In NT scholar Doug Moo’s article, “Every Spiritual Blessing,” he seeks to provide the “general contours of Paul’s concept of salvation” (135). In other words, Moo wants to sketch out the basic framework that Paul used to explain what Christ had done for the church. Moo first begins explaining the idea of “new creation.” New creation, Moo contends, is “shorthand for the entirety of God’s redemptive work” (136). The new creation brought in Christ affects not only individuals but will one day encompass the whole universe. New creation isn’t the only significant theme for Paul. Paul use the concept of the “new covenant” to provide the foundation for his explanation of salvation, even though he only uses the exact word “covenant” nine times (136). For Paul, the new covenant as a concept is “far more important in Paul than the number of explicit references indicate” (137).
What concepts of the new covenant are prevalent in Paul? First, Paul regularly sees the church as the place where OT restoration prophecies are being fulfilled (137). The church, then, is the new covenant community in Paul’s mind. Second, Paul sees the church experiencing the distinctive blessings of the new covenant, particularly the gift of the Holy Spirit (137). The Spirit is the end-times blessing God would pour out on his people and often tied to the enactment of the new covenant: (Isa 44:3; 59:21; Ezek 11:19; 36:26-27; 37:14; 39:29; Zech 12:10; Joel 2:28-32) (137). Therefore, Paul sees the new covenant providing the structure for his teaching on salvation and also on the church.
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