Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Does Dispensationalism Teach Two-Ways of Salvation?

A certain very nice blog reader, one who won't comment anymore (hi!) emailed me this article. I thought it worth sharing with everybody here. It still doesn't give me the specific answer I was looking for in the question on the post below this one, but it certainly answers the critics of dispensationalism regarding the charge that we teach two ways of salvation! (It is a lot like one of the chapters in Ryrie's book)

Does Dispensationalism Teach Two-Ways of Salvation?

58 Comments:

  • Rose, in regards to this issue and other changes in dispensational thought, I highly recommend reading the first chapter of Blaising and Bock's, "Progressive Dispensationalism." It is invaluable!

    By Blogger Jonathan Moorhead, at 3/19/2008 11:17 AM  

  • Thanks, Jonathan. Good to see you. I think my brother may have that book - but I know it is my church's library, thanks to Philip DeCourcy.

    Hey, why not weigh in with an answerr yourself? Come on doc. :~) Help me out.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/19/2008 11:31 AM  

  • BTW: to anyone who cares:

    I have listed some quotes from the article linked on this post and have posted them as comments #8 and #9 in the post below this one: "Question for Dispensationalists."

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/19/2008 11:33 AM  

  • Hi, Rose.

    This is a good article. I appreciate the writer's conclusions.

    By Anonymous Gordon Cloud, at 3/19/2008 11:37 AM  

  • If you mean justification and deliverance from eternal condemnation, no it does not.

    If you mean two ways of sanctification, then yes it does.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/19/2008 1:44 PM  

  • I suppose what era of dispensationalism we are talking about will determine the answer to this question.

    I didn't read the article, you have linked, but I thought I would comment briefly.

    Whether or not dispensationalism teaches two ways of salvation. Both classic and revised (Ryrie) offer/posit at least two "new covenants" (THE New Covenant for the Jews/and "a" new covenant for the church).

    Btw, I second Jonathan's recommendation for Blaising and Bock's book. In fact before any more posts come on dispensationalism . . . this is required reading ;-).

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 3/20/2008 6:18 AM  

  • Rose,

    No, dispensationalism does NOT teach 2 ways of salvation. The article you linked to noted a couple of covenant theologians concluding that as well. I've never read or heard any kind of dispensationalist say/teach 2 ways of salvation. That article had a good chart showing that obeying the Mosaic Law was simply the desired expression of saving faith, just as obeying God's law is the desired expression of saving faith today. But obeying the law is not and never has been a way of salvation.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 3/21/2008 11:41 PM  

  • Like I said, it depends on which era of dispensationalists we are referring to. If to Scofield, the implication is that there is certainly "two ways of salvation;" given his heavy distinction between the dispensations, and subsequent hard and fast distinction between God's "earthly people" (i.e. the Jews saved under the Law)--and His "heavenly people" (i.e. the Church saved under the disp. of grace). The implication is certainly that there are two ways of salvation in this scheme. That is why Ryrie, most prominently, moved to Revise dispensationalism, by softening the "hard" distinction between the "two people of God" (although he did still maintain a rather rigid distinction--but relative to Scofield it was soft). Ultimately Ryrie's move has led to the best expression of dispensationalist thought: Progressive Dispensationalism--thus my, along with Jonathan's, recommendation for Blaising and Bock's book on this issue.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 3/22/2008 3:30 PM  

  • Hi Bobby,

    I haven't actually read Bock and Blaising's book, but I've read about the PD position, and from what I can tell, I mostly agree with it.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 3/22/2008 3:53 PM  

  • Rachel,
    I think I am confusing by the title of this post. I certainly dispute and thoroughly reject the charge that dispensationalism teaches two ways of salvation.

    The question that I am STILL CURIOUS about is the one in the previous post. I have no interest in this question on this post at all. :~) It is a silly qiestion IMHO. The answer is: of course not, unless you are talking about an ultradispensationalist.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/22/2008 6:12 PM  

  • Bobby Grow,
    It is so nice to see you! What an honor to have you visit this humble blog-of-a-graphic-designer-who-dabbles-in-theology. :~)

    Now I must tell you: I think you are trying to pick a fight with me!! ;~)

    I am sweetly outraged. ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/22/2008 6:15 PM  

  • Bobby,
    Where to begin? Firstly, let me thank you for insisting that I read Ryrie's "Dispensationalism." It was a great book. I remember your statement: "Rose, every good dispensationalist should read it." (or something very near that)
    Secondly, I feel like I should call you "teach" or something. ;~) teehee:

    In fact before any more posts come on dispensationalism . . . this is required reading...

    :~) :~)

    Thirdly,
    Huh? You said:
    If [referring] to Scofield, the implication is that there is certainly "two ways of salvation;"

    You should read Ryrie's book again! He blows that assertion that you just made about Scofield out of the water! Yes, Scolfield made an unguarded note in his study Bible concerning John 1:16, but, as these two writers put so eloquently:

    (Anthony C. Garland):
    As many have observed, it is most unfortunate that Scofield used such terminology because in isolation his statement certainly implies justification by works. But is it legitimate to assert from this unguarded statement that Scofield intended to teach what this statement implies? What about other statements by Scofield, such as his commentary on Galations 3:24 in the very same work: “The Christian doctrine of the law... Law neither justifies a sinner nor sanctifies a believer”

    (Mal Couch):
    "Anyone who is intellectually honest will go beyond their few misstatements and look at the overall belief of these dispensational theologians... [The old dispensationalists] never believed that one is saved by the law. They have always taught that the basis of salvation was the death of Christ."

