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A Caution Against Bigotry(편협한 신앙에 대한 경고)/ Philippians 3:12(빌3:12)/ Pastor John Wesley(요한 웨슬리 목사)/ 영어설교(English Sermons)/ 1742-04-02
A Caution Against Bigotry(편협한 신앙에 대한 경고) Philippians 3:12(빌3:12) A Caution Against Bigotry Philippians 3:12 “And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in Thy name: and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not.” Philippians 3:12 Mark 9:38, 39 1. In the preceding verses we read, that after the Twelve had been disputing “which of them should be the greatest,” Jesus took a little child, and set him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, said unto them, “Whosoever shall receive one of these little children in My name, receiveth me; and whosoever receiveth me, receiveth not me” only, “but him that sent me.” Then “John answered,” that is, said, with reference to what our Lord had spoken just before, “Master, we saw one casting out devils in Thy name, and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.” As if he had said, “Ought we to have received him? In receiving him, should we have received thee? Ought we not rather to have forbidden him? Did not we do well therein?” “But Jesus said, Forbid him not.” 2. The same passage is recited by St. Luke, and almost in the same words. But it may be asked, “What is this to us, seeing no man now casts out devils? Has not the power of doing this been withdrawn from the church, for twelve or fourteen hundred years? How then are we concerned in the case here proposed, or in our Lord’s decision of it?” 3. Perhaps more nearly than is commonly imagined; the case proposed being no uncommon case. That we may reap our full advantage from it, I design to show, I. first, in what sense men may, and do, now cast out devils: II. secondly, what we may understand by, “He followeth not us.” I shall, III. thirdly, explain our Lord’s direction, “Forbid him not;” and IV. conclude with an inference from the whole. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I. 1. I am, in the first place, to show, in what sense men may, and do, now cast out devils. In order to have the clearest view of this, we should remember, that (according to the scriptural account) as God dwells and works in the children of light, so the devil dwells and works in the children of darkness. As the Holy Spirit possesses the souls of good men, so the evil spirit possesses the souls of the wicked. Hence it is that the Apostle terms him “the god of this world;” from the uncontrolled power he has over worldly men. Hence our blessed Lord styles him “the prince of this world;” so absolute is his dominion over it. And hence St. John: “We know that we are of God, and” all who are not of God, “the whole world,” “en tOi ponErOiI keitaiI,” --not lieth in wickedness, but “lieth in the wicked one;” lives and moves in him, as they who are not of the world do in God. 2. For the devil is not to be considered only as “a roaring lion going about seeking whom he may devour;” nor barely as a subtle enemy, who cometh unawares upon poor souls, and “leads them captive at his will;” but as he who dwelleth in them, and walketh in them; who ruleth the darkness or wickedness of this world (of worldly men and all their dark designs and actions), by keeping possession of their hearts, setting up his throne there, and bringing every thought into obedience to himself. Thus the “strong one armed keepeth his house;” and if this “unclean spirit” sometimes “go out of a man,” yet he often returns with “seven spirits worse than himself, and they enter in and dwell there.” Nor can he be idle in his dwelling. He is continually “working in” these “children of disobedience.” He works in them with power, with mighty energy, transforming them into his own likeness, effacing all the remains of the image of God, and preparing them for every evil word and work. 3. It is, therefore, an unquestionable truth, that the god and prince of this world still possesses all who know not God. Only the manner wherein he possesses them now differs from that wherein he did it of old time. Then he frequently tormented their bodies as well as souls, and that openly, without any disguise: now he torments their souls only (unless in some rare cases), and that as covertly as possible. The reason of this difference is plain: it was then his aim to drive mankind into superstition; therefore, he wrought as openly as he could. But it is his aim to drive us into infidelity; therefore, he works as privately as he can: for the more secret he is, the more he prevails. 4. Yet, if we may credit historians, there are countries, even now, where he works as openly as aforetime. “But why in savage and barbarous countries only? Why not in Italy, France, or England?” For a very plain reason: he knows his men, and he knows what he hath to do with each. To Laplanders he appears barefaced; because he is to fix them in superstition and gross idolatry. But with you he is pursuing a different point. He is to make you idolize yourselves; to make you wiser in your own eyes than God himself, than all the oracles of God. Now, in order to do this, he must not appear in his own shape: that would frustrate his design. No: He uses all his art to make you deny his being, till he has you safe in his own place. 5. He reigns, therefore, although in a different way, yet as absolute in one land as in the other. He has the gay Italian infidel in his teeth, as sure as the wild Tartar. But he is fast asleep in the mouth of the lion, who is too wise to wake him out of sleep. So he only plays with him for the present, and when he pleases, swallows him up! The god of this world holds his English worshippers full as fast as those in Lapland. But it is not his business to affright them, lest they should fly to the God of heaven. The prince of darkness, therefore, does not appear, while he rules over these his willing subjects. The conqueror holds his captives so much the safer, because they imagine themselves at liberty. Thus “the strong one armed keepeth his house, and his goods are in peace;” neither the Deist nor nominal Christian suspects he is there: so he and they are perfectly at peace with each other. 6. All this while he works with energy in them. He blinds the eyes of their understanding, so that the light of the glorious gospel of Christ cannot shine upon them. He chains their souls down to earth and hell, with the chains of their own vile affections. He binds them down to the earth, by love of the world, love of money, of pleasure, of praise. And by pride, envy, anger, hate, revenge, he causes their souls to draw nigh unto hell; acting the more secure and uncontrolled, because they know not that he acts at all. 7. But how easily may we know the cause from its effects! These are sometimes gross and palpable. So they were in the most refined of the heathen nations. Go no farther than the admired, the virtuous Romans; and you will find these, when at the height of their learning and glory, “filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, despiteful, proud, boasters, disobedient to parents, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful.” 8. The strongest parts of this description are confirm!!ed by one whom some may think a more unexceptionable witness. I mean their brother heathen, Dion Cassius; who observes, that, before Caesar’s return from Gaul, not only gluttony and lewdness of every kind were open and barefaced; not only falsehood, injustice, and unmercifulness abounded, in public courts, as well as private families; but the most outrageous robberies, rapine, and murders were so frequent in all parts of Rome, that few men went out of doors without making their wills, as not knowing if they should return alive! 9. As gross and palpable are the works of the devil among many (if not all) the modern heathens. The natural religion of the Creeks, Cherokees, Chickasaws, and all other Indians bordering on our southern settlements (not of a few single men, but of entire nations), is to torture all their prisoners from morning till night, till at length they roast them to death; and upon the slightest undesigned provocation, to come behind and shoot any of their own countrymen! Yea, it is a common thing among them, for the son, if he thinks his father lives too long, to knock out his brains; and for mother, if she is tired of her children, to fasten stones about their necks, and throw three or four of them into the river, one after another! 10. It were to be wished, that none but heathens had practised such gross, palpable works of the devil. But we dare not say so. Even in cruelty and bloodshed, how little have the Christians come behind them! And not the Spaniards or Portuguese alone, butchering thousands in South America: not the Dutch only in the East Indies, or the French in North America, following the Spaniards step by step: our own countrymen, too, have wantoned in blood, and exterminated whole nations; plainly proving thereby what spirit it is that dwells and works in the children of disobedience. 11. These monsters might almost make us overlook the works of the devil that are wrought in our own country. But, alas! we cannot open our eyes even here, without seeing them on every side. Is it a small proof of his power, that common swearers, drunkards, whoremongers, adulterers, thieves, robbers, sodomites, murderers, are still found in every part of our land? How triumphant does the prince of this world reign in all these children of disobedience! 12. He less openly, but no less effectually, works in dissemblers, tale-bearers, liars, slanderers; in oppressors and extortioners, in the perjured, the seller of his friend, his honour, his conscience, his country. And yet these may talk of religion or conscience still; of honour, virtue, and public spirit! But they can no more deceive Satan than they can God. He likewise knows those that are his: and a great multitude they are, out of every nation and people, of whom he has full possession at this day. 13. If you consider this, you cannot but see in what sense men may now also cast out devils: yea, and every Minister of Christ does cast them out, if his Lord’s work prosper in his hand. By the power of God attending his word, he brings these sinners to repentance; an entire inward as well as outward change, from all evil to all good. And this is, in a sound sense, to cast out devils, out of the souls wherein they had hitherto dwelt. The strong one can no longer keep his house. A stronger than he is come upon him, and hath cast him out, and taken possession for himself, and made it an habitation of God through his Spirit. Here, then, the energy of Satan ends, and the Son of God “destroys the works of the devil.” The understanding of the sinner is now enlightened, and his heart sweetly drawn to God. His desires are refined, his affections purified; and, being filled with the Holy Ghost, he grows in grace till he is not only holy in heart, but in all manner of conversation. 14. All this is indeed the work of God. It is God alone who can cast out Satan. But he is generally pleased to do this by man as an instrument in his hand: who is then said to cast out devils in his name, by his power and authority. And he sends whom he will send upon this great work; but usually such as man would never have thought of: for “His ways are not as our ways, neither his thoughts as our thoughts.” Accordingly, he chooses the weak to confound the mighty; the foolish to confound the wise; for this plain reason, that he may secure the glory to himself; that “no flesh may glory in his sight.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- II. 1. But shall we not forbid one who thus “casteth out devils,” if “he followeth not us”? This, it seems, was both the judgement and practice of the Apostle, till he referred the case to his Master. “We forbad him,” saith he, “because he followeth not us!” which he supposed to be a very sufficient reason. What we may understand by this expression!!, “He followeth not us,” is the next point to be considered. The lowest circumstance we can understand thereby, is, he has no outward connexion with us. We do not labour in conjunction with each other. He is not our fellow-helper in the gospel. And indeed whensoever our Lord is pleased to send many labourers into his harvest, they cannot all act in subordination to, or connexion with, each other. Nay, they cannot be personal acquaintance with, nor be so much as known to, one another. Many there will necessarily be, in different parts of the harvest, so far from having any mutual intercourse, that they will be as absolute strangers to each other as if they had lived in different ages. And concerning any of these whom we know not, we may doubtless say, “He followeth not us.” 2. A Second meaning of this expression!! may be, --he is not of our party. It has long been matter of melancholy consideration to all who pray for the peace of Jerusalem, that so many several parties are still subsisting among those who are all styled Christians. This has been particularly observable in our own countrymen, who have been continually dividing from each other, upon points of no moment, and many times such as religion had no concern in. The most trifling circumstances have given rise to different parties, which have continued for many generations; and each of these would be ready to object to one who was on the other side, “He followeth not us.” 3. That expression!! may mean, Thirdly, --he differs from us in our religious opinions. There was a time when all Christians were of one mind, as well as of one heart, so great grace was upon them all, when they were first filled with the Holy Ghost! But how short a space did this blessing continue! How soon was that unanimity lost! and difference of opinion sprang up again, even in the church of Christ, --and that not in nominal but in real Christians; nay, in the very chief of them, the Apostles themselves! Nor does it appear that the difference which then began was ever entirely removed. We do not find that even those pillars in the temple of God, so long as they remained upon the earth, were ever brought to think alike, to be of one mind, particularly with regard to the ceremonial law. It is therefore no way surprising, that infinite varieties of opinion should now be found in the Christian church. A very probable consequence of this is, that whenever we see any “casting out devils,” he will be one that, in this sense, “followeth not us” --that is not of our opinion. It is scarce to be imagined he will be of our mind in all points, even of religion. He may very probably think in a different manner from us, even on several subjects of import!!ance; such as the nature and use of the moral law, the eternal decrees of God, the sufficiency and efficacy of his grace, and the perseverance of his children. 4. He may differ from us, Fourthly, not only in opinion, but likewise in some point of practice. He may not approve of that manner of worshipping God which is practised in our congregation; and may judge that to be more profitable for his soul which took its rise from Calvin or Martin Luther. He may have many objections to that Liturgy which we approve of beyond all others; many doubts concerning that form of church government which we esteem both apostolical and scriptural. Perhaps he may go farther from us yet: he may, from a principle of conscience, refrain from several of those which we believe to be the ordinances of Christ. Or, if we both agree that they are ordained of God, there may still remain a difference between us, either as to the manner of administering those ordinances, or the persons to whom they should be administered. Now the unavoidable consequence of any of these differences will be, that he who thus differs from us must separate himself, with regard to those points, from our society. In this respect, therefore, “he followeth not us”: he is not (as we phrase it) “of our Church.” 5. But in a far stronger sense “he followeth not us,” who is not only of a different Church, but of such a Church as we account to be in many respects anti-scriptural and anti-Christian, --a Church which we believe to be utterly false and erroneous in her doctrines, as well as very dangerously wrong in her practice; guilty of gross superstition as well as idolatry, --a Church that has added many articles to the faith which was once delivered to the saints; that has dropped one whole commandment of God, and made void several of the rest by her traditions; and that, pretending the highest veneration for, and strictest conformity to, the ancient Church, has nevertheless brought in numberless innovations, without any warrant either from antiquity or Scripture. Now, most certainly, “he followeth not us,” who stands at so great a distance from us. 6. And yet there may be a still wider difference than this. He who differs from us in judgement or practice, may possibly stand at a greater distance from us in affection than in judgement. And this indeed is a very natural and a very common effect of the other. The differences which begin in points of opinion seldom terminate there. They generally spread into the affections, and then separate chief friends. Nor are any animosities so deep and irreconcilable as those that spring from disagreement in religion. For this cause the bitterest enemies of a man are those of his own household. For this the father rises against his own children, and the children against the father; and perhaps persecute each other even to the death, thinking all the time they are doing God service. It is therefore nothing more than we may expect, if those who differ from us, either in religious opinions or practice, soon contract a sharpness, yea, bitterness towards us; if they are more and more prejudiced against us, till they conceive as ill an opinion of our persons as of our principles. An almost necessary consequence of this will be, they will speak in the same manner as they think of us. They will set themselves in opposition to us, and, as far as they are able, hinder our work; seeing it does not appear to them to be the work of God, but either of man or of the devil. He that thinks, speaks, and acts in such a manner as this, in the highest sense, “followeth not us.” 7. I do not indeed conceive, that the person of whom the Apostle speaks in the text (although we have no particular account of him, either in the context, or in any other part of holy writ) went so far as this. We have no ground to suppose that there was any material difference between him and the Apostles, much less that he had any prejudice either against them or their Master. It seems we may gather thus much from our Lord’s own words, which immediately follow the text: “There is no man which shall do a miracle in My name, that can lightly speak evil of me.” But I purposely put the case in the strongest light, adding all the circumstances which can well be conceived, that, being forewarned of the temptation in its full strength, we may in no case yield to it, and fight against God. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- III. 1. Suppose, then, a man have no intercourse with us, suppose he be not of our party, suppose he separate from our Church, yea, and widely differ from us, both in judgement, practice, and affection; yet if we see even this man “casting out devils,” Jesus saith, “Forbid him not.” This import!!ant direction of our Lord I am, in the Third place, to explain. 2. If we see this man casting out devils: But it is well if, in such a case, we would believe even what we saw with our eyes, if we did not give the lie to our own senses. He must be little acquainted with human nature who does not immediately perceive how extremely unready we should be to believe that any man does cast out devils who “followeth not us” in all or most of the senses above recited: I had almost said, in any of them, seeing we may easily learn even from what passes in our own breasts, how unwilling men are to allow anything good in those who do not in all things agree with themselves. 3. “But what is a sufficient, reasonable proof, that a man does (in the sense above) cast out devils?” The answer is easy. Is there full proof, (1) That a person before us was a gross, open sinner? (2) That he is not so now? that he has broke off his sins, and lives a Christian life? And (3) That this change was wrought by his hearing this man preach? If these three points be plain and undeniable, then you have sufficient, reasonable proof, such as you cannot resist without wilful sin, that this man casts out devils. 4. Then “forbid him not.” Beware how you attempt to hinder him, either by your authority, or arguments, or persuasions. Do not in any wise strive to prevent his using all the power which God has given him. If you have authority with him, do not use that authority to stop the work of God. Do not furnish him with reasons why he ought not any more to speak in the name of Jesus. Satan will not fail to supply him with these, if you do not second him therein. Persuade him not to depart from the work. If he should give place to the devil and you, many souls might perish in their iniquity, but their blood would God require at your hands. 5. “But what, if he be only a layman, who casts out devils! Ought I not to forbid him then?” Is the fact allowed? Is there reasonable proof that this man has or does cast out devils? If there is, forbid him not; no, not at the peril of your soul. Shall not God work by whom he will work? No man can do these works unless God is with him; unless God hath sent him for this very thing. But if God hath sent him, will you call him back? Will you forbid him to go? 6. “But I do not know that he is sent of God.” “Now herein is a marvellous thing” (may any of the seals of his mission say, any whom he hath brought from Satan to God), “that ye know not whence this man is, and, behold, he hath opened mine eyes! If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.” If you doubt the fact, send for the parents of the man: send for his brethren, friends, acquaintance. But if you cannot doubt this, if you must needs acknowledge “that a notable miracle hath been wrought” then with what conscience, with what face, can you charge him whom God hath sent, “not to speak any more in his name”? 7. I allow, that it is highly expedient, whoever preaches in his name should have an outward as well as an inward call, but that it is absolutely necessary, I deny. “Nay, is not the Scripture express? ‘No man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.’ ” (Heb. 5:4) Numberless times has this text been quoted on the occasion, as containing the very strength of the cause; but surely never was so unhappy a quotation. For, First, Aaron was not called to preach at all: he was called “to offer gifts and sacrifice for sin.” That was his peculiar employment. Secondly, these men do not offer sacrifice at all, but only preach; which Aaron did not. Therefore it is not possible to find one text in all the Bible which is more wide of the point than this. 8. “But what was the practice of the apostolic age?” You may easily see in the Acts of the Apostles. In the eighth chapter we read, “There was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the Apostles.” (Verse 1) “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.” (Verse 4) Now, were all these outwardly called to preach? No man in his senses can think so. Here, then, is an undeniable proof, what was the practice of the apostolic age. Here you see not one, but a multitude of lay preachers, men that were only sent of God. 9. Indeed, so far is the practice of the apostolic age from inclining us to think it was unlawful for a man to preach before he was ordained, that we have reason to think it was then accounted necessary. Certainly the practice and the direction of the Apostle Paul was, to prove a man before he was ordained at all. “Let these” (the deacons), says he, “first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon.” (1 Tim. 3:10) Proved, how? By setting them to construe a sentence of Greek and asking them a few commonplace questions? O amazing proof of a Minister of Christ! Nay; but by making a clear, open trial (as is still done by most of the Protestant Churches of Europe) not only whether their lives be holy and unblamable, but whether they have such gifts as are absolutely and indispensably necessary in order to edify the church of Christ. 10. But what if a man has these, and has brought sinners to repentance, and yet the Bishop will not ordain him? Then the Bishop does forbid him to cast out devils. But I dare not forbid him: I have published my reasons to all the world. Yet it is still insisted I ought to do it. You who insist upon it answer those reasons. I know not that any have done this yet, or even made an attempt of doing it. Only some have spoken of them as very weak and trifling: and this was prudent enough; for it is far easier to despise, at least seem to despise, an argument, than to answer it. Yet till this is done I must say, when I have reasonable proof that any man does cast out devils, whatever others do, I dare not forbid him, lest I be found even to fight against God. 11. And whosoever thou art that fearest God, “forbid him not, either directly or indirectly. There are many ways of doing this. You indirectly forbid him, if you either wholly deny, or despise and make little account of, the work which God has wrought by his hands. You indirectly forbid him, when you discourage him in his work, by drawing him into disputes concerning it, by raising objections against it, or frightening him with consequences which very possibly will never be. You forbid him when you show any unkindness toward him either in language or behaviour! and much more when you speak of him to others either in an unkind or a contemptuous manner; when you endeavour to represent him to any either in an odious or a despicable light. You are forbidding him all the time you are speaking evil of him, or making no account of his labours. O forbid him not in any of these ways; nor by forbidding others to hear him, --by discouraging sinners from hearing that word which is able to save their souls! 12. Yea, if you would observe our Lord’s direction in its full meaning and extent, then remember his word: “He that is not for us is against us; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth”: he that gathereth not men into the kingdom of God, assuredly scatters them from it. For there can be no neuter in this war. Every one is either on God’s side, or on Satan’s. Are you on God’s side? Then you will not only not forbid any man that casts out devils, but you will labour, to the uttermost of your power, to forward him in the work. You will readily acknowledge the work of God, and confess the greatness of it. You will remove all difficulties and objections, as far as may be, out of his way. You will strengthen his hands by speaking honourably of him before all men, and avowing the things which you have seen and heard. You will encourage others to attend upon his word, to hear him whom God hath sent. And you will omit no actual proof of tender love, which God gives you an opportunity of showing him. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- IV. 1. If we willingly fail in any of these points, if we either directly or indirectly forbid him, “because he followeth not us,” then we are bigots. This is the inference I draw from what has been said. But the term “bigotry,” I fear, as frequently as it is used, is almost as little understood as “enthusiasm.” It is too strong an attachment to, or fondness for, our own party, opinion, church, and religion. Therefore he is a bigot who is so fond of any of these, so strongly attached to them, as to forbid any who casts out devils because he differs from himself in any or all these particulars. 2. Do you beware of this. Take care (1) That you do not convict yourself of bigotry, by your unreadiness to believe that any man does cast out devils, who differs from you. And if you are clear thus far, if you acknowledge the fact, then examine yourself, (2) Am I not convicted of bigotry in this, in forbidding him directly or indirectly? Do I not directly forbid him on this ground, because he is not of my party, because he does not fall in with my opinions, or because he does not worship God according to that scheme of religion which I have received from my fathers? 3. Examine yourself, Do I not indirectly at least forbid him, on any of these grounds? Am I not sorry that God should thus own and bless a man that holds such erroneous opinions? Do I not discourage him, because he is not of my Church, by disputing with him concerning it, by raising objections, and by perplexing his mind with distant consequences? Do I show no anger, contempt, or unkindness of any sort, either in my words or actions? Do I not mention behind his back, his (real or supposed) faults --his defects or infirmities? Do not I hinder sinners from hearing his word? If you do any of these things, you are a bigot to this day. 4. “Search me, O Lord, and prove me. Try out my reins and my heart! Look well if there be any way of” bigotry “in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” In order to examine ourselves thoroughly, let the case be proposed in the strongest manner. What, if I were to see a Papist, an Arian, a Socinian casting out devils? If I did, I could not forbid even him, without convicting myself of bigotry. Yea, if it could be supposed that I should see a Jew, a Deist, or a Turk, doing the same, were I to forbid him either directly or indirectly, I should be no better than a bigot still. 5. O stand clear of this! But be not content with not forbidding any that casts out devils. It is well to go thus far; but do not stop here. If you will avoid all bigotry, go on. In every instance of this kind, whatever the instrument be, acknowledge the finger of God. And not only acknowledge, but rejoice in his work, and praise his name with thanksgiving. Encourage whomsoever God is pleased to employ, to give himself wholly up thereto. Speak well of him wheresoever you are; defend his character and his mission. Enlarge, as far as you can, his sphere of action; show him all kindness in word and deed; and cease not to cry to God in his behalf, that he may save both himself and them that hear him. 6. I need add but one caution: Think not the bigotry of another is any excuse for your own. It is not impossible, that one who casts out devils himself, may yet forbid you so to do. You may observe, this is the very case mentioned in the text. The Apostles forbade another to do what they did themselves. But beware of retorting. It is not your part to return evil for evil. Another’s not observing the direction of our Lord, is no reason why you should neglect it. Nay, but let him have all the bigotry to himself. If he forbid you, do not you forbid him. Rather labour, and watch, and pray the more, to confirm!! your love toward him. If he speak all manner of evil of you, speak all manner of good (that is true) of him. Imitate herein that glorious saying of a great man, (O that he had always breathed the same spirit!) “Let Luther call me a hundred devils; I will still reverence him as a messenger of God.” Pastor John Wesley
A challenge to be great(크게 되려고 하는 도전)/ Matthew 20:17-28(마20:17-28)/ 2006-02-03
A challenge to be great(크게 되려고 하는 도전) Matthew 20:17-28(마20:17-28) A challenge to be great Matthew 20:17-28 INTRODUCTION The setting for our text today is a time of crisis. Jesus is nearing the day of suffering and death on the cross. He takes His disciples off for a moment away from the crowd: perhaps for refreshing and energizing, but also for encouragement. It is during this momentary break that Jesus is confronted with the worldly ambitions of James and John along with their mother. Let us see how He handles their desire for pre-eminence in His Kingdom. In doing so, Jesus discusses what true greatness really is. I. MISGUIDED MOTIVES (vv. 20-21) 1. There will always be women who are status seekers. 2. There will always be men who are power hungry. II. CRITICAL CONSIDERATIONS (vv. 22-23) 1. Pre-eminence in His Kingdom is based upon suffering. 2. Pre-eminence demands service rendered in a spirit of love, not for reward. III. WORLDLY WAYS (vv. 24-25) 1. Those who seek pre-eminence stir up anger and jealousy. 2. Those who seek pre-eminence define greatness as exercising authority and ruling. IV. GODLY GREATNESS (vv. 26-27) 1. Whoever desires to be great in God’s Kingdom must be a servant. 2. Whoever desires to be pre-eminent must become a slave. V. ETERNAL EXAMPLE (v. 28) 1. Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve. 2. Jesus came to give His life for others. CONCLUSION These men and their mother got answers they were not expecting. They had hoped to reign with Jesus, to be lords over others. However, Jesus intends for His followers to be servants of others, not lords over others. He redefines greatness as ministering, as serving, as showing love in action out of a spirit of humility. True greatness involves giving your life for others, not asking others to give their lives for you! Do you understand this simple lesson from Jesus? If you do, then begin to practice the message in your life by serving others in a spirit of humility and of love. Illustration: A poor Scottish Farmer named Fleming. Pastor Dr. Glenn A. Jent
A Christian’s graces(그리스도인의 은혜)/ 1 Cor. 4:7(고전4:7)/ 2009-02-14
A Christian’s graces(그리스도인의 은혜) 1 Cor. 4:7(고전4:7) A Christian’s graces 1 Cor. 4:7 “What do you have—that you have not received?” 1 Cor. 4:7 What grace do you have—that you have not received? All the light, and all the life, and all the love, and all the joy, and all the fear, and all the faith, and all the hope, and all the patience, and all the humility, etc., that you have—are all grace gifts—they are all from God. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights.” (James 1:17) A man should never look upon his graces—but should be ready to say, “These are the jewels of glory with which God has bespangled my soul!” Look! as all light flows from the sun, and all water from the sea - so all temporal, spiritual, and eternal good flows from God. All your graces, and the greatest excellencies which are in you, do as much depend upon God, as the light does upon the sun, or as the rivers do upon the sea, or as the branches do upon the root, (John 15:1-5) All the springs of comfort that I have communicated to my soul, and all the springs of grace that I have to quicken me, they are all from God. A Christian’s graces are all such flowers of paradise as never grew in nature’s garden. Now, when a Christian looks thus upon all those costly diamonds of grace, with which his soul is bedecked, he keeps humble, though his graces are high. Dear hearts, when you look upon the stream, remember the fountain; when you look upon the flower, remember the root; and whenever you look upon your graces, then be sure to remember Christ the fountain of grace. When one of your eyes is fixed upon your graces - let the other be always fixed upon Christ the fountain of grace. “Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness.” (John 1:16) Grace is strengthened, maintained, nourished, and upheld in your souls - in life and power, in beauty and glory - by the spiritual, powerful, and glorious operations of Christ! Christians, your graces are holy and heavenly plants of Christ’s own planting and watering! It is Christ alone who can cause your graces to blossom, and your souls to be like a watered garden - green and flourishing! Therefore let the eye of your souls be firstly, mostly, and chiefly fixed upon Christ.
A Compassionate Love(자비로운 사랑)/ Matt 9:35-10:8(마9:35-마10:8)/ 2007-05-05
A Compassionate Love(자비로운 사랑) Matt 9:35-10:8(마9:35-마10:8) SERMON: “A Compassionate Love” O Lord, we pray, speak in this place, in the calming of our minds and in the longing of our hearts, by the words of my lips and in the thoughts that we form. Speak, O Lord, for your servants listen. Amen. Charles Wesley’s hymn, “Love Divine, All Love Excelling” with which we began this service of worship is a wonderful hymn of praise - and a wonderful prayer. The praise - Jesus, thou art all compassion, pure, unbounded love thou art. And the prayer - Visit us with thy salvation, Enter every trembling heart. The gospel begins today with these words about Jesus. As you just heard - but I want you to hear again: Jesus went though all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” I think most of us are particularly aware of the importance of compassion - of the importance of compassion and of the great need that our world has for it - a world in which so many struggle to get along without anyone to direct them, - in which so many are left without a strong and caring presence in their lives - in which so many are like sheep without a shepherd - wandering, lost, often alone, often embittered, or, as Jesus himself puts it when he sees the crowds coming out to him for healing and hope, so many are harassed and helpless. God wants us to live in family - - for our young to be nurtured and guided and protected and taught and loved richly and well, - and for our old to be respected and cared for and embraced - and for those in between to be strengthened and given joy and strength and help as they fulfil the purposes in life for which God has breathed life into them. God wants for us to be family together in our homes, living godly and righteous lives - lives of peace and joy and sharing; and God wants for us to be family together in his church - among his people - to be a family, a people, a nation, that live according to his covenant, and who - because of that covenant keeping - and because of God’s promises to us become a people who truly are different, a people who truly are dedicated to God’s purposes and who not only have the ability to connect, but actually do connect, one another - and the whole world - to God, our heavenly Father. But some of our homes are shattered. Some of our children are left without a father - or a mother - or both - who can model for them what the love of God is all about. Some children in this world need so much that is not being given to them and you here today - I daresay each one of you - know that; and weep on account of it; and wonder what to do about it. That weeping and wondering - that impulse of love - is the same impulse that moves the heart of God, and the heart of Jesus, as they look upon us and our world. So many people are broken and in need of healing. So many need to hear and see how close the Kingdom of Heaven is to them, so many need the things that contaminate their lives to be cleansed so many need the demons that afflict their lives to be driven out so many need to be raised to new life -and to have their dead - those they care for and those that they wish that they could care for - restored to them. God’s purpose for his people has ever been - as we heard from the Old Testament Reading this morning, to make us into a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, to make us ones who model - who set the example of what God is like and who, by our living, by our obedience to the word of God, help to connect the whole world to God - to bridge the gap that exists between what is - and what should be - to help bring wholeness to the world. In this world that God has made that is what Fathers and Mothers are supposed to be about. They are supposed to be ones who turn to God and by keeping the word of God in their hearts and in their actions - provide what their children - and what our world needs. And many of us have had such godly parents - we have had such Fathers Godly men who not only teach the way of the Lord to their children, but who live it out as well - with joy and with wisdom - with humility and with strength and so raise up after them a generation whose delight is in the Lord, and whose ways are God’s ways. Praise God for them! But - many others in our world have not had such fathers or mothers - and we need them, our world needs them if we are to be whole - and our world with us. We who are gathered here today in Christ’s name are called to help answer that need. “The harvest is plentiful” says Jesus as he looks upon the lost ones all around him, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” And then he sends out his followers - and gives them the power they need to do the work that needs doing - the power and authority that they need to help bring salvation. Each of us here today is called by God to be a healer - first within our own family - among our sons and daughters - our wives and husbands - our cousins and nephews and nieces - and, of course, among our brothers and sisters - our fellow believers And as we continue to tend to those in our midst who are lost and who are broken, as we continue to encourage and teach those God has entrusted to us, we are called to remember those who are not yet part of our family, and to go and make disciples of all nations baptizing in the name of the Father and the Son and The Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything that Jesus has commanded us. We can do that - we can heal the broken and drive forth the demons that afflict our families and our world, we can be as our Father in heaven is - by allowing our Father in Heaven to guide us and direct us. Pray my brothers and sisters for all parents today - - Pray with thanksgiving for those who have lived and are living by God’s word and who have raised up children to God in a godly way. - And pray with tears and with hope and with desire - and with love for those who are lost and who need the healing of God in their lives if they are to be all God has made them to be. Pray for workers who will bring the compassionate love of God - the compassionate love of our Saviour Jesus - to the world about us. And Pray that God will empower you - through your devotion to his living word, to be fathers to the fatherless, shepherds to those who have no one to lead them to the still waters and to places that will restore their souls, and brothers and sisters to those whose who have no earthy family to love and care for them and to encourage them and guide them to the one whose family is not only eternal - but eternally blessed.
