Podcast #3: Pascal Denault On The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology (2 Of 2) + Book Giveaway | The Confessing Baptist.
All posts tagged Covenant Theology
Another quote from Andrew Ritor, explaining the difference between the Old and New Covenants regarding external holiness: The hole in external federal holiness.
In a PuritanBoard thread, Sam Renihan kicks off a discussion of Reformed Baptist Covenant Theology. He specifically explores how the concept of God’s Kingdom is closely connected with God’s covenants. It is an excellent, concise piece that is well worth your time. In the conversation that follows, Renihan ably handles objections, misunderstandings, and misrepresentations of his views, marshaling quotes from historic Covenant Theologians of all stripes. Here are some highlights to whet your appetite:
Discussions of covenant theology swirl round and round because they tend to be somewhat abstract. The terminology used in such discussions has not always helped either. For example, the terms “administration” and “covenant community” are frequently nebulous in their meaning. The theme of kingdom and covenant helps to concretize and clarify these words. It also helps to get to the core of questions like “is the Abrahamic Covenant, in its substance and essence, in continuity with the Covenant of Grace,” “is the Mosaic Covenant a covenant of works,” and “what’s new about the New Covenant?” Relating Kingdom to Covenant is not simply a helpful method of organizing the data of the debate, or a “well it just works” solution, but rather it is a scriptural and theological reality which demands incorporation into considerations of covenant theology.
Centuries passed before John the Baptist appeared on the scene and began preaching that all must repent because the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand. The Messianic King, Son of God and Son of David, was born in Bethlehem, and when he came onto the scene he began to preach the gospel of the Kingdom, to teach about the Kingdom in parables, and to demonstrate the power of the Kingdom in miracles. What becomes clear is that this Jesus was the seed of the woman, and that he was manifesting in history a clear picture of the Kingdom of God, an eschatological Kingdom of perfect righteousness (Matt 4:17).
The Jewish people, including Jesus’ family and disciples, thought that Jesus’ message was about the Kingdom of Israel even into the testimony of the Acts of the Apostles. However, this was their fundamental error, and it was not until the Apostles came to understand the true nature of the kingdom that they began to go forward and preach the gospel to all mankind without regard to the boundaries of the Kingdom of Israel.
Jesus Christ inaugurated the eschatological Kingdom of God and the New Covenant in his own blood through his sacrificial propitiatory death on the cross. This Kingdom is everything that the Kingdom of Israel was not. It is a Kingdom of people circumcised in heart, a Kingdom with an eternal inheritance, a Kingdom with a perfect King, a kingdom with a perfect Priest, a Kingdom with a perfect Prophet. In comparison to the Kingdom of Israel, it is entirely new and thoroughly eschatological.
No one can enter the Kingdom of God and later leave it. The Kingdom of God is circumscribed by regeneration. The New Covenant is unbreakable. Either Christ made you a part of his Kingdom through his death or he did not. At no time was an apostate ever united to Christ or made a partaker of any of his benefits. They may have been enlightened, they may have been affected by the common operations of the Spirit, they may have sprouted with counterfeit faith, and they may have been considered to be a child of God, but ultimately all was a lie. Nevertheless, apostates are held accountable for their lies and false claims. If a spy is discovered in a kingdom, he is not released because he belongs to another kingdom. He is answerable to the King and is punished accordingly. The warning passages of scripture serve the purpose of causing the sheep to persevere and declaring retributive judgment on the goats. In a Kingdom where no one can betray the King, warnings against betrayal are ultimately directed towards those spies and impostors who clothe themselves in sheepskins. Just as it is incumbent upon ministers to preach the gospel indiscriminately, so it is incumbent upon them to warn all indiscriminately. All men must be made to know the price of rejecting the gospel of the Kingdom and thus its King.
Unlocking Abraham, Pt. 1: The Covenant of Redemption
Unlocking Abraham, Pt. 2: The Covenant of Circumcision: Promises
In the first part of the Unlocking Abraham series, we saw that the glorious Gospel Covenant of Redemption was revealed to Abraham. Through belief in the promises of this covenant, Abraham was justified in the sight of God and became the spiritual father of all believers. Among his descendants there would come a Seed, Jesus Christ, through whom all nations would be blessed.
In the second part of the series, we saw that Abraham was also given promises concerning his natural descendants, who would become as numerous as the stars. To them eventually would be given the land of Canaan. We also saw that God, in solemn covenant with Abraham, assured him that these things would certainly come to pass, no matter what (Gen 15). All of these promises given to Abraham are rooted in the sovereign grace of God, and ultimately serve His grand purposes.
Now, in Part 3, we will begin to take a look at the next step of God’s progressive dealings with Abraham, made in what Stephen called the “covenant of circumcision.”
15.) God made a Covenant of Circumcision with Abraham, containing the promises of seed and land.
2And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,
3And said unto him, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.”
4Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell.
5And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.
6And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years.
7“And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge,” said God: “and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place.”
8And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs. Continue Reading
See here for Part 1: Unlocking Abraham, Pt. 1: The Covenant of Redemption
In the last (first) post in this series, I posted 11 theses (along with Scripture proofs and brief comments) concerning the Gospel of the Covenant of Redemption revealed to Abraham. These theses were as follows:
1.) God’s promises to Abraham are based in mercy, not merit.
2.) The Covenant of Redemption, made in Christ’s blood and the only way of salvation, was revealed to Abraham.
3.) In Genesis 12, the Gospel Covenant, the Covenant of Redemption, is revealed to Abraham.
4.) These Redemption-Covenant promises are later confirmed.
5.) Any and all redemptive, justifying blessings that believers receive ultimately find their source in Christ, who has secured them in the Covenant of Redemption.
6.) Gentile believers are rightly called Abraham’s children because they are counted in Christ, the promised Seed of blessing to the nations.
7.) The way of salvation – inclusion in the Covenant of Redemption confirmed in Christ and revealed to Abraham – is by faith alone, and not by physical descent.
8.) The promises discussed above – the Gospel Covenant of Redemption – were given to Abraham 25 years before the institution of circumcision. There was no external sign, nor seal, attached to the Covenant of Redemption.
9.) The blessings of the Covenant of Redemption in Christ are spiritual in nature, and the recipients of them are those who are included in Christ & Abraham by faith alone.
10.) Since the promises discussed above comprise the gospel in an early, general form, the heirs of blessing are guaranteed to receive all the promises of the New Covenant in Christ’s blood. There is no partial or temporary interest in the Gospel Covenant of Grace – the Covenant of Redemption in Christ. It is all of grace, and all of faith.
11.) The promise of a blessed seed was given uniquely to Abraham. It is not said that all believers will be made fathers of a nation, or given a seed through which all nations will be blessed. Thus, our blessings are derived from Abraham. Just as a man leaves his inheritance to his children, so we receive Abraham’s inheritance, and he is our father. The promises discussed above are to Abraham and his seed. We have seen that this seed is Christ, and all believers in Him by faith.
I would now like to continue in the same style, transitioning into the Covenant of Circumcision made with Abraham. For it is my belief that while the Covenant of Redemption was certainly revealed to Abraham, it was shrouded within and intermixed with the promises of a wholly different, yet subservient covenant – the Covenant of Circumcision. Only by using the shining light of the New Testament as our guide can we fully understand God’s covenant dealings with Abraham. Continue Reading