by Jerry Shugart

VIII. Type and Antitype: The Forgiveness of Sins

Progressive Dispensationalist Robert L. Saucy writes that "God's promise to his people that he 'will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more,' stated as the climactic provision of the new covenant by Jeremiah (31:34; cf. also 33:8; 50:20), forms the basis for all other provisions. In the words of W. Rudolph, this promise 'stands at the conclusion not as a chance addition, but as the operative basis of the whole promise..." [emphasis added] (Saucy, The Case for Progressive Dispensationalism [Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House,1993], p.114-115).

The blessing of the "forgiveness of sins" under Israel's New Diaheke is the basis for all the blessings under that Diatheke. It will now be shown that under Israel's New Diatheke the blessing of forgiveness of sins is stated as being "corporate" or "nationalisti" in nature.

Type: Israel's Forgiveness of Sins

In the following verses the application of a "forgiveness of sins" is directly tied to "corporate" or "national" Israel:

"...blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins" (Ro.11:26-27).

In an address to the Evangelical Theological Society in 1954 Howard W. Ferrin quoted Dean Alford's commentary on these verses where Alford says that Paul "is dealing with 'nations'--with Gentile nations, and the Jewish nation. Thus dealing, he speaks of the fulness of the Gentiles coming in, and of all Israel being saved: having 'no regard' for the time of the 'individual' destinies of the Gentiles or the Jews, but regarding 'nations' as each included under the common bond of consanguinity, according to the flesh (Alford, "The Greek Testament, II," p.435)" [emphasis added] (Ferrin, "All Israel Shall Be Saved," Bibliotheca Sacra 112 (July, 1955), p.241).

At verse twenty-seven Paul quoted from Isaiah 59:20-21 and 27:9, verses from the OT that speak of the end time deliverance of the nation of Israel. George Eldon Ladd writes that "in the Old Testament the eschatological salvation is always pictured in terms of the national, theocratic fate of the people of Israel" [emphasis added] (Ladd, The Last Things [Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1978], p.8).

Since the words "all Israel shall be saved" are in reference to the eschatological salvation of the "nation" of Israel then are not the words in regard taking away sins also in regard to that same "nation"? Bruce Ware writes that "Israel still awaits a future action of God whereby he will bring 'all Israel' (Rom. 11:26), or the nation of Israel as a whole, under the provision of forgiveness of sins and Spirit-indwelling..." [emphasis added] (Blaising & Bock, Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church [Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992], p.96).

God will bring the nation of Israel as a whole under the provision of forgiveness of sins. There can be no doubt that the forgiveness of sins under Israel's New Diatheke is in regard to a "corporate" forgiveness. J .Bruce Compton also sees the same truth that Ware expressed:

"The promised deliverance encompasses the nation as a whole...the term 'Israel' refers to national, ethnic Israel, and the expression 'all Israel' refers to the nation as a whole... Paul's point is that just as a remnant is presently experiencing salvation, so one day 'all Israel' will be saved...the nation's sins being forgiven in his citation of Isaiah 27:9 in 11:27b, 'When I take away their sins.'" [emphasis added] (Compton, "Dispensationalism, the Church, and the New Covenant," Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal [Fall, 2003], p.27).

Repentance and Turning to God for the Forgiveness of Sins

On the day of Pentecost the Apostle Peter addressed the following words to corporate Israel:

" Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you--even Jesus" (Acts 3:19-20; NIV).

The Father's sending back of the Son was dependent on a corporate repentance on the part of the nation of Israel. In an article written by Stanley D. Toussaint and Jay A. Quine we read that "it is concluded that in Acts 3:19-21 Peter was discussing the eschatological age promised in the Old Testament. But was he saying that if Israel repented, the kingdom would come? Was the kingdom contingent on Israel's response? The answer must be in the affirmative. Peter had just said that removal of their sins was contingent on their repentance" [emphasis added] (Toussaint & Quine, "No, Not Yet: The Contingency of God's Promised Kingdom," Bibliotheca Sacra 164 [April-June, 2007], p.144).

