theology claims about the place of law and works in the believer's life, as I expect this criticism to be similar in nature to the above one. I'm on a public computer right now, but when I get back to my laptop I'll attach a list of Scriptures supporting Lordship Salvation, which is the doctrine that good works are the inevitable fruit and confirmation of true faith.

Also recommend that person read Packer's primer on Covenant Theology.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I would recommend he read On Christian Doctrine before caricaturing Augustine's interpretations. It is often noted that Calvin followed Augustine in many ways. But do people take note of how Calvin follows Augustine but doesn't utilize that so-called 'allegorical' method of Augustine? How is it that he 'follows' Augustine, but his interpretive methodology is so different? Well, its not so different. Calvin cleans it up a bit by removing the cultural leanings of the time, but maintains that love fulfills the law and the entire gospel, which was Augustine's main concern throughout his book on how to handle Scripture.

It is from this that we get the historically-grammatically-inherent Covenants, displayed in the past, present and future of the Bible.
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
Well, I took all you guys recomendations and got ignored!:D

Instead the attacker started a NEW thread saying this;

The Bible has two under-lying layers of foundation stone: one is called Dispensational understanding of Scripture, and the other is called Covenantal understanding. Both are inseparable, and required to understand the Scriptures, they act as keys to unlocking hard to understand Scriptures. Another note, at any one time, more than one covenant may be in force, while only one dispensation will ever be in force at a time.

So with some teachings of dispensational theology that lean to far to dispensationalism they tend to lose sight of the covenantal relationship we have with God and because of this they get caught up in error. The same is true for those who lean to far to the covenantal theology because they lose sight of the dispensations of God

There are two ways of understanding the Scriptures, the literal meaning and the allegorical, or symbolic meaning "“ the Bible believer takes the Bible literally, unless the Bible tells you to take it allegorically. The problem with some dispensational theology is that they seem to not see this distinction and take to many things literally while the covenant theology places much more emphasis on the allegorical method of understanding and miss many places of literal understand that speaks from the word of God

A covenant is the basis for a relationship, an agreement between two parties that allows them to work together or literally a contract (Mt 26:14,15). There is no way for people to have a relationship with God without an agreement, a covenant between them concerning what was expected by both parties.

The problem with covenant theology is that they don´t recognize the contracts that God made with natural Israel and have allegorized away the nation Israel out of the picture by taking their place in prophecy and in the promises God made to natural Israel.

In covenant theology there is a tendency not to recognize all the covenants of God and what they were and who they were with and seem to just place value on two or three covenants. The basic covenants that are recognized by covenant theology is the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. There are quite a few more covenants that are plainly visible in the word of God they don´t mention

There are the covenants in this form
Quote:
1) God and all mankind
2) God and the descendants of a particular person (i.e., Abraham)
3) God and His Son
4) God and the devil


There are covenants that cover these ideas
Quote:
1) Some Biblical covenants deal with only the physical Jews and God.
2) Other covenants only deal with believers, and not the Jews (physically).
3) Some covenants deal with all people and God.


These are some covenants God has made in this way,
Quote:
1) Adamic
2) Noahic
3) Abrahamic
4) Mosaic
5) Davidic
6) Christian
7) Eternal


The idea of covenant theology is that the Church is now Israel and natural Israel is no longer the object of Gods promises. It goes something like this with Covenant folks:
Quote:
Israel, who? The Jews, who? The Jews returning to the Holy Land, what are you talking about?


Paul makes it clear that when God is through with reaching the Gentiles, then the whole of Israel will be saved, and The Deliverer (Messiah) will come from Zion" (Rom. 11:25-26)

In Romans 11:29 it says "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."

Just in the book of Amos alone there are muiltple promises made by God to natural Israel of there complete redemption in the last days and since God is not like man in that He honors all His promises then the time is coming that all of natural Israel will be restored to there land and inherit the promises made by God throughout the Old Testament.

Covenant theology is replacement theology and God does not practice replacement theology He totally does what He promises.
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Originally posted by houseparent
Well, I took all you guys recomendations and got ignored!:D

Keep pushing whatever you said before, pointing out that it was never answered.

