Synopsis of Biblical Covenantalism
Here’s a tight synopsis of “Biblical Covenantalism” which I placed in the combox of my contrast between it and Classic Dispensationalism.
Presupposition – God’s actions always follow His words e.g., Gen. 1:11-12, 24-25, 26-30; 11:7, 9; 2 Kings 1:3-4, 16-17; 5:10, 14; Jn. 21:21-23. (More so when He obligates Himself in a covenant).
1. There’s a bit to it, but I believe the first covenant is that with Noah and creation in Gen.9.
2. 2 Pet. 3:6-7a divides “the world that then was” from “the heavens and earth which are now.”
3. Our history (in contrast to pre-diluvian history) is governed by the Noahic Covenant with its assurance of uniformity (cf. Gen. 8:22). This uniformity will continue until Christ delivers up this creation to the Father after the Millennium (1 Cor.15:20-28). That covenant provides the stage for the unfolding of the other covenants.
4. The Abrahamic Covenant furnishes blessings for ethnic Israel (“Jacob”) and the Nations. The Davidic and Priestly covenants fill out a covenantal triad for Israel (I place the Land covenant of Deut. 29-30 within the AC).
5. The Mosaic covenant was temporal and served among other things to preserve Israel.
6. None of these covenants have within them the redemptive means for their consummation. This is by Divine design.
7. To ensure Christ (for whom it was all made in the first place and is sustained by Him now) is front and center in His Plan, God places the redemptive means needed by the other covenants in the New Covenant in Christ’s Blood.
8. The eschatological context of the NC passages of the OT, like Jer. 31 & Ezek. 36, point to its being made with the Remnant of Israel at the Second Advent.
9. The Church is not spoken of in the OT, so one should not read too much into its absence in Jer. 31.
10. The NC was made with the Church as distinct from national Israel at the first advent (Lk.22; 1 Cor.11). This is why the Church is not under the Law as a rule of life. The NC links the Church to certain provisions in the AC.
11. The telos within the original creation is carried by biblical eschatology via the covenants to its consummation under the historical rule of the last Adam. Hence, teleology & eschatology are inseparable.
12. This earth is cursed and that curse cannot be removed. But before the New Heavens and Earth Jesus will regenerate it on its “Noahic Base” and present it to God; history having been consummated.
13. The everlasting terms of the unilateral covenants will continue into the eternal realm, which will be closely associated with this realm, especially in its original condition.
14. To reflect the Triune nature of God and the triadic imprint within nature, there will be three peoples of God (Jew, Gentile, Church) who are one people of God. These correspond to the three Persons: Father “marries” Israel; Son “marries” the Church; the Spirit “marries” the Gentiles.