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Covenant of Death, Covenant of Life.

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonC, May 10, 2023.

  1. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I found this in a NCT statement of their beliefs on the covenants:

    The Old and New Covenants are two different covenants in terms of both form and function. The one is an administration of death, and the other is an administration of life.

    How do we evaluate this statement?

    (Note - not asking for hostile debates, just thoughts on the statement...a family friendly Christian discussion :) ... .how does it align with Scripture, is it true, is it false, and why).
     
  2. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    For my part, I agree with the statement and think it aligns very well with Scripture.
     
  3. Alan Gross

    Alan Gross Well-Known Member

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    I would look for someone like Gill that knew, first, how to leave the Covenant of Grace as ONE ETERNAL COVENANT, and then, how to divide those two Major Administrations of that One Covenant up some, in detail, to explain it.

    @ His By Grace--"John Gill: A Body of Doctrinal & Practical Divinity"-Doctrinal Book 4, Chapter 1

    "The covenant of grace is but one and the same in all ages, of which Christ is the substance;

    "being given for "a covenant of the people", of all the people of God, both Jews and Gentiles, who is "the same" in the "yesterday" of the Old Testament, and in the "today" of the New Testament, and "for ever";

    "he is "the way, the truth, and the life", the only true way to eternal life;

    "and there never was any other way made known to men since the fall of Adam;

    "no other name under heaven has been given, or will be given, by which men can be saved.

    "The patriarchs before the flood and after, before the law of Moses and under it, before the coming of Christ, and all the saints since, are saved in one and the same way, even "by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ";

    "and that is the grace of the covenant, exhibited at different times, and in divers manners.

    "For though the covenant is but one, there are different administrations of it;

    "particularly two, one before the coming of Christ, and the other after it;

    "which lay the foundation for the distinction of the "first" and "second", the "old" and the "new" covenant, observed by the author of the epistle to the Hebrews, #Hebrews 8:7,8,13 9:1,15 12:24 for by the first and old covenant, is not meant the covenant of works made with Adam, which had been broke and abrogated long ago;

    "since the apostle is speaking of a covenant waxen old, and ready to vanish away in his time: nor was the covenant of works the first and most ancient covenant;

    "the covenant of grace, as an eternal compact, was before that;

    "but by it is meant the first and most ancient administration of the covenant of grace which reached from the fall of Adam, when the covenant of works was broke, unto the coming of Christ, when it was superseded and vacated by another administration of the same covenant, called therefore the "second" and "new" covenant.

    "The one we commonly call the Old Testament dispensation, and the other the New Testament dispensation;

    "for which there seems to be some foundation in #2Co 3:6,14 #Hebrews 9:15 these two covenants, or rather the two administrations of the same covenant, are allegorically represented by two women, Hagar and Sarah, the bondwoman and the free, #Ga 4:22-26 which fitly describe the nature and difference of them...

    "And before I proceed any farther, I shall just point out the agreement and disagreement of those two administrations of the covenant of grace.

    1. First, The agreement there is between them.

    1a. They agree in the efficient cause, God: the covenant of grace, in its original constitution in eternity, is of God, and therefore it is called his covenant, being made by him; "I have made a covenant--my covenant I will not break", #Ps 89:3,34....

    1b. In the moving cause, the sovereign mercy, and free grace of God, which moved God to make the covenant of grace at first, #Ps 89:2,3....

    1c. In the Mediator, who is Christ; there is but one Mediator of the covenant of grace, let it be considered under what dispensation it will;

    even Christ, who under the former dispensation was revealed as the seed of the woman that should bruise the serpent's head, and make atonement by his sufferings and death, signified by the expiatory sacrifices, under the law;

    the Shiloh, the peaceable One, and the Peace Maker, the living Redeemer of Job, and of all believers under the Old Testament, etc., etc....

    1d. In the subjects of these covenants, or administrations of the covenants of grace, the elect of God, to whom the blessings of it are applied....

