alien righteousness

Horton Breaks It Down: Sinai and Zion

The introductions to the White Horse Inn broadcast (WHI) is my favorite part of the broadcast.  This doesn’t matter, but they should put a picture of all of the hosts of the WHI on the download page.  Anyhow, the introductions, let alone the broadcast as a whole are beneficial and packed with theology and the Gospel. But I’m telling you the introductions to some of the broadcasts are straight up gold.   Here’s Michael Horton’s introduction to the broadcast titled  “Galatians 2.”

“Paul’s letter to the Galatians is one of the best places to see the unity of God’s redemptive plan in the Covenant of Grace.  Although the Gospel was already announced to Adam and Eve after the fall (Genesis 3:15); it’s more clearly revealed in the covenant that God made with Abraham.  In Genesis 12, God promises two things: (1) An earthly inheritance and (2) a heavenly inheritance.  First there’s the promise of an earthly seed, Isaac and earthy nation, Israel, and an earthly land, Canaan. But second God promises something far greater and wider; an everlasting seed and spiritual nation so vast that it cannot even be numbered and an everlasting homeland. This is an unilateral oath, confirmed again in Genesis 15 by God’s covenantal speech, and ratified by His passing through the halves of the severed animals as a way of calling down judgment on himself should he fail to fulfill this promise.  Then in chapter 17 Isaac’s birth through Sarah is again promised along with the command to circumcise him and his heirs as the sign and seal of the covenant through all generations.  Finally, in chapter 21 Isaac is born.

Now, in fulfillment of His promise of an earthly nation and land, God brought his chosen people out of Egypt with a mighty hand through the Red Sea and led them through Mount Sinai where He gave Israel His law. Although Israel was to inherit the land by God’s gracious promise it could only remain in the land by obedience to the moral, civil, and ceremonial laws God commanded at Sinai.  At Sinai it’s not God but the people who swear, “All this we will do.”  And we read Moses response, “In accordance with all the words you have spoken, ‘All this we will do,’ he then splashed animal blood on the people, in other words, whereas in the covenant with Abraham God was the oath maker and He assumed the responsibilities by passing through the halves.  In the covenant at Sinai the people are the oath makers and they assume personal responsibility for its blessings and curses.

The earthly promises were but a type or shadow of the heavenly reality.  Israel was created by God as a scale picture of the everlasting Sabbath that God would bring to the nations in Abraham’s great son, the child of Sarah rather than Hagar, namely Jesus Christ.

So there is one unfolding plan of redemption and one unfolding covenant of grace with a covenant at Sinai and the theocracy of Israel as the typological “parenthesis” of that plan.  The covenant of grace is everlasting, but the national covenant sworn at Sinai is a temporary kingdom.  We know how things turned out, of course, as God says in Hosea 6:7 “Like Adam, Israel broke my covenant.” Yet along with the covenant curses for having broken the Sinai covenant, the prophets bring the Good News of an everlasting covenant that God swore to Abraham and would fulfill in the great day of the Lord.

Jesus Christ is that greater son of Abraham.  The promise Seed of the woman promised to Eve and to Sarah, in Him all the nations of the earth are blessed. He [Christ] is the last Adam and the true and faithful Israel who has fulfilled the law and born its curses for us in our place.  He has been raised as the first fruits of the whole harvest, and we inherit the everlasting city that cannot be shaken, just as Abraham did by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone to the Glory of God alone. That is the unfolding drama that Paul unpacks in his letter to the Galatians.” (Audio: 1:40 – 5:26 )

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