Introduction: Old Testament and New Testament
The Bible is divided into two parts of Old Testament New Testament. This covenant in Hebrew means “contract, promise, or agreement” between the two parties.
“The specific system or means in which the kingdom of God is formed in history is a covenant between God and Israel,” one theologian says.
But because the word covenant only gives you the feeling that it’s a simple promise, it often leads to misunderstandings about it I do.
The meaning of the Covenant
This covenant means that the public relationship between the personal parties Jehovah and Israel, the Lord becomes the God of Israel, and Israel becomes the people of God, is legally formed at a set place and at a set time.
“The Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament, and the New Testament is hidden in the Old Testament.” St. Augustine says that the New Testament is included in the Old Testament and the New Testament is explained. Both the New Testament and the Old Testament contain the Trinity God, and Norman Leo Geisler speaks about this as follows.
The most basic distinction of the Bible is the ‘contract’ between God and his people, in other words, the ‘covenant’. Both the New Testament and the Old Testament are centered on Christ. The Old Testament looks at Christ from the perspective of waiting for Christ, but the New Testament looks at Christ from the perspective of realizing that wish. The Old Testament cannot be complete without the New Testament. The salvation prepared in the Old Testament was achieved by Christ in the New Testament. What began in the Old Testament came to the New Testament and saw its completion, and that was through Jesus Christ. Christ was hidden from the truth represented by the Old Testament and faded, but it is revealed in the truth of the New Testament. The New Testament is in the Old Testament, where the secret is hidden, and the Old Testament is in the New Testament, where God’s will to present to humans is clearly expressed. The New Testament clearly explains what the Old Testament implies about Christ.
Herman Bavink explains the relationship between the Gospel and the Old Testament as follows.
The Old Testament is revealed only in the New Testament, and the core and essence of the New Testament are already included in the Old Testament. The relationship between the two is like the relationship between a pole and a statue, a lock and a key, a shadow and a body. The gospel is based on the Old Testament. In fact, without the Old Testament, the gospel could not have been accepted or recognized. Since the gospel is ultimately the fulfillment of the promises of the Old Testament, without the Old Testament, the gospel is bound to rise in the air. The Old Testament is the postscript on which the gospel stands, and the root from which the gospel grew. Wherever the gospel went, the Old Testament was also accompanied, and it was immediately used as the word of God without any opposition. In other words, there was no such thing as a New Testament church without the Bible. From the beginning, the church owned the law, the psalms, and the prophets.)
The covenant carries more than just promises
There’s something you need to know. The covenant carries more than just promises. In a narrow sense, the covenant, an important concept in Pentateuch and the Old Testament as a whole, means legally forming public relations between personality parties.
In other words, God becomes the God of Israel, and Israel becomes the people of God. This covenant has three analogies from the Ancient Near East.
① The marriage between a man and a woman in public.
② The adoption of both to form a public father and son relationship.
③ The relationship between the great and the weak is formed through the treaty.
Among these three images, the covenant has a lot of similarities to the treaties between the last great powers and the weak countries.
In this regard, the rite is not simply to appease the angry God, but rather a system that rewards the act of breaking the covenant through a bleeding sacrifice on my behalf to restore it if it was destroyed. And it’s also unique that grace can be given again after a covenant curse.
In addition, we are not only responsible for keeping the covenant, but also for God. We haven’t lived in the ancient Near East, so the concept of law is stronger than covenant.
However, the law was given as a means to maintain the covenant after the formation of a public relationship called covenant. On the other hand, covenants are higher than laws and fundamentally guarantee legal authority.
In this way, the covenant may sound like an Old Testament story, but it is never. The whole Bible is a covenant story, and the reformed theology we believe in is covenant theology in short.
Professor Michael Horton says that the existence of God itself is a covenant, and that we, in the image of God, are “conventional creatures” created as God’s covenant partners.
The structure of the Bible is not just a covenant, but God deals with us covenantally in our history.
some benefits from a covenantal theological point of view in the Bible
This provides context for recognizing unity in the incredible diversity of the Bible. Michael Horton refers to some benefits from a covenantal theological point of view in the Bible.
First, covenant theology can see this covenant structure naturally when the Bible is normal from Genesis to Revelation.
Second, covenant theology, when we understand the structure of the Bible’s covenants, sees things that are too often separated or mixed together in our time in unity.
Thirdly, covenant theology does not simply eliminate differences, but rather the unity of human and non-human creatures.
Fourth, covenant theology makes a suitable place for each interest in doctrine and practice without ignoring the other.
Fifth, covenant theology helps us not to read a mixture of Old Testament and theology.
Sixth, covenant theology helps connect the ambiguous relationship between the Word and the sacrament.
Seventh, covenant theology can talk about the gap between nurturing a saint and missionary work to the world.
Covenant Theology flows from the Old Testament to the New Testament
Like this, covenant theology flows from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Thus, covenant theology is closely related to God’s redemption history and the kingdom of God. As we see the Bible from the perspective of covenant theology, if we look at our own salvation from the perspective of covenant theology, our understanding and love for God deepens.
Covenant is that God promises to use a group of people as his people to act as God. The Bible explains that God plays the role of God to man in many metaphors, such as the father, the king, the shepherd, the groom, the farmer, and the commander.
So the gospel treats us, who were prodigal sons, like fathers. God will forgive us all and restore us. The Bible’s ‘feast and inheritance’ are two symbols of recovery. Also, the core of the covenant is love for God and love for neighbors.
Therefore, the covenants of the Old Testament are full of laws that define equality for all people, along with rules for proper worship as a way to maintain love for God.
Equality here is primarily based on land distribution. The rest of the community had to take proper care of homeless widows and other orphans, Levites and strangers.
The reason why we have to do this is that the Lord and God felt pity for the poor. The people of Israel had to remember this constantly through the law.