Why New Covenant Theology?

A glimpse of New Covenant Theology (NCT): Why I identify myself with NCT?

When I was still a Reformed Baptist, I saw this “new” teaching, NCT, as antinomian (anti-Law.)  Now that I identify myself with NCT, I know why Reformed Baptists see this teaching as antinomian (tongue-in-cheek.)

It is antinomian not against the idea of Law in general, but as pertaining a very specific Law, namely, the Ten Commandments.  NCT holds to the belief that the Ten Commandments were given by God specifically (only) to the Jews — it was God’s covenant with the Jews.  The Ten Commandments was given, not to all mankind in a general way, nor to Christians in a spiritual way; but to the Jews in a special covenantal way.  It was given to the Jews after God delivered them from Pharaoh in Egypt, before God brought them to the Promised Land.

Exodus 34 records the LORD giving instructions to Moses re: the covenant.  In vv.27 & 28, the passage reads, “And the LORD said unto Moses, ‘Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.‘  And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread nor drink water.  And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.  It is clear then that the Ten Commandments are the covenant of the LORD with Israel — the Old Covenant.

(By the way, the tables written by the finger of God… that was broken by Moses.  The 2nd Edition, as described in Exo.34… that was written by Moses.)

The writer to the Hebrews describes this Old Covenant in these terms: “In that he saith, a new covenant, he hath made the first old.  Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away,” Heb.8.13.  He goes on in Chapter 9 to describe the major divisions of and essential items in the Jewish Temple (Tabernacle) in detail.  One of the items in the Temple, located inside the Ark of the Covenant within the Holy of Holies, are the two tables of stone where the words of the Old Covenant, the Ten Commandments were written.

The writer argues that all these things being part of the Old Covenant were mere types and shadows, and have now been done away with because the reality (the anti-type) in the person of Jesus Christ has now appeared and is now here.

Someone might ask, But if you do away with the Ten Commandments, what is your Rule of Life?  Answer: The Law of Christ or The Law of Love.  Jesus said it in this manner: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength; And love your neighbour as yourself: On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”  But isn’t Jesus referring there to the two tables of the Ten Commandments?  No, apparently not.

Apostle John, addressing believers in particular, hones in on the unique source from where obedience to these two commandments emanates.  He says, “This is his commandment: To believe on the name of his son, Jesus Christ; and to love one another, as he has given us command.”  No one can in fact love God, much less love him with all his being, that is, unless he first believes on the name of Jesus Christ.  All love emanates from this first grace of faith — whether it is love to God, love to fellow believers, love to neighbour, or the extreme challenge, love to enemies; it all flows from this first grace, viz, faith in Jesus Christ.  It likewise sustains its impetus by subsequent grace, viz, faith.  Thus, the law of Love, the law of Christ is all of faith, from first to last — all of grace.  Alongside and against this, “there is no law.”

So Apostle Paul could say, “I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me, and gave himself for me,” Gal.2.20.

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