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Jared Smith, Biblical Covenants

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Some of the points I cover in this teaching video:

Having completed my thoughts on the biblical covenants and their arrangement, I set aside the final two studies in this series to deal with the controversial matter of the definition and distinctions between the ELECT, ISRAEL and the CHURCH. For this study, I explain the differences between the ELECT and ISRAEL, an indispensable distinction if one wishes to rightly interpret the scriptures and understand God’s masterplan for the ages.

Jared Smith, Muntinlupa, PH (03/02/2023)

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Some of the points I cover in this teaching video:

In an effort to clarify my understanding of the New Covenant, I make a comparison of it with that of the Presbyterians, the traditional Reformed Baptists, the 1689 Federalists and the High-Calvinists.

Jared Smith, Muntinlupa, PH (27/01/2023)

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The New Covenant

19 Jan 2023, by

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Some of the points I cover in this teaching video:

Having given an explanation of my view on the Spiritual and Earthly Covenants, I now come to the subject of the new covenant. I do not believe the new covenant is an actual covenant, established by God at some point in history, but rather, it is an explanation of the covenant of redemption, given to the Jewish people as a nation, within the context of the Mosaic economy and its laws. In this study, I set out my understanding of the issues with the help of a timeline and diagram, followed by an examination on how the scriptures use the language, “new covenant”.

Jared Smith, Muntinlupa, PH (20/01/2023)

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Some of the points I cover in this teaching video:

Having dedicated the last five studies to an explanation on what I believe concerning the earthly and temporary covenants, I complete my thoughts on the subject by expounding the final part of my prepared statement, namely—“In no sense should these earthly covenants be identified with a conditional covenant of grace, or, to be one and the same with the covenant of works or the covenant of redemption. The earthly covenants were designed by God to established the boundaries around which He would relate to and bestow earthly blessings upon the Jewish people as a race, in honor of the Messianic bloodline. The spiritual covenants are designed by God to establish the boundaries around which He relates to the non-elect and the elect throughout the course of history.”

Jared Smith, Muntinlupa, PH (13/01/2023)

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Some of the points I cover in this teaching video:

I return to the subject of a conditional covenant of grace, explaining why I believe the scriptures do not identify any such agreement. I show what the Presbyterians and the Reformed Baptists believe on the matter, and how their misunderstanding of the covenants has resulted in the teachings of duty faith and the free offer. I provide a response to these pernicious teachings, illustrating where the Presbyterians and the Reformed Baptists go wrong in their covenantal framework. I draw the study to a close by affirming the views I set forth to be aligned with the historic development of covenant theology according to the teachings of Benjamin Keach and John Gill.

Jared Smith, Muntinlupa, PH (6/01/2023)

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Some of the points I cover in this teaching video:

I continue in this study to explain the parameters around which God entered covenant with Abraham, Moses and David—the basic terms, promised blessings and limited duration for each covenant is set forth.

Jared Smith, Muntinlupa, PH (15/12/2022)

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Some of the points I cover in this teaching video:

Having explained the significance of the Messiah’s bloodline in the previous study, I distinguish between two “elect” groups of people recorded in the scriptures—the physically elect and the spiritually elect. The physically elect are those persons belonging to the Messiah’s bloodline leading to the incarnation of Christ. The spiritually elect are those persons belonging to Father’s saving purpose in the redeeming grace of Christ. The physically elect were secured earthly blessings under earthly covenants, whereas the spiritually elect are secured heavenly blessings under the spiritual covenant of redemption (grace).

After making these distinctions, I concentrate the remainder of the study on the covenant God made with Noah. Its laws and blessings are highlighted, together with an explanation why the covenant terminates with the second coming of Christ.

Jared Smith, Muntinlupa, PH (9/12/2022)

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Some of the points I cover in this teaching video:

In the previous study, I began to explain my view concerning the four earthly and temporary covenants—the thread which ties them together is the promise of the coming Messiah. It was for this reason God made a covenant with men such as Noah, Abraham, Moses and David, each of whom belonged to or were connected with the Messiah’s bloodline. And, it is for this reason each of these covenants is directly linked to the Messiah’s coming into the world, whether it be that of His first or second coming.

