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Covenant Creation: A Demonstration from Colossians

Have you ever wondered if Covenant Creation can be demonstrated directly from the text of the New Testament?

One of the neat things about active ministry in a local congregation is how you will be forced, on a regular basis, into systematic study of God's Word with its application to daily life. I spent most of my preaching schedule in 2012 at Covenant Community Church working verse by verse through Paul's book of Colossians. What I learned through that effort took me by complete surprise.

I had no idea that the book of Colossians, as a whole, may constitute the most profound biblical demonstration of Covenant Creation! Now it is time to share with you how Paul's theology in Colossians develops directly from the concepts, mindset, and details described in the Covenant Creation model.

This sermon series is a stand-alone demonstration of and proof for Covenant Creation. It comes with the practical application of the gospel to all of life. Please note that these sermons were originally delivered in a congregational setting. However, the listener will likely receive the most benefit if they have already read Beyond Creation Science, examined the Covenant Creation Archive, and studied the 2009 & 2010 Covenant Creation Conference material.

Below is the link to the set of 17 sermons covering the entire book in the context of congregational preaching at Covenant Community Church:

Colossians Sermon Series

Along with the regular tools for sermon preparation, I relied on these two resources that should be consulted by those wishing to pursue deeper study:

Contours of Pauline Theology by Tom Holland
Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament ed. by G.K. Beale and D.A. Carson

Feel free to e-mail me any questions or comments you might have while going through the recorded material.

Tim Martin

BeyondCreationScience.com

"The conclusion reached is that Paul departed neither from the Old Testament Scriptures nor the teachings of Jesus." Holland, Contours, p. 12.

"Paul's thinking is Semitic and not Hellenistic... By the adaptation of this hymn, Christ is proclaimed as the unifying principle of creation and, as such, without any rival." Holland, Contours, pp. 275, 277.

"The influence of the all-inclusive kosmos from Gen. 2:1 on Paul in 1:6 may well be pointed to further by the observation that he refers to the original creation in Gen. 1 by the phrase 'in the heavens [ouranois] and upon the earth [ges]' in 1:16 ..." Beale, Commentary, p. 843.

"Since Christ is the 'firstborn' of the new creation, those who identify with him also become subsequently born into the beginning of the new creation. They have been born through being raised from spiritual death to spiritual life by means of being identified with Christ's own resurrection (2:12-13). In 3:9-10 Paul explains that this means that they have 'laid aside the old man' (i.e. their identification with the old Adam and the fallen, dead world) and 'have put on the new man' (i.e. become identified with the last Adam and new creation...

Therefore, believers are the created progeny of the last Adam, who are beginning to fulfill in him the mandate given to the first Adam." Beale, Commentary, p. 845.

"A number of commentators rightly understand that the reference to Christ as the 'image of the invisible God' is, at least in part, an allusion to Gen. 1:27... Thus, Israel was a corporate Adam figure that was to accomplish the same purposes as Adam, and 1:15 shows Christ summing up the purposes of both OT figures." Beale, Commentary, pp. 851, 853.

"... John 1 is also tracking Genesis 1. He suggestively says that the connection between creation and covenant, he says, is 'primarily with respect to the Sabbath,' but leaves the point undeveloped. It might be possible to explain the overlap of Genesis and Exodus in John by noting the more extensive parallels between creation and tabernacle in Exodus.

As a number of commentators have noted, the tabernacle texts of Exodus 25-31 are organized in seven speeches that roughly match the days of creation. The sixth speech, for instance, describes the new 'Adams,' Bezalel and Oholiab, equipped by the Spirit of Yahweh with skill for making tabernacle furnishings (Exodus 31:1-11). The sequence ends with a reiteration of the Sabbath command (Exodus 31:12-17). Then Israel turns from Yahweh and worships the golden calf (Exodus 32), a fall scene that recalls Genesis 3.

In this sequence, the intercession of Moses on Sinai parallels the protoevangelium of Genesis 3: Despite Adam’s sin, Yahweh promises deliverance through the seed of the woman; similarly, despite Israel’s idolatry, Yahweh promises to dwell among them and take them to the land in fulfillment of His promise. The big difference between the two scenes is the presence of a mediator: In the garden, Yahweh appears directly to Adam to judge and promise; in Exodus Moses stands between Yahweh and the offending 'Adamic' people.

