All ancient Near Eastern suzerain-vassal treaties had elements in common, but they were also different in many ways. As the stories of Moses' life tell us, God showed the divine benevolence of common and saving grace in unique ways to Moses himself as the covenant representative of the covenant of law. True believers can rest confidently in the fact that they will never experience the eternal curse of God. Let's look first at God's covenant representatives. For this reason, the New Testament teaches that, prior to Christ's return, God shows common grace to all people in the visible church, including false believers. And third, we'll point out how God administered his kingdom through the organic development of his covenant policies. These difficulties sanctify us and increase the eternal blessings we'll receive when Christ returns. It's no wonder, then, that every facet of New Testament theology is cast in terms of divine benevolence. Gerard Van Groningen explores the covenantal structure of biblical revelation, and how concepts of kingdom, covenant, and mediator unify the Scriptures. Let's consider first Old Testament covenant policies. Yet, it's also apparent that the New Testament has countless commands and directives from God. Let's first see the consequences of blessings and curses in the Old Testament covenants. Not only was it Christocentric. And he will be blessed even more at the consummation of his kingdom when he receives his eternal inheritance of ruling over the new creation. On the one side, we are "in Christ." And, just as in Adam's covenant, the kindnesses God showed Noah were also passed on to the covenant people Noah represented: all human beings. Additionally, Adam represented all of humanity in the court of God. “Kingdom through Covenant has helped me better understand the Bible as a continuous narrative. In this lesson on the new covenant in Christ, we've considered God's kingdom administration and seen how God administered his kingdom through his covenant representatives, and how he established appropriate policies as his covenants developed organically. Once again, it helps to understand tests of loyalty for the church in terms of the church's union with Christ. By his death, the royal covenant representative would bring God's people into the glories of his eternal victorious kingdom. And finally, passages like Psalms 89 and 132 refer to God's covenant with David. Gentry is professor of Old Testament Interpretation and Wellum is professor of Christian Theology. covenants provides a framework for understanding and applying the message of the bible to life in the new covenant community kingdom through covenant is a careful exposition of how the biblical covenants unfold and relate to one another a widely debated topic critical for understanding the narrative plot structure of the whole bible by Second, greater kings also stipulated certain ways in which their vassals were to prove their loyalty. on Amazon.com. So, when we say that New Testament theology is new covenant theology, we don't mean that it's somehow divorced from the Old Testament. And third, we'll address the consequences of blessings and curses for obedience and disobedience. Sometimes differences like this don't matter much. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2012, pp. In Hebrews 4:15 we read: And listen to Philippians 2:8 where Paul referred to Christ's remarkable obedience: In New Testament theology, the height of Jesus' loyal service to God was his voluntary death on the cross. Each Old Testament covenant had different covenant representatives and focused on policies that were appropriate for a particular time in history. Kingdom, Covenants & Canon of the Old Testament, Your Kingdom Come: The Doctrine of Eschatology, He Gave Us Scripture: Foundations of Interpretation, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. kingdom through covenant a biblical theological understanding of the covenants Oct 02, 2020 Posted By Ian Fleming Library TEXT ID 9786da8b Online PDF Ebook Epub Library examining implications of their work for christology ecclesiology eschatology and So far in our lesson on the new covenant, we've explored God's kingdom administration. And God explicitly explained that he gave his covenant people of Israel the Law to test them. The answer is clear. While the church still exists on earth prior to Christ's return in glory, people within the church experience tests of loyalty that prove the condition of their hearts. Notice in this passage that the new covenant will bring God's kingdom to its ultimate end when " [God] will forgive [his people's] wickedness and will remember their sins no more." How did they approach the dynamics of divine and human interaction? Now, as much as New Testament theology praises Jesus for gaining the blessing of ruling over all creation, we know that the consequences of the new covenant also impact the church, the people of the new covenant. That is, Christ is present and at work within believers through the Holy Spirit in our day-to-day experiences on earth. kingdom through covenant a biblical theological understanding of the covenants Sep 22, 2020 Posted By Karl May Ltd TEXT ID 9786da8b Online PDF Ebook Epub Library covenants kingdom through covenant a biblical theological understanding of the covenants by peter j gentry stephen j wellum show all the disciplines of biblical and Now, as much as New Testament theology emphasizes Christ's perfect loyalty as the new covenant representative, it also stresses that tests of loyalty are still in effect for the church, the people of the new covenant. Everyone familiar with the Bible knows that God tested Adam as God's covenant representative through his directives