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Sunday, December 09, 2012

The Covenant of Grace in the Old and New Testaments
Acknowledgement: Some material from Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics, III, p223
Note 1:  “Covenant of Grace” means the way the Gospel of Christ is administered upon the earth.  By  “Old Testament” we mean the time before the Cross and Resurrection of Christ; by “New Testament” we mean the time after the Cross and Resurrection of Christ.  It might be considered the footprint of the everlasting Gospel upon the earth.
Note 2:  Neither the Covenant of Works nor the Covenant of Nature is considered in this chart.  We view them as an essential aspect of the Creature/Creation relationship, and are binding upon all creatures in all ages, for it is always sin to disobey God’s Commandments which are summarized in the First and Great Commandments. We must love the Lord our God with all our Hearts, with all our Souls, with all our minds and our neighbor as ourselves.
Note 3: The Gospel is the promise of Grace in Jesus Christ, wherein God reconciles sinners to Himself by fulfilling the Covenant of Works for them and ultimately in them, to His glory and praise forever.  The Covenant of Nature made with Noah providentially provides for a restraint upon evil and direction of mankind toward its appointed end.  It too operates throughout history and serves as a foundation for the Covenant of Grace.
Note 4: The Law is prominent in the Old Testament from the very beginning, and all of the Ten Commandments are shown to be known in the book of Genesis.  The precept, because of the hardening of sin and the increase in numbers of the human race was written on Tables of Stone, signifying the hardness of the hearts of Israel who could not look on the glory of God [2 Cor. 3].  Moses, revealing only the back parts of God, could not give Israel a true temple, sacrifice, or mediator, but only a promise that Grace and Truth would come in the appointed time.  Precept and Promise exist side by side throughout the Old Testament. The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.  When Christ came, the child hidden in the womb of Israel comes forth into the light for a people prepared for Him.
How the Old Testament and New Testament Agree
Genesis 3:15: The Promise of Redemption, with sacramental signs.
The Old, written by Moses in the Penteteuch, re-iterated and amplified the Promise with sacraments and signs pointing to Christ [ I Cor. 10:11] and the fullness of the Promise. Moses also wrote of the law so that sin my be exceedingly sinful.  The New fulfilled the Promise in Christ with the old sacraments and signs passing away, replaced by new ones looking back to Christ and looking forward to the fullness of the Promise.
One Covenant of Grace.  Luke 1:68-79; Acts 2:39; 3:25
Moses saw only the hinder part of the glory of God, but it was the glory of Christ, none the less. Because the glory of God was obscured by the veil on the heart, the Covenant of Works was more prominent that the world might understand the bondage of sin. The Glory of God is revealed in the face of Jesus Christ. The Covenant of Works is seen as fulfilled in the active and passive obedience of Christ, leaving the believer to obey God in joy and thankfulness, freed from the bondage of sin and death.
One Gospel: Romans 1:2; Gal. 3:8; Heb. 4:2, 6; 2Tim. 3:15.
Those in the OT who believe in Christ [as coming] are justified as Abraham was. Those in the NT who believe in Christ [as having come as Jesus of Nazareth] are justified as Abraham was.
One Mediator: Christ:  John 1:1, 14; 8:58; Rom. 8:3; 2Cor. 8:9; Gal. 4:4; Phil. 2:6. Etc.
He exercised His office (John 8:56; 1Cor. 10:4; 1Pet. 1:11; 3:19; Heb. 13:8). He is the only mediator for all humans for all time (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1Tim. 2:5).
One way of salvation: Faith.
Matt. 13:17; Acts 10:43; 15:11; Rom. 4:11; Gal. 3:6,7; Heb. 11.
Same promises and benefits of God’s communion:2 Cor. 6:16; Rev. 21:3
Forgiveness, justification (Acts 10:43; Rom. 4:22); Eternal Life (Matt. 22:32; Gal. 3:18; Heb. 9:15; 11:10; etc.). The road they walked on was the same, but the light was different.

How the Old Testament and the New Testament Differ

Old Testament
New Testament
Acts 13:32; Rom. 1:2
Col. 2:17
2 Cor. 3:6ff
Killing Letter
Living Spirit
Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:1ff; 22:ff; Col. 2:20; Heb. 12:18ff.
John 4:21; Acts 10:35; 14:16; Gal. 4:4,5; 6:15; Eph. 2:14; 3:6
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