Monday, July 24, 2006

The Christ of the Covenants- More thoughts

I.) Covenant of Redemption

Involves the Parties who work together to affect Mankind’s redemption

Rooted in eternity

Displays harmony within Trinity (Eph. 1:3-14)

Jesus constantly say’s that he has come to do the Father’s will

From Kuiper,

Scripture plainly teaches the reality of this council of redemption. Especially in the writings of John, the Father is repeatedly said to have sent the Son. For but one example, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). Christ spoke of a commission given Him by the Father. For instance, toward the close of His earthly ministry He reported, as it were, to the Father: “I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4). In such a pas­sage, among others, as Isaiah 53:12 prominent mention is made of the reward given by the Father to the Son for His accomplished work: “Therefore will I divide him a por­tion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the trans­gressors.” Just as clearly does Scripture teach that the Holy Spirit was sent by the Father and the Son. Jesus promised His disciples “the Holy Ghost, whom,” he said, “the Father will send in my name” (John 14: 26), and He described the third person of the Trinity as “the Comforter, whom I will send you from the Father” (John 15: 26).

In short, before the world was, the Triune God formed a plan of salvation to be executed in its several reciproc­ally distributed parts by the Father as Sender and Prin­cipal, by the Son as Sent, Mediator, and Sender, and by the Holy Spirit as Sent and Applier.

II.) Covenant of Works (Covenant of non-Redemptive Grace)

Life was promised to Adam; and in Him to his posterity, upon the condition of perfect and personal obedience (WCF)

Was it gracious?

III.) Covenant of Grace (Covenant of Redemptive Grace)

The Structure Of Ancient Covenants –

George Mendenhall – UM (Law and Covenant in Israel and The Ancient Near East)

Meredith Kline took the time to look closely at Mendenhall’s conclusion as it pertains to Scripture.

Preamble -- Identifies Sovereign Of Treaty (Ex. 6:2-5)

Historical Prologue – Brief Hx. of relationship between Suzerain and Vassals (Ex. 20:2)

Stipulations – Terms of agreements (Ex. 20)

Sanctions – Blessings and Cursing measured against the Stipulations (Dt. 28:1-8, 15-20)

It is absolutely essential that, at this point, we don’t turn Covenant Theology into quid pro quo Theology. We must understand that the given Law is not an abstract list of moral rules that we keep in order to curry favor. Rather it is the case that because we have experienced the graciousness of our Covenant God that we take seriously His law. God’s Grace is always prior for the Christian (cmp. Ex. 20:1) and our response, in the context of covenant, is a loving obedience (John 14:15), driven by Gratitude to the God who has done all, including working in us the desire and end of obedience (Phil. 2:13, Eph. 2:10, Is. 26:12)

1. Geerhardus Vos in his “Biblical Theology” writes this:

"The law was given after the redemption from Egypt had been accomplished, and the people had already entered upon the enjoyment of many of the blessings of the berith (covenant). Particularly, their taking possession of the promised land could not have been made dependent on previous observance of the law, for during their journey in the wilderness many of its prescripts could not be observed. It is plain, then, that law-keeping did not figure at that juncture as the meritorious ground of life-inheritance. The latter is based on grace alone, no less emphatically than Paul himself places salvation on that ground.

Vows & Ratification (Gen. 15:17-18)

Swearing oaths and vows enacted treaties in the Ancient World. Covenants were ratified by vows visibly preformed by cutting covenant. In the cutting of covenant self-maledictory oaths were being taken that should either of the parties violate the Covenant it should be done unto them that which had been done to these sundered animals.

With Abraham God cuts covenant alone. He calls upon Himself the maledictory cursing for covenant breaking, swearing by His own name. The symbolism is clear here: If God fails to keep Covenant, he will be torn asunder like the Animals.

Now, can anyone tell me what the ratification Ceremonies are in the Renewed and Better covenant?

Deposit – Ex. 25:21-22

Two Tables

A place where one could go to, in order to consult the covenantal agreement.

Another way of understanding Covenant arrangements.

From Ray Sutton's, "That You May Prosper"

T – Transcendence (Corresponds to Preamble and Hx. Prologue above)

Covenants universally include the idea of God’s Transcendence. Transcendence is not the idea that God is distant but rather that God is distinct. Transcendence upholds the Creator Creature distinction. Men do not share in God’s ontological being. This Transcendent Covenant God is Lord over all. The result of this is that in Covenant Theology God alone retains absolute Sovereignty since God is the Suzerain that enters into Covenant with His people.

