The New Covenant People of God and Arminianism (2)

Dr. Alan DunnDr. Alan J. Dunn

The Sovereign Purpose of God

Returning to Jeremiah 31:31-34, we see that the New Covenant is not like the Old Covenant which they broke although I was a husband to them (Jer 31:32). How did Israel break the Old Covenant? By their persistent idolatry (see Jer 11:10; 22:8-9) which brought God’s covenant curses upon the theocratic nation (see Deut 27-28). Unlike the New Covenant, the Old Covenant was conditional and dependent upon the obedience of the nation: IF you will obey… THEN you shall be My possession (Exo 19:4-6). However, there were unconditional aspects to God’s dealings with Old Covenant Israel. For example, God’s previous unconditional promise of the coming Seed in Genesis 3:151 was given to Abraham who received it simply by faith (Gen 15:6). In the Old Covenant there continued to be a remnant who, like Abraham, received God’s promises by faith. The promise of the Seed was again reiterated unconditionally to David (2 Sam 7:12-16).2 Indeed, the Lord repeatedly told Israel that He came to them in grace because of His faithfulness to Abraham, not because of anything earned by them.3 Nevertheless, the Mosaic Covenant made with the tribal nation of Israel was a conditional covenant which served a specific purpose in the unfolding of God’s plan of redemption.4
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By | February 4th, 2015|A Closer Look, Arminianism|

The New Covenant People of God and Arminianism1 (1)

Dr. Alan DunnDr. Alan J. Dunn

Jeremiah 31:31-34 is the only passage in the Old Testament which uses the phrase New Covenant to speak of our present time in Redemptive History. This text describes several main characteristics of the people of God who live in the era of the New Covenant.

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. 33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”2

The first article considered the Lord’s description of His New Covenant people as the house of Israel. Dispensational teaching separates Israel from the Church so as to constitute two bona fide peoples of God who each receive their own respective salvations. The New Testament, however, speaks of one people of God and frequently uses Old Covenant vocabulary to describe this New Covenant people. For example, Paul calls the church the Israel of God in Galatians 6:16, and Peter defines the New Covenant church with descriptions used for Old Covenant Israel in 1 Peter 2:9. The second article examined God’s promise, I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it. Contrary to Antinomianism, which over emphasizes grace to the point of neglecting the legitimate role of the Law in the life of the child of God, Jeremiah 31:33 informs us that the new life given to us by the Holy Spirit is a holy, righteous life which innately inclines us to love God and neighbor, which is to say, to obey God’s Law.
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By | January 28th, 2015|A Closer Look, Arminianism|