Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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the Old Testament anticipates a perfect, unfettered fellowship of God's people with the Lord

"3. How does God's kingdom come in its saving/redemptive/new creation sense? As the Old Testament unfolds, God's saving kingdom is revealed and comes to this world, at least in anticipatory form. through the biblical covenants and covenant mediators-Adam, Noah, Abraham, and his seed centered in the nation of Israel, and most significantly through David and his sons. Yet, in the Old Testament, it is clear that all of the covenant mediators (sons) fail and do not fulfill God's promises. This is specifically evident in the Davidic kings, who are "sons" to YHWH, the representatives of Israel, and thus "little Adams," but who fail in their task. It is only when a true, obedient son comes, a son whom God himself provides, that God's rule finally and completely is established and his promises are realized. This is why, in Old Testament expectation, ultimately the arrival of God's kingdom is organically linked to the dawning of the new covenant. This is also why, when one begins to read the Gospels, one is struck by the fact that the kingdom of God is so central to Jesus' life and teaching; he cannot be understood apart from it. But note: in biblical thought, one cannot think of the inauguration of the kingdom apart from the arrival of the new covenant.

In this regard, Jeremiah 31 is probably the best-known new covenant text in the Old Testament, but, as previous chapters have demonstrated, teaching on the new covenant is not limited to it. New covenant teaching is also found in the language of "everlasting covenant" or "covenant of peace" and in the anticipation of the coming of the new creation, the Spirit, and God's saving work among the nations, yet there is also an expectation of some massive differences from the old, all of which are outlined in Jeremiah 31. Probably what is most new about the new covenant is the promise of complete forgiveness of sin is normally granted through the sacrificial system. However, the Old Testament believer, if spiritually perceptive, knew that this was never enough, as evidenced by the repetitive nature of the system. But now in verse 34, Jeremiah announces that sin will be "remembered no more," which certainly entails that sin finally will be dealt with in full. Ultimately, especially when other texts are considered, the Old Testament anticipates a perfect, unfettered fellowship of God's people with the Lord, a harmony restored between creation and God-a new creation and a new Jerusalem-where the dwelling of God is with men (see Ezek 37:1-23; cf. Dan. 12:2; Isa. 25:6-9; Rev. 21:3-4). That is why it is with the arrival of the new covenant age that we also have God's saving kingdom brought to this world, which is precisely the fulfilment of the protoeuangelion." pg. 660,661 "Kingdom through Covenant: A Biblical-Theological Understanding of the Covenants" by Peter J. Gentry & Stephen J. Wellum

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