Now, overlay this already complex sequence onto John’s prologue. What does it tell us? It suggests that the tabernacling of the Word is a “sabbatical” event. It also suggests that the tabernacling of the Word involves a renewal of covenant after a fall. As in Genesis 1-3 and Exodus 33-34, the full realization of the Creator’s presence with His creation comes after a breach of covenant. In John 1, we’re told that the Word came to His own, but they do not receive Him. Yet John assures us that He tabernacles among us in spite of idolatry. He goes up with us to the promised land, He takes us back into Eden."

"Jesus, Moses, Sinai, John" by Peter Leithart

[The reader should note that Paul follows the same "overlay" of Creation and Exodus in the imagery he used in Colossians 1.]

Views: 193

Comment by John on January 10, 2013 at 7:14pm

Great post Tim!

Definitely have to add this one to the archive!

Comment by Tim Martin on January 10, 2013 at 8:10pm

I think it is a helpful contribution. I would like to hear any feedback.

Blessings,

Tim

Comment by Allyn Morton on January 10, 2013 at 8:53pm

I may or may not have comments, but first I am going to re-read the text before listening to the series.

Thanks Tim

Comment by Tim Martin on January 10, 2013 at 8:56pm

Allyn, in that case, you get to skip the introductory sermon. That's how I started... right up in front of the congregation to read the whole thing through...

Comment by Allyn Morton on January 11, 2013 at 9:15am

Thanks.

Comment by John on January 11, 2013 at 9:46am

By the way folks one of the books Tim referenced "Contours of Pauline Theology by Tom Holland" can be read for free at this site here!

Comment by Allyn Morton on January 11, 2013 at 11:58am

Liking it so far, Tim.

Comment by Tim Martin on January 12, 2013 at 2:53pm

All, I just added this citation which provides an intriguing parallel between the Gospel of John and Paul's teaching in Colossians 1. Please read it carefully:

"... John 1 is also tracking Genesis 1. He suggestively says that the connection between creation and covenant, he says, is “primarily with respect to the Sabbath,” but leaves the point undeveloped. It might be possible to explain the overlap of Genesis and Exodus in John by noting the more extensive parallels between creation and tabernacle in Exodus.

As a number of commentators have noted, the tabernacle texts of Exodus 25-31 are organized in seven speeches that roughly match the days of creation. The sixth speech, for instance, describes the new 'Adams,' Bezalel and Oholiab, equipped by the Spirit of Yahweh with skill for making tabernacle furnishings (Exodus 31:1-11). The sequence ends with a reiteration of the Sabbath command (Exodus 31:12-17). Then Israel turns from Yahweh and worships the golden calf (Exodus 32), a fall scene that recalls Genesis 3.

In this sequence, the intercession of Moses on Sinai parallels the protoevangelium of Genesis 3: Despite Adam’s sin, Yahweh promises deliverance through the seed of the woman; similarly, despite Israel’s idolatry, Yahweh promises to dwell among them and take them to the land in fulfillment of His promise. The big difference between the two scenes is the presence of a mediator: In the garden, Yahweh appears directly to Adam to judge and promise; in Exodus Moses stands between Yahweh and the offending “Adamic” people.

Now, overlay this already complex sequence onto John’s prologue. What does it tell us? It suggests that the tabernacling of the Word is a “sabbatical” event. It also suggests that the tabernacling of the Word involves a renewal of covenant after a fall. As in Genesis 1-3 and Exodus 33-34, the full realization of the Creator’s presence with His creation comes after a breach of covenant. In John 1, we’re told that the Word came to His own, but they do not receive Him. Yet John assures us that He tabernacles among us in spite of idolatry. He goes up with us to the promised land, He takes us back into Eden."

"Jesus, Moses, Sinai, John" by Peter Leithart

The reader should note that Paul follows the same "overlay" of Creation and Exodus in the imagery he used in Colossians 1. Most fascinating! Wish I had this material when I prepared those sermons...

Comment by Dustin Curlee on January 17, 2013 at 10:48am

Tim,

I'm on the 4th sermon. Bro, this is amazing stuff!

Dustin...

Comment by Tim Martin on January 17, 2013 at 9:47pm

Dustin,

I've been keeping that under wraps until I finished the entire book. Glad you like it.

Keep plugging along. You've still got some pretty neat stuff in front of you, in my opinion. Love to hear your feedback when you finish it up...


Blessings,

Tim Martin

BeyondCreationScience.com

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