    Fourthly, Bobby, :~)
    Ryrie refers to himself as a Normative dispensationalist in that book. You have twice used the term "revised" (or some form of it) to refer to Ryrie. Unless I am sorely mistaken, I am certain that when Ryrie used that word in his book he was not using it in favorable terms - not representative of his own position. I do believe "Revised Dispensationalism" was the Phraseology Charles Ryrie employed to refer to Progressive Dispensationalism. "Normative" was how he referred to "Classical" (Scofieldian)... and that which Charles Ryrie identifies himself with. I am pretty positive I am right about this (not that it is really all that important, now that I think about it, hmmmm :~) ...) because my antennae were up when reading that book - what with all the hullabaloo over this continuum:
    Class. Disp. <------> Cov. Th. that has been coming to my attention in the last few years and is hugely significant at my own church currently. (Hugely) That is why I am pretty sure I didn't mistake Ryries use of those terms - high radar was on. :~)

    Tell me what you think.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/22/2008 8:30 PM  

  • Gordon,
    Thanks for shouting out. I am glad you found it good. I liked it as well - it was not unlike a great chapter from Ryrie's book.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/22/2008 8:31 PM  

  • I do think I will read some of that book Jonathan recommends.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/22/2008 8:32 PM  

  • Rose,

    hi.

    Fight with Rose, never ;-)!

    I suppose some of this is semantic. Profs in school, who sat under Ryrie . . . hey I even sat under him for a couple of sessions :-), referred to Ryrie as "Revised," Scofield as Classic, and most of themselves as Progressive. I suppose the main area is to deal with what they believed.

    There certainly has been "progression" (for some) within dispensationalism. Scofield, Chafer (even Pentecost) represent the old guard; Ryrie represents the pivotal crux position (to his disdain), and Bock/Blaising, Saucy represent the new-guard.

    All that I am saying is that Scofield's hard core distinctions between Law/Grace dispensations, and the corollary "earthly people--Jew/heavenly people--Church" makes it understandable why some have said that he held to "two-ways of salvation". Even if he protests, which he did, then he should've embraced a more biblical view which didn't "break the covenants" into dispensations as hard and fast as he did.

    When Ryrie came to my school, it was interesting (I was a newbie, just a transer sophomore at that point)--he had open disdain for his progeny, represented by his students (some of my profs) who had become "revised (his term)/progressive dispy". I just think positing more than one new covenant is not acceptable (in light of passages like Eph. 2:11ff and he most certainly does in his book Dispensationalism.

    I actually emailed Dr. Tom Ice of the Pre-trib research institute on this issue, i.e. more than one new covenant with Ryrie, and he said in no uncertain terms that Ryrie did not (hoping I was ignorant probably); then I emailed him some quotes that illustrated that Ryrie did, and never received a response back . . . hmmm, interesting ;-).

    Rose, how do you deal with passages like Eph. 2:11ff, which talk about the "one people of God", do you agree with that? If you're classic or revised (whatever name you like ;-), and see two distinct peoples of God how do you deal with Eph. 2 and stay consistent with your flavor of dispy?

    I wish I was a teacher, we'll see what the Lord has in that regard. Btw, you're an excellent student, its been awhile since I read Ryrie :-) . . . my distinctions "labels" above, in previous comments on this thread, were based on my profs labeling and not Ryrie's ;-).

    Say hi to your John for me :-).
    In Christ

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 3/22/2008 11:46 PM  

  • Rose,

    As far as I could tell I answered each of your questions in the other thread on your blog. Matthew has another question for me that he just posted today that I plan to get to tomorrow. But otherwise I answered each of the questions you posed to me.

    If you still have questions about my answers, perhaps you could post it over there.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 3/23/2008 12:34 AM  

  • Rachel,
    Yes, I know. You answered my question. I didn't mean to imply that you didn't. Thank you for it. I am not sure I am comfortable with your answer. Nor do I have a better answer. I was sorta hoping I would get some more input from various people. I think it is a difficult issue, but I appreciate that you answered it as best you could. Thanks again. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/23/2008 8:05 PM  

  • Bobby,
    I just think positing more than one new covenant is not acceptable (in light of passages like Eph. 2:11ff and he most certainly does in his book Dispensationalism.

    Again, you touch on something that causes me to scratch my head a little. I was totally tuned into the New Covenenat question as I read Ryrie's book. I was very interested in what he would say on it because I have a brother (the son of my mother and father - that kind of brother - who is now a spiritual brother too) who has been reading books by Steve Lehrer, John Reisinger, Tom Wells and Fred Zaspel - so I have really been "challenged" about the NC issue in the last year. Well, as I read Ryrie's book and those pages on the NC in particular... several times, I could not make out his position on it! Therefore, when I read your comment here about him believing there are TWO NEW COVENANTS I was surprised. I did not see him claim that position in that book. As far as I could tell, he mentioned the differing positions that are out there in disp., but did not own one. I would love to see these quotes you emailed to Ice. Pretty please? rcole@ambt.net

    Also - it is intersting that you mention Thomas Ice - he was just at a conference that was held in our church's facilities - I didn't get to hear him, though. It was the Toledo REFORMED Theological Conference and their theme was the "end of days" - Ice was the token Premillenialist. :~)
    Also - Ice wrote at least one chapter in another book that I got recently but haven't read yet - "Issues in Dispensationalism." (Do you know that book?) I am eager to see what it has to say about the NC too. I find the NC a difficult subject, Bobby. I think two new covenants is not the answer. I also find it equally as unacceptable to posit that the church is somehow fulfilling the promises made to the nation of Israel about the NC that God will make with them.

