Monday, November 28, 2011

The Covenant of Grace is Identical in the Old and New Testaments

1. Immediately after the Fall, God established this covenant (Genesis 3:15; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8).

2. The Gospel, which is the offer of this covenant, is proclaimed in the Old Testament as well as in the New (Genesis 3:8, 16; Genesis 15:6 {IN the Lord, not just "the Lord."}; James 2:23).

3. The Surety of the Covenant was as equally efficacious in the Old Testament as He is in the New Testament (Hebrews 13:8; Revelation 13:8).

4 Believers in the Old Testament had all the benefits of the Covenant that believers in the New Testament have.
            A. God as Father - Exodus 20:2; Isaiah 40:10; 64:8; Jeremiah 3:4
            B. Forgiveness of sins - Psalm 65:3; 32:5
            C. The spirit of adoption unto children - Romans 8:4; 2 Corinthians 4:13; Psalm 143:10
            D. Peace of conscience with God - Psalm 4:7; 62:1
            E. Childlike communion with God - Psalm 139:18; 73:28
            F. Partaking in sanctification - Psalm 119:97

The "What about this verse" Objections:

1. Old Testament believers didn't 'receive the promises.' - Hebrews 11:13.
Answer: The "promises" refer to the Incarnation. They had the substance of the promises in faith though the things had not yet actually occurred in time.

2. The Law made none perfect - Hebrews 7:19
Answer: The ceremonial laws did indeed lack sufficiency. The repetition of the sacrifices indicate that they knew this. Though the ceremonies were insufficient, they did point to Christ. Colossians 2:13 

3. The way into the holiest place way not yet been manifested. - Hebrews 9:8
Answer: Christ is the way (John 14:6, cf. Hebrews 10:19-20). While Christ had not yet actually paid the ransom the ceremonies were still in effect. This is not the same as saying that prior to Christ's death no one went to heaven. The ceremonies were promises that the substance they typified would come, and God dealt with the people accordingly.

4. Light and life weren't present before Christ - 2 Timothy 1:10
Answer: Before Christ does not mean before His Incarnation. The text refers to the measure of revelation and the revelation to the Gentiles, which prior to the Incarnation only occurred in Israel.

5. Hebrews 11:39-40 and 1 Peter 1:12 seem to indicate that the Old Testament believers did not partake in these benefits.
Answer: The texts refer to the Incarnation. The promises weren't received during these saints' lifetimes and they knew it. They believed in a Christ that would come. They lived by the same faith - only they lived by a faith of anticipation, while we live in a faith of fulfillment. But the object of the faith is and was the same. It is not that the blood of goats and lambs actually atoned for sin. But God acted as if it did because these sacrifices served to tide the people over till the true sacrifice was made. God treated the Old Testament elect as if Christ had actually already come and died for their sins. They offered sheep in faith that the real sacrifice would someday come. From God's side though, Christ is the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Visitor Counter

Flag Counter