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I’m going to invite you to turn to Genesis chapter one. We’re just going to do a skim of where we’ve been in the last seven weeks together. This is the seventh week on the topic of belief that we’ve discussed really the foundations of what Christianity is about. And so this will give us a summation of that passage of scripture and in our understanding of biblical truth as it comes forth in the book of Genesis. And then we’re going to make the application like the, so now what we’ve, we’ve laid the foundation of what biblical Christianity is and why we believe what we believe. And hopefully you’ve enjoyed that journey together as we’ve looked at it, even just from the first three chapters of the Bible, how the pillars of Christianity are founded in the first three chapters of the Bible. And that theme of biblical truth continues throughout the rest of scripture.
The picture we’ve painted together should help us have a lens and the way that we examined scripture and what God communicates to us. And so based on the last few weeks, if you’ve been on this journey with us together, we kicked off the series by by just understanding who God is as he has revealed himself to us in scripture. Genesis chapter one starts in the very first verse in the beginning, God, and he talks about the creation of God. God created the heavens and the earth. Yahweh creates Barra, which is means out of nothing, X and healers, what they refer to in Latin. He creates out of nothing and we see the design of the first three chapters of the Bible as God creates, he creates intentionally, he creates with purpose, meaning everything he’s designed has a specific reason for its existence. It’s laid out for us beautifully as the Bible describes it poetically and God’s creation over the seven days in which he creates God, speaks, life begins intelligent design creates with an intelligent designer, creates with an intelligent design, creating everything with a purpose.
When God comes to mankind on the sixth day in which he creates us, the Bible does something unique in the design of mankind. When God designs us. It’s as if God takes special attention to the creation of mankind in those moments while he’s creating over the six days when he gets to mankind, he pauses, breathes into us the breath of life and formulates us or sculpts us from the earth and intricately takes the opportunity to design man and as God creates over those six days, seventh day resting, he says, it is good. It is good. It is good designs man and says it is very good. The pinnacle of creation was mankind. The purpose which God has created us. It tells us Genesis chapter one and verse seven 27 28 it says, God created man in his own image. In the image of God, he created him, male and female.
He created them. God blessed them and God said to them, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. So we reflect the image of our creator being made in his image. We can connect to him, we can relate to him. We can have a relationship with him because the image of when she placed upon us the characteristics of which we possess as mankind, God also possesses within his nature, meaning his communicable attributes, love, grace, goodness, long suffering, peace, patience. In our relationships on earth, we experienced those towards our relationship with God. We can connect with them in that way. God makes us in his image, the pinnacle of creation and therefore he says in verse 28 go into the world and subdue it and multiply. Fill the earth. He’s allowing us the opportunity being made in his image to express his glory by the way that we live our lives in this world.
We reflect the glory of God or are designed to reflect the glory of God. Genesis chapter three verse one as God creates us in his image for relationship, we find Genesis chapter three the introduction of Eve with the serpent, the dialogue that takes place with the serpent. We read in Isaiah chapter 14 that the serpent’s desire was to be like God. Beginning in verse 12 to 15 of Isaiah chapter 14 his idea, his thought was he could become God and so therefore he’s cast from heaven in the garden of Eden shares that same lie with Adam and Eve. You can become like God knowing good from evil and that dialogue takes place in Genesis chapter three when the serpent cast doubt into the mind of Eve, surely God didn’t say that you could eat of the tree air if you ate of the tree that you would die.
Surely that’s not what God meant. You’re the pinnacle of creation. What God’s doing is keeping the best from you because he knows the moment you will, you will eat. You’ll know the difference between good and evil in the Hebrew tax. That means not just knowing the difference between right and wrong, but rather declaring to God what is right. What is wrong? You and autonomy are separating yourself from God who created you from relationship and declaring yourself to be God. When Adam and Eve particular the fruit declaring themselves to be God, to be the ultimate authority, the Bible tells us that sin was introduced and through that sin, we are separated from our relationship with God. We dialogued over the idea of what sin is. Oftentimes we think about sin. What we relate to as being sin is really just a consequence of what the action of sin produces.
