Frequently Asked Questions About Christianity, Answered Honestly!
What is the Difference Between Covenant
Theology, and New Covenant Theology?
by Tony Warren
n truth, there really is only one correct theological view of the Covenant, which is the unadulterated biblical view. That is to say, the view of Covenant Theology as it is defined and delineated by the Bible. However, man typically chooses to make things more complicated and confusing than they should be, and so accordingly, labels are required to separate the three basic schools of thought. Though the specifics of the theology of the Covenant may be defined in one way by one group, and in another way by an opposing group, in general there are just three major views. These views fit somewhere into the systems known as "Covenant Theology," "New Covenant Theology," and "Dispensational Covenant Theology." Following is a general and brief synopsis of these three theologies.
It is difficult to briefly summarize the dispensational view because it has so many outgrowths and diverse branches. In general, the core of this system is their untenable insistence on the oxymoron that they take the Bible very literally, even when it is figurative. Thus they believe that Old Covenant believers were under an epochal of Mosaic Law. These theologians teach that there is a great degree of discontinuity between the old and new Covenants, and that there are diverse ways in which God has dealt with man in different dispensations or epochs of time. This system is built upon the idea that God's plan for dealing with man has been changing throughout these seven dispensations of history.
These diverse economies include the time of the Mosaic Law, the present age we live in, and the future one thousand year reign of Christ on earth. Those who hold this theological viewpoint do not believe that there is only one people of God, but rather that the Bible contains two distinctly different paths for certain people. This includes one plan for those who are of Jewish heritage, and a separate plan for all the Gentile people. The New Covenant is viewed in a sense of law being replaced by Grace, rather than law and Grace coexisting throughout time. Although it is believed that both Jews and Gentiles are saved by Christ through faith now, they also hold that the nation of Israel will receive additional earthly promises and honors. Some even declare that the Jewish people are saved by the grace of God during this present dispensation, but that the Jewish people of the past (and indeed Jewish people of the future) are somehow to be justified by Jewish heritage or lineage, in a divine establishment of obedience to the law.
It is this view of God having separate plans for those who are of Jewish heritage, and the belief in this series of divine dispensations, that distinguishes this form of theology from both "Covenant Theology," and "New Covenant Theology." Note that the eschatology of Dispensationalism is a diverse theology and beyond the scope of this particular publication, and so this paper will focus on the differences between "Covenant Theology versus New Covenant Theology."
What Is A Covenant
To better understand the theologies of the Covenant, we should first understand the word. The word that is translated Covenant in the Hebrew is [beriyth], and in the Greek [diatheke] (often translated Testament). They both very literally mean "a promise or solemn oath" (Genesis 26:3). In other words, if you produced a written agreement certifying that your land should go to your son after your death, that would be a Covenant because it is literally a written Promise, Oath, or Testament certifying that something must be done. Moreover, a Covenant can made out as either conditional or unconditional. For example, a Covenant can be a mutual agreement that if certain requirements are met, then and only then will the oath or promise be enforceable. Thus, any breaking of that Covenant by not meeting the requirements is a violation of law. That is an example of a conditional Covenant. It is like what we would call today, a contract. On the other hand, an oath or promise to give something with no requirements or stipulations, is an unconditional Covenant. In other words, it is a solemn promise or oath to do something, with no conditions or stipulations attached. Thus, that Covenant cannot be broken by your actions, so that you will receive whatever has been promised regardless of anything you do or don't do. In these two ways, God has made many solemn promises or Covenants in Scriptures. A careful study of such Scriptures will reveal that they all point to some aspect of the gospel.
God will never forsake His people Israel, and this promise is equated to His oath to keep the time keepers working in the heavens. In other words, this is God's solemn oath that there will be day and night "Til He Come!" And if this promise or Covenant cannot be broken, then neither will His promise never to forsake Jacob. It is an unconditional Covenant made to the sons of God, the children of Israel.
- "Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth, then will I cast away the seed of Jacob..."