The implication of this is that, temporally speaking; no man or Sphere (Family, Church, State) is allowed to have absolute power. All are hemmed in by God’s sovereign Word.
H – Hierarchy

Covenants taught a concept of authority, or Hierarchy, based on representation. In this way God makes known His transcendence on earth. (Dt. 1:12-17)

Adam was a covenant head who had, because of his place in the covenant, been given delegated authority, and so was God's representative. Satan tempted Adam by offering Adam Divine authority instead of delegated authority in the Covenant.

Within each Covenant of Scripture you will find a Covenant head who is part of God’s representative hierarchy here on earth. It is the way that God brings His concrete sovereignty to bear in this world.

In the different covenantal Sphere’s that are taught in Scripture you see the same thing. (Family – Father, Church – Elders, State – Magistrates) and yet, as we said earlier none of these are absolute. They are hemmed in by God’s Word and by the doctrine of interposition when God’s Word is grossly neglected in any realm. This representative principle makes everyone accountable to someone and leaves absolute Sovereignty to God alone.

E – Ethics – Corresponds to Stipulations and Sanctions

O – Oaths

S – Succession – The Covenants that we are concerned with in Scripture are generational.

In Adam’s Fall, we fell all

Noah’s Covenant still holds true

Abraham’s covenant is continued as we are Abraham’s seed (Romans 4)

Mosaic covenant is continued as Christ did not come to abrogate the Law (Mt. 5:17)

Davidic covenant is continued as Christ reigns as David’s Greater Son and we are His people

Renewed and better covenant is the full grown tree of the Acorn started

Because we see the Covenant as being generational and not individualistic we bring our children in obedience and place them in the legal and personal relationship that the covenant establishes believing God’s promises to our children and obeying His commands. Because we bring them on the basis of God’s promises and commands we deal with our children as Christians and we teach them what it means to live a life of repentance and faith.


greenspot said...

i think i would like to know more about everything. i have been searching who can i question few things i dont really understand about christianity.

lori said...

I have been a believer for 20 years. I will be more than happy to answer any of your question.

greenspot said...

20 years? why 20 years? is it after you getting married? what did you believe in before that then?

lori said...

The term believer mean's I have believed and excepted Christ as my Savior for 20 years. I became a Christian right after I got married. I attended church before I got married and started setting under sermons describing how to become a believer. (Christian) I had head knowledge, but not heart knowledge. I think I will start at the being and give you all the information. I think the term believer has confused you. I didn't grow up believing in anything. We didn't attend church or have anything to do with the Bible. For some reason we would pray at meals, one time I remember our dog ran away and we prayed our dog would be returned to us. It wasn't until I was a teen that I started attending church. Many people have different views about what a Christian is, however the bible is quite clear on this point. Let us first explore what a Christian is not.

It is not simply someone who goes to church. Going to church will not make you a Christian. By the same token when you visit a Kentucky Fried Chicken shop you do not become a chicken leg!

It is also not only living a good life; there are a lot of good people in the world, who are not Christians.

Many also believe that because we live in a so-called “Christian country” that this by default makes us Christians.
These unfortunately are all untrue. If all of these do not make us christians what does?
The word Christian means CHRIST-IN. A Christian is somebody who has asked Jesus into their lives.
You and I were originally intended to have a relationship with God. If we look back in the bible we find that God had a relationship with us in the Garden of Eden (Gen 1:27-31), but sin came into the world when man disobeyed God and ate fruit from a forbidden tree (Gen 2:8-25) God wants to have a relationship with me and you but he can’t stand sin. Many people would think of sin as murder etc. The bible teaches that we sin in thought and word and deed. So it is not what we do but also what we think. Oh no ! That seems to cover all of us. (Rom 3:23). Imagine writing down all the things that we have done wrong in a big book. How many volumes would you or I get up too! God has a problem he wants to have a relationship with you and me but he can’t because our sin cuts us off.
However God provided a way so that our sins (the things we do wrong) can be forgiven by coming down to earth in the form of Jesus. When Jesus was crucified on the cross he provided a way to allow our sins to be forgiven and restore our relationship with God. This is good news!!(John 3:16)
Once we say we are sorry to God he will take away our sin and make us a brand new person (2 Cor 5v17), a christian. He also gives us the free gift of Eternal Life. This means that when we die the next phase of our life begins, Spending eternity with Jesus (John 27-29).
So what do you think about giving Jesus a go? I pray all this hasn't confused you more? Asking Jesus into your life is very simple.

