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COVENANT ORIENTATION - TALK # 1
Transcript of COVENANT ORIENTATION - TALK # 1
Talk No. 1: OUR COVENANT IN CFC
In CFC we encounter the word "covenant
After the CLP, as a condition for membership in CFC, we entered into the
"Covenant of the Couples for Christ
2. We need to understand more about our covenant.
a) It is at the heart of where we are at right now.
b) We need to appreciate the concrete situation, which allows us to live out our
B. What is a covenant?
1. A covenant is a solemn agreement between parties through which they commit
themselves to certain relationships, tasks, obligations or ways of living.
2. Two types of covenant relationships.
a) Between parties equal in power and position.
* Gen 21:22-32. Abraham and Abimelech.
* 1 Sam 18:1,3-4. David and Jonathan.
* Marriage partners.
b) Between parties unequal in power and position.
* In this case, it is unilaterally bestowed by the greater on the lesser.
* E.g., a conqueror with his new subjects. He provides military protection
while exacting loyalty and tribute
God and his people
1. The Old and New Testaments are God's old and new efforts to establish a
relationship with His people.
2. CFC is a vehicle, an opportunity by which we can respond fully to God.
3. Covenant agreements do not just bind persons to something outside themselves
(e.g., a business contract). Rather, the parties are bound in a personal way.
What is established is a significant family-like relationship between the agreeing
* Gen 15. God with Abraham.
* Gen 31:44-54. Laban and Jacob.
C. Some important basic truths from the Old Testament.
1. Covenant = treaty or contract which established a relationship between two
parties and bound them together.
a) Conditions and clauses were important, but more important was that which
these were meant to safeguard: a lasting relationship.
b) Through the covenant, God and His people are joined together.
2. The covenant was not a treaty between equals, but between a mighty person and
a lesser person.
a) It was between God Almighty and a people owing their existence to Him.
b) It was issued by the stronger king at his initiative. The old covenant was
initiated by God.
b) As we read the Bible, we find out that its two parts, the Old Testament and
the New Testament, are covenants.
c) All Christians actually have a covenant with God by virtue of baptism.
d) Also, as baptized Christians, we have a covenant relationship with one
another. We have a commitment of loyalty, unity, and service
3. The contents of the covenant.
a) Usually began with an introduction in which the mighty king identified
himself as the one initiating the treaty and then proceeded to summarize the
history of the relationship between the two parties, with emphasis on what
the mighty king had already done for the lesser party.
* Deut 5:6 and Ex 20:2. Introduction to Ten Commandments.
* God freed the people first, then entered into a covenant (God did not give
the commandments first, then free the people if they obeyed).
* Our covenant with God is based on what He has done for us, and only
secondarily on what we do in response.
b) Next listed what the weaker party needed to do.
* The obligations flow from what the other had already done.
* Ten Commandments. Deut 5:7-21.
* All other commandments are part of our covenant.
c) Concluded with a list of blessings (if obey) and curses (if disobey). Deut 28.
* Breaking God's commandments = breaking our relationship with Him.
There are consequences.
* Being faithful = blessings, Promised Land.
D. New Testament teaching.
1. God wants to make a covenant with us and enter into a personal relationship
a) Jesus came to bring about a new covenant.
* Lk 22:20. Jn 6:56.
b) The New Covenant is not merely a matter of obeying a set of laws, but of
entering into a living relationship with Jesus.
2. As with the old covenant, the new covenant is not an agreement between equals,
and is not done on our initiative. Rather, God acted first by sending Jesus.
3. All that God asks of us flows from what God has already done for us.
a) 1 Jn 4:19.
b) God's commands are taken in the light of His action in Jesus.
* Jn 13:15,34. A new commandment of love. Jesus' example.
4. There are also blessings and curses. Our response has eternal consequences
E. Our response.
1. Jn 13:34-35. Commandment of the new covenant.
a) But in the Church today, there is a tendency to interpret this as a call to love
all men and women.
b) True we must love everyone, but the New Testament distinguishes between
love for those who are not Christians and the covenant love of Christian
* Gal 6:10. It is important to note the distinction and have a special love for
* Always have Jesus at the center of family life.2. Many Christian groups are unsuccessful because:
a) Their models are secular in nature.
* Democratization of personal relationships. Majority rule.
* Aim is self-fulfilment. Promotes selfishness.
* Priority of personal independence, of individual freedom.
* Relationships proceed from feelings.
b) Relationships are not based on a covenant.
c) There is no authority to oversee the relationships.
d) There is no common life, no significant relationships within the body.
3. The Biblical model for relationships.
a) Like a family.
* Membership in one body, interdependence, unity, common life.
* Loving relationships (brotherhood and sisterhood), sharing.
* Authority and order.
b) If so, there are practical needs:
* Need to express commitment and love to a specific, concrete group of
* Need for such group of people to learn a specific set of relating and living
out their commitments
4. The nature of our commitment.
a) We are to love and serve God.
* We are to be God's own servant people.
b) We are to love and serve one another.
* We are no longer our own masters.
* We are to lay down our lives for one another.
* Practically, we should be willing to meet our brethren's needs with our
c) We are to live our lives in true righteousness and holiness.
d) We are to be a people that the Lord can use as a body.
* Have unity, order, peace, and support for our common life.
e) We are to be light and leaven to the world.
When people agree to put their lives in common, the following are necessary:
a) Clearly spelled out commitments.
* Thus our written covenant.
b) An authority to govern the body and oversee the set of relationships.
* Our pastoral structure of household, unit and chapter leaders.
* Our overall governing and pastoral authorities: the CFC Council and the
Board of Elders.
c) Taking responsibility for one another and for our common life.
* Not just the responsibility of the leaders, but of every member.
* Correction, intercession, financial help, etc.
d) A visible common life.
* Our various meetings and events.