The Apostle Paul’s Theme of “Dying” & Covenantal Change
When reading the inspired material written by the Apostle Paul where he uses the word “dying,” a person can be led in a number of interpretive directions. In this Learning Activity we shall explore an interpretation that seems to me to be the most logical and consistent when considering Paul’s statements in the context of all of his writings. Our area of study will be focused on Paul’s dying and crucifixion with Christ.
1. Romans 6:6
2. From the verse above where or when does Paul seem to indicate that he was crucified?
3. Galatians 2:20
4. In the verse above, where does Paul indicate that his crucifixion took place?
5. 1 Corinthians 15:31
6. In the Corinthian verse above, how often does Paul say that he dies?
7. 2 Corinthians 4:10
8. What significant statement does Paul make about dying in the verse above?
9. What does Paul say happens in the Second Corinthian verse above when he dies daily?
10. From all of the above what conclusions can you make about what Paul is writing about?
11. Read 2 Corinthians 3:6-14.
12. In verse six of the above passage, what does Paul say that he has been made a minister of?
13. What is Paul referring to when he speaks of “…the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones…” in verse seven?
14. What is Paul referring to in verse eight?
15. What is Paul referring to in verse nine when he says, “…the ministration of condemnation…?”
16. What word does Paul use to describe the Old Covenant in verse nine?
17. What is Paul referring to in verse nine when he uses the words, “…ministration of righteousness…?”
18. How does Paul describe the New Covenant in verse nine?
19. What is Paul drawing contrast between in verse ten?
20. In verse eleven, what is “…that which is done away with…?”
21. In verse eleven what is it that “…remaineth…?”
22. In verse thirteen, what is Paul referring to when he states that, “…Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished?”
23. In verse fourteen, the word “testament” in the KJV should be translated “covenant.” What does Paul say takes the veil away so that Israel could now see the end of the Old Covenant?
24. In verse sixteen, what does Paul say is necessary for Israel to see the end of the Old Covenant?
The scriptures above clearly indicate that Paul is specifically writing about covenantal change from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant.
25. 2 Corinthians 4:12
In the verse above we see that Paul’s theme of dying continues in this chapter. The challenge of this verse is that Paul has death and life taking place at the same time! What can he possibly be referring to? I believe that what Paul is saying is that the death of the apostles to the Old Covenant results in the bringing in of life of the New Covenant to the Corinthian believers.
What does this “death” consist of that Paul talks about doing on a daily basis? It is dying to the Old Covenant way of life and its beliefs. What kinds of “baggage” did Paul carry as a result of the Old Covenant that he needed to die to?
“Circumcised on the eighth day”
“of the stock of Israel”
“of the tribe of Benjamin”
“an Hebrew of the Hebrews”
“touching the law, a Pharisee”
“persecuting the church”
“righteousness which is in the law, blameless”
(Philippians 3:5, 6)
“But what things were given to me, those I counted loss for Christ, yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ and be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of Christ by faith.” (Philippians 3:7-9).
This was the death and dying that Paul spoke of. Although it took place at the cross as Christ ushered in the New Covenant, Paul had to die daily to this way of life and belief so that he and his converts could enter into the provisions of the New Covenant that were ushered in by the cross event.
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