Does "New Covenant" = "Abrahamic Covenant"?

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biblelighthouse

Puritan Board Junior
Does \"New Covenant\" = \"Abrahamic Covenant\"?

I have a request for those of you who believe as I do that the "New Covenant" is the "Renewed Abrahamic Covenant".

Please let me know what you think is the BEST book, article, and/or URL that *specifically* addresses the identification of the "New Covenant" with the "Abrahamic Covenant". What writing(s) most clearly and convincingly demonstrate the equality/identity of the two covenants?

I'm not just talking about Covenant Theology resources in general. I want to know the best resources that address this specific point.

Thank you in advance!



[Edited on 7-29-2005 by biblelighthouse]
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I don't even think it is Renewed. It is just consumated or fulfilled In Christ. So No it is not renewed. It has always been since it was entered into.

I don't know how to vote.

[Edited on 7-29-2005 by puritancovenanter]
 

biblelighthouse

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by puritancovenanter
I don't even think it is Renewed. It is just consumated or fulfilled In Christ. So No it is not renewed. It has always been since it was entered into.

I don't know how to vote.

Then what do you think the word "New" in the phrase "New Covenant" means? Throughout the Old Testament, the word "New" often means "Renewed". Do you think it has some other meaning?
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I think it implies Replacement of the Old. Or the Mosaic Covenant is going away and the fulfilled promise to Abraham has commenced. It was promised to Adam and Eve. The Serpents head has been bruised. It was promised to Abraham and fulfilled in his seed. Galatians 3
The promised Covenant was of old and it's fulfilment and replacing the Old Mosaic Covenant is what is New.

It is not renewed. It is fulfilled.

[Edited on 7-29-2005 by puritancovenanter]
 

wsw201

Puritan Board Senior
The New Covenant and the Abrahamic Covenant are administrations of the Covenant of Grace. They are separate covenants and one does not equal the other.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by wsw201
The New Covenant and the Abrahamic Covenant are administrations of the Covenant of Grace. They are separate covenants and one does not equal the other.

:ditto:
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
But isn't the New Covenant promised to Abraham. Is it not seen as a promise to Adam and Eve. Isn't it fulfilled promise to them?

I may be incorrect, but I see these as a promised covenant made to these two. It is similar to Noahs Covenant in the fact that it was a promised covenant without stipulations.

And I agree that it is a part of the Covenant of Grace.


[Edited on 7-29-2005 by puritancovenanter]
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I guess my question would be the same to you Scott and Wayne. Is it a renewed Covenant or a totally New one? It can't be both. If it is a renewed covenant than it is the same which you say it isn't. If it is totally new covenant than it is not a renewed covenant. The question seems incomplete or something.


[Edited on 7-29-2005 by puritancovenanter]
 

biblelighthouse

Puritan Board Junior
From Dr. McMahon I take my understanding of the relationship of the Abrahamic Covenant to the New Covenant. So, to see where I'm coming from, please read this excerpt from Matt's "Simplistic Overview of Covenant Theology":



Professor: That´s true. Okay, then, let´s move onto the crux of the Dispensational argument for a covenant change in the New Testament. Shall we read Jeremiah 31?

Student: "œBehold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah -- "œnot according to the covenant that I made with their
fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. "œBut this is the covenant that I
will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. "œNo more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." I love this passage.

Professor: Explain it for me then.

Student: Jeremiah is prophesying that the New Covenant to come is going to be different than the Old Covenant in that it is in the heart. The Old Covenant was not in the heart. This is the New Testament writers´ point in Hebrews 8. Those in the New Testament church will be saved and regenerate. The New Testament presumes a regenerate membership in the church when they write. Regenerate people are the only ones in the New Covenant. Jesus will radically bring about a new kind of way in dealing with men. There will be no more need to teach the law because God will teach it to men and write it on their hearts. Pentecost shows us this when the Spirit comes and now dwells in men.

Professor: Slow down there! Let´s deal with Jeremiah first before we hit the New Testament. Let´s evaluate your answer. It is true, Jeremiah is talking about a covenant. Is it a new covenant?

Student: That is what my Bible says. "œNew." It´s right there in black and white. "œNew!"

