Theology Thursday: Covenant Theology


So today’s Theology Thursday is about Convant Theology.  And  Amy Mantravadi has given a series of posts about what Covenant Theology is that is part of an on going series.  Here’s the first few.

Old Covenant vs New Covenant: New Covenant Described

Old Covenant vs New Covenant: Membership

Old Covenant vs New Covenant: Types and Shadows

Old Covenant vs New Covenant: Mediation

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Catechism


What is the church?


    God chooses and preserves for himself a community elected for eternal life and united by faith,
    who love, follow, learn from, and worship God together. God sends out this community to proclaim the gospel and prefigure Christ’s kingdom by the quality of their life together and their love for one another.

    2 Thessalonians 2:13

    But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.

    Catechism


    Does the Lord’s Supper add anything to Christ’s atoning work?

      No, Christ died once for all. The Lord’s Supper is a covenant meal celebrating Christ’s atoning work; as it is also a means of strengthening our faith as we look to him, and a foretaste of the future feast. But those who take part with unrepentant hearts eat and drink judgment on themselves.

      1 Peter 3:18

      For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God

      Catechism


      What is the Lord’s Supper?

        Christ commanded all Christians to eat bread and to drink from the cup in thankful remembrance of him and his death. The Lord’s Supper is a celebration of the presence of God in our midst; bringing us into communion with God and with one another; feeding and nourishing our souls. It also anticipates the day when we will eat and drink with Christ in his Father’s kingdom.

        1 Corinthians 11:23–26

        Theology Thursday:  Justification Reformed and Reformed Catholic Positions


        Today’s article comes from Monergism.com.

        Justification by Faith: Reformed and Roman Catholic Positions

        BY BILL MAYK

        Arguably there has been no time since the Counter Reformation with as great an impetus to examine the Protestant and Catholic doctrines of Justification by faith as there is today. Current dialogues between various Protestant groups and Roman Catholics have given rise to calls for unity as well as warnings against departure from the true faith.  While formulating the document, Evangelicals & Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium attempts were made to find a common language concerning justification upon which both groups could agree.  However, due to various distortions and misunderstandings factions on both sides have found difficulty with such an attempt.

        Nevertheless, it is the view of this writer that the difference between the Roman Catholic and Protestant teachings on justification is more than semantics or mere theological misunderstanding.  Furthermore, the Reformed position of  “justification by faith alone in Christ alone” is not only the proper Biblical teaching on the subject, but it cannot be fully reconciled with the Roman Catholic view of the same doctrine.  This paper will attempt to demonstrate how theology and Biblical interpretation have led to conflicting positions on justification, and that the conclusions of the Roman church and those of the Reformed churches are incompatible with one another.

        While approaching the historic debate on justification from the perspective of linguistic theory, Christian Barrigar proposed that semantic differences led to the discord between Catholics and Protestants during the Reformation.[1]  If this were the case, a reexamination of the significant church statements, in light of Scriptural evidence, should easily clear up confusion and promote mutual understanding between the major factions.  However, even the Vatican has stated that it cannot reach a consensus affirming that the differences concerning justification are simple matters of language or emphasis.[2]

        Nevertheless, the most important question within the focus of language is not how present day Catholics or Protestants define terms such as “faith” and “justification”, but what the various authors of the Bible meant by them.  Without a proper understanding of this issue, Gerhard Forde, a Lutheran Theologian, believes that attempts to find commonality in the doctrine will ultimately obscure the main elements of the teaching.[3]

        (Read the entire article here)

        Catechism


        Is baptism with water the washing away of sin itself?

          No, only the blood of Christ and the renewal of the Holy Spirit can cleanse us from sin.

          Luke 3:16

          John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire

          Catechism


          What is baptism?

            Baptism is the washing with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; it signifies and seals our adoption into Christ, our cleansing from sin, and our commitment to belong to the Lord and to his church.

            Matthew 28:19

            Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spiri

            Catechism


            What are the sacraments or ordinances?

              The sacraments or ordinances given by God and instituted by Christ, namely baptism and the Lord’s Supper, are visible signs and seals that we are bound together as a community of faith by his death and resurrection. By our use of them the Holy Spirit more fully declares and seals the promises of the gospel to us.

              Romans 6:4 and Luke 22:19–20

              We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

              And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

              Catechism


              How is the Word of God to be read and heard?

                With diligence, preparation, and prayer; so that we may accept it with faith, store it in our hearts, and practice it in our lives.

                2 Timothy 3:16–17

                All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

                Catechism


                What is the Lord’s Prayer?

                  Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

                  Matthew 6:9

                  Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…”