OF BIBLE COVENANTS
GOD'S NEW COVENANT WITH
The church has been grafted into
Israel's covenant position and has become one and the same with faithful Israel and
with the others from Adam to Moses who had previously qualified by grace through faith
to be covenant people and were thereby qualified for the bride of Christ. See Appendix
One and Appendix Two
I. GOD'S NEW COVENANT OFFER TO THE CHURCH
The covenant “offer” was tendered to
Israel first by Johnn the Baptist then by Jesus. Israel as a nation rejected the
covenant offer, but certain of the disciples of Johnn the Baptist accepted the covenant
offer by believing and obeying both Johnn and then Jesus. Those individual disciples of
Johnn who accepted the New Covenant offer through Johnn and Jesus were formed into a
local church and as such accepted and obeyed the New Covenant work statement as Jesus
gave it to them.
A. Covenant Work Description.
Once again, the work statements as
such in their completeness for all the covenants is not found in any of the covenants,
but is gleaned through an analysis of all the covenants, especially the Law Covenant
and New Covenant writings.
- God's Part of the Covenant Work.
- God will serve as God and Judge of all covenant work performance. Nothing can be
done by Satan and his angels without God's permission, Job 1:6-12; 2:1-6.
- God will hear and give permission or reject Satan's requests to tempt the
covenant people and all other such matters with regard to the nations, 1Ch 21:1; Job
1:6; 2:1; Luke 22:31-32; Rev 12:10; Dan 10:12-21.
- God will hear Satan's accusations against the covenant people, Rev 12:10; Job
1:6-12; 2:1-6; Luke 22:31-32.
- God will also hear the intercessions of Christ and the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:26-27,34;
Rom 8:33-34; Heb 7:25) make decisions, command actions to be taken, and require the
court of heaven to record all actions according to covenant stipulations, Psa 56:8;
139:16; Ecc 12:13-14; Dan 7:9-10; Mal 3:16; 2Co 5:10; Eph 1:4,11; Rev 11:18; 13:8;
- Will insure the establishment of local churches to carry the covenant commission
into all the world, Mat 28:18-20.
- Appoint the church to serve as the house of God (1Ti 3:5), the temple of God (1Pe
2:5), the body of Christ (Col 1:18,24), the bride of Christ (2Co 11:2), and as embassy
of the kingdom, Mat 16:18-19; 2Co 5:18-20.
- Reveal excellences of His Person:
- Through the Son, Johnn 14:6-11: Col 2:9; Heb 1:3-12.
- Through angels, Gen 3:24; Dan 7:9-10; Eze 1; 2 Th 1:7-9.
- Through church, Eph 3:10; 1 Pe 2:9-10; Heb 11; 1 Co 15:44-45.
- Through nature, Gen 3:17-19; 6:17; 19; Exo 5-10.
- Reveal the exceeding sinfulness of sin to all intelligent creatures, angels,
demons, & men, Rom 1:21-32; 7:8-25; Eph 3:10.
- Reveal covenant mysteries and knowledge to the faithful covenant people, Phi 2:11;
Luke 2:40,46-49; 4:22; John 5:19-20,30.
- Insure that all covenant stipulations are precisely fulfilled. This means that His
counsel, purpose, and pleasure are fulfilled, all of which is included in the master
covenant before creation, Isa 46:9-11.
- Protect covenant people, accept their worship, bless them greatly as they keep the
covenant and obey Him, but chasten and punish them according to their sins, Deu 28; 1Co
10:13; Heb 3:11; 10:25-31.
- Count or "reckon" (Rom 4:17) the covenant people as being crucified,
dead, buried, raised, and glorified together with Christ, Rom 6:2-13; Col 2:11--11; Eph
2:1-6. On the basis of this covenant "reckoning," God also
"reckons" the covenant people to be "adopted," which is also called
"redemption" or "glorification," Rom 8:23.
- On the basis of this "reckoning" (adoption, glorification), God would
give the "firstfruits of the Spirit" to the church (the covenant people) in a
special indwelling capacity -- as His "earnest" or "guarantee" of
that glorified resurrection, Johnn 7:39; 14; 15; 16; Act 1 & 2; Gal 4:1-4; Rom
8:23-30; 2Co 1:21-22; 4:17--5:5; Eph 1:13-14,18; 4:30.
- God elected the faithful covenant people only to share the firstborn sonship of
Christ, Gen 4:1-4; 25:5-6; 27:27-37; Exo 4:22-23; 11 & 12; 19:4-6; Deu 26:16-19;
Heb 12:23; Rom 8:29; Jam 1:18; Rev 14:1-5.
- God thereby elected that the faithful covenant people be joint-heirs together with
Christ, Heb 12; Rom 8:17,32; 1Co 3:21-23; Rom 4:13,16.
- God is preparing nations of saved people be ruled over and be servants to Christ
and the covenant people, Exo 19:4-6; Deu 26:16-19; Psa 2:8; 82:8; Isa 54:3; Dan
7:13-14,26-27; Rev 2:26-27; 1:23-26; 22:1-2.
- Israel's Part of the Covenant Work.