Professor: I understand that, but you should always take time to do a word study or two, and be sure of your syntax ands grammar. Even though we are talking simplistically about the covenant, we should address the word here. This is a little deeper than how we have been talking, and may be a bit technical for you. The Hebrew word is not just the simple "œnew" but "œrenew" or "œrefresh." The word for "new" is an adjective that is used 53 times in the Old Testament. It comes from the verb form of the word. That verb form is its root and its basic meaning. When we trace the verb through the Old Testament, it is used to mean, "renew or repair;" cf. Isa 61:4; 2 Chron. 24:4, 12;
Psalm 51:10 (12) Lam. 5:21; 1 Sam. 11:14; 2 Chron. 15:8; Job 10:17; Psalm 104:30; Psa. 103:5; 2 Chron. 24:4; 24:12; and etc. The idea around the word itself as an adjective means taking something already existing and "renewing it" - either repairing it to a previous state or in taking something that was already and making it better. As both a noun and adjective this word refers to things new in this sense, and to things restored. Now some like to think that this word is
exclusively meant as "œbrand new." But this does injustice to its use in the Old Testament. They will quote verses like, Exodus 1:8. Now there arose up a new king over Egypt," or Isaiah 43:19. "œI will do a new thing." These surely seem like "œnew" is "œbrand new don´t they?

Student: Yes, but I am afraid you are going to tell me otherwise"¦
Professor: Well, yes, actually, there is more to it than just quoting a verse or two. For example, without going into great detail, is the station of "kingship" new or not? Is having a new king something brand new or a renewal of the class of kingship? How does the Hebrew mind think about this? How does the rest of Scripture demonstrate this?

Student: I would have to concede that a new king does not make the class of "œkingness" new, although a new king is a good element of fulfillment to kingship.

Professor: Exactly. What about Isaiah 43:19 "“ how would you explain new things that God does?

Student: Well, in thinking about this, does God do "new" things, or is He eternally immutable? It seems we have a theological conundrum. How would you reconcile the eternal immutably of God, and Him doing "œnew things?" I mean, after the act of creation and containment of creation, does He change from doing old things to doing new things?

Professor: The answer to that is yes and no. For God, no. He never does "œnew" things. It is not like He had a plan, made a mistake, and decided to do something "œnew." But in our eyes, the realities surrounding the fulfillment of anything God does makes it new to us. For instance, if I have an old car, say a 1979 Ford Fairmont, and I buy a new car, that car is a brand new car in relation to the junk car I am giving to the junkyard. But if I take the old Fairmont and "œmint it out"
then the old car becomes new. It is not really "œnew" but "œrenewed." Yet, when I sit in it, it surely is a new car to me. It puts a smile on my face to drive it.

Student: I understand the point. But is that how the word is often used in the Old Testament?

Professor: Think of this: The Lord's mercies are completely new every morning, but also "œrenewed" every morning. (Lam. 3:23). Job desired that his glory was "fresh" in him, Job 29:20. This does not mean "œnew" but renewed. God´s glory cannot be "œnew," as in brand new since it always is. A survey of the Old Testament will show that such a "œrenewing" in Hebrew is considered as new, though its cognate is old, and simply refreshed. It is almost never used of "new, as in "brand new," even when God says he does "œnew things" or "œnew kings" are put on thrones. There is more to the Hebrew mind and language than thinking one dimensionally about words.

Student: Okay, I am with you so far. I don´t like it, but I am with you.

Professor: Let´s consider the context of Jeremiah 31. Chapters 30-33 have an overall structure that uses a repetition of "œBehold" four times. It structures the "œRestoration" ideas surrounding "œIsrael" and "œJudah." They were in exile and God is promises to bring them out of exile and renew the covenant He had with them. He is not going to renew it like the covenant he made with Moses "“ with burdensome Laws, so to speak. Rather, He will fulfill it in Christ. The context of Jeremiah is comparing Abraham's covenant with the Mosaic Law, the tablets of stone, and the promises of the Lord to Abraham, of which we know Christ is the fulfillment. Abraham´s covenant is not new. It is
refreshed, renewed, fulfilled, completed, etc., in Christ (which ultimately points to the use of this passage in Hebrews 8). For instance, we are dealing with the same God, the same law, the same
people (the elect), the same fallen status of people (in sin), the same status of God (gracious and longsuffering, but also judicious), the same status of justification (by faith alone), the same stipulation (blood covers sin), the same provision of the stipulation (Christ), and the same reward (peace with God and everlasting life), as one of my colleagues stated. What is really new?

