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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

Doctrinal Foundations

Covenant life is rooted in doctrine.

The Heart of God: Covenant Life (1)

And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Luke 24.27

Read and meditate on Romans 4, Galatians 3 and 4, and Ephesians 2 and 3.
The new covenant communities of the New Testament were firmly grounded in the covenant and Scriptures of Israel. Foundational to life in these churches were the essential doctrines of the faith, especially as expounded by the Apostle Paul.

For reflection
1.  Read through the assigned chapters in one sitting. As you do, note the ways Paul grounds his teaching, and that of the new covenant, in the Scriptures of the Old Testament. What especially stands out to you from this perspective?

2.  How did Paul understand the relationship between the old covenant and the new? Were they totally distinct from one another? Did they possess any common threads?

3.  In Paul’s thinking, what place does the Church have in the new covenant? What is the Church, and what makes it so important for realizing the promises of God?

4.  How does Paul understand the role of the Holy Spirit in the Church? Can there even be a church apart from the Holy Spirit? Explain.

5.  How did Paul understand the relationship between faith, the Holy Spirit, the promises of God, and life in the new covenant? See if you can explain this in a single sentence.

The Holy Spirit gives birth to new believers and builds the Church as a dwelling place of God. We enter new life by grace through faith, and find our place as members in the Body of Jesus Christ, where, by the Spirit, we take up the ongoing work of Christ and His Kingdom. What can we learn from Abraham (Rom. 4) about living toward the old covenant promises of God?

Closing Prayer
How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.
Blessed are You, O LORD!
Teach me Your statutes.
With my lips I have declared
All the judgments of Your mouth.
I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.
I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.
I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.

Psalm 119.9-16

T. M. Moore

Two books can help you gain a fuller understanding of the terrain we will be covering in this series. Kingdom Documentsprovides a concise overview of the primary teaching of the Old and New Testaments, and shows, through early Church creeds, how our forebears understood the primary teachings of God’s Word. (click here to order). I Will Be Your Goddevelops more fully the idea of God’s covenant and leads us to consider the practical implications of our covenant relationship with God (click here).

Visit The Ailbe Seminary, where our course,
Introduction to Biblical Theology, offers a parallel study of our theme in this series, using brief video presentations and the workbook God’s Covenant: An Introduction. All courses at The Ailbe Seminary are available without charge.

We are happy to be able to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in this series by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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