Jude 5 and covenant

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steadfast7

Puritan Board Junior
Read something in Jude I hadn't noticed before and it's opened up a huge can of worms in my investigation of covenant theology.

5Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

This reading, though there has been some dispute historically, is almost certainly original.

To me, this passage has huge implications for what it means to deal with God through covenant. New Covenant types, like me, tend to view salvation in Jesus to be a sure thing, the fullness of covenantal promises laid on the one who believes by faith. But here's a verse that suggests that one can be saved by Jesus (dare I say, "externally in covenant with him"), but not be elect and up end up being destroyed by him. You can come within the fold of Christ and his covenant of grace, yet be lost. I hadn't thought of it before, that Jesus was dealing with Israel. This has uncovered something I may have subconsciously presupposed: Yahweh deals with his people one way, but Jesus deals with his people another. But this verse is so stark and plain: Jesus is Yahweh. There is no separation in the Godhead, therefore no differences in his operation.

This no doubt obliterates dispensationalism ... does it also obliterate the Reformed Baptist view of what it means to covenant with Christ?

help!
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Dennis,
I'll say this much: you have a fertile mind.

I am a little worried that you might not be methodical enough in your investigations. Various things are catching your attention, and the first thing that springs to life in the mind drives you hard against one side or another in this debate. I'm more concerned that you will "commit hard" to RCT because you've been "driven into" it (Jas.1:6), rather than being tugged by an irresistible pull. I'd rather you were CBT, than a double-minded and unstable Christian.

It's like falling in love: if you "fall hard," you can also "fall out" again, almost as quickly. I realize that on the PB, no one can see how you are dealing with anything. Obviously, a quick mind like yours may be analyzing huge amounts of data, and very efficiently. What we can see is the rapid-fire questions, from various angles, urgently calling for different parties to the question to save you from overclocking and burning out your processor.

I say that, not only for your benefit; but because others feel similar effects, though the subject may be different.
____________

To the specific query, I don't know that CBT would easily admit your conclusion, given the nature of the radical changes which are conceived inaugurated by the Incarnation and the DBR&A of Christ. In other words, they probably start with the nature of the changes, and work their way back to an explanation of Jude 1:5

Of course, RCT sees the nature of those changes differently, working it's way to the nature of those changes by reflecting on what a passage like Jude 1:5 is saying about the continuities and connections between the Testaments. Again, we touch on the contrasting methods of "approach" to reading the Bible (it pops up everywhere). In my view, Jude isn't merely offering "theological reflection" on the Exodus, but is explaining what the Exodus was all about. But, he's writing for a Christian audience. He's telling us to think of the Israelites as (proto)Christians, and to see in the Deliverer/Conqueror-of-Egypt/Angel-of-the-Lord/Glory-CloudFire none other than Jesus, the Son, the Manifested Jehovah, exegeting God to his people (John 1:18,14).
 

Reformation Monk

Puritan Board Freshman
Ok, here's a question... were all that were called out of Egypt truly saved?

---------- Post added at 02:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:35 PM ----------

Also take a look at 1 Cor 10:8-10
 

steadfast7

Puritan Board Junior
That is a good exhortation, Rev. B.
This text is one that certainly smooths out the bumps in the covenant administrations, especially given that it pictures Christ as the very Lord dealing with Israel in the Mosaic administration. I am so used to, in my NC hermeneutic, placing as wide a gap as possible between Moses and Christ.

The suggestion that Israel are proto-Christians is given stronger support from this passage, to be sure, and it does more easily allow for the interpretation of Hebrews that one can be sanctified by the blood of Christ and still trample it under foot to one's own doom. I think I need to look more deeply into the changes that Reformed Baptists are convinced exists between the testaments ...
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Dennis, speaking as a Reformed Baptist I can only concur with Bruce's statement regarding the implications of Jude 5. First, I commend you for searching the Scriptures, but I also note that this particular bit of understanding about Jesus is commonly held among Confessional Baptists as well. I can't think of any prominent 1689 LBC adherents who would be deny that the Lord who saved Israel out of Egypt was Jesus the Son of God. As Bruce said, we also acknowledge and believe that:


he's writing for a Christian audience. He's telling us to think of the Israelites as (proto)Christians, and to see in the Deliverer/Conqueror-of-Egypt/Angel-of-the-Lord/Glory-CloudFire none other than Jesus, the Son, the Manifested Jehovah, exegeting God to his people (John 1:18,14).

