The Theology of the Covenant Household Model of Life and Ministry
We believe God has given us through Jesus Christ and His Word, a clear and powerful model for how we are to live as disciples of Jesus Christ and as a church body. We call this the Covenant Household Model of Life and Ministry. Following is a reference on the the theology of the model.
God created man and the world for His glory.
God’s creative activity in and His own ends for creation and for man are the necessary presupposition for understanding everything that is (exists).
- The world is derivative for God’s glory. Rev. 4:11; Rom. 11:36; Col. 1:16
- Man is derivative for God’s glory. Gen. 1:26,27; 2:7; Gen. 5:1; Is. 43:7; 1Cor. 11:3-7
- God entered into a covenant of works with man, whereby in reliance on him he might act for God in this world to God’s glory.
- Man glorifies God most by being most satisfied in Him. Mt. 22:37; Jn. 4: 1-24; Jr. 2:11-13; 1Cor. 10:1-11; Jas. 4:4-6.
- Man glorifies God by acting for God through God. Jn. 15:5-8; 1Pet. 4:11.
God executes everything according to His plan
- God’s Will is the necessary presupposition, ultimately, for understanding everything that exists and anything that happens. Job 42:2; Ps. 33:11; Pr. 16:4; Is. 45:6,7; Lam. 3:37, 38; Amos 3:6; Dan. 4:34, 35; Acts 4:27-30; 17:26; Mt. 10:29; Rom. 9; 11:33-36; Eph. 1:10-11; 1Pet. 2:8.
- Unless God’s plan is the explanation for all that happens, the events of this life, all things, devolve into chaos at their most basic level, and there is no basis for certainty about anything.
Man chose to reject God’s explanation of the true nature of all things, as well as God’s right to explain the true nature of all things and his very own existence. He chose to believe a lie about God’s control of the future
- At the instigation of Satan man chose to set up his own reason as the judge Gen. 3:1-5;
- Man chose to set up his own will as the rule against the Wisdom and rule of God. Rm.1:21-25
Consequently, Man became dead in sin.
- Man cannot know the truth about the nature of anything. He became a slave to futility and hostility in his mind. Mt. 11:25-27; Mt. 22:44; Mt. 23:15; Jo. 1:5; 15:23; Jn. 12:40; 5:37-39; Jn. 8:43-47; Jn. 17:14; Rom. 8:6-8; 1Cor. 1:21; 1Cor. 2:13-14; 1Cor. 3:20; Col. 1:21, Tit. 3:3;
- Man cannot obey the truth and so cannot please God, but became a slave to idols. Enmity rather than love for God now motivates all his acts. Mt. 15:9; Rom. 8:6-8; 5:10; 1Cor. 10:20; Jn. 8:19; Gal. 4:8; Eph. 2:2, 3, 14-16; 1Jn. 2:22, 23; 3:6, 10, 12, 13
- Man stands under the condemnation and wrath of God. Jn. 3:18; Rom. 3:10-19; 5:12-18; 6:23; Eph. 2:1-3; 2Thes. 1:8
God initiated and fulfilled the Covenant of Grace.
God applies the Covenant of Grace and explains the process by which man is renewed in His Glory-Image (also called godliness, or covenant faithfulness)
- The ordo-salutis (Order of Salvation) Rom. 8:29, 30; 1Cor. 1:30-31; 2Cor. 3:18-4:6
- Faithfulness in all Covenant spheres of life (heart and life faithfulness) 1Thes. 4:11; 1Tim. 3:4; 5:8; Eph. 5; 6; 1Pet. 3
God ordains and Institutes the Primary structure of Authority to most faithfully oversee and manage this restoration to Covenant faithfulness, which is itself both an end and means of that restoration process.
- The local church as a household of households under the authority of Elders, who oversee heads of households and encourage and oversee mutually constructive covenantal relationships for individual members, with a view to their varying gifts and roles (including importantly speaking the truth in love to one another in mutually constructive covenantal relationships and in corporate assembly Eph. 4:11-16; Col. 3:16; 1Cor. 12; 14; Heb. 3:12, 13; 10:24; Heb. 13:7,17.
- Heads of households are responsible (accountable to God and the elders of the church) for the sanctification of his own family. Eph. 5:21-6:4.
General Outline of the Application of the CHMLM
- There is a presupposed model of life and ministry (as above) i.e. an interconnected system of truth (the gospel) that must be known, submitted to, pursued, and applied for God’s glory and our good, which rightly understood, and applied are not two but one central motive. 2Tim. 1:13; Rom. 6:17; (Rom. 1-12); (Gen. 1-3); Gen. 3:15; 1Cor. 1:30, 31; 1Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:17
- The aim of this model (the gospel) is heart-level obedience. (True godly desire verses bare-legalistic-duty oriented behavior) 1Tim. 1:3-5; Mt. 28:18,19; Mt. 22:37; De. 6:4-6; Mt. 23:23-26; Mt. 15:18, 19; Lu. 6:43-45; Pr. 4:23; Is. 29:13; Mt. 22:37; Rom. 13:8-10; Gal. 5:6, 13-15; Eph. 4:15, 16; 1Pet. 5:2; 2Cor. 9:7; 1Jo. 2:3-11; 1Jo. 3:10-23
- Heart-level obedience is lived out in and expressed by heart-level relationships (with God and one another) which are the ultimate end to which we are all accountable. Eph. 1-4:16; Jo. 13:31-35; Jo. 17; Gal. 5:13-15; 1Th. 4:10-12; Js. 3:13-18
- This heart-level obedience and these relationships are not indiscriminate but are maintained along covenantal lines (e.g. Marriage and family). What’s more this obedience, not indiscriminately applied, must be managed within spheres of covenant obligation according to the priorities assigned to each by Christ in his word. 1Th. 4:10-12
- The primary methodology of growth in regards to heart-level obedience and heart-level relationships is speaking the truth (the gospel, which is the source of all righteousness and holiness (1Cor. 1:30, 31; Rom. 8:29,30) in love within these relationships, for which we are all accountable to know and be known. Eph. 4:15, 16; 2Tim. 2:24-25; Gal. 6:1,2; Lev. 19:17; Jas. 5:19; Eph. 5:15; Col. 3:15; Heb. 3:12-13; Heb. 10:24
- This growth, otherwise referred to as sanctification or renewal in the likeness of Christ, involves putting off the old man with its lusts and putting on the new man (Christ in you) and the love that comes from Christ to God and others, which being rooted in the accomplishment of Christ and applied by faith, makes covenant faithfulness not only possible but expected, and not a burden but a joy. Eph. 4:17-24; Jo. 8:32-34; Rom. 6:1-22; Rom. 13:14; 1Cor. 1:30,31; 1Cor. 10:6-13; Eph. 4:13-24; Pp. 3:8-12; Col. 2:3-3:10; Gal. 5:16-26; Jas. 4:1-6; 1Joh. 2:15, 16; 4:7-8; 1Joh. 5:1-4
- HOH’s are men assigned with the responsibility of overseeing this heart-level transformation for their households, and Overseers are men assigned to see to it that this transformation is being faithfully maintained in the broader Household of God the Church, and so practically speaking they accomplish their jobs primarily by managing the managers (in the ordinary situation). Eph. 4:11-12; 5:22-6:4; 1Pet. 5:1-5; 1Cor. 11:3-9; 14:34,35; 1Tim. 3:1-5; Heb. 13:17; 1Pet. 5:1-5