A Critical Spirit(비판 정신)/ Matthew 7:1-6(마7:1-6)/ Pastor J. David Hoke/ 영어설교(English Sermons)/ 2014-02-12
A Critical Spirit(비판 정신) Matthew 7:1-6(마7:1-6) A Critical Spirit Matthew 7:1-6 DO not judge lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. -(Matthew 7:1-6) Many people today are just plain miserable. And plenty of these miserable people are also extremely critical. I am not sure that they are critical because they are miserable or miserable because they are critical. Whatever the case, we often find ourselves around critical people. I don’t like critical people. I’m not sure that anyone does. They are much like complainers. You just don’t like to be around someone who is always critical and complaining. One writer quoted a medical survey concerning chronic complainers. Amazingly, the survey indicated that these chronic complainers seemed to live longer than people who are always sweet and serene. The survey claimed that their cantankerous spirit gives them a purpose for living. Each morning they get up with a fresh challenge to see how many things they can find to grumble about, and they derive great satisfaction from making other people miserable. The writer questioned the conclusions of the medical survey. He surmised that chronic complainers really don’t outlive others, rather it just seems that way to everybody around them. Indeed, it does seem that way. All of us have known people who were complainers and full of criticism. They had adopted a negative outlook on life. This critical spirit expressed itself in many ways. They were always fault finding, putting other people down, and judging others. They were negative and looked at everything in a negative way. If we are honest, we have to admit that we do not want to be around people like that, even though we are sometimes tempted to act like that ourselves. So, when Jesus addressed this issue in the Sermon on the Mount, He was dealing with something that every person must confront. We must confront it in others, and we must confront it in ourselves as well. Having a negative, critical, judgmental attitude is everywhere - even in us. As we will see, Jesus’ teaching is simple and straightforward. He tells us that we must first stop being judgmental. Then He tells us that rather than being judgmental concerning others, we must look to ourselves and eval!!uate our own lives. Stop Being Judgmental Do not judge lest you be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; And by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. (7:1-2) Many people have misunderstood Jesus admonition concerning judging. When Jesus says that we are not to judge, many people have interpreted that to mean that we are not to engage in any form of analysis or eval!!uation of others. In other words, this line of thinking says that we cannot conclude that a person’s behavior! or lifestyle is wrong, and that they are consequently wrong for engaging in it. Those who would like to justify all manner of evil use this commandment of our Lord to chasten anyone who would take a stand for righteousness. We live in such an age. For many years there has been an emphasis on tolerance and acceptance. Now, there is nothing wrong with tolerance and acceptance. They are indeed good qualities. But what many mean by them is that we should accept any lifestyle, any act, without careful, critical eval!!uation. We see this type of thinking reach its pinnacle in the idea of politically correct (PC) speech. Is this what Jesus is talking about? No. This is a misunderstanding of what Jesus was speaking to. We know this because of what the Scriptures say in so many other places. In fact, in the sixth verse of this chapter, Jesus calls us to eval!!uate the kind of people with whom we are dealing as we seek to share the Gospel. He talks of not giving what is holy to dogs, and of not throwing your pearls before swine. Clearly we have to eval!!uate the kind of people with whom we are dealing to fulfill Jesus’ command. Later, in this same chapter, Jesus says, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.”(15-16) Obviously, we must engage in a fruit eval!!uation if we are going to determine who is a true or false prophet. So, we are called upon to make a judgment about individuals and behavior!s. Many other passages also indicate this. But if Jesus was not talking about refraining from any form of judgment, what was He talking about? I think it is clear that Jesus was saying that we should not allow ourselves to develop and maintain a critical, judgmental spirit. He was talking about our attitude toward others. He was talking about our tendency to condemn others and to be judgmental and self-righteous. We all have a tendency to be judgmental at times. Perhaps this is because we feel that to put others down is to lift ourselves up. It has been said that people tend to judge in others the very things that are wrong in themselves. So, perhaps we are seeking to hide our own inadequacies by pointing out the inadequacies of others. One thing is clear. Being judgmental is a serious problem - one that all of us must face. But apart from the reality that none of us likes to be judged and none of us likes to be around judgmental people, there is another and more serious problem with being judgmental. Jesus warns us that those of us who engage in that activity will be judged ourselves. You see, judging others has consequences. To engage in the reckless judgmental attitudes that Jesus condemns means that we set ourselves up as God. We must remember that God is the ultimate judge of all things. We seldom have all the facts. We seldom can look into any situation and really see it for what it is. We certainly cannot look into someone’s heart. Only God can do these things. Therefore, only God is qualified to judge. We can eval!!uate certain things. And we should. But we must always remember that our eval!!uation is unreliable. Therefore, we must never engage in the kind of absolute criticism and condemnation that so many people do. When we do, we set ourselves up as God. And Jesus says that you will be judged. And Jesus tells us how we will be judged. The way you judge will become the way you will be judged. In other words, we will get back what we give out. The standard that we hold others to will become the standard by which we are judged. What standard are you holding others to? Can you live up to that standard? Be careful before you answer that. In fact, perhaps you should not be the one to answer that question at all. Ask someone who knows you to be honest with you about whether you can meet the standard. You see, sometimes we tend to be blind to our failures and inconsistencies. That is why Jesus warns us about having a judgmental spirit. So, the message of Jesus is clear that we are to stop being judgmental. He commands us to eliminate a critical attitude from the way we deal with others. In fact, He is telling us not to focus on others at all. Rather, we should focus on ourselves. Evaluate Your Own Life And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” and behold, the log is in your own eye? (7:3-4) Rather than looking to others with a critical eye and judging them, we should rather look to ourselves and judge ourselves. Jesus calls us to eval!!uate our own lives before we even attempt to help others eval!!uate their lives. Only by evaluating ourselves will we be able to resist the temptation to eval!!uate others. Illustration Jesus gives us is an extremely humorous one. It is of a person trying to take a splinter out of someone else’s eye when he has a log sticking out of his own. Picture, if you will, a person with a beam of wood approximately six feet in length protruding from his eye. As he turns his head from side to side this beam of wood flattens people left and right. How is that sort of person ever going to be able to even see a splinter in someone else’s eye? As they tried to approach the other person, the log sticking out of their own eye would knock the other person over. It is obviously ridiculous that someone in that condition should criticize someone else for having a splinter. This is the picture Jesus paints. Obviously, what He is saying is that we should first look to ourselves. Eval!!uate your own life. Look at your own faults. Examine your own sins. Be honest with yourself about your own condition. Deal with you first. So many of us need to look at our own hearts. Often, we live under an illusion that our hearts are right and pure when they are not. Until we see our own heart, it will be easy to judge others. You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (7:5) Jesus tells us that unless we are willing to deal with our own situation, we are nothing but a hypocrite. If you really want to help others, the first thing you must do is to take the log out of your own eye. Only if you do this can you then be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. This is an extremely import!!ant principle. By obeying this principle, we will be able to avoid the critical, judgmental attitude that causes us to condemn others. You see, when we truly see ourselves, we are less tempted to desire to judge anyone else. When we truly see ourselves, we become aware that we need mercy, not judgment. If we were judged, even fairly, then we would be condemned. Therefore, we should treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves. Do you want others to give you the benefit of the doubt? Then give it to them. Do you want others to think well of you, even when they do not understand you? Then do the same for them. Do you want others to criticize you or encourage you? If you want encouragement rather then criticism, try to be an encourager yourself. Jesus calls us to love one another, to seek the highest good for one another, and to build up one another. Judgmental attitudes tear others down. A critical spirit discourages others. This is why Jesus deals with this kind of attitude. This kind of attitude has no place in the church. It has no place in the life of a Christian. If you find this attitude in yourself, ask God to give you the ability to take a good long look at you. Ask Him to show you your heart and your hang-ups. Ask Him to enable you to pull the log out of your own eye first. Pastor J. David Hoke
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(1)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(1)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1:13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6)/ Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)/ 2015-02-12 A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(1) Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1;3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1;13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6) A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(1) Matthew 12:28, Matthew 13:40-43, Acts 1:3, Acts 28:31, Col. 1:13, Rev. 1:6 In this 500th anniversary year of the birth of John Calvin, we remember the work of the Genevan Reformer who permanently impacted the Protestant Reformation and Reformed theology. This can be seen especially in his teachings of the covenant. Calvin’s approach to the covenant makes a difference in the way one interprets the Scriptures and describes their unity in Christ’s saving work. In Calvin’s understanding of the covenant, we also discover a structure for developing the saving benefits of Christ as well as the Christian life and sacraments. Our study will engage Calvin’s covenantal hermeneutic as well as his covenant theology. Let us consider Calvin and the covenant with the specific backdrop of Dispensationalism, one of the important evangelical theologies of our day. Although dispensationalism was a system unknown to Calvin since it had not yet been formulated in his day, Calvin’s covenantal thought stands in distinction to dispensationalism and offers a ready critique to its leading ideas. Lecture One: A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic. In this first lecture, we will consider the following eight points: I. The Differences Between Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. II. The Differing Historical Origins Of Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. III. Calvin’s Emphasis On The Unity Of The Bible Seen In The Formula of the Covenant. IV. Calvin’s Covenantal Dictum For Interpreting The Bible: The Covenant Is Always The Same In Substance, Yet It Is Distinct In Administration. V. While Christ Is The Heart Of The Bible There Is Continuity And Discontinuity In The Covenant. VI. God’s Promises Of Salvation In Christ Are Organically Present In The Old Testament: The Covenant Is The “DNA” Of The History Of Salvation. VII. Boundary Disputes: The Covenantal Interpretation And the Dispensational Interpretation of the Old Testament Land Promises. VIII. Covenant Theology Teaches That The Kingdom Is Not Just Future, It Is Already But Not Yet. Let us begin, then, by addressing the first of these eight points. I. The Differences Between Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. What makes dispensationalism to be Dispensationalism and what makes covenant theology to be covenant theology? When one reads his Bible, does the difference between these two approaches to interpreting the Bible matter? After all, people who read the Bible with a dispensational perspective believe in Jesus Christ. And people who hold to the covenant theological tradition do so as well. So this is not a debate about who is a Christian and who is not. It is a debate about the proper way to understand the Bible. So what makes Dispensationalism, dispensationalism? Dr. Charles Ryrie stated in Dispensationalism Today that the sine qua non of Dispensationalism is the distinction between the Church and Israel. Thus without the distinction between the Church and Israel, there is no Dispensationalism. Accordingly, the central idea of Dispensationalism is that there are two peoples of God: the Old Testament people of God called Israel, and the New Testament people of God called the Church. These two are entirely different. Dispensationalism declares that when Jesus came, He brought His kingdom to His Old Testament people but they rejected Him. Because they rejected Him they were set aside and God initiated an entirely different dispensation, the Church age. This age is a “great parenthesis”. The dispensation of the church is the age of grace after the Old Testament dispensation of Israel and the law. Then at the end of the church age, the church will be raptured out of the world before seven years of tribulation. God will return to His Old Testament plan for Israel. That plan is to bring the lapsed kingdom to a restored Israel. Thus the church is in the middle of God’s work with OT Israel and His work with the restored Israel after the rapture of the church. The kingdom in Dispensationalism therefore is futurethe premillennial kingdom. For dispensational theology, the kingdom has not come. It was rejected by Israel, and instead, Jesus planted His church. When the church is taken up, then the kingdom for Israel will come. Thus for Dispensationalism, the kingdom is future to be fulfilled in a literal thousand year kingdom as referenced in Revelation 20. Three foundational ideas of Dispensationalism, then, are: (1) there are two peoples of God, (2) the Church and Israel are to be kept distinct, and (3) the kingdom is for Israel and is primarily future. Covenant Theology takes a very different view of these three issues. How then does one define covenant theology? To begin, covenant theology teaches that there is only one people of God. This one people of God can be internally distinguished as the people who were looking forward to the Messiah to come from the people who are looking back at the fact that He’s come and is coming again. Nevertheless, these are one and same people of the Messiah. They are the true Israel of God. So whether we are speaking of the church, or of the Old Testament saint, they are part of the one people of God. Thus for Covenant Theology, the kingdom is not just totally future. The kingdom is already here even though there is much more yet to come. It is “already and not yet.” Covenant Theology declares that there is a kingdom that is already at work, and yet it is to come in far greater glory. This present and future kingdom has been brought to the one people of God, those who were looking forward to the first coming of the Messiah and those that are looking back at His having come and who is yet to come again a second time. Thus Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology are two different systems and two different ways of reading the Bible. II. The Differing Historical Origins Of Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. Next, let us summarize the history of each. Dispensationalism is a recent development in the history of the church. It began in the late 1800s in Plymouth, England under the teaching of John Nelson Darby, who developed the leading ideas of the Dispensational system. Dispensationalism has been popularized through Bible colleges and Bible publications. It is now a theology known around the world. Covenant Theology, on the other hand, goes back to the ancient church. St. Augustine put it this way, “The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed. The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.” This simple theological dictum well summarizes the heart of Covenant Theology. Augustine is saying that the whole Bible is about Jesus. Augustine’s point is that the whole Bible is about Jesus whether one reads the Old or the New Testament. Both Testaments are interrelated in the coming of Christ. Augustine’s and other early Christian biblical scholars’ recognition of the unity of the Bible in Christ came to its own in the Reformation. In 1534 only 17 years after Luther’s 95 Theses, Henry Bullinger wrote the first treatise on the covenant, entitled, “Of The One And Eternal Testament or Covenant of God.” Bullinger was a Swiss Reformer working at the beginning of the Reformation. Because the Reformed theologians went back to a direct exegetical study of the Bible, following the principle of as sola scriptura, they rediscovered the centrality of the covenant for understanding the Bible. Bullinger and Zwingli before him concluded that the covenant was the key idea to understanding the Bible. Covenant theology, then, is an idea that goes back to the ancient church with Augustine, and is one of the important insights of the theology of the Reformed tradition. If one identifies with the Presbyterian tradition, another name for the Reformed tradition, one will quickly recognize that covenantal teaching is foundational in the Westminster Standards. Following Zwingli and Bullinger, Calvin emphasized the covenant and joined them in teaching that the covenant is a key idea to understand the Bible’s theology and to show its great unity in Christ. III. Calvin’s Emphasis On The Unity Of The Bible Seen In The Formula of the Covenant. What are some of the distinctives of covenant theology? First, let us speak of the formula of the covenant. A baker or a cook knows if one leaves something out of the recipe or formula, a disaster results. Leave out the baking powder and one might not have a good desert. A chemist has a formula that creates a certain chemical reaction. Similarly, there is a formula that describes the covenant. According to Calvin, it is, “I will be your God and you will be My people.” This phrase is encountered repeatedly in the Bible. A few examples include Genesis 17, Leviticus 26, Jeremiah 32, Ezekiel 36, 2 Corinthians 6, Hebrews 8 and Revelation 21. The formula of the covenant begins in the Old Testament, moves to the New Testament and carries forward into heaven in Biblical revelation. Notice that the formula of the covenant does not say, “I will be your God and you will be My peoples” in the plural. It says “I will be your God and you will be My people” in the singular. As it proceeds from the Old Testament to the New Testament to heaven, it manifests one people of God in relationship with God. It also reveals that the covenant is a relationship that God Himself initiates with man. This is seen in the divine “I”. The formula of the covenant does not say, “Let’s make a deal” or “Let’s make a bargain.” It begins with “I will be your God.” God takes the initiative. We call this monergism, mono-lateral salvation, sovereign grace, or Calvinism.. God takes the first step. He seeks us out. Jesus Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost (Lk. 17:10). In the covenant, God takes the initiative and by His initiation we become His people. Consider three texts: Jeremiah 31:31, Genesis 15 and Genesis 17. Jerome of Bethlehem translated the Hebrew and Greek Bible into Latin creating what was been called the Vulgate translation which is still the official translation for the Roman Catholic Church. Jerome wanted to differentiate the books of Israel before the coming of Christ (Genesis to Malachi) from the books after the coming of Christ (Matthew to Revelation). He called the first the Old Testament and the second, the New Testament. To do so, he utilized Jeremiah 31 where it says, “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel. Jerome translated the Hebrew word berith, by the Latin word, testamentum which can mean either a covenant or a testament, as in a last will and testament. Berith literally means “to cut” something and thus by implication a covenant because a covenant was made by sacrifice. And so after Jerome, we have spoken of the Old Testament and the New Testament as the two great sections of the canon of Scripture. But the Hebrew word that used in Jeremiah 31 suggests that we should rather speak of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant rather the Old Testament and the New Testament. This would help us to realize how important the idea of covenant is. The point here is that the idea of the covenant helps to organize the entire Bible because the Bible is God’s covenant with His people. IV. Calvin’s Covenantal Dictum For Interpreting The Bible: The Covenant Is Always The Same In Substance, Yet It Is Distinct In Administration. Now let’s take this a step further. Let’s consider how to read the Bible in a way that ties the Bible, Old and New Testament, into one book, that sees the Bible as a whole book for one people of God. How then do we make the Old Testament and the New Testament come together? Along with Calvin’s emphasis on the formula of the covenant, we find a basic interpretive principle that he presents to understand the history of salvation in the Bible. This says, “The covenant is always the same in substance but distinct in administration.” Substance means what something really is. Administration has the idea of how one governs something. For example, there’s an administration of a president that is followed by a different president who governs or administers in another way. This also holds in the administration of a family. For example, I have had a mother now for many years. When I was about two or three years old and learning to walk across the street my mother used to hold my hand and say, “Peter, you can’t run across the street now. You can only go when I let you go, and when you walk, you hold on to my hand. I don’t want you to get hurt in the traffic.” When I go home and see my Mom today, and when we cross the street I take hold of her arm and say, “Mom hold on to me. I don’t want you to fall down in traffic while we’re walking across the street.” We administer our love and concern for safety for each other differently now then when I was a child. Nevertheless, the love of our family is unchanged. The substance of family love is unchanged. The administration of family safety is quite different. In the same sort of way, the covenant is always the same in substance Christ’s saving love for His people while it is administered differently, as by sacrifice in the OT and by worship of the incarnate Christ in the NT. Calvin’s views of the continuity of the covenant can be presented as follows: A Summary of Calvin’s Arguments for the Spiritual Continuity of the Old and New Covenants They are the Same in Substance 1. Same Law and same Doctrine since Beginning of World 2. Christ is Mediator of the Covenants 3. Both have the Grace of Justification 4. Sacraments have Equal Significance in both 5. Both have the Word of God, which is to have Eternal Life 6. The Formula of the Covenant Common to both includes Eternal Life As we look at the Bible from Calvin’s perspective, the substance of the Bible is always Jesus the Messiah and His saving work. But the way that God explains what the Messiah was to do changed from the Old Testament to the New. In the Old Testament there were bloody sacrifices and there was a high priest and there was a tabernacle or temple. In the New Testament we don’t have those things. Things are administered differently now. Another helpful example is a building with its scaffolding. When a building is being built there are scaffolds set up around it. But when the building is complete, the scaffolds are taken down and removed since they are no longer needed. Thus the Old Testament administration of the covenant of grace was administered by animal sacrifices, rituals, dietary laws and high priests. All those things were the scaffolds used to bring the Messiah into the world. Now that He’s come, God administers His saving work differently and the Old Testament administration of the covenant has ended. Thus its visible signs and practices, its scaffolds, have been removed. V. While Christ Is The Heart Of The Bible There Is Continuity And Discontinuity In The Covenant. Another way to speak of the substance of the covenant is to see it summarized in the formula of the covenant, “I will be your God and you will be My people.” That has always been the heart of the Bible even though God’s administration of His covenant changes through time. Another phrase to describe this dual emphasis of unchanging substance with differing administrations is to emphasize the continuity and discontinuity of the Old and New Testaments. Thus from a Presbyterian perspective, we baptize the children of believers in the New Testament because the children of believers in the Old Testament were circumcised. Circumcision and baptism are very different in administration, but they are the same in substance. They both declare that God is in covenant with His people. The way the sacrament was administered before Christ came was different than after Christ because the shedding of human or animal blood was pointing to Christ’s saving sacrifice that alone could truly take away the sin of the world. But now that Christ has come and shed His blood, we no longer have need to shed sacrificial blood. Similarly, the Passover became the Lord’s Supper. The change was needed because there is no longer any shedding of blood. Thus Christians do not slay the Passover lamb. Jesus has fulfilled that picture. The Passover was always pointing to Him, the substance of the covenant. The diversity of the covenant is in its form. The continuity of the Covenant is in Christ, the Passover Lamb. We continue to have the bread and the cup of Passover pointing us to the fact that God takes His wrath away from His people because His Son has shed His blood for us and that blood has been placed upon the lentil of our hearts so that we might be saved. Calvin enumerates five differences between the covenants. They relate only to the externals and not to the substance of the covenant. Calvin’s View of the Differences In Administration Between the Old and New Covenants Old Covenant Before Christ New Covenant After Christ 1. Material and Temporal Blessings represent spiritual blessings 1. Direct Meditation upon spiritual blessings 2. Images & Ceremonies as types of Christ 2. Full Revelation of Christ in His Incarnation 3. The OT Law is letter that kills 3. The NT Gospel is spirit that makes alive a. The OT Law in the narrow sense condemns because it is the demand of Law without the Holy Spirit’s Aid a. In the New Covenant the Law is written upon the heart by the Spirit in the Gospel and is accompanied by the forgiveness of sins b. The OT Law in the broad sense includes the Gospel by borrowing from it the Promises of Christ b. The Gospel of the New Covenant has been the experience of God’s Children since the beginning of the World 4. The Old Covenant was characterized by bondage and fear 4. The New Covenant is characterized by freedom and trust 5. The Old Covenant was limited to Israel 5. The New Covenant is extended to all nations So as we learn to think covenantally, we discover the interconnectedness of the formula of the covenant, the substance and administration of the covenant, and the continuity and discontinuity of the covenant. The substance of the covenant unites the whole Bible emphasizing the continuity of the covenant even though the administration of the covenant differs through history emphasizing the discontinuity of the covenant. VI. God’s Promises Of Salvation In Christ Are Organically Present In The Old Testament: The Covenant Is The “DNA” Of The History Of Salvation. How do we understand the stories in the Bible and how do we understand our Christian lives? We must read the Bible as a history of salvation and not as a logically arranged systematic theology. God didn’t inspire a systematic theology of Jesus. He did not provide us with a Biblical book entitled, “The Doctrine of God” or “The Doctrine of the Church.” The Bible is a history of salvation. They Bible reveals the dramatic stories of what God did through redemptive history. The unfolding character of God’s story is a mystery until the whole story is done. Mysteries, surprises, twists and turns keep on coming as God’s organic plan is progressively unfolded. One of the great covenant teachers of the early twentieth century was Geerhardus Vos who taught at Princeton and impacted our professors at Westminster. He developed and emphasized the historic, organic unfolding of salvation in Scripture. What does “organic” mean? If someone plants a garden of flowers, he needs some seeds. When one looks at a seed, the seed already contains its blossom. But if one has never seen that seed before he would not be able to guess what it is. But because of the seed’s organic development, everything that the mature tree is to become is already present in its seed. And that’s the way the Bible is, right from its beginning. The whole story of the Bible is already present when God said, “He will crush his head and he will bruise his heel,” in Genesis 3:15. That is the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We can go back and read it in light of the Gospel and realize that the Gospel was there all along. Initially, men did not understand that. It took the unfolding of the history of salvation until finally the wonderful resurrection and victory of Christ was clear. But it was always there because the whole Bible is about Christ. Consider Luke 24 where Jesus gives His first Bible study after His resurrection. Jesus speaks to two men on the road to Emmaus who were discussing the story of the crucifixion and the rumors that the tomb was empty. Luke 24:36ff says, While they were still talking about this, Jesus Himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at My hands and My feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, He asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, and He took it and ate it in their presence. He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you. Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then He opened their minds so that they could understand the Scriptures. Now when Jesus refers “to everything that was written about Him in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms,” He was identifying the three main divisions of the Canon of the Old Testament. That was the way the Jews divided the books of the Old Testament. In essence He was saying, “It matters not which Old Testament book you read, if your mind has been opened by My Spirit, you will discover that it all speaks of me.” That is the way Jesus wants His people to read the Bible; to see that it is all about Him. The Bible is the dramatic story of the history of redemption that organically unfolds Jesus’ saving work. Thus covenant theology rejects the Dispensational notion that the OT is for the Jewish people of God and the NT is for the Gentile people of God. Instead, covenant theology teaches that the whole Bible is about Christ who came to save all of God’s people who by faith become the true Israel whether they are Jews or Gentiles. VII. Boundary Disputes: The Covenantal Interpretation And the Dispensational Interpretation of the Old Testament Land Promises. It’s at this point where one of the greatest differences arises between Dispensationalism and covenant theology. Dispensationalists say the many land promises that God gave to Israel are yet to be fulfilled. This they claim will occur when the church is raptured, and when after the seven year tribulation, the kingdom finally comes, then all the land promises to Israel will be literally fulfilled. Covenant Theology believes Dispensationalists are misreading the Bible when they interpret the Bible in that way. Consider here 2 Corinthians 1:18-20. The apostle Paul is writing to the church in Corinth about the truthfulness of his ministry. He says in 1:18, But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No” but in him it has always been “Yes.” The key verse is verse 20: For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. What Paul is saying is that if one finds any promise in the Bible and if he interprets it without Christ, he’s misreading it. Every promise is “yes” and “amen” in Christ. If one does not read the Bible this way, it is as though Jesus becomes irrelevant to that promise. For Paul, then, every land promise and every other redemptive promise always finds its meaning in Christ. The point is that there is continuity and discontinuity in the covenant. The land promises are to be understood as though God had said, “I have redeemed you out of the world to be my people. Thus I’ve given you a heavenly land which is my true and ultimate promised land.” Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” And at the conclusion of Revelation, when we are in Heaven, we have God dwelling with us. Then God says, “I will be your God and you will be My people, in a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness.” That is why the writer of the Hebrews teaches in Hebrews 11 that Abraham was not looking for real estate in Palestine when he left early Ur. Instead, he was looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. A covenant theologian can say “yes and amen” to that in Christ. Paul declares that that is how we are to read the Bible. If we don’t read the Bible in this way, we are misreading it. But Dispensationalism teaches that the Bible is to be read without seeing all of it promises fulfilled in the ultimate culmination of all things in Jesus Christ. VIII. Covenant Theology Teaches That The Kingdom Is Not Just Future, It Is Already But Not Yet. The formula of the covenant reflects the substance of the covenant, while the administration of the covenant was different before Christ came than its administration after Christ came and ascended to heaven. Having ascended to the right Hand of the Father, He poured out His Holy Spirit on His people inaugurating His kingdom. God’s Kingdom began at Pentecost. The kingdom is now here even though it is still not yet here fully. The Kingdom is already but not yet. Chuck Colson illustrated this by the D-Day invasion. When the Marines hit Omaha beach and took the cliffs they did the impossible. Having accomplished this, they were confident that one day they would conquer the Third Reich. They already had won but they had not yet won. There was still a long battle yet ahead even though they had secured that victory by doing the impossible. The incarnation of Jesus Christ and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and its birth of the New Testament era of covenant life are the beginning of the kingdom. One day Satan’s “Third Reich” is going to fall and the whole kingdom will be come even though it has already begun and we as believers are part of it. Jesus Kingdom is already here. (See Matthew 12:28; 13:40-43; Acts 1:3; 28:31; Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:6.) Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)(Pennsylvania Proclamation Presbyterian Church(미국 펜실베이니어 선포장로교회))
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(1)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(1)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1:13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6)/ Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)/ 2015-02-12 A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(1) Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1;3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1;13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6) A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(1) Matthew 12:28, Matthew 13:40-43, Acts 1:3, Acts 28:31, Col. 1:13, Rev. 1:6 In this 500th anniversary year of the birth of John Calvin, we remember the work of the Genevan Reformer who permanently impacted the Protestant Reformation and Reformed theology. This can be seen especially in his teachings of the covenant. Calvin’s approach to the covenant makes a difference in the way one interprets the Scriptures and describes their unity in Christ’s saving work. In Calvin’s understanding of the covenant, we also discover a structure for developing the saving benefits of Christ as well as the Christian life and sacraments. Our study will engage Calvin’s covenantal hermeneutic as well as his covenant theology. Let us consider Calvin and the covenant with the specific backdrop of Dispensationalism, one of the important evangelical theologies of our day. Although dispensationalism was a system unknown to Calvin since it had not yet been formulated in his day, Calvin’s covenantal thought stands in distinction to dispensationalism and offers a ready critique to its leading ideas. Lecture One: A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic. In this first lecture, we will consider the following eight points: I. The Differences Between Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. II. The Differing Historical Origins Of Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. III. Calvin’s Emphasis On The Unity Of The Bible Seen In The Formula of the Covenant. IV. Calvin’s Covenantal Dictum For Interpreting The Bible: The Covenant Is Always The Same In Substance, Yet It Is Distinct In Administration. V. While Christ Is The Heart Of The Bible There Is Continuity And Discontinuity In The Covenant. VI. God’s Promises Of Salvation In Christ Are Organically Present In The Old Testament: The Covenant Is The “DNA” Of The History Of Salvation. VII. Boundary Disputes: The Covenantal Interpretation And the Dispensational Interpretation of the Old Testament Land Promises. VIII. Covenant Theology Teaches That The Kingdom Is Not Just Future, It Is Already But Not Yet. Let us begin, then, by addressing the first of these eight points. I. The Differences Between Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. What makes dispensationalism to be Dispensationalism and what makes covenant theology to be covenant theology? When one reads his Bible, does the difference between these two approaches to interpreting the Bible matter? After all, people who read the Bible with a dispensational perspective believe in Jesus Christ. And people who hold to the covenant theological tradition do so as well. So this is not a debate about who is a Christian and who is not. It is a debate about the proper way to understand the Bible. So what makes Dispensationalism, dispensationalism? Dr. Charles Ryrie stated in Dispensationalism Today that the sine qua non of Dispensationalism is the distinction between the Church and Israel. Thus without the distinction between the Church and Israel, there is no Dispensationalism. Accordingly, the central idea of Dispensationalism is that there are two peoples of God: the Old Testament people of God called Israel, and the New Testament people of God called the Church. These two are entirely different. Dispensationalism declares that when Jesus came, He brought His kingdom to His Old Testament people but they rejected Him. Because they rejected Him they were set aside and God initiated an entirely different dispensation, the Church age. This age is a “great parenthesis”. The dispensation of the church is the age of grace after the Old Testament dispensation of Israel and the law. Then at the end of the church age, the church will be raptured out of the world before seven years of tribulation. God will return to His Old Testament plan for Israel. That plan is to bring the lapsed kingdom to a restored Israel. Thus the church is in the middle of God’s work with OT Israel and His work with the restored Israel after the rapture of the church. The kingdom in Dispensationalism therefore is futurethe premillennial kingdom. For dispensational theology, the kingdom has not come. It was rejected by Israel, and instead, Jesus planted His church. When the church is taken up, then the kingdom for Israel will come. Thus for Dispensationalism, the kingdom is future to be fulfilled in a literal thousand year kingdom as referenced in Revelation 20. Three foundational ideas of Dispensationalism, then, are: (1) there are two peoples of God, (2) the Church and Israel are to be kept distinct, and (3) the kingdom is for Israel and is primarily future. Covenant Theology takes a very different view of these three issues. How then does one define covenant theology? To begin, covenant theology teaches that there is only one people of God. This one people of God can be internally distinguished as the people who were looking forward to the Messiah to come from the people who are looking back at the fact that He’s come and is coming again. Nevertheless, these are one and same people of the Messiah. They are the true Israel of God. So whether we are speaking of the church, or of the Old Testament saint, they are part of the one people of God. Thus for Covenant Theology, the kingdom is not just totally future. The kingdom is already here even though there is much more yet to come. It is “already and not yet.” Covenant Theology declares that there is a kingdom that is already at work, and yet it is to come in far greater glory. This present and future kingdom has been brought to the one people of God, those who were looking forward to the first coming of the Messiah and those that are looking back at His having come and who is yet to come again a second time. Thus Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology are two different systems and two different ways of reading the Bible. II. The Differing Historical Origins Of Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. Next, let us summarize the history of each. Dispensationalism is a recent development in the history of the church. It began in the late 1800s in Plymouth, England under the teaching of John Nelson Darby, who developed the leading ideas of the Dispensational system. Dispensationalism has been popularized through Bible colleges and Bible publications. It is now a theology known around the world. Covenant Theology, on the other hand, goes back to the ancient church. St. Augustine put it this way, “The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed. The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.” This simple theological dictum well summarizes the heart of Covenant Theology. Augustine is saying that the whole Bible is about Jesus. Augustine’s point is that the whole Bible is about Jesus whether one reads the Old or the New Testament. Both Testaments are interrelated in the coming of Christ. Augustine’s and other early Christian biblical scholars’ recognition of the unity of the Bible in Christ came to its own in the Reformation. In 1534 only 17 years after Luther’s 95 Theses, Henry Bullinger wrote the first treatise on the covenant, entitled, “Of The One And Eternal Testament or Covenant of God.” Bullinger was a Swiss Reformer working at the beginning of the Reformation. Because the Reformed theologians went back to a direct exegetical study of the Bible, following the principle of as sola scriptura, they rediscovered the centrality of the covenant for understanding the Bible. Bullinger and Zwingli before him concluded that the covenant was the key idea to understanding the Bible. Covenant theology, then, is an idea that goes back to the ancient church with Augustine, and is one of the important insights of the theology of the Reformed tradition. If one identifies with the Presbyterian tradition, another name for the Reformed tradition, one will quickly recognize that covenantal teaching is foundational in the Westminster Standards. Following Zwingli and Bullinger, Calvin emphasized the covenant and joined them in teaching that the covenant is a key idea to understand the Bible’s theology and to show its great unity in Christ. III. Calvin’s Emphasis On The Unity Of The Bible Seen In The Formula of the Covenant. What are some of the distinctives of covenant theology? First, let us speak of the formula of the covenant. A baker or a cook knows if one leaves something out of the recipe or formula, a disaster results. Leave out the baking powder and one might not have a good desert. A chemist has a formula that creates a certain chemical reaction. Similarly, there is a formula that describes the covenant. According to Calvin, it is, “I will be your God and you will be My people.” This phrase is encountered repeatedly in the Bible. A few examples include Genesis 17, Leviticus 26, Jeremiah 32, Ezekiel 36, 2 Corinthians 6, Hebrews 8 and Revelation 21. The formula of the covenant begins in the Old Testament, moves to the New Testament and carries forward into heaven in Biblical revelation. Notice that the formula of the covenant does not say, “I will be your God and you