    I currently appreciate the answer I find to the dilemna - that the church is an heavenly people and that Israel is the earthy people of God. I do not see this as you do - somehow boxing one in to embrace two ways of salvation. Israel being the earthly people of God doesn't make them saved by earthly means. I don't see that a as problem.

    I must say I am not wholly settled on the issue however.

    I will come back to your question on Ephesians 2 in a while.
    Happy Easter!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/23/2008 8:31 PM  

  • Rose,

    I'll dig up the quote for you from Ryrie.

    Here's one more, how do you deal with II Cor. 3, and Paul's application of the New Covenant to the church in Corinth (gentiles and jews)?

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 3/23/2008 11:02 PM  

  • II Cor. 3: 4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit;for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/24/2008 11:44 AM  

  • Eph. 2: 11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/24/2008 11:45 AM  

  • Rose,

    I just posted that quote by Ryrie over at my site :-).

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 3/24/2008 4:04 PM  

  • Sorry I'm a little late & a dollar short on this issue! Maybesomeone has touched on this issue already, but (& I know I may be wrong, I haven't studied this issue as fully as I'd like) as I understand it there is only ONE New Covenant, it is just that as the church, we are almost like bebeficiaries of it, though it is mainly to & with Israel. Since God has not abandoned His people Israel but will fulfill all the promises He made to them through the prophets, we are just benefitting from it since the Testator has already Died! Praise HIS Name!
    Speaking of our wondrous Testator, I trust you all had a wonderful, Christ-filled Resurrection Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at 3/25/2008 8:55 AM  

  • David Wyatt says it very well. (Hi David!)

    Bobby,

    As to Ephesians 2:11, what covenant is he talking about in there - "the covenants of promise"? I do believe Paul is referring to something other than the NC. Even so, he doesn't say that we have been brought into any covenant, but that we "have been brought near" by the blood of Christ.

    As to being a minister of the NC, Rev. says we are priests unto God. We are here to express the reality of that which Christ accomplished, to minister the blessings of His cross and ressurection, which will have expression in the NC which He will make with the house of Israel.

    The bottom line for me in this thing is: God is doing many things. Christ's death has many purposes. To say that because it had the purpose of making the NC means that those who benefit from it are part of that NC is drawing an unnecessary conslusion.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/26/2008 8:58 AM  

  • The cross and ressurection are so full of expression and purpose! "Covenants" are such a limited realm!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/26/2008 9:10 AM  

  • I've never read or heard any kind of dispensationalist say/teach 2 ways of salvation. Unfortunately, there have been and are currently a growing group of so-called "grace" churches that do teach this heresy.
    Historically, that doctrine extends back to Bullinger, E.W. (not Heinrich Bullinger, the Swiss Reformer) all though they are distant relatives. E.W. Bullinger is considered the "father" of Ultra-dispensationalism. Current day proponents of his views or variations thereof include but are not limited to: J. C. O'Hair (a deceased radio preacher from Chicago), Cornelius Stam (founder of the www.BereanBibleSociety.org; Paul M. Sadler (successor to Cornelius Stam and current president of the Berean Society); and Les Feldick (Oklahoma Radio Bible Teacher) to name a few. In addition to teaching salvation by grace plus obedience (good works) in other dispensations than the present one; they also tend to embrace KJV Onlyism. Their movement has enough publications and exposure to confuse many that all "dispensational" teachers must teach two-ways of salvation etc. Hope this is of some help to your interesting discussion.

    By Anonymous pastorbruce, at 3/26/2008 3:54 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Bill, at 3/27/2008 11:10 PM  

  • Pastorbruce,
    Thank you for your comments!
    There is a chapter in Ryrie's book about Bullinger. You are right. That is why I said this in the comment above regarding the question "Does Dispensationalism Teach Two-Ways of Salvation?":

    It is a silly qiestion IMHO. The answer is: of course not, unless you are talking about an ultradispensationalist.

    Thanks for visiting!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/28/2008 9:19 AM  

  • Bill!
    Why did you remove your obviously carefully thought-out comment?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/28/2008 9:21 AM  

  • [Rose said:Bill!
    Why did you remove your obviously carefully thought-out comment?]
    Hi Rose,
    Because I'm not Bill! When I posted it my husband must have been logged in even though I put in my username and password. Then I decided to save it and read it over again before posting it.

    [Rose: As to Ephesians 2:11, what covenant is he talking about in there - "the covenants of promise"? I do believe Paul is referring to something other than the NC.]

    Hi Rose,
    God has covenanted with His people all through history. He revealed Himself to them and made promises to them and pledged Himself to them. He set them apart from the other people on earth who did not know Him. One promise was that out of Abraham's family would come a Seed (Christ) through whom all nations would be blessed. Those promises were repeated to Isaac and Jacob and were preached by the prophets. The promise was given to David that the Kingdom of one of his offspring would be established forever. All these promises pointed to Christ the Messiah who would be their great deliverer.

    Galatians 3:26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

    The promise is not just for Abraham's physical seed, but to gentiles as well, as many as God calls to Himself.

    Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”


    [Rose: Even so, he doesn't say that we have been brought into any covenant, but that we "have been brought near" by the blood of Christ.]

    Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

    Rose, Doesn't your church celebrate the Lord's Supper and don't you take part in it? The blood of Christ is "the blood of the Covenant". If we are brought near to God, it is by "the blood of the Covenant" poured out for us.