But when we talk about what makes sense, sin, what really defines what is sin is that it violates the very nature of God. We use the example of murder and adultery. The idea, uh, of, uh, of adultery. We often think about the repercussions of what adults would produce in harming relationships. But what we’re adultery finds itself in being sin is that is that God is pure and God is devoted and God is faithful. And so when we live contrary to that nature, it’s given, it’s given to us through the nature of God. We violate his nature, which is ultimately what sin is. And from that repercussions come man’s sin against God. And the Bible tells us in Romans six 23 for the wages of sin is death. The Bible talks about sin literally means separation from God. It’s not talking about ceasing to exist, but really death is separation.
When we physically die as people, your body is separated from your spirit, but we, we are separated from God because the curse of sin is upon us. Holy God, can’t welcome sin into his presence and so the response of mankind to that we see from the beginning in Genesis chapter three Adam and Eve’s response was to run and hide from God and cover themselves in fig leaves as if to say to God, God, we’re going to handle this son on our own and we’re going to destroy it by our own power and what we learned together, Adam and Eve created the first manmade religion, the Bible. We reflected that to the law and the old Testament. You find the law, the purpose of the law isn’t to show you how, how you are Holy or how you can avail to God’s grace or how you can make yourself acceptable to God.
The purpose of law. It’s condemnation in a very practical sense, relating it to, to the way we live in law today, that when a police officer pulls you over in society, it’s not to tell you great job in obeying the law. When you get pulled over, it’s because there is a violation of the law. The intentions of the law aren’t to show you how great you are, but rather it’s, it’s for condemnation. It’s to show your need in guilt. And the same thing’s true in, in Romans chapter three in Galatians chapter two and three, it tells us God’s purpose for the law. It was for recognizing our need for salvation, which is where Genesis chapter three in verse nine picks up for us in scripture that after Adam and Eve sin, after they run and hide from God, that it is God that continues to pursue man because God created us for relationship in him. And while we couldn’t reconcile ourselves back to God because of sin, Christ is the promise in Genesis chapter three who would come for the ultimate reconciliation for our lives? And so in verse nine of chapter three the Lord comes into the garden in search of Adam and Eve. He says, the Lord called to the man and said to him, where are you?
Yeah, not that God didn’t know where Adam and Eve is because he is, he is on mission or were Adam and Eve was because he is omniscient, but rather he’s pointing out to Adam and Eve the distance that now exists between he and them because of the sin that has separated them.
So in Genesis chapter three in verse 15 we give the first declaration of the gospel and scripture, which continues a theme throughout the entire Bible. The entire Bible is about God’s redemption for mankind through Jesus Christ from the beginning, from the destruction that takes place in sin, the promise in Genesis chapter three all the way to the end of revelation where God finally before his people wipes away all tears from their eyes where there’s no more pain, no more suffering. Us enjoying our relationship with him in his kingdom for eternity. That is the theme of scripture from beginning to end. God laying that out for us, how Christ would come for us, offering himself for us to redeem us from the curse of sin so that we can enjoy the relationship for which God has given to us by dying on the cross for our sins.
Genesis chapter three in verse 15 and reference to the serpent, God says this, and I will put enmity talking to the serpent between you and the woman between your seed and her seat. And it says her seat in this passage of scripture because we know Christ was born of a Virgin and he shall bruise you on the head and you shall bruise him on the heel. The reference to the bruising on the Hill is that to the crucifixion and the reference to the bruising on the head is the crushing of Satan’s kingdom, which we looked at last week, that that Christ would come and destroy his authority by establishing his kingdom, or excuse me as two weeks ago establishing his kingdom.
The grace of God made known to us. So the point of the story of Genesis throughout the rest of scripture is as while we are incapable of reconciling ourselves to God. When we, no matter how many religions recreate, no matter how many fig leaves we try to cover ourselves with, when we were unable to rescue ourselves in our condition, God by his grace, while he didn’t have to in his love, chooses to give his life for our sins, to pay for the costs of sin. That is grace, unmerited favor that God has given us. That’s why Paul says in Ephesians chapter two and verse eight and nine for by grace are you saved through faith, not of yourselves. It’s the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.