I don't really know what you mean by calling yourself a "New Covenant type." From my rather cursory understanding of New Covenant Theology as it is currently being disseminated, it basically holds to the idea that our Lord Christ has actually changed God's laws. The consequence of that belief is that the law of Christ is different from the original law of God. This I would flatly deny and I can confidently state that is not at all what the 1689 LBCF professes.

So, if you are asking whether Jude 5 undermines New Covenant theology, I'd say yes. But if you are asking if it undermines the Confessional Baptist's view of the covenant, I'd say no. As Bruce has routinely (and charitably) pointed out, we may differ regarding our perspective of the covenant, and that different perspective leads us to different conclusions about its administration, for instance, but we do agree at least that the covenant has not been changed in the sense that God changed the law or changed his mind regarding the law. Indeed, the LBCF speaks of the covenant of grace as having been "revealed in the gospel; first of all to Adam in the promise of salvation by the seed of the woman. . . ." (Chapter 7, paragraph 3). This shows that the LBCF holds that the covenant, and the gospel for that matter, is at least as old as sinful man (to be clear, I believe it is from before the foundation of the world).

Here is one touchstone that has been helpful to me throughout my studies of God's dealings with sinners: "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever." When the theological tides feel like they are overwhelming you, remind yourself of Hebrews 13:8 (and many other places in Scripture) that plainly says that, 1. Christ is immutable, and 2. Christ is God. If you are reading anything that seems to deny this foundation, then either stop reading or read with a very skeptical eye.
 
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PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
One thing I would add is that it appears only the ESV uses the word Jesus here. That is very strange. All other translations use something like "the Lord".

I heartily agree with Bruce's assessment and encouragement. It does seem you have a tinge of what is known as New Covenant Theology in your thinking. I have noticed this in some of your other statements also in other threads. New Covenant Theology is a cross breed of Covenant Theology and dispensationalism. It is not historical Particular Baptist Covenant Theology. Will talk with you about this later buddy. Be Encouraged.
 

Paul Trask

Puritan Board Freshman
Judaism died when Jesus rose from the dead. The Church replaced Judaism Grace has always been way God saved people throughout Bible (Genesis 15:4; Habakkuk 2:4; Hebrews 7: 22; 8:13; Romans 10:1-10).
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Judaism died when Jesus rose from the dead. The Church replaced Judaism Grace has always been way God saved people throughout Bible (Genesis 15:4; Habakkuk 2:4; Hebrews 7: 22; 8:13; Romans 10:1-10).

I disagree with this. The Church didn't replace Judiasm. The Church has always existed. The Mosaic Covenant was fulfilled in Christ and the Church grew. But the Church didn't replace Judaism. The Church has always existed.

(Act 7:37) This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.

(Act 7:38) This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:

(Act 7:39) To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt,
 

Paul Trask

Puritan Board Freshman
The scriptures are clear Paul would want damned for his countryman. Judaism has not validly any more unless they turn to Jesus and join the Church.

Genesis 15:4-6 (NIV)
4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir."
5 He took him outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars--if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."
6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Habakkuk 2:4 (NIV)
4 "See, he is puffed up; his desires are not upright-- but the righteous will live by his faith--

Hebrews 7:22 (NIV)
22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

Hebrews 8:13 (NIV)
13 By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

Romans 10:1-10 (NIV)
1 Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.
2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.
3 Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.
4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
5 Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them."
6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down)
7 "or 'Who will descend into the deep?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
8 But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:
9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Elder Trask,

I am trying to understand your point. You stated that the Church replaced Judaism. Those are your words and not mine. That is a theological expression used by a theological school of thought known as dispensationalsim which doesn't hold to Covenant Theology. I disagreed with that statement. How many Covenants of Grace do you hold to? It seems to me that you are more of a Dispensationalist in your language than a Covenant Theologian. You stated that salvation was by grace only in both the New and Old Covenant. I agree with that. But you also said that the Church replaced Judaism. I believe the Old Covenant Church and the New Covenant Church are one in the same and that the Old was looking toward Christ's person and work and that the New is looking back on that same person and work. Thus it is the same Church.

