Pages

Categories

Archives

Meta

Doctrine of New Covenant to the Church

August 2, 2014

DOCTRINE OF THE NEW COVENANT TO THE CHURCH

A. Definition.
1. In the study of the doctrine of the priesthood in Hebrews there are two new covenants: the new covenant to Israel and the new covenant to the Church. A covenant is a contract between two parties. Party of the first part is God. Party of the second part is certain categories of mankind. Heb 12:24, “To Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, …”
2. In biblical covenants, party of the first part (God) makes a favorable disposition to party of the second part (mankind), and that is the covenant. In the book of Hebrews there are unconditional covenants to individuals and a new covenant to born again Israel in the millennium and a new covenant to the Church.
3. You cannot have a new covenant without a mediator. In the Church Age we have both a mediator and a new covenant. The new covenant to the Church is operational now. You cannot have a new covenant to the Church or a new covenant to Israel without a mediator. The first time Israel will ever have a true mediator will be the new covenant to Israel. The new covenant to Israel is the only time that Israel as a whole receives a promise from God, and that requires a mediator.
4. The new covenant to the Church is made to all Church Age believers. The new covenant to Israel is made to all Jewish believers of the millennium. In order to make a covenant to all believers we have to have a priesthood. The Jewish believers in the millennium also have a priesthood. We have the filling of the Spirit and they have the filling of the Holy Spirit (though it is different).
5. Heb 9:15, “And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, since a death has taken place resulting in the redemption from the transgressions which were under the first covenant, so that those who have been called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”
6. Jesus Christ is the mediator of the new covenant to the Church. 1 Tim 2:3-6, “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our savior, who desires all mankind to be saved and come to an epignosis knowledge of the truth. For God [the Son] [is] one [in essence], and one [person is] a mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom substitute for all mankind, a statement brought out in testimony at the proper time.”
a. A mediator is an intermediator between two parties to effect reconciliation and to provide special benefits to the ones (believers) being reconciled. Our Lord is an intermediary between two parties to effect reconciliation and to provide special benefits [your portfolio of invisible assets] to the ones being reconciled. A mediator is an intermediary between two parties in conflict to effect reconciliation. Jesus Christ has reconciled us to God the Father by removing the barrier between God and man.
b. The mediator must be equal to both parties in the mediation. To be equal with mankind, our Lord had to be equal with Adam before he sinned. Jesus Christ in hypostatic union and living the prototype spiritual life provided by God the Father and God the Holy Spirit has equivalency with both God and man and qualified Him as the mediator between God and man. Mediatorship means “be reconciled to God.” While our Lord was bearing our sins on the Cross He was functioning as our mediator, reconciling the world to Himself. There is no reconciliation to God without the mediatorship of Christ.
c. Jesus Christ had to be a mediator before He could be a savior. Our Lord was born a mediator and had to demonstrate that in His perfect body He would not fall into the same trap as Adam and commit a personal sin. Our Lord became a mediator at the point of His virgin birth. He became our savior on the Cross. Because He is the only mediator, He is the only savior. Christ qualified as our mediator for thirty-three years before He could our savior, and He could not reconcile us to God until He became our savior on the Cross.
(1) The correct translation of verse 5 is “For God is one” not “For there is one God.” The Greek word HEIS is a predicate nominative, not an adjective modifying THEOS (God). The absence of the definite article indicates this is talking about the essence of God not the person of God.
(2) God is one in essence but three in persons. This can be called the concept of equivalency. Jesus Christ cannot be a mediator unless he is born with the same human perfection that Adam had before he sinned. Jesus Christ had to be equivalent with Adam before the fall. Jesus Christ cannot be a mediator if His only equality is with spiritually dead humanity. Our Lord had to maintain His perfect humanity without sin for thirty-three years.
(3) The phrase “the man Christ Jesus” is the title of our Lord as both true humanity and God united into one person in hypostatic union as our mediator. God cannot be our Savior because God cannot go to the Cross. God must become a man to go to the Cross.
d. Our Lord made a decision to become true humanity and a mediator and provide salvation from the motivation of impersonal love for all mankind. Only as a mediator is Jesus Christ qualified to reconcile mankind to God. Therefore the decision to become a mediator requires action—to go to the Cross. To be a true mediator in the reconciliation of man to God, Jesus Christ had to become true humanity and undiminished deity in one person forever. Our Lord was motivated by impersonal love for all mankind in eternity past to make a decision to become true humanity, so that He could perform the action of offering Himself as a sacrifice for all mankind. Good motivation results in good decision, which produces good action. As a priest our Lord could offer Himself as a sacrifice. As a mediator He could reconcile each one of us to Himself.
