PART OF REFORMED CHRISTIANITY
To be a proponent of reformed theology is to promote a gospel of new covenant life in Christ. New Covenant Theology is a hermeneutic for interpreting the Bible that uses God’s covenant relationship with his people, which undergirds scripture, as a way to understand scripture. This way is of course subordinate to the New and Living Way who is Christ. The meaning of scripture, the meaning of the new covenant and the meaning of life is revealed in Jesus Christ.
Your life as a Believer is Christ your life. The Kingdom is not as Gregory Boyd and others have warned us, a Christianized version of the knowledge of good and evil. Your life as a daughter/son of God, is the person of Jesus manifest as you. The life of the church is the person of Jesus manifest through all of us.
NEW COVENANT IS CHRIST OUR LIFE
The new covenant is not a new way of extending the law. Neither is it a minor adjustment to the old and dead way. It is entirely a break with the past. In Adam all are dead. In Christ all are made alive. Should we tamper with the gospel by diluting the Christ and adding the law we make it more complicated than it is - we make it another gospel that robs the kingdom of vitality because is is a gospel of the flesh. We get some hybrid concoction like the old testament mixture of God and Baal. ‘Law’ in Paul’s terms refers to all self-effort and all performance orientation. Spirit in the new testament means the Spirit of Christ, of Sonship and the incarnate life of God in His people.
To be contained in the old covenant is at worst to be a cult and at best to be a non-Reformed version of Christianity.
IT IS SIMPLE
A woman said to me once after I had preached, ‘You make it sound so simple.’ ‘That’s because it is,’ I replied. The gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom is simple and profound because Christ is all and in all.
Should you desire sharpness of insight and clarity of vision you will find it in Jesus Himself. But not in His stuff. Christianity is religion. Christ our life is the kingdom in spirit and truth.
Anything that is not Christ serves itself. There is the gospel of the Kingdom and there is the faint gospel of myth and institutionalism. It makes it easier to make a pseudo-jesus out of churchism if we are tied to ‘try harderism.’ Here we have a touch of law and a garnish of old covenant. But if not grounded in the reality of Christ our life we are not alive. When Christ and not shadows are our life, we can discern between shadow and reality. We can discern shadow gospels for what they are and embrace the reality who is Christ.
‘These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ’ Col 2.17 NIV.
C Baxter Kruger writes, ‘The gospel [of the Kingdom] does not leave you staring into heaven wondering how you are going to make it like Jesus did. The gospel does not leave you now with yourself and with figuring out how your human existence is going to be convened, how you are going to gain victory over evil, how you are going to become a member of that new covenant fellowship that Jesus has with his Father. THE GOSPEL IS THE NEWS THAT JESUS CHRIST HAS DONE IT.
The gospel is not an invitation. The gospel is a declaration of the truth. It
declares to us that we have been recreated in Jesus, that we have been
delivered from evil in Jesus Christ, that we have been given a new
relationship with the Father in Jesus Christ. The gospel declares to us that
in the incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Son of
God, we were taken down and cleansed of all alienation; we were refashioned, recreated, born again; and we were lifted into the circle of life shared by the Father, Son and Spirit, and there and then included in the great dance of the Triune God. Because it was no ordinary man who died and rose again and ascended. It was the incarnate Son of God, the one in and through and by whom all things exist!’ From The Great Dance by C Baxter Kruger.
NOT NEW RULES BUT A NEW YOU
‘And [we] have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all’ Col 3.10-11 NIV.
‘One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all’ Eph 4.6 NIV.