Now obviously the Old had a typological point. And the typological has been abrogated. It has been abrogated because the anti-type has come and fulfilled it. But the Church has always been of the same substance. Christ and Him Crucified for the sins of the Church.
 

Paul Trask

Puritan Board Freshman
I hold to covenantalism, amillennilism , gospel driven, i agree with Westminster Standards, Longer and Shorter Catechisms

---------- Post added at 07:01 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:58 PM ----------

I'm reformed Christian, with Calvinist theology but scripture comes first.

---------- Post added at 07:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:01 PM ----------

Grace started in Old Testament into the New Testament.

---------- Post added at 07:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:03 PM ----------

Old Testament believers comprise the kingdom of God new testament believers comprise the Kingdom of also. Judaism does not count in God Kingdom they must come to Christ to be saved.
'

---------- Post added at 07:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:07 PM ----------

OT & NT believers make up the Kingdom Of God. But judaism does not count according to Hebrews 8:13 says Judaism will soon disappear Jews must turn to Christ to be saved.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Quote from Dennis
This no doubt obliterates dispensationalism ... does it also obliterate the Reformed Baptist view of what it means to covenant with Christ?

help!

Your hopping around a bit, Dennis.

Dennis
But here's a verse that suggests that one can be saved by Jesus (dare I say, "externally in covenant with him"), but not be elect and up end up being destroyed by him. You can come within the fold of Christ and his covenant of grace, yet be lost.

The Covenant of Grace has visible and invisible aspects just as the Church has, as should be rather obvious with a little thought.

Not everyone who has been regenerated i.e. baptised with the Spirit has been baptised with water.

Not everyone who has been baptised with water has been regenerated i.e. baptised with the Spirit.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I am sorry if I was misunderstanding you Elder. I am just a bit edgy when things sound dispensational. I understand what you were trying to say now. Thanks for allowing me to clarify sir. I am a bear of very little brain like Winnie the Pooh and sometimes I get a bit of fluff stuck in my ear. LOL.

Thanks for your patience with me.
 

Paul Trask

Puritan Board Freshman
I thought we were disagreeing then I thought we were agreeing. When you said the church in the OT tip me off we were saying the same thing in our own ways.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Dennis,

I agree with Bruce's caution and that of others.

It is good to see you asking questions about theology. But as I noted in the other thread, I think there are more basic issues in your theology that appear to need addressing before you even deal with the baptism issue. That's not to say you shouldn't study the issue, but that from time to time you post things that cause me to question your understanding on a more basic level.

There are even certain types of dispensationalists (especially, progressive dispensationalists) who would not have a problem with the passage and who do not see the church and Israel as being two different peoples with two different destinies in eternity.

It seems to me that the problem with your initial reaction to the text is really one of Christology and perhaps a failure to reckon with what Trinitarianism really is. Trinitarianism is not tritheism in which the three persons are separate and in essence are three different gods. Instead it is one god in three persons. This is a much more serious issue than whether paedoism or credoism is the correct view. I have to say that I don't even know of a dispensational theologian who would argue with the idea that Christ the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt. I don't know of any New Covenant Theologian who would argue with it. Anything else is heresy. So, certainly no "Reformed' Baptist is going to disagree with that. (I'm not sure if you are familiar with what is called New Covenant Theology (NCT) as some here have assumed.)

With regard to the administration of the New Covenant, sound Reformed paedobaptists do not say that those who they consider to be in the outward administration of the covenant of grace are necessarily saved in any sense. They will often in a judgment of charity consider them to be Christians until proved otherwise. But they will not state that they are "saved" absent a profession of faith. "Covenant children" will be urged to repent and believe and close with Christ.

There are some within the broader Reformed world who adopted the teaching that baptized infants are saved in a temporary sense but could later be lost. This "Federal Vision" teaching was condemned by all confessional Reformed and Presbyterian. denominations several years ago.