Again, this Covenant is a solemn oath or promise that was made by God, that He would not destroy all flesh by the flood waters again. That again is God's unconditional Covenant or promise. In like manner, a Covenant of God may also be conditional, where it is predicated upon some action of man.
- "And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh."
In other words, the promise (Covenant) is conditioned upon if they would obey. Only then would they sit upon thrones in the Kingdom. When we see a conditional Covenant in Scriptures, it is often called a "Covenant of works." This simply means that the promise is dependant or conditioned upon some action (work) of man. By the same token, an unconditional Covenant is known as a "Covenant of Grace," meaning it is not a promise that is conditioned by any works of men. It is a Covenant received strictly by the unmerited favor of God. All promises or Covenants of God throughout Scriptures fall into one of these two categories.
- "If thy children will keep my Covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore."
Again, we see that Covenant and the promise are synonymous. When God made a Covenant with Abraham that his seed (Christ) would inherit the kingdom, that was an unconditional promise. It is a promise that all of us also have part in, if we have part in Christ Jesus.
- "And this I say, that the Covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make The Promise of none effect."
To Biblically define the word Covenant, we need not look to any man's explanation, but to the Scriptures as our interpreter and dictionary. In doing this, we can see that the word most nearly means a promise or oath. It is true that there are many theologians who define a Covenant as an agreement. However, while a Covenant "can" be an agreement (mutual promise), it is not always such. It can be a singular promise from God (or man) to do or not do something. Just as a last will and testament is a singular promise of possession after someone dies. The word testament in the Greek is the exact same word translated Covenant. It is a solemn oath made by that person. Which, not coincidentally, God Himself uses to define the promise of inheritance (Hebrews 9:16-17) which He has secured for His people. The Covenant!
- "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to The Promise."
Which brings us to this word as it is used in the context of the issue before us, "Covenant Theology versus New Covenant theology." Covenant Theology (for example, as understood in the Westminster Confession of Faith) is the understanding that the promise supports a great degree of continuity between the Old Covenant (represented by works) and the New Covenant (representing grace). The Old Covenant is actually a synonym for the law, and the New Covenant a synonym for Grace. However, it is important to understand that there were no saints ever saved by the Old Covenant law. all who were saved before the time of Christ, were saved under the only Covenant that can save, which is the New Covenant that was confirmed in the shed blood of Christ. From the very beginning, every single person that was elect, was saved the exact same way. By faith in the redemptive work of Christ's New Covenant. The Old Covenant of works (conditional) is passed away (Hebrews 8:12-13) for both Old and New Covenant saints, that they no longer fall under its sentence of death (Romans 6:23). We can say the Old was the example, which the New brought to light, its obligations fulfilled in Christ.
Keep in mind Testament and Covenant are the same Greek words. For what cause or reason was Christ mediator of a New Covenant? Well, because the Old condemned us, and the ritual examples of the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled upon the unclean, pointed to the true sacrifice and shed blood of Christ. The Old system was merely a shadow foretelling the only sacrifice blood that could truly purify man. By means of the death of Christ, we receive the ratification of Old Covenant law by the washing away of our sins or transgressions, by which that old conditional Covenant condemned us. The promise or 'Covenant of redemption' (Ephesians 1:4-7; 1:11; 1st Peter 1:19-20; Revelation 13:8) is what undergirds the Covenant of grace in Covenant Theology.
- "And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance."
Moreover, in Covenant Theology Scriptures is seen as illustrating that the promise or Covenant of God is also external or corporate in nature. Where, just as the nation Israel was externally under God's protection, the church is a family under this same external corporate Covenant relationship. The external nature of the Covenant applies not only to those adults who come to believe, but also in a non-salvific way (1st Corinthians 7:14), to their children. In like manner, water baptism is an external outward 'sign' or token of incorporation into the Covenant family of God, without guaranteeing anyone's salvation.
The biblical hermeneutic of law establishes that whatever is not abolished in Christ, must continues. Therefore, there is a certain unity or continuity in God's Covenants. In other words, though there are the opposites in the Covenant of works and the Covenant of grace, they are intimately related for the true believer. Meaning that Christ fulfilled the conditions of the Old Covenant of law or works, that it may no longer condemn us as it does the unsaved. Once truly saved, we are looked upon by God as clean, Holy and unblamable. That is how the Old Covenant (works) is passed away for us in this sense of becoming dead to the law (Romans 7:4) through the death of the body of Christ.