in the Garden of Eden. Kingdom through Covenant emphasizes the importance of the covenant concept throughout Scripture, showing that crucial theological differences can be resolved by understanding how the biblical covenants unfold and relate to one another. The fact that Christ is God's chosen covenant representative for the church helps us understand one of the most important characteristics of New Testament theology. And for true believers, as passages like Hebrews 12:1-11 tell us, temporary hardships, or curses, are God's loving, fatherly discipline. As we read in 1 John 2:19 regarding false believers: As this passage indicates, New Testament theology contains many commands from God as tests of loyalty to prove those who really belong to the body of true believers. This side of our union with Christ corresponds to the traditional protestant doctrine of sanctification, or the progressive pursuit of holiness. This was because each individual treaty addressed specific issues that were pertinent for each international relationship. Now in passages like Deuteronomy 10:16 and Jeremiah 4:4, God frequently called the nation of Israel to move beyond their outward association with his covenants and to circumcise their hearts. According to God's inscrutable wisdom, they all experienced common grace, including unbelievers in Israel. Stephen J. Wellum (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor of Christian theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and editor of the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. The study of the covenants provides a framework for understanding and applying the message of the Bible to life in the new covenant community. Even so, passages like Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 12:18; and Luke 3:22 indicate that during the inauguration of his kingdom, the Father anointed Jesus with his Spirit to empower him in his service. Second, we'll see how God's covenants focused on appropriate policies for God's kingdom. This teaching makes it clear that God's benevolence to Christ also impacts the church, the covenant people he represents. In addition to Jesus' death on the cross, passages like Hebrews 8:1-2 also point out that Christ, as the son of David, serves obediently in heaven throughout the continuation of his kingdom. Find books You can write a book review and share your experiences. And, as a result, a number of biblical interpreters suggested that some biblical covenants did not require loyalty from God's people. And so, as Israel's exile approached, God revealed in Isaiah 53:1-12, that he required the voluntary death of the servant of the Lord, the Messiah, as atonement for the sins of his people. Why pray and show kindness in the name of Jesus? The Old Testament makes it abundantly clear that God's benevolence, or kindness, both initiated and sustained the relationships established by his covenants. The covenants with Abraham, Moses and David may be described as "national covenants." These new policies were revealed through Christ and through his apostles and prophets. The new covenant is mentioned in Scripture for the first time in Jeremiah 31:31 where we read these words: In the larger context of this verse, the phrase "The days are coming" refers to the time after the end of Israel's exile. Genesis 1–3 and Hosea 6:7 both indicate that God made the first biblical covenant with Adam. Stephen lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, Karen, and their five children. (9) The literal fulfillment is requisite to the display of God’s government in the earth, necessary to the restoration and exaltation of the Jewish nation and deliverance of the earth from the curse. As such, it established policies that were designed to reverse the failures of the past and complete or fulfill God's kingdom purposes in Christ. Gentry is professor of Old Testament interpretation at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Once again, the New Testament doctrine of union with Christ points out two sides of this reality. This threefold fulfillment of the new covenant helps us recognize a second basic characteristic of New Testament theology. But Peter Gentry and Stephen Wellum now propose a significant biblical theology of the covenants that avoids the extremes of both classical systems and holds the potential to break the theological impasse. From the time of Noah, God established the stability of nature as a secure place for God's fallen images to serve his kingdom purposes. He is a Trustee of Latimer Trust, a member of the Church of England Evangelical Council, and served as Chairman of the Fellowship of Word and Spirit. And God also showed his saving grace to many who were in Israel and adopted into Israel. Dr. Glen G. Scorgie is Professor of Theology at Bethel Seminary, San Diego. COVENANT PROBLEM There are numerous problems that can be identified within Covenant Theology’s interpretation of the Scripture. In one way or another God continued to show common grace to all people, including unbelievers. But as we'll see in this lesson, the concept of the new covenant influenced New Testament authors so much that we may speak of their theology as "new covenant theology." As the Kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, the New Covenant is an everlasting covenant in which God’s people will know the Lord the way He has always wanted us to know Him. By contrast, true believers, although not perfect in this life, will persevere in their loyalty to Christ through the power of the Spirit. First, its inauguration came with Christ's first advent. It's important to know, however, that the word "new" translates the Hebrew term chadash. From the time of Moses, the Law served