For this study, I explain the significance of the Messiah’s bloodline. It is through this family lineage God the Father prepared a body for His Son. This union of the divine nature of the Son of God with a human nature, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, is called the incarnation. And this is the essence of the promise given by God in Genesis 3:15—the coming Messiah will be born of a woman. Now, the whole of our justification and redemption depends upon this great truth of Christ’s incarnation. Unless the Son of God would be given a human nature, He would not be able to redeem us from our sins, and therefore God the Father would not be able to justify us through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. The redemptive work of Christ hinges on the incarnation of Christ, and that is the significance and the importance of the promise given by God in Genesis 3:15. The Son of God must be given a human body, and it pleased the Father to design that body through the biological lineage of a single family, beginning with Adam and Eve and culminating with the virgin Mary. The Jewish people as a race was created by God in order to prepare a body for His Son, and it is from this reason God honored the Jewish people as a race, making with them covenants, giving to them laws and bestowing upon them great earthly blessings.

Jared Smith, Muntinlupa, PH (2/12/2022)

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Some of the points I cover in this teaching video:

The Presbyterians and the Traditional Reformed Baptists believe God established a conditional covenant of grace with sinners (Gen 3:14,15), the substance of which is one and the same with the succeeding covenants, administered differently at various stages in history. The 1689 Federalists, a branch of the Reformed Baptist movement, believe God promised to establish a conditional covenant of grace with sinners (Gen 3:14,15), the pledge of which was renewed in each of the succeeding covenants, and finally established on mount Calvary with the death of Christ. I do not believe the scriptures support this notion of a conditional covenant of grace, and therefore the covenantal frameworks of the foregoing groups are erroneous.

In my view, the biblical covenants should be arranged under two categories: (1) Two spiritual and perpetual covenants—Works and Redemption; (2) Four earthly and temporary covenants—Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic and Davidic. The spiritual and perpetual covenants are concerned with the human race and are the basis upon which sinners are in relationship to or with God; the earthly and temporary covenants are concerned with the Jewish race and the physical coming of the Messiah into the world (yes, even the Noahic Covenant).

A Summary Of My View On The Earthly And Temporary Covenants:

I believe the thread which ties together the earthly covenants is the promise of the coming Messiah—First, each covenant was made by God with individuals belonging to the bloodline through which the Messiah would be born; Second, the purpose for each covenant is directly linked to the coming Messiah. It is from this bloodline that God the Father would prepare a body for His Son. And, it is for this reason God set this bloodline apart with special honor (making with them earthly covenants, giving to them special laws and bestowing upon them earthly blessings) during the first 4,000 years of history.

However, with the birth of the Messiah came the end of His bloodline, resulting in the cancellation of these covenants and the termination of the special honor God placed upon the Jewish people as a race. In no sense should these earthly covenants be identified with a conditional covenant of grace, or, to be one and the same with the covenant of works or the covenant of redemption.

The earthly covenants were designed by God to established the boundaries around which He would relate to and bestow earthly blessings upon the Jewish people as a race, in honor of the Messianic bloodline. The spiritual covenants are designed by God to establish the boundaries around which He relates to the non-elect and the elect throughout the course of history.

In this study, I provide a fuller explanation for the first half of the first paragraph of the summary statement.

Jared Smith, Muntinlupa, PH (25/11/2022)

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Some of the points I cover in this teaching video:

I believe the major biblical covenants may be arranged under two headings: (1) Two spiritual and perpetual covenants—Redemption and Works; (2) Four earthly and temporary covenants—Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic and Davidic. The New Covenant, properly speaking, is not an actual covenant, but rather, an explanation of the Covenant of Redemption to the Jewish people as a nation, within the context of the Mosaic economy and its laws.

In this study, an explanation is given for the two spiritual and perpetual covenants: First, aligning these covenants with the Framework of Sovereign Grace; Second, emphasizing how the Covenant of Redemption is one and the same with the Covenant of Grace; Third, showing why the Covenants of Works and Redemption are identified as “spiritual” and “perpetual”.

