A Theology Of The New Covenant: The Foundations Of New Testament Theology -- By: Ronald E. Diprose
EMJ 17:2 (Winter 2008) p. 145
A Theology Of The New Covenant: The Foundations Of New Testament Theology
Chapter 6 The New Covenant And The Spiritual World
Ron Diprose is the academic dean at Istituto Biblico Evangelico Italiano. This work was published in Italian by I.B.E.I. edizioni as a LUX BIBLICA monograph in 2002. The original title was La Teologia del Nuovo Patto: Elementi Fondamentali della Teologia del Nuovo Testamento. This is the sixth of nine parts.
Freedom In Christ
Jesus taught that true freedom comes from holding to his teaching and thus proving to be his disciples, implying that whoever does not do this is a slave (John 8:31-32). The Jews with whom he was speaking contested this suggestion by making appeal to their ethnic descent from Abraham. Jesus answered their objection by redefining slavery in terms of slavery to sin and adding, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
Ever since Adam sinned, man has been anguished by his lack of true freedom and by the fear of death. It follows that Jesus’ promise “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” offers far more than therapeutic help. Jesus was speaking about real freedom from bondage, something that his imminent victory over sin, death and Satan was about to make possible (1 Cor. 15: 55-57; Heb. 2:14-15).
During recent years some ministries have been founded by evangelical Christians for solving spiritual conflicts. One such ministry goes under the very appropriate name of “Freedom in Christ.”1 Freedom from spiritual bondage is the normative experience of those whose relationship with God is based on the new covenant. However, the fact that special ministries have been set up to
EMJ 17:2 (Winter 2008) p. 146
facilitate this suggests that not all believers in Christ have fully understood the implications of the new covenant for the spiritual dimension of their life. In particular, they have not fully grasped the nature of Christ’s triumph nor the privileged status of those who have been “baptized into Christ” and, consequently, “have clothed…[themselves] with Christ” (Gal. 3:27). It follows that pastoral help offered to people who profess to believe in Christ but still experience bondage to sin and/or to Satan should be based on a thorough presentation ...
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