Student: I would have said that regeneration is the new thing "“ the law written on the heart, but that does not seem to fit well.
Professor: The greater context does not limit Jeremiah 31 to just "œregenerate people." The restoration ideas do not limit the passage to merely an internal aspect to the covenant. If that were
really true, then things like the Lord´s Supper, and Baptism, outward and external sacraments in the New Covenant, would not be necessary. But Jeremiah 31 is not simply speaking about something
internal "“ it is much bigger than that. It includes Israel´s children, and the fulfillment of all the promises to Abraham. Jeremiah 30:20 says, "œTheir children also shall be as before, And their
congregation shall be established before Me; And I will punish all who oppress them." And Jeremiah 31:17, right before our passage says this, "œThere is hope in your future, says the LORD, That your children shall come back to their own border." Listen to what Jeremiah 32:18 says, "œYou show lovingkindness to thousands, and repay the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them -- the Great, the Mighty God, whose name is the LORD of hosts." And we
should not forget Jeremiah 32:39 says, just a chapter after, but in the same context, "œthen I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear Me forever, for the good of them and their children
after them." If it is really just about "œa regenerate church membership" then why mention the "œgood of the children?" Oftentimes Jeremiah 31:31ff is ripped from its context, and misread.
Student: That certainly does make the passage different. Now we are talking about a "œrenewed Covenant" or a "œrefreshed Covenant." Wow! That makes a lot of difference.

Professor: What covenant is in contrast with this renewed or refreshed covenant in this passage? Is it Abraham´s?

Student: No. It´s the Mosaic covenant. Oh my! I just made things click! The covenant here is a renewing, or refreshing of the Abrahamic promise over the scaffolding of the Mosaic covenant. Is that right?

Professor: That is correct. The covenant made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, one that the Messiah will bring in, is going to be the Abrahamic Covenant fulfilled.

Student: I see this very clearly. The Old Covenant of Sinai, all those ceremonial laws, is now finished in the Messiah. But I am a bit confused. What about writing the law on the heart?

Professor: It is clear that the contrast is one of regeneration. But may I ask, was Abraham regenerate?

Student: I am not sure. My Dispensationalism hinders me from answering that clearly.

Professor: (chuckle) Is Paul stupid to use Abraham as the Father of our faith?

Student: Of course not. I would have to say, yes, Abraham was regenerate.

Professor: Was he saved by grace through faith?

Student: Yes.

Professor: Did he have the Spirit indwelling him as you and I do?

Student: I want to say "œyes" because men cannot be born again without the Spirit. But my Dispensationalism hinders me from that. Didn´t Pentecost give us a new "œDispensation" of the Spirit?

Professor: In external scope, yes it did. In regeneration, absolutely not. Those who believe that Pentecost marked a changed in the way the Spirit works in the heart are very mistaken. Think about Jesus in John 3 with Nicodemas. What did he say to Nicodemas in verse 10? He said that Nicodemas was Israel´s teacher and he did not understand what it means to be born again. He was rebuking him because Nicodemas should have understood the Old Testament idea of being
regenerated. So let me ask again, was Abraham filled with the Spirit and regenerate?

Student: I would have to say "œyes." Otherwise I change the manner in which people go to heaven, and I suppose that is classic Dispensationalism.

Professor: If that is the case, what makes this renewed covenant in Jeremiah 31 different?

Student: I guess I might have been reading something more into the passage that wasn´t there.

Professor: I think so too. It is a common mistake to believe that the New Covenant initiates regeneration of the heart.

Student: But what about Hebrews 8? It quotes this at length surrounding the ministry of Jesus as High priest forever? Is Hebrews wrong?

Professor: What is wrong is the interpretation of Jeremiah 31 that YOU bring to Hebrews 8. Hebrews 8 quotes the whole passage we just read in Jeremiah. But what if you misunderstand Jeremiah 31? Will you ever understand Hebrew 8?

Student: No I suppose not.

Professor: That is simple Bible hermeneutics. Ok, so now we see this is a renewed covenant, the scaffolding of the Mosaic covenant is gone, and the writing is on the heart. But this is not new, it is the renewed covenant of Abraham, and that is an important point. Tell me, what else is different about this renewed covenant?

Student: Well, it says no one will teach his neighbor saying know the Lord for they shall all know me from the least to the greatest. Isn´t this regeneration? But it can´t be that since it is the renewed covenant of Abraham fulfilled in Christ. I always thought this meant that those in the New Testament church would be regenerate. That is why our church only baptizes people on profession of faith.

Professor: Slow down again. One thing at a time. Yes, you are right, it cannot be talking about regeneration and just regeneration. Abraham, as you said, was regenerate and that happened before this promise. So Jeremiah´s "œnewness" or "œrenewed" covenant is not just talking about regeneration alone. Let´s ask this question: Do we have teachers today?

Student: You are a teacher. So yes, we have teachers today.

