NEW COVENANT THEOLOGY: THE GOSPEL OF GRACE!

THE BOOK OF ROMANS, GALATIANS, COLOSSIANS AND THE GOSPEL OF JOHN ARE GREAT BOOKS TO STUDY CONCERNING THE DOCTRINES OF GRACE

Presented in the Old Testament, especially the book of Psalms, is a man named David. I live with David and God’s teachings to this man! He said in Psalm 32 the following: “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty.

When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat! Finally, I confessed all my sins to you, and stopped trying to HIDE my guilt. I said to myself, I will confess my rebellion to the Lord, and you forgave me! ALL my guilt is gone! Therefore, let the godly pray to you while there is STILL TIME, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. For you are My Hiding Place; You protect me from trouble, You surround me with songs of victory!” Hallelujah what a Savior! Amen!”

Was David a sinner? No, he was, but now David is a Saint! Does David sin after being saved by God’s grace, Yes! Why? He still lives still in a body that has sin dwelling in it called the Flesh!

He had been saved, redeemed, justified by faith, regenerated (made alive unto God), had God in his daily life, had the Holy Spirit, for no one can be saved and not have the Holy Spirit abiding within them!

In other words, that is our new identity. Saved, former classified people called sinners, or the wicked ones but now saints or godly ones! In no way does this support sinless perfectionism as it is taught today. Our flesh, fallen man or old man, still produces sin(s)! We bring those to the light and confess, but not in the sense that they have NOT already been forgiven. Jesus died ONCE for those sins (past, present, and future), so no double jeopardy takes place. No re-crucifying Jesus again, and again and again, as the O.T. High Priests did with the sacrificial lambs. So, we are saints now and notice every time Paul identifies the people and so does Peter, with the words saints at…..!!! He doesn’t say, to the wicked and ungodly and sinners, may the blessings of Christ dwell upon you….etc.!

But due to the fact that after salvation takes place, our fallen carnality and flesh has NOT been regenerated, and sin dwells there. That is the part of mankind which has not been saved yet, but has been purchased by Christ as His own, by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and will He will raise it up one day as it will go back to the dust from where it came.

This means our desires of the flesh, our mind and thoughts bring forth many times sin or sins. But, the fact is. those sins or sin is forgiven forever and is cast away as far as the east is from the west. Our organ called the “brain” keeps in its memory bank all we have ever done. It is part of the body of flesh which will go back to the dust, but as we live out the physical life here we must have it operative to function in this life on earth!

Our behavior can be wrong and we have faults and sins we confess to one another, and yes, even state them to the Lord Himself, as we fail many times in our daily lives, but those sins are forgiven, and David just confesses such to the Lord admitting he was guilty as charged by the Lord using the Prophet. The word teaches us that we do not hide our sins, but are to bring them to the Lord, to the light, and confess such. As a Saint, hiding such sin brings much guilt, shame, and difficulties in our day today, until we confess openly we have failed the Lord in our conduct and affairs. But, remember always, those sin are already forgiven, but we are agreeing that we are standing with God on the issue of Sin itself, and seeking to slay it, stop it, and walk in the Spirit with Him!

Opening up his activity of sin, is being shown to us that the Holy Spirit disciplined (trained) David, as he needs to walk with God as he has been chosen to do, and go forward in faith! God didn’t leave him when he sinned, God didn’t leave him when he did not confess, God was and is always with all of us who have been saved through faith. We do many times Grieve the Holy Spirit which we should not be doing.

And by the way, David could have been obedient perfectly for a 1000 years but that would have not made him a bit better in the site of God than He was after confessing. He could not be MORE in FAVOR with God if he did perfect living for a 1000 years, for he already had ALL of his sins forgiven, PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE. Yes, discipline, yes, grieving the Holy Spirit, yes, having the results of sin causing problems among the family, and/or the entire nation, such as numbering the military strength he had control of on one occasion. God brought trouble to the people called Israel due to David’s sin!

That(the fact we have all of our sins forgiven now), spurs us on to serve Jesus even more and Love Him more, For that is AMAZING GRACE.

If I don’t get you to feel that I am causing people to think we are being soft about sin and advocating continuance in sin, then I haven’t preached to you the truth about GRACE! Well, I am not nor is any saint that way about sin. Yes, sin is evil, No, we don’t promote and stand for sin working itself out in our daily life for one moment. But we all fail in many ways. Hidden or even unknown sins exist. Lack of praying enough, studying and meditating on the word enough, not witnessing enough, eating to much or drinking to much, etc.! On and on it goes.

