Defining Covenantalism

By Jerry Wierwille

The second major type of biblical framework to be discussed is Covenantalism. This session of the class lays out this theological system including its major tenets, organizing principles, and unique features, and also how it is used as a hermeneutic for interpreting Scripture.

Defining Covenantalism

Covenantalism—“A system of thought used to interpret the Bible where the organizing principle of biblical history is covenants, which are the expressions of and mechanism through which God unfolds his redemptive plan and purpose.”

Covenant—“A chosen relationship in which two parties make binding promises to
each other.”

The Tenets of Covenantalism

1. There is one people of God—a connection between the Church and Israel.

2. Use a “literal” interpretation of Scripture

a)  Scripture interprets Scripture

b)  Priority of NT

a)  Interpret OT in light of revelation in NT

3. Christ and the New Covenant is the fulfillment of all the covenant promises of God

Three Reasons Supporting the Analogy of Faith Interpretation of Scripture

  1. Biblically, Scripture is revealed progressively. Later revelation builds upon and helps explain or identify the meaning of former revelation.
  2. Theologically, the OT presents types that correspond to NT realities. The Apostles’ saw OT prophecies fulfilled in Christ and the church.
  3. Hermeneutically, Christ is the culmination of God’s redemptive plan. All of God’s redemptive purposes point toward and find their fulfillment in him.

Sensus Plenior = ______________________________________________________

Typological Meaning in Scripture

Typology—“The study of analogical correspondence among revealed truths about persons, events, institutions, and other things within the historical framework of God’s special revelation, which, from a retrospective view, are of a prophetic nature and are escalated in their meaning.”

Five Key Aspects of Typology

  1. Analogical Correspondence
  2. Historicity
  3. Foreshadowing
  4. Escalation
  5. Retrospection

Covenant Theology

Three Over-Arching Covenants:

  1. Covenant of Redemption
  1. Covenant of Works
  1. Covenant of Grace

Biblical (Historical) Covenants

  1. Adamic (Gen 1–3)
  2. Noahic (Gen 6–9)
  3. Abrahamic (Gen 12. 15, 17)
  4. Mosaic (Exod 19:3b–8; 20-24)
  5. Davidic (2 Sam 7; Ps 89)
  6. New (Jer 31–34; Ezek 33:29–39:29)

1 Response

  1. Very well done, Jerry, thank you. I will be watching intently to eventually hear from you guys a fuller explanation of what you mean by the "position of grace" we lost (through a violation within the covenant of works/creation). I'm presuming this will come once we get to the New Covenant class(es).

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