    Matthew 26:26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” 27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, 28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.”

    1 Corinthians 11:25
    In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying,
    “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

    An inheritance is given when someone has died. The word will and Covenant are the same word in Greek. Our inheritance is totally dependant on being in this Covenant.

    Hebrews 9:15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. [8] 16 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

    [8] 9:15 The Greek word means both covenant and will; also verses 16, 17


    [The cross and ressurection are so full of expression and purpose! "Covenants" are such a limited realm!]

    The cross and resurrection are not in any way separate from the New Covenant, but because Christ suffered and rose again, He made the New Covenant a reality, securing our salvation. Christ entered heaven in His glorified body with His own blood and is the Mediator of the New Covenant and our great High Priest.

    Hebrews 9:Hebrews 9:24
    For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.


    Just because the first Christians were Jews does not mean that the gentile Christians are outside of the New Covenant. Denying that gentiles are in the New Covenant is putting back up the wall of separation between Jew and Gentile that Paul said has been done away with in Christ.

    Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

    Ephesians 3:4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

    Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

    The only reason we can come into God's presence and know we are accepted is that the blood of Christ has been applied to us.

    Hebrews 10:19 Therefore, brothers,since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

    By Blogger Bill, at 3/28/2008 2:33 PM  

  • Yikes I did it again!
    ~Susan

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 3/28/2008 2:36 PM  

  • Susan!

    LOL! It was you!
    I was trying so hard to figure out who that could be - I thought you may have been my brother posting anonymously - you sounded just like him!
    Then when you referred to your husband while still using the name Bill I was really scratching my head. LOL

    I will get back to you later on your comment. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/28/2008 2:57 PM  

  • [Rose:LOL! It was you!
    I was trying so hard to figure out who that could be - I thought you may have been my brother posting anonymously - you sounded just like him!]

    Your brother sounds like a very reasonable guy! ;0)

    [Then when you referred to your husband while still using the name Bill I was really scratching my head. LOL]

    LOL! Sorry for all the confusion and mystery.

    [I will get back to you later on your comment. :~)]

    I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.

    Every Blessing,
    Susan

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 3/28/2008 8:56 PM  

  • Rose,

    so you're saying with Eph 2 that its not about the NC, even though that was one of the predominate Covenants of the OT promise to Israel? And beyond that, your saying that the cross and Christ and gentiles are separate from "fulfilling" that promise by making the "two" "one" per the hope of the Abrahamic Covenant as corollary to the New Covenant? This is quite disconcerting, I'm afraid though the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate your case, since Eph 2 is inclusive of "all" the covenants made with Israel; and beyond that, Paul's application of the NC to Jew and Gentile in II Cor 3 (since the church was not just "Gentile in Corinth"). Furthermore, it was established with the Jew first, then the Gentile (both Paul's and Jesus' pattern). In other words who was the "Church" first? Jews. Who were Jesus' Apostles? Jews.

    To be very honest Classic Dispensationalism is very confusing, remember I was one for many years . . . and read much of their literature. You end up with two "classes" of God's people in eternity, those under the NC, and those under the "cross" to use your language. When Eph 2 makes clear that there is one people of God in the Jewish Jesus of Nazareth.

    Anyway, I could go on, Rose, but as I said, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that Eph 2 includes the NC . . . esp. as the the blood of Christ is mentioned in that context (cf. Luke 22), as the basis for the unity (ontologically) between Jew and Gentile. As you have left it, we have Jews in heaven under the New Covenant, and Gentiles there under the cross . . . when the New Covenant, uh, I mean the New Testament makes clear that the cross and shed blood is the New Covenant.

    When I complained about artificiality in my post on this, at my site, this is exactly what I was getting at . . . creating things just to make "my" system work (i.e. CD). I realize that is a serious charge, but I firmly believe that. Btw, Ryrie "straw mans" Progressive Dispensationalists by making them out to be amils (a fear tactic). I would be careful to follow his caricature of PD's . . . we are not amil, but do recognize some helpful points within that system.

    Anyway,

    shalom.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 3/29/2008 2:52 AM  

  • I think I opened too many cans of worms at once.

    Susan,
    I haven't forgotten about your comment nor my response to it :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/31/2008 12:11 AM  

  • [Susan,
    I haven't forgotten about your comment nor my response to it :~)]

    That's fine Rose. There's no hurry. Take all the time you need.
    ~Susan

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 3/31/2008 5:12 PM  

  • Susan,
    When Jesus encountered potential converts in His earthly ministry and offered them eternal life, the gospels don't say that He was offering them a covenant. Why, when the Bible does not say this, does CT teach that a gift from God to man implies this concept of a covenant?

    This is the first question that I had just from reading your first paragraph. I thought maybe I would just ask you that before moving on to any other discussion that might be interesting based on the rest of your comment. It could be less confusing this way. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 4/02/2008 12:34 PM  

  • [Rose:Susan,
    When Jesus encountered potential converts in His earthly ministry and offered them eternal life, the gospels don't say that He was offering them a covenant. Why, when the Bible does not say this, does CT teach that a gift from God to man implies this concept of a covenant?]

    The people Jesus preached to were, outwardly at least, the Covenant people of God, so they did not need instructions from Jesus about how God works through Covenants. Eternal blessings are given to those who have entered into this Covenant relationship with God. It is all about the heart, not just outward things.