The Old Covenant neither brought, nor brings justification to anyone. Justification and salvation could be obtained only by way of faith. So Abraham and all Old Covenant saints were justified by faith, and the Old Covenant was merely a portrait to illustrate that law that without the faith of Christ condemned them. Covenant Theology looks upon all history as a progressive revealing of the Covenant of Grace, and that includes the Old Covenant. It carries over the old order into the new in the sense that it is understood that the Old Covenant laws are not done away with (made null and void), rather they are fulfilled or completed (for the believer only) and made dead in Christ. In this way, the old "conditional" promise has become new and "unconditional" for those of faith. The true Israel of God has always been the remnant of the congregation (individuals rather than a nation), and the Old Covenant saints have always been upheld by the work of Christ, rather than their own works. There was not one single Old Covenant Israelite that was saved by works, except it was the work of the spirit of Christ in him (1st Peter 1:10-11). The Scriptures also teach that the Old Covenant laws are still binding (the wicked are still guilty under them), but we can only fully keep them in Christ Jesus. In Him alone we keep them all perfectly. In other words, He is our righteousness, our obedience, our Sabbath of rest that we keep forever, and our daily or continual sacrifice. He is our Lamb of atonement that the Old Covenant rituals pointed to. Jesus taught that what He came to do in His life, and the work that He accomplished, was the fulfillment and true substance of all the Old Covenant 'shadows or types' that prefigured Him. Those laws are all still kept in Him. No one in the Old Covenant was ever saved by keeping the law of shedding the blood of literal animals (Hebrews 10:4), likewise no one ever refrained from sin and lived righteously in a way that could save him. They were only righteous by the work of Christ, through the faith. They only kept the law perfectly through His Spirit, not their own. They were saved retroactively by faith, looking forward to the coming of Christ through these shadows and types. We who live in the contemporary age are saved by that same faith, looking backward to the coming of Christ. The Old Covenant laws were everlasting (Numbers 18:19; Joshua 4:7; Leviticus 16:31), because they were merely a shadow representing the new (or true) that was coming. Just as a shadow cast on the ground would prefigure or announce that someone was coming. In this way we see the continuity of the Old Covenants, which were shadows of things to come.
- "Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
- Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the Promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,"
A shadow is dark, obscure, not well defined, not showing the clear picture of what it represents. God set those Old Covenant laws so that they illustrate an outline, looking forward to the detailed and true Christ. In Him only can we keep them perfectly (as required). Thus Covenant theology embodies the belief that the law is not destroyed or abrogated, and is "passed away" only in the sense that it is fulfilled in Christ. In this way we are considered dead to the law that it cannot condemn us. Not that we are exempt from abiding by the law, because it is of His Spirit within us that we have an earnest desire to abide by His laws. It is that when we fail, the law cannot condemn us who are perfect in Christ. In this way it is not Covenant Theology versus New Covenant Theology, but Covenant Theology become new in its Messianic fulfillment. When our Lord established the New Covenant, that is proof that there is no merit in the dispensational system or view of the Covenants. For Christ Himself was not establishing something radically different, rather, 'by Himself' He was establishing the true or real fulfillment of the Old Covenant shadows.
- "For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
- Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount."
These were not the "true images," but merely shadows or figures of things that were coming. The law was our educator or tutor (Galatians 3:23-25), teaching us that we always fall well short of the glory of God, and thus have need of a Savior. The law taught that we couldn't get to heaven by our own works. The Old Testament saints couldn't keep the law by their blood sacrifices, nor did any of these acts that were commanded by God make them perfect (keeping perfectly God's laws). The real work of keeping the law falls upon Christ's shoulders. In the system of Covenant Theology, it is understood that the law has not ended and that we are still obligated to observe it in Spirit and truth, but we keep it in Christ wherein it cannot condemn us. The law states that the wages of sin is death, and that is still the valid law, but we keep the law of sinlessness and perfectly (which is required) in the death of Christ Jesus. We obey God and keep the law only because God is now working within us to both will and to do His good works.