will be My peoples” in the plural. It says “I will be your God and you will be My people” in the singular. As it proceeds from the Old Testament to the New Testament to heaven, it manifests one people of God in relationship with God. It also reveals that the covenant is a relationship that God Himself initiates with man. This is seen in the divine “I”. The formula of the covenant does not say, “Let’s make a deal” or “Let’s make a bargain.” It begins with “I will be your God.” God takes the initiative. We call this monergism, mono-lateral salvation, sovereign grace, or Calvinism.. God takes the first step. He seeks us out. Jesus Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost (Lk. 17:10). In the covenant, God takes the initiative and by His initiation we become His people. Consider three texts: Jeremiah 31:31, Genesis 15 and Genesis 17. Jerome of Bethlehem translated the Hebrew and Greek Bible into Latin creating what was been called the Vulgate translation which is still the official translation for the Roman Catholic Church. Jerome wanted to differentiate the books of Israel before the coming of Christ (Genesis to Malachi) from the books after the coming of Christ (Matthew to Revelation). He called the first the Old Testament and the second, the New Testament. To do so, he utilized Jeremiah 31 where it says, “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel. Jerome translated the Hebrew word berith, by the Latin word, testamentum which can mean either a covenant or a testament, as in a last will and testament. Berith literally means “to cut” something and thus by implication a covenant because a covenant was made by sacrifice. And so after Jerome, we have spoken of the Old Testament and the New Testament as the two great sections of the canon of Scripture. But the Hebrew word that used in Jeremiah 31 suggests that we should rather speak of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant rather the Old Testament and the New Testament. This would help us to realize how important the idea of covenant is. The point here is that the idea of the covenant helps to organize the entire Bible because the Bible is God’s covenant with His people. IV. Calvin’s Covenantal Dictum For Interpreting The Bible: The Covenant Is Always The Same In Substance, Yet It Is Distinct In Administration. Now let’s take this a step further. Let’s consider how to read the Bible in a way that ties the Bible, Old and New Testament, into one book, that sees the Bible as a whole book for one people of God. How then do we make the Old Testament and the New Testament come together? Along with Calvin’s emphasis on the formula of the covenant, we find a basic interpretive principle that he presents to understand the history of salvation in the Bible. This says, “The covenant is always the same in substance but distinct in administration.” Substance means what something really is. Administration has the idea of how one governs something. For example, there’s an administration of a president that is followed by a different president who governs or administers in another way. This also holds in the administration of a family. For example, I have had a mother now for many years. When I was about two or three years old and learning to walk across the street my mother used to hold my hand and say, “Peter, you can’t run across the street now. You can only go when I let you go, and when you walk, you hold on to my hand. I don’t want you to get hurt in the traffic.” When I go home and see my Mom today, and when we cross the street I take hold of her arm and say, “Mom hold on to me. I don’t want you to fall down in traffic while we’re walking across the street.” We administer our love and concern for safety for each other differently now then when I was a child. Nevertheless, the love of our family is unchanged. The substance of family love is unchanged. The administration of family safety is quite different. In the same sort of way, the covenant is always the same in substance Christ’s saving love for His people while it is administered differently, as by sacrifice in the OT and by worship of the incarnate Christ in the NT. Calvin’s views of the continuity of the covenant can be presented as follows: A Summary of Calvin’s Arguments for the Spiritual Continuity of the Old and New Covenants They are the Same in Substance 1. Same Law and same Doctrine since Beginning of World 2. Christ is Mediator of the Covenants 3. Both have the Grace of Justification 4. Sacraments have Equal Significance in both 5. Both have the Word of God, which is to have Eternal Life 6. The Formula of the Covenant Common to both includes Eternal Life As we look at the Bible from Calvin’s perspective, the substance of the Bible is always Jesus the Messiah and His saving work. But the way that God explains what the Messiah was to do changed from the Old Testament to the New. In the Old Testament there were bloody sacrifices and there was a high priest and there was a tabernacle or temple. In the New Testament we don’t have those things. Things are administered differently now. Another helpful example is a building with its scaffolding. When a building is being built there are scaffolds set up around it. But when the building is complete, the scaffolds are taken down and removed since they are no longer needed. Thus the Old Testament administration of the covenant of grace was administered by animal sacrifices, rituals, dietary laws and high priests. All those things were the scaffolds used to bring the Messiah into the world. Now that He’s come, God administers His saving work differently and the Old Testament administration of the covenant has ended. Thus its visible signs and practices, its scaffolds, have been removed. V. While Christ Is The Heart Of The Bible There Is Continuity And Discontinuity In The Covenant. Another way to speak of the substance of the covenant is to see it summarized in the formula of the covenant, “I will be your God and you will be My people.” That has always been the heart of the Bible even though God’s administration of His covenant changes through time. Another phrase to describe this dual emphasis of unchanging substance with differing administrations is to emphasize the continuity and discontinuity of the Old and New Testaments. Thus from a Presbyterian perspective, we baptize the children of believers in the New Testament because the children of believers in the Old Testament were circumcised. Circumcision and baptism are very different in administration, but they are the same in substance. They both declare that God is in covenant with His people. The way the sacrament was administered before Christ came was different than after Christ because the shedding of human or animal blood was pointing to Christ’s saving sacrifice that alone could truly take away the sin of the world. But now that Christ has come and shed His blood, we no longer have need to shed sacrificial blood. Similarly, the Passover became the Lord’s Supper. The change was needed because there is no longer any shedding of blood. Thus Christians do not slay the Passover lamb. Jesus has fulfilled that picture. The Passover was always pointing to Him, the substance of the covenant. The diversity of the covenant is in its form. The continuity of the Covenant is in Christ, the Passover Lamb. We continue to have the bread and the cup of Passover pointing us to the fact that God takes His wrath away from His people because His Son has shed His blood for us and that blood has been placed upon the lentil of our hearts so that we might be saved. Calvin enumerates five differences between the covenants. They relate only to the externals and not to the substance of the covenant. Calvin’s View of the Differences In Administration Between the Old and New Covenants Old Covenant Before Christ New Covenant After Christ 1. Material and Temporal Blessings represent spiritual blessings 1. Direct Meditation upon spiritual blessings 2. Images & Ceremonies as types of Christ 2. Full Revelation of Christ in His Incarnation 3. The OT Law is letter that kills 3. The NT Gospel is spirit that makes alive a. The OT Law in the narrow sense condemns because it is the demand of Law without the Holy Spirit’s Aid a. In the New Covenant the Law is written upon the heart by the Spirit in the Gospel and is accompanied by the forgiveness of sins b. The OT Law in the broad sense includes the Gospel by borrowing from it the Promises of Christ b. The Gospel of the New Covenant has been the experience of God’s Children since the beginning of the World 4. The Old Covenant was characterized by bondage and fear 4. The New Covenant is characterized by freedom and trust 5. The Old Covenant was limited to Israel 5. The New Covenant is extended to all nations So as we learn to think covenantally, we discover the interconnectedness of the formula of the covenant, the substance and administration of the covenant, and the continuity and discontinuity of the covenant. The substance of the covenant unites the whole Bible emphasizing the continuity of the covenant even though the administration of the covenant differs through history emphasizing the discontinuity of the covenant. VI. God’s Promises Of Salvation In Christ Are Organically Present In The Old Testament: The Covenant Is The “DNA” Of The History Of Salvation. How do we understand the stories in the Bible and how do we understand our Christian lives? We must read the Bible as a history of salvation and not as a logically arranged systematic theology. God didn’t inspire a systematic theology of Jesus. He did not provide us with a Biblical book entitled, “The Doctrine of God” or “The Doctrine of the Church.” The Bible is a history of salvation. They Bible reveals the dramatic stories of what God did through redemptive history. The unfolding character of God’s story is a mystery until the whole story is done. Mysteries, surprises, twists and turns keep on coming as God’s organic plan is progressively unfolded. One of the great covenant teachers of the early twentieth century was Geerhardus Vos who taught at Princeton and impacted our professors at Westminster. He developed and emphasized the historic, organic unfolding of salvation in Scripture. What does “organic” mean? If someone plants a garden of flowers, he needs some seeds. When one looks at a seed, the seed already contains its blossom. But if one has never seen that seed before he would not be able to guess what it is. But because of the seed’s organic development, everything that the mature tree is to become is already present in its seed. And that’s the way the Bible is, right from its beginning. The whole story of the Bible is already present when God said, “He will crush his head and he will bruise his heel,” in Genesis 3:15. That is the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We can go back and read it in light of the Gospel and realize that the Gospel was there all along. Initially, men did not understand that. It took the unfolding of the history of salvation until finally the wonderful resurrection and victory of Christ was clear. But it was always there because the whole Bible is about Christ. Consider Luke 24 where Jesus gives His first Bible study after His resurrection. Jesus speaks to two men on the road to Emmaus who were discussing the story of the crucifixion and the rumors that the tomb was empty. Luke 24:36ff says, While they were still talking about this, Jesus Himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at My hands and My feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, He asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, and He took it and ate it in their presence. He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you. Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then He opened their minds so that they could understand the Scriptures. Now when Jesus refers “to everything that was written about Him in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms,” He was identifying the three main divisions of the Canon of the Old Testament. That was the way the Jews divided the books of the Old Testament. In essence He was saying, “It matters not which Old Testament book you read, if your mind has been opened by My Spirit, you will discover that it all speaks of me.” That is the way Jesus wants His people to read the Bible; to see that it is all about Him. The Bible is the dramatic story of the history of redemption that organically unfolds Jesus’ saving work. Thus covenant theology rejects the Dispensational notion that the OT is for the Jewish people of God and the NT is for the Gentile people of God. Instead, covenant theology teaches that the whole Bible is about Christ who came to save all of God’s people who by faith become the true Israel whether they are Jews or Gentiles. VII. Boundary Disputes: The Covenantal Interpretation And the Dispensational Interpretation of the Old Testament Land Promises. It’s at this point where one of the greatest differences arises between Dispensationalism and covenant theology. Dispensationalists say the many land promises that God gave to Israel are yet to be fulfilled. This they claim will occur when the church is raptured, and when after the seven year tribulation, the kingdom finally comes, then all the land promises to Israel will be literally fulfilled. Covenant Theology believes Dispensationalists are misreading the Bible when they interpret the Bible in that way. Consider here 2 Corinthians 1:18-20. The apostle Paul is writing to the church in Corinth about the truthfulness of his ministry. He says in 1:18, But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No” but in him it has always been “Yes.” The key verse is verse 20: For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. What Paul is saying is that if one finds any promise in the Bible and if he interprets it without Christ, he’s misreading it. Every promise is “yes” and “amen” in Christ. If one does not read the Bible this way, it is as though Jesus becomes irrelevant to that promise. For Paul, then, every land promise and every other redemptive promise always finds its meaning in Christ. The point is that there is continuity and discontinuity in the covenant. The land promises are to be understood as though God had said, “I have redeemed you out of the world to be my people. Thus I’ve given you a heavenly land which is my true and ultimate promised land.” Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” And at the conclusion of Revelation, when we are in Heaven, we have God dwelling with us. Then God says, “I will be your God and you will be My people, in a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness.” That is why the writer of the Hebrews teaches in Hebrews 11 that Abraham was not looking for real estate in Palestine when he left early Ur. Instead, he was looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. A covenant theologian can say “yes and amen” to that in Christ. Paul declares that that is how we are to read the Bible. If we don’t read the Bible in this way, we are misreading it. But Dispensationalism teaches that the Bible is to be read without seeing all of it promises fulfilled in the ultimate culmination of all things in Jesus Christ. VIII. Covenant Theology Teaches That The Kingdom Is Not Just Future, It Is Already But Not Yet. The formula of the covenant reflects the substance of the covenant, while the administration of the covenant was different before Christ came than its administration after Christ came and ascended to heaven. Having ascended to the right Hand of the Father, He poured out His Holy Spirit on His people inaugurating His kingdom. God’s Kingdom began at Pentecost. The kingdom is now here even though it is still not yet here fully. The Kingdom is already but not yet. Chuck Colson illustrated this by the D-Day invasion. When the Marines hit Omaha beach and took the cliffs they did the impossible. Having accomplished this, they were confident that one day they would conquer the Third Reich. They already had won but they had not yet won. There was still a long battle yet ahead even though they had secured that victory by doing the impossible. The incarnation of Jesus Christ and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and its birth of the New Testament era of covenant life are the beginning of the kingdom. One day Satan’s “Third Reich” is going to fall and the whole kingdom will be come even though it has already begun and we as believers are part of it. Jesus Kingdom is already here. (See Matthew 12:28; 13:40-43; Acts 1:3; 28:31; Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:6.) Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)(Pennsylvania Proclamation Presbyterian Church(미국 펜실베이니어 선포장로교회))
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(1)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(1)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1:13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6)/ Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)/ 2015-02-12 A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(1) Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1;3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1;13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6) A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(1) Matthew 12:28, Matthew 13:40-43, Acts 1:3, Acts 28:31, Col. 1:13, Rev. 1:6 In this 500th anniversary year of the birth of John Calvin, we remember the work of the Genevan Reformer who permanently impacted the Protestant Reformation and Reformed theology. This can be seen especially in his teachings of the covenant. Calvin’s approach to the covenant makes a difference in the way one interprets the Scriptures and describes their unity in Christ’s saving work. In Calvin’s understanding of the covenant, we also discover a structure for developing the saving benefits of Christ as well as the Christian life and sacraments. Our study will engage Calvin’s covenantal hermeneutic as well as his covenant theology. Let us consider Calvin and the covenant with the specific backdrop of Dispensationalism, one of the important evangelical theologies of our day. Although dispensationalism was a system unknown to Calvin since it had not yet been formulated in his day, Calvin’s covenantal thought stands in distinction to dispensationalism and offers a ready critique to its leading ideas. Lecture One: A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic. In this first lecture, we will consider the following eight points: I. The Differences Between Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. II. The Differing Historical Origins Of Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. III. Calvin’s Emphasis On The Unity Of The Bible Seen In The Formula of the Covenant. IV. Calvin’s Covenantal Dictum For Interpreting The Bible: The Covenant Is Always The Same In Substance, Yet It Is Distinct In Administration. V. While Christ Is The Heart Of The Bible There Is Continuity And Discontinuity In The Covenant. VI. God’s Promises Of Salvation In Christ Are Organically Present In The Old Testament: The Covenant Is The “DNA” Of The History Of Salvation. VII. Boundary Disputes: The Covenantal Interpretation And the Dispensational Interpretation of the Old Testament Land Promises. VIII. Covenant Theology Teaches That The Kingdom Is Not Just Future, It Is Already But Not Yet. Let us begin, then, by addressing the first of these eight points. I. The Differences Between Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. What makes dispensationalism to be Dispensationalism and what makes covenant theology to be covenant theology? When one reads his Bible, does the difference between these two approaches to interpreting the Bible matter? After all, people who read the Bible with a dispensational perspective believe in Jesus Christ. And people who hold to the covenant theological tradition do so as well. So this is not a debate about who is a Christian and who is not. It is a debate about the proper way to understand the Bible. So what makes Dispensationalism, dispensationalism? Dr. Charles Ryrie stated in Dispensationalism Today that the sine qua non of Dispensationalism is the distinction between the Church and Israel. Thus without the distinction between the Church and Israel, there is no Dispensationalism. Accordingly, the central idea of Dispensationalism is that there are two peoples of God: the Old Testament people of God called Israel, and the New Testament people of God called the Church. These two are entirely different. Dispensationalism declares that when Jesus came, He brought His kingdom to His Old Testament people but they rejected Him. Because they rejected Him they were set aside and God initiated an entirely different dispensation, the Church age. This age is a “great parenthesis”. The dispensation of the church is the age of grace after the Old Testament dispensation of Israel and the law. Then at the end of the church age, the church will be raptured out of the world before seven years of tribulation. God will return to His Old Testament plan for Israel. That plan is to bring the lapsed kingdom to a restored Israel. Thus the church is in the middle of God’s work with OT Israel and His work with the restored Israel after the rapture of the church. The kingdom in Dispensationalism therefore is futurethe premillennial kingdom. For dispensational theology, the kingdom has not come. It was rejected by Israel, and instead, Jesus planted His church. When the church is taken up, then the kingdom for Israel will come. Thus for Dispensationalism, the kingdom is future to be fulfilled in a literal thousand year kingdom as referenced in Revelation 20. Three foundational ideas of Dispensationalism, then, are: (1) there are two peoples of God, (2) the Church and Israel are to be kept distinct, and (3) the kingdom is for Israel and is primarily future. Covenant Theology takes a very different view of these three issues. How then does one define covenant theology? To begin, covenant theology teaches that there is only one people of God. This one people of God can be internally distinguished as the people who were looking forward to the Messiah to come from the people who are looking back at the fact that He’s come and is coming again. Nevertheless, these are one and same people of the Messiah. They are the true Israel of God. So whether we are speaking of the church, or of the Old Testament saint, they are part of the one people of God. Thus for Covenant Theology, the kingdom is not just totally future. The kingdom is already here even though there is much more yet to come. It is “already and not yet.” Covenant Theology declares that there is a kingdom that is already at work, and yet it is to come in far greater glory. This present and future kingdom has been brought to the one people of God, those who were looking forward to the first coming of the Messiah and those that are looking back at His having come and who is yet to come again a second time. Thus Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology are two different systems and two different ways of reading the Bible. II. The Differing Historical Origins Of Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. Next, let us summarize the history of each. Dispensationalism is a recent development in the history of the church. It began in the late 1800s in Plymouth, England under the teaching of John Nelson Darby, who developed the leading ideas of the Dispensational system. Dispensationalism has been popularized through Bible colleges and Bible publications. It is now a theology known around the world. Covenant Theology, on the other hand, goes back to the ancient church. St. Augustine put it this way, “The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed. The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.” This simple theological dictum well summarizes the heart of Covenant Theology. Augustine is saying that the whole Bible is about Jesus. Augustine’s point is that the whole Bible is about Jesus whether one reads the Old or the New Testament. Both Testaments are interrelated in the coming of Christ. Augustine’s and other early Christian biblical scholars’ recognition of the unity of the Bible in Christ came to its own in the Reformation. In 1534 only 17 years after Luther’s 95 Theses, Henry Bullinger wrote the first treatise on the covenant, entitled, “Of The One And Eternal Testament or Covenant of God.” Bullinger was a Swiss Reformer working at the beginning of the Reformation. Because the Reformed theologians went back to a direct exegetical study of the Bible, following the principle of as sola scriptura, they rediscovered the centrality of the covenant for understanding the Bible. Bullinger and Zwingli before him concluded that the covenant was the key idea to understanding the Bible. Covenant theology, then, is an idea that goes back to the ancient church with Augustine, and is one of the important insights of the theology of the Reformed tradition. If one identifies with the Presbyterian tradition, another name for the Reformed tradition, one will quickly recognize that covenantal teaching is foundational in the Westminster Standards. Following Zwingli and Bullinger, Calvin emphasized the covenant and joined them in teaching that the covenant is a key idea to understand the Bible’s theology and to show its great unity in Christ. III. Calvin’s Emphasis On The Unity Of The Bible Seen In The Formula of the Covenant. What are some of the distinctives of covenant theology? First, let us speak of the formula of the covenant. A baker or a cook knows if one leaves something out of the recipe or formula, a disaster results. Leave out the baking powder and one might not have a good desert. A chemist has a formula that creates a certain chemical reaction. Similarly, there is a formula that describes the covenant. According to Calvin, it is, “I will be your God and you will be My people.” This phrase is encountered repeatedly in the Bible. A few examples include Genesis 17, Leviticus 26, Jeremiah 32, Ezekiel 36, 2 Corinthians 6, Hebrews 8 and Revelation 21. The formula of the covenant begins in the Old Testament, moves to the New Testament and carries forward into heaven in Biblical revelation. Notice that the formula of the covenant does not say, “I will be your God and you will be My peoples” in the plural. It says “I will be your God and you will be My people” in the singular. As it proceeds from the Old Testament to the New Testament to heaven, it manifests one people of God in relationship with God. It also reveals that the covenant is a relationship that God Himself initiates with man. This is seen in the divine “I”. The formula of the covenant does not say, “Let’s make a deal” or “Let’s make a bargain.” It begins with “I will be your God.” God takes the initiative. We call this monergism, mono-lateral salvation, sovereign grace, or Calvinism.. God takes the first step. He seeks us out. Jesus Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost (Lk. 17:10). In the covenant, God takes the initiative and by His initiation we become His people. Consider three texts: Jeremiah 31:31, Genesis 15 and Genesis 17. Jerome of Bethlehem translated the Hebrew and Greek Bible into Latin creating what was been called the Vulgate translation which is still the official translation for the Roman Catholic Church. Jerome wanted to differentiate the books of Israel before the coming of Christ (Genesis to Malachi) from the books after the coming of Christ (Matthew to Revelation). He called the first the Old Testament and the second, the New Testament. To do so, he utilized Jeremiah 31 where it says, “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel. Jerome translated the Hebrew word berith, by the Latin word, testamentum which can mean either a covenant or a testament, as in a last will and testament. Berith literally means “to cut” something and thus by implication a covenant because a covenant was made by sacrifice. And so after Jerome, we have spoken of the Old Testament and the New Testament as the two great sections of the canon of Scripture. But the Hebrew word that used in Jeremiah 31 suggests that we should rather speak of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant rather the Old Testament and the New Testament. This would help us to realize how important the idea of covenant is. The point here is that the idea of the covenant helps to organize the entire Bible because the Bible is God’s covenant with His people. IV. Calvin’s Covenantal Dictum For Interpreting The Bible: The Covenant Is Always The Same In Substance, Yet It Is Distinct In Administration. Now let’s take this a step further. Let’s consider how to read the Bible in a way that ties the Bible, Old and New Testament, into one book, that sees the Bible as a whole book for one people of God. How then do we make the Old Testament and the New Testament come together? Along with Calvin’s emphasis on the formula of the covenant, we find a basic interpretive principle that he presents to understand the history of salvation in the Bible. This says, “The covenant is always the same in substance but distinct in administration.” Substance means what something really is. Administration has the idea of how one governs something. For example, there’s an administration of a president that is followed by a different president who governs or administers in another way. This also holds in the administration of a family. For example, I have had a mother now for many years. When I was about two or three years old and learning to walk across the street my mother used to hold my hand and say, “Peter, you can’t run across the street now. You can only go when I let you go, and when you walk, you hold on to my hand. I don’t want you to get hurt in the traffic.” When I go home and see my Mom today, and when we cross the street I take hold of her arm and say, “Mom hold on to me. I don’t want you to fall down in traffic while we’re walking across the street.” We administer our love and concern for safety for each other differently now then when I was a child. Nevertheless, the love of our family is unchanged. The substance of family love is unchanged. The administration of family safety is quite different. In the same sort of way, the covenant is always the same in substance Christ’s saving love for His people while it is administered differently, as by sacrifice in the OT and by worship of the incarnate Christ in the NT. Calvin’s views of the continuity of the covenant can be presented as follows: A Summary of Calvin’s Arguments for the Spiritual Continuity of the Old and New Covenants They are the Same in Substance 1. Same Law and same Doctrine since Beginning of World 2. Christ is Mediator of the Covenants 3. Both have the Grace of Justification 4. Sacraments have Equal Significance in both 5. Both have the Word of God, which is to have Eternal Life 6. The Formula of the Covenant Common to both includes Eternal Life As we look at the Bible from Calvin’s perspective, the substance of the Bible is always Jesus the Messiah and His saving work. But the way that God explains what the Messiah was to do changed from the Old Testament to the New. In the Old Testament there were bloody sacrifices and there was a high priest and there was a tabernacle or temple. In the New Testament we don’t have those things. Things are administered differently now. Another helpful example is a building with its scaffolding. When a building is being built there are scaffolds set up around it. But when the building is complete, the scaffolds are taken down and removed since they are no longer needed. Thus the Old Testament administration of the covenant of grace was administered by animal sacrifices, rituals, dietary laws and high priests. All those things were the scaffolds used to bring the Messiah into the world. Now that He’s come, God administers His saving work differently and the Old Testament administration of the covenant has ended. Thus its visible signs and practices, its scaffolds, have been removed. V. While Christ Is The Heart Of The Bible There Is Continuity And Discontinuity In The Covenant. Another way to speak of the substance of the covenant is to see it summarized in the formula of the covenant, “I will be your God and you will be My people.” That has always been the heart of the Bible even though God’s administration of His covenant changes through time. Another phrase to describe this dual emphasis of unchanging substance with differing administrations is to emphasize the continuity and discontinuity of the Old and New Testaments. Thus from a Presbyterian perspective, we baptize the children of believers in the New Testament because the children of believers in the Old Testament were circumcised. Circumcision and baptism are very different in administration, but they are the same in substance. They both declare that God is in covenant with His people. The way the sacrament was administered before Christ came was different than after Christ because the shedding of human or animal blood was pointing to Christ’s saving sacrifice that alone could truly take away the sin of the world. But now that Christ has come and shed His blood, we no longer have need to shed sacrificial blood. Similarly, the Passover became the Lord’s Supper. The change was needed because there is no longer any shedding of blood. Thus Christians do not slay the Passover lamb. Jesus has fulfilled that picture. The Passover was always pointing to Him, the substance of the covenant. The diversity of the covenant is in its form. The continuity of the Covenant is in Christ, the Passover Lamb. We continue to have the bread and the cup of Passover pointing us to the fact that God takes His wrath away from His people because His Son has shed His blood for us and that blood has been placed upon the lentil of our hearts so that we might be saved. Calvin enumerates five differences between the covenants. They relate only to the externals and not to the substance of the covenant. Calvin’s View of the Differences In Administration Between the Old and New Covenants Old Covenant Before Christ New Covenant After Christ 1. Material and Temporal Blessings represent spiritual blessings 1. Direct Meditation upon spiritual blessings 2. Images & Ceremonies as types of Christ 2. Full Revelation of Christ in His Incarnation 3. The OT Law is letter that kills 3. The NT Gospel is spirit that makes alive a. The OT Law in the narrow sense condemns because it is the demand of Law without the Holy Spirit’s Aid a. In the New Covenant the Law is written upon the heart by the Spirit in the Gospel and is accompanied by the forgiveness of sins b. The OT Law in the broad sense includes the Gospel by borrowing from it the Promises of Christ b. The Gospel of the New Covenant has been the experience of God’s Children since the beginning of the World 4. The Old Covenant was characterized by bondage and fear 4. The New Covenant is characterized by freedom and trust 5. The Old Covenant was limited to Israel 5. The New Covenant is extended to all nations So as we learn to think covenantally, we discover the interconnectedness of the formula of the covenant, the substance and administration of the covenant, and the continuity and discontinuity of the covenant. The substance of the covenant unites the whole Bible emphasizing the continuity of the covenant even though the administration of the covenant differs through history emphasizing the discontinuity of the covenant. VI. God’s Promises Of Salvation In Christ Are Organically Present In The Old Testament: The Covenant Is The “DNA” Of The History Of Salvation. How do we understand the stories in the Bible and how do we understand our Christian lives? We must read the Bible as a history of salvation and not as a logically arranged systematic theology. God didn’t inspire a systematic theology of Jesus. He did not provide us with a Biblical book entitled, “The Doctrine of God” or “The Doctrine of the Church.” The Bible is a history of salvation. They Bible reveals the dramatic stories of what God did through redemptive history. The unfolding character of God’s story is a mystery until the whole story is done. Mysteries, surprises, twists and turns keep on coming as God’s organic plan is progressively unfolded. One of the great covenant teachers of the early twentieth century was Geerhardus Vos who taught at Princeton and impacted our professors at Westminster. He developed and emphasized the historic, organic unfolding of salvation in Scripture. What does “organic” mean? If someone plants a garden of flowers, he needs some seeds. When one looks at a seed, the seed already contains its blossom. But if one has never seen that seed before he would not be able to guess what it is. But because of the seed’s organic development, everything that the mature tree is to become is already present in its seed. And that’s the way the Bible is, right from its beginning. The whole story of the Bible is already present when God said, “He will crush his head and he will bruise his heel,” in Genesis 3:15. That is the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We can go back and read it in light of the Gospel and realize that the Gospel was there all along. Initially, men did not understand that. It took the unfolding of the history of salvation until finally the wonderful resurrection and victory of Christ was clear. But it was always there because the whole Bible is about Christ. Consider Luke 24 where Jesus gives His first Bible study after His resurrection. Jesus speaks to two men on the road to Emmaus who were discussing the story of the crucifixion and the rumors that the tomb was empty. Luke 24:36ff says, While they were still talking about this, Jesus Himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at My hands and My feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, He asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, and He took it and ate it in their presence. He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you. Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then He opened their minds so that they could understand the Scriptures. Now when Jesus refers “to everything that was written about Him in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms,” He was identifying the three main divisions of the Canon of the Old Testament. That was the way the Jews divided the books of the Old Testament. In essence He was saying, “It matters not which Old Testament book you read, if your mind has been opened by My Spirit, you will discover that it all speaks of me.” That is the way Jesus wants His people to read the Bible; to see that it is all about Him. The Bible is the dramatic story of the history of redemption that organically unfolds Jesus’ saving work. Thus covenant theology rejects the Dispensational notion that the OT is for the Jewish people of God and the NT is for the Gentile people of God. Instead, covenant theology teaches that the whole Bible is about Christ who came to save all of God’s people who by faith become the true Israel whether they are Jews or Gentiles. VII. Boundary Disputes: The Covenantal Interpretation And the Dispensational Interpretation of the Old Testament Land Promises. It’s at this point where one of the greatest differences arises between Dispensationalism and covenant theology. Dispensationalists say the many land promises that God gave to Israel are yet to be fulfilled. This they claim will occur when the church is raptured, and when after the seven year tribulation, the kingdom finally comes, then all the land promises to Israel will be literally fulfilled. Covenant Theology believes Dispensationalists are misreading the Bible when they interpret the Bible in that way. Consider here 2 Corinthians 1:18-20. The apostle Paul is writing to the church in Corinth about the truthfulness of his ministry. He says in 1:18, But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No” but in him it has always been “Yes.” The key verse is verse 20: For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. What Paul is saying is that if one finds any promise in the Bible and if he interprets it without Christ, he’s misreading it. Every promise is “yes” and “amen” in Christ. If one does not read the Bible this way, it is as though Jesus becomes irrelevant to that promise. For Paul, then, every land promise and every other redemptive promise always finds its meaning in Christ. The point is that there is continuity and discontinuity in the covenant. The land promises are to be understood as though God had said, “I have redeemed you out of the world to be my people. Thus I’ve given you a heavenly land which is my true and ultimate promised land.” Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” And at the conclusion of Revelation, when we are in Heaven, we have God dwelling with us. Then God says, “I will be your God and you will be My people, in a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness.” That is why the writer of the Hebrews teaches in Hebrews 11 that Abraham was not looking for real estate in Palestine when he left early Ur. Instead, he was looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. A covenant theologian can say “yes and amen” to that in Christ. Paul declares that that is how we are to read the Bible. If we don’t read the Bible in this way, we are misreading it. But Dispensationalism teaches that the Bible is to be read without seeing all of it promises fulfilled in the ultimate culmination of all things in Jesus Christ. VIII. Covenant Theology Teaches That The Kingdom Is Not Just Future, It Is Already But Not Yet. The formula of the covenant reflects the substance of the covenant, while the administration of the covenant was different before Christ came than its administration after Christ came and ascended to heaven. Having ascended to the right Hand of the Father, He poured out His Holy Spirit on His people inaugurating His kingdom. God’s Kingdom began at Pentecost. The kingdom is now here even though it is still not yet here fully. The Kingdom is already but not yet. Chuck Colson illustrated this by the D-Day invasion. When the Marines hit Omaha beach and took the cliffs they did the impossible. Having accomplished this, they were confident that one day they would conquer the Third Reich. They already had won but they had not yet won. There was still a long battle yet ahead even though they had secured that victory by doing the impossible. The incarnation of Jesus Christ and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and its birth of the New Testament era of covenant life are the beginning of the kingdom. One day Satan’s “Third Reich” is going to fall and the whole kingdom will be come even though it has already begun and we as believers are part of it. Jesus Kingdom is already here. (See Matthew 12:28; 13:40-43; Acts 1:3; 28:31; Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:6.) Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)(Pennsylvania Proclamation Presbyterian Church(미국 펜실베이니어 선포장로교회))
