Let me give some perceived background of context for this post:
We have might have an idea that covenants are nothing more than the exchange of goods and services enhanced by an agreement. That is a very shallow understanding of the concept of covenants
Anne Hamilton is a woman to whose works I was introduced by a precious Exhorter:
She raises some fascinating points here. And for clarity’s I will be happy to answer questions about this post.
Get ready, gang as this is a little more abstract than most TPH offerings. You might need to read it a few times. I know I had to, but there are some real gems for the miners who persevere:
At the risk of clearing out my entire friends’ list, I must express my deep concern over the confusion between covenant and trading. I’ve read the books. I’ve watched the videos. I’ve been to the seminars.
And at the end of the day, I have realised that “trading” is being used indiscriminately, as if it sometimes means “covenant” and sometimes not.
Covenant is essentially and radically different to trading. Covenant is about oneness. That’s what differentiates it from contract, pledge, vow, exchange or trade. ONENESS. Covenant happens to be about exchanging gifts as tokens of love, so it might look like trading in some respects. But the difference is ONENESS. If I buy a car, I don’t want to trade money for vehicle and wind up having to take care of the seller’s family for life. In a trade, it’s not about gifts – it’s hopefully about “ethical” exchange.
Much spiritual trading in my view (here goes my friends’ list – just unfriend me, don’t abuse me because that will open at least one of us up to retaliation by the spirit of Leviathan) is simply about unbelief in the atonement.
It’s a natural human inclination to want to help Jesus out when we’ve prayed and prayed and prayed and still things haven’t gone the way we wanted. What can we “do”? Confess? Repent? Forgive? Renounce? Trade? Go to the courts?
We are so inventive in finding ways to enhance the atonement. Repentance and forgiveness only “work” by the grace of God. He requires them but, in truth, they don’t add a single thing to the all-sufficiency of the sacrifice of Jesus. They are more about tokens of love than anything else – about telling God that, yes, broken as I am, I am committed to the relationship. And that, in my heart of hearts, I cannot believe in the atonement without wanting to “do” something to help Jesus solve my present crisis.
The only fallback position in this case is, I think, encapsulated in the words of the centurion: “Lord, I believe – help my unbelief.”