Simply ask Jesus for forgiveness for the things that you have done wrong and ask him to come into your life.

The bible says that “if we confess our sins God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)

You can do this now wherever you are and what ever the time is. Make the decision to do it and simply pray the following prayer

“Jesus I am sorry for the things that I have done wrong. I thank you that you died on a cross for me. I am willing to turn away from anything that displeases you in my life and from this day on I want to live my life your way.

I invite you to come into my life now and make me a brand new person. Thank you Jesus”

And that is it. God has now made you a brand new person.

Having prayed this prayer you may already feel a new peace in your heart. That’s God showing you that He’s come in. Even if you don’t feel anything now, keep believing that God has answered your prayer and very soon you will notice that things are different inside.

God also has given you 2 gifts. Firstly the gift of God’s spirit and secondly the gift of eternal life.

Greenspot I pray this hasn't confused you more. I tried to explain to you as I learned it years ago.

Let me know if you have more questions?

greenspot said...

yeah, you explained very details. i also got many friends here who believes in Christian, but they cannot make me understand about it at all. my ex boss, he wanted to bring me to the church, but when i asked few questions, he couldnt make my mind clear.

by the way, is Jesus God?

lori said...

The Trinity is the hardest thing for people to understand. I have put together some verses for you to read.

I am really enjoying talking back and forth with you.

John 1:1 - "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

John 1:14 - "And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."

John 5:18 - "For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God."

John 8:24 - "I said therefore to you, that you shall die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins."

Note: In the Greek, "He" is not there.

John 8:58 - "Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.'"

Exodus 3:14 - "And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM'; and He said, Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’"

John 10:30-33 - "I and the Father are one." 31The Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32Jesus answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?" 33The Jews answered Him, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God."

John 20:28 - "Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"

Col. 2:9 - "For in Him all theullness of Deity dwells in bodily form."

Phil. 2:5-8 - "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, 11and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Heb. 1:8 - "But of the Son He says, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom."

Quoted from Psalm 45:6, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Thy kingdom."

Jesus is worshipped - Jesus said to worship God only, yet He receives worship.

Matt. 4:10 - "Then Jesus *said to him, 'Begone, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only."’"

Matt. 2:2 - "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him."

Matt. 2:11 - "And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh."

Matt. 14:33 - "And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "You are certainly God’s Son!"

Matt. 28:9 - "And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshiped Him."

John 9:35-38 - "Jesus heard that they had put him out; and finding him, He said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" 36He answered and said, "And who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?" 37Jesus said to him, "You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you." 38 And he said, "Lord, I believe." And he worshiped Him."

Heb. 1:6 - "And when He again brings the first-born into the world, He says, 'And let all the angels of God worship Him.'"

Jesus is prayed to

Acts 7:55-60 - "But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; 56 and he said, "Behold, I see the heavens pened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." 57But hey cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears, and they rushed upon him with one impulse. 58And when they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him, and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59And they went on stoning Stephen as he called upon the Lord and said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!" 60And falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them!" And having said this, he fell asleep."

1 Cor. 1:1-2 - "Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours." (The phrase, "to call upon the name of the Lord" is a phrase used to designate prayer.)

1 Kings 18:24 - "Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, He is God." And all the people answered and said, "That is a good idea."

Zech. 13:9 - "And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’"

Rom. 10:13-14 - "for 'whoever will call upon the name of the Lord' will be saved." 14 How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not eard?" (Paul is speaking of calling upon Jesus. (The phrase "Call upon the name of the Lord" is a quote from Joel 2:32).

Joel 2:32 - "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call." (LORD here is YHWH, the name of God as revealed in Exodus 3:14. Therefore, this quote, dealing with God Himself is attributed to Jesus.)

First and Last

Isaiah 44:6 - "Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me."

Rev. 1:17 - "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

I'll let you read through these verses and ask question that you would like to.

I really don't have all the answer's so I thought maybe the Bible could help you understand.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

greenspot said...

i have read the bible that my friend passed to me last year. this are the questions i asked him:

are sex before married, alcohol and gamble allowed in christian?

he said, whoever believe in jesus, He will make that person to be a brand new one, and God will take away all the sins. what happen to person, who is in christian, but still do mistakes, like drinking the alcohol, making love before getting married and anything? are they still will get the gift of Eternal Life? because we are human and we are not perfect. we do mistakes all the time. are we still go to heaven?

my friend also talked about Holy water. where does the Holy water come from? is it going to finish one day? and what is the meaning of Holy water?

there are someone in the church, who people will make confession to. may i know why? and why people do call him father? what can make him be a father and listen to people confession?

in seeking out the truth, we need to know everything in details. and i am now looking for the details. and i'll be grateful if you could make my mind clear about it.

lori said...

