Sunday, January 27, 2013

No Small Thing....

     Back in the old days... and I mean the really old days, thousands of years before I was born, friends (and also enemies) could enter into a covenant agreement with each other - an agreement usually sealed with some type of blood ceremony.
     I don't know if  a lot of Christians realize this - I didn't until a few months ago - but when a person becomes a follower of Christ, he enters into a covenant relationship with God.  Covenant partners share their possessions, their homes, their wealth, and "cover" each other with their reputations if possible. As in: he is my covenant brother.  If he owes you anything, I will guarantee that it is paid even if I have to pay it myself.
     Leaving that thought for a minute, I want to transition to another one:   a case of identity, true, mistaken, stolen, or otherwise.:)  Christians frequently hear or see lists of who they are according to Scripture.  These lists may go something like this:
    I am a new creation.  II Cor. 5:17
    I am saved from sin.   John 3:16

    Those lists don't help me much because they don't always feel like they "fit" me.   Some do; some don't.   So today I started making my own identity list of things I've not only read about  in Scripture over the years but that also God has shown me in various ways.  I started with Eph. 3:17 which was in my last blog:      I am rooted and grounded in God's love.
    My next one was:  I have a title deed to a dwelling place in Heaven. Jesus is preparing it for me even now.  John 14:1-4
   And then:  I am rich in all the things that matter to God.  II Cor. 8:9.
   And then:  I am cloaked in God's righteousness.  II Cor. 5:21.
   As I was making my own list of who I am in Christ, the truth of covenant suddenly hit me again and if I can, I'd like to show you how:
   When I believed in Christ, He came to live in my heart.  Someday I will live in His home.  Covenant partners share their homes with each other.
   Christ is divine, royal,  and fabulously wealthy in an other-worldly way that I can't imagine.  But II Cor. 8:9 says that He temporarily became poor so that we might become rich permanently. In other words, as covenant partners I brought what I had to the table - poverty - while  He brought His riches.   There we "sat down" and made the exchange - He handing over His riches to me while accepting the poverty of my broken humanity, taking the title for a while of Son of Man. While I changed from Daughter of Eve to a Child of God. (John 1:12) 
    In the same way, according to II Cor. 5:21, on the  day we became covenant partners, Christ brought His reputation, His righteousness to the table while  I brought, um, basically mine - characterized by sin -  to the table.  There  He covered me with the clean robe of His righteousness while taking my stained garment of sin and wearing it  to court, to the place of execution,  and to the grave where it remains to this day and forever.
   And now He lives forever at the right hand of God where He makes intercession for me and for all His covenant partners, He the strong partner who ever reaches down in love to me, the weak one.

   So now I can add to my identity list that  I am a forever covenant partner with  Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
   And that, my friend, is no small thing.*

*He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the rightousness of God in Him.  II Cor. 5:21.
  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.  II Cor. 8:9
  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Romans 8:1
 And according to Romans 8:37-39, nothing will ever be able to separate me from the love of my covenant partner and Lord.

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