e. Our Lord has to be a priest in order to be a mediator and offer Himself as a sacrifice to God the Father. No one has the right to offer a sacrifice unless he is a priest. A priest represents mankind to God. Jesus Christ not only had to be a mediator, but He also had to be a priest. In eternity past God the Father appointed Jesus Christ a high priest, Ps 110:1, 4. He became our mediator at the point of the virgin birth. He became our savior on the Cross. With His priesthood Jesus Christ had motivation in His love to become a mediator and provide salvation for every person in the human race, 1 Tim 2:4. Christ, our High Priest, is the mediator of a perfect contract between man and God. At salvation we entered this grace contract and the contract requires nothing else on our part. God has contracted to do everything for the royal family as a matter of grace.
f. Your spiritual life is based on what God the Father provided through the mediator, God the Son, and the power of the Holy Spirit. You are insulting all three members of the Trinity when you do not execute this spiritual life. You must have motivation to live your spiritual life. You must make decisions from your motivation to live the spiritual life. You must take action based on your decisions. Motivation is the metabolized doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness. Virtue demands that you have to be motivated by Bible doctrine. None of us is any better than our motivation at any time of the day. Neglect of Bible doctrine destroys any possibility of motivation. If there is no motivation, there is no decision. If there is no decision, there is no action. If there is no action, you are dead in your spiritual life.
7. Summary.
a. We have better things than have ever existed in human history, Heb 8:6, “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by so much that He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on the basis of better promises.” The better covenant is the new covenant to the Church.
b. A covenant is defined as God’s gracious promises and provision for a new spiritual species. There is only one new spiritual species in history and that is the Church Age believer. This spiritual species is born of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. A covenant is a disposition made by one party (God) in favor of another party (man) after salvation.
c. For a covenant to become operational four categories must be effective: God as party of the first part, the Church as party of the second part, a mediator to reconcile both parties, and a priest to perform an efficacious sacrifice by which reconciliation with God is made.
d. The Mosaic Law was a covenant of shadows (building, priesthood, sacrifices) because the Mediator had not come in the flesh. Therefore, the function of the Mosaic Law in the Age of Israel was legitimate but not efficacious. The old covenant to Israel is rescinded when Jesus Christ sat down in heaven as the High Priest of a new covenant. This is why the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem was left empty of the Ark of the Covenant after 586 B.C. The Holy of Holies of the restored Temple in Jerusalem in the millennium will also be empty. The real Temple during the Church Age is your body, which is indwelt by the High Priest as the Shekinah Glory. This emphasizes the uniqueness of the Church Age and our far greater blessings.
e. A new covenant must exist with historic reality (the First Advent of Christ made Him the mediator and qualified Him to be our Savior) and there must be an efficacious sacrifice. The Mosaic Law didn’t authorize any efficacious sacrifices, they simply pointed to the efficacious sacrifice.
f. The coming reality (First Advent) and fulfillment of the shadows by the efficacious sacrifice on the cross demands a new covenant. In fact, it demands two new covenants: one to the Church and one to Israel. The Mosaic Law is set aside, which leaves Israel hanging in the millennium. So there must be a new covenant to Israel.
g. This new covenant to the Church is a spiritual legacy to the royal family of God and authorizes the royal priesthood.
h. The new covenant applies only to those who are born again. Hence, the new covenant is God’s grace disposition to the royal family in time and eternity.
8. Conclusion.
a. The new covenant is not a will which requires the physical death of the testator (the one who makes the will) to be operational.
b. The new covenant requires the spiritual death of Christ on the cross, His efficacious offering of the blood, so that God the Father can ratify a new covenant. A will or testament becomes operational by physical death.
c. The new covenant to the Church is made in favor of the royal family. This is God’s greatest experiment of grace.
d. The new covenant supercedes the shadow covenant of the Old Testament, the Mosaic Law. It authorizes a new universal priesthood for the royal family of God which operates positionally in the Holy of Holies.
e. The new covenant ratified by God is valid because of the blood of Christ, the efficacious spiritual death of Christ on the cross, being judged for our sins. So the physical blood of Christ cannot be what saves us. “Blood” means redemption, reconciliation, and propitiation. The blood of Christ links animal blood in the representative analogy with the saving work of Christ on the cross.
f. The new covenant is the reality in contrast to the shadows of the old covenant, the Levitical code. Hence, the new covenant is the legacy of the royal priesthood with God the Father as the ratifier and God the Son as the mediator.
g. The Mediator offered Himself as an efficacious sacrifice on the cross. The Father was propitiated, the covenant was ratified. The covenant calls for the royal family to live forever in the Holy of Holies, Heb 9:14‑15, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the agency of the eternal Spirit, offered Himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works? And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, since a death has taken place resulting in the redemption from the transgressions which were under the first covenant, so that those who have been called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” Heb 7:27, “[Jesus Christ] who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices first for his own sins and then for the sins of the people, because of this He did once and for all offer Himself.”