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(1)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(1)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1;13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6)/ Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)/ 2015-02-12 A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(1) Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1;3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1;13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6) A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(1) Matthew 12:28, Matthew 13:40-43, Acts 1:3, Acts 28:31, Col. 1:13, Rev. 1:6 In this 500th anniversary year of the birth of John Calvin, we remember the work of the Genevan Reformer who permanently impacted the Protestant Reformation and Reformed theology. This can be seen especially in his teachings of the covenant. Calvin’s approach to the covenant makes a difference in the way one interprets the Scriptures and describes their unity in Christ’s saving work. In Calvin’s understanding of the covenant, we also discover a structure for developing the saving benefits of Christ as well as the Christian life and sacraments. Our study will engage Calvin’s covenantal hermeneutic as well as his covenant theology. Let us consider Calvin and the covenant with the specific backdrop of Dispensationalism, one of the important evangelical theologies of our day. Although dispensationalism was a system unknown to Calvin since it had not yet been formulated in his day, Calvin’s covenantal thought stands in distinction to dispensationalism and offers a ready critique to its leading ideas. Lecture One: A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic. In this first lecture, we will consider the following eight points: I. The Differences Between Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. II. The Differing Historical Origins Of Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. III. Calvin’s Emphasis On The Unity Of The Bible Seen In The Formula of the Covenant. IV. Calvin’s Covenantal Dictum For Interpreting The Bible: The Covenant Is Always The Same In Substance, Yet It Is Distinct In Administration. V. While Christ Is The Heart Of The Bible There Is Continuity And Discontinuity In The Covenant. VI. God’s Promises Of Salvation In Christ Are Organically Present In The Old Testament: The Covenant Is The “DNA” Of The History Of Salvation. VII. Boundary Disputes: The Covenantal Interpretation And the Dispensational Interpretation of the Old Testament Land Promises. VIII. Covenant Theology Teaches That The Kingdom Is Not Just Future, It Is Already But Not Yet. Let us begin, then, by addressing the first of these eight points. I. The Differences Between Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. What makes dispensationalism to be Dispensationalism and what makes covenant theology to be covenant theology? When one reads his Bible, does the difference between these two approaches to interpreting the Bible matter? After all, people who read the Bible with a dispensational perspective believe in Jesus Christ. And people who hold to the covenant theological tradition do so as well. So this is not a debate about who is a Christian and who is not. It is a debate about the proper way to understand the Bible. So what makes Dispensationalism, dispensationalism? Dr. Charles Ryrie stated in Dispensationalism Today that the sine qua non of Dispensationalism is the distinction between the Church and Israel. Thus without the distinction between the Church and Israel, there is no Dispensationalism. Accordingly, the central idea of Dispensationalism is that there are two peoples of God: the Old Testament people of God called Israel, and the New Testament people of God called the Church. These two are entirely different. Dispensationalism declares that when Jesus came, He brought His kingdom to His Old Testament people but they rejected Him. Because they rejected Him they were set aside and God initiated an entirely different dispensation, the Church age. This age is a “great parenthesis”. The dispensation of the church is the age of grace after the Old Testament dispensation of Israel and the law. Then at the end of the church age, the church will be raptured out of the world before seven years of tribulation. God will return to His Old Testament plan for Israel. That plan is to bring the lapsed kingdom to a restored Israel. Thus the church is in the middle of God’s work with OT Israel and His work with the restored Israel after the rapture of the church. The kingdom in Dispensationalism therefore is futurethe premillennial kingdom. For dispensational theology, the kingdom has not come. It was rejected by Israel, and instead, Jesus planted His church. When the church is taken up, then the kingdom for Israel will come. Thus for Dispensationalism, the kingdom is future to be fulfilled in a literal thousand year kingdom as referenced in Revelation 20. Three foundational ideas of Dispensationalism, then, are: (1) there are two peoples of God, (2) the Church and Israel are to be kept distinct, and (3) the kingdom is for Israel and is primarily future. Covenant Theology takes a very different view of these three issues. How then does one define covenant theology? To begin, covenant theology teaches that there is only one people of God. This one people of God can be internally distinguished as the people who were looking forward to the Messiah to come from the people who are looking back at the fact that He’s come and is coming again. Nevertheless, these are one and same people of the Messiah. They are the true Israel of God. So whether we are speaking of the church, or of the Old Testament saint, they are part of the one people of God. Thus for Covenant Theology, the kingdom is not just totally future. The kingdom is already here even though there is much more yet to come. It is “already and not yet.” Covenant Theology declares that there is a kingdom that is already at work, and yet it is to come in far greater glory. This present and future kingdom has been brought to the one people of God, those who were looking forward to the first coming of the Messiah and those that are looking back at His having come and who is yet to come again a second time. Thus Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology are two different systems and two different ways of reading the Bible. II. The Differing Historical Origins Of Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. Next, let us summarize the history of each. Dispensationalism is a recent development in the history of the church. It began in the late 1800s in Plymouth, England under the teaching of John Nelson Darby, who developed the leading ideas of the Dispensational system. Dispensationalism has been popularized through Bible colleges and Bible publications. It is now a theology known around the world. Covenant Theology, on the other hand, goes back to the ancient church. St. Augustine put it this way, “The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed. The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.” This simple theological dictum well summarizes the heart of Covenant Theology. Augustine is saying that the whole Bible is about Jesus. Augustine’s point is that the whole Bible is about Jesus whether one reads the Old or the New Testament. Both Testaments are interrelated in the coming of Christ. Augustine’s and other early Christian biblical scholars’ recognition of the unity of the Bible in Christ came to its own in the Reformation. In 1534 only 17 years after Luther’s 95 Theses, Henry Bullinger wrote the first treatise on the covenant, entitled, “Of The One And Eternal Testament or Covenant of God.” Bullinger was a Swiss Reformer working at the beginning of the Reformation. Because the Reformed theologians went back to a direct exegetical study of the Bible, following the principle of as sola scriptura, they rediscovered the centrality of the covenant for understanding the Bible. Bullinger and Zwingli before him concluded that the covenant was the key idea to understanding the Bible. Covenant theology, then, is an idea that goes back to the ancient church with Augustine, and is one of the important insights of the theology of the Reformed tradition. If one identifies with the Presbyterian tradition, another name for the Reformed tradition, one will quickly recognize that covenantal teaching is foundational in the Westminster Standards. Following Zwingli and Bullinger, Calvin emphasized the covenant and joined them in teaching that the covenant is a key idea to understand the Bible’s theology and to show its great unity in Christ. III. Calvin’s Emphasis On The Unity Of The Bible Seen In The Formula of the Covenant. What are some of the distinctives of covenant theology? First, let us speak of the formula of the covenant. A baker or a cook knows if one leaves something out of the recipe or formula, a disaster results. Leave out the baking powder and one might not have a good desert. A chemist has a formula that creates a certain chemical reaction. Similarly, there is a formula that describes the covenant. According to Calvin, it is, “I will be your God and you will be My people.” This phrase is encountered repeatedly in the Bible. A few examples include Genesis 17, Leviticus 26, Jeremiah 32, Ezekiel 36, 2 Corinthians 6, Hebrews 8 and Revelation 21. The formula of the covenant begins in the Old Testament, moves to the New Testament and carries forward into heaven in Biblical revelation. Notice that the formula of the covenant does not say, “I will be your God and you will be My peoples” in the plural. It says “I will be your God and you will be My people” in the singular. As it proceeds from the Old Testament to the New Testament to heaven, it manifests one people of God in relationship with God. It also reveals that the covenant is a relationship that God Himself initiates with man. This is seen in the divine “I”. The formula of the covenant does not say, “Let’s make a deal” or “Let’s make a bargain.” It begins with “I will be your God.” God takes the initiative. We call this monergism, mono-lateral salvation, sovereign grace, or Calvinism.. God takes the first step. He seeks us out. Jesus Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost (Lk. 17:10). In the covenant, God takes the initiative and by His initiation we become His people. Consider three texts: Jeremiah 31:31, Genesis 15 and Genesis 17. Jerome of Bethlehem translated the Hebrew and Greek Bible into Latin creating what was been called the Vulgate translation which is still the official translation for the Roman Catholic Church. Jerome wanted to differentiate the books of Israel before the coming of Christ (Genesis to Malachi) from the books after the coming of Christ (Matthew to Revelation). He called the first the Old Testament and the second, the New Testament. To do so, he utilized Jeremiah 31 where it says, “I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel. Jerome translated the Hebrew word berith, by the Latin word, testamentum which can mean either a covenant or a testament, as in a last will and testament. Berith literally means “to cut” something and thus by implication a covenant because a covenant was made by sacrifice. And so after Jerome, we have spoken of the Old Testament and the New Testament as the two great sections of the canon of Scripture. But the Hebrew word that used in Jeremiah 31 suggests that we should rather speak of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant rather the Old Testament and the New Testament. This would help us to realize how important the idea of covenant is. The point here is that the idea of the covenant helps to organize the entire Bible because the Bible is God’s covenant with His people. IV. Calvin’s Covenantal Dictum For Interpreting The Bible: The Covenant Is Always The Same In Substance, Yet It Is Distinct In Administration. Now let’s take this a step further. Let’s consider how to read the Bible in a way that ties the Bible, Old and New Testament, into one book, that sees the Bible as a whole book for one people of God. How then do we make the Old Testament and the New Testament come together? Along with Calvin’s emphasis on the formula of the covenant, we find a basic interpretive principle that he presents to understand the history of salvation in the Bible. This says, “The covenant is always the same in substance but distinct in administration.” Substance means what something really is. Administration has the idea of how one governs something. For example, there’s an administration of a president that is followed by a different president who governs or administers in another way. This also holds in the administration of a family. For example, I have had a mother now for many years. When I was about two or three years old and learning to walk across the street my mother used to hold my hand and say, “Peter, you can’t run across the street now. You can only go when I let you go, and when you walk, you hold on to my hand. I don’t want you to get hurt in the traffic.” When I go home and see my Mom today, and when we cross the street I take hold of her arm and say, “Mom hold on to me. I don’t want you to fall down in traffic while we’re walking across the street.” We administer our love and concern for safety for each other differently now then when I was a child. Nevertheless, the love of our family is unchanged. The substance of family love is unchanged. The administration of family safety is quite different. In the same sort of way, the covenant is always the same in substance Christ’s saving love for His people while it is administered differently, as by sacrifice in the OT and by worship of the incarnate Christ in the NT. Calvin’s views of the continuity of the covenant can be presented as follows: A Summary of Calvin’s Arguments for the Spiritual Continuity of the Old and New Covenants They are the Same in Substance 1. Same Law and same Doctrine since Beginning of World 2. Christ is Mediator of the Covenants 3. Both have the Grace of Justification 4. Sacraments have Equal Significance in both 5. Both have the Word of God, which is to have Eternal Life 6. The Formula of the Covenant Common to both includes Eternal Life As we look at the Bible from Calvin’s perspective, the substance of the Bible is always Jesus the Messiah and His saving work. But the way that God explains what the Messiah was to do changed from the Old Testament to the New. In the Old Testament there were bloody sacrifices and there was a high priest and there was a tabernacle or temple. In the New Testament we don’t have those things. Things are administered differently now. Another helpful example is a building with its scaffolding. When a building is being built there are scaffolds set up around it. But when the building is complete, the scaffolds are taken down and removed since they are no longer needed. Thus the Old Testament administration of the covenant of grace was administered by animal sacrifices, rituals, dietary laws and high priests. All those things were the scaffolds used to bring the Messiah into the world. Now that He’s come, God administers His saving work differently and the Old Testament administration of the covenant has ended. Thus its visible signs and practices, its scaffolds, have been removed. V. While Christ Is The Heart Of The Bible There Is Continuity And Discontinuity In The Covenant. Another way to speak of the substance of the covenant is to see it summarized in the formula of the covenant, “I will be your God and you will be My people.” That has always been the heart of the Bible even though God’s administration of His covenant changes through time. Another phrase to describe this dual emphasis of unchanging substance with differing administrations is to emphasize the continuity and discontinuity of the Old and New Testaments. Thus from a Presbyterian perspective, we baptize the children of believers in the New Testament because the children of believers in the Old Testament were circumcised. Circumcision and baptism are very different in administration, but they are the same in substance. They both declare that God is in covenant with His people. The way the sacrament was administered before Christ came was different than after Christ because the shedding of human or animal blood was pointing to Christ’s saving sacrifice that alone could truly take away the sin of the world. But now that Christ has come and shed His blood, we no longer have need to shed sacrificial blood. Similarly, the Passover became the Lord’s Supper. The change was needed because there is no longer any shedding of blood. Thus Christians do not slay the Passover lamb. Jesus has fulfilled that picture. The Passover was always pointing to Him, the substance of the covenant. The diversity of the covenant is in its form. The continuity of the Covenant is in Christ, the Passover Lamb. We continue to have the bread and the cup of Passover pointing us to the fact that God takes His wrath away from His people because His Son has shed His blood for us and that blood has been placed upon the lentil of our hearts so that we might be saved. Calvin enumerates five differences between the covenants. They relate only to the externals and not to the substance of the covenant. Calvin’s View of the Differences In Administration Between the Old and New Covenants Old Covenant Before Christ New Covenant After Christ 1. Material and Temporal Blessings represent spiritual blessings 1. Direct Meditation upon spiritual blessings 2. Images & Ceremonies as types of Christ 2. Full Revelation of Christ in His Incarnation 3. The OT Law is letter that kills 3. The NT Gospel is spirit that makes alive a. The OT Law in the narrow sense condemns because it is the demand of Law without the Holy Spirit’s Aid a. In the New Covenant the Law is written upon the heart by the Spirit in the Gospel and is accompanied by the forgiveness of sins b. The OT Law in the broad sense includes the Gospel by borrowing from it the Promises of Christ b. The Gospel of the New Covenant has been the experience of God’s Children since the beginning of the World 4. The Old Covenant was characterized by bondage and fear 4. The New Covenant is characterized by freedom and trust 5. The Old Covenant was limited to Israel 5. The New Covenant is extended to all nations So as we learn to think covenantally, we discover the interconnectedness of the formula of the covenant, the substance and administration of the covenant, and the continuity and discontinuity of the covenant. The substance of the covenant unites the whole Bible emphasizing the continuity of the covenant even though the administration of the covenant differs through history emphasizing the discontinuity of the covenant. VI. God’s Promises Of Salvation In Christ Are Organically Present In The Old Testament: The Covenant Is The “DNA” Of The History Of Salvation. How do we understand the stories in the Bible and how do we understand our Christian lives? We must read the Bible as a history of salvation and not as a logically arranged systematic theology. God didn’t inspire a systematic theology of Jesus. He did not provide us with a Biblical book entitled, “The Doctrine of God” or “The Doctrine of the Church.” The Bible is a history of salvation. They Bible reveals the dramatic stories of what God did through redemptive history. The unfolding character of God’s story is a mystery until the whole story is done. Mysteries, surprises, twists and turns keep on coming as God’s organic plan is progressively unfolded. One of the great covenant teachers of the early twentieth century was Geerhardus Vos who taught at Princeton and impacted our professors at Westminster. He developed and emphasized the historic, organic unfolding of salvation in Scripture. What does “organic” mean? If someone plants a garden of flowers, he needs some seeds. When one looks at a seed, the seed already contains its blossom. But if one has never seen that seed before he would not be able to guess what it is. But because of the seed’s organic development, everything that the mature tree is to become is already present in its seed. And that’s the way the Bible is, right from its beginning. The whole story of the Bible is already present when God said, “He will crush his head and he will bruise his heel,” in Genesis 3:15. That is the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We can go back and read it in light of the Gospel and realize that the Gospel was there all along. Initially, men did not understand that. It took the unfolding of the history of salvation until finally the wonderful resurrection and victory of Christ was clear. But it was always there because the whole Bible is about Christ. Consider Luke 24 where Jesus gives His first Bible study after His resurrection. Jesus speaks to two men on the road to Emmaus who were discussing the story of the crucifixion and the rumors that the tomb was empty. Luke 24:36ff says, While they were still talking about this, Jesus Himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at My hands and My feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, He asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave Him a piece of broiled fish, and He took it and ate it in their presence. He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you. Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then He opened their minds so that they could understand the Scriptures. Now when Jesus refers “to everything that was written about Him in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms,” He was identifying the three main divisions of the Canon of the Old Testament. That was the way the Jews divided the books of the Old Testament. In essence He was saying, “It matters not which Old Testament book you read, if your mind has been opened by My Spirit, you will discover that it all speaks of me.” That is the way Jesus wants His people to read the Bible; to see that it is all about Him. The Bible is the dramatic story of the history of redemption that organically unfolds Jesus’ saving work. Thus covenant theology rejects the Dispensational notion that the OT is for the Jewish people of God and the NT is for the Gentile people of God. Instead, covenant theology teaches that the whole Bible is about Christ who came to save all of God’s people who by faith become the true Israel whether they are Jews or Gentiles. VII. Boundary Disputes: The Covenantal Interpretation And the Dispensational Interpretation of the Old Testament Land Promises. It’s at this point where one of the greatest differences arises between Dispensationalism and covenant theology. Dispensationalists say the many land promises that God gave to Israel are yet to be fulfilled. This they claim will occur when the church is raptured, and when after the seven year tribulation, the kingdom finally comes, then all the land promises to Israel will be literally fulfilled. Covenant Theology believes Dispensationalists are misreading the Bible when they interpret the Bible in that way. Consider here 2 Corinthians 1:18-20. The apostle Paul is writing to the church in Corinth about the truthfulness of his ministry. He says in 1:18, But as surely as God is faithful, our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me and Silas and Timothy, was not “Yes” and “No” but in him it has always been “Yes.” The key verse is verse 20: For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. What Paul is saying is that if one finds any promise in the Bible and if he interprets it without Christ, he’s misreading it. Every promise is “yes” and “amen” in Christ. If one does not read the Bible this way, it is as though Jesus becomes irrelevant to that promise. For Paul, then, every land promise and every other redemptive promise always finds its meaning in Christ. The point is that there is continuity and discontinuity in the covenant. The land promises are to be understood as though God had said, “I have redeemed you out of the world to be my people. Thus I’ve given you a heavenly land which is my true and ultimate promised land.” Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” And at the conclusion of Revelation, when we are in Heaven, we have God dwelling with us. Then God says, “I will be your God and you will be My people, in a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness.” That is why the writer of the Hebrews teaches in Hebrews 11 that Abraham was not looking for real estate in Palestine when he left early Ur. Instead, he was looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. A covenant theologian can say “yes and amen” to that in Christ. Paul declares that that is how we are to read the Bible. If we don’t read the Bible in this way, we are misreading it. But Dispensationalism teaches that the Bible is to be read without seeing all of it promises fulfilled in the ultimate culmination of all things in Jesus Christ. VIII. Covenant Theology Teaches That The Kingdom Is Not Just Future, It Is Already But Not Yet. The formula of the covenant reflects the substance of the covenant, while the administration of the covenant was different before Christ came than its administration after Christ came and ascended to heaven. Having ascended to the right Hand of the Father, He poured out His Holy Spirit on His people inaugurating His kingdom. God’s Kingdom began at Pentecost. The kingdom is now here even though it is still not yet here fully. The Kingdom is already but not yet. Chuck Colson illustrated this by the D-Day invasion. When the Marines hit Omaha beach and took the cliffs they did the impossible. Having accomplished this, they were confident that one day they would conquer the Third Reich. They already had won but they had not yet won. There was still a long battle yet ahead even though they had secured that victory by doing the impossible. The incarnation of Jesus Christ and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and its birth of the New Testament era of covenant life are the beginning of the kingdom. One day Satan’s “Third Reich” is going to fall and the whole kingdom will be come even though it has already begun and we as believers are part of it. Jesus Kingdom is already here. (See Matthew 12:28; 13:40-43; Acts 1:3; 28:31; Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:6.) Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)(Pennsylvania Proclamation Presbyterian Church(미국 펜실베이니어 선포장로교회)))
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(2)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(2)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1:13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6)/ Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)/ 2015-02-12 A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(2)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1;3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1;13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6) A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(2) Lecture II. A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenant Theology As we saw in the first lecture, Calvin interprets the Bible in a covenantal and Christocentric manner. He is firmly committed to the organic unity of the history of redemption that is explained in its continuity and discontinuity by God’s covenantal revelation. The eight points that we addressed in our first lecture are: I. The Differences Between Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. II. The Differing Historical Origins Of Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. III. Calvin’s Emphasis On The Unity Of The Bible Seen In The Formula of the Covenant. IV. Calvin’s Covenantal Dictum For Interpreting The Bible: The Covenant Is Always The Same In Substance, Yet It Is Distinct In Administration. V. While Christ Is The Heart Of The Bible There Is Continuity And Discontinuity In The Covenant. VI. God’s Promises Of Salvation In Christ Are Organically Present In The Old Testament: The Covenant Is The “DNA” Of The History Of Salvation. VII. Boundary Disputes: The Covenantal Interpretation And the Dispensational Interpretation of the Old Testament Land Promises. VIII. Covenant Theology Teaches That The Kingdom Is Not Just Future, It Is Already But Not Yet. Having seen Calvin’s covenantal hermeneutic and how its implications stand in contrast to the hermeneutics of Dispensationalism, let us now consider Calvin’s covenant theology that flows from his covenantal hermeneutic and see how it stands in critique of Dispensational theology. We will address the following six points in this second lecture: I. Covenant Theology Celebrates Christ’s Incarnation Because By Assuming Humanity, Christ Becomes The Covenant. II. The First Saving Benefit of the Covenant Of Grace Is Justification by Faith Alone. III. The Second Saving Benefit Of The Covenant Of Grace Is Sanctification By Faith and Obedience. IV. The Four-Fold Relationship Of Sanctification And Justification In Calvin’s Covenant Theology. V. The Different Ethical Tendencies Emerging From Covenantal Ethics And Dispensational Ethics. VI. The Corporate Character Of Calvin’s Covenant al Understanding Of Sacraments. Let us then look at the first of these six points. I. Covenant Theology Celebrates Christ’s Incarnation Because By Assuming Humanity, Christ Becomes The Covenant. Before Calvin began to write his theology, Heinrich Bullinger had already emphasized in his 1534 Of The One And Eternal Testament Or Covenant Of God that Christ Himself is the covenant due to His incarnation. Bullinger explains in his tenth section entitled, “Christ, the Seal and Living Confirmation of the Covenant”: What I am about to say of Christ the Lord is not the entire doctrine. Rather, it is that very point worthy of admiration due to His incarnation, namely, the eternal covenant of God with the race of men that covenant which He set forth and confirmed in an astonishing and living way. Indeed, when the true God assumed true humanity, immediately it [i.e., the covenant] was not treated with more words and arguments, rather, by this thing itself, that greatest mystery is attested to the whole world--that God admitted man into covenant and partnership. Further, He bound man to Himself by an indissoluble connection by the highest miracle of love, to be our God. Thus undoubtedly with Isaiah we too believe the name given to Christ (Isaiah 7:14). He is called Immanuel, just as if someone might say, “God with us.” Thus the Gospels review these innumerable miracles and great benefits of Christ with so many examples. By these indeed, Isaiah declared God to be kind, and therefore the Horn of Plenty, the Father, and Shaddai to the human race. To this name also the very death and resurrection of Christ are referred. They [i.e. the words that compose the name Immanuel] are indeed most certain testimonies of the divine mercy, justice, and restitution of life. By Christ, God Himself established and expounded for us all of Himself, before our eyes; blessing us and accepting us as cleansed by Christ, into partnership and the eternal kingdom. All of which John’s Gospel says embraced by the few but heavenly words, “In the beginning was the word, and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory; glory, I say, which was proper for the only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. Indeed of His fullness, we have received grace for grace. Because the law was given by Moses, grace and truth have appeared by Jesus Christ” (John 1:1, 14, 16, 17). You hear this highest truth, that mystery that God has become a man, that is, He has become entirely of us, He Himself dwells among us. You hear that He has begun to shine His power and glory to the world, not for any other plan than that He may draw us to Himself by most beautiful benefits in His love, who is the fullness of our God Shaddai. For Paul also says, “In Christ dwells all the fullness of God bodily, and you are in Him complete and perfect” (Colossians 2:9, 10). In this way, therefore, the Lord Jesus Himself confirmed and displayed the first part of the covenant. The very incarnation shows that God is God--Shaddai, the blessing and eternal happiness of the seed of Abraham. (My translation.) To get at what Bullinger is saying, let us suppose that God said, “I so want you to know that I am your God and that you are My people, that I will give you a proof that you cannot possibly forget or overlook it.” God’s proof of His covenantal commitment is seen in His becoming a man. By Jesus’ incarnation, the God-Man becomes the union of God and man, thus mirroring the very covenant itself. The formula of the covenant says, “I will be your God and you will be My people.” By the incarnation God declared, “Because I am your God and because you are My people, I your God am becoming a human person like you, to be with you.” Isaiah 7:14 says, “The virgin will conceive and have a Son and you will name Him Immanuel”. Immanuel means, “With us is God” or “God with us”. The name Immanuel is the covenant name, meaning that “God is with us”. Jesus as the incarnate Covenant Savior and Lord permanently unites God to His people by taking on unfallen human nature and becoming a man. Thus Jesus’ incarnation physically manifests the formula of the covenant: “I will be your God and you will be My people.” By the incarnation, God in Christ declares, I am with you and you are with Me. Calvin’s emphasis on Christ as the very covenant of God is seen in his extensive Christ-centered development of the covenant of grace’s saving benefits. Consider the following: Let us then set forth the covenant that he once established as eternal and never perishing. Its fulfillment, by which it is finally confirmed and ratified, is Christ. Who, then, dares to separate the Jews from Christ, since with them we hear, was made the covenant of the gospel, the sole foundation of which is Christ? ...the apostle contends that it ought to be terminated and abrogated, to give place to Christ, the Sponsor and Mediator of a better covenant;... This is the new covenant that God in Christ has made with us, that he will remember our sins no more. The intimate relationship of Christ and the covenant for Calvin can be seen by their repeated juxtaposition. The covenant not only contains Christ, but He is its foundation. The promise of both of the Old and New Covenants have Christ as their foundation. Since the New Covenant is from the beginning, the Old Covenant is Christian. Thus the Old Testament fathers had Christ. The law includes Christ. The Old Covenant’s end was Christ and eternal life. In fact, the Old Covenant was an empty show unless Christ’s death and resurrection are part of it. Thus the ark of the Covenant, the Old Testament ceremonies, and the progressive revelation of the Old Covenant all point to Christ. Christ’s advent ushers in the New Covenant that stands in continuity with the Old. The Redeemer’s coming does not invalidate the Old Covenant. Instead, He renews and continues it. He causes it to be new and eternal. By fulfilling and confirming the Old Covenant, Christ brought an eternal and never perishing covenant. Christ’s redemptive work is fully integrated with the covenant. Accordingly, Christ is the Mediator, the Sponsor, the Redeemer, and testator of the covenant. The blood of the covenant in Christ’s atonement or redemptive death for sin is what ratifies the covenant. Thus the covenant is ratified with Christ and His members. Christ’s resurrection, intercession, priesthood, and Kingdom, are associated with the covenant. Indeed, Christ is the one who confirms, seals and sanctions the covenant. Calvin also sees a relationship of Christ and the covenant in the application of redemption in such areas as faith, sonship, union with God and Christ, good works, and the Sacraments. Clearly, Christ and covenant is a major strand in Calvin’s golden chain of salvation. The commentaries also relate Christ and the covenant on numerous points. Calvin further develops his emphasis on Christ as the very covenant of God when he explains the inseparability of the covenant of grace’s saving benefits in the very same manner in which he explains the inseparability of these same saving benefits in Christ Himself. We will consider this below in section IV of this lecture. II. The First Saving Benefit of the Covenant Of Grace Is Justification by Faith Alone. As we have seen, the word for covenant in Hebrew is berith, meaning to cut. In this context, consider Genesis 15. Childless Abram wanted a son. So the Lord brought Abram out to view a clear starry night’ sky. The Lord promised Abram that his children would be as numerous as the stars. We read in Genesis 15:6, Abram believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. We call this justification by faith. In fact, Paul uses this same text in his Epistle to the Romans to show that believers are justified by faith alone. Here God brings righteousness to Abram through faith by means of a covenant, a berith. To make this covenant sacrifice, Abram takes different kinds of animals and cuts them from the top of the head, through the nose, through the torso, all the way through the tail, and then the pieces are laid on the ground. This is indeed a berith, a cutting, a bloody sacrifice. This powerful image was an ancient custom by which one made a covenant. In making a covenant, one slew an animal and then walked between its parts and in essence promised, “If I don’t keep my promise, I will be just like the animals that we’ve just walked between.” To make a mortgage that way with your bank would be to sign it in blood! Here we see a promise joined with a sanction or punishment for disobedience. If the covenanter did not keep his word, he would be like the animal that was just slain. But the story doesn’t stop there. Next Abram watches the sun setting, he gets ready to enter into the covenant but instead he falls into a deep sleep. He is in effect paralyzed and he hears God speak. He sees a theophany, a manifestation of God. It is a smoking pot and a burning oven that alone passes through the middle of the animal parts, while Abram has no part in this covenant. The Lord in effect was saying, “Abram I alone establish the covenant. I alone can bring you righteousness. I alone can fulfill this promise. You cannot do it. But you will benefit by this covenant since you have been justified by faith.” Moreover, the Lord was also making a great promise. In effect He said, “If I don’t keep My promise, I will cease to exist.” But the Lord in essence was also saying even more: “So that you might be righteous, I will have to assume flesh and become the Lamb of God who is slain as a sacrifice for sinners to take away the sin of the world.” In this dramatic story of ancient covenant making by sacrifice, God alone guarantees the formula of the covenant: “I will be your God and you will be My people.” When one is justified by faith in Christ, he does absolutely nothing but receive Christ’s gift of His perfect righteousness before God. This righteousness is imputed to him by faith alone that he receives with a beggar’s hands of faith. Christians are in this covenant by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone as seen in the Scriptures alone so that God alone receives the glory in our salvation. III. The Second Saving Benefit Of The Covenant Of Grace Is Sanctification By Faith and Obedience. But this is not where Abram’s story stops. We next turn to Genesis 17 where we find that the Lord makes a covenant with Abram by changing his name and giving him a new name. So Abram becomes Abraham. As this new name is given, another covenant is made that begins with the words, “Walk before me and be blameless.” In essence God says, “Remember you did not walk between the animal parts before, but were righteous by faith. But now you must walk before me and be blameless. In fact, you are going to have the covenant, the berith, cut in your own flesh. You are going to be the living sacrifice. Your very body is to be cut in the covenant of circumcision.” Thus it is no longer an animal, but Abram who is the covenant sacrifice. By extension, circumcision leads to the circumcision of the heart, the removing of the old nature. This is what Abraham is supposed to become as one who has been justified by faith. He is now to walk with God. This theologians have called sanctification. Those that are justified by faith are also those who are to learn to walk in holiness before God and become living sacrifices, as Paul called them in Romans 12:1-2. In covenant sacrifice, Abram was to give his body onto the Lord as a living sacrifice. Consider again Jeremiah 31. There God said He was going to make a new covenant with Israel, a new berith. It would not be like the covenant that He made with Israel where the law of God was written on tablets of stone and were broken because the people rebelled and worshiped the golden calf. This time God would write the law on Israel’s hearts, forgiving their sins. But notice that the new covenant presents a second great benefit. The first benefit of the covenant is forgiveness of sins which is called justification by faith. The second benefit of the covenant is sanctification in which the law of God is written on the hearts of God’s people so that they will live for Him. Thus the new covenant has two great blessings: justification and sanctification. Reflect again on the formula of the covenant: “I will be your God and you will be my people.” One can hear both the truths of justification and of sanctification in the formula of the covenant. Listen to the two emphases that the covenant formula can be given. The first emphasis says, I will be your God and you will be My people. Do you hear that wonderful promise? God says, “You are righteous through faith in Me. I’m giving you this.” This is the indicative or factual expression of the Covenant of Grace. Now let me read these same words again but accent them in a different way: I will be your God and you will be My people. Do you hear a different nuance in the same words? By emphasizing the words in this way, we move from the indicative to the imperative. In other words, what God has promised, He also demands. And what God demands, He also promises. God’s enabling us to keep His covenant is seen in the fact that He writes His law on our hearts. He has not only forgiven us, but now He also gives us the ability to become His people. This gracious gift is underscored by God’s revealed name in Genesis 17El Shaddai, the Almighty and All-Sufficient God. So justification and sanctification are the two great benefits of the covenant that come to us in God’s covenant of grace. And remember this formula of the covenant goes from Genesis all the way to Revelation and it’s the one people of God that participate in it. All too often Dispensational and evangelical theology separates sanctification from God’s saving grace. It is an expression of growth and maturity but not part of God’s redemptive plan. Covenant theology following Calvin’s emphasis on what he called the “duplex gratiae” or double graces declares that God saves His people by justifying and sanctifying them. IV. The Four-Fold Relationship Of Sanctification And Justification In Calvin’s Covenant Theology. These truths of the covenant must be taught to God’s people of all ages. Accordingly, we need an illustration that is useful for children and grown ups too. So allow me to offer such an illustration by asking you to look carefully at your hands. You have a right hand and a left hand. Your two hands will now stand for the two blessings of the New Covenant: sanctification, I will write my law on your hearts; justification, I will forgive your sins. Let your dominant hand be your justification hand. So if you are right handed, think of your right hand as your justification hand and your left hand as your sanctification hand. If you are left handed, let your left hand be your justification hand and your right hand be your sanctification hand. I want you to learn four important principles of the relationship of justification and sanctification from your two hands. These principles are: 1. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, must be distinguished. 2. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, are simultaneous given. 3. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, are inseparable. 4. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, must be logically ordered. Notice first that a person’s two hands are distinct. That is important to remember. If someone says, “Turn right,” and one turns left he will get into trouble or get lost. Early on, people learn to distinguish their right hands from their left. The point is this: justification and sanctification, the two benefits of the covenant, are distinct. We must distinguish them. The great mistake of Roman Catholicism is to say the way one is justified is by becoming sanctified. Catholicism teaches that if one does good works, God will declare such a one to be righteous. But that destroys justification by faith alone. In this illustration, that is to confuse one’s left hand with his right hand, or to identify his justification with his sanctification. But some evangelicals think of this in an opposite way from Roman Catholics. But still, they confuse their right and left hands, or confuse justification and sanctification. In this view, sometimes called, “easy-believism” one declares, “If I believe in Jesus that is how I become forgiven and holy. It doesn’t matter if I do anything else as long as I believe, because that’s all one needs before God.” This view teaches that one becomes sanctified by being justified. But that is to confuse one’s right hand with his left hand, or to identify one’s sanctification with his justification. This is the reverse of Catholicism, but like Catholicism, it confuses justification and sanctification. Calvin taught and the Reformed faith teaches that there are two great saving benefits of the covenant of grace, and we must never confuse them. We have two hands which are distinct and we must never confuse them. Notice secondly, that the two hands we have, were given to us simultaneously. Humans are born with a right and left hand that come simultaneously. So when God brings us the blessings of the New Covenant, He not only forgives our sins as a completed act and declares us to be righteous by clothing us in the righteousness of Christ, He also gives us the Holy Spirit to begin to make us holy. With this gift of the Holy Spirit, God starts the process of teaching us to become holy, to die to sin and to live to Christ. While the sanctification work of the Holy Spirit is a process that goes on and on, it starts at the same time as our forgiveness or justification in Christ. These two benefits of the covenant are simultaneous. Nevertheless, we must distinguish them for they are different. The third thing we need to realize about these two New Covenant blessings is that they are inseparable. No one decides to take off his left hand when in a hurry and says, “I don’t have time to mess with my left hand today”. If one’s left hand gets separated he uses his other hand to dial a doctor and pleads, “Could you reattach this hand? I don’t want them separated!” Nevertheless, there are people that spiritually speaking want to separate justification from sanctification. A libertine says, “I just want to be forgiven. I want a Jesus credit card so I can just do what I want and know I’m forgiven.” But one cannot do that. The puritans in essence used to say, “When you receive Jesus, you receive Him in all of His offices as prophet, priest, and king. Not just as a priest who gives you forgiveness and a sacrifice. But also as a king who rules over you and a prophet who teaches you His word. You cannot separate his offices.” The opposite of this is the legalist who says, “I don’t need to be forgiven, I will be good enough by my own moral reformation to please God.” This we would call a Pharisee. But the Pharisee is like the Libertine. The only difference is that they seek to cut off the opposite hand! But, the two hands of the covenant of grace are inseparable. Accordingly, Calvin assails those who claim only one benefit of the covenant at the expense of the other. Also, with the same effort these rascals, by canceling one section of it, tear apart God’s covenant, in which we see our salvation contained, and topple it from its foundation. Not only are they guilty of sacrilege in separating things till now joined.... Because Christ and the covenant are so intertwined, there are those who not only try to “tear apart God’s covenant” but who also attempt to “tear Christ in pieces”. Thirdly, he calls him our sanctification, by which he means, that we who are otherwise unholy by nature, are by his Spirit renewed unto holiness, that we may serve God. From this, also, we infer, that we cannot be justified freely through faith alone without at the same time living holily. For these fruits of grace are connected together, as it were, by an indissoluble tie, so that he who attempts to sever them does in a manner tear Christ in pieces. Let therefore the man who seeks to be justified through Christ, by God’s unmerited goodness, consider that this cannot be attained without his taking him at the same time for sanctification, or, in other words, being renewed to innocence and purity of life. Calvin repeatedly uses the image of tearing Christ in pieces to underscore the inseparableness of justification and sanctification. It is indeed true, that we are justified in Christ through the mercy of God alone; but it is equally true and certain, that all who are justified are called by the Lord, that they may live worthy of their vocation. Let then the faithful learn to embrace him, not only for justification, but also for sanctification, as he has been given to us for both these purposes, lest they rend him asunder by their mutilated faith. ...as Christ cannot be torn into parts, so these two which we perceive in him together and conjointly are inseparable--namely, righteousness and sanctification. Whomever, therefore, God receives into grace, on them he at the same time bestows the spirit of adoption, by whose power he remakes them to his own image. But since the question concerns only righteousness and sanctification, let us dwell upon these. Although we may distinguish them, Christ contains both of them inseparably in himself. Do you wish, then to attain righteousness in Christ? You must first possess Christ; but you cannot possess him without being made partaker in his sanctification, because he cannot be divided into pieces [I Corinthians 1:13]. Since, therefore, it is solely by expending himself that the Lord gives us these benefits to enjoy, he bestows both of them at the same time, the one never without the other. Thus it is clear how true it is that we are justified not without works yet not through works, since in our sharing in Christ, which justifies us, sanctification is just as much included as righteousness. The covenant therefore helps to organize the benefits of salvation. The two covenantal benefits of justification and sanctification are distinct, yet they are inseparably related and simultaneously received in Christ. Thus Christ and the covenant are essentially identified since both are the source of these great redemptive benefits. This doctrine gives Calvin a two edged sword to wield against his theological opponents. The Romanist, who thought his works merited salvation, was confronted with the fact that good works without Christ’s righteousness were still impure. The Libertine, who thought that Christ’s death made him spiritually pure regardless of his personal life, was confronted with the inseparability of the Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration and Christ’s righteousness. The three ideas from Calvin we have considered so far concerning the relationship of the two benefits of the covenant are: 1. Justification and Sanctification must be distinguished. 