There is no doubt that the words of Peter were in regard to a "corporate" repentance which would have resulted in a forgiveness of sins for the "nation" of Israel.

In the "Scofield Reference Notes (1917)" at Acts 3:20 we read: "The appeal here is national to the Jewish people...the promise to national repentance is national deliverance: 'and he shall send Jesus Christ' to bring in the times which the prophets had foretold.' "

This "blotting out of sins" is in regard to the forgiveness of sins, the cleansing of "national" Israel that will occur upon "national" repentance:

"Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities" (Ez.36:32-33).

It is clear that the words in regard to "repentance" and sins being "wiped out" spoken by Peter at Acts 3:19 are in regard to a "national repentance," as witnessed by the following words: "Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins" (Acts 5:31).

In summary, the "forgiveness of sins" under Israel's New Diatheke is corporate in nature and the receiving of that blessing is dependent on a corporate repentance and a corporate turning to God.

Antitype: The Individual Believer's Forgiveness of Sins

Here we see that individual Gentiles were granted "repentance unto life":

" When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life" (Acts 11:18).

The primary meaning of the Greek word translated "repent" is "a change of mind" (Thayer's Greek English Lexicon).

This repentance which brings life is in regard to a change of mind toward God:

"Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21).

Here Paul says that it was when he opened their eyes when the Gentiles turned to God and received the forgiveness of sins:

"To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me" (Acts 26:18).

The way that Paul opened their eyes was through the gospel, the New Diatheke which is the Lord Jesus' Last Will and Testament. And those who believed in Him receive the forgiveness of sins:

"All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name" (Acts 10:43; NIV).

From all of this we can understand that the "individual" received the forgiveness of sins through the gospel, the New Diatheke which is the Lord Jesus' Last Will and Testament.

The "forgiveness of sins" under today's New Diatheke is not in regard to forgiveness to a "nation" but instead to "individuals." Saucy writes that "the lack of a 'national' character for the church in contrast to Israel is recognized by J.W. Flight: '...there is in the NT no hint of the orginization of a Christian state, or any evidence of a sense of nationality on the part of the Christians as there was in Judaism' " (Saucy, The Case for Progressive Dispensationalism, p.210).

Blaising understands that in traditional dispensationalism the "blessings" under today's New Diatheke are interpretated in an "individualistic" manner. He writes the following:

"The heavenly nature of the church's salvation was interpreted by classical dispensationalists in an individualistic manner. Political and social issues were 'earthly' matters which did not concern the church. The church was a spiritual unity found in Christ. This unity manifested itself not only in the oneness of Christ but in the oneness of personal salvation. Issues in the church were individual, private, spiritual matters, not social, political, earthly matters" (Blaising & Bock, Progressive Dispensationalism, p.26).

Again, Donald K. Campbell writes that "it should be observed that a type presents a general though genuine resemblance of its antitype."

The "forgiveness of sins" in regard to "corporate" Israel under her New Diatheke presents a genuine resemblance to an "individual" believer's "forgiveness of sins" under the New Diatheke which is in effect today so therefore there is no doubt that a typological relationship exists between the two.

The importance of understanding this typological relationship cannot be overestimated, especially since the "forgiveness of sins" under the New Diatheke promised to Israel and today's New Diatheke forms the basis for all of the blessings. Since the very basis of all the blessings under Israel's New Diatheke is a "type" then it cannot be any more evident that Israel's New Diatheke is a "type" of the New Diatheke that is in operation today.

Additional Note

I have already shown that Paul placed the forgiveness of sins under Israel's New Diatheke in the future by quoting the following passage:

"...blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins" (Ro.11:26-27).

We can understand that this mention of the taking away of sins must be in regard to "corporate" Israel because "individual" Jews were already having their sins taken away or forgiven, as witnessed by the following words spoken to a lady prior to the Cross:

"Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace" (Lk.7:47-50).

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