- "For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect."
In other words, our keeping the law is by the work of Christ in us, and the good that we see worked out in ourselves is the evidence of salvation, not the reason (lest any man should boast) for it. Keeping the law is a product of Christ's working within us. God has an external federal family relationship with His visible church. The same external Covenant family relationship God had with the Old Testament saints. These truths of a 'certain' continuity of Old and New Covenants constitute the true essence of sound, justifiable, Biblical 'Covenant Theology.'
- "Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
New Covenant Theology
By contrast, 'New Covenant Theology' is a phrase that people use to identify the system purporting the administration in the New Testament era has a distinctively 'new character' to it. It has been un-flatteringly equated to being a compromise between Dispensational Theology and Covenant Theology. This is partly due to it being a doctrine held by many theologians who were former Dispensationalists, Reformed Baptists or former Baptists who come from this denominational background.
In this teaching, it is generally held that Christ has actually changed God's laws. This view stems from their conclusion that because we live under the provisions of the New Covenant (believed to be a new dispensation inaugurated by Christ) that the Law of Christ is 'not' the same as the Law of Moses. However, it is my belief that this view is indefensible on may different levels. Primarily because Christ did nothing but support the Law of Moses all throughout His ministry. Indeed, it is quite evident that the Law of Moses is used synonymously with 'The Word of God.' In other words, the Ten Commandments and all other commandments of God, were not Moses' law, it was God's law. It is only called the law of Moses to distinguish the type from the true in the Grace of Christ.
In other words, the law given Moses by God could not make men righteous because it could not be kept perfectly, and it is thus contrasted with the system of grace that came only through Christ Jesus. All of God's Word is a perfect Word, and though it may appear Christ contradicts the law, careful consideration of all texts reveal that He does not. For example, when our Lord says that He that is angry with his brother without a cause (Matthew 5:21-22) is guilty of murder, He is not contradicting the law of murder. Rather He is explaining that in God's economy, the sin of murder goes well beyond the literal or physical taking of a human life. This is not a 'new' law, nor a corruption of the old, but a deeper explanation of it. This was always the qualification in the law, and thus in it we see the continuation from old to new. Christ is in no wise abrogating the old law, but illuminating it to show that without Christ, we could never keep the Old Covenant law's far reaching implications. The only way to keep it perfectly, is in Christ.
- "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."
Contrary to New Covenant Theology views, Christ actually confirmed that the Law of Moses was indeed the law both fulfilled, and kept in Christ. Not one word or single letter of it is invalid, because it's God's Law. Not one little detail will pass away from it through this idea that something new has come to replace it. It all has to be kept, and that is why Christ had to come to fulfill the promise or Covenant of salvation through righteousness. There was no one else who could allow man to stand before God sinless. Christ didn't come to change the law, transform it into something new or to make it null and void. The Law of Moses for murder is still the law of God, and thus murder is still a sin. Idolatry is still a sin. Adultery is still a sin. The law has not changed for man.
- "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
- For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."
Likewise the law of the Passover was commanded of God to be kept forever, and it will be kept forever. Not in the "shadow" or "type" seen in slaughtering literal lambs, but its ritual is "continued" in Christ through the communion service. In this feast fulfilled in Christ we indeed eat of the Passover and we indeed keep the law of this sacrifice forever. It illustrates that salvation "never" came through the literal sacrifice of animals, it was always through the shed blood of Christ, the antitype. The law of animal sacrifice merely prefigured His coming.
New Covenant theologians may look at the fact that we no longer celebrate the Passover in the style they did in the Old Covenant as proof that the law has changed. In truth, what it proves is that the Passover celebration is kept in our festival of eating of the body of Christ Jesus. He is the "real" Passover Lamb, and not a animal that was burned in the flame. Why would the children of God today eat of the shadow when they have the real which the shadow merely forecast? Christians do still keep the passover eternally, but in the real rather than the shadow.