But for us, Christ is IN us, and we are IN Him We Abide in Christ and He abides in us! He always LOVES us, with never a lapse in that LOVE! He never leaves us and HE in fact, keeps us in the faith and we can’t go in and out of fellowship with God, for HE is always there. Do you believe the word of God on this are not? If not why not? Faith in what God said, is this, “If the Son has set you free you are free indeed”! That is it period! We are free! Free to love God and serve Him and also Free to NOT sin! But if we do, we are still HIS and STILL HIS child and we are not Lost! We are Eternally Saved by His grace through faith in Him!

I DEDICATE THIS ENTIRE SERIES OF LESSONS AND TEACHINGS TO THE TRIUNE GODHEAD; FATHER, SON AND HOLY GHOST! TO HIM BE ALL GLORY, HONOR AND PRAISE! MAY THESE WRITINGS HONOR HIM! MAY SOULS FIND HIM WHO CAN SATISFY ALL OF THEIR DEEPEST LONGINGS WHICH CANNOT BE FOUND OUTSIDE OF HIM!

Within the doctrinal partitions that divide the sovereign grace theology believed by Presbyterians and Baptists (Reformed), cannot be exposed for the Gospels sake without questioning and examining Reformed Theology’s system of Covenant Theology.

Specifically, what needs to be addressed if their overarching covenant of grace with its infant baptism of covenant (so-called children of one or both of the parents), which I think is the Achilles’ heel to the major doctrinal positions of their theological system.

Many independants, Baptists, etc., have contended over the past 360 years since those teachings developed, have rejected their doctrines of the church (the called out by regeneration individual people from among the nations) consisting of a mixed multitude primarily caused by the practice of baptizing babies or infants of those parents involved in their local congregations.

One of the reasons nothing has adequately taken place over this period of time is the fact they have not touched upon the cause of the division, which is the very center of the Covenant Theological System namely its teaching that the Old and New Covenants are the outworking of ONE overarching covenant of grace rather than the covenantal outworking in redemptive history of God’s eternal kingdom purpose as mentioned in II Timothy 1:9 “For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because, we deserved it, but because that was His plan from before the beginning of time—–to show us His grace through Christ Jesus.”

To break down these barriers for a “more accurate way”, barriers which are middle-walls of doctrinal partition(s) which need to be broken down based on Scriptural demands, to include the differences with Covenant Theology over the covenantal administration of the Law of God.

The bottom line is this; the New Covenant is really New, and the Old has passed away. The New Covenant is the Gospel period! This is the reason we have a Old Testament (Covenant) and a New Testament Covenant. The Old alluded to the new in many past prophetic statements, but now the New Covenant cut by God (the Triune God) alone, bringing to past in real time and space the ONE promised Seed singular, even Jesus Christ our Lord, the Lamb of God promised and all that He accomplished on the Cross making One body consisting of Jews and Gentiles brought into the Kingdom of God through the Electing Grace of God! In fact, everything is directly bound up in the Electing Predestination Grace of God alone, which is the Lord’s Redemptive program beginning and planned by the Triune Godhead, before the very foundation of the world and creation.

Paul the Apostle speaking to the Corinthian Church made a comment designed by God, as he was addressing another issue of visiting them, which has doctrinal importance concerning God and His promises and character.

One thing we should always remember in interpreting Bible teachings is that the Old Testament are the books of Promise, and the New Testament book are the books of Fulfillment. St. Augustine said, “The Old is the New concealed and the New is the Old revealed”!

Note Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1:18, “But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes or No. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us —-by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—-was NOT Yes and No, BUT IN HIM WAS YES! FOR ALL THE PROMISES OF GOD IN HIM ARE YES AND IN HIM, AMEN TO THE GLORY OF GOD THROUGH US.”

We can see that the full Revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ promotes the truth of all of the metanarrative Bible teachings. If something doesn’t end up promoting to FIRST PlACE Jesus it has missed the mark!

The Gospel is the New Covenant and the New Covenant is explained and clearly unfolded in the common acronym TULIP. Charles Spurgeon, called the Prince of Preachers, and even considered by most evangelicals as close as one could be to the Apostle Paul in the articulation of the Gospel of Grace, stated that TULIP is the Gospel.

The following statement comes from the New Covenant Theological Schools Statement of faith which expresses what the New Covenant position is:

What is New Covenant Theology?

“NCST adheres to what has come to be called New Covenant Theology (NCT). Put very simply, NCT affirms that the universe exists to glorify God through Jesus Christ. We believe the entire Scripture must be interpreted as the story of Jesus Christ rather than as the story of the kingdom of Israel or the story of Godʼs covenant of grace. While we love and appreciate our brothers who dwell in the camps of Reformed/Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism, we believe their hermeneutic is slightly off center.

