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Featured Entering the Covenant

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Tree of Life, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    The Bible describes our relationship with God as a covenant relationship. The best modern day example we have of a covenant relationship is marriage. Is it possible to enter into covenant relationship with God as an unbeliever? Are there unbelievers in the covenant? Or are there only ever believers in the covenant?
     
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  2. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    Only believers.
     
  3. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Well-Known Member

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    It would be helpful to first define what a covenant is. I agree with Mark Jones that a basic covenant is an bound relationship between two or more parties (institution of marriage falls under). Divine covenants implies, in my opinion, more.

    I found these helpful in understand the meaning of a divine covenant:

    "A declaration of his sovereign pleasure concerning the benefits he will bestow on them, the communion they will have with him, and the way and means by which this will be enjoyed." - Coxe

    "For a covenant of God is nothing other than a divine declaration concerning a method of perceiving the love of God, and achieving union and communion with him." - Cocceius

    Meredith Kline's basic definition: a commitment with divine sanctions between a lord and a servant.

    In sum, I would say that a covenant is an agreement or transaction between God and his creatures regarding a promise(s), that are bound by certain conditions that can potentially earn or forfeit them. God always annexes his moral law to every covenant, so that it is of the responsibility of the creature to perform that and any positive law(s) God requires him to keep (do not eat that tree).

    With your questions, are you talking about a particular covenant or covenants in general? It seems that often it is always with believers, I'm not so sure about the Mosaic Covenant.
     
  4. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    Could you support this from Scripture?
     
  5. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    Let's focus on the Covenant of Grace. Are only believers in the Covenant of Grace? Why or why not?
     
  6. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    All of God's covenants are of grace. From the Adamic and the Noahic to the Abrahamic, Mosaic and New.
     
  7. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    I agree that all of these covenants are administrations of the one Covenant of Grace. But I also see a "Covenant of Works" concept at play in Scripture whereby people are condemned by virtue of Adam's sin.
     
  8. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    Romans 11:17But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, 18do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; 21for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you. 22Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 23And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again. 24For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more shall these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?
     
  9. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    A lie promoted by the Pharisees and other legalists.
     
  10. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    I see people in the covenant being broken off because of unbelief. I agree that when unbelievers manifest their unbelief then they are broken off. Sometimes this is through church discipline or through God acting.

    But doesn't this go to show that there are unbelievers in the covenant?
     
  11. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    The Covenant of Works suggests that a person can gain eternal life by perfect obedience to God's Law. Paul intimates at this idea in Romans 2:6-8 -

    6
    He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.

    Is this idea not present in Scripture?

    Of course, sinners can never be saved according to this covenant, as Paul goes on to say. Sinners need grace. Ergo, God made another covenant through Jesus Christ called the Covenant of Grace.
     
  12. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Well-Known Member

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    From my standpoint, yes:

    Jeremiah 31:31-34; John 6:45; Hebrews 8:13, etc.

    I don't see one covenant under two different administrations. The Covenant of Grace is the New Covenant promised, the New Covenant is the Covenant of Grace established, separate from the other covenants of the Old Testament.

    In the Old Covenant, unbelievers were able to enter membership, because it didn't require anything except circumcision in the flesh. To maintain that membership still didn't require faith in Christ, but keeping in step with the Mosaic laws that could cut off that member from the covenant community. You could be an unbelieving Jew under the Old Covenant, enjoy the temporal promises, and still die in your sins and be judged. Thus, the Old Covenant had a mixed body. The New Covenant has a single and spiritual body, separating the mix (believers are in Christ and unbelievers are under the law).
     
  13. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    No. God removes them immediately. And since one must have faith to JOIN the New Covenant, unbelievers cannot join.

    Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
     
  14. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    Was Abraham in the Covenant of Grace?
     
  15. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    Judgement for works is NOT according to a covenant. It is strictly judicial.
     
  16. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    It appears to me that God has a lot of patience with unbelievers. Doesn't the many centuries leading up to the exiles of both the Northern and Southern kingdoms demonstrate this? God did not cut them off immediately.

    Jesus also says that those "in him" who bear no fruit will be cut off (John 15). Does this happen immediately or is there some time and patience involved?

    Being in the covenant and being saved might be two different, yet related, things.
     
  17. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    What law are sinners judged by if not the law of the covenant?
     
  18. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Well-Known Member

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    Yes, by faith in the promises that weren't yet realized. His covenant was in substance different than the CG, his covenant promised it yet was distinct from it in nature.
     
  19. Dave-W

    Dave-W Welcoming grandchild #7, Arturus Waggoner! Supporter

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    A covenant is at its heart an agreement between 2 or more parties. God's moral law requires no agreement on our part so therefore is NOT an intrinsic part of any covenant. That way those not in any covenant are still judged by it.
     
  20. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Well-Known Member

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    If non-covenant members are under the law, then moral laws inevitably are annexed to any covenant. It is always transparent to all transactions. You could lose the promises if you failed to fulfill the moral law...
     
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