    Isaiah 55:1 “Come, everyone who thirsts,
    come to the waters;
    and he who has no money,
    come, buy and eat!
    Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without price.
    2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
    Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
    and delight yourselves in rich food.
    3 Incline your ear, and come to me;
    hear, that your soul may live;
    and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
    my steadfast, sure love for David.

    4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
    a leader and commander for the peoples.
    5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
    and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
    because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has glorified you.

    6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call upon him while he is near;
    7 let the wicked forsake his way,
    and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
    let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
    and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
    8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
    9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
    and do not return there but water the earth,
    making it bring forth and sprout,
    giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
    11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
    it shall not return to me empty,
    but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
    and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

    Also they would know this promise from the OT.

    Jeremiah 31:31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

    Hope that helps.
    Every Blessing,
    ~Susan

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 4/02/2008 3:11 PM  

  • Funnily enough, I actually had the Samaritan woman in mind as an example when I was thinking about that earlier.

    Samaritans?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 4/02/2008 3:22 PM  

  • Susan,
    I am so sorry, but I did want to get back to some of the things in your comment:

    Rose, Doesn't your church celebrate the Lord's Supper and don't you take part in it? The blood of Christ is "the blood of the Covenant". If we are brought near to God, it is by "the blood of the Covenant" poured out for us.

    Susan, we are brought near by the blood of Christ, but as I said, Christ's blood, His death and resurrection - they have several purposes, not just to establish the New Covenant. Just because someone is a recipient of the benefits of Christ's shed blood does not mean that he is a party to a covenant that states:

    31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
    35 Thus says the LORD,
    Who gives the sun for a light by day,
    The ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,
    Who disturbs the sea,
    And its waves roar
    (The LORD of hosts is His name):
    36 “ If those ordinances depart
    From before Me, says the LORD,
    Then the seed of Israel shall also cease
    From being a nation before Me forever.”

    37 Thus says the LORD:

    “If heaven above can be measured,
    And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath,
    I will also cast off all the seed of Israel


    Until I can measure the heavens, I can never say - nor will any covenant theologian bring me to believe - that God is not going to be faithful to the actual physical people of Israel, because He is somehow "spiritually" fulfilling these promises of the NC through the group He is currently saving called the church.

    Celebrating the blood of the NC is a celebration of His faithfulness to His promises in the NC to physical Israel, which faithfulness I can also count on to save me from eternal death and deliver me to the presence of the Holy Father. His blood has accomplished both... and more. That is what I think of when I take communion.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 4/05/2008 2:17 PM  

  • I still am not sure why you think that a Samaritan woman would have thought that Jesus was asking her to enter a covenant. :~)

    I hope VA is sunny today - Ohio is for a change!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 4/05/2008 2:18 PM  

  • [I still am not sure why you think that a Samaritan woman would have thought that Jesus was asking her to enter a covenant. :~)]

    Hi Rose,
    We haven't yet discussed the Samaritan woman but you mentioned her after my post. I didn't say Jesus went around asking people to enter a Covenant, but I said the Jews were already well acquainted with Covenants since they were God's Covenant people. When Jesus, John the Baptist and the disciples preached, they told people to repent because "the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." The Covenant promises made to King David were soon to be fulfilled.

    Psalm 89:3 You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
    I have sworn to David my servant:
    4 ‘I will establish your offspring forever,
    and build your throne for all generations.’” Selah


    The woman at the well, like the Jews, would have understood something about the Covenant too, since the Samaritans believed parts of the OT. The woman at the well expected a Messiah.

    John 4:24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”


    [“If heaven above can be measured,
    And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath,
    I will also cast off all the seed of Israel

    Rose: Until I can measure the heavens, I can never say - nor will any covenant theologian bring me to believe - that God is not going to be faithful to the actual physical people of Israel, because He is somehow "spiritually" fulfilling these promises of the NC through the group He is currently saving called the church.]

    Saved Jews are part of the NC as well as Gentiles. Being a blessing to all nations is part of the New Covenant promise. The nation of Israel was given more blessings than any nation on earth, but the majority of "his own received him not" and have perished in their sin.

    Some reformed theologians do believe that God will bring great numbers of Jews to salvation at the end of the age. RC Sproul Sr. holds this view. Martyn Lloyd-Jones did too. I don't share that view, but I used to. Do you take the verse you mentioned to mean every person with Jewish blood will be saved, without exception?

    No one denies that God keeps His promises to His people, but the real question is who is Israel that receives the promises?

    God has chosen a remnant from both physical Israel and the Gentiles nations.

    Romans 9:6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

    So who are the children of promise?
    Only those with the faith of Abraham. Jesus called the Pharisees children of the devil, so they were definately not children of the promise even if they were physically related to Abraham and circumcized.

    Romans 2:28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

    To Abraham circumcision was a seal of righteousness showing the faith he had before circumcision. That was not the case for most Jews. Many were not true beievers. Circumcison was the Covenent sign given by God to set them apart from the pagan nations as His own special people. Here Paul calls gentiles "the circumcision".


    Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—


    God called His Covenant people in the OT a Kingdom of priests, a holy nation etc.

    Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

    Notice the similar words in the NT applied now to Christians.

    1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

    [Celebrating the blood of the NC is a celebration of His faithfulness to His promises in the NC to physical Israel, which faithfulness I can also count on to save me from eternal death and deliver me to the presence of the Holy Father.]
    Rose,
    You are not an outsider to the NC. God blesses and loves the believing remnant of gentiles as much as He loves and blesses the believing remnant of the Jews. The promises of the NC and the inheritance are yours too!

