Covenant with God is about more than golden rule
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
Some Christians talk as if good deeds are part of some sort of legal agreement with God, complete with the Ten Commandments and a signature on your forehead.
Not so, Pastor Brian Kruckenberg of New City Church told the Chapel audience Monday morning in Grand Canyon University Arena. The former attorney said there are big differences between a contract and a covenant, and what we have with God is the latter.
“Covenants are always about grace, love and faith, not keeping a list of rules,” Kruckenberg said.
Contracts, he explained, are promises that involve an exchange of property and are based on profit and self-interest. They are temporary. Covenants, on the other hand, are sworn by solemn oath and are an exchange of life. They are permanent.
“We’re not used to covenants,” he said, noting that they call for self-giving loyalty and sacrificial love.
To demonstrate his point, Kruckenberg used Galatians 3:1-14, in which Paul delivered a serious chewing out to his new church members.
“You foolish Galatians!” the passage begins. “Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish?”
Later, it reads, “For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.’ Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because ‘the righteous will live by faith.’”
Back in those days everyone knew what a covenant was, Kruckenberg said. The pacts God made with Adam, Abraham, Moses and David all were covenants, and they had one thing in common: God saying, “I will bless you.”
So how should Christians act on this idea?
“Here’s what you do: You surrender,” Kruckenberg said. “From the beginning to the end, the Christian life is all about surrender.”
He also used Galatians 2:21 as a reference point. It reads, “I do not frustrate the grace of God. For if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”
The message is clear. Good deeds are good, but our covenant with God is about much more than that.
“Don’t be locked up in rules-based faith,” Kruckenberg said.
● For a replay of Kruckenberg’s talk, click here.
● Next week’s Chapel speaker: Travis Hearn, Impact Church
Contact Rick Vacek at 602-639-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.