COVENANT – Part 2
In Genesis 15 we find God making another covenant this time with Abraham. God’s promise to him was for a legacy of descendants that would be greater in number than the stars in the sky ( Genesis 15:5 ). This on-going covenant would continue in Abraham’s line forever. Vs 6 says that “Abraham believed and was counted righteous based on his faith.” Noah and Abraham’s faith brought them to a covenant with God that continues with us today.
These covenants are recorded in the old testament and are a strong message of Hope to us today. In our lives today our Confession of faith in Jesus Christ and our Contrition in repentance bring us to God in faith. Jesus ordained two covenants of faith with us in His life here on earth. They are baptism and communion and they continue with us today and stand as a physical marker of our faith. Baptism is the symbolic act of going under the water and the dying of our “old man” and coming out of the water as the “new man”. Paul sums it up in Romans 6:4
For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.
Our salvation was accepted by our faith, and like Abraham we became righteous before God thru the death of Jesus Christ. Baptism is a physical marker of that faith and connects us to others that share the same marker of faith as part of the family of God.
Jesus also ordained communion as a covenant between Him and His followers. He participated in this covenant, like baptism, to show His apostles the direct connection that the physical act has in remembering Him. Understanding what communion is can most easily be seen by what it is NOT – It is not a table of forgiveness ( that is a personal commitment to God ), it is not a table of inclusion or exclusion based on people, cultures and backgrounds – It is a table of remembrance that connects all believers to Jesus Christ by honoring His memory and the sacrifice that He gave for our forgiveness of sin.
Like seeing the covenant reminder of the rainbow, may baptism and communion strengthen our covenant with God and our relationship with others. May our “Confession” of Faith in Jesus and our plea for forgiveness of our sins in “Contrition” bring us new meaning in the covenants of baptism and communion as we share them with others along our way.