Covenant Theology

jesus-disciples-passover-new-covenant

This is the 8th post in a series, for the previous post please click HERE.

The purpose of this post is to give a very brief overview of Covenant Theology.  In the Biblical narrative it can be seen that God has used multiple covenants with his people during different periods of time.

For context I have given references to a few below.  Each is different in its specifics but follows a similar structure.  The three distinct features we see in Biblical Covenants are the following:

  1. A Promise
  2. A Condition
  3. A Sign

You cannot argue that they are all one large covenant.  A good reason why they cannot be collated is that some covenants are conditional while others are unconditional.  I have posted some of the covenants below for your review and personal study.

 

Adamic Covenant

Promise: God promises the coming messiah who will crush the head of the snake.

Unconditional:  This is an unconditional covenant, dependent upon God’s promises.

Sign:  The messiah is to come by a virgin birth.  Notice the text says “seed of woman”.

Textual Support: (Genesis 3:15) (Isaiah 7:14)

 

Noahic Covenant

Promise:  God promised never to flood the Earth again.

Unconditional:  This is an unconditional covenant, dependent upon God’s promises.

Sign: The Rainbow

Textual Support:  (Genesis 9:8-17)(Genesis 9:8-11, 15)(Genesis 9:12-16)

Abrahamic Covenant

Promise:  Many offspring

Condition:  Righteousness imputed by Faith

Sign: Circumcision

Textual Support:  (Genesis 15:1-5)(Genesis 15:6)(Genesis 17:10-13)

Mosaic Covenant

Promise: A great land and nation

Condition: Obedience to the Law

Sign: The Sabbath

Textual Support:  (Exodus 2:24-25)(Exodus 19:7-8)(Exodus 20:8-11)(Exodus 31:12-18)

New Covenant

Promise: Eternal Life in Christ

Condition:  Perfect Obedience to the Law fulfilled by Christ and imputed to you by Faith

Sign: Baptism

Textual Support: (Luke 22:20)(John 11:26)(Matt 5:48)(2 Cor 5:21)(Php 3:9)(Col 2:11-12)

Here is the idea, the law as defined by the Torah was something that was added to the Mosaic Covenant.  It had a purpose and a function in this covenant.  We can even see that the Ten Commandments themselves were specific to this.

“And he declared to you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments, and he wrote them on two tablets of stone.” Deut 4:13 ESV 

Thus, to remove the Ten Commandments from the Mosaic Covenant and import them into the New Covenant is simply incorrect.  They are two different covenants altogether.  When Jesus institutes the New Covenant he makes the Old one Obsolete.

“20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” Luke 22:20 ESV

“7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second…. 13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” Heb 8:7, 13 ESV

Conclusion

What I want the reader to understand is the need to think of Biblical Covenants in a categorical sense.  You cannot simply mix and match them as you see fit, the scripture does not present them in this fashion.  The scripture makes hard and fast distinctions, applying conditions to some and not others, making a covenant here obsolete and instituting a new one in it’s place.  Thus we should submit to that and accept such distinctions.

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About ACTheologian

I am a layman who blogs my Biblical studies. Enjoy, please read with an open Bible and do double check with your pastor.
This entry was posted in Leaving Adventism, New Covenant and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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