Dear Flock and Friends of Knollwood,
This Fall there is an adult Sunday School class on the Theology of the Covenants taught by T.C. Ledbetter, as well as a Fall sermon series on the Purpose and Callings of God’s Grace in the life of Abraham in Genesis 12-22. These two events are not by coincidence. I earnestly believe that we need to reclaim a “covenant framework” for viewing all of life, and I desire to see this worked out into our congregation and our lives as a “sure and steadfast anchor of the soul” (Heb 6:19).
What do I mean by “covenant framework”? It is that the Eternal and Personal Triune God has entered into a binding commitment and relationship with sinful creatures to do whatever it takes to redeem them into a new life with Him and for the purposes and praise of His Glory. And He has accomplished this and is accomplishing this through the person and work of His Son and our Savior-king Jesus Christ, the Mediator between us and God.
Why should this matter to us? Let me offer a major application for us to work out together:
True Love is a Covenant: Everyone desires to love and be loved. It is why we sing & dance with others; it is why we cry alone in a dark place. The culture that we live in and are profoundly shaped by tells us that true love is a matter of creating for yourself and pursuing it, that you are the master of your own pursuit of love. We should no longer impose such constructed rules as “gender,” “sexual orientation,” “marriage boundaries.” Love should always be purely free and purely self-choosing. “Love is love.” Therefore, we should cast off all sexual and relational restraints. Therefore, we should do away with “traditional” heterosexual and monogamous concept of marriage. This will not stop with same sex marriage. There is already mass-media campaigning in the UK for poly-amory (multiple partner and multiple sexuality marriages) as well as for pedophilia.
Where should we look for the meaning of true Love? Go to the character of God and the covenant of God. Think about this. The everlasting God of the Bible is completely free and dependent on nothing. He freely created all things, not because He was lonely but simply in His generous love for His Son and for His Glory. But when God promised to redeem fallen man through one of Adam and Eve’s children (Gen 3:15), when He “established his covenant” through Noah’s family and creation (Gen 9:9f), when He “cut a covenant with Abram” (Gen 15:18), when He sprinkled the “blood of the covenant” through Moses (Ex 24:8), when He confirmed his covenant with King David (2 Samuel 7), when He fulfilled and inaugurated his covenant in Jesus Christ (e.g., Matt 26:28) … this perfectly free God pledged Himself to a binding relationship with His people! God obligated Himself.
In other words, truly free love is a bound love, a covenanted love. The “free” love of our culture is neither truly free nor is it truly love. It is slavery to Self that ends in destruction (e.g., read Romans 1:18-32). True freedom is service to Christ, service to neighbor, service in marriage, service in society, service in the body of Christ. True gratitude and contentment in life is found in the covenant of God in Christ. If there is no pledge of salvation in Christ, then all of life is pressure, fear, risk-management. Living out of the “blood of Christ” turns us into bold and loving people – people of Christ’s crown and covenant. It makes for good lovers, good marriages, good families, good church-members, good evangelists, good workers, good politics and government, good singing and dancing. May we be people who are free in Christ to revel in God’s Covenant of Grace.
Grace and peace,