Originally posted by houseparent
Instead the attacker started a NEW thread saying this;

The Bible has two under-lying layers of foundation stone: one is called Dispensational understanding of Scripture, and the other is called Covenantal understanding. Both are inseparable, and required to understand the Scriptures, they act as keys to unlocking hard to understand Scriptures. Another note, at any one time, more than one covenant may be in force, while only one dispensation will ever be in force at a time.

So with some teachings of dispensational theology that lean to far to dispensationalism they tend to lose sight of the covenantal relationship we have with God and because of this they get caught up in error. The same is true for those who lean to far to the covenantal theology because they lose sight of the dispensations of God

There are two ways of understanding the Scriptures, the literal meaning and the allegorical, or symbolic meaning "“ the Bible believer takes the Bible literally, unless the Bible tells you to take it allegorically. The problem with some dispensational theology is that they seem to not see this distinction and take to many things literally while the covenant theology places much more emphasis on the
allegorical method of understanding and miss many places of literal understand that speaks from the word of God

He seems to think that pure Covenant Theology would not allow for any discontinuities between the Old and New Testaments, and that since there are discontinuities, full Covenant Theology is not true, but must be "blended" with Dispensationalism to account for the discontinuities. That is simply a plain misunderstanding of what Covenant Theology is, and the fact that he made it shows he did not read Packer's primer, which explains that it is a hermeneutic that states we are to assume continuity unless Scripture specifically mentions discontinuity - it is complete ignorance to think that it allows no discontinuity! That is equivalent to taking "innocent until proven guilty" as always having to mean innocent!

Originally posted by houseparent
A covenant is the basis for a relationship, an agreement between two parties that allows them to work together or literally a contract (Mt 26:14,15). There is no way for people to have a relationship with God without an agreement, a covenant between them concerning what was expected by both parties.

The problem with covenant theology is that they don't recognize the contracts that God made with natural Israel and have allegorized away the nation Israel out of the picture by taking their place in prophecy and in the promises God made to natural Israel.

We don't recognize the contracts God made with national Israel? Hypothetically assume that we were to put a similar charge to them, accusing them of not recognizing the contracts that God made with the Church because of their view that God's focus will shift from the Church to national Israel in the future. They would respond by saying, "No, we recognize the contracts God made with the Church, we just believe that that contract will be sufficiently fulfilled and completed at that time in the future." Well, same thing with our view on national Israel - God has not broken any promises to national Israel, His time for fulfilling those promises was simply completed at the beginning of the Church age.

Originally posted by houseparent
In covenant theology there is a tendency not to recognize all the covenants of God and what they were and who they were with and seem to just place value on two or three covenants. The basic covenants that are recognized by covenant theology is the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. There are quite a few more covenants that are plainly visible in the word of God they don´t mention

There are the covenants in this form
Quote:
1) God and all mankind
2) God and the descendants of a particular person (i.e., Abraham)
3) God and His Son
4) God and the devil


There are covenants that cover these ideas
Quote:
1) Some Biblical covenants deal with only the physical Jews and God.
2) Other covenants only deal with believers, and not the Jews (physically).
3) Some covenants deal with all people and God.


These are some covenants God has made in this way,
Quote:
1) Adamic
2) Noahic
3) Abrahamic
4) Mosaic
5) Davidic
6) Christian
7) Eternal

This has to be the most flawed misunderstanding of Covenant Theology I have ever seen. He says we don't recognize those covenants because we only recognize the Covenant of Works and the Covenant of Grace? Tim LaHaye would probably not even misrepresent CT to such an extent! We see those covenants as administrations of the Covenant of Grace. The fact that he did not know that, but thought that we denied covenants like the Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic, Christian (which we would call New) and eternal (which we would call Covenant of Redemption) because we believe in the Covenant of Grace shows more than anything else he has said that he has absolutely no idea what CT teaches whatsoever. Give him this link to Matt's chart.

Originally posted by houseparent
The idea of covenant theology is that the Church is now Israel and natural Israel is no longer the object of Gods promises. It goes something like this with Covenant folks:
Quote:
Israel, who? The Jews, who? The Jews returning to the Holy Land, what are you talking about?


Paul makes it clear that when God is through with reaching the Gentiles, then the whole of Israel will be saved, and The Deliverer (Messiah) will come from Zion" (Rom. 11:25-26)

Ask him what he makes of all the New Testament passages speaking of those descending from Abraham not necessarily being his true children, and of national Israel and spiritual Israel's distinction. He can say we try to ignore parts of the Bible all he wants, but until he has an interpretation for those passages, he is the only one doing the ignoring, since we do not ignore God's promises to Israel, but rather interpret them in light of those passages.

