Dr. Couch, do Romans 3:31 and Hebrews 10:16 support the Covenant theology idea that believers are under the Law as a rule of life and for sanctification? It seems to me that the NT teaches that believers are not under the Law but under grace.
ANSWER: If we were under Law by works, we would fail, as the Jews failed trying to keep it. Peter reminded the Jews at the Jerusalem Council that they could not keep the Law which was like putting a test upon God “by placing a yoke (upon our necks) which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear” (Acts 15:10). The point in Romans 3:31 is that God sees my faith, in a sense, fulfilling the Law: “We establish the Law” by our faith. The Greek word “establish” means “to confirm.” Thus by faith God sees me as a Law keeper, though really it was Christ who lived the perfect life and kept it!
Romans 3:31 says nothing about placing the church believers back under the Mosaic Law system.
In Hebrews 10:16-17, the author is establishing the fact that the New Covenant is now in operation. Jeremiah 31:31-on shows that the New Covenant replaces the Mosaic system. By this New Covenant God sees the believer as having the Law principles established inside, in the heart and in the mind. It no longer is something to keep by external standards. If you go back and look at the prophecy of the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-on, you see that the Mosaic Law has been replaced. We are of course to live out in our lives the moral and spiritual principles that can be seen in the Law, but this is not saying we are now under the Mosaic Law as a way of life or as a system. We are not!
The Covenant guys just put all of the Bible into one big mixing bowl and stir it all up. Dispensational guys look carefully at context and see the unfolding plan.
Thanks for asking,
Dr. Mal Couch