God’s Covenant Design – Pts 1 & 2
Why is this important? We must remember that God’s design from the beginning moves from the individual to the relational (marriage and family) into the community (Church) and finally into any systems (governments and nations).
When we fail to build up strong disciples in loving relationships in our homes, the best we can do, even with the greatest of intentions, is create a façade of loving community and systems that will ultimately enslave. Even our churches then become primarily a system of programs and governance rather than a loving and united fellowship and family of believers. That’s why God began with a marriage and a family!
This Truth of His Love and Lordship have never changed. We recognize His Greatness by our loving obedience to His plan, design and will! All Glory to You!
God’s Wake Up Call for Christ’s Disciples and Church
We find ourselves still in the middle of the first and continuing global pandemic in a century as well as political and social upheaval in the USA like we’ve not seen in the last half-century. Our faith is being tested. I believe God is calling Christ’s Church to a spiritual awakening in line with His Covenant Design and Order.
That awakening is not just simply to do church services differently, serve more people and accommodate the culture thinking we will reach more. Let’s look at this call in our times…one issue at a time. It is a call…
1) For personal and collective confession and repentance of idolatry and compromise. (1 John 1:7-10)
We have allowed the culture to convince us that the message needs to be watered down for folks to hear it…and keep coming back to church. What are they coming back for if they continue to live in the flesh and sin as so many are doing today?
As we continue with the call of Christ to His followers, we look at His encouragement and challenge in this call for…
2) Believers to make Christ Lord of every part of your life (Luke 14:25-35).
We are called to absolutely place Him first in every part of life and relationship in wholehearted devotion to Him, dying to self and taking up our cross (calling for His Kingdom) and following Him. Christ says that anything short of this means we can’t be His disciple, i.e., He’s not our Lord! That’s what He has saved us for…to be in a relationship with Him and this is the only relationship we can be in with Him.
This calling is to both salvation and Christ’s Lordship. There is no Christ simply as Savior. While there are levels of maturity from newborn believer to sold-out fully devoted disciple…our hearts must receive Him as Lord. We can be in no other relationship with Him!
Today’s portion of the calling is directed at men according to God’s Word…
3) For men to be Godly relational servant leaders, as husbands who love their marriage, spouse and family above their own success, glory and desires, just as Christ did for His Bride, The Church (Ephesians 5:21, 23-28; Philippians 2:3-8)!
Men are to lead by example in loving relational service to their wife and children. As men and women, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, grow as disciples of Christ, His calling continues…
4) For marriages to be a positive testimony to the Gospel of Christ so the world will see and know Him (Ephesians 5:32-33; Colossians 3:18-21)
Your marriage is a testimony to the Gospel and Love of Jesus Christ…what does your marriage tell others about Him and His Gospel?
God’s design and call for marriage is a reflection of Christ’s Gospel and His relationship with His Bride, The Church. So, is your marriage displaying a good testimony or a bad one? If you want to know how to be sure you’re giving a good testimony, begin with the next portion of the call of God’s Word and Covenant Order. It is the call…
5) To husbands and wives to submit to one another out of reverence for and submission to Christ as Lord (Ephesians 5:21).
The foundation of every loving relationship on this planet is rooted and grounded first in our relationship with, and willing submission to, Christ. Only then can we die to self and lovingly submit to each other.
Interesting that The Holy Spirit through Paul in his letter to the Church at Ephesus makes this powerful statement in v. 21 before giving the commands to wives to submit to and respect their husbands (not a command to husbands to do anything but simply for the wife to be obedient first to The Lord and then show that to her husband) and for a husband to love his wife as Christ did His Bride, The Church (not a command at all to the wife but strictly to the husband to choose to obey or not).
Husbands, look back to your specific calling to see what Christ gave up for His Bride in Philippians 2:3-8…He first gave up the glories and lifestyle of Heaven…and then His bodily life on The Cross. If He had not given up the first then the second sacrifice would have meant nothing…they are inseparable and we are to love as He did! This is the example of humble, submissive Love that we are called to give our wife!
We’ll continue next week with the call of Christ on our lives with Him as Lord and us as His sold-out, wholehearted disciples, as we move from our personal walk with Him and our relationships, especially in marriage into families, communities and systems!
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – We cannot do this alone. It must begin with Christ and our walk with Him and then we learn to walk together in unity and peace with one another.
Love and Lordship…Action Item(s) –
- Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
- How is God’s Covenant Order being lived out in your life and family?
- What priorities in His Design are lacking or missing in your life? Determine what you can do to change these.
- Find someone more mature than you in the faith to disciple you. In time, look for those who you can disciple.