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Covenant Justification

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by def, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. def

    def Member Supporter

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    Covenant justification is the belief that justification as taught by Paul and James is related to the promises of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Ezekiel 36:27-30, Hebrews 8:10-12).

    The New Covenant has four terms, and God justifies the promise of the Covenant and each of the four terms. In all, there are five cases of justification: grace (Romans 3:24, Titus 3:7), works (James 2:24), blood (Romans 5:9), faith (Romans 3:28, 5:1, Galatians 3:24), and the faith of Christ (Galatians 2:16, Philippians 3:9).

    Faith needs to be clarified. Faith refers to believing that Jesus is the Christ, died, and was resurrected. While 'the faith of Christ' refers to believing Jesus has the capability to do as He says. Thus, believe has two applications: a) first belief -accepting something is true, and b) second belief - having the confidence in someone or something, see John 11:25-26.

    1) The promise of the Covenant is justified freely by His grace.

    2) I will put my Spirit in you - the gift of the Holy Spirit is justified by faith. Paul qualifies this faith by stating it is a faith apart from works.

    3) You will live in the land of your forefathers, and the land of our forefathers was the kingdom of God. The spirit of the just (justified by faith) enters the kingdom of God to be made perfect and is justified by the faith of Christ.

    4) You will all know me is justified by works, works that God has prepared for His people (Ephesians 2:10, Romans 14:17). Believer know God when they do the works of God with faith (James 2), where the impossible becomes possible. James teaches it as faith working with works, and Paul teaches it as the 'obedience of faith'. Basically, it is the trusting faith in Christ that drives obedience and achieves results. The works of God are called good works as oppose to the works of the conscience, which are dead works.

    5) I will forgive your iniquities and remember your sins no more are justified by His blood. Note the position of this promise; it comes at the end!
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
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  2. def

    def Member Supporter

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    The promise of the Covenant is justified freely by His grace.

    1) Freely means God did not demand anything in return. Grace is given because of His mercy, and to be saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8) is to be saved because of His mercy (Titus 3:5). Rightly, grace includes mercy as shown by Hebrews 4:16 - Let us approach the throne of grace to receive mercy. Therefore; we need to question the doctrines that demand God get something in return such as substitutional sacrifice and scapegoat theories.

    2) Grace covers the four terms of the Covenant. The scope of grace suggests people are saved through all four terms of the Covenant. But the scope does not tell us if people must go through the 2nd and 3rd terms.
    a) In the parable of the Net, Jesus says only some fish are tested, the fish refers to believers, for disciples are fishers of men.
    b) The 3rd term of the covenant was not available to the thief on the cross.
    c) Jesus urged people to seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness. Maybe, people don't bother to seek, too busy to seek, do not know good works exist or they could not find it. Thus, it is possible that people get saved without truly knowing God.

    Is it fair that some people are tested?

    God says, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy' (Romans 9:15). God shows mercy to all, but some receive more mercy.

    Paul supports the sovereignty of God, 'Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use? (Romans 9:21)
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  3. def

    def Member Supporter

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    Ephesians 2:8-10 is analysed from the covenant justification perspective.

    a) For by grace are you saved through faith (v8): the promises of the covenant come through faith.

    b) Paul then addresses the first term of the covenant, 'I will put my Spirit in you.' Not of yourself, it is the gift of God (v8). The gift of God is objective genitive, God has a gift, and the gift is the Holy Spirit.

    c) Paul then addresses the third term of the covenant, 'You will all know me'.
    First, Paul dismisses works of men, 'not of works, lest any man should boast'. In other places, Paul calls them dead works of the conscience. The very next sentence, Paul brings in good works. Jesus says only one alone is good, and that is God (Luke 18:19, Mark 10:18); good works is God's works.

    Why did Paul address only two terms of the covenant?

    Paul is teaching saved by grace through faith, and these are the two terms where faith comes into play.
    Grace through faith in the gospel.
    Grace through faith in the power of Christ.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  4. def

    def Member Supporter

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    In the first post, a justification structure was established, which lists the 5 cases of justification and their connections with the New Covenant.

    The justification structure was setup based on a common theme: redemption. This common theme is the basis of relating justification to the New Covenant, and the relationship is proven by the ability to connect their sub-units.

    The justification structure was established without the need to give 'justify' a meaning. Leaving out the meaning is an important strategy as a meaning is a premise to develop logic. One can spin the gospel to the premise, a phenomenon known as the butterfly effect.

    A summary of the approach: focus on relationships not meanings, understand the existence of relationships, connect the sub-units of related parties, use an appropriate structure to represent the connections, and analyse the structure.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
  5. def

    def Member Supporter

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    The New Covenant has four promises and the gift of the Holy Spirit precedes the forgiveness of sins. Most doctrines do not cater for this arrangement, and the sequence of the promises turns many doctrines upside down. Of course, one can dismiss the sequence as irrelevant. The promises:

    a) I will put my Spirit in you - justified by faith.
    b) I will be your God, and you will be my people - justified by faith of Christ.
    c) You shall all know me - justified by works.
    d) I will forgive your iniquities and remember your sins no more - justified by His blood.

    With this arrangement, the gospel is interpreted as follows:
    - In place of judgement is justification (Psalm 143:2). God justifies sinners instead of judging them.
    - The gospel is about repentance and remission of sins (Luke 1:77, 24.47, Acts 2:38, Matthew 26:28) in the name of Jesus Christ (Luke 24:47).
    - Instead of atonement for sins (sins are forgiven), Jesus is the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2, Romans 3:25) and propitiation means to appease or ease the anger of God and avert the wrath of God (John 3:36, Romans 1:18, Ephesians 5:6).
    - Judgement occurs when Jesus returns in His glory, where the goats are separated from the sheep (Matthew 25:32).
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  6. def

    def Member Supporter

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    The OP declared that justification is related to the New Covenant, and the relationship is proven by connecting their sub-units. Scriptures provide teachings to support the connections. The clearest connections are made first.

    Sub-unit #2: I will put my Spirit in you - justified by faith.
    Supporting scriptures:
    Galatians 3:2,' This only would I learn of you, Received you the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?'
    Acts 10:44-47, ' While Peter yet spoke these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them who heard the word.'

    Sub-unit #5: I will forgive your iniquities and remember your sins no more - justified by His blood.
    Supporting scriptures:
    Ephesians 1:7, ' In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;'
    Colossians 1:14, 'In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:'

    Sub-unit #1: The covenant I will make - justified freely by His grace.
    Romans 3:23-24, 'For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:'.
    Titus 3:7, ' That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.'
     
  7. def

    def Member Supporter

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    I am left with two sub-units (justified by works and faith of Christ) and can't really decide.

    a) Those justified by faith enter the kingdom of God on the basis of good works that God has prepared for them. Thus, justified by works to enter the kingdom.

    Versus,

    b) Those who have the faith of Christ (confident in the power of Christ) will enter the kingdom of God to do good works. Thus, justified by the faith of Christ to enter the kingdom.
     
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