2. Justification and Sanctification are simultaneous given. 3. Justification and Sanctification are inseparable. Now let us consider the fourth idea of the relationship of justification and sanctification in Calvin: 4. Justification and Sanctification must be logically ordered. Or to put it in Calvin’s terms, what is subordinate is not contrary. The fourth point, then, that Calvin makes is that the two benefits of the covenant of grace are to be logically ordered. Or to put it another way, one benefit of the covenant is dominant and the other is subordinate. This too is like our two hands. If one is right handed, the right hand is the dominant hand over the left hand. The point that we must see here is that justification is always dominant over sanctification and sanctification is always dependent upon and subordinate to justification. So if one is right handed, it means his right hand, his justification hand, is the primary hand and the left hand, his sanctification hand, is dependent upon and subordinate to the right hand. Theologically speaking, this means that one can never say, “I know I’m forgiven because I’m doing so many good things.” This is to confuse the gospel. Instead, one must say, “Because I am forgiven and righteous in Christ, I can and will live for Him by the Holy Spirit.” Calvin compared justification to the foundation of a house, and he likened sanctification to the superstructure built upon that foundation. Thus the house of sanctification is always dependent upon the foundation of justification. Calvin actually uses an important dictum that comes from the medieval tradition, namely, “What is subordinate is not contrary.” What he meant in this context is that the righteousness of the believer’s obedience, which is real righteousness before God, does not present an alternate or contrary way of salvation. This is because sanctification is under or subordinate to the greater righteousness of Christ’s obedience in justification. Sanctification righteousness although graciously produced by the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the believer is nevertheless subordinate to Christ’s righteousness bestowed in justification. So sanctification is not a competing way of salvation for the believer since it is always inferior to the righteousness of Christ. Indeed, sanctification righteousness honors justification righteousness and by its very existence manifests the superior righteousness of Christ in justification. Accordingly, sanctification does not produce justification or have any role in justification’s work of forgiveness or of imputing the perfect righteousness of Christ. One must never depend on his own new obedience or sanctification. Instead, he must always depend upon Christ. To return to our analogy, the dependent hand of sanctification must always rely on the superior hand of justification that lays hold of Christ by faith. Thus Calvin’s covenant doctrine does not permit the law to be in opposition to the gospel after the blessings of the covenant are bestowed upon a believer. Justification and sanctification are necessary components of the divine benefits of salvation. They are bestowed “at the same time”. Yet a logical order exists between them which must not be overlooked. Since the “spirit” is added to the “letter” of the law, the believer has a true righteousness of obedience. But, It is a subordinate righteousness to the righteousness of Christ. Yet it is not a contrary righteousness. Calvin affirms this principle in his Antidote to the Council of Trent. We, indeed, willingly acknowledge, that believers ought to make daily increase in good works, and that the good works wherewith they are adorned by God, are sometimes distinguished by the name of righteousness. But since the whole value of works is derived from no other foundation than that of gratuitous acceptance, how absurd were it to make the former overthrow the latter! Why do they not remember what they learned when boys at school, that what is subordinate is not contrary? (Emphasis mine.) I say that it is owing to free imputation that we are considered righteous before God; I say that from this also another benefit proceeds, viz., that our works have the name of righteousness, though they are far from having the reality of righteousness. In short, I affirm, that not by our own merit but by faith alone, are both our persons and works justified; and the justification of works depends on the justification of the person, as the effect on the cause. Therefore, it is necessary that the righteousness of faith alone so precede in order, and be so preeminent in degree, that nothing can go before it or obscure it. In his The True Method of Giving Peace and Reforming the Church, Calvin again explains the subordination of the Christian’s works righteousness to the righteousness of faith. In order that ambiguities may be removed, it is necessary that the Righteousness which we obtain by faith, and which is freely bestowed upon us, should be placed in the highest rank, so that, as often as the conscience is brought before the tribunal of God, it alone may shine forth. In this way the righteousness of works, to whatever extent it may exist in us, being reduced to its own place, will never come, as it were, into conflict with the other; and certainly it is just, that as righteousness of works depends on righteousness of faith, it should be made subordinate to it, (Emphasis mine.) so as to leave the latter in full possession of the salvation of man. Thus for Calvin, the covenant is a powerful concept because it establishes that we are justified by faith alone, yet by a faith that is never alone, but is always accompanied by all of God’s saving graces. Thus the Gospel teaches us that Jesus is both Savior and Lord.” The indicative of our union with Christ is in justification (we are righteous) and the imperative of our union with Christ is in sanctification (we are to be righteous). As we have seen, both of these emphases are implied in the formula of the covenant. The following chart helps us to capture Calvin’s covenantal thought in terms of the two savings benefits of the covenant of grace. The Relationship of the Two Parts of the Covenant of Grace in Calvin’s Thought Justification Sanctification 1. Through the Covenant of Grace in Union with Christ 1. Through the Covenant of Grace in Union with Christ 2. Simultaneous with Sanctification 2. Simultaneous with justification 3. Inseparable from Sanctification 3. Inseparable from Justification 4. Distinguishable from Sanctification 4. Distinguishable from Justification 5. By Faith Alone in Christ 5. By Faith and Obedience to the Law through Enablement of the Holy Spirit 6. A Superior righteousness that is not contrary to Sanctification Righteousness 6. An Inferior Righteousness not contrary to Justification Righteousness 7. Faith Alone Justifies and is the Superior Cause of Salvation 7. But Faith is Never Alone in the Justified Person, so sanctification’s works are Inferior Causes of Salvation 8. Imputed Righteousness 8. Inherent Righteousness V. The Different Ethical Tendencies Emerging From Covenantal Ethics And Dispensational Ethics. What difference does the covenantal rather than the dispensational reading of the Bible really make in the Christian life? First, we should see that covenant theology declares that the kingdom of Christ has already begun and is not completely future. If one believes that the kingdom is yet to come but is not yet here, it is possible for the church to see itself as a group of people that should retreat from the world, to care mainly about themselves. The Church’s primary task then is to invite others to join them in their retreat from culture. This approach often asserts that the world is going to get worse and worse and there is nothing anyone can do about it. All one can hope for is for Jesus to come and rapture the Church out of this fallen world and only then everything will be right. Allow me here to give a personal experience. When I left Dallas Seminary in 1978 to go to Westminster Seminary, it was at the time of the first great oil crisis caused by the oil embargoes. I vividly remember being in those long lines of cars at the gas station. In Philadelphia I received word from friends in Dallas that the Seminary had decided to take out an ad in the local newspaper declaring that this was the last call for the rapture. It is clear that there have been a several more opportunities for Dispensational interpreters to call for the rapture! The best-selling Left Behind series hadn’t yet been written. This was when I realized I could no longer be a Dispensationalistnot if Dispensationalism focused on reading newspapers to figure out when Jesus would come. I began to understand that the question we should have been asking was, “How does one live for Christ if there’s no gasoline?” There is a different ethic created by Dispensationalism and by Covenant Theology. Dispensationalism asks one to live in light of the raptureno gasoline means the rapture is coming. Covenant Theology, however, asks one to reflect on what it means to be a Christian when one can no longer pump gas. Jesus taught in Matthew 5, “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” He was not talking only to the Old Testament people of Israel. He was talking to Christians. In essence, He was saying: “You are to make a difference. You are to be salty salt that purifies a fallen world and you are to be radiant light that dispels the darkness of unbelief that surrounds the believer. You are to touch the world with what you believe and in what you do.” Covenant Theology declares that believers are to influence their cultures for Christ’s sake. Light shines and dispels darkness. Light makes its presence known. So the Christian is to be the light of the world wherever he goes, whether into a family, into a school, into a political party, into a university or into a business. He is to shine the light of the kingdom of Christ everywhere and make a difference. An adherent of covenant theology must understand that he is to demonstrate that the kingdom of Christ is present. The Christian should be able to say, “I will make a difference for His name wherever I ameverywhere I go, in everything I do, in everything I say.” That is the vision of the ethics of covenant theology, rather than looking to the future trying to ascertain the dates and times of Christ’s return. Covenant Theology accepts Jesus’ agnosticism about the time of His return. Our Lord taught us that, “No man knows the day or the hour or the time or the season that’s appointed by the Father.” Instead of figuring out the time of Christ’s return, one is to be occupied in service to Christ until He comes. We are to be busy in the world, seeking to reach the world for Christ’s sake. Christ’s Kingdom has irrupted or broken into the space and time of human existence. Thus Jesus taught that His gospel of the kingdom had to be preached in the entire world and only then would the end come. Thus believers are called to be missionaries and evangelists engaging our changing world with God’s unchanging Word so that his kingdom will make progress. VI. The Corporate Character Of Calvin’s Covenant al Understanding Of Sacraments. Finally, I will offer a few observations about the sacraments as they are differently viewed from the Dispensational perspective and from the vantage point of Covenant Theology. This vast topic could encompass the nature, meaning and practice of the sacraments in terms of the Eucharist, Baptism and Infant Baptism. But to state the matter simply, let us note that Dispensationalism tends to see the sacraments in a more individualistic sense, whereas Covenant Theology insists that the sacraments are to impact the entire community of God’s people. Dispensationalism’s individualistic tendency parallels its belief that the world will grow worse and worse. But as long as one believes in Christ as Savior, everything will ultimately be all right since the individual believer will go to heaven. In contrast, without diminishing the joyful hope of the individual’s salvation, covenant theology affirms with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Covenant Theology recognizes the corporate nature of God’s covenant promise, as seen in the intergenerational expression of the formula of the covenant from the Old Testament, “I will be your God and the God of your children after you” and “To a thousand generations of those that love me and keep my commandments.” On the basis of these Old Testament promises that are held to be still valid in the New Testament era, Calvin and covenant theology have affirmed the corporate character of the covenant as expressed especially in infant baptism. Calvin is so adamant that the covenant with the Jews continues into the New Covenant era that he asserts that to deny this is nothing less than blasphemy! For Calvin, such denial implies that Christ’s coming actually narrowed God’s grace rather than expanding it: Yet Scripture opens to us a still surer knowledge of the truth. Indeed, it is most evident that the covenant which the Lord once made with Abraham is no less in force today for Christians than it was of old for the Jewish people, and that this work relates no less to Christians than it then related to the Jews. Unless perhaps we think that Christ by his coming lessened or curtailed the grace of the Father--but this is nothing but execrable blasphemy! Accordingly, the children of the Jews also, because they had been made heirs of his covenant and distinguished from the children of the impious, were called a holy seed. For this same reason the children of Christians are considered holy; and even though born with only one believing parent, by the apostle’s testimony they differ from the unclean seed of idolaters. Now seeing that the Lord immediately after making the covenant with Abraham commanded it to be sealed in infants by an outward sacrament what excuse will Christians give for not testifying and sealing it in their children today? Children in the Old Testament and in the New are a holy seed by virtue of the same covenantal promise made by God with Abraham. Accordingly, infant baptism bears the same force of command as circumcision. Nor does Calvin accept the evasion that Abraham’s children in the Old Testament Covenant simply foreshadow believers in the New Covenant era. This cannot be, because God’s covenant established with Abraham includes the Christian believer and their children too. In the use of the term “children” they find this difference: those who had their origin from his seed were called children of Abraham under the Old Testament; now, those who imitate his faith are called by this name. They therefore say that that physical infancy which was engrafted into the fellowship of the covenant through circumcision foreshadowed the spiritual infants of the New Testament, who were regenerated to immortal life by God’s Word. In these words, indeed, we see a feeble spark of truth. But those fickle spirits gravely sin in seizing upon whatever first comes to hand where they ought to proceed further, and in stubbornly clinging to one word where they ought to compare many things together....We should, accordingly, aim at a better target, to which we are directed by the very sure guidance of Scripture. Therefore, the Lord promises Abraham that he will have offspring in whom all the nations of the earth will be blessed, and at the same time assures him that he will be his God and the God of his descendants. All those who by faith receive Christ as author of the blessing are heirs of this promise, and are therefore called children of Abraham. Calvin’s point is that while there is an element of truth in the objection, it does not fully explain all of the salient Scriptural data. It is true that the offspring of Abraham’s flesh foreshadowed the future offspring of Abraham by faith. Yet this fact does not remove the promise that God made to Abraham’s physical offspring. God assured Abraham “that he will be his God and the God of his descendants.” Calvin’s response is not an either/or, but a both/and. The implication for the practice of baptism is that the offspring of Abraham are heirs of the promise, even those who became his offspring by faith. Thus the children of Abraham’s offspring by faith are also made full partakers of the promise, since they are now part of his family. The covenant with Abraham continues to operate in the New Covenant era. A criticism of Calvin’s argument for paedobaptism is that the only sign of the covenant was circumcision, and it has ceased. Therefore, the covenant of circumcision is of no value because its sign is abolished. Calvin’s retort is that the changing of the sign does not change the covenant. And let no one object against me that the Lord did not command that his covenant be confirmed by any other symbol than circumcision, which has long since been abolished. There is a ready answer that for the time of the Old Testament he instituted circumcision, to confirm his covenant, but that after circumcision was abolished, the same reason for confirming his covenant (which we have in common with the Jews) still holds good. Consequently, we must always diligently consider what is common to both, and what they have apart from us. The covenant is common, and the reason for confirming it is common. Only the manner of confirmation is different--what was circumcision for them was replaced for us by baptism. If it is true that there is no replacement for circumcision, then in Calvin’s mind, Christ’s coming actually obscured God’s grace rather than increasing it: Otherwise, if the testimony by which the Jews were assured of the salvation of their posterity is taken away from us, Christ’s coming would have the effect of making God’s grace more obscure and less attested for us than it had previously been for the Jews. Now, this cannot be said without grievously slandering Christ, through whom the Father’s infinite goodness was more clearly and liberally poured out upon the earth and declared to men than ever before. As covenantal theologians in the New Testament era, following in the covenantal hermeneutic of Calvin, we are to be concerned in our sacramental lives with the corporate character of the covenant community just as the people of the Old Testament era understood the corporate character of God’s covenantal promises to them. These covenantal promises are not merely individual, but they encompass the importance of the whole family and the coming generations as we personally and collectively grow in Christ. Conclusion: There are several other areas of covenantal thought in Calvin that could be pursued. But we shall conclude having seen that for Calvin, biblical interpretation, the saving benefits of Christ, Christian ethics and the Church’s sacramental life are all important expressions of God’s one and eternal saving covenant of grace revealed throughout the history of redemption from Old Testament to New Testament. Although Calvin never encountered Dispensationalism per se, his understanding of the covenant was directly opposed to the foundational premises of Dispensationalism. So with pun intended, in this New Testament dispensation of God’s one covenant of grace in Christ, which includes the 500th anniversary of Calvin, let us maintain the covenant as a central element in our biblical and theological labors. For as Calvin himself declared as he commented on Psalm 25:10, “We have no reason to be afraid that God will deceive us if we persevere in His covenant.” Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)(Pennsylvania Proclamation Presbyterian Church(미국 펜실베이니어 선포장로교회))
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(2)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(2)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1:13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6)/ Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)/ 2015-02-12 A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(2)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1;3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1;13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6) A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(2) Lecture II. A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenant Theology As we saw in the first lecture, Calvin interprets the Bible in a covenantal and Christocentric manner. He is firmly committed to the organic unity of the history of redemption that is explained in its continuity and discontinuity by God’s covenantal revelation. The eight points that we addressed in our first lecture are: I. The Differences Between Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. II. The Differing Historical Origins Of Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. III. Calvin’s Emphasis On The Unity Of The Bible Seen In The Formula of the Covenant. IV. Calvin’s Covenantal Dictum For Interpreting The Bible: The Covenant Is Always The Same In Substance, Yet It Is Distinct In Administration. V. While Christ Is The Heart Of The Bible There Is Continuity And Discontinuity In The Covenant. VI. God’s Promises Of Salvation In Christ Are Organically Present In The Old Testament: The Covenant Is The “DNA” Of The History Of Salvation. VII. Boundary Disputes: The Covenantal Interpretation And the Dispensational Interpretation of the Old Testament Land Promises. VIII. Covenant Theology Teaches That The Kingdom Is Not Just Future, It Is Already But Not Yet. Having seen Calvin’s covenantal hermeneutic and how its implications stand in contrast to the hermeneutics of Dispensationalism, let us now consider Calvin’s covenant theology that flows from his covenantal hermeneutic and see how it stands in critique of Dispensational theology. We will address the following six points in this second lecture: I. Covenant Theology Celebrates Christ’s Incarnation Because By Assuming Humanity, Christ Becomes The Covenant. II. The First Saving Benefit of the Covenant Of Grace Is Justification by Faith Alone. III. The Second Saving Benefit Of The Covenant Of Grace Is Sanctification By Faith and Obedience. IV. The Four-Fold Relationship Of Sanctification And Justification In Calvin’s Covenant Theology. V. The Different Ethical Tendencies Emerging From Covenantal Ethics And Dispensational Ethics. VI. The Corporate Character Of Calvin’s Covenant al Understanding Of Sacraments. Let us then look at the first of these six points. I. Covenant Theology Celebrates Christ’s Incarnation Because By Assuming Humanity, Christ Becomes The Covenant. Before Calvin began to write his theology, Heinrich Bullinger had already emphasized in his 1534 Of The One And Eternal Testament Or Covenant Of God that Christ Himself is the covenant due to His incarnation. Bullinger explains in his tenth section entitled, “Christ, the Seal and Living Confirmation of the Covenant”: What I am about to say of Christ the Lord is not the entire doctrine. Rather, it is that very point worthy of admiration due to His incarnation, namely, the eternal covenant of God with the race of men that covenant which He set forth and confirmed in an astonishing and living way. Indeed, when the true God assumed true humanity, immediately it [i.e., the covenant] was not treated with more words and arguments, rather, by this thing itself, that greatest mystery is attested to the whole world--that God admitted man into covenant and partnership. Further, He bound man to Himself by an indissoluble connection by the highest miracle of love, to be our God. Thus undoubtedly with Isaiah we too believe the name given to Christ (Isaiah 7:14). He is called Immanuel, just as if someone might say, “God with us.” Thus the Gospels review these innumerable miracles and great benefits of Christ with so many examples. By these indeed, Isaiah declared God to be kind, and therefore the Horn of Plenty, the Father, and Shaddai to the human race. To this name also the very death and resurrection of Christ are referred. They [i.e. the words that compose the name Immanuel] are indeed most certain testimonies of the divine mercy, justice, and restitution of life. By Christ, God Himself established and expounded for us all of Himself, before our eyes; blessing us and accepting us as cleansed by Christ, into partnership and the eternal kingdom. All of which John’s Gospel says embraced by the few but heavenly words, “In the beginning was the word, and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory; glory, I say, which was proper for the only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. Indeed of His fullness, we have received grace for grace. Because the law was given by Moses, grace and truth have appeared by Jesus Christ” (John 1:1, 14, 16, 17). You hear this highest truth, that mystery that God has become a man, that is, He has become entirely of us, He Himself dwells among us. You hear that He has begun to shine His power and glory to the world, not for any other plan than that He may draw us to Himself by most beautiful benefits in His love, who is the fullness of our God Shaddai. For Paul also says, “In Christ dwells all the fullness of God bodily, and you are in Him complete and perfect” (Colossians 2:9, 10). In this way, therefore, the Lord Jesus Himself confirmed and displayed the first part of the covenant. The very incarnation shows that God is God--Shaddai, the blessing and eternal happiness of the seed of Abraham. (My translation.) To get at what Bullinger is saying, let us suppose that God said, “I so want you to know that I am your God and that you are My people, that I will give you a proof that you cannot possibly forget or overlook it.” God’s proof of His covenantal commitment is seen in His becoming a man. By Jesus’ incarnation, the God-Man becomes the union of God and man, thus mirroring the very covenant itself. The formula of the covenant says, “I will be your God and you will be My people.” By the incarnation God declared, “Because I am your God and because you are My people, I your God am becoming a human person like you, to be with you.” Isaiah 7:14 says, “The virgin will conceive and have a Son and you will name Him Immanuel”. Immanuel means, “With us is God” or “God with us”. The name Immanuel is the covenant name, meaning that “God is with us”. Jesus as the incarnate Covenant Savior and Lord permanently unites God to His people by taking on unfallen human nature and becoming a man. Thus Jesus’ incarnation physically manifests the formula of the covenant: “I will be your God and you will be My people.” By the incarnation, God in Christ declares, I am with you and you are with Me. Calvin’s emphasis on Christ as the very covenant of God is seen in his extensive Christ-centered development of the covenant of grace’s saving benefits. Consider the following: Let us then set forth the covenant that he once established as eternal and never perishing. Its fulfillment, by which it is finally confirmed and ratified, is Christ. Who, then, dares to separate the Jews from Christ, since with them we hear, was made the covenant of the gospel, the sole foundation of which is Christ? ...the apostle contends that it ought to be terminated and abrogated, to give place to Christ, the Sponsor and Mediator of a better covenant;... This is the new covenant that God in Christ has made with us, that he will remember our sins no more. The intimate relationship of Christ and the covenant for Calvin can be seen by their repeated juxtaposition. The covenant not only contains Christ, but He is its foundation. The promise of both of the Old and New Covenants have Christ as their foundation. Since the New Covenant is from the beginning, the Old Covenant is Christian. Thus the Old Testament fathers had Christ. The law includes Christ. The Old Covenant’s end was Christ and eternal life. In fact, the Old Covenant was an empty show unless Christ’s death and resurrection are part of it. Thus the ark of the Covenant, the Old Testament ceremonies, and the progressive revelation of the Old Covenant all point to Christ. Christ’s advent ushers in the New Covenant that stands in continuity with the Old. The Redeemer’s coming does not invalidate the Old Covenant. Instead, He renews and continues it. He causes it to be new and eternal. By fulfilling and confirming the Old Covenant, Christ brought an eternal and never perishing covenant. Christ’s redemptive work is fully integrated with the covenant. Accordingly, Christ is the Mediator, the Sponsor, the Redeemer, and testator of the covenant. The blood of the covenant in Christ’s atonement or redemptive death for sin is what ratifies the covenant. Thus the covenant is ratified with Christ and His members. Christ’s resurrection, intercession, priesthood, and Kingdom, are associated with the covenant. Indeed, Christ is the one who confirms, seals and sanctions the covenant. Calvin also sees a relationship of Christ and the covenant in the application of redemption in such areas as faith, sonship, union with God and Christ, good works, and the Sacraments. Clearly, Christ and covenant is a major strand in Calvin’s golden chain of salvation. The commentaries also relate Christ and the covenant on numerous points. Calvin further develops his emphasis on Christ as the very covenant of God when he explains the inseparability of the covenant of grace’s saving benefits in the very same manner in which he explains the inseparability of these same saving benefits in Christ Himself. We will consider this below in section IV of this lecture. II. The First Saving Benefit of the Covenant Of Grace Is Justification by Faith Alone. As we have seen, the word for covenant in Hebrew is berith, meaning to cut. In this context, consider Genesis 15. Childless Abram wanted a son. So the Lord brought Abram out to view a clear starry night’ sky. The Lord promised Abram that his children would be as numerous as the stars. We read in Genesis 15:6, Abram believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. We call this justification by faith. In fact, Paul uses this same text in his Epistle to the Romans to show that believers are justified by faith alone. Here God brings righteousness to Abram through faith by means of a covenant, a berith. To make this covenant sacrifice, Abram takes different kinds of animals and cuts them from the top of the head, through the nose, through the torso, all the way through the tail, and then the pieces are laid on the ground. This is indeed a berith, a cutting, a bloody sacrifice. This powerful image was an ancient custom by which one made a covenant. In making a covenant, one slew an animal and then walked between its parts and in essence promised, “If I don’t keep my promise, I will be just like the animals that we’ve just walked between.” To make a mortgage that way with your bank would be to sign it in blood! Here we see a promise joined with a sanction or punishment for disobedience. If the covenanter did not keep his word, he would be like the animal that was just slain. But the story doesn’t stop there. Next Abram watches the sun setting, he gets ready to enter into the covenant but instead he falls into a deep sleep. He is in effect paralyzed and he hears God speak. He sees a theophany, a manifestation of God. It is a smoking pot and a burning oven that alone passes through the middle of the animal parts, while Abram has no part in this covenant. The Lord in effect was saying, “Abram I alone establish the covenant. I alone can bring you righteousness. I alone can fulfill this promise. You cannot do it. But you will benefit by this covenant since you have been justified by faith.” Moreover, the Lord was also making a great promise. In effect He said, “If I don’t keep My promise, I will cease to exist.” But the Lord in essence was also saying even more: “So that you might be righteous, I will have to assume flesh and become the Lamb of God who is slain as a sacrifice for sinners to take away the sin of the world.” In this dramatic story of ancient covenant making by sacrifice, God alone guarantees the formula of the covenant: “I will be your God and you will be My people.” When one is justified by faith in Christ, he does absolutely nothing but receive Christ’s gift of His perfect righteousness before God. This righteousness is imputed to him by faith alone that he receives with a beggar’s hands of faith. Christians are in this covenant by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone as seen in the Scriptures alone so that God alone receives the glory in our salvation. III. The Second Saving Benefit Of The Covenant Of Grace Is Sanctification By Faith and Obedience. But this is not where Abram’s story stops. We next turn to Genesis 17 where we find that the Lord makes a covenant with Abram by changing his name and giving him a new name. So Abram becomes Abraham. As this new name is given, another covenant is made that begins with the words, “Walk before me and be blameless.” In essence God says, “Remember you did not walk between the animal parts before, but were righteous by faith. But now you must walk before me and be blameless. In fact, you are going to have the covenant, the berith, cut in your own flesh. You are going to be the living sacrifice. Your very body is to be cut in the covenant of circumcision.” Thus it is no longer an animal, but Abram who is the covenant sacrifice. By extension, circumcision leads to the circumcision of the heart, the removing of the old nature. This is what Abraham is supposed to become as one who has been justified by faith. He is now to walk with God. This theologians have called sanctification. Those that are justified by faith are also those who are to learn to walk in holiness before God and become living sacrifices, as Paul called them in Romans 12:1-2. In covenant sacrifice, Abram was to give his body onto the Lord as a living sacrifice. Consider again Jeremiah 31. There God said He was going to make a new covenant with Israel, a new berith. It would not be like the covenant that He made with Israel where the law of God was written on tablets of stone and were broken because the people rebelled and worshiped the golden calf. This time God would write the law on Israel’s hearts, forgiving their sins. But notice that the new covenant presents a second great benefit. The first benefit of the covenant is forgiveness of sins which is called justification by faith. The second benefit of the covenant is sanctification in which the law of God is written on the hearts of God’s people so that they will live for Him. Thus the new covenant has two great blessings: justification and sanctification. Reflect again on the formula of the covenant: “I will be your God and you will be my people.” One can hear both the truths of justification and of sanctification in the formula of the covenant. Listen to the two emphases that the covenant formula can be given. The first emphasis says, I will be your God and you will be My people. Do you hear that wonderful promise? God says, “You are righteous through faith in Me. I’m giving you this.” This is the indicative or factual expression of the Covenant of Grace. Now let me read these same words again but accent them in a different way: I will be your God and you will be My people. Do you hear a different nuance in the same words? By emphasizing the words in this way, we move from the indicative to the imperative. In other words, what God has promised, He also demands. And what God demands, He also promises. God’s enabling us to keep His covenant is seen in the fact that He writes His law on our hearts. He has not only forgiven us, but now He also gives us the ability to become His people. This gracious gift is underscored by God’s revealed name in Genesis 17El Shaddai, the Almighty and All-Sufficient God. So justification and sanctification are the two great benefits of the covenant that come to us in God’s covenant of grace. And remember this formula of the covenant goes from Genesis all the way to Revelation and it’s the one people of God that participate in it. All too often Dispensational and evangelical theology separates sanctification from God’s saving grace. It is an expression of growth and maturity but not part of God’s redemptive plan. Covenant theology following Calvin’s emphasis on what he called the “duplex gratiae” or double graces declares that God saves His people by justifying and sanctifying them. IV. The Four-Fold Relationship Of Sanctification And Justification In Calvin’s Covenant Theology. These truths of the covenant must be taught to God’s people of all ages. Accordingly, we need an illustration that is useful for children and grown ups too. So allow me to offer such an illustration by asking you to look carefully at your hands. You have a right hand and a left hand. Your two hands will now stand for the two blessings of the New Covenant: sanctification, I will write my law on your hearts; justification, I will forgive your sins. Let your dominant hand be your justification hand. So if you are right handed, think of your right hand as your justification hand and your left hand as your sanctification hand. If you are left handed, let your left hand be your justification hand and your right hand be your sanctification hand. I want you to learn four important principles of the relationship of justification and sanctification from your two hands. These principles are: 1. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, must be distinguished. 2. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, are simultaneous given. 3. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, are inseparable. 4. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, must be logically ordered. Notice first that a person’s two hands are distinct. That is important to remember. If someone says, “Turn right,” and one turns left he will get into trouble or get lost. Early on, people learn to distinguish their right hands from their left. The point is this: justification and sanctification, the two benefits of the covenant, are distinct. We must distinguish them. The great mistake of Roman Catholicism is to say the way one is justified is by becoming sanctified. Catholicism teaches that if one does good works, God will declare such a one to be righteous. But that destroys justification by faith alone. In this illustration, that is to confuse one’s left hand with his right hand, or to identify his justification with his sanctification. But some evangelicals think of this in an opposite way from Roman Catholics. But still, they confuse their right and left hands, or confuse justification and sanctification. In this view, sometimes called, “easy-believism” one declares, “If I believe in Jesus that is how I become forgiven and holy. It doesn’t matter if I do anything else as long as I believe, because that’s all one needs before God.” This view teaches that one becomes sanctified by being justified. But that is to confuse one’s right hand with his left hand, or to identify one’s sanctification with his justification. This is the reverse of Catholicism, but like Catholicism, it confuses justification and sanctification. Calvin taught and the Reformed faith teaches that there are two great saving benefits of the covenant of grace, and we must never confuse them. We have two hands which are distinct and we must never confuse them. Notice secondly, that the two hands we have, were given to us simultaneously. Humans are born with a right and left hand that come simultaneously. So when God brings us the blessings of the New Covenant, He not only forgives our sins as a completed act and declares us to be righteous by clothing us in the righteousness of Christ, He also gives us the Holy Spirit to begin to make us holy. With this gift of the Holy Spirit, God starts the process of teaching us to become holy, to die to sin and to live to Christ. While the sanctification work of the Holy Spirit is a process that goes on and on, it starts at the same time as our forgiveness or justification in Christ. These two benefits of the covenant are simultaneous. Nevertheless, we must distinguish them for they are different. The third thing we need to realize about these two New Covenant blessings is that they are inseparable. No one decides to take off his left hand when in a hurry and says, “I don’t have time to mess with my left hand today”. If one’s left hand gets separated he uses his other hand to dial a doctor and pleads, “Could you reattach this hand? I don’t want them separated!” Nevertheless, there are people that spiritually speaking want to separate justification from sanctification. A libertine says, “I just want to be forgiven. I want a Jesus credit card so I can just do what I want and know I’m forgiven.” But one cannot do that. The puritans in essence used to say, “When you receive Jesus, you receive Him in all of His offices as prophet, priest, and king. Not just as a priest who gives you forgiveness and a sacrifice. But also as a king who rules over you and a prophet who teaches you His word. You cannot separate his offices.” The opposite of this is the legalist who says, “I don’t need to be forgiven, I will be good enough by my own moral reformation to please God.” This we would call a Pharisee. But the Pharisee is like the Libertine. The only difference is that they seek to cut off the opposite hand! But, the two hands of the covenant of grace are inseparable. Accordingly, Calvin assails those who claim only one benefit of the covenant at the expense of the other. Also, with the same effort these rascals, by canceling one section of it, tear apart God’s covenant, in which we see our salvation contained, and topple it from its foundation. Not only are they guilty of sacrilege in separating things till now joined.... Because Christ and the covenant are so intertwined, there are those who not only try to “tear apart God’s covenant” but who also attempt to “tear Christ in pieces”. Thirdly, he calls him our sanctification, by which he means, that we who are otherwise unholy by nature, are by his Spirit renewed unto holiness, that we may serve God. From this, also, we infer, that we cannot be justified freely through faith alone without at the same time living holily. For these fruits of grace are connected together, as it were, by an indissoluble tie, so that he who attempts to sever them does in a manner tear Christ in pieces. Let therefore the man who seeks to be justified through Christ, by God’s unmerited goodness, consider that this cannot be attained without his taking him at the same time for sanctification, or, in other words, being renewed to innocence and purity of life. Calvin repeatedly uses the image of tearing Christ in pieces to underscore the inseparableness of justification and sanctification. It is indeed true, that we are justified in Christ through the mercy of God alone; but it is equally true and certain, that all who are justified are called by the Lord, that they may live worthy of their vocation. Let then the faithful learn to embrace him, not only for justification, but also for sanctification, as he has been given to us for both these purposes, lest they rend him asunder by their mutilated faith. ...as Christ cannot be torn into parts, so these two which we perceive in him together and conjointly are inseparable--namely, righteousness and sanctification. Whomever, therefore, God receives into grace, on them he at the same time bestows the spirit of adoption, by whose power he remakes them to his own image. But since the question concerns only righteousness and sanctification, let us dwell upon these. Although we may distinguish them, Christ contains both of them inseparably in himself. Do you wish, then to attain righteousness in Christ? You must first possess Christ; but you cannot possess him without being made partaker in his sanctification, because he cannot be divided into pieces [I Corinthians 1:13]. Since, therefore, it is solely by expending himself that the Lord gives us these benefits to enjoy, he bestows both of them at the same time, the one never without the other. Thus it is clear how true it is that we are justified not without works yet not through works, since in our sharing in Christ, which justifies us, sanctification is just as much included as righteousness. The covenant therefore helps to organize the benefits of salvation. The two covenantal benefits of justification and sanctification are distinct, yet they are inseparably related and simultaneously received in Christ. Thus Christ and the covenant are essentially identified since both are the source of these great redemptive benefits. This doctrine gives Calvin a two edged sword to wield against his theological opponents. The Romanist, who thought his works merited salvation, was confronted with the fact that good works without Christ’s righteousness were still impure. The Libertine, who thought that Christ’s death made him spiritually pure regardless of his personal life, was confronted with the inseparability of the Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration and Christ’s righteousness. The three ideas from Calvin we have considered so far concerning the relationship of the two benefits of the covenant are: 1. Justification and Sanctification must be distinguished. 