Die aard van die verbond en die implikasies daarvan vir evangelisasie
Buys, Phillipus Jacobus
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In Reformed Theology the Biblical concept of the covenant has always been understood as a concept that describes the relationship between God and his people, and that in this covenantal relationship the heart of all true religion is to be found. Therefore one's understanding of the character of the covenant will determine the principles and practise of his approach to evangelism. This study is mainly an exegetical study on the character of the covenant according to the New Testament with some applications for the principles and practise of evangelism. The four main conclusions are as follows! 1. The covenant has a missionary goal. The Great Commission is patterned after arises out of and must be understood in terms of covenant structure. 2. The covenant has a juridical or forensic character which consists of promise, command and sanctions. 3. The covenant also has the character of personal fellowship between God and the individual believer. 4. The covenant has a collective character. The believer and his house share in this covenantal relationship. The concept of the family of God as a covenantal concept is also applied to the whole church, so that the church is called the family of God. The most important implications of this character of the covenant for evangelism are the following; 1. Because it is so abundantly clear that the Great Commission arises out of, is patterned after and must be understood in terms of covenant structure a Reformed evangelistic methodology developed in accordance with the Great Commission must be covenantal methodology. 2. A distinction must be made in terminology and methodology between the process of evangelizing those who had never been Christians and never shared in the covenantal fellowship and those who are wayward covenant breakers who are no longer confessing Christians. 3. The collective character of the covenant implies that family work must always be stressed and that commitment to Christ always demands commitment to his church. The church as covenantal family of God should receive new converts with the same love and care as an ordinary household receives a newborn baby. Any church that understands the covenant will have a zeal for evangelism and work and pray that God's house may be filled.
- Theology