Jared Smith, Muntinlupa, PH (18/11/2022)

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Every biblical framework and theological system recognizes the prominent place given in the scriptures to the covenants. However, not every one agrees on the number, meaning and arrangement of the covenants.

Here are four of the most popular views:

Modern Dispensationalism—originating with John Darby in the early to mid 19th century, this system of teaching has become one of the leading views of 21st century Evangelicalism. It arranges eight covenants in “time-tight compartments”, each serving a primary and distinct role within a specific timeframe of history.

New Covenant Theology—originating with those who were dissatisfied with the arbitrary time frames of Dispensationalism, this school of thought is one of the more recent theological developments. It arranges six covenants in a “stair-case advancement”, each serving a primary, distinct and progressive role throughout the course of history.

Presbyterianism—originating with John Calvin of Switzerland and John Knox of Scotland, during the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Its devotees are self-acclaimed “Confessionalists”, believing the 1646 Westminster Confession of Faith is the perfect articulation for their understanding of the Bible. It arranges the covenants into three categories: (1) Three foundational covenants—Redemption, Works and Grace; (2) One universal covenant—Noahic; (3) Four administrative covenants of Grace—Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic and the New. It holds to the view that God made a conditional Covenant of Grace with Adam after the Fall, and that each of the succeeding four covenants are one and the same with this conditional Covenant of Grace, administered differently at various points in history.

Traditional Reformed Baptists—originating with the resurgence of Calvinism among the Baptist and Congressional churches of England during the 1950’s, under the influence of men such as Ian Murray and Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and publication houses such as the Banner of Truth. Its devotees are also self-acclaimed “Confessionalists”, believing the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith is the perfect articulation for their understanding of the Bible. In many ways, this group has more in common with the Presbyterians than the Baptists, and are therefore more accurately identified as Reformed Presbyterians. Its devotees share a similar view with the Presbyterians on the arrangement of the covenants (see above).

1689 Federalists—originating with the Reformed Baptists of the 1950’s, this school of thought claims to have “rediscovered” the covenantal views of those who compiled and wrote the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith. In recent years, the Reformed Baptists have been splintering and dividing, resulting in several distinguishable groups, each forming a separate branch of the Reformed Baptist movement. The 1689 Federalists is one of these branches. They often prefer to be called Particular Baptists, as they are passionate to reconnect with their Baptist roots, but are also unashamedly Reformed Baptists. They too are self-acclaimed “Confessionalists”, believing the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith is the perfect articulation for their understanding of the Bible. Although their arrangement of the covenants is similar to that of the Traditional Reformed Baptists, they believe the conditional Covenant of Grace was established on mount Calvary with the death of Christ, rather than the garden of Eden after the Fall. Henceforth, the conditional Covenant of Grace was promised in the covenants of the Old Testament scriptures, and realized in the New Testament scriptures. They believe only the New Covenant is one and the same with the conditional Covenant of Grace.

I do not belong to any of these groups, nor do I subscribe to their views on the biblical covenants.

Here is a summary of my understanding of the matter:

There are two spiritual and perpetual covenants—Redemption and Works; There are four earthly and temporary covenants—Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic and Davidic. As for the New Covenant, it is an explanation of the Covenant of Redemption (the parties and terms of this covenant are the electing love of the Father, the redeeming grace of the Son and the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit), rather than the administration or ratification of a conditional Covenant of Grace (as proposed by the Presbyterians and the Reformed Baptists). I do not believe a conditional Covenant of Grace (with man) is supported by the teaching of scripture. I use the label “Covenant of Grace” synonymously with “Covenant of Redemption”, “Covenant of Peace” and the “Everlasting Covenant”—the same covenant, with different labels. The New Covenant, as an explanation of the Covenant of Redemption, is addressed to the Jewish people living at the time of Christ and His apostles, within the context of the Mosaic economy and its laws. Properly speaking, therefore, the New Covenant is an explanation of another covenant, rather than a covenant itself.