Truly Christ is declaring that whosoever partakes in eating of this sacrifice Lamb (John 1:29), is eternally keeping the Law of God concerning the only Lamb's blood that could take away sin. It is not a New Covenant in the sense that Old Covenant saints were not saved in this exact same way, or had no access to Christ in their day. It is new only in the sense that it is the perfect administration of the Covenant of Grace that the Mosaic Law forecast would save. It is new in the sense of it being superior to works, since it is the only way man can find his way into the Kingdom.
- "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
- For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed."
Like "Covenant Theology," the "New Covenant Theology" system also declares that the New Testament characterizes the New Covenant as superior to the old, but it goes beyond by placing a disconnect between the two. Therefore it is surmised that this perceived discontinuity means the Law of Christ stands in contrast to the Law of Moses. However, that would make two separate and distinct bodies, which is an un-biblical concept concerning the children of God. The Old Testament saints were saved by Grace exactly as the New Testament saints were. Not by works, but by the Covenant of Grace, retroactively. In the Old Covenant era, by faith they looked forward to the coming of the Messiah Christ and his finished work on the cross. In the New Covenant era, by faith we look backward at the coming of Christ and His finished work on the cross. Faith is the same and Grace is the same. The only difference is the saint's directional view of Christ. In other words, We (Old Testament as well as New Testament saints) are all part of this very same continual eternal Covenant of Grace. Just because before the cross of Christ, the Covenant was not yet given its strength by the death of Christ, doesn't mean that its efficacy does not reach back to Abraham or Abel. If it did, then there is obviously continuity rather than discontinuity.
If there indeed was no continuation of the Covenants with Israel, it is contradictory for God to declare He grafts New Covenant era branches into the same Old Covenant olive tree, representing that Covenant. The olive tree of Romans chapter eleven is the representation or symbol of this external Covenant that God has with His people Israel. This tree clearly existed both before the cross and remains standing and alive after the cross. That is the very essence of "Covenant Theology" continuity. This Covenant with Israel stood strong even as some branches were broken off in blindness, and others were grafted in.
We Gentiles are grafted into the Covenant tree of Israel "among those" Jewish branches who were not broken off. Clearly, it's not a new tree, not a different tree, but the very same Covenant tree Israel. Consequently, the Covenant is new "only" in that Christ has come, being the real substance and the real root of it, and He has fulfilled the shadow. He has given the Covenant with Israel it's real "strength," and this is what 'New Covenant Theology' fails to address effectively. The truths of continuity, which are so effectively stated in Hebrews:
- "And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;"
The Covenant/Testament was there, but it was of no force if Christ remained alive because He had to fulfill its requirement of death (like in a last will and Testament) for the regeneration and inheritance of God's people. When Christ shed His blood on the cross, He undergirded it or put real strength to the promise or Covenant with Israel. Again, it's not a different Covenant of salvation, it's a Covenant made new by being made strong in being fulfilled. Daniel chapter nine prophesied that a Messiah was to come who would strengthen [gabar] the Covenant with many. He was to come and confirm or ratify what was already a Covenant promise. It is thus superior to the old law in that the Old was a promise of salvation without strength (Hebrews 9:17-18) apart from the death of Christ. The works required in the Old Covenant are fulfilled in the work of Christ. Thus the Covenant of works is completed/accomplished and the Covenant of Grace brought to fruition. Even as Christ Himself said, He came not to do away with the law, but to fulfill it. The law is now written on our hearts, because Christ has gone to the cross to establish its new birth in us, and indeed retroactively for all those elect who came before us. He dwells within us, therefore is the law always in our thoughts and heart.
- "For a Covenant is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the Covenantor liveth."
The old promise (Covenant) we were under was to keep God's law or we would be condemned. The new promise (Covenant) is not that the old is tossed out the window, for God's condemnation of sinners for violating His law obviously stands. But that in Christ, we keep the Old Covenant law of works perfectly. New Covenant Theology cannot effectively address how those of both the Old and New Covenant era that were unsaved, will have to answer to every jot and tittle of the law (thou shalt not kill, commit adultery, etc.) if it was supposedly done away with. If someone has to answer to the law, then obviously, it was not done away with for them. To those in Christ the law cannot condemn, because they are established on better promises (grace) where there is no condemnation by the law. The law clearly still stand as an accuser of the unsaved, but not of us.
