New Covenant Theology

In our Elder's training class this morning we discussed the differences between four theological systems: classical dispensationalism, progressive dispensationalism, new covenant theology, and covenant theology. While I would want to argue that none of these systems are necessarily inimical to the gospel, I find myself leaning more towards New Covenant Theology than the others. New Covenant Theology is a newer and still developing theological system which critiques both dispensationalism and covenant theology. I'm sure I would not agree with everything NTC proponents teach, but I did find this brief summary from In-Depth Studies to resonate with my own understanding of Scripture.

"What is New Covenant Theology?

New Covenant Theology is a particular understanding of how the bible fits together or a system of theology. We can neatly summarize the main lines of New Covenant Theology under seven heading. This is only meant to be a brief overview and if you would like to see these points further defined and defended in Scripture, see our articles page.

The Cross - By his death on the cross Jesus purchased both complete forgiveness of sins past, present, and future and a changed life or new heart for all those for whom he died. Believers love Christ more than sin and are characterized by obedience and repentance when they sin.

Abrahamic Covenant - This covenant reveals God's plan to save a people and take them into his land. The Old Covenant with the nation of Israel and the promise land is a temporary picture of what is accomplished by the New Covenant where Jesus actually purchased a people and will take them to be with him forever in the new heavens and new earth.

Old Covenant - The Old or Mosaic Covenant is a legal or works covenant that God made with Israel on Mount Sinai that is brought to an end or fulfilled at the cross. It was never intended to save people but instead its purpose was to increase sin and guilt until the coming of the Savior.

New Covenant - This covenant is a gracious covenant in which Jesus purchased a people by his death on the cross so that all those for whom he died will receive full forgiveness of sins and become incurable God-lovers.

Israel - Israel is a temporary unbelieving picture of the people of God. There always existed a remnant of believers within unbelieving Israel.

Law - The version of law in the Old Covenant era was the Mosaic Law, which included the Ten Commandments. The version of law in the New Covenant era is the law of Christ, which includes the commands of Christ that pertain to the New Covenant era and the commands of his Apostles.

Circumcision and Baptism - Circumcision was the physical picture of regeneration. It signified that you were physically born into the unbelieving people of God, Israel. It was given to all Israelites, irrespective of repentance and faith. Baptism is the outward sign that regeneration has occurred. It signifies that you have been spiritually born into the believing people of God, the church. It is given to all those who give evidence of regeneration, which is repentance and faith.”

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