Jared Smith, Muntinlupa, PH (11/11/2022)

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Some of the points I cover in this teaching video:

In the previous study, I set forth the view that the believer is born again in order to walk with God according to the obedience and righteousness of Christ, under the authority of the covenant of grace (otherwise called, the covenant of redemption). By virtue of the soul’s union with Christ, the life and graces of Christ flow into the soul. The life of Christ makes the regenerate sinner alive unto God; the graces of Christ enable the sinner to bear the fruit of the new nature (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, patience, faith, humility, etc). The good works of a believer are nothing other than the graces of Christ expressing themselves in thought, word and deed. The obedience of a believer is nothing other than the believer working out with fear and trembling, those graces of Christ which the Spirit of God is working in him/her. In this way, both the obedience of the believer and the good works done by him/her are credited to Christ and to the Holy Spirit, that, according as it is written, “He that boasts, let him boast in the Lord.”

It is on this basis that the fallacious doctrine of progressive sanctification is denounced. Progressive sanctification is the view that a believer advances towards higher levels of holiness according to his/her obedience to a legal code (whether it be that of the heart law, the moral law or the mere precepts of the New Testament scriptures). However, holiness is a characteristic of the new nature, rather than a fruit. I wish to repeat, the new nature is the soul’s union with Christ. In Ephesians 4:24, the Apostle Paul refers to the new nature as “the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” Righteousness and true holiness are characteristics of the soul’s union with Christ. They are absolute characteristics, precluding any notion of progression or advancement. The nature is either righteous or unrighteous; holy or unholy. Degrees or measures of righteousness and/or holiness are impossible. Henceforth, while the believer may grow in the fruit of the new nature which flow into the soul by virtue of the soul’s union with Christ (Galatians 5:22-25), yet he/she cannot progress or advance to higher levels of holiness or righteousness, as these are the characteristics of the new nature (Ephesians 4:24).

In a nutshell, there are two natures residing in the soul, one created in unrighteousness and unholiness, the other created in righteousness and holiness. The old nature cannot be reformed or improved, neither can the new nature be impaired or corrupted. That which is born of the flesh is flesh (old nature); that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (new nature). The flesh (old nature) lusts against the spirit (new nature), and the spirit (new nature) lusts against the flesh (old nature). These natures are contrary the one to the other, so that the believer cannot do the things that he/she would. However, if a sinner is led of the spirit (new nature), then he/she is not under the law (legal code, whether it be the heart law, moral law or mere precepts of the New Testament). Among the fruit of the spirit (new nature) is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Against the soul’s union with Christ there is no law (legal code). They that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh (old nature) with the affections and lusts. If, therefore, the believer lives in the spirit (new nature), let him/her also walk in the spirit (new nature). To walk in the spirit (new nature) is the gospel law. (See Galatians 5)

The sinner is born again in order to walk with God according to the obedience and righteousness of Christ, under the authority of the covenant of grace—for of God is he/she in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto him/her wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.

Jared Smith, Muntinlupa, PH (5/11/2022)

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Some of the points I cover in this teaching video:

What rule (or law) governs a believer’s conduct? There are four basic views in answer to this question:

(1) A believer is born again in order to walk with God according to his/her obedience to the law inscribed upon the heart—first, to love God supremely; second, to love one’s neighbor as himself/herself.

(2) A believer is born again in order to walk with God according to his/her obedience to the moral law—the ten commandments.

(3) A believer is born again in order to walk with God according to his/her obedience to the precepts and prohibitions of Christ and His apostles—this includes all the commandments recorded in the New Testament scriptures.

(4) A believer is born again in order to walk with God according to the obedience and righteousness of Christ, under the authority of the covenant of grace (the covenants of grace and redemption are the same covenant)—this is the soul’s union with Christ (regeneration), by virtue of which the life and graces of Christ flow into the soul, making the sinner alive unto God and enabling him/her to bear the fruit of his/her new nature in Christ (created in righteousness and true holiness). To walk in newness of life, or, in the “spirit” (new nature), is the same as walking with God according to the obedience and righteousness of Christ imparted to the soul in sanctification. (1 Cor 1:30; Rom 6-8; Gal 5)

Generally speaking, the Presbyterians, Reformed Baptists, 1689 Federalists, Dispensationalists and the New Covenant Theologists subscribe to one or more of the first three answers, all of which are based upon the believer’s obedience and righteousness to a written code of precepts/prohibitions. Although they often divide over the issue, at root level, they share the same view.