When the text says they were "saved" it is referring to salvation as a physical or national deliverance and not saved in a soteriological sense. No Calvinist, whether paedobaptist or not, will teach that you can be saved (i.e. truly in the covenant of grace) and then lost.
 

steadfast7

Puritan Board Junior
Thanks for the post Chris. I realize these threads of mine have been very selfish in that they've only really served my interest of getting my own theology straight through dialogue. But it is working, and I am learning a lot. Soli Deo Gloria!
In terms of your points, I'm certainly no advocate of Tritheism whatsoever and I hope I wasn't suggesting any division in the Godhead. My only point is that in Covenant Baptist theology, we are very adamant and accustomed to speaking about salvation in and by Christ to be completely effectual, without any possibility of being saved in one sense but being finally lost. This verse emphasizing Jesus saving (whatever that means), then damning Israelites can be jarring, that's all. True, all are urged to close with Christ lest they be lost, but in Reformed Covenant Theology, if I understand correctly, the external promises upon a covenant child give rise to a confidence that the child will be a real member until he demonstrates by apostasy that he is not.

I'm not sure if Israel's "salvation" can really be thought of as purely physical or national. Certainly not physical, because they all eventually died anyway; and it couldn't be purely national because their lack of faith was instrumental in their destruction, just as it is in soteriological salvation. And it's not completely true that paedobaptists "will not state that they are "saved" absent a profession of faith." Paedos do believe that elect infants are able to be saved without profession of faith per se, but some other kind of faith unknown to us rationally. This might be nit-picky, but in this sort of discussion, technical details count for a lot.

I think you're right that I may have inadvertently succumbed to "New Covenant Theology" in much of my reasoning. I'm purging myself of that.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Dennis
Thanks for the post Chris. I realize these threads of mine have been very selfish in that they've only really served my interest of getting my own theology straight through dialogue. But it is working, and I am learning a lot. Soli Deo Gloria!

Also read some good books and systematic theologies on covenant theology or read up on monergism.com.

True, all are urged to close with Christ lest they be lost, but in Reformed Covenant Theology, if I understand correctly, the external promises upon a covenant child give rise to a confidence that the child will be a real member until he demonstrates by apostasy that he is not.

Many who are Presbyterian would say that they don't know. How do you know that a child has trusted or not - like John the Baptist - until they start talking? We believe they are to be baptised because God has placed them in covenant families in His providence. We may believe from Scripture that we have reason to believe that covenant children dying in infancy are elect.

I'm not sure if Israel's "salvation" can really be thought of as purely physical or national.

The salvation of OT Israel i.e. the childhood Church, and NT Israel i.e. the adult Church, "the Israel of God" (Gal 6:16) is both physical and national.

For instance it is physical in that it involves the salvation and resurrection of the body. It is national in that OT Israel was a nation, and in that NT Israel is an international nation that is incorporating all nations.

Paedos do believe that elect infants are able to be saved without profession of faith per se, but some other kind of faith unknown to us rationally. This might be nit-picky, but in this sort of discussion, technical details count for a lot.

Reformed Baptists also believe that elect infants will be saved without a profession of faith, as Reformed people generally believe that any elect and regenerate person can be saved without a profession of faith e.g. if they look to the Lord "between the stirrup and the ground" and don't have the opportunity to evidence their faith by profession.
 

steadfast7

Puritan Board Junior
For instance it is physical in that it involves the salvation and resurrection of the body. It is national in that OT Israel was a nation, and in that NT Israel is an international nation.

Even if you were to legitimately define "physical" as pertaining to resurrection and "national" as pertaining to the international communion of saints, these are spiritualized definitions. How ironic.

Point is, this is not what is meant by the terms physical and national, at least I don't think Chris meant it that way.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Even if you were to legitimately define "physical" as pertaining to resurrection and "national" as pertaining to the international communion of saints, these are spiritualized definitions. How ironic.

Touche.

The point is that God saves the soul and the body. And that Christ's Kingdom is growing. The spiritual and the physical realms are under Christ's authority.

It's not that the New Covenant Kingdom is purely "spiritual" and not "physical" and that the Old Covenant Kingdom was purely "physical" and not "spiritual", but that the Old Covenant Kingdom had physical typological elements that taught the childhood Church/Nation of Israel, and that fell away in the New Covenant, because the mature Church/Nation of Israel has put away childish things.
 
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