Happy New Year to all! Here is a little challenge to start 2022. Try to refute the logic:
- God works through His covenants.
- Neither the Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Priestly, or Davidic covenants contain any word or provision for the salvation of sinners.
- According to the Servant Songs in Isaiah 42:6 and 49:8 the Servant (Messiah) will be made “as a covenant” to redeem both Israel and the nations.
- Jeremiah 31:31-34 promises a “New covenant” which will replace the Mosaic covenant and provide forgiveness and salvation for the people of Israel.
- In Malachi 3:1f. “the Messenger of the covenant” will one day come suddenly to His temple and “purify the sons of Levi.”
- At the institution of the Lord’s Supper Jesus said of the cup “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” (Lk. 22:20). It is not possible to get a closer relation to the New covenant than that!
- Paul identified both Jesus and “the apostles and [NT] prophets” as the foundations of “the household of God” – the Church (Eph. 2:19-20). The Apostles were present at the institution of the New covenant in Luke 22.
- In the words of the instigation of the Lord’s Supper that are recited regularly every time it is celebrated it plainly states “In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (1 Cor. 11:25). These words are applied directly to a Gentile Church.
- In 2 Corinthians 3, after telling the Gentile believers that he had ministered Christ to them (2 Cor. 3:3) he proceeded to describe his calling as being a ministry “of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:6). Paul ministered as “the Apostle to the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13).
- The author of Hebrews calls Jesus our High Priest (Heb. 3:1; 4:14-15); “the Mediator of the new covenant” (Heb. 9:15; 12:24). Hebrews 12:24 makes direct mention to the blood (cf. 1 Cor. 11:25). Unless one is going to say that Hebrews contains no doctrine for the Church one must conclude that the only covenant that can qualify Him as our High Priest is the New covenant.
- The NASB translation of Hebrews 9:16-17 the word diatheke is translated “covenant” in line with every other usage of the term in the Book. This both fits the context better and makes Jesus the sacrificial offering (the “Lamb of God” – Jn. 1:29) whose blood is New covenant blood.
- Since there is no provision for salvation in the other Divine covenants and the Servant/Messiah is to be made as a covenant the question must be asked “What covenant will He be?” The only covenant that brings salvation from sin is the New covenant. Jesus’ own blood is the blood of that New covenant and He both mediates it and is the “Messenger” of it (if not, which covenant is He the Messenger of?). But He is also the covenant “animal” (Lamb) which ratifies the New covenant.
- Since the Church was not revealed in the OT one would not expect Jeremiah to speak of it, but true progressive revelation does teach it.
- One great day God the Father will “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.” (Eph. 1:10). Peter declares that God wants to be glorified “in all things” through Christ (1 Pet. 4:11).
- Ergo, there is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ, the New covenant incarnate! All sinners will be saved on the basis of the New covenant in Christ. That obviously means that the Church is a full party to the New covenant along with Israel. Now that’s proper Christological interpretation!
13 thoughts on “Jesus is the New Covenant”
[…] Por Paul M. Henebury […]
Hi Dr. Henebury, cross-commenting from Facebook. I’m preaching Genesis 15:1-6 this Sunday. How would you reconcile and explain points 2. and 15. with the statement of Genesis 15:6? In other words, how do you explain the salvation of OT saints within the points laid out?
If we say “…there is no provision for salvation in the other Divine covenants and the Servant/Messiah is to be made as a covenant the question must be asked “What covenant will He be?” The only covenant that brings salvation from sin is the New covenant”, it makes it sound as if salvation only comes through covenant.
To explain passages like Genesis 15:6 could we say that salvation comes by faith in the promise of God? With progressive revelation that promise is focused and defined with greater specificity as it works its way through the biblical covenants until we come to the NC? And that in the New Covenant that promise is bound up in the person/mediator/messenger of the covenant, Jesus Christ?
Does that make sense?
Yes, it is simply a case of any sinner’s salvation rests upon the atonement in Christ. Abraham was justified by believing God, but the basis of his redemption was Christ’s death (cf. Rom. 3:25).
Great summary of your argument 👍
I was expecting the last point to say, that the church is not just a co-benefactor of the new covenant (which supposedly was only promised to Israel in the OT) but a true participant just like Israel.
I don’t think any true Christian will see the need to challenge the conclusion in point 15. Or maybe I’m missing something here… 😕
Good point Toni. Wish granted.
Dr Paul, I’m still reading, and I respect your opinions. I see you as being real and open to the word and the Holy Spirit who teaches you. This is a post that I had written long ago, I would love to have your critique.
Jerry, I shall read your piece. Please be patient though as I have a lot on my plate already.
Thanks brother, no problem.
Jerry, I had a quick look at your article but I am having difficulty with it. I can see that you think there has always been one people of God (?) and that you tie this to your understanding of the New covenant, but I can’t see where you have refuted (or even joined) Dr. Garland’s texts. E.g., You cite a group of Tony’s passages and simply respond with 1 Cor. 15:22. But 1 Corinthians is written to the church. The “all” in the passage corresponds with the church in union with Christ, but not necessarily with all saints at all times. For instance, you need to address matters like how there could be a church which is the Body of Christ before the death and resurrection of Christ Himself. Hence, citing the verse does not refute Tony. You will need to prove your thesis against Tony’s passages. Your piece is tilted in the direction of what you have come to see subjectively rather than stating your view objectively.
Further, the “one new man” is clearly the post-resurrection ecclesia, for otherwise the adjective “new” is pointless – Paul should have just said “one man.”
Understand that I am simply saying that your piece as it stands does not refute Dr. Garland nor does it prove your contention. You need more argumentation as I see it.
Thanks brother, I’ll give thought to your points.
I want to speak for a moment to the one new man: So let’s look at the passage:
Ephesians 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; (KJV)
So in Vs 14 Paul says that He hath made both one, speaking of Jew and Gentile. The these is past hath done this. In verse 15 again we are in the past tense having abolished…for to make in Himself of the two one new man. So what makes us think that this oneness is not now in existence? Sorry Dr Henebury, but I can’t see your point.
The “oneness” IS now in existence – in the church. But the church was not in existence before Christ came (since the church is ‘”in Christ”).
I understand what you say, but it would appear that since our Lord moved paradise to heaven that He must have added those who were there to His church before doing so. Thanks