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   A COVENANT FOR ALL PEOPLES

 
 

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PART 3 - ALL DISTINCTION WITHIN THE COVENANT OF GRACE IS ETERNALLY REMOVED

“AS it is written: A father of many nations have I made you...

Before him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead (physical Israel), and calls the things that are not (the Gentile Nations), as though they were. Who in hope believed against hope, to the end, that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken: So shall your seed be.”

aaron—It is through the finished propitiatory work of Christ, that all of the children of physical Israel, who were dead in their sin, have life. And now we Gentiles who were not, are now as if we always were, a part of God's family. From the very beginning Abraham's posterity was to be gathered from each and every nation of the world—as we presently see happening through the aid of our New Testament revelation: That Jesus would be the ultimate means of that gathering: 

 

*—Jesus, the light of the world—

—Prediction—

“Yes, He says, it is too light a thing that You (Jesus) should be My servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give You (Jesus) for a light to the Gentiles, that You may be My salvation unto the end of the earth.” (Isa.49:6)  

—Conformation—

(And we see that this Scripture is confirmed in Acts.13:47):

“I have set You (Jesus) for a light of the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation unto the uttermost part of the earth.”  

—Prediction—

“Jehovah says this: In an acceptable time have I answered You (Jesus), in a day of salvation have I helped You, and I will preserve You, and give You for a Covenant of the people.” (Isa.49:8a)  

—Conformation—

2Cor.6:2 tells us all, that “today is the day of salvation.”    

—Prediction—

“I Jehovah have called You (Jesus) in righteousness, and will hold Your hand, and will keep You, and give You for a Covenant of the people (physical Israel), for a Light of the Gentiles.” (Isa.42:6)  

—Conformation—

(Simeon declares the identity and purpose of Jesus:)

Lu.2:25—32—“And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the Consolation of Israel: And the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ (Anointed). And he came in the Spirit into the temple:

And when the parents brought the child Jesus, that they might do concerning Him, after the custom of the law: Then he (Simeon) received Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said: Now let Your servant depart, Lord, according to Your word, in peace, for my eyes have seen Your Salvation, which You have prepared before the face of all peoples: A light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”  

aaron—It must be remembered that the Old Covenant was still in effect at the time of this revelation.

Simeon declared: Jesus, the fulfillment of God's promises:

(1) Jesus was the Consolation (Comforter) of Israel.

(2) Jesus was the Salvation of God unto all peoples.

(3) Jesus was the Light of the Gentiles.

(4) Jesus was the Glory of Israel.

(5) Jesus was the Salvation of our God unto the end of the earth. Jesus' finished propitiatory work fully satisfies all of God’s demands.    

“The people that walked in darkness have seen a Great Light, they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them has the Light shined.” (Isa.9:2, Ref. Mat.4:16; Lu.1:79)

“Jesus spoke unto them, saying, I am the light of the world.” (Jn.8:12)  

aaron—The New Covenant is simply the fulfillment, or better yet, the full manifestation of the Abrahamic Covenant. It is intended to demonstrate that this covenant is as it has always been—by grace through faith, and that according to God’s unconditional promise. It is exactly the same now as Abraham received from God: Just as we find it first described for us in Gen.17:1—27.

This Abrahamic Covenant of grace is completely adequate for all. Not only that which is of the law (physical Israel), but also that which is of the faith of Abraham who is the father of us ALL: Which is inclusive of the whole institutional corporate peoples of God—Jews and non—Jews alike.

Then additionally, we who might be a part of the invisible ELECT are exactly like Isaac was: a child of the promise; Part of the chosen Congregation; the royal priesthood; a holy Nation; the invisible Israel of God. (The Ekklesola en Ekklesia /or, looking from only a Christian perspective, the Little Church within the Church) 

 

*—Jesus did establish the New Covenant—

“Now the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the Great Shepherd of the sheep with the blood of an Eternal Covenant, our Lord Jesus.” (Heb.13:20)

aaron—It is important to understand that EVERLASTING and ETERNAL are essentially the same word. Then understanding that all of the previous blood sacrifices that had been offered throughout Israel's long pilgrimage here on earth, were in fact validated by the one eternal sacrifice made by the Lord Jesus Christ: The one sacrificial Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. (Jn.3:16; Rom.3:24—25)

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who, through the Eternal Spirit, offered Himself without blemish unto God? And for this cause He is the Mediator of a New Covenant.” (Heb.9:14a and 15a)

(Mediator = Reconciler; go between.)    

John Calvin writes: “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” Heb.9:15

“15. And for this cause he is the Mediator of the New Testament, &c.