    Galatians 3:26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave [7] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.


    Have a good Sunday, Rose!
    ~Susan

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 4/05/2008 10:17 PM  

  • In every dealing of God there is a blood sacrifice: “Without shedding of blood there is no remission,” (Hebrews 9:22).

    1) Innocence- an animal to clothe Adam and Eve
    2) Conscience- Abel’s altar
    3) Human Government- Noah’s altar
    4) Promise- Abraham’s altar
    5) Law- the sacrifice
    6) Grace- Christ’s death
    7) Kingdom- the memorial sacrifice

    Faith is revealed in each of these Dispensations. Much of the complaint against dispensationalists is that there is a teaching among them that God saved men in different ways. That is a lie! No such teaching exists among dispensationalists I am aware of. Salvation has always and only been by faith.

    Abraham believed God, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness,” (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3).

    Without faith it is impossible to please God,” (Heb. 11:6).

    Those who reject dispensationalism read the same Bible I have, and it professes at least two dispensations. In the front of many Bibles it says, “HOLY BIBLE.” Then it will tell me that the books of the Bible are divided into Old & New Testaments.

    OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis through Malachi
    NEW TESTAMENT: Matthew through Revelation

    For those who say, “There is no such thing as a dispensation,” the Bible clearly speaks of the dispensations.

    Four times the Apostle Paul speaks of the dispensations: 1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2, 5; Col. 1:25.

    Those who say there no dispensations hold in their hands a Bible that professes itself to be dispensational.


    LM

    By Blogger Lou Martuneac, at 4/07/2008 8:53 AM  

  • Lou,
    You didn't say hello to the host. Nevertheless, I like your comment. I think that is the most reasonable comment you have made on this blog for months. Thank you. I posted a little essay (you could call it that) by a pastor (who I ran into on the internet - lives in WI) on my blog some time ago that I think you would like (based on your comment).
    Why your church is dispensational

    By Blogger Rose~, at 4/07/2008 10:31 AM  

  • Susan,

    You said: Saved Jews are part of the NC as well as Gentiles.

    Susan, presently, saved Jews are part of THE CHURCH as well as Gentiles. There is no difference in the church. The CHURCH, however, is not the be-all-end-all of God's plans. A simple reading of the passage from Jeremiah that I posted above makes it clear that God has a plan for the NATION ISRAEL. It is clear that "ISRAEL" does not equal "THE CHURCH" - you can tell just by reading the passage -

    not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.

    In order for us to think that the people he is talking about here are ourselves - the church of Christ, made up of Jews and Gentiles - we would have to say that the church has as its ancestors a people who God took by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt who broke Hos covenant. Is that what you are holding? ...that those who broke God's covenant and perished in the desert were an ancient part of the church - they were "our fathers"?

    Also - there are several things in the promise of Jeremiah 31 tat are that are so obviously not happening with the church.

    I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts;

    This is saying that the law of God (which would've been the Mosaic law to anyone hearing the words of this prophecy) will be on their hearts and minds. This describes a perfectly obedient people. This is not the church. Have you noticed?

    No more shall every man teach his neighbor

    One of the characteristics of the church is teaching so that we can know the Lord! We have it spelled out how to teach - who is qualified to teach - and many things regarding teachers. If Paul and the other NT writers thought the church to be a fulfillment of this NC promise made TO ISRAEL and that the church was ISRAEL, how come all the references to teachers and teaching? Teaching about God will apparently not be necessary in the NC era. All of these whose fathers God "brought out of the land of Egypt" and whose fathers disobeyed His covenant will aprarently know God in a way that their fathers never did.

    They will not need to be evangelized.

    They will not need to be taught about God. He and His law will be on their hearts.

    This can't be those converted to Christ in the church age. We need to be evangelized and then we need to be taught to "know God."

    We are Christ's heavenly people - a very special people. We don't need to claim God's promises to the ISRAELITES because what we have is so awesome!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 4/07/2008 11:35 AM  

  • More later hopefully about the references you cited from the NT. Got another b-day this weekend (8 year old) and I need to go plan something and do some shopping. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 4/07/2008 11:36 AM  

  • Hi Rose,
    I'm a bit busy at the moment too. Have company coming, but I'll get back to you when I can.
    ~Susan

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 4/08/2008 10:52 PM  

  • Good morning, Rose! I've been reading silently for a time. Good discussion. :)

    Lou said above:

    "Four times the Apostle Paul speaks of the dispensations: 1 Cor. 9:17; Eph. 1:10; 3:2, 5; Col. 1:25."

    I was hoping for a clarification on these scriptures, if no one minds. I'm not understanding how Paul is speaking of the dispensations - especially in 1 Cor. 9:17. ??

    Missy

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 4/09/2008 10:21 AM  

  • Hello Rose,
    My Father-in-Law gave me a Ryrie Study Bible when I was a new Christian. I used it to study the Bible but lent it to a friend of mine who was teaching a Sunday School class. She moved and ended up losing my Bible. Just think, I might have been a dispensationalist if not for that! ;o)

    [The CHURCH, however, is not the be-all-end-all of God's plans.]

    The fullness of time is when all things are reunited in Christ. This is God’s ultimate purpose! Two separate Kingdoms for the Jews and gentiles would defeat God's grand plan.

    Ephesians 1: 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

    Ephesians 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.
    6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
    7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things,
    10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

    1 Corinthians 1: 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
    19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

    In your view, what is the "be-all-end-all of God's plans"?

