Saturday, August 15, 2009

What is Covenant?


Our Sunday sermons series "Questions and Answers About Heaven" continues on Sunday...

Our Sunday pre-service Pastor's Study on Ephesians will resume the first Sunday of September after a short summer break...

Stop by church member Krissa Halter's restaurant booth at the Erie County Fair if you go... Chester's Restaurant

Check out this report on a new CEC mission--it reminded me of our church and they worship at 12:30!...

Pray for Josh and Jessica Baker to have a safe trip to visit her dad in Chalfont, PA, and then back on home to Virginia...

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Every Tuesday night, our SMALL GROUPS are studying a video and Bible study series on sharing our faith with others by Bishop Bates.

Check out this debate between Dinesh D'Souza (Christian) and leading atheist Christopher Hitchens


One of the central messages God has called me to teach to the Church is the message of covenant. Just as the American Constitution is the basic principles and laws that organize our nation, THE COVENANT IS THE CONSTITUTION OF GOD'S KINGDOM. For the next weeks in this space week I will share about the constitution of GOD'S HOLY NATION--THE COVENANT.

What is a covenant?

First, the covenant is more than a contract. Sometimes even Biblical scholars erroneously state that the covenant idea in the Bible is essentially the same as the idea of a contract. The covenant is not a contractual type of relationship that remains only so long as the two parties provide some sort of mutual benefit. Covenant includes the solemn binding promises of a contract, but is much more.

A contract, in distinction from a covenant, only lasts so long as both parties are enjoying the benefits of the relationship. It is binding upon the condition of being profitable for both parties. A covenant, on the other hand, is a commitment of love that establishes and bonds a relationship. God Himself in the fellowship of Trinitarian love is the ultimate kingdom and the relationship between the Persons of the Trinity is the true covenant.

This has profound significance for us to understand the Biblical history of our creation and redemption. God created the world as His kingdom to manifest His glory (cf. Ps. 8, 19). Since the three Persons of the Trinity constitute a covenantal kingdom of love, the created world, too, is a covenantal kingdom over which God set Adam and Eve to rule.

Their rule was to be based upon love for God and one another. They were to guard the created world and take care of it so that it would bear fruit for God's glory (Gn. 2:15). The fall of man was a rejection of God's love and a rejection of the way of love among men. The violence of the pre-flood world is the climax of the rebellion of the fall and the logical outcome of the rejection of God's love.

Redemption = Restoration to Covenant Love

Redemption means the restoration of the covenantal purpose of God. Man is restored to his original calling as God's image, which means man is called back into the fellowship of the covenantal love of the Father, Son, and Spirit. The created world, too, must be restored to its original purpose of revealing God's glory through the covenantal stewardship of God's image.

The kingdom of righteousness and love must come to historical realization in order that Satan's lie and the temptation in the Garden may be utterly defeated to the glory of God. Redemption finds its fulfillment in the kingdom of God. God has poured out His covenantal love upon us in Jesus Christ in order that through faith in Him we may be re-created as His children and brought into an everlasting fellowship of love.

The Bible is the story of God's covenantal kingdom -- its creation, its corruption by sin and folly, and God's gracious redemption of that kingdom to the praise of the glory of His grace. The central theme of the Bible, the covenantal kingdom of God, reveals the nature of the Triune God as a God of love who has called man into a fellowship of love with Himself.

See you Sunday!

Fr. Kevin Baker

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