Thursday, June 10, 2010

New Covenant Implications on Hermeneutics

By Max Strange 5/25/2010

Adam and Eve ushered into this beautiful world a hermeneutical disaster. They brought into God’s universe an alternate way to interpret God’s Word and all of reality. They exchanged God’s interpretation for one that is rooted in autonomous human reason. This created an upheaval that made man the center of all knowledge and understanding. And as the ages pass, this new and deadly hermeneutic cause’s mankind to drift further and further into the lonely ocean of his own alienation and suspicion of God. Yet, God in His great mercy and kindness, before all the ages, had a plan. He has orchestrated a program to reinstate His interpretation of Himself and of His Universe by Himself and eject man from his own hermeneutical center. Jesus, the Word of God, brings home the new hermeneutic in the Gospel. The catastrophe in Eden is now overturned by a hermeneutical salvation. For those who believe on Jesus Christ, a true and right understanding of God and all things begins afresh. We can see that the New Covenant promised this in the Old Testament and now with the arrival of Jesus, the New Testaments declares that the New Covenant finds its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Thus, each Testament is actually a uniform and seamless Testament about the Christ and His New Covenant reversal of the hermeneutical revolt so long ago.

The New Covenant in a Nutshell & Its Implications on Hermeneutics

The New Covenant is a promise of restoration. After the Fall, God promised in Genesis 3:15, despite everything that had transpired that plummited the universe into a black pit of sin, a light would shine. This foreshadow announced the first clue of many to a New Covenant, even before the Old Covenant was broadcasted! As Biblical history progresses throughout its redemptive storyline, there is a Messianic consciousness. This Messiah anticipation grows throughout Israel’s history as one who will bring about a great day of salvation and overturn the spiritual deadness and remove the veil that cloaked their understanding of God. The Messianic shadow materializes in the New Testament as the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus fulfills the New Covenant and began the process of a hermeneutical renewal to the cosmos, which will find its completion at the last and great eschatological Day. He came to inaugurate the New Covenant by offering Himself as a sacrifice for sins, once for all, and absorb the wrath of God and all the damning effects of unregeneration. Jesus stood in the place of sinners and gives His righteousness to the believing sinner by grace and thus reversing the effects of the primeval rebellion of our first parents. No longer would there be a great clash of authority between creature and Creator. No longer would God’s people be a discern less, dull-eared, blind-eyed, more dumb than the ox and ass who knows not his master (Is. 1:3; 6:9-10; 44:18). The New Covenant declares that God has overturned the dreaded effects of sin by His Son Jesus. Jesus accomplished what the New Covenant promises and abundantly pardon, unstop deaf ears, open blind eyes, guarantee obedience, deposits the Spirit of God, and bring a genuine and everlasting understanding of God (Is. 35:4-5; Jer. 31:31-3; Ez. 36:26-27). The New Covenant is the grand unilateral move of God to lovingly act upon chosen sinners and bring the new creation within the human heart and eventually into an all encompassing scope of cosmic liberation (Is. 55:6-9; Rom. 8; 1 Cor. 15; Ez. 36-37). By a rational act of repentance and faith initiated grace by God’s grace, a restored knowledge of God would result(Jer. 31:31-34). All the defects of the fall and the unregenerate heart and mind are transformed to see and hear and love the Lover.

The New Covenant impacts hermeneutics because Jesus has made it certain that in relationship with Him by salvation through grace, the dead, blind, veiled, and calloused soul, is made alive. Thus, the sinner becomes able and free from His bondage to divine illumination and becomes illuminated. New ears and eyes, new desires, grace enabled action cause the believer to do God’s will and for the first time cause God to smile upon him. Jesus gives us His Spirit as the hermeneutical key to the Scriptures, which breaks wide-open new horizons of understanding, thought, and comprehension of God and of all reality. Saved sinners begin the journey of a continual awakening to spiritual realities of the glory of God. The New Covenant allows us, even with a greater intimacy than Adam, to walk with God not only in the cool of the day, but in every second of life.

(1) John 5:39, 46; Luke 24:27; 44-45; Isaiah 1:3; 6:9-10; 9:27; 35:4-5; 44:18; 55:6-9; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36-37

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