In our third of three sermons on covenant, we look at the covenant we have with one another as members of Christ’s body. God loves us and sees us as individuals, but He has also created us to function as members of a committed community. We can never be truly spiritually mature in isolation!
We’ve been covering covenant for two weeks now.
It’s easy to think about our covenant with God. And it’s not that hard to see how covenant operates between two friends, or a husband and wife.
Our culture leans toward consumerism. But the church is not a product!
Does covenant have a place in the church? Do we owe anything to our fellow church members, or even other Christians? Is there a covenant between us as believers?
Some of us think that we can evaluate a service by what it does for us—in the worship, or in the sermon, or a sharing, or by a ministry of prayer.
The biggest question of course, is how God looks at us! Our walk with the Lord is personal, but not private!
Try reading the Lord’s prayer substituting “my” and “us” for “our” and “me.” It should feel wrong!
Immanuel– God with US, not just with me!
I John 4:19—I love because He first loved me……?
Did you ever hurt a finger, or a toe, or a tooth, and it affected your whole body? Then you can understand I Corinthians 12:26.
There is something spiritual that happens each time we gather, something that is about us as a connected group and about Him! He re-creates us afresh every time we gather in His name.
Some of us come to church to see what we can get out of the service. That’s not entirely wrong, as there are weeks where the Lord’s business in our lives is about us.
But there are things we do together, not as a large group of individuals, but as a cohesive group:
There are advantages in being a covenant people.
Ephesians 2:19 You are part of a family! One that’s better than your natural family!
This is where covenant comes in. We have responsibilities to one another. And since covenant is a two-way street, it’s not just what we give, it’s what we receive.
Remember all the many “one anothers” we find in the Bible! Do a search!
So what does that growing up and working together look like? How do we keep and even build on the
spiritual unity that we have?
Is there any Christian brother or sister that you need to start loving again? Or is there an offense that needs to be worked through, with help? Or do you need to release someone from a box you might have put them in?
But this is great news for those not good at evangelism. Because loving one another in the Lord IS one strand of evangelism.
The world says that our lives are no one else’s business. But God says: Ephesians 4:1-6
Can we recommit ourselves to our Christian brothers and sisters? Can we commit ourselves to serving together as a community of Jesus-loving people? We are being called to renew our covenant with one another and to live as a covenant community for His sake and for the sake of our generation.
We have a spiritual duty to our fellow believers. This is where the joy is. This is where the excitement is. This is where our peace is! And it’s the heart of God!