The Weekend Word

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11 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    God always works with His own through covenant.
    If this isn’t the New Covenant, then what covenant is being described here?

    I believe it is the New Covenant…just asking…

  2. Em says:

    and that prompts me to ask, is the better covenant of Hebrews 8:6 the New Covenant or is there yet another covenant coming?

    and if i say to myself “covenant – schmuvanent” am i sinning? i am not a teacher, so should i care?

  3. Jean says:

    Thanks for the lesson MLD.

  4. Em says:

    okay, no one wants to answer my impudent question regarding covenants…
    do i as a redeemed gentile dog need to understand covenants or do i focus on the kingdom and proper worship? i’m looking at Hebrews 12:28 (not trying to get ahead of the lesson plan, just came up in another study) and thinking, if i have received a “kingdom that cannot be shaken” or moved, …?… shouldn’t this Kingdom be my focus? how finely tuned does my understanding of covenants need to be?

  5. Jean says:

    Em,

    There is only one covenant that was made by the blood of Christ. Jesus calls it the new covenant. Paul calls it the new covenant (quoting Luke). The author of Hebrews calls it the new covenant (quoting Jeremiah). Jeremiah calls it the new covenant.

    It is clear from reading the Gospels, Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and Hebrews that the new covenant is in effect, for Jews and Gentiles alike. Paul refers to himself as a minister of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit.

    There is no other covenant to come. The new covenant is eternal (see the benediction at the end of Hebrews. It is for the Church (neither Jew, nor Greek….). There is no other covenant needed, because the new covenant incorporates all of humanity and is based on grace (i.e., Christ’s doing, not ours). In other words nothing is lacking in the new covenant, which would make another covenant necessary.

    Is the understanding of covenants important? It is very important to me, for several reasons: (1) Christological – If Jesus is making a covenant prophesied hundreds of years earlier by Jeremiah as coming from the Lord, then who does that make Jesus? (2) If Paul says that all of the promises of God find their “yes” in Christ, then I want to know what these promises are. (3) How can I understand the Old Testament and how it fits together with the New Testament (Testament = Covenant) without understanding the various covenants?

  6. Em says:

    hmm.. testament is synonymous with covenant; old testament/covenant and new testament/covenant … can we then say, that the history of man climaxed at the cross? the Kingdom is begun, that which was promised before is now? this Kingdom is now a new and final promise in motion?

    thank you, Jean … thinking, thinking, thinking

  7. Michael says:

    Jean,

    Well done…

  8. Jean says:

    “can we then say, that the history of man climaxed at the cross?”

    I would not make this about man, but about a Man. But looking at the cross from a big picture perspective, we might say that at the cross there was the apocalyptic clash of two ages. The age of the letter and the age of the Spirit (or the age of the Law and the age of the Gospel).

    “Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

    If the cross marked the beginning of the end of the age of the Law (by which “Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes”), then His resurrection might be seen as the marker of the beginning of the age of the Gospel (by which sin, death and the devil were defeated).

  9. Em says:

    no, Jean, i respectfully disagree… at least on one level, from his creation this saga has been centered on man – from the fall to the ultimate end of the story as prophesied… two of the main characters, the villain and the hero, Satan and God the Son, are, i believe the reason for the story, however. doesn’t that make us an interesting vehicle for the playing out of the drama?

  10. Jean says:

    Em,

    Responding to your #9, I linked an article this afternoon to Michael’s article “You Follow Me!”. In that article, I read something that resonates with what you wrote in your #6 and #9. Here is the relevant thought:

    “The theology of the cross involves not only the cross itself, as the locus of the event that has determined human history. It involves also the Word that conveys that event and its benefits to God’s people. The word of the cross is folly to the perishing; this word is God’s power for those whom he saves through it. Luther believed that when God speaks, reality results. The cross and the Word that delivers it have created a new reality within God’s fallen creation: a new reality for Satan (since God nailed the law’s accusations to the cross and rendered them illegible by soaking them in Christ’s blood); a new reality for death (since it was laid to eternal rest in Christ’s grave); a new reality for sinners (since they were buried, too, in Christ’s tomb and raised to new life through the death and resurrection of the Crucified One).

    To force Luther’s observations from the foot of the cross into four convenient categories for easier consideration, it can be said that he saw from the vantage point of the cross 1) who God really is, 2) what the human reaction to God must be, 3) what the human condition apart from God is and how God has acted to alter that condition, and 4) what kind of life trust in Christ brings to his disciples.” Robert Kolb, Luther on the Theology of the Cross, p. 449.

  11. Em says:

    Jean, thank you for going along this trail of thought with/for me…
    i don’t think we are disagreeing, even if our focuses differ… for man, from his creation, his fall and on down through history, the cross is the main event… God’s righteousness and justice came together in victory to make a way for us to escape – the miracles of love and grace – a subject in itself

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