I heard the terms “covenant community” and “covenant relationship” long before I really understood what they meant. Even now I don’t understand in full, but what I have begun to understand has totally changed my view on how God wants me to live.
You see what I am beginning to understand is that when I became a follower of Christ I entered into a Covenant with God. In the Old Testament every time there was a covenant made between two parties it required the sacrifice of animals. The animals would be cut in half, laid opposite of one another, and the two making the covenant would pass through the flesh. Both parties knew that if either of them broke their part of the covenant God would do to them what was done to the animals. God takes the making of a covenant very serious, it’s not something to be entered into lightly.
When Christ came to earth He was sacrificed for our sins and we symbolically “pass through” the sacrificed body of Christ into a covenant relationship with God. Christ was the blood that was poured out for our sins. When we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins we “pass through” His flesh to God and enter into an covenant with God.
When you begin to understand the responsibilities of a covenant partner it is both amazing and sobering. As a covenant partner with Christ it means that my enemies are His enemies and His enemies are mine. Covenant partners protect one another – they have each other’s back. In covenant with Christ He exchanges our robe of filth with His robe of righteousness. We become one in the spirit.
Remember in Acts 9:4 where Jesus confronts Saul and says to him. “Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me?” Saul was persecuting Jesus because He was persecuting believers who He was in covenant with. In a covenant relationship what my enemy does to me he does to God also.
So let us take this one step further. In a Christian community believer are in covenant with Christ and one another. So if I mistreat, gossip, criticize another believer then I am doing those very things to God. It’s a sobering thought, a painful, heart wrenching thought. I have realized all those things I have thought, done or how I might treat another believer I have done to Christ!
Oh may God forgive me! I’m not saying I’ve done anything horrible, and I try to be filled with grace and mercy toward my brother’s and sisters – but let’s face it we all battle our flesh! And there are moments that I may fail to be who God is creating me to be - it is a process of growth.
How are you treating your fellow believers?
Oh God continue your work in my heart so that I might be more like you.