| I’m wondering, in this modern age, do we really take the covenants in|
our lives seriously? The first question this statement might generate is, “What covenants?” I can think of four: The New Covenant, The Marriage Covenant, The Parent/Child Covenant and the Church Membership Covenant. The second question might be, “what is Covenant?” A covenant is an agreement between two parties, but it’s much more than a contract.
The covenants I have listed are divine in nature. They are agreement
made before God; and thus they are sacred and not to be taken lightly.
| The most important of all the covenants is the New Covenant. |
This is the unilateral agreement from God to us that He has provided a
way for us as sinners to be completely forgiven.
That is the way of grace by faith. This, of course, is the new birth, the very act of salvation. What is our part then in this covenant? Is it not the glory of God?
When we understand predestination, that God in His divine omnipotence has redeemed us for His own purpose, we realize that this purpose is in
fact His glory. We agree with God that we are sinners in need of a Savior.
That Savior is Jesus, who came to seek and save the lost.
Those who are indeed redeemed by grace are sanctified or set apart
to a holy use, God’s glory. I think sometimes we forget that.
Salvation becomes all about us and a free ride to heaven.
In reality, the point of the covenant is that we as the people of God
might live by the power of God to the glory of God. We need keep this
truth ever before us.
| The next covenant most of us have entered into is the Marriage Covenant. This covenant is a man and a woman coming together before God and|
human witnesses, pledging to “Love, Honor and Cherish until death do us part.” When a man and a woman are united in marriage, it’s not about the ceremony, it’s about the covenant. A sacred agreement. When we understand this, we realize that it’s not just about staying married; it’s about
what it is to “be” married. That means dying to self to live for another.
It’s not easy. It’s something we have to work at and take seriously or it
decays. Marriage cannot stand on love alone. It must be a three-legged
stool, love, honor and cherishing one another. We so easily walk away for our marriage covenant in our culture. The world absolutely doesn’t get it; but God’s people should. This is a life time endeavor. It’s not about our
happiness or contentment; it’s about the covenant, and the glory of God.
| If we get the New Covenant right, it’s much easier to get the Marriage |
Covenant right. If our relationship with God isn’t right, then most likely
our human relationships won’t be either; but when we get the Marriage
Covenant right, then we will get our third covenant right as well, that is
the Parent/Child covenant.
| Most Christians make a public declaration before the church of pledging |
themselves to raise their children in a God fearing home and with godly
principles. This should not just be a ritual, it should be an act we take
very seriously. At our church, we call this our Parent/Child dedication
service. Within that service, actual vows are made.
- Do you desire to publicly dedicate your child to the Lord, to be His special possession and to be used for His Glory?
- Do you covenant before God to teach your child the Holy Scriptures and to seek to lead your child to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
- Do you dedicate yourselves in praying for divine guidance in raising this young one
- Do you dedicate yourselves to set an example to live by and look up to, the example of godly parents?
- Do you by these promises dedicate this child to God?
| I hope we take these vows seriously. The spiritual life of parents deeply |
affects their children. Parents together pledge themselves to model Jesus
for their children. That means that they have to get discipleship right.
That means taking up their cross daily to follow Jesus. There is no room
for selfishness here. We commit ourselves to something much bigger than ourselves that will indeed live beyond our lifetimes.
| The fourth covenant encompasses all the rest in that it holds us |
accountable for our part in the covenants we have entered into. The fourth is the Membership Covenant. It’s more than just joining the church, it’s
identifying with a body of believers and being willing to be transparent
and accountable about our conduct in our Christian lives, our marriages
and our parenting. I hope we take this seriously. Too often, we just think
that church membership is about voting on stuff.
Certainly, it is important in making congregational decisions, but that’s
not its purpose. The purpose of membership is identification with a body and a level of accountability. So when members begin to live outside the
bounds of their covenant, then the elders need to reach out and seek to
reconcile the situation. In violating their membership covenant, they
were also violating all their other covenants as well. You see, they are all
interconnected! If we don’t take our membership seriously, we really
aren’t taking Christ seriously.
| So dear Christians, it really is good for us examine to our lives, our commitment to Christ, and our commitment to the covenants we have pledged |
ourselves to; because in the end, it’s all for the glory of God.