The New Covenant Constitution of the Church

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ReformedBaptist, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. ReformedBaptist

    ReformedBaptist
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    Dear BB:

    I have been reading a short book by Dr. Sam Waldron and co-author Richard Barcellos entitled "A Reformed Baptist Manifesto: The New Covenant Constitution of the Church" While the book positively presents biblical doctrine it is also polemical in nature. I wanted to share some of the Scriptures presented in the first chapter as this presentation confirmed something I had seen in the Scripture as well (so plainly so that I am amazed others cannot see this).

    Luke 22:20
    Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

    1 Cor 11:25
    After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

    2 Cor 3:6
    Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

    Hebrews 8:1, 6-13
    Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;...But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

    Hebrews 9:14-15
    How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

    Hebrews 10:10-19; 12:22-24 (I will not repost these in full)

    Suffice it to say that these references again present every believer in Christ, Jew or Gentile, as having received the blessings of the New Covenant giving specific reference to Jeremiah 31:31-34. Hewbrews Chapter 12:22-24 give the knowledge that beleivers in Christ, Jew and Gentile, have come to Mount Zion by virtue of their relationship with the mediator, Jesus Christ, of the New Covenant.

    More in the next post...
     
  2. ReformedBaptist

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    Observations

    Some observations from this:

    1. The New Testament always interprets Jeremiah 31:31-34 as the Church, both Jew and Gentile. It specifically applies the fulfillment of the prophecy in Jeremiah to the Church.

    2. There is no biblical justification to apply the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31 to Israel only and to the future in the millenium. It is, as Waldron writes, "..the Constitution of the Church is the present age." p. 21

    3. The Savior of the Church is the mediator of the New Covenant described in Jeremiah 31.

    4. The Apostle(s) are ministers of the New Covenant described in Jeremiah 31.

    5. The ordinance of the Lord's Table is an ordinance of the New Covenant descibed in Jeremiah 31.

    6. Conclusion: The New Covenant IS the constitution of the New Covenant described in Jeremiah 31.

    Some implications and the polemical nature of this will be presented in my next post.

    RB
     
  3. skypair

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    You must first realize that yours is a SPIRITUAL interpretation of Jer 31. It is absolutely true that the new covenant has come to the Gentiles. The "Lord's Supper" is NOT mentioned in Jer 31. That is a pure ALLEGORICAL substitution that some theologies make today.

    Second, Jer 31 is to ISRAEL -- national, religious, and spiritual -- the fig tree, the olive tree, and the vine. There are theologies that "erase" Israel but God has not "fulfilled" His program for them as Daniel's 70th week and the "time of Jacob's trouble" will soon prove (Jer 30:7, Dan 9:24).

    I realize this is a "cornerstone" of Calvinism and Catholicism but it is wrong. Wanna discuss it?

    skypair
     
  4. Grasshopper

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    That is why I'm not a Dispie. Now read Eze. 37 with the above outline in mind.
     
  5. Grasshopper

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  6. Jarthur001

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    Somethings never change. :cool:
     
  7. ReformedBaptist

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    Hey SP:

    It is a discussion forum SP, but it might be good to actually interact with the content of the thread.

    In reference to my above comment, please deal with how the NT writers apply Jeremiah 31 to the Church.

    uhh...in reference to my above comment, why does every NT passage that references Jeremiah 31 apply its fulfillment to the Church in the present age?
     
  8. TCGreek

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    I'm a Calvinist who do not subscribe to covenant theology.
     
  9. ReformedBaptist

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    How do you understand the verses in Hebrews that are applying the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31 to the Church in the present age?
     
  10. TCGreek

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    1. Scripture never says that it's a total fulfillment.

    2. The New Covenant has a partial fulfillment during the church age, but will be consummated in reference to Israel.

    3. Which is solid proof for the premil position.

    4. Don't forget that prophecies are not one-dimensional.
     
  11. Grasshopper

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    Which prophecies have more than one dimension and who decides which do and which don't?
     
  12. ReformedBaptist

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    Thanks TC. I must admit I really don't understand your replies except that point one seems to be an argument from silence. But I will keep your points in mind as I continue to learn.
     
  13. TCGreek

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    1. Are we to believe that the church has replaced ethnic Israel? Then it must be a partial fulfillment in keeping with the prophecies of Scripture.

    2. What are we to do about Rom 11:25-29? Then we must conclude a partial fulfillment.

    3. The original prophecy is in reference to Israel. I see nowhere in Scripture where the church has replaced Israel. Have you?

    Now if the church has replaced Israel but is benefitting from the New Covenant, then we await the complete fulfillment in reference to Israel according to the premil position.

    4. Scripture does. 2 Sam 7:11-16 had a partial fulfillment in Solomon and will ultimately be fulfilled in Jesus (Luke 1:29-33).
     
  14. TCGreek

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    RB, no probs, for we are all learning. :thumbs:
     
  15. ReformedBaptist

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    Yes, I believe I have. If you would like the specific Scriptures that give me this understanding I can. And that they teach that the Church is Israel, both Jew and Gentile, the natural branches are broken off, the Old Covenant has come to an end, and the people of God are one body, now of both Jew and Gentile, which in Christ are neither Jew or Gentile. This is the Israel of God.
     
  16. TCGreek

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    Yes, I will like the Scriptures on that matter.
     
  17. ReformedBaptist

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    Ok, tomorrow brother. It is getting late. Good night!:sleeping_2:
     
  18. TCGreek

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    Thank you, and have a good night too.
     
  19. ReformedBaptist

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    Galatians 6:15-16
    For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

    Both Jew and Gentile are in view in this Scripture, circumcision and uncircumcision, and the new creation. And this is in Christ Jesus. The same "as many as walk according to this rule" who are the ones that peace be on them and mercy, are the same as the Israel of God.

    A parallel text is Romans 2:28-29
    For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

    Notice how Romans contrasts the letter and the spirit. This is clearly, IMO, an allusion to the Old and New Covenant.

    Romans 11:20-21
    Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear

    The natural branches are physical Israel. The wild olive branches are Gentiles. And we are grafted into the olive tree by faith in Jesus Christ.

    Hebrews 8:13
    In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

    The Apostle is referring to Jeremiah 31 here.

    1 Cor 12:13
    For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

    Both Jew and Gentile are baptized into ONE body.

    Ephesians 2
    Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

    Ephesians 4:4
    There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;


    For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

    Gentiles were stranges to the covenants of the promise. We were separated and strangers having no part with the commonwealth of Israel. But now in Christ Jesus are brought near by the blood of Jesus Christ and are fellow citizens and are of the household of God. We built as a member of the one holy temple in the Lord.

    Galatians 3:28
    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

    If there is neither Jew nor Greek, but all are one in Christ Jesus, then the Church is the New Israel.
     
  20. TCGreek

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    RB, thank you.

    Now the creation of the church in no way means that Israel has been displayed.

    Those text simply mean that both Jews and Gentiles who are being saved now as a result of the New Covenant are on equal standing with the covenant, just like males and females, slaves and free.

    Are we willing to say that the distinction between males and females disappeared? Not at all!

    In all those texts we speaking of equal standing in the church.

    Now regarding Romans 11:20-21, I noticed you didn't go on to vv.25-29, which clearly sees a distinction between God's plan for the church age and Israel.

    Even Paul makes a distinction between Israel and the church in 1 Cor 10:32, "Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God."

    Regarding Hebrews 8, blessings of the New Covenant coming to the church does not nullify God's original plan to Israel, or does it?
     

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