Originally posted by houseparent
In Romans 11:29 it says "For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."

Just in the book of Amos alone there are muiltple promises made by God to natural Israel of there complete redemption in the last days and since God is not like man in that He honors all His promises then the time is coming that all of natural Israel will be restored to there land and inherit the promises made by God throughout the Old Testament.

Covenant theology is replacement theology and God does not practice replacement theology He totally does what He promises.

The Senior Pastor at my church is in the middle of a sermon series on Romans 9-11 right now. Yesterday he preached on chapter nine, which is where Paul addresses the very objection this person is currently raising! This person is saying here that since CT sees national Israel as turned away from God and God as having no intent to focus on them again, that CT denies that God truly and always does what He promises. In verses 1-3, Paul speaks of his anguish and sorrow for the sake of his brothers, and in verses 4-5 explains that he is referring to the Israelites, who have rejected God. Immediately after that, in verses 6-13, Paul explains how their turning away does not mean that God is unjust and does not keep His promises. And in those verses, how does Paul explain God's justice in light of national Israel's falling away? Does he say, "They will one day turn to God again, when He brings them to Him once more"? No! He says, "not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but 'Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.' This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring." He then proceeds to explain the mystery and justice of God's sovereign election.

Right here in Romans 9, Paul is speaking of his sorrow because of national Israel's falling away, and immediately anticipates the objection that that falling away constitutes breaking promises on God's part, and answers the objection by declaring that it is not national Israel that possesses the eternal promise, but the elect! God must have known people like the person you are currently debating with would raise that exact objection when the Spirit inspired that response of Paul's against the false notion that national Israel was the eternal Israel.

Keep us updated on how things go!
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
Here is the reply!

First: there are the unfulfilled promises of the Jewish covenants, promises that can only be fulfilled in a Messianic Kingdom. Second: there are the unfulfilled prophecies of the Jewish prophets. There are numerous prophecies of the Old Testament that speak of the coming of the Messiah Who will reign on David's Throne, and rule over a peaceful Kingdom. There is a great amount of material in the Old Testament on the Messianic Kingdom, and the belief in a Messianic Kingdom rests on the basis of a literal interpretation of this massive material.

The only real contribution that the Book of Revelation makes to the knowledge of the Kingdom is to disclose just how long the Messianic Kingdom will last--namely one thousand years--for which the term Millennium is used. This is the one key truth concerning the Kingdom that was not revealed in the Old Testament.

Isaiah 2:2-4

In this passage, Isaiah describes one of the major characteristics of the Messianic Kingdom, that of universal peace. While differences between nations will arise, such differences will no longer be settled by military conflicts, but only by the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Even the art of warfare will be forgotten.

Isaiah 11:6-9

The universal peace described in the earlier passage will extend even to the animal kingdom. All animals will return to the Edenic state and become vegetarians (vv. 6-7). The oldest of enemies, man and snake, will be able to live in compatibility in that day (v. 8), for the knowledge of God will permeate throughout the entire world, affecting man and animal alike (v. 9).

Micah 4:1-5

The first three verses of this passage are the same as those found in Isaiah 2:2-4 that speak of the Mountain of Jehovah's House becoming the center of attention to the world's Gentile population, the Kingdom being characterized as a time of messianic teaching, and the absence of war as universal peace permeates the entire Kingdom. Micah adds that the Kingdom will be a time of personal peace and prosperity (v. 4), with Israel's total allegiance being to God (v. 5).

Jeremiah 23:5-6.

Again, there is a descendant of David Who will sit on David's Throne. Yet this descendant is called Jehovah our righteousness, so the One sitting on David's Throne is none other than the God-Man. And because it is the God-Man, His reign will be characterized by wisdom, justice, and righteousness. It is in Him that the security of Israel will lie.

The second passage is Jeremiah 33:14-17. Beginning with the reaffirmation of God's intention to fulfill His covenant with David (v. 14), Jeremiah restates the basic points of his statements in 23:5-6 (vv. 15-16). Under no circumstances will the House of David be allowed to become extinct (v. 17). The rest of Jeremiah 33 continues to reaffirm God's intention to fulfill all the conditions of the Davidic Covenant, and these passages will be dealt with in the next chapter.