as the guide for Israel. For instance, unlike the expectations created by Jeremiah 31, passages like Matthew 6:12 and 1 John 1:9 explain that followers of Christ still need to ask for forgiveness because they still violate the law of God. A tree changes as it grows from seed to full maturity, but it still remains the same organism. In the first place, the New Testament draws attention to God's benevolence toward Christ, the new covenant representative. We'll explore the dynamics of interaction between God and people by first noting God's divine benevolence to his people. He has produced numerous books and theological articles, including Excellence in Preaching: Learning from the Best (IVP, 2011); Stress: The Path to Peace (Inter-Varsity Press, 2014); and Lives Jesus Changed (Christian Focus Publications, 2010). We'll briefly survey the Old Testament covenants and then turn to the new covenant. They described how God protects some from harm and how he calls others to suffer. We also see covenants between kings and their citizens and between kings and other kings. This means that because Christ is our covenant representative, the people of the new covenant are identified with Christ in God's heavenly court. In effect, New Testament authors had to spend their time adjusting expectations for life in the new covenant. In other words, every facet of New Testament theology is closely tied to the person and work of Christ. How did New Testament authors make sense of it all? A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants. Their eternal blessings are secure because Christ is their covenant representative. In the second place, the New Testament also focuses on what Christian theologians often call "union with Christ." After the flood, God made a covenant with Noah that we may call the "covenant of stability." But in fulfillment of Isaiah 53:1-12, he bore the judgment of God as an innocent royal substitute for the people of God in every age. We'll look at the element of divine benevolence in both Old Testament covenants and in the new covenant. That is why so many Jews were unprepared for Jesus when He came preaching the kingdom of God (Mark 1:14-15). In this stage, Jesus fulfills many more, but still not all of the expectations of the new covenant. In this lesson, we're particularly interested in God's covenants with people, especially his new covenant in Christ. Kingdom through Covenant is a careful exposition of how the biblical covenants unfold and relate to one another—a widely debated topic, critical for understanding the narrative plot structure of the whole Bible. In a similar way, in the covenant of law, Moses received God's blessings and curses in his life as the covenant representative. As we've already noted, ancient suzerains administered their kingdoms by making treaties with lesser kings or vassals. Dr. Simon Vibert (Host) is Vice Principal of Wycliffe Hall of the University of Oxford where he also serves as Director of the School of Preaching. For instance, why does the New Testament teach that we must believe in Jesus for salvation? Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical Theological Understanding of the Covenants | Peter J. Gentry, Stephen J. Wellum | download | Z-Library. Listen to the connection between Christ's obedience and God's blessing in Philippians 2:8-9: In New Testament theology, Jesus' resurrection and ascension at the inauguration of the kingdom were the just reward for his perfect obedience to God. Dr. Alvin Padilla is Vice President of Academic Affairs at Western Theological Seminary. Then we'll look at tests of loyalty in the new covenant. In Genesis 22:12, the angel of the Lord said to Abraham: We can see in this passage why God commanded Abraham. In addition to being Christocentric and focused on policies that were appropriate for the threefold unfolding of Christ's kingdom, New Testament theology was based on Old Testament theology. How were these and other factors affected by the unfolding of new covenant policies? But true believers will receive their eternal inheritance in the glorious new creation. The covenant with Moses is often called the "covenant of law" because it focused on God's law as he unified the tribes of Israel into a nation. The New Testament repeatedly identifies Christ as the new covenant representative. But like each Old Testament covenant, the new covenant renewed, rebuilt, renovated or refreshed the policies that God had established in previous covenant administrations. Second, we'll see how biblical covenants involved tests of loyalty for God's covenant people. And New Testament theology explains how the consequences of blessings and curses, in this life and in eternity, apply to both of these groups. So, we shouldn't be surprised when Scripture tells us that God tested the loyalty of his people in every biblical covenant, including the new covenant. On the contrary, every dimension of New Testament theology incorporates and builds on the theology of the Old Testament. By contrast, true believers also receive both blessings and curses in this life. The strength of the book is in the way the issues are laid out in the first part of the book, as well as the summary and theological implications in the third part. In much the same way, all of God's covenants had much in common, but each covenant's policies were designed for specific issues that were important at different stages of biblical history. As Paul pointed out in Galatians 3:13, Jesus endured the curse of God for the sins of all who believe in him as he suffered death on the cross. 6:7 both indicate that God chose Moses as his covenant representative also speaks ``... 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