Friday, April 27, 2012

New Covenant Promises to the New Covenant People II

In the last couple of posts I have begun to explore the New Covenant promises as written in the Old Testament Prophets. Let me expand on my point. The New Covenant promises are what I call sovereign decrees of God which are guaranteed to the target audience of new covenant people. They are decrees that can be counted on completely. To use a metaphor, they are decrees that you can take to the bank or bank on. Let me give an example from Isaiah 54.

Isa 54:16-17  "Behold, I have created the blacksmith Who blows the coals in the fire, Who brings forth an instrument for his work; And I have created the spoiler to destroy.  (17)  No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me," Says the LORD.

If you take the time to read Isaiah 54 and put these verses in context you will see that it is a promise to new covenant Israel. This brings up a legitimate question; who is new covenant Israel? What constitutes new covenant Israel? Paul takes a side trip in Romans, in chapters nine, ten, and eleven to explain this. He uses the olive tree metaphor. Branches are cut off for unbelief. Wild olive branches are grafted in, and some of the cut off branches are re-grafted in the original tree. All of the branches are grafted in because they believe in Christ Jesus. So then, New Covenant Israel is made up of both Jews and Gentiles. The New Covenant people lose the status of being either Jew or Gentile. They are in fact a new creature/ creation in Christ.

The truth is that the new covenant promises are for the new covenant people and there are neither, Jew nor Gentile, male nor female, slave nor free… rather they are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:28.) Verse 29 goes on to explain that all in Christ are heirs of Abraham and the promise. The promise is a New Covenant based upon better promises. It is important to realize that all of us Gentiles have to be grafted in via Christ or we could not be part of the covenant people.  There is a provision in the Old Covenant for Gentiles joining in to become Jews. It is found in Exodus 12.

Exo 12:48-49 And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. (49) One law shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you."

The plain simple fact is that if the New Covenant is not completely in force, Gentiles could not be part of the people of God unless they were circumcised and obeyed all of the Mosaic Law. If in fact, non-Jewish people are in covenant with God at all it must be via the new covenant. Therefore, all those in Christ Jesus are new covenant people and, they can rest assured that God has not formed the weapons that come against them… not only that, they (the weapons) will not prosper. Furthermore, any tongue that rises in judgment will be condemned by the new covenant people. It is the heritage of the new covenant people. And finally, look at the imputed righteousness clause… their righteousness is from Me says the Lord.

Shouldn’t we want to be the new covenant people? We will look further into this and the implications in further posts.

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