B. Scripture Regarding the New Covenant to the Church, Mt 26:28; Mk 14:24; Lk 22:20; 1 Cor 11:25; 2 Cor 3:6; Heb 7:22; 9:15‑20; 10:29; 12:24.

C. The new covenant to the Church rescinds and supercedes the old covenant to Israel. The old covenant to Israel, the Mosaic Law, has been rescinded and replaced with a better covenant—the new covenant to the Church, Heb 7:18-19. All Church Age believers are under a new covenant with a royal priesthood, High Priest, and Mediator which is different. A mediator must provide a spiritual life compatible to a new spiritual species in the new covenant to the Church.

D. The New Covenant and the Priesthood.
1. The new covenant authorizes a new priesthood and a royal priesthood of the Church Age. The specialized priesthood, the Levitical order of Israel, is set aside with shadow worship.
2. Jesus Christ is our unique High Priest.
a. He is unique because He was appointed by God the Father in eternity past, Ps 110:4.
b. He is unique because He is the only high priest in history to be born as Adam was created. He has to be equal with both parties in the mediation—He is equal with God as God and He is equal with Adam before the fall as true humanity.
c. He is the only high priest to be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth, Isa 11:2; 42:1; Mt 12:18; Jn 3:34.
d. He is the only high priest to offer Himself as a sacrifice.
e. He is the only high priest who offers eternal life to anyone who believes in Him.
f. He is the only high priest to be born perfect and remain perfect under the greatest pressure and temptation of all time, Heb 2:17-18; 4:15.
g. He is the only high priest to test and prove the prototype spiritual life, which has now been given to us.
h. He is the only high priest in a resurrection body.
3. The Church Age is the time of the formation of a royal priesthood, which is resurrection body will function as priests. 1 Pet 2:5, 9; Rev 1:6.
4. In Lev 21:14 it says that a Levitical priest could not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a prostitute; he must marry a virgin who is a Jew. However, in the line of Christ as our High Priest we have Rahab the prostitute and Bathsheba, a widow. Being an unbeliever did not disqualify a Levite from being a priest. No wonder the old covenant was weak and useless, Heb 9:18.

E. The New Covenant and the Strategic Victory of Christ. The strategic victory of Christ in the angelic conflict interrupts the Age of Israel and voids the old covenant. But it does not void the unconditional covenants to Israel.

F. The Distinction between the New Covenant to Israel and the New Covenant to the Church. The new covenant to Israel is found in Gal 4:4; Jer 31:31‑34; Heb 8:8‑12; 10:15‑18. The new covenant to Israel is the authorizing agent for the restored Israel in the Millennium. The new covenant to Israel replaces the Mosaic Law for the function of Israel’s priesthood and all Israel in the Millennium. There will be animal sacrifices in the Millennium authorized by the new covenant to Israel as a memorial to the death of Christ, and this is not a shadow.

G. Summary of the Authorizing Covenants.
1. The Mosaic Law authorizes the Levitical priesthood of the Age of Israel.
2. The new covenant to the Church authorizes the royal priesthood of the Church Age.
3. The new covenant to Israel authorizes the Levitical priesthood of the Millennium and the millennial temple of Ezek 40‑48.

H. The New Covenant to the Church is the basis for establishing the royal family forever. Part of the plunder of the strategic victory of Christ is the establishment of the royal family composed of Church Age believers only. The new covenant to the Church includes its priesthood, its royalty, its escrow blessings, sharing God’s happiness, and the operational divine dynasphere.

I. The Shadows and the Reality. All shadows of the old covenant point to the person and work of Jesus Christ. He is the reality. He is the guarantee of a better covenant between God and man, Heb 7:22. The blood of the covenant has set us aside as royal family, Heb 10:29.