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 4/10/2008 10:19 PM  

  • Continued
    [Rose: No more shall every man teach his neighbor

    One of the characteristics of the church is teaching so that we can know the Lord! We have it spelled out how to teach - who is qualified to teach - and many things regarding teachers. If Paul and the other NT writers thought the church to be a fulfillment of this NC promise made TO ISRAEL and that the church was ISRAEL, how come all the references to teachers and teaching? Teaching about God will apparently not be necessary in the NC era. All of these whose fathers God "brought out of the land of Egypt" and whose fathers disobeyed His covenant will aprarently know God in a way that their fathers never did.

    They will not need to be evangelized.

    They will not need to be taught about God. He and His law will be on their hearts.

    This can't be those converted to Christ in the church age. We need to be evangelized and then we need to be taught to "know God."]

    Hi Rose,
    Every true believer knows God now because the Father has revealed His Son to us, yet one day we will know Him fully, face to face even as we are fully known.

    John 6: 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.

    2 Corinthians 4:6
    For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

    John 17:3
    And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.


    The Father has taught the truth. about His Son to those who come to Christ. Being taught by God does not mean that we no longer need any human teachers. It means that believers are taught directly by God in a personal way through the Holy Spirit even without human teachers. God still uses His word and godly teachers, but it is the Holy Spirit who reveals these truth to us.

    John 16: 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

    Bishop J. C. Ryle said this about the above text:

    "The Spirit of truth," says our Lord to His weak and half-informed followers, "shall guide you into all truth." That promise was for our sakes, no doubt, as well as for theirs. Whatever we need to know for our present peace and sanctification, the Holy Spirit is ready to teach us. All truth in science, nature, and philosophy of course is not included in this promise. But into all spiritual truth that is really profitable, and that our minds can comprehend and bear, the Holy Spirit is ready and willing to guide us. Then let us never forget, in reading the Bible, to pray for the teaching of the Holy Spirit. We must not wonder if we find the Bible a dark and difficult book, if we do not regularly seek light from Him by whom it was first inspired. In this, as in many other things, "we have not because we ask not."

    Those verses denying the need for human teachers are given against the backdrop of false teachers.

    (Pharisees) Matthew 23: 8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. [3] 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ.

    (Antichrists) 1 John 2:26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

    Comment Jamieson Faussett and Brown (not a reformed Commentary)
    1 John 2: 27. But--Greek, "And you (contrasting the believing readers with the seducers; the words 'and you' stand prominent, the construction of the sentence following being altered, and no verb agreeing with 'and you' until 'need not') . . . the anointing," &c. (resumed from 1Jo 2:20).
    received of him-- (Joh 1:16). So we "are unto God a sweet savor of Christ."
    abideth in you--He tacitly thus admonishes them to say, when tempted by seducers, "The anointing abideth in us; we do not need a teacher [for we have the Holy Spirit as our teacher, Jer 31:34; Joh 6:45; 16:13]; it teaches us the truth; in that teaching we will abide" [BENGEL].
    and--and therefore. God is sufficient for them who are taught of Him; they are independent of all others, though, of course, not declining the Christian counsel of faithful ministers. "Mutual communication is not set aside, but approved of, in the case of those who are partakers of the anointing in one body" [BENGEL].
    the same anointing--which ye once for all received, and which now still abides in you.
    of--" concerning."
    all things--essential to salvation; the point under discussion. Not that the believer is made infallible, for no believer here receives the Spirit in all its fulness, but only the measure needful for keeping him from soul-destroying error. So the Church, though having the Spirit in her, is not infallible (for many fallible members can never make an infallible whole), but is kept from ever wholly losing the saving truth.
    no lie--as Antichristian teaching.
    ye shall abide in him-- (1Jo 2:24, end); even as "the anointing abideth in you." The oldest manuscripts read the imperative, "abide in Him."


    More to follow.

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 4/10/2008 10:32 PM  

  • [Rose: Also - there are several things in the promise of Jeremiah 31 that are that are so obviously not happening with the church.

    I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts;

    This is saying that the law of God (which would've been the Mosaic law to anyone hearing the words of this prophecy) will be on their hearts and minds. This describes a perfectly obedient people. This is not the church. Have you
    noticed?]

    Having the law written in our hearts does not imply that our sinful natures have been eradicated. Even with new hearts and the indwelling Holy Spirit, we are still in this body of flesh. We are not able to obey God perfectly. We have the power of the Holy Spirit available, but we still face much opposition with the world flesh and devil. But even in the midst of the battle we are being sanctified and one day will be glorified as well.

    2 Corinthians 3:18
    And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.


    When our hearts are changed, our relationship to the law changes too. We are no longer hostile to God as before. We agree that God’s Commandments are holy, righteous and good and when we sin we do not argue with God about His standards. Instead we repent.

    Romans 8: 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

    The Corinthians cannot be described as a perfectly obedient people by any stretch of the imagination, yet their hearts had been changed by the Holy Spirit. Paul said this about them:

    2 Corinthians 3:3
    And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.


    He is using New Covenant language about the Law written on human hearts. The same chapter talks about Paul being a minister of the New Covenant . He speaks of the contrasting ministries of the Law and the Spirit, one written on stone, one on human hearts. Clearly the New Covenant is for gentile Christians as well.

    Have a good birthday party for your daughter!

    There's no hurry on your answers.

    Blessings,
    Susan

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 4/11/2008 12:30 AM  

  • Missy,
    I am sorry I didn't reply to your comment!

