Covenant Theology and the Family

March 10, 2007 § Leave a comment

Mal 4:6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

There have been many doctrinal shifts in the “protestant/evangelical” church since the time of the reformation. The church for the most part following the reformation was confessional and covenantal in doctrine. The emphasis of the reformed confessions are on God as the God of covenant promise and the covenant family is seen, in covenant theology, as being at the center of God’s historic redemptive plan. The covenant family, as a subset of the larger church/covenant “community”, is emphasized as the primary means God has used to save his people. This emphasis provides, historically, a strong foundation for healthy and godly families. The question is, with the shift in the “church”, over the years following the reformation, from this covenantal and reformed foundation to a revivalistic and individualistic emphasis, is it suprising to us that as a result we have the deterioration of the family unit? This deterioration is just a rampant in the church as in the world. I don’t know if one can statistically prove that there is a connection between an emphasis on covenant theology and strong covenant families by compiling historical data, but it does seem to me, as one that was raised in a revivalistic/individualistic religious environment, that a return by the “evangelical” church to it’s covenantal roots would again provide a strong foundation for the covenant family and produce the godly seed that is promised in the new covenant.

Blessings in Christ,

Terry W. West

He Seeks a Godly Offsring

March 8, 2007 § Leave a comment

Malachi 2:13-17, 13 And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the Lord with tears, With weeping and crying; So He does not regard the offering anymore, Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands. 14 Yet you say, “For what reason?” Because the Lord has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant. 15 But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. 16 “For the Lord God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the Lord of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.”

In this passage God declares divorce an act of violence against the marriage covenant, an act of violence against his eternal purposes. For in this passage we find that the purpose for the covenant family is to produce a godly offspring. The covenant family in God’s covenantal economy is of central importance. We find this same emphasis in the new testament as well. Notice the order Peter uses in his declaration of God’s promise in Acts 2:39: “…For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

May we as fathers and mothers learn this truth and pray that by God’s grace our families will, for God’s glory, be used as a covenant means through which his redemptive plan is accomplished in the earth.

My God, my blessed triune God, I pray that by your grace my family, which you have been pleased to give to me, may begin a long legacy of covenant families, that your gracous promise in Christ may be granted to my children and to their children and to their children’s children and to as many as you, Oh Sovereign God, are pleased to call. Amen

Blessings In Christ,

Terry W. West

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