The fourth answer, however, is based upon Christ’s obedience and righteousness by virtue of a believer’s legal and living union with Him. His obedience and righteousness is imputed to the elect judicially (justification) and imparted to them spiritually (sanctification). Henceforth, the rule of conduct for a believer’s life is his/her spiritual union with Christ, having all the virtues of Christ flowing into his/her soul (among which are joy, peace, humility, gentleness, meekness, patience, faith, etc), expressing themselves in thought, word and action (good works). This “rule of conduct” is a living union with Christ rather than a legal code, and is called in scripture the “law of Christ”, or, as I often describe it, the “gospel law”.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 6:1: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” The expression, “ye which are spiritual”, is a reference to the new nature (the soul’s union with Christ), meaning that a regenerate sinner in a spirit of meekness is able to restore one who has been overtaken in a fault, because that virtue of Christ (meekness) flows into his/her soul. Henceforth, the Apostle continues in verse 2: “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” That is, the “law of Christ” (spiritual union) is fulfilled when the regenerate sinner works out in thought, word and deed, what the Spirit of God works in by virtue of the soul’s union with Christ. The “law of Christ” is a living union, not a legal code.

Jared Smith, Muntinlupa, PH (29/10/2022)

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One of the reasons many Reformed believers assert it is the duty of all sinners to savingly believe on Christ is because they distinguish between the covenant of redemption and the covenant of grace. They believe the covenant of redemption was made between the Father, the Son and the Spirit from eternity, whereas the covenant of grace is made between Jehovah and the sinner in time. They view the covenant of redemption as existing in the background of God’s plan for the ages, whereas the covenant of grace is set in the foreground of man’s responsibility for today.

R. C. Sproul outlined this view in his book, “What Is Reformed Theology”. He explained Reformed Theology is primarily concerned with three major covenants—the covenant of redemption, the covenant of works and the covenant of grace.

With reference to the covenant of redemption, page 127:

“The first covenant we consider in the scope of Reformed theology does not directly include human beings, but is nevertheless critically important. The covenant of redemption involves the parties who work together to effect human redemption: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This covenant is rooted in eternity.”

With reference to the covenant of works, pages 128,129:

”The initial covenant God made with mankind was a covenant of works. In this covenant, according to the Westminster Confession, “life was promised to Adam; and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.” It is important to note that a “condition” is attached to this first covenant. The condition is personal and perfect obedience. This is a condition of works, and this is the covenant’s chief stipulation. Life is promised as a reward for obedience, for satisfying the condition of the covenant.”

With reference to the covenant of grace, pages 131,132:

“The Westminster Confession declares this about the covenant of grace: ‘Man, by his fall, having made himself incapable of life by that covenant, the Lord was pleased to make a second, commonly called the covenant of grace; wherein He freely offereth unto sinners life and salvation by Jesus Christ; requiring of them faith in Him, that they may be saved, and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal life His Holy Spirit, to make them willing, and able to believe.’

Perhaps the chief difference between the covenant of grace and the first covenant, and the reason why it is called a covenant of grace, is that this covenant is made between God and sinners. The covenant of works was made between God and his unfallen creatures. Once that covenant was violated and the fall had occurred, mankind’s only hope was rooted totally in grace.”

In an effort to help the reader better understand the relationship between these three covenants, Sproul includes this diagram:

Here is my response:

First, I wish to highlight my view of the covenants.

1. A covenant is an agreement between two or more people, with certain obligations binding them together. There are three parts to every covenant—(1) the parties; (2) the conditions; (3) the rewards/penalties.

2. Every relationship is based upon the authority of a covenant. Whether it be the relationship between a husband and wife, or parent and child, or friend and friend, or citizen and…

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