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New Covenant Theology Series Steve Atkerson ~ Atlanta, Georgia New Testament Reformation Fellowship www.NTRF.org.

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Presentation on theme: "New Covenant Theology Series Steve Atkerson ~ Atlanta, Georgia New Testament Reformation Fellowship www.NTRF.org."— Presentation transcript:

1 New Covenant Theology Series Steve Atkerson ~ Atlanta, Georgia New Testament Reformation Fellowship

2 “The central questions of the apostolic age turned on the continuity or discontinuity of the church with Israel." — Henry Chadwick, The Early Church

3 The church and Israel?

4 The church and Israel? The church is Israel?

5 Covenant Theology (CT) Dispensational Theology (DT) New Covenant Theology (NCT)

6 Dispensationalism 1. John Nelson Darby ( ) Scofield Reference Bible Moody Bible Institute Dallas Theological Seminary Ryrie Study Bible The Late Great Planet Earth Left Behind Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. — 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

7 2. The Seven Dispensations Innocence (Ge 1:1–3:7), prior to Adam's fall Conscience (Ge 3:8–8:22), Adam to Noah Government (Ge 9:1–11:32), Noah to Abraham Patriarchs (Ge 12:1–Ex 19:25), Abraham to Moses Law of Moses (Ex 20:1–Ac 2:4), Moses to Christ Grace (Ac 2:4 – Re 20:3 – the current church age Millennium (Re 20:4–20:6) - a literal 1,000-year Kingdom

8 3. Israel is distinct from the Church Israel = earthly blessings church = heavenly blessings

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10 4. Unique End-Times Beliefs Pre-tribulation rapture of church Seven year tribulation period Pre-millennial Return of Christ Literal Millennium Gap theory

11 1. Historical-Grammatical Interpretation (literal) 2. Distinction Between Israel and the Church "A dispensationalist keeps Israel and the church distinct… This is probably the most basic theological test of whether or not a person is a dispensationalist … the one who fails to distinguish Israel and the church consistently will inevitably not hold to dispensational distinctions...” (Ryrie, Dispensationalism, p. 39) Kevin Hartley, Dispensationalism Defined, "A Dispensationalist, no matter how you adorn him, when he is stripped down to his most innermost garment, is found clad with one item of clothing… the premise that God continues his relationship with Israel in terms of the old covenant into the Christian age and beyond.“ 3. The word "Israel" in the N T refers to saved and unsaved Hebrews who will receive the promises made to them in the Abrahamic Covenant, Davidic Covenant and New Covenant during the Millennium

12 “The central questions of the apostolic age turned on the continuity or discontinuity of the church with Israel." — Henry Chadwick, The Early Church

13 Covenant Theology CT is the polar opposite of DT CT teaches that there are three theological covenants in the bible: 1.) redemption 2.) works 3.) grace Distinction between theological covenants & biblical covenants Explicit versus Implicit

14 The three theological covenants in the bible: 1.) Redemption (within Trinity) 2.) Works (with Adam in Garden); alias “creation covenant” “Like Adam, they have broken the covenant” (Hosea 6:7, NIV) 3.) Grace (gospel); promise of eternal life “I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” (Genesis 3:15, NAS)

15 Westminster Shorter Catechism: “God, having out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer.”

16 What is the relationship of the theological covenants to the biblical covenants? Covenant theology holds that all of the biblical covenants are outcroppings of the one theological covenant of grace. Said another way, the biblical covenants are administered under the overarching theological covenant of grace.

17 History of covenant theology “But even the infants, not personally in their own life, but according to the common origin of the human race, have all broken God’s covenant in that one in whom all have sinned. Now there are many things called God’s covenants besides those two great ones, the old and the new, which any one who pleases may read and know. For the first covenant, which was made with the first man, is just this: ‘In the day ye eat thereof, ye shall surely die.’” — Augustine, City of God Reformation (1500s & 1600s) Luther, Calvin, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards Most churches who call themselves “Reformed” hold to covenant theology Presbyterian denomination Westminster Confession of Faith

18 “The central questions of the apostolic age turned on the continuity or discontinuity of the church with Israel." — Henry Chadwick, The Early Church

19 Comparing DT, CT & NCT (sent to NTRF in an ) * DT ~ Arminian or Calvinistic. Almost never 5-point Calvinist. * CT ~ Always Calvinistic. Usually 5-point Calvinist. * NCT ~ Same as CT. * DT ~ 'literal' interpretation of the Bible. * CT ~ both literal and literary (figurative/spiritual) interpretation * NCT ~ Same as CT. * DT ~ Does not accept the idea of the 'Analogy of Faith' (allow Scripture to interpret Scripture). * CT ~ Almost always accept the idea of the 'Analogy of Faith.' * NCT ~ Same as CT.