2. Justification and Sanctification are simultaneous given. 3. Justification and Sanctification are inseparable. Now let us consider the fourth idea of the relationship of justification and sanctification in Calvin: 4. Justification and Sanctification must be logically ordered. Or to put it in Calvin’s terms, what is subordinate is not contrary. The fourth point, then, that Calvin makes is that the two benefits of the covenant of grace are to be logically ordered. Or to put it another way, one benefit of the covenant is dominant and the other is subordinate. This too is like our two hands. If one is right handed, the right hand is the dominant hand over the left hand. The point that we must see here is that justification is always dominant over sanctification and sanctification is always dependent upon and subordinate to justification. So if one is right handed, it means his right hand, his justification hand, is the primary hand and the left hand, his sanctification hand, is dependent upon and subordinate to the right hand. Theologically speaking, this means that one can never say, “I know I’m forgiven because I’m doing so many good things.” This is to confuse the gospel. Instead, one must say, “Because I am forgiven and righteous in Christ, I can and will live for Him by the Holy Spirit.” Calvin compared justification to the foundation of a house, and he likened sanctification to the superstructure built upon that foundation. Thus the house of sanctification is always dependent upon the foundation of justification. Calvin actually uses an important dictum that comes from the medieval tradition, namely, “What is subordinate is not contrary.” What he meant in this context is that the righteousness of the believer’s obedience, which is real righteousness before God, does not present an alternate or contrary way of salvation. This is because sanctification is under or subordinate to the greater righteousness of Christ’s obedience in justification. Sanctification righteousness although graciously produced by the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the believer is nevertheless subordinate to Christ’s righteousness bestowed in justification. So sanctification is not a competing way of salvation for the believer since it is always inferior to the righteousness of Christ. Indeed, sanctification righteousness honors justification righteousness and by its very existence manifests the superior righteousness of Christ in justification. Accordingly, sanctification does not produce justification or have any role in justification’s work of forgiveness or of imputing the perfect righteousness of Christ. One must never depend on his own new obedience or sanctification. Instead, he must always depend upon Christ. To return to our analogy, the dependent hand of sanctification must always rely on the superior hand of justification that lays hold of Christ by faith. Thus Calvin’s covenant doctrine does not permit the law to be in opposition to the gospel after the blessings of the covenant are bestowed upon a believer. Justification and sanctification are necessary components of the divine benefits of salvation. They are bestowed “at the same time”. Yet a logical order exists between them which must not be overlooked. Since the “spirit” is added to the “letter” of the law, the believer has a true righteousness of obedience. But, It is a subordinate righteousness to the righteousness of Christ. Yet it is not a contrary righteousness. Calvin affirms this principle in his Antidote to the Council of Trent. We, indeed, willingly acknowledge, that believers ought to make daily increase in good works, and that the good works wherewith they are adorned by God, are sometimes distinguished by the name of righteousness. But since the whole value of works is derived from no other foundation than that of gratuitous acceptance, how absurd were it to make the former overthrow the latter! Why do they not remember what they learned when boys at school, that what is subordinate is not contrary? (Emphasis mine.) I say that it is owing to free imputation that we are considered righteous before God; I say that from this also another benefit proceeds, viz., that our works have the name of righteousness, though they are far from having the reality of righteousness. In short, I affirm, that not by our own merit but by faith alone, are both our persons and works justified; and the justification of works depends on the justification of the person, as the effect on the cause. Therefore, it is necessary that the righteousness of faith alone so precede in order, and be so preeminent in degree, that nothing can go before it or obscure it. In his The True Method of Giving Peace and Reforming the Church, Calvin again explains the subordination of the Christian’s works righteousness to the righteousness of faith. In order that ambiguities may be removed, it is necessary that the Righteousness which we obtain by faith, and which is freely bestowed upon us, should be placed in the highest rank, so that, as often as the conscience is brought before the tribunal of God, it alone may shine forth. In this way the righteousness of works, to whatever extent it may exist in us, being reduced to its own place, will never come, as it were, into conflict with the other; and certainly it is just, that as righteousness of works depends on righteousness of faith, it should be made subordinate to it, (Emphasis mine.) so as to leave the latter in full possession of the salvation of man. Thus for Calvin, the covenant is a powerful concept because it establishes that we are justified by faith alone, yet by a faith that is never alone, but is always accompanied by all of God’s saving graces. Thus the Gospel teaches us that Jesus is both Savior and Lord.” The indicative of our union with Christ is in justification (we are righteous) and the imperative of our union with Christ is in sanctification (we are to be righteous). As we have seen, both of these emphases are implied in the formula of the covenant. The following chart helps us to capture Calvin’s covenantal thought in terms of the two savings benefits of the covenant of grace. The Relationship of the Two Parts of the Covenant of Grace in Calvin’s Thought Justification Sanctification 1. Through the Covenant of Grace in Union with Christ 1. Through the Covenant of Grace in Union with Christ 2. Simultaneous with Sanctification 2. Simultaneous with justification 3. Inseparable from Sanctification 3. Inseparable from Justification 4. Distinguishable from Sanctification 4. Distinguishable from Justification 5. By Faith Alone in Christ 5. By Faith and Obedience to the Law through Enablement of the Holy Spirit 6. A Superior righteousness that is not contrary to Sanctification Righteousness 6. An Inferior Righteousness not contrary to Justification Righteousness 7. Faith Alone Justifies and is the Superior Cause of Salvation 7. But Faith is Never Alone in the Justified Person, so sanctification’s works are Inferior Causes of Salvation 8. Imputed Righteousness 8. Inherent Righteousness V. The Different Ethical Tendencies Emerging From Covenantal Ethics And Dispensational Ethics. What difference does the covenantal rather than the dispensational reading of the Bible really make in the Christian life? First, we should see that covenant theology declares that the kingdom of Christ has already begun and is not completely future. If one believes that the kingdom is yet to come but is not yet here, it is possible for the church to see itself as a group of people that should retreat from the world, to care mainly about themselves. The Church’s primary task then is to invite others to join them in their retreat from culture. This approach often asserts that the world is going to get worse and worse and there is nothing anyone can do about it. All one can hope for is for Jesus to come and rapture the Church out of this fallen world and only then everything will be right. Allow me here to give a personal experience. When I left Dallas Seminary in 1978 to go to Westminster Seminary, it was at the time of the first great oil crisis caused by the oil embargoes. I vividly remember being in those long lines of cars at the gas station. In Philadelphia I received word from friends in Dallas that the Seminary had decided to take out an ad in the local newspaper declaring that this was the last call for the rapture. It is clear that there have been a several more opportunities for Dispensational interpreters to call for the rapture! The best-selling Left Behind series hadn’t yet been written. This was when I realized I could no longer be a Dispensationalistnot if Dispensationalism focused on reading newspapers to figure out when Jesus would come. I began to understand that the question we should have been asking was, “How does one live for Christ if there’s no gasoline?” There is a different ethic created by Dispensationalism and by Covenant Theology. Dispensationalism asks one to live in light of the raptureno gasoline means the rapture is coming. Covenant Theology, however, asks one to reflect on what it means to be a Christian when one can no longer pump gas. Jesus taught in Matthew 5, “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” He was not talking only to the Old Testament people of Israel. He was talking to Christians. In essence, He was saying: “You are to make a difference. You are to be salty salt that purifies a fallen world and you are to be radiant light that dispels the darkness of unbelief that surrounds the believer. You are to touch the world with what you believe and in what you do.” Covenant Theology declares that believers are to influence their cultures for Christ’s sake. Light shines and dispels darkness. Light makes its presence known. So the Christian is to be the light of the world wherever he goes, whether into a family, into a school, into a political party, into a university or into a business. He is to shine the light of the kingdom of Christ everywhere and make a difference. An adherent of covenant theology must understand that he is to demonstrate that the kingdom of Christ is present. The Christian should be able to say, “I will make a difference for His name wherever I ameverywhere I go, in everything I do, in everything I say.” That is the vision of the ethics of covenant theology, rather than looking to the future trying to ascertain the dates and times of Christ’s return. Covenant Theology accepts Jesus’ agnosticism about the time of His return. Our Lord taught us that, “No man knows the day or the hour or the time or the season that’s appointed by the Father.” Instead of figuring out the time of Christ’s return, one is to be occupied in service to Christ until He comes. We are to be busy in the world, seeking to reach the world for Christ’s sake. Christ’s Kingdom has irrupted or broken into the space and time of human existence. Thus Jesus taught that His gospel of the kingdom had to be preached in the entire world and only then would the end come. Thus believers are called to be missionaries and evangelists engaging our changing world with God’s unchanging Word so that his kingdom will make progress. VI. The Corporate Character Of Calvin’s Covenant al Understanding Of Sacraments. Finally, I will offer a few observations about the sacraments as they are differently viewed from the Dispensational perspective and from the vantage point of Covenant Theology. This vast topic could encompass the nature, meaning and practice of the sacraments in terms of the Eucharist, Baptism and Infant Baptism. But to state the matter simply, let us note that Dispensationalism tends to see the sacraments in a more individualistic sense, whereas Covenant Theology insists that the sacraments are to impact the entire community of God’s people. Dispensationalism’s individualistic tendency parallels its belief that the world will grow worse and worse. But as long as one believes in Christ as Savior, everything will ultimately be all right since the individual believer will go to heaven. In contrast, without diminishing the joyful hope of the individual’s salvation, covenant theology affirms with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Covenant Theology recognizes the corporate nature of God’s covenant promise, as seen in the intergenerational expression of the formula of the covenant from the Old Testament, “I will be your God and the God of your children after you” and “To a thousand generations of those that love me and keep my commandments.” On the basis of these Old Testament promises that are held to be still valid in the New Testament era, Calvin and covenant theology have affirmed the corporate character of the covenant as expressed especially in infant baptism. Calvin is so adamant that the covenant with the Jews continues into the New Covenant era that he asserts that to deny this is nothing less than blasphemy! For Calvin, such denial implies that Christ’s coming actually narrowed God’s grace rather than expanding it: Yet Scripture opens to us a still surer knowledge of the truth. Indeed, it is most evident that the covenant which the Lord once made with Abraham is no less in force today for Christians than it was of old for the Jewish people, and that this work relates no less to Christians than it then related to the Jews. Unless perhaps we think that Christ by his coming lessened or curtailed the grace of the Father--but this is nothing but execrable blasphemy! Accordingly, the children of the Jews also, because they had been made heirs of his covenant and distinguished from the children of the impious, were called a holy seed. For this same reason the children of Christians are considered holy; and even though born with only one believing parent, by the apostle’s testimony they differ from the unclean seed of idolaters. Now seeing that the Lord immediately after making the covenant with Abraham commanded it to be sealed in infants by an outward sacrament what excuse will Christians give for not testifying and sealing it in their children today? Children in the Old Testament and in the New are a holy seed by virtue of the same covenantal promise made by God with Abraham. Accordingly, infant baptism bears the same force of command as circumcision. Nor does Calvin accept the evasion that Abraham’s children in the Old Testament Covenant simply foreshadow believers in the New Covenant era. This cannot be, because God’s covenant established with Abraham includes the Christian believer and their children too. In the use of the term “children” they find this difference: those who had their origin from his seed were called children of Abraham under the Old Testament; now, those who imitate his faith are called by this name. They therefore say that that physical infancy which was engrafted into the fellowship of the covenant through circumcision foreshadowed the spiritual infants of the New Testament, who were regenerated to immortal life by God’s Word. In these words, indeed, we see a feeble spark of truth. But those fickle spirits gravely sin in seizing upon whatever first comes to hand where they ought to proceed further, and in stubbornly clinging to one word where they ought to compare many things together....We should, accordingly, aim at a better target, to which we are directed by the very sure guidance of Scripture. Therefore, the Lord promises Abraham that he will have offspring in whom all the nations of the earth will be blessed, and at the same time assures him that he will be his God and the God of his descendants. All those who by faith receive Christ as author of the blessing are heirs of this promise, and are therefore called children of Abraham. Calvin’s point is that while there is an element of truth in the objection, it does not fully explain all of the salient Scriptural data. It is true that the offspring of Abraham’s flesh foreshadowed the future offspring of Abraham by faith. Yet this fact does not remove the promise that God made to Abraham’s physical offspring. God assured Abraham “that he will be his God and the God of his descendants.” Calvin’s response is not an either/or, but a both/and. The implication for the practice of baptism is that the offspring of Abraham are heirs of the promise, even those who became his offspring by faith. Thus the children of Abraham’s offspring by faith are also made full partakers of the promise, since they are now part of his family. The covenant with Abraham continues to operate in the New Covenant era. A criticism of Calvin’s argument for paedobaptism is that the only sign of the covenant was circumcision, and it has ceased. Therefore, the covenant of circumcision is of no value because its sign is abolished. Calvin’s retort is that the changing of the sign does not change the covenant. And let no one object against me that the Lord did not command that his covenant be confirmed by any other symbol than circumcision, which has long since been abolished. There is a ready answer that for the time of the Old Testament he instituted circumcision, to confirm his covenant, but that after circumcision was abolished, the same reason for confirming his covenant (which we have in common with the Jews) still holds good. Consequently, we must always diligently consider what is common to both, and what they have apart from us. The covenant is common, and the reason for confirming it is common. Only the manner of confirmation is different--what was circumcision for them was replaced for us by baptism. If it is true that there is no replacement for circumcision, then in Calvin’s mind, Christ’s coming actually obscured God’s grace rather than increasing it: Otherwise, if the testimony by which the Jews were assured of the salvation of their posterity is taken away from us, Christ’s coming would have the effect of making God’s grace more obscure and less attested for us than it had previously been for the Jews. Now, this cannot be said without grievously slandering Christ, through whom the Father’s infinite goodness was more clearly and liberally poured out upon the earth and declared to men than ever before. As covenantal theologians in the New Testament era, following in the covenantal hermeneutic of Calvin, we are to be concerned in our sacramental lives with the corporate character of the covenant community just as the people of the Old Testament era understood the corporate character of God’s covenantal promises to them. These covenantal promises are not merely individual, but they encompass the importance of the whole family and the coming generations as we personally and collectively grow in Christ. Conclusion: There are several other areas of covenantal thought in Calvin that could be pursued. But we shall conclude having seen that for Calvin, biblical interpretation, the saving benefits of Christ, Christian ethics and the Church’s sacramental life are all important expressions of God’s one and eternal saving covenant of grace revealed throughout the history of redemption from Old Testament to New Testament. Although Calvin never encountered Dispensationalism per se, his understanding of the covenant was directly opposed to the foundational premises of Dispensationalism. So with pun intended, in this New Testament dispensation of God’s one covenant of grace in Christ, which includes the 500th anniversary of Calvin, let us maintain the covenant as a central element in our biblical and theological labors. For as Calvin himself declared as he commented on Psalm 25:10, “We have no reason to be afraid that God will deceive us if we persevere in His covenant.” Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)(Pennsylvania Proclamation Presbyterian Church(미국 펜실베이니어 선포장로교회))
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(2)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(2)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1:13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6)/ Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)/ 2015-02-12 A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(2)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1;3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1;13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6) A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(2) Lecture II. A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenant Theology As we saw in the first lecture, Calvin interprets the Bible in a covenantal and Christocentric manner. He is firmly committed to the organic unity of the history of redemption that is explained in its continuity and discontinuity by God’s covenantal revelation. The eight points that we addressed in our first lecture are: I. The Differences Between Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. II. The Differing Historical Origins Of Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. III. Calvin’s Emphasis On The Unity Of The Bible Seen In The Formula of the Covenant. IV. Calvin’s Covenantal Dictum For Interpreting The Bible: The Covenant Is Always The Same In Substance, Yet It Is Distinct In Administration. V. While Christ Is The Heart Of The Bible There Is Continuity And Discontinuity In The Covenant. VI. God’s Promises Of Salvation In Christ Are Organically Present In The Old Testament: The Covenant Is The “DNA” Of The History Of Salvation. VII. Boundary Disputes: The Covenantal Interpretation And the Dispensational Interpretation of the Old Testament Land Promises. VIII. Covenant Theology Teaches That The Kingdom Is Not Just Future, It Is Already But Not Yet. Having seen Calvin’s covenantal hermeneutic and how its implications stand in contrast to the hermeneutics of Dispensationalism, let us now consider Calvin’s covenant theology that flows from his covenantal hermeneutic and see how it stands in critique of Dispensational theology. We will address the following six points in this second lecture: I. Covenant Theology Celebrates Christ’s Incarnation Because By Assuming Humanity, Christ Becomes The Covenant. II. The First Saving Benefit of the Covenant Of Grace Is Justification by Faith Alone. III. The Second Saving Benefit Of The Covenant Of Grace Is Sanctification By Faith and Obedience. IV. The Four-Fold Relationship Of Sanctification And Justification In Calvin’s Covenant Theology. V. The Different Ethical Tendencies Emerging From Covenantal Ethics And Dispensational Ethics. VI. The Corporate Character Of Calvin’s Covenant al Understanding Of Sacraments. Let us then look at the first of these six points. I. Covenant Theology Celebrates Christ’s Incarnation Because By Assuming Humanity, Christ Becomes The Covenant. Before Calvin began to write his theology, Heinrich Bullinger had already emphasized in his 1534 Of The One And Eternal Testament Or Covenant Of God that Christ Himself is the covenant due to His incarnation. Bullinger explains in his tenth section entitled, “Christ, the Seal and Living Confirmation of the Covenant”: What I am about to say of Christ the Lord is not the entire doctrine. Rather, it is that very point worthy of admiration due to His incarnation, namely, the eternal covenant of God with the race of men that covenant which He set forth and confirmed in an astonishing and living way. Indeed, when the true God assumed true humanity, immediately it [i.e., the covenant] was not treated with more words and arguments, rather, by this thing itself, that greatest mystery is attested to the whole world--that God admitted man into covenant and partnership. Further, He bound man to Himself by an indissoluble connection by the highest miracle of love, to be our God. Thus undoubtedly with Isaiah we too believe the name given to Christ (Isaiah 7:14). He is called Immanuel, just as if someone might say, “God with us.” Thus the Gospels review these innumerable miracles and great benefits of Christ with so many examples. By these indeed, Isaiah declared God to be kind, and therefore the Horn of Plenty, the Father, and Shaddai to the human race. To this name also the very death and resurrection of Christ are referred. They [i.e. the words that compose the name Immanuel] are indeed most certain testimonies of the divine mercy, justice, and restitution of life. By Christ, God Himself established and expounded for us all of Himself, before our eyes; blessing us and accepting us as cleansed by Christ, into partnership and the eternal kingdom. All of which John’s Gospel says embraced by the few but heavenly words, “In the beginning was the word, and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory; glory, I say, which was proper for the only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. Indeed of His fullness, we have received grace for grace. Because the law was given by Moses, grace and truth have appeared by Jesus Christ” (John 1:1, 14, 16, 17). You hear this highest truth, that mystery that God has become a man, that is, He has become entirely of us, He Himself dwells among us. You hear that He has begun to shine His power and glory to the world, not for any other plan than that He may draw us to Himself by most beautiful benefits in His love, who is the fullness of our God Shaddai. For Paul also says, “In Christ dwells all the fullness of God bodily, and you are in Him complete and perfect” (Colossians 2:9, 10). In this way, therefore, the Lord Jesus Himself confirmed and displayed the first part of the covenant. The very incarnation shows that God is God--Shaddai, the blessing and eternal happiness of the seed of Abraham. (My translation.) To get at what Bullinger is saying, let us suppose that God said, “I so want you to know that I am your God and that you are My people, that I will give you a proof that you cannot possibly forget or overlook it.” God’s proof of His covenantal commitment is seen in His becoming a man. By Jesus’ incarnation, the God-Man becomes the union of God and man, thus mirroring the very covenant itself. The formula of the covenant says, “I will be your God and you will be My people.” By the incarnation God declared, “Because I am your God and because you are My people, I your God am becoming a human person like you, to be with you.” Isaiah 7:14 says, “The virgin will conceive and have a Son and you will name Him Immanuel”. Immanuel means, “With us is God” or “God with us”. The name Immanuel is the covenant name, meaning that “God is with us”. Jesus as the incarnate Covenant Savior and Lord permanently unites God to His people by taking on unfallen human nature and becoming a man. Thus Jesus’ incarnation physically manifests the formula of the covenant: “I will be your God and you will be My people.” By the incarnation, God in Christ declares, I am with you and you are with Me. Calvin’s emphasis on Christ as the very covenant of God is seen in his extensive Christ-centered development of the covenant of grace’s saving benefits. Consider the following: Let us then set forth the covenant that he once established as eternal and never perishing. Its fulfillment, by which it is finally confirmed and ratified, is Christ. Who, then, dares to separate the Jews from Christ, since with them we hear, was made the covenant of the gospel, the sole foundation of which is Christ? ...the apostle contends that it ought to be terminated and abrogated, to give place to Christ, the Sponsor and Mediator of a better covenant;... This is the new covenant that God in Christ has made with us, that he will remember our sins no more. The intimate relationship of Christ and the covenant for Calvin can be seen by their repeated juxtaposition. The covenant not only contains Christ, but He is its foundation. The promise of both of the Old and New Covenants have Christ as their foundation. Since the New Covenant is from the beginning, the Old Covenant is Christian. Thus the Old Testament fathers had Christ. The law includes Christ. The Old Covenant’s end was Christ and eternal life. In fact, the Old Covenant was an empty show unless Christ’s death and resurrection are part of it. Thus the ark of the Covenant, the Old Testament ceremonies, and the progressive revelation of the Old Covenant all point to Christ. Christ’s advent ushers in the New Covenant that stands in continuity with the Old. The Redeemer’s coming does not invalidate the Old Covenant. Instead, He renews and continues it. He causes it to be new and eternal. By fulfilling and confirming the Old Covenant, Christ brought an eternal and never perishing covenant. Christ’s redemptive work is fully integrated with the covenant. Accordingly, Christ is the Mediator, the Sponsor, the Redeemer, and testator of the covenant. The blood of the covenant in Christ’s atonement or redemptive death for sin is what ratifies the covenant. Thus the covenant is ratified with Christ and His members. Christ’s resurrection, intercession, priesthood, and Kingdom, are associated with the covenant. Indeed, Christ is the one who confirms, seals and sanctions the covenant. Calvin also sees a relationship of Christ and the covenant in the application of redemption in such areas as faith, sonship, union with God and Christ, good works, and the Sacraments. Clearly, Christ and covenant is a major strand in Calvin’s golden chain of salvation. The commentaries also relate Christ and the covenant on numerous points. Calvin further develops his emphasis on Christ as the very covenant of God when he explains the inseparability of the covenant of grace’s saving benefits in the very same manner in which he explains the inseparability of these same saving benefits in Christ Himself. We will consider this below in section IV of this lecture. II. The First Saving Benefit of the Covenant Of Grace Is Justification by Faith Alone. As we have seen, the word for covenant in Hebrew is berith, meaning to cut. In this context, consider Genesis 15. Childless Abram wanted a son. So the Lord brought Abram out to view a clear starry night’ sky. The Lord promised Abram that his children would be as numerous as the stars. We read in Genesis 15:6, Abram believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. We call this justification by faith. In fact, Paul uses this same text in his Epistle to the Romans to show that believers are justified by faith alone. Here God brings righteousness to Abram through faith by means of a covenant, a berith. To make this covenant sacrifice, Abram takes different kinds of animals and cuts them from the top of the head, through the nose, through the torso, all the way through the tail, and then the pieces are laid on the ground. This is indeed a berith, a cutting, a bloody sacrifice. This powerful image was an ancient custom by which one made a covenant. In making a covenant, one slew an animal and then walked between its parts and in essence promised, “If I don’t keep my promise, I will be just like the animals that we’ve just walked between.” To make a mortgage that way with your bank would be to sign it in blood! Here we see a promise joined with a sanction or punishment for disobedience. If the covenanter did not keep his word, he would be like the animal that was just slain. But the story doesn’t stop there. Next Abram watches the sun setting, he gets ready to enter into the covenant but instead he falls into a deep sleep. He is in effect paralyzed and he hears God speak. He sees a theophany, a manifestation of God. It is a smoking pot and a burning oven that alone passes through the middle of the animal parts, while Abram has no part in this covenant. The Lord in effect was saying, “Abram I alone establish the covenant. I alone can bring you righteousness. I alone can fulfill this promise. You cannot do it. But you will benefit by this covenant since you have been justified by faith.” Moreover, the Lord was also making a great promise. In effect He said, “If I don’t keep My promise, I will cease to exist.” But the Lord in essence was also saying even more: “So that you might be righteous, I will have to assume flesh and become the Lamb of God who is slain as a sacrifice for sinners to take away the sin of the world.” In this dramatic story of ancient covenant making by sacrifice, God alone guarantees the formula of the covenant: “I will be your God and you will be My people.” When one is justified by faith in Christ, he does absolutely nothing but receive Christ’s gift of His perfect righteousness before God. This righteousness is imputed to him by faith alone that he receives with a beggar’s hands of faith. Christians are in this covenant by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone as seen in the Scriptures alone so that God alone receives the glory in our salvation. III. The Second Saving Benefit Of The Covenant Of Grace Is Sanctification By Faith and Obedience. But this is not where Abram’s story stops. We next turn to Genesis 17 where we find that the Lord makes a covenant with Abram by changing his name and giving him a new name. So Abram becomes Abraham. As this new name is given, another covenant is made that begins with the words, “Walk before me and be blameless.” In essence God says, “Remember you did not walk between the animal parts before, but were righteous by faith. But now you must walk before me and be blameless. In fact, you are going to have the covenant, the berith, cut in your own flesh. You are going to be the living sacrifice. Your very body is to be cut in the covenant of circumcision.” Thus it is no longer an animal, but Abram who is the covenant sacrifice. By extension, circumcision leads to the circumcision of the heart, the removing of the old nature. This is what Abraham is supposed to become as one who has been justified by faith. He is now to walk with God. This theologians have called sanctification. Those that are justified by faith are also those who are to learn to walk in holiness before God and become living sacrifices, as Paul called them in Romans 12:1-2. In covenant sacrifice, Abram was to give his body onto the Lord as a living sacrifice. Consider again Jeremiah 31. There God said He was going to make a new covenant with Israel, a new berith. It would not be like the covenant that He made with Israel where the law of God was written on tablets of stone and were broken because the people rebelled and worshiped the golden calf. This time God would write the law on Israel’s hearts, forgiving their sins. But notice that the new covenant presents a second great benefit. The first benefit of the covenant is forgiveness of sins which is called justification by faith. The second benefit of the covenant is sanctification in which the law of God is written on the hearts of God’s people so that they will live for Him. Thus the new covenant has two great blessings: justification and sanctification. Reflect again on the formula of the covenant: “I will be your God and you will be my people.” One can hear both the truths of justification and of sanctification in the formula of the covenant. Listen to the two emphases that the covenant formula can be given. The first emphasis says, I will be your God and you will be My people. Do you hear that wonderful promise? God says, “You are righteous through faith in Me. I’m giving you this.” This is the indicative or factual expression of the Covenant of Grace. Now let me read these same words again but accent them in a different way: I will be your God and you will be My people. Do you hear a different nuance in the same words? By emphasizing the words in this way, we move from the indicative to the imperative. In other words, what God has promised, He also demands. And what God demands, He also promises. God’s enabling us to keep His covenant is seen in the fact that He writes His law on our hearts. He has not only forgiven us, but now He also gives us the ability to become His people. This gracious gift is underscored by God’s revealed name in Genesis 17El Shaddai, the Almighty and All-Sufficient God. So justification and sanctification are the two great benefits of the covenant that come to us in God’s covenant of grace. And remember this formula of the covenant goes from Genesis all the way to Revelation and it’s the one people of God that participate in it. All too often Dispensational and evangelical theology separates sanctification from God’s saving grace. It is an expression of growth and maturity but not part of God’s redemptive plan. Covenant theology following Calvin’s emphasis on what he called the “duplex gratiae” or double graces declares that God saves His people by justifying and sanctifying them. IV. The Four-Fold Relationship Of Sanctification And Justification In Calvin’s Covenant Theology. These truths of the covenant must be taught to God’s people of all ages. Accordingly, we need an illustration that is useful for children and grown ups too. So allow me to offer such an illustration by asking you to look carefully at your hands. You have a right hand and a left hand. Your two hands will now stand for the two blessings of the New Covenant: sanctification, I will write my law on your hearts; justification, I will forgive your sins. Let your dominant hand be your justification hand. So if you are right handed, think of your right hand as your justification hand and your left hand as your sanctification hand. If you are left handed, let your left hand be your justification hand and your right hand be your sanctification hand. I want you to learn four important principles of the relationship of justification and sanctification from your two hands. These principles are: 1. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, must be distinguished. 2. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, are simultaneous given. 3. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, are inseparable. 4. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, must be logically ordered. Notice first that a person’s two hands are distinct. That is important to remember. If someone says, “Turn right,” and one turns left he will get into trouble or get lost. Early on, people learn to distinguish their right hands from their left. The point is this: justification and sanctification, the two benefits of the covenant, are distinct. We must distinguish them. The great mistake of Roman Catholicism is to say the way one is justified is by becoming sanctified. Catholicism teaches that if one does good works, God will declare such a one to be righteous. But that destroys justification by faith alone. In this illustration, that is to confuse one’s left hand with his right hand, or to identify his justification with his sanctification. But some evangelicals think of this in an opposite way from Roman Catholics. But still, they confuse their right and left hands, or confuse justification and sanctification. In this view, sometimes called, “easy-believism” one declares, “If I believe in Jesus that is how I become forgiven and holy. It doesn’t matter if I do anything else as long as I believe, because that’s all one needs before God.” This view teaches that one becomes sanctified by being justified. But that is to confuse one’s right hand with his left hand, or to identify one’s sanctification with his justification. This is the reverse of Catholicism, but like Catholicism, it confuses justification and sanctification. Calvin taught and the Reformed faith teaches that there are two great saving benefits of the covenant of grace, and we must never confuse them. We have two hands which are distinct and we must never confuse them. Notice secondly, that the two hands we have, were given to us simultaneously. Humans are born with a right and left hand that come simultaneously. So when God brings us the blessings of the New Covenant, He not only forgives our sins as a completed act and declares us to be righteous by clothing us in the righteousness of Christ, He also gives us the Holy Spirit to begin to make us holy. With this gift of the Holy Spirit, God starts the process of teaching us to become holy, to die to sin and to live to Christ. While the sanctification work of the Holy Spirit is a process that goes on and on, it starts at the same time as our forgiveness or justification in Christ. These two benefits of the covenant are simultaneous. Nevertheless, we must distinguish them for they are different. The third thing we need to realize about these two New Covenant blessings is that they are inseparable. No one decides to take off his left hand when in a hurry and says, “I don’t have time to mess with my left hand today”. If one’s left hand gets separated he uses his other hand to dial a doctor and pleads, “Could you reattach this hand? I don’t want them separated!” Nevertheless, there are people that spiritually speaking want to separate justification from sanctification. A libertine says, “I just want to be forgiven. I want a Jesus credit card so I can just do what I want and know I’m forgiven.” But one cannot do that. The puritans in essence used to say, “When you receive Jesus, you receive Him in all of His offices as prophet, priest, and king. Not just as a priest who gives you forgiveness and a sacrifice. But also as a king who rules over you and a prophet who teaches you His word. You cannot separate his offices.” The opposite of this is the legalist who says, “I don’t need to be forgiven, I will be good enough by my own moral reformation to please God.” This we would call a Pharisee. But the Pharisee is like the Libertine. The only difference is that they seek to cut off the opposite hand! But, the two hands of the covenant of grace are inseparable. Accordingly, Calvin assails those who claim only one benefit of the covenant at the expense of the other. Also, with the same effort these rascals, by canceling one section of it, tear apart God’s covenant, in which we see our salvation contained, and topple it from its foundation. Not only are they guilty of sacrilege in separating things till now joined.... Because Christ and the covenant are so intertwined, there are those who not only try to “tear apart God’s covenant” but who also attempt to “tear Christ in pieces”. Thirdly, he calls him our sanctification, by which he means, that we who are otherwise unholy by nature, are by his Spirit renewed unto holiness, that we may serve God. From this, also, we infer, that we cannot be justified freely through faith alone without at the same time living holily. For these fruits of grace are connected together, as it were, by an indissoluble tie, so that he who attempts to sever them does in a manner tear Christ in pieces. Let therefore the man who seeks to be justified through Christ, by God’s unmerited goodness, consider that this cannot be attained without his taking him at the same time for sanctification, or, in other words, being renewed to innocence and purity of life. Calvin repeatedly uses the image of tearing Christ in pieces to underscore the inseparableness of justification and sanctification. It is indeed true, that we are justified in Christ through the mercy of God alone; but it is equally true and certain, that all who are justified are called by the Lord, that they may live worthy of their vocation. Let then the faithful learn to embrace him, not only for justification, but also for sanctification, as he has been given to us for both these purposes, lest they rend him asunder by their mutilated faith. ...as Christ cannot be torn into parts, so these two which we perceive in him together and conjointly are inseparable--namely, righteousness and sanctification. Whomever, therefore, God receives into grace, on them he at the same time bestows the spirit of adoption, by whose power he remakes them to his own image. But since the question concerns only righteousness and sanctification, let us dwell upon these. Although we may distinguish them, Christ contains both of them inseparably in himself. Do you wish, then to attain righteousness in Christ? You must first possess Christ; but you cannot possess him without being made partaker in his sanctification, because he cannot be divided into pieces [I Corinthians 1:13]. Since, therefore, it is solely by expending himself that the Lord gives us these benefits to enjoy, he bestows both of them at the same time, the one never without the other. Thus it is clear how true it is that we are justified not without works yet not through works, since in our sharing in Christ, which justifies us, sanctification is just as much included as righteousness. The covenant therefore helps to organize the benefits of salvation. The two covenantal benefits of justification and sanctification are distinct, yet they are inseparably related and simultaneously received in Christ. Thus Christ and the covenant are essentially identified since both are the source of these great redemptive benefits. This doctrine gives Calvin a two edged sword to wield against his theological opponents. The Romanist, who thought his works merited salvation, was confronted with the fact that good works without Christ’s righteousness were still impure. The Libertine, who thought that Christ’s death made him spiritually pure regardless of his personal life, was confronted with the inseparability of the Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration and Christ’s righteousness. The three ideas from Calvin we have considered so far concerning the relationship of the two benefits of the covenant are: 1. Justification and Sanctification must be distinguished. 