From the Pastor's Pen
April 17, 2016
“Be Strong In The Lord” by Cindy Wyatt
Be strong in the Lord and the power of his might equipped with his armor so you can win the fight. Blessed are the people who put their trust in the Lord and go out to the battle with his shield and sword. To be a good soldier, afflictions we must endure. The path is not easy and has hardships to be sure. We must endure all things for the elect's sake. So they might of God's great gift partake. The world will fight against us and will oppose. But we are on the winning side because our Lord Jesus did arise victoriously from the grave. Now we can go out to the battle in his name and be brave. We are the Lord's army to go out in Jesus name and to the whole world the gospel proclaim. The devil will flee when he hears the name of God's son. He is a defeated foe and by God's power outdone.
Grace Covenant Ministries
“We are a Covenant people, impacting a broken and hurting world with the Christ of redeeming love”
From a Biblical perspective the statement above identifies “who we are,” “the work we are called to do,” and “the means by which the work will be accomplished.” In stating these three areas, the Collegiate Consistory has created a mental picture or vision of what the work of Grace Covenant Ministries is all about. A brief explanation of each area follows.
“We are a Covenant people”
A covenant is an agreement/promise between two parties. Generally, these are bilateral agreements which are binding on both parties. There are, however, promises God made with His people that are unilateral—binding only on Himself. History reveals that God is a covenant making God, but also a covenant keeping God. He never breaks his promises. A few examples follow:
- To Noah He promised never again to destroy the world by flood (Gen. 9:12-17)
- To Abraham He promised to bless his descendants and make them His own special people (Gen. 12: 1-3)
- To Moses He promised “--out of all nations you will be my treasured possession--a kingdom of priest and a holy nation” (Ex. 19: 5-6)
- To David He promised that he and his descendant would be the royal heirs to the throne of the nation of Israel (2 Sam. 7: 12-16)
- To us He promises a “new covenant” under which we are justified by God’s grace and mercy because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Hebr.8: 8-12 and Acts 2:29-39
Jesus said when eating the Passover meal at the Last Supper with His disciples, “this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28). This covenant is intended for all mankind--every man, woman and child, regardless of race. As believers in Christ we are redeemed “children of promise” (Gal. 4: 28 & Rom. 9:8. We are heirs of God, and co-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17). We are a Covenant people.
“--Impacting a broken and hurting world”
The word “impacting” means leaving a deep impression or having a compelling effect on something or someone. Impacting causes change to occur. It leaves the target of its focus different than it was before. As covenant people we are called to impact a broken and hurting world. It requires us to be catalysts of change, instruments used by God to make a difference in the world. Impacting implies that differences come when connections are made. We are called to be imitators of Christ (Eph. 5:1) with a goal of pleasing Him. Compelled by His love we are to care about those He cares about, and to love those He loves. We have been reconciled to God through Christ who has extended to us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5: 18-20). As His ambassadors we are, through word and deed, to make a difference in our lost and need world. There must remain, in the wake of our presence and efforts, a positive impression and a compelling difference. Christ is the answer. It is He who redeems, it is He who brings new life, and it is He in whose name we serve.
“--with the Christ of redeeming love.”
Scripture records various names and/or titles used in reference to Christ. Each name, with its special meaning, helps us answer the question, “Who is ‘the Christ’?” A few references follow:
- In the prophecy of Isaiah (7: 14) he is called Immanuel, meaning “God with us.”
- The Gospel of Matthew (1:21) records that Mary was to give her new born son the name Jesus, meaning “Savior.”
- Matthew (16:16) also records that during his public ministry Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ (meaning Immanuel) the Son of the Living God.
- In the Gospel of John (4: 25-26) Jesus tells a Samaritan woman the he is the Messiah, meaning “The Anointed One.”
The names help us understand that Christ is The Anointed One who is with us always. He is Jesus, our Savior who seeks and saves those who are lost. His love led him to Calvary’s cross to purchase our salvation. It is He who we must make known. It is His story of redeeming love that we are to tell.