Heidelcast 111: I Will Be A God To You And To Your Children (7)

This is episode 7 of our series: I will be a God to You and to Your Children. For the last two episodes we have been thinking about what is temporary and what is permanent in the history of redemption. We have looked at the formula of the covenant of grace as expressed in Genesis 17:8 and 9. We have looked at how the prophets and the New Testament writers adopted and adapted that formula. In contrast, we have seen how sacrifices were inherently temporary. Even before the new covenant, the prophets were already telling us that the Lord did not care much about the blood of bulls and goats but the very same prophets continued to invoke the Abrahamic formula of the covenant of grace: I will be a God to you and to your children. In this episode we will look a Genesis 17:10-14. God not only instituted a covenant of grace with Abraham and his sons but he also attached to it a sign. In this episode we consider what is temporary and typological about circumcision and what is permanent.

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5 comments

  1. Regarding Jeremiah 31:I was wondering if you think it is accurate to argue that the baptist reading of ‘you will ALL know…’ fails to recognize the eschatological tension that still remains: the new covanent Already participates in/fulfills this prophecy, but it is Not Yet completely applicable, it will be completely realized only at the return of Christ. It is only at that time that the new covanent members will be fully revealed, and will no longer need to encourage each other to know the Lord, because they will know Him even as they have been known.
    Thank you

    • BJ,

      yes, and it fails to account for the prophetic hyperbole. In the new covenant, Jer 31 says, we will have no need of anyone to teach us. Why then, did the new covenant apostles institute teachers? Obviously, that promise was not meant to be taken absolutely but relatively, in relation to the Mosaic covenant and its 613 commandments. Context. Context. Context.

  2. Dr Clark,

    First of all, thank you for this Blog/Site with all the valuable resources.
    Even here in the Netherlands it is of great worth. (speaking personally)

    I have one question that often runs through my mind when this issue comes up.

    When referring to Acts 2:38/39 in light of Circumcission, Baptism and the same language/promises to justify/prove continuation of infant/children inclusion with Baptism (also for gentiles); how is it that we come to Acts 10 and the same Peter is confused and still has to be made clear that it has come to all (Jews & Gentiles) indeed?
    I mean if Peter was well aware of what he was saying in Acts 2, it’s true meaning, why is it later on still necessary to show him the point of clean & unclean and why is he surprised by the fact that the promise indeed came to the gentiles?

    This of course is a summary question of a somewhat broader issue, but I hope it sums it up rightly and you can reflect on this a little.

    Thank you very much.

    • Johannes,

      The problem is especially great with Peter. Arguably, he did not get things straight until the Jerusalem Synod. Paul was still sorting him out on Jews and Gentiles in Galatians 2. His own fallibility does not falsify his message any more than his denial of Christ before the crucifixion means that he was not a believer or that Jesus wasn’t the Messiah. Peter’s inconsistency says more about him, and the unconditional grace of God than it does about the continuity of the Abrahamic promise. Keep listening. There are two more episodes after this one and more to come, Dv.

  3. Thank you Dr Clark, I will keep listening.
    It’s a difficult issue I guess, but of course we do not depend on this specific reference to make the continuity & consequences clear. Thankfully there are plenty of other clear references in the NT that affirm these gracious truths.

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