Though the Throne of the Messiah is to be established in Jerusalem, the reign of the Messianic King will extend over the entire earth, according to Zechariah 14:9. In that day, Zechariah points out, the Messiah will be the head of the world and will be considered by all humanity to be the one God.

These Old Testament prophets all stated the belief in a millenial kingdom. And all these prophets stated that the Messiah would return first to establish that kingdom and that kingdom would be literal and on earth.
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Unless I'm missing something, that "reply" is not a reply at all, but simply a restatement of his already-stated views. The claims and interpretations in his reply all rest upon the initial assumption that the references to the thousand years and to David's throne are all literal - starting from that assumption, he then gives his take on the quoted passages. But that assumption is the very thing for which he has not given an adequate defense, and he has once again simply ignored the challenges posed to him and re-asserted his original position. Furthermore, even if he were to establish the fact that Christ's future reign on earth will be literal, he would then have to show that it is the literal reign as understood by Dispensationalism, and not as understood by Postmillennialism. He has not answered anything.
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
New reply

A new method of Biblical interpretation known as Alexandrian theology greatly changed the view of scripture. Origen (185-254) and other scholars in Alexandria developed a system of Biblical interpretation based on allegory. Origen and his contemporaries were greatly influenced by pagan Greek philosophy. They tried to integrate this into their theology. According to Greek philosophy all physical matter was inherently evil. Therefore the idea of a literal earthy, millennium with physical blessings could only be erroneous. This allegorical or spiritualizing method of interpretation allowed these theologians to read almost any meaning they desired into the Bible. Thus they were able to do away with a literal return of Christ to establish a physical earthly millennial kingdom.


All of these factors set the stage for the rejection of premillennialism. In the early days of his Christian faith Augustine (354-430) was premillennial. However, through time he abandoned the idea of a literal return of Christ to establish a physical kingdom on earth.

He used this new allegorical method of interpretation to explain away the literal return of Christ and thus amillennialism was born. In his book, The City of God, Augustine taught that the Universal Church is the Messianic Kingdom and that the millennium began with Christ´s first coming.

When the church lost the hope of the imminent return of Christ it plunged headlong into the dark ages. The seeds of false interpretation bore fruit giving rise to Roman Catholicism and a works-based religion. Augustine´s amillennial teaching continued to be the standard view of organized Christendom until the 17th century. Occasionally premillennial groups challenged that doctrine through out the dark ages, but they were a small voice compared to the powerful Roman Catholic church.
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
Wow, he keeps it coming (if he only had a clue! )

You might be wondering, "how does a doctrine about the "˜end times´ affect the teaching of law and grace?" That´s a good question. Augustine and his contemporaries faced a dilemma.

It had been years since the Lord Jesus had said, "behold I come quickly." By doing away with the literal return of Christ for His church, Augustine no doubt felt that he was helping God out. After all, if there was no literal return of Christ and no literal millennium, then Christ could be reigning over His spiritual kingdom up in heaven.

The literal promises given to Israel in the Old Testament could be spiritually applied to the church. However, applying those promises to the church came at a tremendously high cost. Attached to the promises given to Israel was also the Old Testament law. If the church is "spiritual Israel" then she must also keep the law"”if not for salvation, then at least for Christian living.


Proverbs gives us some very sobering advice about tampering with the Word of God: "Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar [Prov 30:6]." Concerning the book of Revelation, the Lord Jesus Himself said, "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book [Rev 22:18-19]."

In all of these warnings, nothing is said about those who would distort God´s Word through allegorical interpretation. Augustine´s intentions may have been noble when he tried to help God out. He may have felt that amillennialism could help to explain Jesus´ statement in Revelation about His soon return, but the results of Augustine´s efforts were devastating.
 

ReformedWretch

Puritan Board Doctor
He keeps going;

You are not seeing the answwer from the word of God and at every occasion try and muddy the water wwith this retoric. There will be no sacrifices in the millennium because Jesus will be ruling and the nation of Israel will have repented and accepted their true Messiah.

Amos 9:14-15And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.

As you can clearly see that here in Amos God specificallysays that He will return the captivity of Israel HIs people. And He says that He will give them the land. Now if Israel is the Church now as you say then where is the land that God is giving Israel or where was our captivity that He was bringing us back from.