Professor: But the text says we will not have any more teachers in this renewed covenant. No one will "œteach one another saying"¦"

Student: But we have teachers today. Are you saying the New Covenant is not now?

Professor: No.

Student: Then what exactly are you saying? "“ this is confusing me!

Professor: Well, the New Covenant, or Abrahamic Covenant, is a "œnow and not yet" covenant. In the Old Testament the Abrahamic Covenant was awaiting its fulfillment. But Abraham was saved. It was a "œnow" and "œnot yet" covenant. It was "œnow and not yet" in promise. Jeremiah, though, is quite plain and we need to take the text as it stands. In the New Covenant there will be no more teachers. The verb "œteach one another" is "œthey teach one another." It is third person. "œNo one [they] will teach his neighbor." In the fulfillment of the New Covenant, the renewed covenant of Abraham, there will be no more teachers. Might I ask, when will everyone, from the least in the kingdom to the greatest in the kingdom, know the Lord? And remember, this is a time when there are no more teachers.

Student: I would have to say in heaven. Only in heaven will everyone know the Lord completely and in heaven there will be no teachers.

Professor: Is this making sense to you yet?

Student: A Little. Explain it please.

Professor: The renewed covenant made with the house of Israel and Judah is the Abrahamic covenant fulfilled in Christ. It is set in contrast to the ceremonial and judicial laws given at Sinai because the blood of bulls and goats do not really save. Jesus Christ inaugurates the coming of this new kingdom and renewed covenant. In doing so, the New Covenant is "œnow" for us, since we are saved; but it is also "œnot yet," in that in heaven all people will know the Lord form the least to the greatest. There are teachers now in inaugurating the renewed covenant, but there will be no teachers then. There are saved people now, just as in the Old Testament, but the "œknowing" is complete only in heaven. No church, anywhere, is made up of all regenerate people, and is without teachers or pastors. Many people think that the New Testament church is supposed to be made up of only regenerate members. That is why dispensational churches only want to baptize regenerate people, those who simply make a profession of faith, and leave the children out. Although, in reality, they have no "œproof" in any way of ensuring the person is saved, but they will baptize them
anyway. But Jeremiah is not talking about excluding or including people in this way. In the time of Abraham, even people like Esau were included in the covenant, and the New Covenant, is not
consummation with a completely regenerate "œmembership" until we get to heaven. Only then will we have no more teachers. If you do not understand this point please let me know. We cannot move forward without understanding this.

Student: I think I understand, but that revamps my theology again. You are saying that the covenant is a renewed covenant in contrast to the scaffolding idea of the sacrificial system and the Mosaic laws for Israel. Abraham was saved. He was regenerate and had the Spirit. There is no way I can see that he could not have the Spirit if he was saved. And as you said, Paul would be a moron for using Abraham as the father of our faith if this reality was not true. So, in the New
Covenant people are saved, but it seems to be pointing to the full inauguration of the kingdom in Christ. But even when that fullness comes, it is not complete, because the company of heaven is not
complete. I see; Jeremiah 31 has some eschatological overtones to its fulfillment. We definitely have a "œnow" aspect of it "“ being saved and regenerate. But, we still need to get to heaven to experience the fullness of the "œnow and not yet" prophecy of Jeremiah 31. We are certainly experiencing salvation "œnow", and I know I am saved, but I am also being saved, and will be saved and then glorified, so to speak. There is still a "œnot yet" part to come. Is this right?

Professor: Quite.
 

wsw201

Puritan Board Senior
Originally posted by puritancovenanter
I guess my question would be the same to you Scott and Wayne. Is it a renewed Covenant or a totally New one? It can't be both. If it is a renewed covenant than it is the same which you say it isn't. If it is totally new covenant than it is not a renewed covenant. The question seems incomplete or something.


[Edited on 7-29-2005 by puritancovenanter]

The New Covenant is not new but the final administration of the Covenant of Grace announced in the Garden, the coming of the promised Redeemer. Each administration of the Covenant of Grace, ie; Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic and Davidic, point to the fulfilment of each of the promises of those covenants in the final administration of the CoG, the advent of the promised Redeemer, Christ.

It should be noted that each covenant builds on the the next. For instance, the Mosaic Covenant is based on the Abrahamic Covenant in that God redeemed Israel based on the covenant He made with Abraham. All of these covenants are intertwined, that's one reason we consider them administrations of the one Covenant, the Covenant of Grace.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
They culminate into the New Covenant. I understand that. So the New Covenant is the fulfilment of the Abrahamic. In thy seed.... or He shall bruise the serpents head. They aren't renewed. They are fulfilled but the Mosaic is replaced.
 

sastark

Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by puritancovenanter
They culminate into the New Covenant. I understand that. So the New Covenant is the fulfilment of the Abrahamic. In thy seed.... or He shall bruise the serpents head. They aren't renewed. They are fulfilled but the Mosaic is replaced.

