Category Archives: New Covenant

SPIRIT AND COVENANT

SYNOPSIS – A people filled with the Spirit has been foundational to the redemptive plan of God from the very beginning

In his letter to the Galatians, Paul linked the “promise of the Spirit” to the “blessing of Abraham.” The Law pronounced a curse on anyone who did “not continue in all things written” in it, therefore Jesus came under its curse. But he did this to redeem men and women from the curse – that “the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” – (Genesis 12:2-3, Galatians 3:10-14).

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SPIRIT OF LIFE

SYNOPSIS – It is the Spirit of God that imparts all life, especially the everlasting life in Jesus of which the gift of the Spirit is a foretaste and guarantee.

In the churches of Galatia, certain “false brethren” were preaching “another gospel” that required Gentile believers to get circumcised and conform to some, at least, of the regulations required by the Torah. Paul responded with a series of arguments, beginning with an appeal to the gift of the Spirit. Since the Gentile converts had received the Spirit in a state of uncircumcision, then circumcision cannot be a requirement for right standing before God.

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Redeemed from the Law

SYNOPSIS:  The Law was an interim stage; by design, it had a termination point. Christian believers are no longer “under the Law” – They are “in Christ” – Galatians 4:1-7.

Moses with the LawIn the fourth chapter of his letter to the Galatians, Paul continues his argument by stressing that adopting the rite of circumcision would constitute regression to something rudimentary, a reversion to an earlier stage in Redemptive History (Galatians 4:1-7). Continue reading Redeemed from the Law

NEW COVENANT AND NEW CREATION

SYNOPSIS – The promises of everlasting life and new covenant find their fulfillment in the Death and Resurrection of Jesus and the New Creation

The history of Israel records multiple examples of national idolatry and other sins that culminated in her expulsion from the Promised Land and the loss of nationhood. But all was not lost; Yahweh foresaw her fall and made plans to restore Israel when the nation repented and to institute a New Covenant, plans that included the nations of the earth. In this way, the New Creation becomes the ultimate hope and inheritance of His people, not Palestine.

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CIRCUMCISION – A CUTTING ISSUE

SYNOPSIS – If circumcision is no longer required, there has been a fundamental change in how membership in the covenant community is determined

Circumcision is an obstacle to any claim that followers of Jesus must conform to the requirements of the Torah, a rite that was fundamental in the Abrahamic covenant for the identity of the covenant community, and mandatory in the Mosaic legislation for all male members. Thus, if circumcision is no longer required, then the jurisdiction of the Law has changed.

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Old Covenant Rendered Obsolete in the Son

SYNOPSIS The arrival of the superior “word” in the Son means that the jurisdiction of the Law given at Sinai has been superseded by the “word” spoken in Jesus.

airplane flying against sky

The book of Hebrews is structured around a series of comparisons that demonstrate the superiority of the revelation given in Jesus to that of the legislation given to Israel at Mount Sinai. The purpose is not to denigrate Moses or the Law, but to stress the superiority of the final “Word” spoken by God in His Son. Continue reading Old Covenant Rendered Obsolete in the Son