No you can't come to that conclusion without changing the literal meaning here in Amos

In Obadiah 1:17 it saysBut upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions

Again God says there will be deliverance for Israel and holiness shall be on Israel and the house of Jacob (Israel) will possess the land.

In Zephaniah 3:20 God again promises to turn back the captivity of Israel the nation.At that time will I bring you [again], even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.

The Church is not Israel
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Jeremiah 31:31-34


There is a difference between the Church and Isreal.

Old Covenant Isreal included spiritual Isreal and physical nationalistic Isreal combined. The Church is only Spiritual Isreal.
The members of Nationalistic Isreal weren't necessarily regenerate. The Church is the Isreal of the New Covenant and is made up of only regenerate believers.
Galatians 3:29
Romans 11:16-24
Ephesians 2:11-19
We were strangers excluded from the commonwealth of Isreal. v.12 but now we are no longer stangers and aliens but are now fellow citizens with the saints of God. v.19

We have the law written on our hearts instead of on stone. (Regeneration) We have been given heart of flesh not of stone. We are a Holy Nation! In this Nation, everyone Knows God because we are all regenerate. That is why we are not telling everyone in this Isreal to know God. He has made us know Himself.

Just Read Jeremiah 31:31-34. It is the only place in the Old Testament where the term New Covenant is used. WE ARE IN IT. It has commenced. It will be consumated.

I bet this guy doesn't believe we are in the New Covenant either.

Anyways, I must sound crazy to you Presbyterian's. Hopefully not. I think I am being scriptural. As I asked earlier, Am I wacko or what. I truly don't have anyone to bounce these ideas off of. Most People don't care or want to talk about this stuff.

For Christ's Crown and Covenant, Randy
]:banghead:

[Edited on 11-30-2004 by puritancovenanter]
 

Craig

Puritan Board Senior
So, when you say "church" I assume you mean the church invisible?

The church is composed of unregenerate and regenerate people: We can't distinguish, and out not to try...but we recognize that God elects whoever He wants...same with old Israel. Visibly, you knew who was a Jew...you looked at their circumcision...but not all Israel was true Israel, does that mean they weren't called Israelites?
 

Me Died Blue

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
:ditto: to Craig. In light of the doctrines of grace, if the New Testament church was only composed of elect persons, the olive tree would need no pruning.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Craig,

No, like I said, Isreal as an Old Covenant Nation was mainly just that. A Nation that God made a covenant with where the law was written on stone. Not necessarily upon their hearts. The Isreal of the New Covenant is totally spiritual Isreal. We have to be regenerate to be a part of it. If we are not regenerate we are just tares not wheat. We aren't grafted into the Olive tree. We are still aliens and strangers to God. We are strangers excluded from the commonwealth of Isreal. We wouldn't be considered children of Abraham. Just look at Ephesians 2:11-19. Romans 11:16-24, and Galatians 3:29.

Faith and regeneration are requirements before we are considered to be in Christ. Romans 11:20 Faith is important. Without Faith we are not justified and we are not a part of the Church. It is what we stand upon.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Chris,

Your statement made absolutely no sense to me at all. Where does God prune unbelievers. In John 15 I think. He cut unbelieving nationalistic Isreal out and grafted us believers in. That is not pruning. That is cutting off and grafting in. He doesn't graft unbelieving gentiles into the tree. Where does it say that He does?
My main point is that the Church is Isreal. And it is made up of regenerate believers. That doesn't suggest that there are not imposters who have crept in unaware. These imposters just aren't truly a part of the Church. They are only tares.:judge:

[Edited on 12-1-2004 by puritancovenanter]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Randy,
How do you reconcile the warning passages in Hebrews if there are only believers in the church?

Also:

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Every branch in me.......

How can these branches be in Him if they are not in the church?
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Possible answer is.
Fair warnings to Hebrews to examine themselves whether they are in the faith because if I remember correctly he was persuaded of better things or that they were in the faith. Hebrew 6:9

Does that work?



[Edited on 12-1-2004 by puritancovenanter]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by puritancovenanter
Fair warnings to Hebrews to examine themselves whether they are in the faith.

But these people are called "brethren". In fact, the writer calls them 'holy brethren'.

Heb 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;


The greek word hagios (holy) is used to emphasize consecration.......

[Edited on 12-1-2004 by Scott Bushey]
 
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