But Christ did not come to "replace" the Law, but to "fulfill" it. Even the Mosaic is fulfilled in Christ.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Originally posted by sastark
Originally posted by puritancovenanter
They culminate into the New Covenant. I understand that. So the New Covenant is the fulfilment of the Abrahamic. In thy seed.... or He shall bruise the serpents head. They aren't renewed. They are fulfilled but the Mosaic is replaced.

But Christ did not come to "replace" the Law, but to "fulfill" it. Even the Mosaic is fulfilled in Christ.

The Covenant of Works is fulfilled for us. The Mosaic seems to be more typology pointing to Christ.

According to 2 Corinthians 3:11 it is done away.

I agree He came to fulfill it. That has been my point that Christ came to fulfill but according to 2 Corinthians 3:11 the administration of the Old is done away with. Not the Promise of the Messiah, keep this in mind. God made a promise and statement concerning the New Covenant without stipulation. He shall bruise the serpents head.... and in your seed....


Got to go racing tonight... Talk more later. No I am not a dispensationalist!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Robin

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by biblelighthouse
I have a request for those of you who believe as I do that the "New Covenant" is the "Renewed Abrahamic Covenant".

Please let me know what you think is the BEST book, article, and/or URL that *specifically* addresses the identification of the "New Covenant" with the "Abrahamic Covenant". What writing(s) most clearly and convincingly demonstrate the equality/identity of the two covenants?

I'm not just talking about Covenant Theology resources in general. I want to know the best resources that address this specific point.

Thank you in advance!



[Edited on 7-29-2005 by biblelighthouse]


Joseph,

This is not "link tag"....here is the best material on the subject: Dr. Scott Clark's teaching essays from class:

http://public.csusm.edu/guests/rsclark/Sentences.htm

Space would not permit the printing of all of it...it this is something that should not be fragmented by empty opinion.

"Yes" the New Covenant IS a republication of the Abrahamic covenant.
Period.

:sing:

Robin
 

Robin

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by wsw201
The New Covenant is not new but the final administration of the Covenant of Grace announced in the Garden, the coming of the promised Redeemer. Each administration of the Covenant of Grace, ie; Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic and Davidic, point to the fulfilment of each of the promises of those covenants in the final administration of the CoG, the advent of the promised Redeemer, Christ.

It should be noted that each covenant builds on the the next. For instance, the Mosaic Covenant is based on the Abrahamic Covenant in that God redeemed Israel based on the covenant He made with Abraham. All of these covenants are intertwined, that's one reason we consider them administrations of the one Covenant, the Covenant of Grace.

:amen: :ditto: :amen: :ditto: Wayne!

One covenant - Two Testaments!

:cool:

R.
 

Steve Owen

Puritan Board Sophomore
I voted for Option 3.
I do not believe that the New Covenant is the fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant, but rather that the Abrahamic Covenant is a foreshadowing of the New Covenant. Christ is the Author (and Finisher) of our faith; we must start with Him, not Abraham.

Hello Wayne. You wrote:-

Originally posted by wsw201

The New Covenant is not new but the final administration of the Covenant of Grace announced in the Garden, the coming of the promised Redeemer. Each administration of the Covenant of Grace, ie; Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic and Davidic, point to the fulfilment of each of the promises of those covenants in the final administration of the CoG, the advent of the promised Redeemer, Christ.

It should be noted that each covenant builds on the the next. For instance, the Mosaic Covenant is based on the Abrahamic Covenant in that God redeemed Israel based on the covenant He made with Abraham. All of these covenants are intertwined, that's one reason we consider them administrations of the one Covenant, the Covenant of Grace.

In the light of your comments here, why do you think the writer to the Hebrews refers to the Mosaic Covenant as the First Covenant (Heb 8: 7, 13; 9:1 )?