Specifically, we affirm the doctrines of grace, justification by faith alone, the necessity of good works as proof of regeneration, the sufficiency of Christ, His Word, and His Spirit, the now/not yet view of Christ’s kingdom, the Church as the exclusive people of God, and the fulfillment of the entire OT in Christ. We deny infant baptism, the Law of Moses as binding on Christians, and the 7-year Jewish-centric rapture/tribulation followed by a Jewish-centric millennial kingdom.”

NCT believes that when the Holy Spirit called the New Covenant new, He meant it. The Old Covenant with all of its wonderful shadows—temple, priesthood, sacrifices, kings, prophets, and nation—have been utterly fulfilled by the Light of the world Jesus Christ and His people, the Church. The Law of Moses has also been fulfilled. This does not place the New Covenant believer in a lawless state, free to sin. No, we are under the Law of Christ (1 Cor. 9:20-21) and strive to obey the commands of King Jesus by the power of His Spirit.

INCORPORATED WITHIN THE NEW COVENANT HERMENEUTIC WOULD BE THE FOLLOWING GOSPEL:

  1. Total and Complete Depravity of mankind.

2. Unconditional election. No good thing in mankind which caused their election.

3. Limited or Particular Redemption. Only some chosen out of the multitudes.

4. Irresistible Grace. God calls effectually certain ones who would never respond without Him, and leaves others in their sins and is Just and Holy in doing so.

5. Perseverance of the Saints, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Many can’t work for salvation but through the Holy Spirit’s power He keeps His people from falling and presents them faultless before the Father. And it is ALL by GRACE!

Much more could be stated of course by the Gospel, such as Justification by Faith alone, through Grace alone, by Christ alone, for the Glory of God alone, which will be later spoken of in future articles.

The Old Testament Covenants which had to do with Salvation and pointed to it later in time, were given as Promises and not the REAL act as such. That is why the NEW Covenant is the realization in real time and space of the Lamb of God cutting the Covenant made within the Godhead which had to do with blessings certain ones in terms of the new birth, and bringing about Jews and Gentiles into One body which is the Bride of Christ, the called out supernaturally ones commonly spoken of as the Church.

The ecclesia, the calling out ones and not a building, not a club, not a organization one can join up with, but a spiritual body called the children of God, the bride of Christ, the redeemed, the called out ones, the sons of God, or the born again ones etc.! In that body there is NO pagan unbeliever, it is pure and holy by the imputed righteousness placed upon them in and through Christ Jesus.

The only legitimate question we can ask (if we can even ask that), is this; “Why me oh Lord, Why did you choose me a unworthy, ungodly, rebel and wicked sinner?” NEVER can we call God unfair! Why? Because if God was fair, ALL would be sent to HELL forever!!

I would like to end with just a brief mention of another important issue existing which impacts all of what I have written so far on this Biblical matter. It is the proper Biblical understanding of who are the 4 Seeds of Abraham! I will say very firmly that if one doesn’t have a understanding of the 4 seeds of Abraham, that person will not be able to interpret the meta-narrative of the entire Bible properly. In fact, due to this one issue, is primarily the reason we have Denominational divisions within evangelicalism. Let me just briefly share the 4 seeds, but not get into depth on this now for it would almost take a book to unfold or unwrap these teachings. Here are the Four Seeds:

  1. Abraham had a natural seed. This includes all physical children, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob, and Esau, Jews and Arabs.
  2. Abraham had a Special Natural seed. The nation, or children of Israel, all of the physical seed of Jacob and his twelve sons.
  3. Abraham had a Spiritual seed. All believers of all ages, David and Paul, Jewish and Gentile believers, you and me.
  4. Abraham was promised a Singular Unique Seed would spring from him. That Single Seed promised was the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, the virgin born son of God, the Savior.

Scripture makes a clear statement that there is a distinction between Abraham’s seed (singular) and seeds (plural), and this is so important. Paul through the Holy Spirit tells us that the REAL PROMISE God made was to Abraham and a specific SINGULAR seed and not plural seeds. That is the Real Spiritual promise.

For instance, God made a physical promise to the mixed multitude called Israel the nation, that a certain land was to be given to them. Later that promised was upheld and they actually were given total ownership of ALL of the land promised. Not a single bit of the promise was not fulfilled, it all was fulfilled. No more land promise in that covenant is still lingering to be completed and in fact, Israel broke all of their covenants as a nation and God totally dropped them out of the picture totally as His nation on earth (special nation), destroying the Temple and all of the Theocracy procedures they were used to.