    The verses actually mention the word dispesnsation or stewardship which are the same thing. It is the dealings of God with mankind at a particular time and Paul speaks of his being compelled to tell others of His plan and minister it as we understand Gods government over mankind presently in the church "age" or "dispensation." Hope that helps.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 4/15/2008 11:24 AM  

  • Susan,
    You ask me:
    In your view, what is the "be-all-end-all of God's plans"?

    His glory... However He accomplishes that in all the different realms of the universe.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 4/15/2008 11:26 AM  

  • Susan,
    I think you lessen the obvious drama of the statement below by saying that it is the present situation that we have here in the church age. You nueter it a bit, IMO.

    34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD.

    The other verses you cite are wonderful and yes, I agree, the HS is our teacher and He will be their teacher too. However, these people that receive the NC will suddenly have the law of God on their hearts and will not need to be evangelised. There will be no need for someone to plead with them to know the Lord, because they will have it instantly, the fountain will be flowing over to the people to whom He made this promise. This will be amazing to see, this mass national conversion.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 4/15/2008 11:35 AM  

  • Susan,
    I still can't fathom how CT can explain that these people below are not national Israel. It says right there "the house of Israel" and then it explains who they are: the ones whose fathers were led out of Egypt, whose fathers broke the first covenant.

    31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 4/15/2008 11:40 AM  

  • Thanks, Rose.

    By Blogger Another Voice, at 4/15/2008 2:36 PM  

  • [Rose: I still can't fathom how CT can explain that these people below are not national Israel. It says right there "the house of Israel" and then it explains who they are: the ones whose fathers were led out of Egypt, whose fathers broke the first covenant.]

    Hi Rose,
    It obviously does speak to those who are descendants of the fathers who were led out of Egypt. Those in the NC are the remnant chosen by grace who are within ethnic Israel, but the scope of the promise is even wider than that as the New Testament shows. The promise given to Abraham extends to the believing remnant of gentiles who have been adopted into God’s Kingdom and are “in Christ”.

    Gentiles have always been able to join the people of Israel and could become full fledged Jews by professing the God of Abraham and being circumcised.

    A Jewish commentator on the book of Genesis said this:

    Indeed, differences of race have never been an obstacle to joining Israel which did not know the concept of purity of blood. Circumcision turned a man of foreign origin into an Israelite.
    Benno Jacob, The First Book of the bible: Genesis


    Not all Israel is Israel!

    Romans 9: 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. 5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.
    6 But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7 and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”
    8 This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. 9 For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.”

    Those who are God’s true children are called the “children of the promise”. The rest are the natural children.

    Here, the audience changes to gentiles but the message is the same. There are still two categories for both Jews and gentiles—children of promise and the natural children. Children of the promise and the natural children are in different covenants.

    Galatians 4: 21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,
    “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
    break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!
    For the children of the desolate one will be more
    than those of the one who has a husband.”


    Remember he is speaking to non- Jews here!

    28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.


    If a person is not a member of the New Covenant or "the Covenant of Grace" which includes OT believers, he is still under the Law and not a child of promise. Remember the children of the promise was another name for the true Israel.

    The term We refers to both Paul and the believing Corinthian gentiles. So believing Jews and gentiles are both called children of the promise and sons and daughters of God and heirs of the promises.

    Being related to Abraham had no spiritual significance in itself.

    Matthew 3: 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

    Galatians 3: 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.

    God looks at the heart not the blood.

    Romans 2:28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

    The Corinthian gentiles celebrated the Lord's Supper which is the New Covenant meal even though they abused that privilege by some of their practices. They would have no right to the Lord's Supper if the New Covenant was meant only for ethnic Jews. No non Circumcized person could have a part in the Passover which is what that meal fulfilled. Paul refers to Christ as "our Passover lamb to the gentile Corinthians, including himself with them, even though they were not Jewish.
    1 Corinthians 5:7
    Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened.
    For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

    Their participation in this meal showed they were partakers not only of the meal but of the Covenant it represented.

    1 Corinthians 11: 23 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.

    Also, as mentioned before,Paul identifies himself as a minister of the New Covenant to the Corinthians. The whole chapter is full of NC imagery.

    2 Corinthians 3:4 Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

    If Paul is not a minister of this same New Covenant spoken of in Jeremiah 31, what Covenant is he a minister of?


    Every Blessing,
    ~Susan

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 4/15/2008 11:41 PM  

  • [Rose: The other verses you cite are wonderful and yes, I agree, the HS is our teacher and He will be their teacher too. However, these people that receive the NC will suddenly have the law of God on their hearts and will not need to be evangelised. There will be no need for someone to plead with them to know the Lord, because they will have it instantly, the fountain will be flowing over to the people to whom He made this promise.]

    Hi Rose,
    I didn't deal with this before.

    The author of Hebrews quoted the NC from Jeremiah to these Hebrews who were members of the NT church. He explained the New Covenant was then in effect because Christ has returned to heaven bringing with him the blood of the Covenant. This New Covenant is not a future hope for some golden age, but was then a present reality for those people in his hearing.

    Hebrews 10:11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

    15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,

    16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them
    after those days, declares the Lord:
    I will put my laws on their hearts,
    and write them on their minds,”

    17 then he adds,

    “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”


    18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.


    19 Therefore, brothers,
    since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

    Here we see that the Hebrews who were in the New Covenant had been evangelized. Paul was also a minister of the New Covenant and a gospel preacher.

    Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

    Hebrews 13: 7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
    OK I'm done now!
    :0)

    By Blogger VA ~Susan, at 4/16/2008 12:04 AM  

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