Tom Schreiner: If most Christians were asked if they should keep the Ten Commandments, they would answer, “Of course!” Fundamentally, that answer is correct and reflects the wisdom of the ages, the wisdom that has been passed on from the early church to our own day. And yet the question is more complex than it appears at first glance. As the subtitle of this article implies, the Ten Commandments (literally the “Ten Words” in Hebrew) must be understood in light of the covenant in which they were given. The Ten Commandments must be read in context, and that means they must be read in a covenantal context. God’s Covenants with His People The Ten Commandments were given to Israel on Mount Sinai (Exodus 20:1–17), when Yahweh instituted a covenant with the people of Israel after delivering them from Egypt. These commands were repeated again in Deuteronomy 5 before they were about to enter the Promised Land. The Ten Words were given
Guy Prentiss Waters: Sign of the Promise From Genesis to Revelation, there is a succession of covenants. There are basically two covenants in the Bible: the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. God made the covenant of works in the garden with Adam and, in Adam, with all his ordinary descendants. This covenant was conditioned upon Adam’s obedience. When our representative Adam disobeyed God, he plunged himself and all of us into sin and misery. The way to eschatological or eternal life by our obedience was forever closed off. Soon after Adam’s fall into sin, God introduced a second covenant into history, the covenant of grace. This covenant was conditioned upon the obedience of the second and last Adam, Jesus Christ. He pledged to obey where we failed to obey. Part of his obedience involved bearing the penalty due to us for our sin. On the basis of his obedience, those who trust in him are brought from
J.I. Packer: The Holy Spirit’s distinctive new covenant role, then, is to fulfill what we may call a floodlight ministry in relation to the Lord Jesus Christ. So far as this role was concerned, the Spirit “was not yet” (John 7:39, literal Greek) while Jesus was on earth; only when the Father had glorified him (see John 17:1,5) could the Spirit’s work of making men aware of Jesus’ glory begin. I remember walking to a church one winter evening to preach on the words “he shall glorify me,” seeing the building floodlit as I turned a corner, and realizing that this was exactly the illustration my message needed. When floodlighting is well done, the floodlights are so placed that you do not see them; you are not in fact supposed to see where the light is coming from; what you are meant to see is just the building on which the floodlights are trained. The intended effect is to make it
Timmy Brister: Tim Keller, in his new book Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City, writes about the triperspectival New Covenant nature of Christians united with Christ. Jesus has all the powers and functions of ministry in himself. He ha a prophetic ministry, speaking the truth and applying it to men and women on behalf of God. Jesus was the ultimate prophet, for he revealed most clearly (both in his words and his life) God’s character, saving purposes, and will for our lives. Jesus also had a priestly ministry. While a prophet is an advocate for God before people, a priest is an advocate for the people before God’s presence, ministering with mercy and sympathy. Jesus was the ultimate priest, for he stood in or place and sacrificially bore our burdens and sin, and he now brings us into God’s presence. Finally, Jesus has a kingly ministry. He is the ultimate king, ordering the life of his people through his revealed law.