Paul in reference to salvation is pointing to the beauty of it, that God would lavish his love on sinners while they didn’t deserve Romans five eight for me is always the verse that just demonstrates that God demonstrates. It says, God literally demonstrates his love to us and while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Meaning you and the depth of whatever you think the worst is that has been of your life. Jesus loved you enough to die for that. That God’s love transcends beyond your lowest points. That is his grace oftentimes of Christianity. When we demonstrate the magnitude of God’s grace, and the question then becomes, then why do anything right?
Why? Why live your life for God? Then if Jesus just pays for it all, let’s, let’s just, let’s, let’s just live like hell because Christ paid for by his grace, he’s, he’s paid the expense of the cross, so it doesn’t matter what you do and people, people don’t understand why, why you would choose to live for God. Then if Jesus pays it all being, what’s the point? If you don’t merit favor from God by by earning his love, that’s the question they pose as if to suggest that the entire point that we gather here for on Sunday is just say, thank you Jesus. Now let’s all go out and live however we want, right? Yeah. That’s our point. We gathered together for nothing. We just aimlessly do what we want. At this point, Paula even posed that question in Romans chapter six when you get an understanding of God’s grace, that’s that’s where Romans chapter six remember I just quoted five, God demonstrates his love to us and while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. That’s Romans five verse eight and then in chapter six now if you’re getting the picture of his grace, really what does grace has done for you? Paul then poses the question at the beginning of the chapter. What shall we say then? Are we continue? Are we to continue in sin so that Grace May increase?
Well, let’s let’s, what about this idea? Let’s go out and live as simply as we can just to show how much Jesus, his death really covers our sinfulness and Paul in Romans six just walks through the answer to that question, but he begins with this. He says, may it never be, how shall we who died to sin live in it or do you not know that all of all of us, I’ve been baptized into Christ. Jesus had been baptized into his death. Paul’s pointing back to the identity that we had before Jesus and the identity that you have now that you’re in Jesus. This is if he’s saying in this verse, why would you do that? Why would you choose to live in sin? Do you remember the kind of person you were before cries? You couldn’t rescue yourself, you were condemned, but Jesus rescued you from the kingdom of darkness, from the Prince of the power of the air, from the ruler of this world. That’s Satan and he brought you into his kingdom. You’ve been advertised in Christ. That means immersed into Jesus. Your identity now is his identity, your kingdom. Now as his kingdom, Paul goes on and argues that it’s you’ve been bought with a price by the precious blood of the lamb.
You consider the magnitude of that sacrifice. What the Bible refers to that when, when Jesus paid his life for us as this is, this is a covenantal relationship, a covenantal love. When we began to get a picture or understanding of what it means to live in covenant with God, it helps us understand that that what we are to do is not not to go live in sin so that his Grace May be a bounding and we can brag about the extent of God’s grace, but rather reciprocate in the relationship of covenant to love or covenantal relationship. Let me explain a little bit of of just when we use the word covenantal relationship, what that means in scripture because when it comes to Christianity, um, in our society today, we live in, operate often in, in contractual relationships or or contractual connections, but covenantal relationship, covenantal love. It runs deeper than just a contractual relationship.
And let me, let me give a a backdrop to understanding the difference between covenantal relationship, which is what Jesus did for us in contractual relationship, which I believe is what religion is about, covenantal relationship. Genesis chapter three verse 15 it’s going to be, it’s promised in Christ and when she would give his life for us, that theme continues throughout scripture. In fact, the reason we refer to the Bible is old and new Testament. It’s really old and new covenant. Janice or Jeremiah chapter 31 verse 31 to 34 we, we’ve looked at that together a couple of times throughout the series. What it means that the Bible tells us in Jeremiah 31 31 that Christ is coming to establish a new covenant, which is the same promise he gave in Genesis three the idea of that covenant continues throughout the rest of the Bible. It’s quoted in Hebrews eight Hebrews 10 that same passage in Jeremiah 31 but the idea of covenant. When we began to grab the understanding of what covenant means, it really, it really starts to to add and condense itself and paint itself in such a beautiful way. And Genesis chapter 15 with Abraham,
Genesis chapter 15 Abraham’s at a place where he’s doubting. He’s later in years. Genesis end of chapter 11 God calls Abraham’s family out of the land of the cow DNS in Iraq into the promised land in Canaan, and he tells them in Genesis chapter 12 Genesis chapter 15 Genesis chapter 17 that through him, all nations of the world would be blessed even in Genesis chapter 18 I think in verse 18 through Abraham, all the nations of the world would be blessed. When you get to Genesis chapter 15 though, there’s an important picture that takes place because at the beginning of this chapter, Abraham’s doubting like, God, are you really gonna do this? Or you really threw me this, this older man who’s passes years to have children. I mean, nearing 100 are you?
