Covenantal Commitments Underlying Our Togetherness

SERMON NOTES–PASTOR MILTON VINCENT
December 2, 2012–Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church

The following notes were taken during our 2012 Winter Seminar: Together for the Gospel.

The emphasis on community (togetherness) is a return to an ancient reality of the first century church. The matrix of togetherness is the matrix in which the Church was born.

See Acts 1:4, 6, 14; Acts 2:1, 44, 46-47

3 Types of relationships:

A. Casual relationships.
-No obligation.

B. Consumer relationships.
-Some degree of obligation, expectation.
-In a consumer relationship if you aren’t having your expectations met, you feel you don’t owe the other person anything and so you just leave the relationship.
-We often bring a consumer mentality with us to church.
-You can’t be “real” in a consumer relationship because you fear that if you are and the other person does not like it, they will leave.
-There is no covenantal commitment in a consumer relationship.

C. Covenant Relationships.
-i.e., marriage.
-In God’s mind, covenant gives freedom and security to a relationship.
-Covenant is the matrix in which true intimacy can flourish.

3 COMMITMENTS THAT UNDERLIE OUR TOGETHERNESS HERE AT CORNERSTONE:

1. God the Father’s covenantal commitment to us in Christ.
-The nature of the New Covenant. (Eph. 2:12-13; Jer. 31:31-34)
-We as Christians enter into a covenant relationship with God.
-The Gospel is not just the story of God doing saving acts, but also the promises of doing saving acts and then fulfilling those promises.
-For example, God promised to send His Son, and He did. God promised to raise His Son, and He did. God promised that He would send His Spirit, and He did. etc.
-The Holy Spirit is a pledge of God’s faithfulness to us. (Eph 2:13-14)
-God also promises that He will love us forever, will never leave nor forsake us, and that nothing will ever separate us from His love.

Because of the covenantal relationship we have with God (neither casual nor consumer based relationship), we have a safe place to relate to God, be transparent with Him with our sins, and enjoy intimacy with Him.

2. Christ’s covenantal commitment to us, His Church.
-Eph. 5:31-32
-Human marriage is a picture of Christ’s covenantal commitment to the church.
-Our relationship with Christ is based on covenant promises:
that He would build His Church
that nothing can destroy His Church
that He would die
that He would rise again
that He would ask the Father to send a Comforter
that those who look to Him for salvation would receive forgiveness, justification, adoption, sanctification, glorification etc.
that He would go to prepare a place for us
that He will come again
-Christ made a covenant and sealed it with His blood.
-See 1 Cor. 11:25; Matt. 26:28; Ex. 24:5-8; Jer. 31:31-34.

Jesus died to be the Senior Pastor and a member of our body here at Cornerstone (1 Peter 5). Jesus seals the promises he makes with His blood. He is covenantally committed to us. We can go to Him without fear that He will abandon us.

3. Our covenantal commitment to each other.
-Acts 5:12-13 (…none of the rest dared to join (cleave to) them…
-“Cleave” is a covenantal term.
-Those inside the church continually cleave to each other, those outside are not brave enough to do so.
-If God the Father and God the Son deemed our brothers and sisters to be recipients of His covenantal promises, we can too.

We struggle and hurt each other at times, but we covenantally commit to one another without fear of abandonment.

About Terrie van Baarsel


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