You asked if sex before marriage, alcohol and gambing allowed in christian.
There are several issues to discuss about this.

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22) - as the Holy Spirit directs our lives and transforms us, it is His intention to build in us self-control. Becoming like Jesus is described as "sanctification" in the Bible - a progressive change where God builds holiness and His character in our lives.

Every Christian struggles with sin, and the sin that has our attention will likely change over time. It is important to let God point out sin in our lives, and allow Him to change it in His timing and His way. If we try to pick a sin and exert self-effort to overcome it, we will likely fail. It is God who changes us, and rather than our self-attempts, focusing on our will power or our determination...God would rather we focus on Him and His power. He wants us to trust Him to change us, rather than trusting in ourselves.

Paul struggled with covetousness, and describes this in Romans 7. The more he tried to obey the law, the more the law condemned him, because he couldn't do it. His conclusion? When he asks, "who will free me from this body of sin and death?" his answer is, "Jesus" and proceeds to explain in Romans 8.

Other verses that may be helpful:
1 John 1:7-2:2 - Some excerpts from that: "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.... My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins..."

No one who is a Christian lives a perfect life, totally pleasing to God. But we are accepted by God due to Jesus' death on our behalf, and we stand forgiven and declared righteous in God's eyes because of Jesus' righteousness.

Romans 3:20-26 - "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."

God says that we are no longer under the law (the demands and expectations of God) based on performance. Instead, we are under His grace, because Jesus fulfilled the demands of the law, and by His grace welcomed us into a relationship with Him.

The basis for eternal life is our faith in Jesus, not our ability to overcome sin. Jesus died on the cross because of our sin. He offers us forgiveness based on what He has done. He offers us righteousness before Him, acceptance as a child of God because He bought our salvation.

Our focus now is to be in His Word, asking Him to build into our lives what we see in the Bible, relying on Him to do it in us. Don't get discouraged but continue to trust Him, continue to rest in His ability to change and free you from sin. Obey Him as He gives you a way of escape from temptation -- take the way of escape! (1 Corinthians 10:13), but know that the transforming power belongs to Him, not to us.

I do not go to someone and confess my sins. Through Jesus, (after being saved, this is the first thing I wrote about) you can pray directly to God. We don't have to go to someone else to confess sin. Jesus died on the cross to set us free. Yes, we will sin and fall short of the glory of God. Confess that as sin and move forward.

I gave you alot of information about sin and if you will still go to heaven. I pray it is clear.
Sin does not affect God’s eternal relationship with you – that was established when (or if) you trusted in Christ’s payment for your sins. Christ died for all your sins – past, present, and future. At that time, your entire life was in the future. Because of your faith in Jesus, you are totally forgiven. Your relationship
with God is secure.

However, sin affects your fellowship with God. (Fellowship means your earthly, moment-by-moment association.) Sin affects your communication with Him and your usefulness in doing His will. Sin dulls you to the things Christ wants you to be thinking about and to be doing.

Psalm 32:3-5 says: “There was a time when I wouldn’t admit what a sinner I was. But my dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with frustration. All day and all night your hand was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day until I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, ‘I will confess them to the Lord.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”

This is the correct response to sin. He didn’t deny sin. He didn’t become preoccupied with it. He confessed it.

Confess your sin to God not to a Priest at a church.

What does it mean to confess sins and repent? First, confession means to agree with God. He already knows you’ve sinned, so you might as well be honest! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Confession means freely admitting our sin and accepting God’s attitude about our sin.

Confession does not mean begging God for forgiveness. Christ already paid the penalty for all of our sins, and God’s forgiveness is available automatically when we confess. The reason God can make this forgiveness available to you instantly is Christ’s death on the cross, not the strength or humility with which you confess your sin.

Repentance means to change your actions concerning your sin. It involves agreeing with God that you were wrong and that you do not want to continue to commit that sin.

Confessing to a Father in a church and holy water is not the religion that I follow. I am a born again Christian. I have placed my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I can go to Him directly; He died to set me free.

Let me know if you have anymore question. If this is not clear, I will try to word it differently.

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