He concludes that there is no more need of another priest, for Christ fulfills the office under the New Testament; for he claims not for Christ the honor of a Mediator, so that others may at the same time remain as such with him; but he maintains that all others were repudiated when Christ undertook the office. But that he might more fully confirm this fact, he mentions how he commenced to discharge his office of a Mediator, even through death intervening. Since this is found alone in Christ, being wanting in all others, it follows that he alone can be justly deemed a Mediator.

He further records the virtue and efficacy of his death by saying that he paid the price for sins under the first covenant or testament, which could not be blotted out by the blood of beasts; by which words he was seeking to draw away the Jews from the law to Christ. For, if the law was so weak that all the remedies it applied for expiating sins did by no means accomplish what they represented, who could rest in it as in a safe harbor?”  

aaron—This is an extremely important dialogue that we are about to consider here. First, I am not certain that John Calvin is, in all respects, viewing this verse in the proper contextual direction. Yes, it is true that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross completely satisfies the debt payment for all of the sins that were committed under the Old Covenant, as this fact is clearly stated in Rom.3:25.

But I believe that this verse is speaking more about the universal character of Christ's sacrifice than about its specific intent. Once again, it is because of the complete efficacy of Christ's sacrifice as the Passover Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world that He became the Mediator. Then through this blessed sacrifice, Jesus made propitiation for the sins of all the world—Jn.3:16. First, He made propitiation for all of the transgressions that were bound under the First Covenant; which is simply making reference to the bondage of sin that was and is experienced by His kinsmen—physical Israel. This is inclusive of all those Old Testament institutional peoples that God has established and reserved for Himself. Remember, Christ's atonement was for "the Jews first", that the Scriptures might be fulfilled.   After that, the way of salvation was opened for the others also: that even "they which are called (from among the Nations in the corporate institutional sense) might receive the promise". This is surely the Good News; the Eternal Gospel. Because of God's boundless grace and mercy that is openly flowing out through the finished propitiatory work of Christ on the cross, the door of salvation is now opened to all the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations of the entire world.

John Calvin wrote—"He further records the virtue and efficacy of his death by saying that he paid the price for sins under the first covenant or testament, which could not be blotted out by the blood of beasts".  Once again, Calvin's argument over the efficacy of the Old Testament sacrifices is somewhat dubious when we consider that God Himself commanded that His peoples should accomplish all these sacrifices and initiatory rites.  For example, I would contend that the blood that was offered in the Old Testament sacrifices was always looking forward to the true Passover Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. That the efficacy for those Old Testament sacrifices was surly predicated on that one eternal sacrifice—Jesus' own sacrifice.  Consequently, after the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, His shed blood would serve as the efficacy for all of God's commanded rites and sacrifices from the beginning of time to its end.  Even during the New Testament dispensation these principals remain the same. Like the rites and sacrifices of the Old Testament, the elements of the Lord's Supper and the ordinance of water baptism are all efficacious only in what they are pointing towards—the body and blood of Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

So then finally, we may conclude that the entire efficacy of all the sacrifices that were ever made under the Law is totally dependant on Christ's finished propitiatory work on the cross.

Calvin continues—“They who are called, &c. The object of the divine covenant is, that having been adopted as children, we may at length be made heirs of eternal life. The Apostle teaches us that we obtain this by Christ. It is hence evident, that in him is the fulfillment of the covenant.”

“But now He has obtained a ministry the more excellent, by so much as He (Jesus) is the Mediator of a better Covenant.” (Heb.8:6)

“But He (Jesus), when He had offered one sacrifice for sin forever, sat down on the right hand of God.” (Heb.10:12)  

aaron—Jesus was and is the Eternal Sacrifice—the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!  

“(And through that Eternal Sacrifice) — Through His own blood, He (Christ) entered in once for all into the Holy Place, having obtained Eternal Redemption.” (Heb.9:12)

“Jesus, the Mediator of a New Covenant.” (Heb.12:24)

“Jesus, the surety of a better Covenant.” (Heb.7:22)  

aaron—Jesus officially established the New Covenant at the last Passover supper. Then we can also see that the New Covenant was consummated at the cross, and activated at Pentecost.  

“He (Jesus) took bread, and when He gave thanks, He broke it, and gave it to them (the disciples), saying: This is My body which is given for you, this do in remembrance of Me. And THE CUP in like manner after supper, saying: "THIS IS THE NEW COVENANT IN MY BLOOD", that which is poured out for you.” (Mat.26:26—28/Mk.14:22—24/Lu.22:19,20)  

This New Covenant celebration is also confirmed to the Church in 1Cor.11:23—26: “For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said: This is My body which is for you, do this in remembrance of Me. In like manner also the cup, after supper, saying: "THIS CUP IS THE NEW COVENANT IN MY BLOOD", this do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death till He comes. Amen.”

 

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