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Those who hold to a

Those who hold to a Covenant Theology see in the process of redemptive history a dramatic movement has been made from type to reality, from shadow to substance. The Land that once was the specific locale of God’s redemptive working served well under the Old Covenant forms as a picture of paradise lost and promised, lost then promised, but under the New Covenant fulfilment this Land has been expanded to encompass the world, indeed the entire cosmos. The exalted Christ rules from the heavenly Jerusalem demonstrating His sovereignty over all the nations. A regression to the limited forms of the Old Covenant must not be encouraged. The reality must not give way to shadow. Why should we want the shadow when we have the reality? It is more than this though. Some would suggest that the warning contained in the calling to persevere found in Hebrews 10 is addressed to Jewish believers tempted to remain loyal to their legalistic Hebrew roots, locked into a theology based on land, temple, law and sacrifice. Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:19-29) The choice before us is ultimately a choice between two theologies. One based primarily on the shadows of the Old Covenant and one based on the reality of the New Covenant. An exclusive theology that focus on the Jews in the Land and an inclusive theology that focuses on Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world. It is a choice between an exclusive Armageddon theology of racial segregation and war and an inclusive theology of justice, peace and reconciliation.

Stephen Sizer

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