The Inter-Advental Period

by | Apr 28, 2011 | Biblical Theology, Ecclesiology, Eschatology, New Testament, Soteriology

The period of time between the resurrection and Second Coming of Christ is marked by at least two realities – the wrath of God against sin (Rom. 1) and the grace of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a mixed epoch of history where two worlds exist at the same time – the old world, in which men are born in sin with souls and bodies that are mangled, twisted, and distorted and the new world, headed up by Christ in his new world human body and soul in heaven, along with the spirits of the righteous made perfect (Heb. 12:23), and with the spirits of the righteous not yet made perfect on the earth. It is a period of time in which two ages overlap – this age and the age to come. It is a period of time in which the gospel extends to the four corners of the earth, sinners are reborn (i.e., spiritual resurrection) by the Spirit of Christ, formed into visible congregations who are described as temples of God and dwelling places of God in the Spirit (Eph. 2:20-22), in which they function as priests and kings (1 Pet. 2:5-10). And it is to these temples that the commission to make disciples of all the nations comes in order that God might have more sons on the earth and that he might be glorified by his eternal Son who is in the business of bringing many sons to glory (Heb. 2:10).

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Implications of Jesus’ Relationship to the Law

Implications of Jesus’ Relationship to the Law

You remember that we are working through Matthew 5:17-20 under the theme we determined at the beginning of this blog series. That theme concerns Jesus’ relationship to the Old Testament Scriptures. Those Scriptures are described in the way typical of the New Testament as the law and the prophets. Jesus’ relation to them is described both negatively and positively. It is not to abolish but to fulfill them. Jesus comes to bring the Scriptures to their intended goal or predestined destination. This relationship of Jesus to the Old Testament is the underlying theme of the entirety of verses 17-20.

The Perpetuity of the Law

The Perpetuity of the Law

This, then, is why Jesus feels the need to issue this warning. A new time—the time of the kingdom—has come. What will this mean for the law and the prophets? Does it mean that their time is over and that their authority has been overthrown? To this Jesus gives an emphatic answer. It does not! He does not overthrow their authority. Rather, the authority of the Old Testament Scriptures remains and must remain inviolate forever. It is not their abolition, but their fulfillment which Jesus brings.

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