Martin

[Edited on 8-6-2005 by Martin Marprelate]
 

Covenant Joel

Puritan Board Sophomore
Professor: The renewed covenant made with the house of Israel and Judah is the Abrahamic covenant fulfilled in Christ. It is set in contrast to the ceremonial and judicial laws given at Sinai because the blood of bulls and goats do not really save. Jesus Christ inaugurates the coming of this new kingdom and renewed covenant. In doing so, the New Covenant is "œnow" for us, since we are saved; but it is also "œnot yet," in that in heaven all people will know the Lord form the least to the greatest. There are teachers now in inaugurating the renewed covenant, but there will be no teachers then. There are saved people now, just as in the Old Testament, but the "œknowing" is complete only in heaven. No church, anywhere, is made up of all regenerate people, and is without teachers or pastors. Many people think that the New Testament church is supposed to be made up of only regenerate members. That is why dispensational churches only want to baptize regenerate people, those who simply make a profession of faith, and leave the children out. Although, in reality, they have no "œproof" in any way of ensuring the person is saved, but they will baptize them
anyway. But Jeremiah is not talking about excluding or including people in this way. In the time of Abraham, even people like Esau were included in the covenant, and the New Covenant, is not
consummation with a completely regenerate "œmembership" until we get to heaven. Only then will we have no more teachers. If you do not understand this point please let me know. We cannot move forward without understanding this.

This is the part of paedobaptist theology that I have not been able to accept yet. If I could see this truly coming out of the text, I think I could say I am fully for infant baptism. But I don't see this coming out the text at this point.

Enlightenment?

Joel
 

Theological Books

Puritan Board Freshman
If we say the Abrahamic Covenant *is* (identity) the New Covenant (since the "=" sign is used), how identical must it be in order to be the renewal? (Again, I think Leibniz' principle might be helpful.) While the Abrahamic Covenant did promise the same eschatological rewards (which intrude(d) temporaly for the elect then and now), it also genuinely promised physical land, physical kings, and physical peoples, which were given to the people as promised (throughout the Old Testament). Does the New Covenant promise these same, identical promises of the Abrahamic Covenant? Or, unlike the Abrahamic, are they solely eschatological (though intruding temporally--i.e. justification and sanctification are realized temporally, but we are awaiting the consummation and glorification)? Needless to say, I have a problem with the "=" sign. If by "renewal" we mean some of the same promises are included in the varying covenants, then ALL administrations of the covenant of grace are merely "renewals," for all possess the same eschatological/spiritual promises. Yes?

And surely we are not going to say "one covenant" when Scripture clearly distinguishes between them and says they are *NOT* identical, right? As John Owen points out in his commentary on the Hebrews, "2 "The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3 "The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today" (Deut 5:2, 3). Doesn't this show a distinction between the Abrahamic Covenant (their fathers) and the Mosaic Covenant (those in Exodus 3:1)? Also, Paul speaks of "covenants" (plural) in a few key places (Rom 9:4; Gal 4:24; Eph 2:12). To me it seems the one covenant of grace was administered through several different (not identical, though having some key similarities) covenants.

And, assuming Owen could be incorrect about using Deut 5:2-3 to compare and contrast the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants, one must show the Abrahamic Covenant *IS NOT* the Mosaic Covenant, which many have problems saying one way or another to strongly. If I remember correctly, Witsius even speaks about the Mosaic Covenant simply being the same Abrahamic Covenant expanded, using sacrificial rites and rituals (i.e. circumcision) to show how they are the same, but the Mosaic is a fuller expansion of the Abrahamic.

I don't know. These here questions be tough ones, and there be much to reconcile.
 

Steve Owen

Puritan Board Sophomore
Another question for Wayne (or anyone else who cares to answer).
He wrote:-
It should be noted that each covenant builds on the the next. For instance, the Mosaic Covenant is based on the Abrahamic Covenant in that God redeemed Israel based on the covenant He made with Abraham. All of these covenants are intertwined, that's one reason we consider them administrations of the one Covenant, the Covenant of Grace.

And W.B.Myers wrote:-
Witsius even speaks about the Mosaic Covenant simply being the same Abrahamic Covenant expanded.
In 2Cor 3, the Mosaic Covenant is described as 'The ministry of death' and 'The ministry of condemnation'. If the covenants are 'intertwined' as suggested in these quotes, in what respect would you say the covenant with Abraham is a ministry of death or condemnation?

Grace & Peace,

Martin
 

wsw201

Puritan Board Senior
Martin,

Regarding you first question concerning Hebrews, I checked a few commentaries and there was no clear answer as to why the Mosaic Covenant was referred to as the first covenant. Based on my own speculation, I think the context of Chapter 7 and 8 may be the reason. In these chapters he is discussing the priesthood, which was established under the Mosaic Covenant a Covenant made with the house of Israel. For the Jews, this would have been the most important covenant made and since this letter was written to the "œHebrews", the emphasis would be on that particular covenant.