Are you really gonna use me to, to, to create a another child and through that child, bless all nations and God’s identifying through Abraham. That’s where Jesus would come through the people of Israel that would begin with Abraham. That’s where Jesus would come. And so he starting Genesis 15 God, are you really going to do that? And God tells Abraham mutton some. I’m going to do it so much so that you’re not even going to be able to to to count the number of people that are blessed. Are you the number of people that come through? You look at the stars of the sky more numerous than the stars in the sky. That’s how many people will be blessed through, through what I want to do through youth of the covenant that’s going to come through and so he tells Abraham to go go gather animals and he’s going to make a covenant with him and Abraham gathers the animals and brings them and then it says this.
Then he brought all these to him and cut them into and laid each half opposite the other, but he did not cut the birds. Meaning what God is doing with Abraham here is it’s traditional to what it means to make a covenant. It’s literally in the Hebrew text means cutting a covenant. Abraham kills an animal. He lays either animal on either side and when they would make a covenant, two people would would pass through the middle of this animal that was cut to saying, if we don’t uphold the obligations to this covenant, that that may what happened to the, these animals happen to us. This is sacred. This is important. This is life. And so Abraham cuts these animals into and once to pass through them as the tradition is. And in verse 11 the birds of the prey came down upon the carcasses. Abraham drove them away.
Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon a Brommer. Abraham behold terror and great darkness fell upon him. Came about when the sun had set and it was very dark and behold there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces. On that day, the Lord made a covenant with Abraham when the story as Abraham lays these animals aside, the Bible tells us, God calls a deep sleep to fall on Abraham. Well, Abraham is asleep. A representation that has God, which is which is a smoking oven. A flaming torch passed between these pieces. This is, this is the same manifestation that God used for Israel as he’s leading them through the wilderness, wandering through the wilderness under Moses as they came out of Egypt, a flame by night. This cloud by day. And what is saying in this passage is the presence of God makes this covenant with Abraham, but God doesn’t require Abraham to make this covenant with him.
All right? It’s on the Lord. It’s a picture of his grace again, the coming of Jesus. It’s not by your merit and the gift of eternal life. It’s not by what earned, but rather while we are sinners, Christ died for us. The picture of Abraham Abraham’s not passing through this cabinet because God wants to demonstrate that it’s by his grace that he is offering this to us. And so it’s important to understand the difference between what it is to live in a covenant relationship and a contractual relationship in our contractual society. We make contracts to obligate us and you think anything that you do these days, you sign your name here or you click yes here. If you agree with the terms is all based on on contract.
The idea of contract is that when you fail in the contract, therefore you must pay to make restitution for the failure for the contract that you agreed to a pole, but in a relationship that understands covenant. When you fail, there’s forgiveness in a contractual relationship. We seek people to get, we look at people as a means for our own self, but in a covenantal relationship we seek to give covenantal love recognizes that people will fail and we serve for their benefit. Contractual a relationship. If people fail, they must make amends and the contractual relationship and then even if you bring this into marriage relationship, if, if it’s just a contractual binding to you, you see the other person as the one that is intended to make you happy. Their obligation is to your happiness. But in covenantal relationship you see that relationship as an opportunity to get beneath the person to serve them so that they may become, but they are called to be before the Lord and in that covenantal relationship in Christ Christ gives of his life. Not contractually because he wasn’t obligated to, but covenantal, he, he, he serves for us to the point of death. So the, the him, we might experience the newness of life in that we find the health of the relationship for which we were created in Christ.