20 * DT ~ 'Israel' = the literal, physical descendants of Jacob. * CT ~ 'Israel' = either literal Israel or spiritual Israel, depending on context. * NCT ~ Same as CT. * DT ~ 'Israel of God' in Ga 6:16 = physical Israel alone. * CT ~ 'Israel of God' in Ga 6:16 = spiritual Israel (church). * NCT ~ Same as CT. * DT ~ God has 2 peoples with 2 separate destinies: Israel (earthly) and the Church (heavenly). * CT ~ God only has one people: the Church, gradually developed through the ages, in accordance with a covenant worked out in eternity past within the Trinity * NCT ~ In OT, believers are called simply "the elect of Israel", not the church. NCT doesn't recognize a church in the OT. There is but one people of God of whom natural Israel was the typical foreshadowing. So, the Church is the "New Israel."

21 * DT ~ The Church began at Pentecost. * CT ~ The Church began in Genesis (Acts 7:38) and reached fulfillment in the NT *NCT ~ Same as DT * DT ~ The Church was not predicted in the OT but was a "mystery", hidden until the NT. * CT ~ There are many OT prophecies of the NT Church. * NCT ~ Same as CT. * DT ~ All OT prophecies for 'Israel' are for the physical nation of Israel, not the Church. * CT ~ Some OT prophecies are for national Israel, some for spiritual Israel. * NCT ~ Same as CT. * DT ~ God's main purpose in history is national physical Israel. * CT ~ God's main purpose in history is the Church * NCT ~ Same as Covenant Theology with one exception. NCT sees the saints of the OT as being added to the church after it started. But NCT says that the Bible doesn't call the OT saints "the church."

22 * DT ~ The Church is a parenthesis in God's program for the ages. * CT ~ The Church is the culmination of God's saving purpose for the ages. * NCT ~ Same as CT. * DT ~ The main heir to Abraham's covenant was literal Israel. * CT ~ The main heir to Abraham's covenant was Christ, the Seed, and spiritual Israel. * NCT ~ Same as CT. * DT ~ There was no Covenant of Redemption within the Trinity, to effect election. * CT ~ There was a Covenant of Redemption within the Trinity to effect election. * NCT ~ Same as DT, but there was a decree within the Trinity to effect election. * DT ~ No Covenant of Works with Adam in the Garden of Eden. * CT ~ God made a Covenant of Works with Adam as man’s federal head. * NCT ~ Same as DT, but agrees with CT on Adam as man’s federal head. * DT ~ There was no Covenant of Grace concerning Adam. * CT ~ God made a Covenant of Grace with Christ and His people, including Adam. * NCT ~ Agrees with DT.

23 * DT ~ The 'New Covenant' of Jeremiah 31:31-34 is only for literal Israel and is not the New Covenant of Luke 22:20. * CT ~ The 'New Covenant' of Jeremiah 31 is the same as in Luke 22:20; both are for spiritual Israel according to Hebrews 8. * NCT ~ Same as CT. * DT ~ God's program in history is mainly through separate dispensations. * CT ~ God's program is history is mainly through related theological and biblical covenants, but all those covenants were derived from the eternal covenant that the Trinity made in eternity past. * NCT ~ God's program in history is through related biblical covenants but culminating in the new covenant that eliminates the others because they were all realized in Christ. * DT ~ The Holy Spirit indwells only believers in the Dispensation of Grace, not in the OT and not after the "Secret Rapture." * CT ~ The Holy Spirit has indwelt believers in all ages and will not be withdrawn. * NCT ~ The OT indwelling wasn't the same as in the Church age. In John. 13:16-18, Jesus said that He would send the comforter that He may "abide" (live) with them forever. If the Holy Spirit was already "abiding" with them, as with the Church after Pentecost, then that promise means nothing. Revised 12/04/09


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