Regarding your question about 2 Cor 3, though each covenant is intertwined, they do have distinct promises.

In 2 Cor 3, Paul is contrasting the Law/Gospel, the Letter vs. the Spirit. The Law, though the law being written in their hearts (Rom 2:11-16), was codified in the 10 commandments or the Mosaic Covenant. One of the uses of the law is to convict us of our sin and reveal to the Christian how far off we are in obeying the commands of God, that is why Paul calls it the minister of death. The Mosaic Law was also the law given to Adam in the Garden, ie; the Covenant of Works. The WCF and I think the LBCF say the same thing regarding this point.

Chapter 19 of the WCF states the following:

I. God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which He bound him and all his posterity, to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience, promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breach of it, and endued him with power and ability to keep it.[1]

II. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness; and, as such, was delivered by God upon Mount Sinai, in ten commandments, and written in two tables:[2] the first four commandments containing our duty towards God; and the other six, our duty to man.[3]

As the WCF notes that the law that was given to Adam was the law given to Israel. That law required perfect obedience for Adam and Israel. Since neither could keep it, it was a minister of death to them.

Hope this helps.
 

just_grace

Puritan Board Freshman
Hung up on the Law...

Christ was the fulfilment of the promise to Abraham...

A snippet from, Paul, Apostle of the Heart Set Free. By FF. Bruce.

"Again, no one should be misled by the idea that the law, by virtue of its antiquity, had a greater claim to veneration than a message so recent as the gospel. The gospel was the fulfilment of God's promise to Abraham which antedated the law by centuries.

Abraham who's faith in God was counted to him as righteousness, was the prototype of all who were justified by faith. The law was a parenthetical dispensation, introduced to serve a tempory purpose, but now rendered obsolete by the coming of Christ, the true offspring of Abraham, in whom the promises and their fulfilment were embodied.

The Galatians did not realize what a retrograde step they were being encouraged to take: a step back from freedom to bondage, from maturity to infancy, from the status of sons to the status of servants. They had come of age in Christ: why should they want to revert to the apron-string stage?
The beginning of their Christian life had been attended by manifestations of the presence and power of the Spirit: were they now to seek the perfection of Christian life in ordinances of an outmoded regime, related not to the Spirit but to the flesh?"

It's a great book.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Originally posted by Theological Books
If we say the Abrahamic Covenant *is* (identity) the New Covenant (since the "=" sign is used), how identical must it be in order to be the renewal? (Again, I think Leibniz' principle might be helpful.) While the Abrahamic Covenant did promise the same eschatological rewards (which intrude(d) temporaly for the elect then and now), it also genuinely promised physical land, physical kings, and physical peoples, which were given to the people as promised (throughout the Old Testament). Does the New Covenant promise these same, identical promises of the Abrahamic Covenant? Or, unlike the Abrahamic, are they solely eschatological (though intruding temporally--i.e. justification and sanctification are realized temporally, but we are awaiting the consummation and glorification)? Needless to say, I have a problem with the "=" sign. If by "renewal" we mean some of the same promises are included in the varying covenants, then ALL administrations of the covenant of grace are merely "renewals," for all possess the same eschatological/spiritual promises. Yes?

And surely we are not going to say "one covenant" when Scripture clearly distinguishes between them and says they are *NOT* identical, right? As John Owen points out in his commentary on the Hebrews, "2 "The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3 "The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today" (Deut 5:2, 3). Doesn't this show a distinction between the Abrahamic Covenant (their fathers) and the Mosaic Covenant (those in Exodus 3:1)? Also, Paul speaks of "covenants" (plural) in a few key places (Rom 9:4; Gal 4:24; Eph 2:12). To me it seems the one covenant of grace was administered through several different (not identical, though having some key similarities) covenants.

And, assuming Owen could be incorrect about using Deut 5:2-3 to compare and contrast the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants, one must show the Abrahamic Covenant *IS NOT* the Mosaic Covenant, which many have problems saying one way or another to strongly. If I remember correctly, Witsius even speaks about the Mosaic Covenant simply being the same Abrahamic Covenant expanded, using sacrificial rites and rituals (i.e. circumcision) to show how they are the same, but the Mosaic is a fuller expansion of the Abrahamic.

I don't know. These here questions be tough ones, and there be much to reconcile.

