I think the most diehard Fundamentalist will agree that covenants are important in the Bible, right?
God establishes a lot of them in the Old Testament. We often refer to “the Covenant,” but God actually made a lot of them: with Adam, with Noah, with Abraham, with Jacob, with Moses, with Davidetc.
Now, a covenant has terms that both sides need to abide by. In the Old Covenant, the terms were some variation of the Law. The New Covenant is not contingent upon strict observance of the Law, though the Law is still the standard by which we should live our lives.
But what *is* the requirement of the New Covenant? To Fundamentalists, it’s just to confess Jesus as their savior, but that’s a pretty easy term, isn’t it?
Yet Jesus never *SAYS* we can confess Him to be saved. Indeed, He says just the opposite: “Not everyone who comes to me saying, ‘Lord, Lord’ will be saved.” Indeed, St. Paul tells us that EVERYONE, in the Heavens, on the earth, and under the earth will proclaim “Jesus Christ is Lord” (Philippians 2:11), so if “all you have to do is confess Jesus to be saved,” then the Devil will be saved.
Only once in the Gospels does Jesus refer to forming a covenant–interestingly, it’s also the only Gospel story St. Paul tells verbatim–the Last Supper.
The only time Jesus refers to making a covenant with His Apostles, He says that the condition of His Covenant is to receive His Body and Blood:
- While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, 16 and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. (Mt 26:26-28).
- For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread,and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.A person should examine himself, 13 and so eat the bread and drink the cup.For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body [In other words, if you think it’s just a symbol], eats and drinks judgment on himself. (1 Cor 11:23-29).
- While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed.for many. (Mk 14:22-24).
- Then he took a cup, 6 gave thanks, and said, “Take this and share it among yourselves;for I tell you (that) from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.” (Lk 22:17-20).
- Seems kind of important, doesn’t it?
- So, you “Red Letter” Christians, do you really follow just what Jesus says?
- So, you “Bible alone” Christians, do you really follow the Bible?