Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Two Covenants are really the same

Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559) - John Calvin
Book 2 - God the Redeemer

Chapter 10 - Similarity of Old and New Testaments

Section 1 - The question
It is important to know that all God's people "since the beginning of the world were covenanted to Him by the same law and by the bond of the same doctrine as obtains among us." We will examine similarities and differences between God's covenant with Israel, and His covenant with us.

Section 2 - Chief points of agreement
The covenants are so alike, they "are actually one and the same."
In 3 ways...
1. The Jews' blessings in covenant were not earthly and temporary only.
2. The Israelite covenant was not based on their works, but God's mercy.
3. They "had and knew Christ as Mediator."

Section 3 - The Old Testament looks to the future
The OT saints were looking forward to the Gospel - Rom 1:2-3.
Since the Gospel does not put our hope in this life, but the next -
Eph 1:13-14; Col 1:4-5 -the OT prophets were also concerned with the future life.

Section 4 - Even in the OT, justification is by grace alone
Again, this is taught in the NT, and the OT looked forward to this.
"Abraham rejoiced to see [Christ's] day" - John 8:56; Heb 13:8.
Christ is the fulfillment of the OT promises - Luke 1:54-55, 72-73.

Section 5 - Similar signs of the covenant
1 Cor 10:1-6.
Israel was baptized, but many fell away; same with us.
If their baptism was only fleshly, Paul's argument doesn't make sense.
We have similar signs, and the same substance - the rock was Christ.

Section 6 - Refuting an objection from John 6:49, 54
The manna was "spiritual food" - 1 Cor 10:3.
Jesus spoke as He did of manna in John 6 because the Jews were only focused on the physical aspect of it and of Christ's provision of bread. Jesus wanted to show how much greater than Moses His ministry was, not that the manna was only physical in meaning.

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