Thanks TB. You have opened my eyes to some things they were blinded to. I am still working it out. There just seems to be more of a connection between Abraham and the New Covenant than some are willing to admit. There is some disconnect from the Mosaic that others are not willing to accept either.(2 Corinthians 3:11)
 

Theological Books

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks TB. You have opened my eyes to some things they were blinded to. I am still working it out. There just seems to be more of a connection between Abraham and the New Covenant than some are willing to admit. There is some disconnect from the Mosaic that others are not willing to accept either.(2 Corinthians 3:11)

Brother, covenant theology is bigger than all of us combined. There is a great connection between the Abrahamic and New covenants. For instance, if we look at Scripture typologically, we see the Abrahamic Covenant was the antitype of the New Covenant, while the Mosaic Covenant was an antitype of the eschatological reality we are all awaiting. And there is necessarily some disconnect from the Abrahamic to Mosaic. It's very complicated, though, and I know I ain't got it all figured out, yet.
 

Theological Books

Puritan Board Freshman
Martin:

Examine Genesis 12-17, specifically comparing chapters 12, 15, and 17 and how they are used by Paul and the New Testament (i.e. Rom 4; Gal 3-4; etc.). Personally, I see two distinct covenants in Gen 15 and 17. Gen 15 is the foreshadow of the work of Christ in the covenant of redemption in order to inaugurate the New Covenant. Remember, the NC is not the covenant of redemption, though the covenant of redemption is that on which the New Covenant is founded. Try, if you will, to view Gen 15 as the covenant of redemption and Gen 17 as a separate, distinct, different covenant (of circumcision--Acts 7:8 ). Let me know how that works out in your head.
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
Originally posted by Covenant Joel
Professor: The renewed covenant made with the house of Israel and Judah is the Abrahamic covenant fulfilled in Christ. It is set in contrast to the ceremonial and judicial laws given at Sinai because the blood of bulls and goats do not really save. Jesus Christ inaugurates the coming of this new kingdom and renewed covenant. In doing so, the New Covenant is "œnow" for us, since we are saved; but it is also "œnot yet," in that in heaven all people will know the Lord form the least to the greatest. There are teachers now in inaugurating the renewed covenant, but there will be no teachers then. There are saved people now, just as in the Old Testament, but the "œknowing" is complete only in heaven. No church, anywhere, is made up of all regenerate people, and is without teachers or pastors. Many people think that the New Testament church is supposed to be made up of only regenerate members. That is why dispensational churches only want to baptize regenerate people, those who simply make a profession of faith, and leave the children out. Although, in reality, they have no "œproof" in any way of ensuring the person is saved, but they will baptize them
anyway. But Jeremiah is not talking about excluding or including people in this way. In the time of Abraham, even people like Esau were included in the covenant, and the New Covenant, is not
consummation with a completely regenerate "œmembership" until we get to heaven. Only then will we have no more teachers. If you do not understand this point please let me know. We cannot move forward without understanding this.

This is the part of paedobaptist theology that I have not been able to accept yet. If I could see this truly coming out of the text, I think I could say I am fully for infant baptism. But I don't see this coming out the text at this point.

Enlightenment?

Joel

Hi Joel -

Can you explain a bit further here? What about what you have quoted is something you can't yet accept?

a) the participation of the non-elect in/alongside/with the covenant of grace?

b) the delay in final consummation of the New Covenant until *that* day?

c) something else?

Thanks!

Todd
 

Puritanhead

Puritan Board Professor
I think it kinda is, and kinda isn't (please explain).

If I had to explain it would rob the colloquial poll answer "kinda is, and kinda isn't" of its meaning... plus, i'm mentally fatigued.
:)
 

Theological Books

Puritan Board Freshman
Not to get off track, but I noticed the avatar in Puritanhead's profile. "Gods and Generals" has to be one of the worst movies of all time ever made. I'm sorry, but I have to say this, regardless of the consequences. I cannot remember sitting through over 2.5 hours of pure, unadulterated, unbridled DUNG said to be writing and acting. Seriously, "Gods and Generals" would be one of the most horrible level's of Dante's hell.

I like the idea of the story, but what a nightmare. It should have won the award for worst movie (the name escapes me).

[Edited on 8-10-2005 by Theological Books]
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
To put things in an inadequate light, The Mosaic Covenant was related in essence to the Covenant of works. The Abrahmic covenant and the New covenant were the publication, at the human level, in two related forms of the eternal covenant of grace (or Covenant of Redemption). In eternity God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit covenanted to redeem the elect, but putting this in operation on earth meant the publication and ratification of the Abrahamic and New Covenants.
Peter Toon on John Owen and Covenant Theology.

TB
Start another Thread on the God's and Generals Movie. I bet you will meet some good opposition to your view. Plus, I would like to hear it.
Thanks, Randy
 
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