So ultimately in contractual relationships, when both people seek the other person just to make themselves happy, what often happens in those relationships is when they win, when they fail, you certainly aren’t happy, but often and only looking at that relationship for the purpose of making you happy, you find yourself very self self focused in that. And ultimately neither person ends up happy in that party because they’re all about trying to get what they can from the other individual.
But in the covenantal relationship, when you serve to the blessing of each other, see the other purse becoming the person for which God has created them to be. Both people are blessed in that relationship. Covenantal love goes beyond contractual love because contractual love only holds you to an obligation, but covenantal love is about serving beneath them. Even in failure.
You think in a, in a, in a basic sense, when you make a phone call to a doctor’s office and you want to go in for an appointment, if you don’t show up for that appointment, the doctor to them, they just move on to the next patient. Why? Because this is a contractual agreement that you have established and so they have no need to then call and say, Hey, you missed your appointment. Are you doing okay? Where were you? But, but covenantal love in that sense, because it’s not contractual because the interest is for the benefit of the other person. When the obligation is that hell, you continue to seek after them to, to encourage them wherever they are in their lives, whatever we need. So covenantal love runs deeper than just contractual love because it’s, it’s thought is for the wellbeing of the other person. That is what Jesus establishes with us. That’s why in Genesis 1818 when he’s talking to Abraham, he says, Abraham will surely become a great nation and might a nation.
And in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed because the obligation isn’t up to Abraham. It was a covenant established in Christ and it’s in that relationship. When in your weakness, God still pursues you and then your sin. God still pursues you because God is seeking you and for the reason he has created you, which is in relationship with him and in that relationship the best which God has created you as found. It’s when you experience that love and you’re served in that way, that your co fills in him to be able to look at the rest of the world and get beneath those around you and serve them because Christ has demonstrated his love for you. That’s why the Bible tells us in Corinthians that you are a new creation. Old things have passed. All things have become new because the covenantal relationship of Jesus’s love has been extended to you in such a way that it has transformed your life and Jesus knowing this and to his covenantal community says, Matthew 16 I will build my church. And then he says to them in acts chapter one you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and Judea and Sumeria and even the remotest parts of the earth.
This, this covenant to love is to be, to be declared and shared and emulated in his people because that, that love that Christ has given to us builds us up in such a way that we’re able to serve those around us because we have been served by such a glorious scheme. Romans six when Paul says, then shall we go on sending that Grace May abound the answer to that. Absolutely not because we’ve never been loved in such a way that God himself would give his life on our behalf and in this covenantal relationship that we’ve been invited to see for a Christian to ask the question, how, how close can we live to the edge? How close can we walk the line of sin with, with without getting in trouble with God? If, if you’re even beginning to ask that question, it’s, it’s such an unhealthy question. It’s so far, so far removed from the relationship which God has called you to. Because the question shouldn’t be how close to the edge can I live my life, but rather how close can I get to Christ to enjoy that relationship in him for which he has lavished his love on me.
We understand covenant to love. We find that the Christian life, it’s not about inviting God into my kingdom. What is it about me joining him in his to connect with such a King that is extended his love in such a glorious way? And if you think about this for a minute, this covenantal love invites us into relationship at a, at a death, quite a depth. Quite frankly, you’ve never experienced in any other relationship because no one has ever loved you the way that Jesus has loved you. Now you think about covenantal relationship and connection to your own individuality for a moment. Genesis three the story of the serpent unfolds. The problem in Eve step is that she is in pursuit of Rona autonomy. It’s a God. Y’all always the only being that finds the purpose of existence in himself. Everything else created funds the purpose for the existence outside of themselves. Yet in the garden, in Genesis, when Eve is having conversation with the serpent, she’s, she’s developing her identity separate from God in their own autonomy, which is serpent says, Charlie, surely you won’t die when you partake of the fruit. The only reason God doesn’t want you to have it is because you’re going to become like him and knowing good from evil, and the serpent waits until Eve is by herself and her own autonomy to share about this autonomy that you, you will become like God and you will declare what’s right and wrong and then that sin is born.
