Summary: We as Christians do not realize that we have a covenant with God that we break on a daily basis. We need to get back to commitment to Him.
Contract with God
Griffith Baptist Church – 12/07/08
Text: Nehemiah 10
Key verse: Nehemiah 9:38 – And because of all this we make a sure covenant, and write it; and our princes, Levites, and priests, seal unto it.
Premise: We as Christians do not realize that we have a covenant with God that we break on a daily basis. We need to get back to commitment to Him.
I heard about a Union Meeting where the Union Representative was explaining the new Work Contract. He said, "I have great news, friends. Management has agreed to lighten our work schedule!” The crowd shouted, "Hooray!" "And we will have a 150% pay rise." "Hooray!" "We will finish work at 4 PM, not 5 PM." And again the crowd yelled, "Hooray!” "We will start work at 10 AM, not 9 AM." "Hooray!" "From now on, we will work only on Wednesdays." There was dead silence --- then a voice from the back asked… "EVERY Wednesday?"
A covenant is a contract, an agreement with God.
This is the one Israel made in 9:38.
1. Covenant to Holiness – 10:28
A. Holiness in believing Christians was attained through the cross and is to be preserved in clean and moral living. (Heb. 7:27; Titus 2:14))
i. Our bodies - 1 Corinthians 3:17 – If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
ii. Our hearts – 1 Peter 3:15 - But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
iii. Our minds – Romans 12:2 - And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, . . .
B. Separated from the world
i. It’s influence – riches, fame, career, status, entertainment, materialism, etc.
ii. It’s philosophy – please yourself, pursue success, God can wait, etc.
iii. It’s compromise – you can have the world and the church, do both
a. With God, this compromise is impossible
b. Whatever happened to the uncompromising stand that Fanny Crosby took:
Take the world, but give me Jesus, All its joys are but a name; But His love abideth ever, Through eternal years the same.
Take the world, but give me Jesus, Sweetest comfort of my soul; With my Savior watching o’er me, I can sing though billows roll.
Take the world, but give me Jesus, Let me view His constant smile; Then throughout my pilgrim journey Light will cheer me all the while.
Take the world, but give me Jesus. In His cross my trust shall be, Till, with clearer, brighter vision, Face to face my Lord I see.
REFRAIN: Oh, the height and depth of mercy! Oh, the length and breadth of love! Oh, the fullness of redemption, Pledge of endless life above!
C. Separated to God
i. For service
ii. For worship
2. Covenant to God’s Word – 10:29
A. Walk – manner of life
i. This is what shapes our outlook on everything
ii. Our day to day living and thinking should be influenced by the Word of God
B. Observe – to guard or give heed
i. Not just a cursory reading but being careful to pay attention to every detail
ii. Now take the detail and live it as it says.
C. Do - to do, fashion, accomplish, make
i. to act, act with effect (Jn. 15:14)
ii. We do not shape the Word; the Word shapes us.
iii. We are remolded into an image more like Christ through the practice of God’s Word
iv. If God included a label on the Bible, it might say something like this: INSTRUCTIONS: For success, follow directions carefully, and do not add or subtract, go out of order, or try to substitute ingredients. The divine manufacturer cannot guarantee results should one not follow directions as prescribed - Deuteronomy 5:32 - Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
3. Covenant to Marriage and Family – 10:28-30
A. Vowing to follow God together (28)
i. A DEFINITION Marriage is when you agree to spend the rest of your life sleeping in a room that’s too warm, beside someone who’s sleeping in a room that’s too cold.
ii. Too many Christian homes are divided because parents can’t get their act together in following God.
iii. The family ought to worship together – children required
iv. Church and God’s service ought to be a priority
v. What do we teach children nowadays:
a. Sunday’s are an alternate day, a day off