WASHINGTON (ABP)—God's covenant with Christians “places the responsibility for being the presence of Christ squarely on our shoulders,” Emmanuel McCall told participants at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship general assembly.
God is a covenant-keeping God, insisted McCall, the Fellowship's moderator and pastor of The Fellowship Baptist Group in suburban Atlanta. He cited several covenants recorded in the Old Testament but stressed God sealed the “new covenant”—God's most precious pact—with the life and atoning death of Jesus.
Since the nature of covenants calls for mutual accountability as well as mutual rewards and benefits, God's new covenant places demands upon Christians, McCall added.
“Our part in the covenant is our repentance for our sins and a commitment to follow Jesus' way of living,” he explained. “A changed, new way of living is called for on our part. On God's part, it is the covenant of life beyond life for all eternity.”
That's why this covenant places high demands upon those who accept it, he said.
“God's new covenant has no room for excuses, no room for blaming others, no harboring resentments for past mistakes or failures,” he declared. “Unlike the covenant of old, it is not etched in stone. … It was placed in fluid, living vessels, in the hearts and minds of transformed people.
“Transformed people are God's work through his Holy Spirit. We are transformed, not for the sake of transformation, but to be the very presence of Christ in this world.”