Thursday, February 5, 2015

Contract Vs. Covenant

The Song
“My beloved is mine and I am his…” Song of Solomon 2:16

Today in this blog we begin a 7 day countdown to the free screening of the movie “The Song” at Celebration Community Church on Friday February 13th at 7:05pm. “The Song” is a modern day re-telling of the Biblical Song of Solomon. Much debate has raged over the meaning of this book. Some say it is an allegory of God's love for Israel or for the church. Others say it is a literal story about married love, sex and intimacy. In reality, it is both—a historical story with two layers of meaning. On one level, we learn about love, marriage, and sex; and on the other level, we see God's overwhelming love for his people.

Beginning today and throughout next week I will be sharing personal insights as well as excerpts from Matt Chandler’s book "The Mingling of Souls," which addresses relational intimacy.

In a Biblical marriage, husband and wife give themselves to each other…”My beloved is mine and I am his” verse 2:16. A contract says, I will keep my part of the bargain as long as the other party does. A covenant is not a 50/50 relationship, it is 100/100. Yet at any given time either spouse won’t have 100% to give, but this does not diminish the other’s commitment because they are not in a contract but a covenant. As in the covenant of grace initiated by God to save us sinners, one party can give 100% (God) even if the other gives nothing (you and me).

In a Christ-centered marriage, you give yourself to your spouse regardless of what you get back, because that’s what true love is and because that’s what true love does and because this kind of love is what gives glory to God.

This is why a covenantal biblical marriage is so important—and why divorce is so serious. Just a few weeks ago I heard an expression that is now burned into my soul.

Adultery IS grounds for divorce, but it is also grounds for forgiveness.

In forgiving our sinful spouses for whatever they did, we begin to understand on a much smaller scale what it meant for our Holy God to forgive and restore us.

God’s relationship to the church is also not contractual but covenantal. And what’s mind-blowing about God’s covenantal love toward the church is that God fulfills the obligations of both parties! God has put on my life the command that I am to love my wife, Debbie, as Christ loved the church. That is God’s command on my life—regardless of whether or not she reciprocates that love. I don’t love her as Christ loved the church in order to get something from her; I love her that way because that is what God has commanded me to do, and that’s the way He has loved me.

Do you show this one-way, unconditional, covenantal love to your spouse? What steps can you take to show more of this type of love to your spouse?

As you read Song of Songs between now and Valentines Day, remember that you are SO loved by God, and that is the way we are to love everyone else.

Your pastor and partner in ministry,

The Lang's
It is with deep sorrow that I share with you that former Hays resident Tim Lang was killed yesterday Feb 4th at 1:30pm in an truck accident. Tim and his wife Amy were faithful members of C3 before they moved to the Topeka area.

Tim’s daughter Kayla and her husband Carmen Acosta serve on the C3 music team that plays in the Worship Center.

Details about where you can send condolences to Amy and Kayla will soon follow.

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