“Come, follow me”, Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”
Covenant Relationships by Immanuel Bundellu
Growing up in Bombay Baptist Church, I was taught sound doctrine in Sunday School. As God began to renew our church, we discovered new truths in the Bible and one such revelation was -- God of covenant.
My first covenant was when I accepted the Scriptures as standard and the Holy Spirit as guide for my life. It helped me to face the challenges of college life. I entered into this in stages and it changed my character, bit by bit.
Kingdom of God is defined by covenant relationships.
Covenant Contract: With my second covenant, I submitted to Charles Lazaro, who was my pastor then, for discipleship. I began spending most of my free time with him, learning values from his life.
Beginning with God’s relationship with Man, we see the commitment of Christ to His church, and the covenant bond within the family. Covenant relationships vary in degrees of permanence. They can be a time bound oath to complete a task e.g. Eliezer’s covenant with Abraham to bring a bride for Isaac from Abraham’s kindred (Genesis 24:8-9), or an oath that is binding for life, such as a wedding covenant. Covenant Consent: This is a decision taken about any course of action. Job said “I have made a covenant with my eyes” (Job31:1.). It was a decision not to look lustfully on women. Similarly decisions to follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, etc (1 Tim 6:11) are covenant consents.
When Charles Lazaro left for Australia, his last message to the church was “Stand with Stanley”. With that, my covenant submission was transferred to Stanley Mehta, who took over the functions of a pastor. Stan continued shaping my life by faithfully correcting me, whenever he saw the need. And so, covenant relationships were strengthened and multiplied as many more were added to that small group. We need to recognise that such functional covenants are for a season, and specific purposes. Purposes may change, but we are always in covenant relationships. I have discovered that discipleship moves from submission to servant hood and then to friendship.
Covenant Community: This is a network of covenant relationships. Since marriage is a covenant, children born in the family are also part of that covenant. I was included in covenant community when I was born again into God’s family. One of the reasons why Esau was rejected by God was because he broke the covenant of brotherhood. When the enemy attacked Israel, the people of Edom helped the enemy rather than protecting their brother Israelites (Amos 1:11), In church, I often met people who were so much like me that I could not get along with them. Such relationships reenforced / refreshed my past hurts, and threatened this covenant. However, continuous forgiveness and holy forgetfulness, is the key to resolving conflicts within church family. I have discovered that resentments cannot be solved once and for all. They need to be re-solved as they crop up. I could not harbour resentments for a long time.
Published on May 23, 2014