But you know when you consider the covenantal relationship as explained throughout the rest of the Bible, what God calls us for an relationship. Oftentimes we read the word you in scripture, we just think about ourselves. But when the Bible really refers to the word you generally most of the time, or a lot of the time, it’s an expression to the entire body of Jesus or of Christ and Janice or Jeremiah chapter 30 it says this, you shall be my people. Plurality. All of you will be my people and I will be your God. In Romans chapter 12 one of the most famous verses I think Christians often quote it says, I urge you brothers, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship when it’s talking about you giving your life to God. And Romans chapter 12 look at it’s talking in the plurality of who we are as a body.
You brethren, you in the plurality, this covenantal community in service to one another for the glory of God. And first Corinthians three 16 you are the temple of God. This idea of you again is plural. You all are the temple of God. And Ephesians chapter two in verse 22 you also are being built together into a dwelling of God. In the spirit. It’s all of us together. It’s not this individual identity, but it’s what God is working in. In our midst as a group called to him saying this covenantal community, it’s not about the individual, about the entire community that’s described as the body of Christ. What we become in Jesus, we become together, God as his body, as Jesus has, has emulated for us. This covenantal sacrificial life for our benefit. God’s calling to his people and being a light to this world is that his covenantal community within demonstrate that love, that Jesus has demonstrated to us by the way that we serve one another. It is foreign to the idea that you live your Christian life by yourself.
Yeah. That if you understand what Jesus has done for you, the pursuit of your life would be the can think about other people and how you could use what God has given to you to serve them for the benefit of the body that God has called us to be. Collectively what we become, we become together.
It’s to go so far as to say, just simply saying, you belong to Jesus. Yeah. Doing nothing about. It begs the question, do you belong to Jesus? Cause those, that entrance, that covenantal community, what to display the covenantal love of Christ. I recognize and saying that that at some points in our lives religiously or not, somewhere at some point we may have been burned. Maybe we’ve stuck her head out and we got into groups and and we’ve been been mistreated or things didn’t go the way that we wanted to, but can I tell you that if you live Christian life in autonomy, Satan still wins.
The Bible tells us in Ephesians chapter two eight and nine by grace, you’re saved through faith, not of yourselves. It’s the gift of God, but intend you’re created in Christ Jesus for good works and now what Jesus has done in you, he wants to reflect the beauty of that in this world, that more than anything, what Satan would desire to do is as regardless if you belonged to Jesus or not, it’s just to stop the living of that Christian community in your life to make you so individualistic that you don’t see how you can bless the world through what Christ has done in you. Hebrews, the book of Hebrews, I think fights against that thought, but in our sinful nature we, we, we want to seclude ourselves and we want to isolate ourselves. But the Hebrews three 13 that says this, but encourage one another day after day, as long as it’s still called today so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Well, what this verse isn’t saying is now go freak out about not sending. Okay? Like the point of this passage isn’t, so you walk around and be like, Oh, that’s a sin. No. Oh, that’s a sin. Oh, that’s a sin. But rather the point of this passage is simply to say what God’s interested in is who you’re becoming. God’s called you for a relationship in him. The Christian life isn’t about avoiding sin. It’s not about asking the question, how close can you get to the boundary before God considers it wrong? Rather, the question is, how can you get closer to the covenant of love in which Jesus is expressed toward you every day? How can you experience this? And the point of this passage is to say, sometimes we live in our own little bubble. In our own little world, we become blind to the things that are, that are separating us and our relationship with God. But it’s when you live that out in community that people can encourage you and call you out and and hold you accountable and lift you up and build you up so that you can continue to pursue that which Christ has has created.
Hebrews 10 the thought continues on, but let us hold fast. The confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful and let us consider how to stimulate one another. To love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together as the habit of his, of some, but encouraging one another. Look, we’re not here because it’s an obligation. We’re here because this is the place where the extent of God’s love is magnified. The church proclaims not contractual law, that obligation, but covenant love in Christ. This is the place where that is proclaimed in the world. This is the place where people can come to gather and finally for the first time in the lives, maybe even experience. What love truly is, that it’s not something that’s married to but it’s in essence, it’s extended to you not because of you, because the goodness of your God.