    1e. In the blessings of it;

    they are the same under both administrations.

    Salvation and redemption by Christ is the great blessing held forth and enjoyed under the one as under the other, #2Sa 23:5 Heb 9:15.

    Justification by the righteousness of Christ, which the Old Testament church had knowledge of, and faith in, as well as the new, #Isa 45:24,25 Ro 3:21-23.

    Forgiveness of sin through faith in Christ, all the prophets bore witness to; and the saints of old, as now, had as comfortable an application of it, #Ps 32:1,5 Isa 43:25 Mic 7:18 Ac 10:43.

    Regeneration, spiritual circumcision, and sanctification, were what men were made partakers of under the first, as under the second administration of the covenant, #De 30:6 Php 3:3.

    Eternal life was made known in the writings of the Old Testament, as well as in those of the New; and was believed, looked for, and expected by the saints of the former, as of the latter dispensation, #Joh 5:39 Heb 11:10,16 Job 19:26,27.

    In a word, they and we eat the same spiritual meat, and drink the same spiritual drink, for they drank of that Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ, #1Co 10:3,4.

    2. Secondly, In some things there is a disagreement between these two administrations of the covenant of Grace.

    2a. Under the first administration saints looked forward to Christ that was to come, and to the good things that were to come by him, and so were waiting, expecting, and longing for the enjoyment of them;

    but under the second and new administration, believers look backwards to Christ as being come, before whose eyes he is evidently set forth in the word and ordinances, as crucified and slain....

    2b. There is a greater clearness and evidence of things under the one than under the other....

    2c. There is more of a spirit of liberty, and less of bondage, under the one, than under the other;

    saints under the one differed little from servants, being in bondage under the elements of the world;

    but under the other are Christ's freemen, and receive not the spirit of bondage again, to fear;

    but the spirit of adoption, crying Abba, Father....

    2d. There is a larger and more plentiful effusion of the Spirit, and of his gifts and graces, under the one than under the other...

    etc., etc.
     
    #3 Alan Gross, May 10, 2023
    Last edited: May 10, 2023
  4. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member
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    Romans 11: 25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

    26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

    27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

    28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.


    29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

    30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

    31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

    32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

    33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

    34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller?

    35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?

    36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

    Jesus Christ is the culmination and fulfillment of the Grace and Mercy of God... Brother Glen:)

    I want clarify that these are elect Spiritual Jews and elect Spiritual Gentiles, if not then we have Universalism!
     
    #4 tyndale1946, May 10, 2023
    Last edited: May 10, 2023
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  5. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I think this passage applies to the idea of the Old Covenant bringing death as opposed to the New Covenant bringing life:

    2 Corinthians 3:4–11 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory.

    In this passage Paul refers to the Old Covenant as coming with glory, but also as the ministry of condemnation, the letter that kills, and as having faded away. He refers to the New Covenant as coming with much more glory, as the ministry of righteousness, the spirit that gives life, and the new covenant.
     
  6. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Since OT saints obtained approval through faith, the Old Covenant does not fit "the Covenant of Death."

    It seems just to be a novel statement of dubious merit. The New Covenant is certainly superior to the Old Covenant, but they are not opposites.

    It would also be wrong to claim the Old Covenant is the Covenant of Works or of Law. The New Covenant made the Old Covenant "obsolete."

    Under the Old Covenant, those gaining approval through faith in God and His promises, were not "made alive" or "born anew" or "regenerated" or transferred spiritually into Christ where they would undergo the washing of regeneration. No, they remained not perfected in Christ. Could they lose their election for salvation? If, because God credited their faith as righteousness, they were irrevocably on their way to Abraham's bosom, then loss of salvation seems unsupportable. Could God revise His accreditation? I think not. So how do we address the examples of some falling away, such as King Saul?

    Can we say the Old Covenant did not offer eternal security, but the New Covenant does? Do we have any examples of someone whose faith as been credited as righteousness, that then fell from grace?
     
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