Why This Text?
Why This Text?
After my last sermon on I had some discussions with several and the questions were if the position I took was saying there were two classes of Christians or two ways people are saved.
Know that this would be the position of many Dispensationalists: some would say Old Testament saints were saved by the Law and Sacrifices and others would say there were saved by faith but they are a different class of God’s people.
I am not saying there either of those two positions are what I believe but I believe that the Old Covenant is portrayed by Paul in both Galatians and Hebrews as an inferior covenant. Words like so much better, and that it was weak, do not say that it was the same but different.
Words like so much better, and that it was weak, do not
This distinction between Old and New Covenant - and what that Old Covenant refers to - is actually a very important distinction. To be bold in my words - it is a primary distinction that causes a person to be a Presbyterian versus a Baptist.
Those who know me know that I took a long time to own the name of Baptist, however, I do own it.
The reason for my hesitation was somewhat historical (my history) but also that I saw many truths as taught by Presbyterians.
Pascal Denault has a wonderful book titled The Distinctives of Baptist Covenant Theology and in this book he shows the perils of the Presbyterian model. In here he begins with what the Old Covenant really means in Scripture
Is it the entire Old Testament?
Is it the covenant with Israel with Moses as the Mediator?
The end of the Old Covenant is easy - just read , it concluded with Christ but when did it begin?
We must conclude the Old Covenant actually included more than the Mosaic Covenant per (; ).
Denault, Pascal. The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology: A Comparison Between Seventeenth-Century Particular Baptist and Paedobaptist Federalism [Revised Edition] (Kindle Location 1594). The Barnabas Company. Kindle Edition.
Moses therefore gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?
And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.
The apostles associate circumcision with the burden of the law of Moses (, ).
The Epistle to the Hebrews affirms that Christ paid for the sins committed under the first covenant (), namely, all the sins committed before the death of Christ since the fall.
The first covenant, therefore, covered the entire period from the fall to the establishment of the new covenant.
We also believe that the covenants build on each other - the Adamic Covenant builds into the Noachin and so forth - we primarily see this in the revelation of the Seed.
Denault, Pascal. The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology: A Comparison Between Seventeenth-Century Particular Baptist and Paedobaptist Federalism [Revised Edition] (Kindle Locations 1595-1598). The Barnabas Company. Kindle Edition.
The issue that we see in Scripture is that the Old Covenant seems to be conditional - in my personal devotions we see the clear statements in the Mosaic Covenant that if they will obey He will be their God, but if they break His law He will treat them as the other nations.