One of the reasons that we want to end with this and the believes series together is because for the first six weeks we laid the foundation of what Christianity is and validated why it’s good to believe in the truth of what Christianity is so that with comfort and security you could see the foundation of your gods so that when you put this kind of trusting God, no, he’s dependable, that we in the not forsaking the beauty of what Christ has done, but earnestly seeking to gather together, holding the confession of our hope without wavering because of the extent of God’s love. Pauline Galatians two verses where I’m going to end in the book of Galatians, but in Galatians chapter five and verse one and recognizing what Jesus did, it says this, it was for freedom. Christ set us free.
Contractually, we were in bonded. We were bound to darkness. We are bound to sin, are bound to another kingdom. Jesus has set you free, free to an eternity with him, free to experience the life for which he created mankind. In the book of Genesis, you’re free.
When Paul is writing this passage, he’s writing on the backdrop of religion. He’s telling the people, don’t be bound to the idea of religion, the contractual yoke it brings rather understand this covenant to love Jesus has set you free and then in verse 13 he says this, this would be the word for for you were to freedom brothers only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flash which is talking about religion again but through look, love, serve one another. That’s covenant to language. Then in Jesus’s community the question is not how can I serve you so I get what I want? How can I serve you so that we together can become who God has called us to be?
I’ll tell you one of the draining things in church communities when we don’t understand covenant to love over contractual love or covenant to relationship over contractual relationship because the idea will become while I come to church on Sunday because I owe God this favor and I did my favorites of God would be happy with me. That’s contractual or you’re walking in the building. You see people as their job is to serve you, to fill you up, but you’d never see the idea of God’s covenant to love and how you can engage in community to love them the way that Jesus has loved you and they the same and it becomes draining. Cause what happens in an environment like that is there are people that will get covenant to love and they will give and they will give and they will give. But it’s never reciprocated. But when the body understands what covenantal love is among itself, and they begin to live that love for one another, they also demonstrate that love outside of their gathering places and others find that attractive, that in the midst of their sin, in the midst of their brokenness, in the midst of nothing to offer, still someone would come to them and someone would love them and someone would care about them and someone would seek the best for them.
And why would you do that? It’s not because you’re obligated, but it’s because you’ve been loved in such a way that this love has set you free. And therefore in verse 13 you were called the freedom brother. And then do not turn your freedom and opportunity for flip for the flesh but through love serve one another. That’s one of the most attractive things I think about about soldiers in service who give their lives for other people putting their lives on the line that they are put in positions to rescue someone from a circumstance they’re laying their lives down for the benefit of another. You consider these thoughts for a moment. What about failure? Cause I can tell you in a covenantal community, the only one perfect is Jesus and in serving one another, that sense we might expect someone in that community would fail the other person. But that is the point of covenantal love and our failures. We still care for one another.
When you think about covenantal community relationship to Jesus, Jesus compares our relationship to him to that of marriage. Let’s to be honest, none of us can be the perfect spouse Jesus needs, needs us to be. And then that moment when you consider the fact that when Jesus calls you to be his bride and you can’t be that perfect spouse, you have two choice. You can run away from the idea a a failure or you can comfort yourself, but the character of the one you have married, which is Christ, none of us can do what God’s called us to be. That’s really what makes this journey with Jesus so great. It’s not because we’re worthy, but because he is and even in my failures and even when I might feel like I should run and hide and I can’t be the bride that Jesus has called me to be in him.
He still loves and he still pursues and his interest is the still a giving of his life so that you can become that for which he has called you to in him that type of love. When it is displayed, it is healing. It is life giving. It is beautiful. It is what the body of Christ is about. That’s what God sends us into this world, to represent a bride, preparing herself for her groom us this morning, his body believers, we should understand better than anyone that the reason Christ has come for us to set us free Jesus and pursuing you is after one thing. Your relationship in him made available through what he has given to you. What we become. We become together, not obligated contractually, the covenantal he invited in at the extent of his grace.