- Study the covenants (Scriptures) with great diligence to learn and know ALL the
covenant requirements, Deu 6:4-9; Jos 1:5-9; Mat 13:11-17; 2Ti 2:15; 2Pe 1:1-11; Phi
- Minister as a holy priesthood, offering up spiritual sacrifices of praise,
thanksgiving, intercessions, and otherwise fullfill all the requirements of the
covenant, 1Pe 2:5,9; Heb 13:15-16; 1Ti 6:12,17-19.
- Faithfully teach and train our children in such a way that they will gain and
maintain a clear knowledge and practice of covenant requirements, Gen 4:1-7; Deu 6:4-9;
Pro 22:6; Eph 6:4; 1Ti 2:15.
- Fulfill the covenant commission in all the world with the greatest care, Mat
B. God's Command to Believe and Obey According to Covenant
When the two disciples of Johnn
followed Jesus, were convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, as had Johnn
testified that He was, and had committed themselves to follow Jesus and be His
disciples instead of Johnn’s disciples, the church became a reality months BEFORE Johnn
was cast into prison and perhaps a year before the “seashore” experience when Jesus
called them to be apostles, John 1:29--3:29.
II. COVENANT ACCEPTANCE BY THE CHURCH
The church in Jerusalem (Jewish, Law
Keeping) “accepted” the New Covenant “offer” with zeal and sacrifice and grew
exceedingly, but could never give up the Law Covenant. Powerful leaders of "the
sect of the Pharisees" within the Jerusalem church (Act 15:5; Gal 2:1-14)
succeeded in fashioning a “perverted gospel” which mixed the curse and slavery of the
Law Covenant with the blessing and freedom of the New Covenant. The power and influence
of the huge Jerusalem church with its "many thousands" of staunch
Law-keeping members (Act 21:17-26) were so great that all the Jewish churches
throughout Israel were brought back under the Law Covenant and kept under its
Law-keeping influence. The inevitable result was the eventual cutting off of these
churches from the covenants and from the Lord, Gal 5:1-4.
This meant that the church in
Jerusalem, specifically, was no longer salt with its saving influence, which meant the
loss of its intercessory powers. The church no longer had access into the presence of
God, and could no longer intercede for anyone. This brought on the destruction of the
city of Jerusalem in AD 70 and the expulsion of all Jews from all of Jerusalem and the
III. COVENANT LEGALITY
God is perfect in righteousness. His
covenants are all righteous. His works are all perfect. “God is light, and in Him is
no darkness at all,” 1Jn 1:5
IV. COVENANT CAPACITY OF THE CHURCH
The church was given the Holy Spirit
(Act 1 & 2) and was therefore, by the grace of God, well able to perform the work
requirements of the New Covenant.
V. COVENANT CONSIDERATION
The "consideration" to the
covenant people in all the covenants of redemption is found in the "covenant
promises." The promises are listed below without any particular sequence, and a
few of them overlap to the extent of appearing almost identical.
VI. COVENANT RATIFICATION by Christ and the Church.
The New Covenant was ratified
(solemnized, put into effect) by the death of Christ (Heb 9:16-17) and by scriptural
water baptism on the part of each one accepting the covenant. Scriptural water baptism
is the pledge of the individual that he or she will live as dead to the world and alive
to God, which baptism represents, Rom 6:-114; 1Co 12:13; Gal 3:27; Col 2:11--3:10.
Christ never did His own will and
pleasure, but always the will and pleasure of the Father, Johnn 5:19-20,30. He never
did His own work, but always the work of the Father, Johnn 4:34. Now, this work of the
Father which the Father "sent" His Son to "finish" (Johnn 4:34) is
none other than what Jesus was doing as the New Covenant High Priest. But when did the
Son begin to do the Father's will (predetermined counsel)?
Dozens of times in the Gospel of Johnn,
Jesus said that the Father "sent" Him to do this New Covenant work. This
means Jesus accepted the Father's counsel (will, covenant offer), agreed to do the
Father's will, and was "sent" by the Father to do the Father's
"will" and "work." This constitutes an agreement, a most solemn and
eternal agreement, which is none other than a firm covenant -- which, again, is none
other than the New Covenant.
Christ was divinely "called"
by the Father to be the New Covenant High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Heb
5:4-10), and this calling was confirmed by the "oath" of the Father, (Heb
7:21-23,28). This makes the agreement (covenant) between the Father and the Son
stronger and surer than the "no oath" calling and appointment of Aaron and
all the high priests of the Law Covenant, Heb 7:21-28.
Christ accepted and ratified this
covenant when He agreed to the counsel (covenant offer) of the Father before he left
the heavenly portals to come to this sin cursed earth -- before the foundation of the
world, Phi 2:5-11; John 17:24; Act 2:23; Eph 1:4-11; 3:9,11; 2Ti 1:9; Tit 1:2; 1Pe
1:18-20; Rev 13:8.
The ratification of the covenant
between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit also required the death, burial, and
resurrection of the Son as a human being, i.e., as the Second Adam, Phi 2:5-11; Heb
9:14-17-27. Furthermore, the New Covenant requires acceptance and ratification by the
covenant people by beginning performance of the covenant in the death of scriptural
baptism, Rom 6:3-6; 1Co 12:13; Gal 3:27; Col 2:11-17.