2. Justification and Sanctification are simultaneous given. 3. Justification and Sanctification are inseparable. Now let us consider the fourth idea of the relationship of justification and sanctification in Calvin: 4. Justification and Sanctification must be logically ordered. Or to put it in Calvin’s terms, what is subordinate is not contrary. The fourth point, then, that Calvin makes is that the two benefits of the covenant of grace are to be logically ordered. Or to put it another way, one benefit of the covenant is dominant and the other is subordinate. This too is like our two hands. If one is right handed, the right hand is the dominant hand over the left hand. The point that we must see here is that justification is always dominant over sanctification and sanctification is always dependent upon and subordinate to justification. So if one is right handed, it means his right hand, his justification hand, is the primary hand and the left hand, his sanctification hand, is dependent upon and subordinate to the right hand. Theologically speaking, this means that one can never say, “I know I’m forgiven because I’m doing so many good things.” This is to confuse the gospel. Instead, one must say, “Because I am forgiven and righteous in Christ, I can and will live for Him by the Holy Spirit.” Calvin compared justification to the foundation of a house, and he likened sanctification to the superstructure built upon that foundation. Thus the house of sanctification is always dependent upon the foundation of justification. Calvin actually uses an important dictum that comes from the medieval tradition, namely, “What is subordinate is not contrary.” What he meant in this context is that the righteousness of the believer’s obedience, which is real righteousness before God, does not present an alternate or contrary way of salvation. This is because sanctification is under or subordinate to the greater righteousness of Christ’s obedience in justification. Sanctification righteousness although graciously produced by the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the believer is nevertheless subordinate to Christ’s righteousness bestowed in justification. So sanctification is not a competing way of salvation for the believer since it is always inferior to the righteousness of Christ. Indeed, sanctification righteousness honors justification righteousness and by its very existence manifests the superior righteousness of Christ in justification. Accordingly, sanctification does not produce justification or have any role in justification’s work of forgiveness or of imputing the perfect righteousness of Christ. One must never depend on his own new obedience or sanctification. Instead, he must always depend upon Christ. To return to our analogy, the dependent hand of sanctification must always rely on the superior hand of justification that lays hold of Christ by faith. Thus Calvin’s covenant doctrine does not permit the law to be in opposition to the gospel after the blessings of the covenant are bestowed upon a believer. Justification and sanctification are necessary components of the divine benefits of salvation. They are bestowed “at the same time”. Yet a logical order exists between them which must not be overlooked. Since the “spirit” is added to the “letter” of the law, the believer has a true righteousness of obedience. But, It is a subordinate righteousness to the righteousness of Christ. Yet it is not a contrary righteousness. Calvin affirms this principle in his Antidote to the Council of Trent. We, indeed, willingly acknowledge, that believers ought to make daily increase in good works, and that the good works wherewith they are adorned by God, are sometimes distinguished by the name of righteousness. But since the whole value of works is derived from no other foundation than that of gratuitous acceptance, how absurd were it to make the former overthrow the latter! Why do they not remember what they learned when boys at school, that what is subordinate is not contrary? (Emphasis mine.) I say that it is owing to free imputation that we are considered righteous before God; I say that from this also another benefit proceeds, viz., that our works have the name of righteousness, though they are far from having the reality of righteousness. In short, I affirm, that not by our own merit but by faith alone, are both our persons and works justified; and the justification of works depends on the justification of the person, as the effect on the cause. Therefore, it is necessary that the righteousness of faith alone so precede in order, and be so preeminent in degree, that nothing can go before it or obscure it. In his The True Method of Giving Peace and Reforming the Church, Calvin again explains the subordination of the Christian’s works righteousness to the righteousness of faith. In order that ambiguities may be removed, it is necessary that the Righteousness which we obtain by faith, and which is freely bestowed upon us, should be placed in the highest rank, so that, as often as the conscience is brought before the tribunal of God, it alone may shine forth. In this way the righteousness of works, to whatever extent it may exist in us, being reduced to its own place, will never come, as it were, into conflict with the other; and certainly it is just, that as righteousness of works depends on righteousness of faith, it should be made subordinate to it, (Emphasis mine.) so as to leave the latter in full possession of the salvation of man. Thus for Calvin, the covenant is a powerful concept because it establishes that we are justified by faith alone, yet by a faith that is never alone, but is always accompanied by all of God’s saving graces. Thus the Gospel teaches us that Jesus is both Savior and Lord.” The indicative of our union with Christ is in justification (we are righteous) and the imperative of our union with Christ is in sanctification (we are to be righteous). As we have seen, both of these emphases are implied in the formula of the covenant. The following chart helps us to capture Calvin’s covenantal thought in terms of the two savings benefits of the covenant of grace. The Relationship of the Two Parts of the Covenant of Grace in Calvin’s Thought Justification Sanctification 1. Through the Covenant of Grace in Union with Christ 1. Through the Covenant of Grace in Union with Christ 2. Simultaneous with Sanctification 2. Simultaneous with justification 3. Inseparable from Sanctification 3. Inseparable from Justification 4. Distinguishable from Sanctification 4. Distinguishable from Justification 5. By Faith Alone in Christ 5. By Faith and Obedience to the Law through Enablement of the Holy Spirit 6. A Superior righteousness that is not contrary to Sanctification Righteousness 6. An Inferior Righteousness not contrary to Justification Righteousness 7. Faith Alone Justifies and is the Superior Cause of Salvation 7. But Faith is Never Alone in the Justified Person, so sanctification’s works are Inferior Causes of Salvation 8. Imputed Righteousness 8. Inherent Righteousness V. The Different Ethical Tendencies Emerging From Covenantal Ethics And Dispensational Ethics. What difference does the covenantal rather than the dispensational reading of the Bible really make in the Christian life? First, we should see that covenant theology declares that the kingdom of Christ has already begun and is not completely future. If one believes that the kingdom is yet to come but is not yet here, it is possible for the church to see itself as a group of people that should retreat from the world, to care mainly about themselves. The Church’s primary task then is to invite others to join them in their retreat from culture. This approach often asserts that the world is going to get worse and worse and there is nothing anyone can do about it. All one can hope for is for Jesus to come and rapture the Church out of this fallen world and only then everything will be right. Allow me here to give a personal experience. When I left Dallas Seminary in 1978 to go to Westminster Seminary, it was at the time of the first great oil crisis caused by the oil embargoes. I vividly remember being in those long lines of cars at the gas station. In Philadelphia I received word from friends in Dallas that the Seminary had decided to take out an ad in the local newspaper declaring that this was the last call for the rapture. It is clear that there have been a several more opportunities for Dispensational interpreters to call for the rapture! The best-selling Left Behind series hadn’t yet been written. This was when I realized I could no longer be a Dispensationalistnot if Dispensationalism focused on reading newspapers to figure out when Jesus would come. I began to understand that the question we should have been asking was, “How does one live for Christ if there’s no gasoline?” There is a different ethic created by Dispensationalism and by Covenant Theology. Dispensationalism asks one to live in light of the raptureno gasoline means the rapture is coming. Covenant Theology, however, asks one to reflect on what it means to be a Christian when one can no longer pump gas. Jesus taught in Matthew 5, “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” He was not talking only to the Old Testament people of Israel. He was talking to Christians. In essence, He was saying: “You are to make a difference. You are to be salty salt that purifies a fallen world and you are to be radiant light that dispels the darkness of unbelief that surrounds the believer. You are to touch the world with what you believe and in what you do.” Covenant Theology declares that believers are to influence their cultures for Christ’s sake. Light shines and dispels darkness. Light makes its presence known. So the Christian is to be the light of the world wherever he goes, whether into a family, into a school, into a political party, into a university or into a business. He is to shine the light of the kingdom of Christ everywhere and make a difference. An adherent of covenant theology must understand that he is to demonstrate that the kingdom of Christ is present. The Christian should be able to say, “I will make a difference for His name wherever I ameverywhere I go, in everything I do, in everything I say.” That is the vision of the ethics of covenant theology, rather than looking to the future trying to ascertain the dates and times of Christ’s return. Covenant Theology accepts Jesus’ agnosticism about the time of His return. Our Lord taught us that, “No man knows the day or the hour or the time or the season that’s appointed by the Father.” Instead of figuring out the time of Christ’s return, one is to be occupied in service to Christ until He comes. We are to be busy in the world, seeking to reach the world for Christ’s sake. Christ’s Kingdom has irrupted or broken into the space and time of human existence. Thus Jesus taught that His gospel of the kingdom had to be preached in the entire world and only then would the end come. Thus believers are called to be missionaries and evangelists engaging our changing world with God’s unchanging Word so that his kingdom will make progress. VI. The Corporate Character Of Calvin’s Covenant al Understanding Of Sacraments. Finally, I will offer a few observations about the sacraments as they are differently viewed from the Dispensational perspective and from the vantage point of Covenant Theology. This vast topic could encompass the nature, meaning and practice of the sacraments in terms of the Eucharist, Baptism and Infant Baptism. But to state the matter simply, let us note that Dispensationalism tends to see the sacraments in a more individualistic sense, whereas Covenant Theology insists that the sacraments are to impact the entire community of God’s people. Dispensationalism’s individualistic tendency parallels its belief that the world will grow worse and worse. But as long as one believes in Christ as Savior, everything will ultimately be all right since the individual believer will go to heaven. In contrast, without diminishing the joyful hope of the individual’s salvation, covenant theology affirms with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Covenant Theology recognizes the corporate nature of God’s covenant promise, as seen in the intergenerational expression of the formula of the covenant from the Old Testament, “I will be your God and the God of your children after you” and “To a thousand generations of those that love me and keep my commandments.” On the basis of these Old Testament promises that are held to be still valid in the New Testament era, Calvin and covenant theology have affirmed the corporate character of the covenant as expressed especially in infant baptism. Calvin is so adamant that the covenant with the Jews continues into the New Covenant era that he asserts that to deny this is nothing less than blasphemy! For Calvin, such denial implies that Christ’s coming actually narrowed God’s grace rather than expanding it: Yet Scripture opens to us a still surer knowledge of the truth. Indeed, it is most evident that the covenant which the Lord once made with Abraham is no less in force today for Christians than it was of old for the Jewish people, and that this work relates no less to Christians than it then related to the Jews. Unless perhaps we think that Christ by his coming lessened or curtailed the grace of the Father--but this is nothing but execrable blasphemy! Accordingly, the children of the Jews also, because they had been made heirs of his covenant and distinguished from the children of the impious, were called a holy seed. For this same reason the children of Christians are considered holy; and even though born with only one believing parent, by the apostle’s testimony they differ from the unclean seed of idolaters. Now seeing that the Lord immediately after making the covenant with Abraham commanded it to be sealed in infants by an outward sacrament what excuse will Christians give for not testifying and sealing it in their children today? Children in the Old Testament and in the New are a holy seed by virtue of the same covenantal promise made by God with Abraham. Accordingly, infant baptism bears the same force of command as circumcision. Nor does Calvin accept the evasion that Abraham’s children in the Old Testament Covenant simply foreshadow believers in the New Covenant era. This cannot be, because God’s covenant established with Abraham includes the Christian believer and their children too. In the use of the term “children” they find this difference: those who had their origin from his seed were called children of Abraham under the Old Testament; now, those who imitate his faith are called by this name. They therefore say that that physical infancy which was engrafted into the fellowship of the covenant through circumcision foreshadowed the spiritual infants of the New Testament, who were regenerated to immortal life by God’s Word. In these words, indeed, we see a feeble spark of truth. But those fickle spirits gravely sin in seizing upon whatever first comes to hand where they ought to proceed further, and in stubbornly clinging to one word where they ought to compare many things together....We should, accordingly, aim at a better target, to which we are directed by the very sure guidance of Scripture. Therefore, the Lord promises Abraham that he will have offspring in whom all the nations of the earth will be blessed, and at the same time assures him that he will be his God and the God of his descendants. All those who by faith receive Christ as author of the blessing are heirs of this promise, and are therefore called children of Abraham. Calvin’s point is that while there is an element of truth in the objection, it does not fully explain all of the salient Scriptural data. It is true that the offspring of Abraham’s flesh foreshadowed the future offspring of Abraham by faith. Yet this fact does not remove the promise that God made to Abraham’s physical offspring. God assured Abraham “that he will be his God and the God of his descendants.” Calvin’s response is not an either/or, but a both/and. The implication for the practice of baptism is that the offspring of Abraham are heirs of the promise, even those who became his offspring by faith. Thus the children of Abraham’s offspring by faith are also made full partakers of the promise, since they are now part of his family. The covenant with Abraham continues to operate in the New Covenant era. A criticism of Calvin’s argument for paedobaptism is that the only sign of the covenant was circumcision, and it has ceased. Therefore, the covenant of circumcision is of no value because its sign is abolished. Calvin’s retort is that the changing of the sign does not change the covenant. And let no one object against me that the Lord did not command that his covenant be confirmed by any other symbol than circumcision, which has long since been abolished. There is a ready answer that for the time of the Old Testament he instituted circumcision, to confirm his covenant, but that after circumcision was abolished, the same reason for confirming his covenant (which we have in common with the Jews) still holds good. Consequently, we must always diligently consider what is common to both, and what they have apart from us. The covenant is common, and the reason for confirming it is common. Only the manner of confirmation is different--what was circumcision for them was replaced for us by baptism. If it is true that there is no replacement for circumcision, then in Calvin’s mind, Christ’s coming actually obscured God’s grace rather than increasing it: Otherwise, if the testimony by which the Jews were assured of the salvation of their posterity is taken away from us, Christ’s coming would have the effect of making God’s grace more obscure and less attested for us than it had previously been for the Jews. Now, this cannot be said without grievously slandering Christ, through whom the Father’s infinite goodness was more clearly and liberally poured out upon the earth and declared to men than ever before. As covenantal theologians in the New Testament era, following in the covenantal hermeneutic of Calvin, we are to be concerned in our sacramental lives with the corporate character of the covenant community just as the people of the Old Testament era understood the corporate character of God’s covenantal promises to them. These covenantal promises are not merely individual, but they encompass the importance of the whole family and the coming generations as we personally and collectively grow in Christ. Conclusion: There are several other areas of covenantal thought in Calvin that could be pursued. But we shall conclude having seen that for Calvin, biblical interpretation, the saving benefits of Christ, Christian ethics and the Church’s sacramental life are all important expressions of God’s one and eternal saving covenant of grace revealed throughout the history of redemption from Old Testament to New Testament. Although Calvin never encountered Dispensationalism per se, his understanding of the covenant was directly opposed to the foundational premises of Dispensationalism. So with pun intended, in this New Testament dispensation of God’s one covenant of grace in Christ, which includes the 500th anniversary of Calvin, let us maintain the covenant as a central element in our biblical and theological labors. For as Calvin himself declared as he commented on Psalm 25:10, “We have no reason to be afraid that God will deceive us if we persevere in His covenant.” Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)(Pennsylvania Proclamation Presbyterian Church(미국 펜실베이니어 선포장로교회))
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(2)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:
A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(2)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1:3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1:13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6)/ Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)/ 2015-02-12 A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(칼빈의 언약적 성경해석과 언약신학으로부터 추론된 세대주의 비평)(2)/ Matthew 12:28(마12:28), Matthew 13:40-43(마13:40-43), Acts 1:3(행1;3), Acts 28:31(행28:31), Col. 1:13(골1;13), Rev. 1:6(계1:6) A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenantal Hermeneutic And Covenant Theology(2) Lecture II. A Critique Of Dispensationalism Derived From Calvin’s Covenant Theology As we saw in the first lecture, Calvin interprets the Bible in a covenantal and Christocentric manner. He is firmly committed to the organic unity of the history of redemption that is explained in its continuity and discontinuity by God’s covenantal revelation. The eight points that we addressed in our first lecture are: I. The Differences Between Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. II. The Differing Historical Origins Of Dispensationalism And Covenant Theology. III. Calvin’s Emphasis On The Unity Of The Bible Seen In The Formula of the Covenant. IV. Calvin’s Covenantal Dictum For Interpreting The Bible: The Covenant Is Always The Same In Substance, Yet It Is Distinct In Administration. V. While Christ Is The Heart Of The Bible There Is Continuity And Discontinuity In The Covenant. VI. God’s Promises Of Salvation In Christ Are Organically Present In The Old Testament: The Covenant Is The “DNA” Of The History Of Salvation. VII. Boundary Disputes: The Covenantal Interpretation And the Dispensational Interpretation of the Old Testament Land Promises. VIII. Covenant Theology Teaches That The Kingdom Is Not Just Future, It Is Already But Not Yet. Having seen Calvin’s covenantal hermeneutic and how its implications stand in contrast to the hermeneutics of Dispensationalism, let us now consider Calvin’s covenant theology that flows from his covenantal hermeneutic and see how it stands in critique of Dispensational theology. We will address the following six points in this second lecture: I. Covenant Theology Celebrates Christ’s Incarnation Because By Assuming Humanity, Christ Becomes The Covenant. II. The First Saving Benefit of the Covenant Of Grace Is Justification by Faith Alone. III. The Second Saving Benefit Of The Covenant Of Grace Is Sanctification By Faith and Obedience. IV. The Four-Fold Relationship Of Sanctification And Justification In Calvin’s Covenant Theology. V. The Different Ethical Tendencies Emerging From Covenantal Ethics And Dispensational Ethics. VI. The Corporate Character Of Calvin’s Covenant al Understanding Of Sacraments. Let us then look at the first of these six points. I. Covenant Theology Celebrates Christ’s Incarnation Because By Assuming Humanity, Christ Becomes The Covenant. Before Calvin began to write his theology, Heinrich Bullinger had already emphasized in his 1534 Of The One And Eternal Testament Or Covenant Of God that Christ Himself is the covenant due to His incarnation. Bullinger explains in his tenth section entitled, “Christ, the Seal and Living Confirmation of the Covenant”: What I am about to say of Christ the Lord is not the entire doctrine. Rather, it is that very point worthy of admiration due to His incarnation, namely, the eternal covenant of God with the race of men that covenant which He set forth and confirmed in an astonishing and living way. Indeed, when the true God assumed true humanity, immediately it [i.e., the covenant] was not treated with more words and arguments, rather, by this thing itself, that greatest mystery is attested to the whole world--that God admitted man into covenant and partnership. Further, He bound man to Himself by an indissoluble connection by the highest miracle of love, to be our God. Thus undoubtedly with Isaiah we too believe the name given to Christ (Isaiah 7:14). He is called Immanuel, just as if someone might say, “God with us.” Thus the Gospels review these innumerable miracles and great benefits of Christ with so many examples. By these indeed, Isaiah declared God to be kind, and therefore the Horn of Plenty, the Father, and Shaddai to the human race. To this name also the very death and resurrection of Christ are referred. They [i.e. the words that compose the name Immanuel] are indeed most certain testimonies of the divine mercy, justice, and restitution of life. By Christ, God Himself established and expounded for us all of Himself, before our eyes; blessing us and accepting us as cleansed by Christ, into partnership and the eternal kingdom. All of which John’s Gospel says embraced by the few but heavenly words, “In the beginning was the word, and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory; glory, I say, which was proper for the only-begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. Indeed of His fullness, we have received grace for grace. Because the law was given by Moses, grace and truth have appeared by Jesus Christ” (John 1:1, 14, 16, 17). You hear this highest truth, that mystery that God has become a man, that is, He has become entirely of us, He Himself dwells among us. You hear that He has begun to shine His power and glory to the world, not for any other plan than that He may draw us to Himself by most beautiful benefits in His love, who is the fullness of our God Shaddai. For Paul also says, “In Christ dwells all the fullness of God bodily, and you are in Him complete and perfect” (Colossians 2:9, 10). In this way, therefore, the Lord Jesus Himself confirmed and displayed the first part of the covenant. The very incarnation shows that God is God--Shaddai, the blessing and eternal happiness of the seed of Abraham. (My translation.) To get at what Bullinger is saying, let us suppose that God said, “I so want you to know that I am your God and that you are My people, that I will give you a proof that you cannot possibly forget or overlook it.” God’s proof of His covenantal commitment is seen in His becoming a man. By Jesus’ incarnation, the God-Man becomes the union of God and man, thus mirroring the very covenant itself. The formula of the covenant says, “I will be your God and you will be My people.” By the incarnation God declared, “Because I am your God and because you are My people, I your God am becoming a human person like you, to be with you.” Isaiah 7:14 says, “The virgin will conceive and have a Son and you will name Him Immanuel”. Immanuel means, “With us is God” or “God with us”. The name Immanuel is the covenant name, meaning that “God is with us”. Jesus as the incarnate Covenant Savior and Lord permanently unites God to His people by taking on unfallen human nature and becoming a man. Thus Jesus’ incarnation physically manifests the formula of the covenant: “I will be your God and you will be My people.” By the incarnation, God in Christ declares, I am with you and you are with Me. Calvin’s emphasis on Christ as the very covenant of God is seen in his extensive Christ-centered development of the covenant of grace’s saving benefits. Consider the following: Let us then set forth the covenant that he once established as eternal and never perishing. Its fulfillment, by which it is finally confirmed and ratified, is Christ. Who, then, dares to separate the Jews from Christ, since with them we hear, was made the covenant of the gospel, the sole foundation of which is Christ? ...the apostle contends that it ought to be terminated and abrogated, to give place to Christ, the Sponsor and Mediator of a better covenant;... This is the new covenant that God in Christ has made with us, that he will remember our sins no more. The intimate relationship of Christ and the covenant for Calvin can be seen by their repeated juxtaposition. The covenant not only contains Christ, but He is its foundation. The promise of both of the Old and New Covenants have Christ as their foundation. Since the New Covenant is from the beginning, the Old Covenant is Christian. Thus the Old Testament fathers had Christ. The law includes Christ. The Old Covenant’s end was Christ and eternal life. In fact, the Old Covenant was an empty show unless Christ’s death and resurrection are part of it. Thus the ark of the Covenant, the Old Testament ceremonies, and the progressive revelation of the Old Covenant all point to Christ. Christ’s advent ushers in the New Covenant that stands in continuity with the Old. The Redeemer’s coming does not invalidate the Old Covenant. Instead, He renews and continues it. He causes it to be new and eternal. By fulfilling and confirming the Old Covenant, Christ brought an eternal and never perishing covenant. Christ’s redemptive work is fully integrated with the covenant. Accordingly, Christ is the Mediator, the Sponsor, the Redeemer, and testator of the covenant. The blood of the covenant in Christ’s atonement or redemptive death for sin is what ratifies the covenant. Thus the covenant is ratified with Christ and His members. Christ’s resurrection, intercession, priesthood, and Kingdom, are associated with the covenant. Indeed, Christ is the one who confirms, seals and sanctions the covenant. Calvin also sees a relationship of Christ and the covenant in the application of redemption in such areas as faith, sonship, union with God and Christ, good works, and the Sacraments. Clearly, Christ and covenant is a major strand in Calvin’s golden chain of salvation. The commentaries also relate Christ and the covenant on numerous points. Calvin further develops his emphasis on Christ as the very covenant of God when he explains the inseparability of the covenant of grace’s saving benefits in the very same manner in which he explains the inseparability of these same saving benefits in Christ Himself. We will consider this below in section IV of this lecture. II. The First Saving Benefit of the Covenant Of Grace Is Justification by Faith Alone. As we have seen, the word for covenant in Hebrew is berith, meaning to cut. In this context, consider Genesis 15. Childless Abram wanted a son. So the Lord brought Abram out to view a clear starry night’ sky. The Lord promised Abram that his children would be as numerous as the stars. We read in Genesis 15:6, Abram believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. We call this justification by faith. In fact, Paul uses this same text in his Epistle to the Romans to show that believers are justified by faith alone. Here God brings righteousness to Abram through faith by means of a covenant, a berith. To make this covenant sacrifice, Abram takes different kinds of animals and cuts them from the top of the head, through the nose, through the torso, all the way through the tail, and then the pieces are laid on the ground. This is indeed a berith, a cutting, a bloody sacrifice. This powerful image was an ancient custom by which one made a covenant. In making a covenant, one slew an animal and then walked between its parts and in essence promised, “If I don’t keep my promise, I will be just like the animals that we’ve just walked between.” To make a mortgage that way with your bank would be to sign it in blood! Here we see a promise joined with a sanction or punishment for disobedience. If the covenanter did not keep his word, he would be like the animal that was just slain. But the story doesn’t stop there. Next Abram watches the sun setting, he gets ready to enter into the covenant but instead he falls into a deep sleep. He is in effect paralyzed and he hears God speak. He sees a theophany, a manifestation of God. It is a smoking pot and a burning oven that alone passes through the middle of the animal parts, while Abram has no part in this covenant. The Lord in effect was saying, “Abram I alone establish the covenant. I alone can bring you righteousness. I alone can fulfill this promise. You cannot do it. But you will benefit by this covenant since you have been justified by faith.” Moreover, the Lord was also making a great promise. In effect He said, “If I don’t keep My promise, I will cease to exist.” But the Lord in essence was also saying even more: “So that you might be righteous, I will have to assume flesh and become the Lamb of God who is slain as a sacrifice for sinners to take away the sin of the world.” In this dramatic story of ancient covenant making by sacrifice, God alone guarantees the formula of the covenant: “I will be your God and you will be My people.” When one is justified by faith in Christ, he does absolutely nothing but receive Christ’s gift of His perfect righteousness before God. This righteousness is imputed to him by faith alone that he receives with a beggar’s hands of faith. Christians are in this covenant by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone as seen in the Scriptures alone so that God alone receives the glory in our salvation. III. The Second Saving Benefit Of The Covenant Of Grace Is Sanctification By Faith and Obedience. But this is not where Abram’s story stops. We next turn to Genesis 17 where we find that the Lord makes a covenant with Abram by changing his name and giving him a new name. So Abram becomes Abraham. As this new name is given, another covenant is made that begins with the words, “Walk before me and be blameless.” In essence God says, “Remember you did not walk between the animal parts before, but were righteous by faith. But now you must walk before me and be blameless. In fact, you are going to have the covenant, the berith, cut in your own flesh. You are going to be the living sacrifice. Your very body is to be cut in the covenant of circumcision.” Thus it is no longer an animal, but Abram who is the covenant sacrifice. By extension, circumcision leads to the circumcision of the heart, the removing of the old nature. This is what Abraham is supposed to become as one who has been justified by faith. He is now to walk with God. This theologians have called sanctification. Those that are justified by faith are also those who are to learn to walk in holiness before God and become living sacrifices, as Paul called them in Romans 12:1-2. In covenant sacrifice, Abram was to give his body onto the Lord as a living sacrifice. Consider again Jeremiah 31. There God said He was going to make a new covenant with Israel, a new berith. It would not be like the covenant that He made with Israel where the law of God was written on tablets of stone and were broken because the people rebelled and worshiped the golden calf. This time God would write the law on Israel’s hearts, forgiving their sins. But notice that the new covenant presents a second great benefit. The first benefit of the covenant is forgiveness of sins which is called justification by faith. The second benefit of the covenant is sanctification in which the law of God is written on the hearts of God’s people so that they will live for Him. Thus the new covenant has two great blessings: justification and sanctification. Reflect again on the formula of the covenant: “I will be your God and you will be my people.” One can hear both the truths of justification and of sanctification in the formula of the covenant. Listen to the two emphases that the covenant formula can be given. The first emphasis says, I will be your God and you will be My people. Do you hear that wonderful promise? God says, “You are righteous through faith in Me. I’m giving you this.” This is the indicative or factual expression of the Covenant of Grace. Now let me read these same words again but accent them in a different way: I will be your God and you will be My people. Do you hear a different nuance in the same words? By emphasizing the words in this way, we move from the indicative to the imperative. In other words, what God has promised, He also demands. And what God demands, He also promises. God’s enabling us to keep His covenant is seen in the fact that He writes His law on our hearts. He has not only forgiven us, but now He also gives us the ability to become His people. This gracious gift is underscored by God’s revealed name in Genesis 17El Shaddai, the Almighty and All-Sufficient God. So justification and sanctification are the two great benefits of the covenant that come to us in God’s covenant of grace. And remember this formula of the covenant goes from Genesis all the way to Revelation and it’s the one people of God that participate in it. All too often Dispensational and evangelical theology separates sanctification from God’s saving grace. It is an expression of growth and maturity but not part of God’s redemptive plan. Covenant theology following Calvin’s emphasis on what he called the “duplex gratiae” or double graces declares that God saves His people by justifying and sanctifying them. IV. The Four-Fold Relationship Of Sanctification And Justification In Calvin’s Covenant Theology. These truths of the covenant must be taught to God’s people of all ages. Accordingly, we need an illustration that is useful for children and grown ups too. So allow me to offer such an illustration by asking you to look carefully at your hands. You have a right hand and a left hand. Your two hands will now stand for the two blessings of the New Covenant: sanctification, I will write my law on your hearts; justification, I will forgive your sins. Let your dominant hand be your justification hand. So if you are right handed, think of your right hand as your justification hand and your left hand as your sanctification hand. If you are left handed, let your left hand be your justification hand and your right hand be your sanctification hand. I want you to learn four important principles of the relationship of justification and sanctification from your two hands. These principles are: 1. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, must be distinguished. 2. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, are simultaneous given. 3. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, are inseparable. 4. Justification and sanctification, like your hands, must be logically ordered. Notice first that a person’s two hands are distinct. That is important to remember. If someone says, “Turn right,” and one turns left he will get into trouble or get lost. Early on, people learn to distinguish their right hands from their left. The point is this: justification and sanctification, the two benefits of the covenant, are distinct. We must distinguish them. The great mistake of Roman Catholicism is to say the way one is justified is by becoming sanctified. Catholicism teaches that if one does good works, God will declare such a one to be righteous. But that destroys justification by faith alone. In this illustration, that is to confuse one’s left hand with his right hand, or to identify his justification with his sanctification. But some evangelicals think of this in an opposite way from Roman Catholics. But still, they confuse their right and left hands, or confuse justification and sanctification. In this view, sometimes called, “easy-believism” one declares, “If I believe in Jesus that is how I become forgiven and holy. It doesn’t matter if I do anything else as long as I believe, because that’s all one needs before God.” This view teaches that one becomes sanctified by being justified. But that is to confuse one’s right hand with his left hand, or to identify one’s sanctification with his justification. This is the reverse of Catholicism, but like Catholicism, it confuses justification and sanctification. Calvin taught and the Reformed faith teaches that there are two great saving benefits of the covenant of grace, and we must never confuse them. We have two hands which are distinct and we must never confuse them. Notice secondly, that the two hands we have, were given to us simultaneously. Humans are born with a right and left hand that come simultaneously. So when God brings us the blessings of the New Covenant, He not only forgives our sins as a completed act and declares us to be righteous by clothing us in the righteousness of Christ, He also gives us the Holy Spirit to begin to make us holy. With this gift of the Holy Spirit, God starts the process of teaching us to become holy, to die to sin and to live to Christ. While the sanctification work of the Holy Spirit is a process that goes on and on, it starts at the same time as our forgiveness or justification in Christ. These two benefits of the covenant are simultaneous. Nevertheless, we must distinguish them for they are different. The third thing we need to realize about these two New Covenant blessings is that they are inseparable. No one decides to take off his left hand when in a hurry and says, “I don’t have time to mess with my left hand today”. If one’s left hand gets separated he uses his other hand to dial a doctor and pleads, “Could you reattach this hand? I don’t want them separated!” Nevertheless, there are people that spiritually speaking want to separate justification from sanctification. A libertine says, “I just want to be forgiven. I want a Jesus credit card so I can just do what I want and know I’m forgiven.” But one cannot do that. The puritans in essence used to say, “When you receive Jesus, you receive Him in all of His offices as prophet, priest, and king. Not just as a priest who gives you forgiveness and a sacrifice. But also as a king who rules over you and a prophet who teaches you His word. You cannot separate his offices.” The opposite of this is the legalist who says, “I don’t need to be forgiven, I will be good enough by my own moral reformation to please God.” This we would call a Pharisee. But the Pharisee is like the Libertine. The only difference is that they seek to cut off the opposite hand! But, the two hands of the covenant of grace are inseparable. Accordingly, Calvin assails those who claim only one benefit of the covenant at the expense of the other. Also, with the same effort these rascals, by canceling one section of it, tear apart God’s covenant, in which we see our salvation contained, and topple it from its foundation. Not only are they guilty of sacrilege in separating things till now joined.... Because Christ and the covenant are so intertwined, there are those who not only try to “tear apart God’s covenant” but who also attempt to “tear Christ in pieces”. Thirdly, he calls him our sanctification, by which he means, that we who are otherwise unholy by nature, are by his Spirit renewed unto holiness, that we may serve God. From this, also, we infer, that we cannot be justified freely through faith alone without at the same time living holily. For these fruits of grace are connected together, as it were, by an indissoluble tie, so that he who attempts to sever them does in a manner tear Christ in pieces. Let therefore the man who seeks to be justified through Christ, by God’s unmerited goodness, consider that this cannot be attained without his taking him at the same time for sanctification, or, in other words, being renewed to innocence and purity of life. Calvin repeatedly uses the image of tearing Christ in pieces to underscore the inseparableness of justification and sanctification. It is indeed true, that we are justified in Christ through the mercy of God alone; but it is equally true and certain, that all who are justified are called by the Lord, that they may live worthy of their vocation. Let then the faithful learn to embrace him, not only for justification, but also for sanctification, as he has been given to us for both these purposes, lest they rend him asunder by their mutilated faith. ...as Christ cannot be torn into parts, so these two which we perceive in him together and conjointly are inseparable--namely, righteousness and sanctification. Whomever, therefore, God receives into grace, on them he at the same time bestows the spirit of adoption, by whose power he remakes them to his own image. But since the question concerns only righteousness and sanctification, let us dwell upon these. Although we may distinguish them, Christ contains both of them inseparably in himself. Do you wish, then to attain righteousness in Christ? You must first possess Christ; but you cannot possess him without being made partaker in his sanctification, because he cannot be divided into pieces [I Corinthians 1:13]. Since, therefore, it is solely by expending himself that the Lord gives us these benefits to enjoy, he bestows both of them at the same time, the one never without the other. Thus it is clear how true it is that we are justified not without works yet not through works, since in our sharing in Christ, which justifies us, sanctification is just as much included as righteousness. The covenant therefore helps to organize the benefits of salvation. The two covenantal benefits of justification and sanctification are distinct, yet they are inseparably related and simultaneously received in Christ. Thus Christ and the covenant are essentially identified since both are the source of these great redemptive benefits. This doctrine gives Calvin a two edged sword to wield against his theological opponents. The Romanist, who thought his works merited salvation, was confronted with the fact that good works without Christ’s righteousness were still impure. The Libertine, who thought that Christ’s death made him spiritually pure regardless of his personal life, was confronted with the inseparability of the Holy Spirit’s work of regeneration and Christ’s righteousness. The three ideas from Calvin we have considered so far concerning the relationship of the two benefits of the covenant are: 1. Justification and Sanctification must be distinguished. 2. Justification and Sanctification are simultaneous given. 