A Theology Of The New Covenant: The Foundations Of New Testament Theology -- By: Ronald E. Diprose

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 17:1 (Summer 2008)
Article: A Theology Of The New Covenant: The Foundations Of New Testament Theology
Author: Ronald E. Diprose

A Theology Of The New Covenant:
The Foundations Of New Testament Theology

Ronald E. Diprose

Chapter 5

The Apostles’ Message

Ron Diprose, a commended Assembly worker from New Zealand, is the academic dean at Istituto Biblico Evangelico Italiano. This work was published in Italian by I.B.E.I. edizioni as a LUXBIBLICA monograph in 2002. The original title was La Teologia del Nuovo Patto: Elementi Fondamentali della Teologia del Nuovo Testamento. This is the fifth of nine parts.

The Beginning Of A New Era

The manifestation of God in the flesh1 had provided a precise object of faith in the person and work of Jesus. It had also led to the institution of the new covenant with its extraordinary promise of forgiveness. This made it possible for sinners to be eternally reconciled to God. Those who received God’s forgiveness and entered the new covenant would soon be greeting each other with this significant greeting: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ,”2 closely related to the nature of the new covenant. In fact Jeremiah’s prophecy made forgiveness—the primary product of God’s grace manifested in Christ—the key element of the new covenant (Jer. 31:34), while Ezekiel spoke of it as a “covenant of peace” (Ezek. 34:23-25).3

The book of Acts begins in an atmosphere of expectancy. The first book addressed to Theophilus (Luke 1:1-4) had informed him concerning “all that

Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven” (Acts 1:1-2). The continuation of Jesus’ work is the subject of Acts. Now there is a gospel to preach, and men empowered by the Spirit to do it. The history of salvation had entered a new phase.

From one point of view the apostles’ message is exactly what we would have expected from a careful reading of Christ’s last words, as they are recorded in the Gospels (see below). At the same time, there is an unexpected quality to their teaching, something quite new and only partly attributable to the dramatic turn of events on the first day of the week following Jesus’ death. Certainly the change of spirit, from dire disappointment to untold joy, when rumor gav...

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