Few words in all the Bible have as much impact as "covenant." Its synonym is the more familiar word "testament." For centuries, we have divided the Bible into an Old Testament and New Testament, or the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The attached audio will look into the scriptural meaning of "covenant" and then clarify the two big disagreements between Covenant Theology and Dispensational Theology.
The following notes include most of the scripture references in the presentation:Covenant - Hebrew ברית, Greek διαθήκη
Secular meaning is a binding contract or final will.
Biblical meaning is a divinely enforced agreement as in Hebrews 7:22 - 10:29
- Heb 8:5 quoted Ex 25:40 which referred to the Mosaic covenant.
- Heb 8:8-12 quoted Jer 31:31-34
- Heb 9:14 through 10:29 explains the New Covenant is in the blood of Jesus
Luke 22:20 "Likewise, he took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you."
Eph 5:25-27 "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it; 26 that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, 27 that he might present the assembly to himself gloriously, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without defect."
Yevamot and Gerim Tractates of the Babylonian Talmud require 3 things to enter the Old Covenant.
How can a human enter the New Covenant?
- Mk 1:1; Jn 20:31; Mt 16:16; Acts 8:37; Acts 9:20-22; Mt 26:63(trial)
- [see also Mk 14:61; Jn 11:27(Martha); 2Cor 1:19; 1John 1:3, 3:23, 5:20; 2Jn 1:3]
Defining the Matthew 16:16 "ekklesia"
- Covenant Theology (CT) says believers including Israelites were always the ekklesia and still are.
- Dispensational Theology (DT) says ekklesia began on Pentecost, and Israel continues unbroken.
Applicability Mosaic law based on: Mt 5:17-20
- DT says Mosaic law is national and does not bind the ekklesia, but we learn from it.
- CT says 2 human covenants existed since Eden: works & grace. The moral mosaic laws are bind the ekklesia. The ritual ones do not. Biblical covenants teach us of the works & grace covenants:
1) Adamic Covenant of works - Genesis 2:16-17
2) Noahic COVENANT Gen 6:18, divinely initiated, wedding-like (requiring a response)
Global COVENANT 9:9-17, one sided
3) Abrahamic Covenant
a. Gen 12:1-3, divinely initiated - promising to make a great nation of Abe's descendants, wedding-like (requiring a response)
b. Gen 15:5-21, COVENANT Promising much land to Abe's descendants, shedding of blood, (justification by faith 15:6)
c. Gen 17:2-19, COVENANT promising Abe will be the Father of many nations, designating the line of Isaac and requiring circumcision (shedding of blood)
d. Gen 22:18 - Global blessing though Abe's offspring, shedding of Isaac/ram blood
4) Mosaic COVENANT - Exodus chapters 19:5-8 through 24:5-8, shedding blood in Ex 24:5-8
5) Davidic Covenant - 2 Samuel 7:12-18
6) New COVENANT - Jeremiah 31:31-37, Luke 22:20
Rom 9:6-8 But it is not as though the word of God has come to nothing. For they are not all Israel, that are of Israel. 7 Neither, because they are Abraham’s offspring, are they all children. But, “your offspring will be accounted as from Isaac.” 8 That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as heirs.
Rom 9:25-26 As he says also in Hosea, “I will call them ‘my people,’ which were not my people; and her ‘beloved,’ who was not beloved. 26 It will be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ There they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”
Rom 11:17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them, and became partaker with them of the root and of the richness of the olive tree
Rom 11:25-27 For I don’t desire you to be ignorant, brothers, of this mystery, so that you won’t be wise in your own conceits, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and so all Israel will be saved. Even as it is written, “There will come out of Zion the Deliverer, and he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob. 27 This is my covenant to them, when I will take away their sins.”
"Covenant" by Matthew Bryan was first published at www.matthewbryan.net on March 13th, 2014. All rights are reserved.