3. Justification and Sanctification are inseparable. Now let us consider the fourth idea of the relationship of justification and sanctification in Calvin: 4. Justification and Sanctification must be logically ordered. Or to put it in Calvin’s terms, what is subordinate is not contrary. The fourth point, then, that Calvin makes is that the two benefits of the covenant of grace are to be logically ordered. Or to put it another way, one benefit of the covenant is dominant and the other is subordinate. This too is like our two hands. If one is right handed, the right hand is the dominant hand over the left hand. The point that we must see here is that justification is always dominant over sanctification and sanctification is always dependent upon and subordinate to justification. So if one is right handed, it means his right hand, his justification hand, is the primary hand and the left hand, his sanctification hand, is dependent upon and subordinate to the right hand. Theologically speaking, this means that one can never say, “I know I’m forgiven because I’m doing so many good things.” This is to confuse the gospel. Instead, one must say, “Because I am forgiven and righteous in Christ, I can and will live for Him by the Holy Spirit.” Calvin compared justification to the foundation of a house, and he likened sanctification to the superstructure built upon that foundation. Thus the house of sanctification is always dependent upon the foundation of justification. Calvin actually uses an important dictum that comes from the medieval tradition, namely, “What is subordinate is not contrary.” What he meant in this context is that the righteousness of the believer’s obedience, which is real righteousness before God, does not present an alternate or contrary way of salvation. This is because sanctification is under or subordinate to the greater righteousness of Christ’s obedience in justification. Sanctification righteousness although graciously produced by the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the believer is nevertheless subordinate to Christ’s righteousness bestowed in justification. So sanctification is not a competing way of salvation for the believer since it is always inferior to the righteousness of Christ. Indeed, sanctification righteousness honors justification righteousness and by its very existence manifests the superior righteousness of Christ in justification. Accordingly, sanctification does not produce justification or have any role in justification’s work of forgiveness or of imputing the perfect righteousness of Christ. One must never depend on his own new obedience or sanctification. Instead, he must always depend upon Christ. To return to our analogy, the dependent hand of sanctification must always rely on the superior hand of justification that lays hold of Christ by faith. Thus Calvin’s covenant doctrine does not permit the law to be in opposition to the gospel after the blessings of the covenant are bestowed upon a believer. Justification and sanctification are necessary components of the divine benefits of salvation. They are bestowed “at the same time”. Yet a logical order exists between them which must not be overlooked. Since the “spirit” is added to the “letter” of the law, the believer has a true righteousness of obedience. But, It is a subordinate righteousness to the righteousness of Christ. Yet it is not a contrary righteousness. Calvin affirms this principle in his Antidote to the Council of Trent. We, indeed, willingly acknowledge, that believers ought to make daily increase in good works, and that the good works wherewith they are adorned by God, are sometimes distinguished by the name of righteousness. But since the whole value of works is derived from no other foundation than that of gratuitous acceptance, how absurd were it to make the former overthrow the latter! Why do they not remember what they learned when boys at school, that what is subordinate is not contrary? (Emphasis mine.) I say that it is owing to free imputation that we are considered righteous before God; I say that from this also another benefit proceeds, viz., that our works have the name of righteousness, though they are far from having the reality of righteousness. In short, I affirm, that not by our own merit but by faith alone, are both our persons and works justified; and the justification of works depends on the justification of the person, as the effect on the cause. Therefore, it is necessary that the righteousness of faith alone so precede in order, and be so preeminent in degree, that nothing can go before it or obscure it. In his The True Method of Giving Peace and Reforming the Church, Calvin again explains the subordination of the Christian’s works righteousness to the righteousness of faith. In order that ambiguities may be removed, it is necessary that the Righteousness which we obtain by faith, and which is freely bestowed upon us, should be placed in the highest rank, so that, as often as the conscience is brought before the tribunal of God, it alone may shine forth. In this way the righteousness of works, to whatever extent it may exist in us, being reduced to its own place, will never come, as it were, into conflict with the other; and certainly it is just, that as righteousness of works depends on righteousness of faith, it should be made subordinate to it, (Emphasis mine.) so as to leave the latter in full possession of the salvation of man. Thus for Calvin, the covenant is a powerful concept because it establishes that we are justified by faith alone, yet by a faith that is never alone, but is always accompanied by all of God’s saving graces. Thus the Gospel teaches us that Jesus is both Savior and Lord.” The indicative of our union with Christ is in justification (we are righteous) and the imperative of our union with Christ is in sanctification (we are to be righteous). As we have seen, both of these emphases are implied in the formula of the covenant. The following chart helps us to capture Calvin’s covenantal thought in terms of the two savings benefits of the covenant of grace. The Relationship of the Two Parts of the Covenant of Grace in Calvin’s Thought Justification Sanctification 1. Through the Covenant of Grace in Union with Christ 1. Through the Covenant of Grace in Union with Christ 2. Simultaneous with Sanctification 2. Simultaneous with justification 3. Inseparable from Sanctification 3. Inseparable from Justification 4. Distinguishable from Sanctification 4. Distinguishable from Justification 5. By Faith Alone in Christ 5. By Faith and Obedience to the Law through Enablement of the Holy Spirit 6. A Superior righteousness that is not contrary to Sanctification Righteousness 6. An Inferior Righteousness not contrary to Justification Righteousness 7. Faith Alone Justifies and is the Superior Cause of Salvation 7. But Faith is Never Alone in the Justified Person, so sanctification’s works are Inferior Causes of Salvation 8. Imputed Righteousness 8. Inherent Righteousness V. The Different Ethical Tendencies Emerging From Covenantal Ethics And Dispensational Ethics. What difference does the covenantal rather than the dispensational reading of the Bible really make in the Christian life? First, we should see that covenant theology declares that the kingdom of Christ has already begun and is not completely future. If one believes that the kingdom is yet to come but is not yet here, it is possible for the church to see itself as a group of people that should retreat from the world, to care mainly about themselves. The Church’s primary task then is to invite others to join them in their retreat from culture. This approach often asserts that the world is going to get worse and worse and there is nothing anyone can do about it. All one can hope for is for Jesus to come and rapture the Church out of this fallen world and only then everything will be right. Allow me here to give a personal experience. When I left Dallas Seminary in 1978 to go to Westminster Seminary, it was at the time of the first great oil crisis caused by the oil embargoes. I vividly remember being in those long lines of cars at the gas station. In Philadelphia I received word from friends in Dallas that the Seminary had decided to take out an ad in the local newspaper declaring that this was the last call for the rapture. It is clear that there have been a several more opportunities for Dispensational interpreters to call for the rapture! The best-selling Left Behind series hadn’t yet been written. This was when I realized I could no longer be a Dispensationalistnot if Dispensationalism focused on reading newspapers to figure out when Jesus would come. I began to understand that the question we should have been asking was, “How does one live for Christ if there’s no gasoline?” There is a different ethic created by Dispensationalism and by Covenant Theology. Dispensationalism asks one to live in light of the raptureno gasoline means the rapture is coming. Covenant Theology, however, asks one to reflect on what it means to be a Christian when one can no longer pump gas. Jesus taught in Matthew 5, “You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world.” He was not talking only to the Old Testament people of Israel. He was talking to Christians. In essence, He was saying: “You are to make a difference. You are to be salty salt that purifies a fallen world and you are to be radiant light that dispels the darkness of unbelief that surrounds the believer. You are to touch the world with what you believe and in what you do.” Covenant Theology declares that believers are to influence their cultures for Christ’s sake. Light shines and dispels darkness. Light makes its presence known. So the Christian is to be the light of the world wherever he goes, whether into a family, into a school, into a political party, into a university or into a business. He is to shine the light of the kingdom of Christ everywhere and make a difference. An adherent of covenant theology must understand that he is to demonstrate that the kingdom of Christ is present. The Christian should be able to say, “I will make a difference for His name wherever I ameverywhere I go, in everything I do, in everything I say.” That is the vision of the ethics of covenant theology, rather than looking to the future trying to ascertain the dates and times of Christ’s return. Covenant Theology accepts Jesus’ agnosticism about the time of His return. Our Lord taught us that, “No man knows the day or the hour or the time or the season that’s appointed by the Father.” Instead of figuring out the time of Christ’s return, one is to be occupied in service to Christ until He comes. We are to be busy in the world, seeking to reach the world for Christ’s sake. Christ’s Kingdom has irrupted or broken into the space and time of human existence. Thus Jesus taught that His gospel of the kingdom had to be preached in the entire world and only then would the end come. Thus believers are called to be missionaries and evangelists engaging our changing world with God’s unchanging Word so that his kingdom will make progress. VI. The Corporate Character Of Calvin’s Covenant al Understanding Of Sacraments. Finally, I will offer a few observations about the sacraments as they are differently viewed from the Dispensational perspective and from the vantage point of Covenant Theology. This vast topic could encompass the nature, meaning and practice of the sacraments in terms of the Eucharist, Baptism and Infant Baptism. But to state the matter simply, let us note that Dispensationalism tends to see the sacraments in a more individualistic sense, whereas Covenant Theology insists that the sacraments are to impact the entire community of God’s people. Dispensationalism’s individualistic tendency parallels its belief that the world will grow worse and worse. But as long as one believes in Christ as Savior, everything will ultimately be all right since the individual believer will go to heaven. In contrast, without diminishing the joyful hope of the individual’s salvation, covenant theology affirms with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Covenant Theology recognizes the corporate nature of God’s covenant promise, as seen in the intergenerational expression of the formula of the covenant from the Old Testament, “I will be your God and the God of your children after you” and “To a thousand generations of those that love me and keep my commandments.” On the basis of these Old Testament promises that are held to be still valid in the New Testament era, Calvin and covenant theology have affirmed the corporate character of the covenant as expressed especially in infant baptism. Calvin is so adamant that the covenant with the Jews continues into the New Covenant era that he asserts that to deny this is nothing less than blasphemy! For Calvin, such denial implies that Christ’s coming actually narrowed God’s grace rather than expanding it: Yet Scripture opens to us a still surer knowledge of the truth. Indeed, it is most evident that the covenant which the Lord once made with Abraham is no less in force today for Christians than it was of old for the Jewish people, and that this work relates no less to Christians than it then related to the Jews. Unless perhaps we think that Christ by his coming lessened or curtailed the grace of the Father--but this is nothing but execrable blasphemy! Accordingly, the children of the Jews also, because they had been made heirs of his covenant and distinguished from the children of the impious, were called a holy seed. For this same reason the children of Christians are considered holy; and even though born with only one believing parent, by the apostle’s testimony they differ from the unclean seed of idolaters. Now seeing that the Lord immediately after making the covenant with Abraham commanded it to be sealed in infants by an outward sacrament what excuse will Christians give for not testifying and sealing it in their children today? Children in the Old Testament and in the New are a holy seed by virtue of the same covenantal promise made by God with Abraham. Accordingly, infant baptism bears the same force of command as circumcision. Nor does Calvin accept the evasion that Abraham’s children in the Old Testament Covenant simply foreshadow believers in the New Covenant era. This cannot be, because God’s covenant established with Abraham includes the Christian believer and their children too. In the use of the term “children” they find this difference: those who had their origin from his seed were called children of Abraham under the Old Testament; now, those who imitate his faith are called by this name. They therefore say that that physical infancy which was engrafted into the fellowship of the covenant through circumcision foreshadowed the spiritual infants of the New Testament, who were regenerated to immortal life by God’s Word. In these words, indeed, we see a feeble spark of truth. But those fickle spirits gravely sin in seizing upon whatever first comes to hand where they ought to proceed further, and in stubbornly clinging to one word where they ought to compare many things together....We should, accordingly, aim at a better target, to which we are directed by the very sure guidance of Scripture. Therefore, the Lord promises Abraham that he will have offspring in whom all the nations of the earth will be blessed, and at the same time assures him that he will be his God and the God of his descendants. All those who by faith receive Christ as author of the blessing are heirs of this promise, and are therefore called children of Abraham. Calvin’s point is that while there is an element of truth in the objection, it does not fully explain all of the salient Scriptural data. It is true that the offspring of Abraham’s flesh foreshadowed the future offspring of Abraham by faith. Yet this fact does not remove the promise that God made to Abraham’s physical offspring. God assured Abraham “that he will be his God and the God of his descendants.” Calvin’s response is not an either/or, but a both/and. The implication for the practice of baptism is that the offspring of Abraham are heirs of the promise, even those who became his offspring by faith. Thus the children of Abraham’s offspring by faith are also made full partakers of the promise, since they are now part of his family. The covenant with Abraham continues to operate in the New Covenant era. A criticism of Calvin’s argument for paedobaptism is that the only sign of the covenant was circumcision, and it has ceased. Therefore, the covenant of circumcision is of no value because its sign is abolished. Calvin’s retort is that the changing of the sign does not change the covenant. And let no one object against me that the Lord did not command that his covenant be confirmed by any other symbol than circumcision, which has long since been abolished. There is a ready answer that for the time of the Old Testament he instituted circumcision, to confirm his covenant, but that after circumcision was abolished, the same reason for confirming his covenant (which we have in common with the Jews) still holds good. Consequently, we must always diligently consider what is common to both, and what they have apart from us. The covenant is common, and the reason for confirming it is common. Only the manner of confirmation is different--what was circumcision for them was replaced for us by baptism. If it is true that there is no replacement for circumcision, then in Calvin’s mind, Christ’s coming actually obscured God’s grace rather than increasing it: Otherwise, if the testimony by which the Jews were assured of the salvation of their posterity is taken away from us, Christ’s coming would have the effect of making God’s grace more obscure and less attested for us than it had previously been for the Jews. Now, this cannot be said without grievously slandering Christ, through whom the Father’s infinite goodness was more clearly and liberally poured out upon the earth and declared to men than ever before. As covenantal theologians in the New Testament era, following in the covenantal hermeneutic of Calvin, we are to be concerned in our sacramental lives with the corporate character of the covenant community just as the people of the Old Testament era understood the corporate character of God’s covenantal promises to them. These covenantal promises are not merely individual, but they encompass the importance of the whole family and the coming generations as we personally and collectively grow in Christ. Conclusion: There are several other areas of covenantal thought in Calvin that could be pursued. But we shall conclude having seen that for Calvin, biblical interpretation, the saving benefits of Christ, Christian ethics and the Church’s sacramental life are all important expressions of God’s one and eternal saving covenant of grace revealed throughout the history of redemption from Old Testament to New Testament. Although Calvin never encountered Dispensationalism per se, his understanding of the covenant was directly opposed to the foundational premises of Dispensationalism. So with pun intended, in this New Testament dispensation of God’s one covenant of grace in Christ, which includes the 500th anniversary of Calvin, let us maintain the covenant as a central element in our biblical and theological labors. For as Calvin himself declared as he commented on Psalm 25:10, “We have no reason to be afraid that God will deceive us if we persevere in His covenant.” Pastor Dr. Peter Lillback(피터 릴백 박사 목사)(Pennsylvania Proclamation Presbyterian Church(미국 펜실베이니어 선포장로교회))
Endurance: Mark of a Good Christian Pilgrim(인내, 훌륭한 그리스도인의 순례의 특징)/ 2 Timothy 2:1-7(딤후2:1-7)/ Rev. W.N.B. Appiah/ 영한대역설교/ 2012-02-12
Endurance: Mark of a Good Christian Pilgrim(인내, 훌륭한 그리스도인의 순례의 특징) 2 Timothy 2:1-7(딤후2:1-7) Sermon Theme: Endurance: mark of a Good Christian Pilgrim Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:1-7 Preacher: Rev. W.N.B. Appiah 1. Introduction A story is told of a missionary, who after working in a foreign land for the whole of his life decided to return to his home country on his retirement. Seeing his retirement and his home going as a very important chapter in his life, he wrote letters to inform his relatives and few friends he could remember, that he was coming home. Having given the time of his arrival in the mail, he expected them to meet him and welcome him home. But to his shock, on arrival, there was no body to meet him. Not even one person. Filled with sadness he sat and begin to weep. But God spoke to him and said “my son you have not come home yet. You don’t have a home in this world. There are thousands of angels waiting to welcome you home. 2. Pilgrimage as a Metaphor of Christian Life This is to underscore the fact that the Christian life is a journey through this world. Jacob described his life as a pilgrimage when asked of his age by Pharaoh (Ge.47:9). King David also acknowledged this truth before God when he said in his prayer “We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers...” (1 Chronicles 29:15 c/f Ps.39:12). The writer of Hebrews also testifies to this as he wrote to express the thoughts of the patriarchs “..and they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth” (Hebrews 11:13; 13:14). Again the apostle Peter also confirms it and says “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in this world, ...” (1 Pe.2:11). We can now say that the Bible confirms the Christian’s life on this earth as making a journey and our destination is heaven where our Father, God and our Lord Jesus Christ and the hosts of angels are awaiting us. 3. Risks and Dangers in the Way In every pilgrimage there are risks to take and dangers to face. There are accidents that can take one’s life and there could be discouraging heavy traffic jams that can make the journey boring. In the same way there are life threatening risks and dangers in our Christian life which we need to overcome to make a successful journey to our destination heaven. Israel often sinned against God through idol worship and had to be punished by God several times. In the New Testament Jesus suffered persecution and even death from the hands of the Jews (Mk.10:33-34) and the disciples, including Paul, also faced the threat of death and Paul especially suffered many beatings and persecutions (2 Cor.4:8-12), which could have discouraged them from continuing with the Christian life. But none of them gave up the Christian life. For when the Lord asked the twelve disciples in John 6:67 if they would want to quit, Peter answered and said “Lord to whom shall we go? ...” (6:68). How then could they survive these difficulties and remain steadfast with the Lord? In other words what was their secret for their endurance? 4. Making a Successful Journey Many things go into making a successful journey through risks and dangers. For example there is the purpose of the journey, watchfulness and good guidance. But above all these is endurance. No matter how watchful one can be, or how good the purpose or the goal of the journey is or how good one’s guidance is, without endurance it will be difficult to succeed. Endurance is therefore a very important element in our Christian life. Without it we cannot make it. 5. Endurance The apostle Paul exhorted Timothy to endure hardship as a good soldier of Christ. But earlier in chapter 1, Paul had outlined some of the difficulties and the problems that faced Timothy and for that matter our present Christian community. For example he tells him “not to be ashamed to testify” about the Lord and also not fail to stand by him in his suffering (2 Tim.1:8). Paul uses three imageries a soldier, a farmer and an athlete to emphasize this important theme. The lesson is that people in any of these professions hold on to endurance as the key to success. For that reason the soldier trains all time under all conditions to enable him/her endure in times of war so as to win his master’s favor. The farmer also endures the hard and sometimes cruel weather to tend the crops so that he/she can reap bountiful harvest. While the athlete also trains hard in order to win his/her competitions. This teaches us that the Christian like the soldier, farmer or athlete needs to endure the various temptations and difficulties, which we meet as Christians. Paul endured the persecutions that came his way. Jesus also “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb.12:2). Neither Paul, nor any of the apostles nor Jesus enjoyed the problems, risks and dangers that faced them, yet they patiently faced them and endured them. But today many of us run away from problems because we cannot endure the discomfort involved. 6. Spiritual Exercise Paul telling Timothy to be godly wrote “..train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of value, but godliness has value for all things” (1 Tim.4:7b-8). The Christian needs to train to be godly through spiritual exercises. These are: praying without ceasing (1 Thess.5:17) sometimes with fasting, reading and devotional study of the Bible (2 Tim.3:16-17), constant meditation on the word of God (Jos.1: 8), constantly sharing the gospel with the unbelievers [(i.e. seeking the lost for the Lord) Matt. 28: 19-20], constantly being in fellowship with other believers (Heb.10:25) and constantly praising God for who He is. As we begin to practice these in the Church and at home, we fall in constant fellowship with the Holy Spirit and through Him we are strengthened to overcome. Hard training is the key to endurance but it could also be an obstacle in itself. We therefore need an incentive to urge us on. A farmer’s incentive for his hard work is what he/she expects to harvest. The athlete’s incentive is the crown or price, which is at stake. Paul’s incentive was “for the sake of others” (2 Tim.2:10) and also “in other to rule with Christ” (2 Tim.2:12a) and that of Jesus was for the joy that was ahead of Him. We must be train hard to endure because there is a great (Lk.6:23, 35) reward of incorruptible crown (1 Cor.9:25)a crown of glory (1 Pe.5:4; Rev.2:10). 7. Conclusion The Bible teaches that the Christian life on this earth is a journey that we are making. It is full of dangers, risks and problems. But we need to be able to endure all these dangers and problems. Endurance therefore becomes a key word for the Christian. But endurance comes through vigorous training in spiritual exercises. Though the training could in itself deter us, let the incentives that are there for us i.e. the incorruptible crown, encourage us to begin our spiritual exercise if we are not already doing it. But if we are already doing it then continue. May the grace of God be with you. ***************************************************************************************** 인내, 훌륭한 그리스도인의 순례의 특징 딤후2:1-7 1. 들어가며 평생을 외국에서 일을 한 후 은퇴하자마자 고국으로 돌아가겠다고 결심한 선교사 이야기가 있습니다. 그의 삶에서 은퇴 후 고향으로 가는 것은 아주 중요한 일이었기에 그는 그가 기억할 수 있는 친척들과 몇 안 되는 친구들에게 고향으로 돌아간다는 편지를 썼습니다. 편지로 자기의 도착 시간을 알려주었기에 그들이 그를 마중 나와 환영해 줄 것이라 기대했습니다. 그런데 그만 그가 놀랍게도 그를 만나러 마중 나온 사람은 아무도 없었습니다. 한 사람도 없었던 것입니다. 슬픔에 가득차서 그는 앉아 울기 시작했습니다. 그런데 하나님이 그에게 말씀 하셨습니다. “나의 아들아 너는 아직 고향에 오지 않았다. 이 세상에는 너를 위한 집이 없느니라. 네가 고향에 온 것을 환영하기 위해 기다리는 수천 명의 천사들이 있다.” 2. 그리스도인 삶의 은유로서의 순례 위의 이야기는 그리스도인들에게 삶이란 이 세상을 통과하는 여행임을 강조하기 위한 이야기입니다. 야곱은 바로 왕이 그의 나이를 물었을 때 그의 삶은 나그네의 길이라고 설명했습니다. 다윗왕도 그의 기도에서 주 앞에서 이런 진실을 인정했습니다. “우리가 우리 열조와 다름이 없이 나그네와 우거한 자라” (대상29:15, 참조 시39:12). 히브리서의 작자 또한 이스라엘 민족의 조상에 대한 생각을 표현할 때 이렇게 증거하고 있습니다. “또 땅에서는 외국인과 나그네로라 증거 하였으니”(히11:13, 히13:14). 또한 사도 베드로도 이를 확증하여 다음과 같이 말하고 있습니다. “사랑하는 자들아 나그네와 행인 같은 너희를 권하노니...”(벧전2:11). 이 세상에서의 그리스도인들의 삶이란 하나의 여행이며 우리의 종착역은 천국 - 하나님 아버지와 우리 주 예수 그리스도와 천사의 무리가 우리를 기다리는 - 임을 성경에서 확실히 밝히고 있습니다. 3. 가로막는 위급과 위험 모든 순례에는 무릅써야 할 위급과 맞서야 하는 위험이 있습니다. 목숨을 걸어야 하는 사건들이 있으며 여행을 지루하게 만들 수 있는 낙담할 만한 교통 체증이 있을 수도 있습니다. 마찬가지로 우리 그리스도인들의 삶에도 우리의 종착역인 천국까지 성공적인 여행을 완수하기 위해 극복해야 할 목숨을 위협하는 위급과 위험이 있게 마련입니다. 이스라엘은 우상 숭배를 하여 하나님에 대해 죄를 지었고 몇 번 하나님께 벌을 받아야 했습니다. 신약에서는 예수님은 박해를 받고 유대인들의 손에 의해 죽임을 당하셨으며(막10:33-34), 바울을 포함한 제자들 또한 죽음의 위협에 직면했으며 특히 바울은 그리스도인 삶을 계속할 수 없게 만들 수도 있는 많은 몰매와 핍박을 당했습니다(고후4:8-12). 그러나 어느 누구도 그리스도인의 삶을 포기하지 않았습니다. 요6:67에서 예수께서 12 제자들에게 너희도 가려느냐고 물었을 때 시몬 베드로가 대답하되 “주여 우리가 뉘에게로 가오리이까? ...”(요6:68). 그러면 그들은 어떻게 이런 어려움을 극복하고 주님과 확고부동하게 같이 갈 수 있었을까요? 즉 이런 인내의 비결은 무엇이었을까요? 4. 성공적인 여행 만들기 위급과 위험 중에서도 성공적인 여행을 만들기 위해서는 많은 것이 필요하겠지요. 예를 들면 여행의 목적, 조심성, 훌륭한 안내자 등이 있을 것입니다. 그러나 무엇보다도 인내가 있어야 합니다. 아무리 조심한다 할지라도, 여행의 목적이나 목표가 훌륭하다 할지라도, 안내자가 좋다 할지라도 인내 없이는 성공하기 어려울 것입니다. 그러므로 인내는 그리스도인의 삶에서 아주 중요한 요소입니다. 이것 없이는 성공할 수 없습니다. 5. 인내 사도 바울은 디모데에게 그리스도의 훌륭한 병사로서 어려움을 인내하라고 권고합니다. 그러나 1장 앞부분에서 바울은 디모데가 처한 어려움과 문제점을 지적하고 있으며 이 문제는 우리의 현재 기독교 공동체에서도 마찬가지입니다. 예를 들어 주에 대한 “증거 하는 것”을 부끄러워 말고 고난 중에서도 그와 함께 하라고 말하고 있습니다. 바울은 세 가지 비유적 표현, 곧 이 중요한 주제를 강조하기 위해 병사, 농부, 운동선수를 사용했습니다. 이런 직업을 가진 사람들은 성공의 열쇠로 인내를 지녀야 한다는 것입니다. 이런 이유로 병사는 상사의 호의를 얻기 위해 전쟁 시 인내할 수 있도록 어떤 상황 하에서도 항상 훈련해야 합니다. 농부 또한 풍성한 곡식을 수확하기 위해 어렵고 때로는 무자비한 날씨를 견디어 작물을 돌보아야 합니다. 운동선수 또한 경쟁에서 이기기 위해 열심히 운동해야 합니다. 이것은 그리스도인도 병사, 농부, 운동선수들처럼 그리스도인으로서 만나게 될 여러 가지 다양한 유혹과 어려움을 인내할 필요가 있다는 것을 가르쳐줍니다. 바울은 그 앞에 온 핍박을 견뎌냈습니다. 예수님 또한 “그 앞에 있는 즐거움을 위하여 십자가를 참으사 부끄러움을 개의치 아니하시더니 하나님 보좌 우편에 앉으셨느니라”(히12:2). 바울도, 제자들도, 예수님도 그들에게 직면한 문제와 위급과 위험을 즐기지는 않았지만 참을성 있게 그것들과 부딪쳐서 견뎌내셨습니다. 그런데 우리들 많은 이들은 이런 불편을 참지 못하고 문제에서 도망칩니다. 6. 영적인 훈련 디모데에게 경건하라고 말하는 바울은 “ ... 오직 경건에 이르기를 연습하라 육체의 연습은 약간의 유익이 있으나 경건은 범사에 유익하니”(딤전4:7b-8). 그리스도인들은 영적인 훈련을 통해 경건해지는 훈련을 할 필요가 있습니다. 영적인 훈련이란: 끊임없이 기도하기(살전5:17), 때로는 단식을 동반한 성경 통독과 헌신적인 성경공부(딤후3:16-17), 하나님 말씀의 꾸준한 묵상(수1:8), 믿지 않는 자에게 꾸준히 복음 전하기 [주님을 위해 잃어버린 양을 찾기], 믿는 자와의 끊임없는 교제(히10:25), 하나님을 꾸준히 찬양하기. 이런 훈련을 교회와 집에서 실시하기 시작하면 성령님과 계속적인 교제를 하게 되어 어려움을 극복할 수 있는 힘을 얻게 됩니다. 힘든 훈련은 인내의 열쇠이기도 하지만 그 차제로는 방해가 될 수도 있습니다. 그러므로 이것을 계속할 수 있는 인센티브가 필요합니다. 농부에게 있어 근면할 수 있게 해 주는 인센티브는 수확에 대한 기대감일 것입니다. 운동선수에게는 상패나 상금이겠지요. 바울에게 있어 인센티브는 “타인을 위하여”였으며(딤후2:10), “그리스도와 함께 왕 노릇하기 위해”(딤후2:12a)였습니다. 예수님에게 있어 인센티브는 그 앞에 놓여 있는 기쁨 때문이었습니다. 썩지 아니할 면류관(고전9:25), 영광의 면류관(벧전5:4, 계2:10)이라는 커다란 상(눅6:23,35)이 있으므로 우리는 인내할 수 있도록 열심히 훈련되어야 합니다. 7. 결론 성경은 이 세상에서의 그리스도인의 삶은 하나의 여행이라고 가르쳐줍니다. 위험과 위급과 문제로 가득 차 있습니다. 그러나 우리는 이 모든 위험과 문제들을 견뎌낼 수 있어야 합니다. 그러므로 인내란 그리스도인들에게는 키워드가 되는 것입니다. 인내란 영적인 훈련이라는 강건한 훈련을 통해 나오는 것입니다. 비록 훈련 그 자체가 우리를 좌절시킬 수도 있겠지만 우리를 위해 있는 - 썩지 않는 면류관 -이라는 인센티브가 우리가 영적 훈련을 아직 하고 있지 않다면 우리가 영적 훈련을 시작할 수 있도록 격려해줄 것입니다. 하지만 우리가 벌써 하고 있다면 계속 합시다. 하나님의 은혜가 함께 하시기를 축원합니다.
The Godly Portrait of Marriage(1)(결혼의 신성한 초상(1))/ Celebrate The Difference(서로 다른 것을 찬양하라)/ Genesis 2:18-25(창2:18-25)/ 2015-02-12
The Godly Portrait of Marriage(1)(결혼의 신성한 초상(1))/ Celebrate The Difference(서로 다른 것을 찬양하라) Genesis 2:18-25(창2:18-25) The Godly Portrait of Marriage, Pt. 1 “Celebrate The Difference” Genesis 2:18-2:25 (NIV, NIRV, TNIV, KJV) I’m told that an angel came to Adam before Eve was created and said, “I have a proposition for you Adam. We are going to create for you an individual like you, but a little different – a female!” So Adam said, “Well what will she be all about? What will she do?” The angel told Adam, “She will take such good care of you, smell so sweet, love and respect you 24/7, and she will look so beautiful!” To that Adam said, “Well, this sounds great, but what will she cost me?” The angel responded, “She’s going to cost an arm and a leg!” Finally Adam said, “What do you think I can get for a rib?” Question – whose better, the man or the woman? The answer is YES! A man is infinitely superior to a woman at being a man and a woman is infinitely superior to a man at being a woman! God made us completely different so that He might make man and woman ONE! Caution: let no one but God define your marriage and sexuality! Genesis 2:19-25 Adam has dominion over all the animals but yet wasn’t satisfied; none of the animals could satisfy and supply all his needs. Then God makes Eve - and Adam proclaimed, “This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh!” So immediately we now know human sexuality is established for all generations! So let’s look at the wonderful differences that unite us in marriage. (In generalities): 1. The Beauty And The Beast. Generally women are weaker than men! 1 Peter 3:7 “Husbands, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” God created Adam stronger than Eve for 2 purposes, not so he could abuse her, dominate her, or control her live. • To be a provider • To be a protector Eve = life giver, the root word of “woman” in Hebrew is to be soft. She is created softer, cuddlier, but not inferior to Adam. Here’s an example, silk is weaker than canvas, but not inferior to it. Porcelain is weaker than steel but not inferior to it. You can’t drink tea from a sledge hammer! Did you know? • 40% of a man’s body is muscle and 25% of a woman’s body is muscle. • There are 1½ gallons of blood in a man’s body. There is 4/5 of a gallon of blood in a woman’s body. A woman doesn’t have as many capillaries carrying blood to the skin service, that’s why they get so much colder than men. Who is superior? Neither - celebrate the difference! 2. The Tortoise And The Hare. We all know the story! Men are like the rabbit and women are like the tortoise. Men have more energy but she has a lot more stamina and durability! How do we know this? Women have a black belt in shopping! We would do good to learn the weaknesses and strength of our spouse! 3. The Romantic And The Mechanic. Men we have a job to get done – dress the garden! Hard outer shell Women are the caressers, child bearers. Romance doesn’t always come easy for men! We’re wired differently! Women, your husband may never be as romantic as you – he may have been before you got married, but soon after he had a brain transplant! Notice the book or magazines women and men look at: Women: “How To Develop Closeness With Your Mate”, “Harmony in Marriage”, “How To Achieve Intimacy”, “How To Kiss Better” Men: “How To Be A Champion Bass Fisherman”, “How Not To Get Hooked” On T.V. – “Man vs. Wild” and the “Hallmark Channel”! Go to any school campus and watch how girls carry their books – like their carrying a baby! A boy just swings them around if he has any at all! Give a girl a few dollars and she’ll buy a Barbie, give a boy a few dollars and he’ll buy a lizard! 4. The Radar And The Computer. Men are the computer and women are the radar! A USA Today article called, “Two Minds” describes the differences between the brains of men and women. Scientifically they are now showing us what we’ve known all along – most men use the left side of their brain and women use both sides of their brain! Men we really do have half a brain! The left side: logical, reasoning The right side: creativity, sympathy and emotions Did you know this fact: a women’s brain is larger on average than a man’s? Autopsies show this! Maybe this explains a woman’s intuition! A Harvard Medical Researcher studied preschoolers playing on the playground. He noticed that girls completed more sentences and communicated more then boys. He noticed that the boys made more sounds… Most women have better sensitivity and communication skills while many men have better reason and analytical skills! That’s why men and women often times struggle to see eye to eye on certain issues! This may be the source of a lot of disagreements in your marriage! Remember, women use in one day about 6000 more words than men. The trouble is, when I get home, Jill is not even winding down her communicating and so I have to be a better listener at that point! I don’t know coined this phrase, “Generally speaking, women are generally speaking!” I wonder if he lived long after saying it the first time! But this is also why men cry less then women – we’ve got a disconnect up here! This is why women are affected greater by an argument and why we men can go right on to the next subject – we’ve got a disconnect up here! God made us differently so we might be one! Celebrate the differences! Ladies – your minds are like radar, sweeping the room taking in everything! Women see and hear things that we men don’t always see and hear! Ever watch women in a room sitting around a table? They can be talking, and know exactly what’s being said over at the other table and say, “No, no, no, that’s not what happened!” And then get right back to her conversation at her table! We men tend to be a little more analytical and logical while women are mixing together emotion and facts together – it’s amazing! Women are more what I call “spider web thinkers”. Prom picture… Jill will ask me how my day went and I’ll have an answer in less than a minute in detail. Then when I ask her about her day and she’ll tell everything, and I mean everything! So many times I’ll talk with my dad and she’ll want every little detail. Careful men, this is a hard area for us because many times our wives can think that we are being evasive, secretive and even shutting her out! I’m amazed how that radar works for women… sweeping across the room and what they can pick up is incredible, hurt feelings, bad moods, etc. That radar blows my mind! Men, I think all we’ve got is a pair of rabbit ears! Ever notice a woman will say at a table, “I’ve got to go to the restroom, who wants to go?” And they all get up! I’ve never hear a man say, “How many want to go with me to the restroom?” I just don’t understand it! But which is better the radar or the computer? Neither - thank God for the difference! 5. The Code Speaker And The Reporter. LifePoint: Women use language to dispense emotion, while men use language to dispense facts. Women share, men report! Billy Graham once said “Don’t listen to what a woman says, listen to what she means.” Guys we can learn a lot from that that! Here’s an example: You come home from work and see your wife is all tense and it shows all over her face and you say to her, “Is something wrong?” and she says, “Nothing.” Her code is: “Everything is wrong!” Example: Your wife says, “Do I look alright in this dress?” How you answer that will determine how long you live! Her code is: “Am I still #1 in your parade?” or “Am I still a 10 in your eyes?” 6. The Lover And The Achiever. Ephesians 5:33 “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself and let the wife see she respects her husband.” • Men, what is the deepest need of a woman? To be loved. • Women, what is the deepest need of a man? To be respected. So many of our arguments are connected to these 2 facts! Men, when we do not love, it damages the deepest part of a woman. There’s a new movie coming to the big screen on September 26 staring Kirk Cameron called, “Fireproof”. It’s a wonderful story of the heroism of a firefighter and 2 people overcoming a broken marriage. VIDEO From the movie ”Fireproof” Jill gets blessing when I work at being more tender with her! I get a blessing when she really show respect for my achievements! One time I can remember asking her one Sunday, “How many great preachers do you think there are in the world? She said, “One less than your think!” Men and women’s self esteems are connected to this fact also! When the Golden Gate Bridge was built, all of the parts were intertwined. Every part was vital to it all working together. In a one mile span of the bridge, it will sway as much as 20 feet in the center, so that it can be flexible and even more durable. But there are 2 great and massive pillars that make up that bridge that go down to the solid earth below and all those miles of cables connect to those 2 great pillars. Question, what keeps that bridge from collapsing? 2 things: It’s foundation and it’s flexibility! Some of this info in this sermon comes from Dr. Adrian Rodger.
아브라함 언약의 신약적 해석/ How Should Christians Relate to the State of Israel?(그리스도인들은 이스라엘 나라와 어떻게 연관되어 있어야 하는가?)/ 신4:25-27/ Rich Nathan 목사/ 2007-11-17
아브라함 언약의 신약적 해석/ How Should Christians Relate to the State of Israel?(그리스도인들은 이스라엘 나라와 어떻게 연관되어 있어야 하는가?) 신4:25-27 (퇴임을 앞둔 아들 부시 대통령의 중동 방문에 맞추어, Rich Nathan 목사는 이 설교를 전했다고 합니다.) 1. 아브라함에게 약속된 언약의 땅은 다윗 때 이미 성취되었습니다. 창15:18-19절에, 팔레스틴 땅이 아브라함의 후손에게 주시기로 언약되었습니다. “그 날에 여호와께서 아브람으로 더불어 언약을 세워 가라사대 내가 이 땅을 애굽 강에서부터 그 큰 강 유브라데까지 네 자손에게 주노니...” 이 언약은 구약 성경에서 몇 군데 더 연수가 지나서도 재차 확인되어지는데, “내가 너의 지경을 홍해에서부터 블레셋 바다까지, 광야에서부터 하수까지 정하고 그 땅의 거민을 네 손에 붙이리니 네가 그들을 네 앞에서 쫓아낼 지라.”(출23:31) 이 구절을 액면 그대로 만약 믿는다면, 지금 이스라엘 영토는 더 넓어져야 합니다. 요르단과 시리아는 물론, 이라크 일부까지 포함되어집니다. 그러므로 팔레스타인 등 주변국가와 협상 따위는 할 필요조차 없다고 생각하는 사람도 있습니다. 그러나 그렇게 극단적으로 생각하면 안 됩니다. 그 ‘아브라함 언약’은, 그로부터 1천년 이후인 다윗과 솔로몬 왕 때 이미 성취되었기 때문입니다. “솔로몬이 유브라데 강에서부터 블레셋 땅과 애굽 지경까지의 열왕을 관할하였으며”(대하9:26) 2. TV 및 종말론 서적을 통해서, 극단적 입장이 여과 없이 전파되었습니다. 그런데 미국의 많은 미국 보수 기독교인들(유대인 아닌 미국인)이 아직도 ‘아브라함 언약’이 오늘날에도 여전히 유효하다고 믿고 있습니다. 그 이유는 TV설교자들 때문입니다. 이 주장은 존 해가이, 팻 로벗슨, 제리 폴웰 등이 유포하였으며, 달라스 신학교 또한 이 입장을 위하고 있습니다. 서적으로는, 팀 라헤이, 할 린드세이(Hal Lindsey), 마이크 에반스 등이 쓴 종말론 서적이 이 주장을 전파하고 있습니다. 오늘날 중동 문제가 위와 같은 구약 성경 몇 구절을 신봉함으로써 그 당위성이 주장되어질 수 있을까요? 물론 아닙니다. 아니라면, 그 이유는 무엇인가요? 아래 4가지입니다. 3. 중동 땅에 관한 ‘아브라함 언약’이 오늘날 적용될 수 없는 4가지 이유 (1) 유대인에게 땅을 주신 개념은 ‘소작권’이지, ‘소유권’이 아닙니다. 성경이 말하는 땅의 소유권 개념은 오직 하나님께만 있습니다. 하나님은 한 번도 유대인 등 사람에게 땅을 소유하라고 주신 적이 없습니다. “토지를 영영히 팔지 말 것은 토지는 다 내 것임이라. 너희는 나그네요 우거하는 자로서 나와 함께 있느니라.”(레25:23) 선물과 등기권리증은 다릅니다. 다시 말하면, 아브라함에게 주신 약속은 ‘선물’이지, ‘등기권리’가 아닙니다. 근본적으로 하나님은, 사람들에게 땅을 등기권리로 주시지 않습니다. 그들이 팔레스틴 땅을 받은 것은 하나님의 ‘선물’이었습니다. 그리고 선물은, 잘못하면 빼앗길 수도 있다는 사실을 또한 명심해야 합니다. 오늘 우리도 자녀, 건강, 재물 등을 하나님께 선물 받았습니다. 영원한 등기는 아닙니다. 그러나 우리가 잘못 관리하면, 하나님이 빼앗아 가십니다. 주전 6세기 경, 이스라엘이 그 선물로 받은 땅을 바벨론에 의해 빼앗겼습니다. 자기가 잘못해서 한 번 빼앗긴 선물에 대해, ‘영구 등기 권리’를 주장할 수는 없습니다. 우리가 자녀, 건강, 재물을 한 번 빼앗겼을 때, ‘영구 등기 권리’를 주장 할 수 없는 것과 같은 이치입니다. 오늘날 미국 크리스천들이, 하나님이 아브라함 자손들에게 주신 ‘선물’을 마치 ‘등기 권리증’처럼 이해하는 데서 문제가 발단되는 것입니다. (2) 불순종하면, 그 땅을 잃어버릴 것이라고 이미 약속하셨습니다. “너희는 이 모든 일로 스스로 더럽히지 말라. 내가 너희의 앞에서 쫓아내는 족속들이 이 모든 일로 인하여 더러워졌고...” “너희의 전에 있던 그 땅 거민이 이 모든 가증한 일을 행하였고, 그 땅도 더러워졌느니라.”(그래서 그 거민들을 쫓아내고, 이 땅을 너희에게 주었다.) “너희도 더럽히면 그 땅이 너희 있기 전 거민을 토함 같이 너희를 토할까 하노라”(너희도 더럽히면, 똑같이 쫓겨날 것이다)(레18:24-28) 신4:25-27도 똑같은 말씀입니다. “네가 그 땅에서 아들을 낳고 손자를 얻으며 오래 살 때에 만일 스스로 부패하여 무슨 형상의 우상이든지 조각하여 네 하나님 여호와 앞에 악을 행함으로 그의 노를 격발하면 내가 오늘날 천지를 불러 증거를 삼노니 너희가 요단을 건너가서 얻는 땅에서 속히 망할 것이라. 너희가 거기서 너희 날이 길지 못하고 전멸될 것이니라. 여호와께서 너희를 열국 중에 흩으실 것이요.”(신4:25-27) 불행하게도 이런 예언들이 그대로 성취되었습니다. 그래서 북왕국은 이스라엘은 주전 8세기에 망해서 앗수르에 포로로, 남왕국 유다는 주전 6세기에 망해서 바벨론에 포로로 잡혀갔습니다. 포로 70년 만에 팔레스틴으로 돌아온 후에도 잠깐 순종했으나, 예수님 시대에 이르러 회개하지 않고 계속 범죄 함으로써 주후 70년 경 로마에 망한 후에, 20세기까지 나라 없는 민족으로 유랑하였습니다. 여호와께서 말씀하시되 “이는 그들이 내가 그들의 앞에 세운 나의 법을 버리고 내 목소리를 청종치 아니하며 그대로 행치 아니하고 그 마음의 강퍅함을 따라 그 열조가 자기에게 가르친 바알들을 좇았음이라. 그러므로 만군의 여호와 이스라엘의 하나님 내가 말하노라. 보라 내가 그들 곧 이 백성에게 쑥을 먹이며 독한 물을 마시우고 그들과 그들의 조상이 알지 못하던 열국 중에 그들을 헤치고 진멸되기까지 그 뒤로 칼을 보내리라 하셨느니라.”(렘9:13-16) 나는 두렵습니다. 지금 현재 이스라엘 땅에 살고 있는 유대인들도 거의 대부분 예수님을 믿지 않으며, 세계에 흩어져 있는 유대인들 중에 무신론자도 매우 많습니다. 그러니 이런 저주가 또 다시 한 번 응할까, 그래서 또 다시 토해 내쳐지는 벌을 받을까봐 두려운 것입니다. 설교자는 유대계 미국 목사입니다. 오늘날 우리도 마찬가지입니다. 유대인 역사를 보면서 경고를 들어야 합니다. 이스라엘이 가나안 땅을 빼앗긴 것은 그들의 죄악 때문이었습니다. 오늘 우리도 예외 없이 마찬가지입니다. 계속 불순종하면 쫓겨나고 포로로 잡혀갑니다. 그러므로 바울은, “구약의 모든 일이 오늘 우리에게 거울과 경계로 기록되었으니 우리도 조심해야 한다.”(고전10:6-12)고 권고합니다. 고로 이스라엘 역사를, 바로 오늘 나에게 적용되는 교훈으로 들어야 합니다. 이스라엘이 회개하면, 그 땅은 회복될 것입니다. 그러나 불순종한 이스라엘이 포로를 그친 후에, 다시 돌아올 것이 예언되어 있습니다. “나 여호와가 이같이 말하노라. 바벨론에서 칠십 년이 차면 내가 너희를 권고하고 나의 선한 말을 너희에게 실행하여 너희를 이곳으로 돌아오게 하리라.” “나 여호와가 말하노라 너희를 향한 나의 생각은 내가 아나니 재앙이 아니라 곧 평안이요 너희 장래에 소망을 주려하는 생각이라. 너희는 내게 부르짖으며 와서 내게 기도하면 내가 너희를 들을 것이요 너희가 전심으로 나를 찾고 찾으면 나를 만나리라. 나 여호와가 말하노라. 내가 너희에게 만나지겠고 너희를 포로 된 중에서 다시 돌아오게 하되 내가 쫓아 보내었던 열방과 모든 곳에서 모아 사로잡혀 떠나게 하던 본 곳으로 돌아오게 하리라. 여호와의 말이니라 하셨느니라.”(렘29:10-14) 70년 동안 회개한 이스라엘은 고레스 왕 때 가나안에 다시 돌아오게 됩니다. “바사 왕 고레스 원년에 여호와께서 예레미야의 입으로 하신 말씀을 응하게 하시려고 바사 왕 고레스의 마음을 감동시키시매 저가 온 나라에 공포도 하고 조서도 내려 가로되, 바사 왕 고레스는 말하노니 하늘의 신 여호와께서 세상 만국으로 내게 주셨고 나를 명하여 유다 예루살렘에 전을 건축하라 하셨나니 너희 중에 무릇 그 백성 된 자는 다 올라갈지어다. 너희 하나님 여호와께서 함께하시기를 원하노라 하였더라.”(대하36:22-23) 이 말씀을 우리 삶에 적용시키면, “우리가 회개하면, 다시 회복된다.”는 것입니다. (3) 예수님과 사도 바울도 ‘땅’을 ‘하나님 나라’로 해석합니다. 구약은 그림자이고, 신약은 실체입니다. 예수님이 오심으로써, 그림자의 상당 부분이 드러났습니다. 예수님이 회복시키시기 원하는 땅은, 팔레스틴이 아니라, 하나님의 나라였습니다. 예수님과 바울은 구약의 제사를 회복시키려 하지 않으셨습니다. 당연히 제사 장소인 예루살렘 성전도 필요 없었습니다. 예수님과 바울은 ‘너희가 하나님의 성전’이라고 가르치셨습니다. 또한 ‘아브라함의 자손’은 누구입니까? 세례요한의 설교를 들어보십시오. “너희가 아브라함의 자손이라는 말을 하지 말라. 하나님이 이 돌들로 아브라함의 자손을 만들 것이다. 도끼가 나무뿌리에 놓였으니... (불순종하는 그 자손들은) 찍혀서...”(눅3:7-9) 사도 바울은 갈라디아서의 수신자 이방인들에게 이렇게 말했습니다. “너희가 다 믿음으로 말미암아 그리스도 예수 안에서 하나님의 아들이 되었으니 누구든지 그리스도와 합하여 세례를 받은 자는 그리스도로 옷 입었느니라. 너희는 유대인이나 헬라인이나 종이나 자주자나 남자나 여자 없이 다 그리스도 예수 안에서 하나이니라. 너희가 그리스도께 속한 자면 곧 아브라함의 자손이요 약속대로 유업을 이을 자니라.”(갈3:26-29) 오늘날 믿음을 가진 우리가, 바로 아브라함의 자손인 것입니다. 그것이 성경적인 가르침입니다. 혈통적 유대인이 아닙니다. (4) 아브라함에게 주신 유산inheritance(땅)은 하나님의 나라입니다. 아브라함이나 그 후손에게 세상의 후사가 되리라고 하신 언약은 “율법으로 말미암은 것이 아니요, 오직 믿음의 의로 말미암은 것이니라”(롬4:13). “Whose Promised Land: The Continuing Crisis Over Israel and Palestine” by Colin Chapman. 이 책을 읽어보십시오. 구약의 아브라함에게 약속된 유업의 개념은 오늘날 우리가 믿음으로 얻는 의요, 하나님의 나라를 뜻합니다. 창세기에 아브라함과 그 자손은 땅을 유산으로 받기로 약속받았습니다. 그 땅은 ‘하나님의 나라’요, 오늘날 우리가 ‘땅 끝까지 복음전해야 하는 세상’입니다. 앞서 오늘 믿음을 가진 우리가 아브라함의 자손이라고 그랬습니다. 그러면, 아브라함 언약, 즉 아브라함의 후손에게 약속된 ‘자손과 땅’이 있습니다. 그것을 신약적으로 풀면, ‘자손’은 “우리가 전도해야 할 사람들”이고, ‘땅’은 “하나님의 통치가 임하는 하나님의 나라”인 것입니다. 그러니까 크리스천은, 더 이상 구약적 개념에 매달려, 팔레스틴 땅을 ‘아브라함 언약’에 연관시켜 생각할 필요가 없습니다. 예수님은 믿음 있는 백부장을 칭찬하시면서 이렇게 말씀하셨습니다. “또 너희에게 이르노니 동서로부터 많은 사람이 이르러 아브라함과 이삭과 야곱과 함께 천국에 앉으려니와 나라의 본 자손들은 바깥 어두운 데 쫓겨나 거기서 울며 이를 갊이 있으리라”(마8:10-11). 그러므로 신약시대에 우리들은, 하나님 나라 중심으로 생각해야지, 1948년 이스라엘 독립에 대해 너무 많은 의미를 부여하면 안 됩니다. 그것을 ‘하나님 나라의 회복’이라고 보는 것은 무리입니다. 요지는, 신약 어디를 보더라도, 예수님, 바울, 베드로 사도가, 아브라함 언약을, 오늘 일부 사람들이 이해하는 방식으로 재확인, 재천명 해 주지 않고 있습니다. 이제 예수님을 믿는 사람은 누구나, 유대인이나 이방인이나 차별 없이 아브라함의 후손이 되었습니다. 우리는 구약을, 반드시 신약의 빛 아래서 읽어야 합니다. (We have to read the Old Testament in light of the New Testament.) 앞서 거론한 일부 TV설교자들이나, 종말론 저자들은 신약의 빛 아래서, 구약을 읽은 것이 아닙니다. 예수님과 바울이 가르친 것과 다른 방식으로, 그들은 가르쳤습니다. 그리고 대중들이 그것을 그대로 믿고 있습니다. 4. 오늘날 올바른 중동 땅의 개념 그렇다면, 유대인은 오늘날 팔레스틴 땅을 주장할 권리가 전혀 없습니까? 나는 그렇지 않다고 봅니다. 아브라함의 언약에 따라서가 아니라, 지금 차지한 정도의 땅은, 유대인들이 차지할 권리가 있다고 봅니다. 물론 모든 팔레스타인, 시리아, 요르단을 쫓아내자는 것은 아닙니다. 그들 속에, 유대인도 함께 동거할 수 있는 권리는 있다는 것입니다. 극렬 회교도들의 유대인들을 아예 몰아내어야 한다는 주장에 반대 입장입니다. 유엔의 가결에 의해, 유대인들이 팔레스틴에 정착한 것도 엄연한 권리로 인정되어져야 합니다. 2천 년 역사 동안 유대인들은 핍박 받아왔습니다. 비단 20세기 히틀러뿐만 아니었습니다. 그리고 그런 가해 책임이 독일, 프랑스, 러시아 등 모든 나라에 있습니다. 그러므로 지금이라도, 세계는 과거 박해를 속죄하고, 되풀이하지 않겠다는 마음에서라도 유대인들을 팔레스틴 땅에서 보호하는 것이 정당한 것입니다. 물론 팔레스타인 사람들도, 유대인과 똑같이 보호받아야 합니다. 유대인과 팔레스타인인들 모두가 국제사회로부터 보호되어져야 합니다. 설교자는 유대계 목회자이지만, 극렬 유대인들의 팔레스타인 핍박에 반대합니다. 최근 부시 대통령과 라이스 국무장관은 양국을 동시에 인정하려고 합니다. A two-state solution입니다. 다른 나라 수반들도 이 정책에 동의합니다. 복잡한 문제들이 얽혀있긴 하지만. 유대인이든지 팔레스타인이든지, 압박받는 모든 사람들은 보호받아야 하는 것이 성경의 가르침입니다. 양측은 상대의 아픔을 보다 더 깊이 이해하면서 서로 화해해 나가기를 바랍니다. Rich Nathan 목사