- "This is the Covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;"
Many New Covenant Theologians are fond of claiming that the Old Covenant law of Moses is somehow not in effect today, while at the same time they use Old Covenant Laws of Moses (thou shalt not kill, commit adultery, covet, etc.) as valid today. As they see it, if it's repeated in the New Covenant, then it's still in effect. However, the question remains, how then is the Old Covenant law still in effect so that it is repeated in the New Covenant if it was done away with in the New Covenant? That's not a law being done away with, that's the law being reiterated! This view is inconsistent at best, and present a very shaky foundation on which to build a theology of the Covenant.
The New Covenant Theology system suggests that it is a totally different Covenant, when in fact it is different and new only in that the continuity of the Old is seen fulfilled in a new and glorious way. That is to say, we who are under that Covenant Law, are made the righteousness of Christ and thus not condemned by it. It's not new in the sense that the old law is now abrogated. It's new in that we are under Grace in that the law doesn't condemn us because of our unrighteous acts or our lack of perfect works. However, this same law still condemns those not in Christ, which in itself is proof that nothing has changed concerning the Old Covenant law of works. Moreover, those who know the law, and yet don't keep the law, will be judged more severely. Thus the words of the law must be seen to stand unabrogated.
Clearly and without ambiguity, in the New Testament era the law of Moses stands. It is not done away with for the reprobate. The only people who are not condemned by it are those dead to the law in Christ Jesus. So while New Covenant Theologians believe that Christ gives the church "new" and "higher standards of conduct" than Moses gave under a Covenant of law, it is self evident that the law of Christ in fact 'is' the Law of Moses. And we are under no more higher standards than the people of God ever were. The law under which Abraham, Isaac and Jacob toiled is the same law under which we toil. And as they were saved not by fulfilling the Covenant of works, but Christ fulfilling it for them--so we have that very same Grace. Even those who argue that there is no 'Covenant of Grace' must confess that this is the most accurate title to represent the one single plan of redemption, which God has instituted for the saints from the very beginning. Even as Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord so that He and his 7 family members were saved and made heirs of the same promise. In a phrase, He was upheld by "the Covenant of Grace" in the Spirit of Christ.
- "If ye fulfil the royal law according to the Scriptures, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
- But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
- For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
- For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law."
Covenant Theology versus New Covenant Theology? Only one view will stand the test of scripture concerning how all men, whether on the Old Testament side of the cross or the new, were saved the exact same way. There has been no change in he promise illustrated throughout scripture in God's magnificent salvation program. From Able, Abraham, Noah and David, to Peter, Paul and Stephen, they were all saved by the same Covenant of Grace in Christ Jesus. Covenant Theology is Biblical theology.
New Covenant Theology is in part inconsistent and places an artificial abrogation of Old Covenant law. By contrast, it is my belief that Dispensational Theology is not only biblically untenable, but disjointed and fundamentally flawed at the very core. Covenant Theology is the only scripturally consistent view of how God has always dealt with His people. Indeed, Biblical Theology is 'Covenant Theology,' the continuity between the old Testament and the new. Like two parallel lines that work in conjunction with each other. The Covenant of works and the Covenant of Grace, both in harmony and continuity. Only one path in which we can walk that we uphold our "obligations" to the conditional promises of God., the Grace of Christ Jesus alone. As our substitute He has finished the works 'required' to keep the law perfectly.
Covenant Theology vs. New Covenant Theology? The difference between the two Christian theologies basically boils down to the distinction that Covenant Theology believes in the continuity between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, and New Covenant Theology believes that the New Covenant law of Christ stands 'in contrast' to the Old Covenant law of Moses. There are many flavors of these Theologies, but generally speaking, this is the basic difference.
Copyright 2000 Tony Warren
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