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[R4350 : page 78]

THE NEW COVENANT AND THE NEW TESTAMENT

THESE two words in our English are the same word in the Greek. The explanation of the matter is this:—

The blessings of God upon Abraham were ostensibly given to the Jewish nation, but not actually so. A hidden meaning, or spirit, made that blessing, under the Law, applicable only to Jesus, who alone kept the Law and inherited its blessings.

Secondly, That spiritual inheritance of the Law blessing came to all those who accepted Christ as the end of the Law and became united to him by consecration unto death. Thus, Spiritual Israelites are the heirs with Jesus of everything pertaining to the Abrahamic Covenant.

However, our Lord's object in keeping the Law was not merely to gain life for himself, but by dying and getting the new nature for himself to be able to give to natural Israel, in harmony with the Divine law, the blessings which they had originally received, but were unable to retain through weakness of the flesh. Thus, through Jesus' death, a testament—good-will—or blessing, was entailed upon natural Israel; but instead of giving them that blessing at once, by Divine arrangement it is given first to Spiritual Israel, the "Holy Nation," the "Royal Priesthood," the "Peculiar People;" it is given to these conditionally—that they will not keep it to themselves, but dying as members of the Body of Christ, they will join with their Head in his will, or testament, giving all those earthly rights as the Seed of Abraham, to fleshly Israel. As soon as all the members of the Testator shall have died, this New Testament or New Covenant will thereby be sealed, or made effective, operative toward natural Israel.

Thus Jesus was the minister, or servant, of the New Covenant which God proposed to make with Israel. Although he had a right to all that is to go to Israel, he kept it not, but freely surrendered it for us and them. We as his brethren, justified through faith in his blood (not through faith in the New Covenant), were permitted to become "able ministers of the New Covenant or New Testament"—able or fully qualified by our justification and by the terms of our sanctification, to be associated with our Lord and Head as sharers in his sufferings, proclaimers of his grace, announcers of the New Covenant, and assistants one of another as members of his Body in the filling up of the sufferings of Christ to the intended end.


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