They were NO longer as a ethnic seperate nation HIS chosen people. In the future, both Jew physically and Gentile physically, will have certain ones called out and chosen making a New Nation called the Body and Bride of Jesus Christ, and all are ONE in Christ with no distinctions separating them. They inherit the eternal spiritual promises made by God through Grace, and they are the Apple of God’s eye now! We call it the Church, but the ekklesia is a “called out one’s body of regenerated people with NO pagans in it or mixed multitude.” It is on earth today waiting to inherit the WHOLE earth with Christ and living in the New Jerusalem with the ISRAEL of GOD which is the Singular Seed Christ. Remember Galatians 3:16, “Now to Abraham and his SEED (singular) WERE the PROMISES made. He saith not, And to SEEDS (plural) as of many, but as of ONE, And to Thy SEED, WHICH IS CHRIST.” The spiritual blessings are to Christ and those IN CHRIST JESUS and those are the body of Christ or called out ones! All of this is based on the Electing Grace of God which was formulated before the foundation of the world or creation of the world by Jesus.

Any attempt to make Abraham’s seed refer to the Jews or to Christian parents in this passage is to destroy Paul’s whole argument. We can assert with assurance and certainty that the seed of Abraham to whom the promises were made has absolutely NOTHING to do with PHYSICAL BIRTH. It does not matter if the physical birth was into a Jewish or a Christian home.

The true promise God made, and the real inheritance spoken about, was given to Abraham as the father of Christ, and not to Abraham as the father of the Jews or the Church. We inherit the blessings promised to Abraham because of or Spiritual connect to Abraham which is the new birth, not physical birth making us related as children physically but unto us or our children in Abraham spiritually. No one is ever an heir to anything spiritually just because they were of physical descent whether a Jewish home or a Christian home. Circumcision and baptism in water do not produce a spiritual promise!

Only the actual Regeneration, or Circumcised heart produces a spiritual Born Again person and it comes by grace through faith in Christ alone! In closing on this theme here, remember that there are not Two Different Things Promised, but rather, the physical aspect is the visible pledge and the testimony to the Spiritual or the True promise is seen in the physical or visible pledge. Only ONE promise. Think along these lines: Thing promised: Seed – Physical fulfillment: Isaac, Spiritual Fulfillment: Christ the true Seed (singular). Or the Nation promised, Israel physically became such, and on the Spiritual fulfillment side the Church or the True Nation of God as Peter expressed in his Epistle. Then there is the thing promised such as the Land. The physical fulfillment came about with Palestine but the Spiritual fulfillment is and was spoken about which is the Salvation Rest, in the True Land, which really is the Entire Planet Earth in the New Jerusalem with Christ here on Earth!

When one reads the Bible – whether it is the Old Testament of the New Testament, one must interpret the usage of the word Israel each time it is spoken or shown in a verse of scripture. Which one of those is being spoken about. Improper interpretation of that term ISRAEL has created also systematic theological divisions. Primarily, Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology pitted against one another. Dispensationalism cuts the Bible in half and never the twain shall they meet. Covenant Theology does the exact opposite and merges two distinctly different covenants (OT and NT) into one covenant with two administrations.

So, Dispensationalism can’t get the OT into the NT in any sense, and Covenant Theology doesn’t even have a really New Covenant at all. Only a “newer and older version of the same covenant. So they can’t get the Two Testaments together as Dispensationalists and the Covenant Theology folks cannot get them apart. They really misunderstand the Promises made to Abraham and his SEED! We must see the old legal covenant at Sinai and the new gracious covenant that replaces or fulfills the other, but at the same time we must see one distinct and unchanging PURPOSE of God being worked out for His One Election of Grace.

Their doctrines of the Church are skewed and causes them to miss this matter. The fact is that the Promise to Abraham had from God was the announcement of the Gospel of Grace, and it is this Gospel promise of Christ the Single Unique Seed that UNIFIES ALL of scripture around Him and His work.

What we have been addressing really is seeking to deal with presuppositions. It all has to do with the starting points or starting ideas one has on the matter at hand. If our starting points are wrong, then everything that totally depends on that foundation is also suspect. We have to start with what actually does the Word of God say and not use logic or reasoning based on starting with a Confession of faith drafted by men, or a System of Theology established by man. We can’t approach this like the evolutionist does about creation. What I am stating is that both Covenant Theology and Dispensationalism start with the systems teachings assuming they are correct without proving the basic assumptions and then they establish specific doctrines by applying logic to the assumed “so called facts” or system. It all seems to be right and fits very well in their thinking as long as no one seeks to try to Prove the basic presuppositions. So this is how we approach the entire matter at hand.

Stay tuned for more Biblical theology and other writings consisting of even personal and national interest.

(Much of the content was produced with the help of two writers who are of esteem to me in my journey of faith and walk with the Lord. They are: Duane Spencer: TULIP and John Reisinger – 4 Seeds of Abraham) Many thanks to both of these men, one now with the Lord.

Lamar Carnes – A fellow believer in the journey of life on planet earth! Praise be unto God (the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost)! Amen! Selah! Maranatha!

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