Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 42 : Take, Eat, and Drink | Day 291

Discern Covenant Responsibilities!

The leaders tore their clothes and fell on their faces with shock, grief, and fear. What should have been an easy military victory turned out to be a disastrous and humiliating defeat. Now their entire military campaign and the very survival of their nation was in jeopardy.

Then God spoke to Joshua: “... Get thee up, wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them ...” (Joshua 7:10-11). The entire nation of Israel was defeated because they violated their covenant with God. But what did they do? “... They have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies ... because they were accursed: neither will I [God] be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed thing from among you” (Joshua 7:10-12).

As it turned out, a man named Achan had secretly stolen forbidden items from the spoils of a previous battle and had hidden them under his tent. When his sin was exposed, confessed, and punished, the Lord once again gave victories to the nation of Israel. (See Joshua 7-8.)

Because the entire nation of Israel was in covenant with God and with each other, one man's sin caused the whole nation to suffer.

What a deep and profound truth! God is a covenant-making God. He works through covenants with people and with nations. Because every believer is part of the Body of Christ, a covenant relationship exists between all Christians (see Romans 12:5). We are all members one of another (see Ephesians 4:25). When one member suffers, we all suffer (see I Corinthians 12:26). It is also true that when one believer sins, every other believer is affected.

This connection of members throughout the Body of Christ should be a somber message to all believers. “Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? God forbid” (I Corinthians 6:15). God reinforces this spiritual bonding by comparing it to the marriage covenant. “What? know ye not that he which is joined to a harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” (I Corinthians 6:16-17).

Before we come to the communion table, we must repent of sins that are against God and have affected every other believer.

One church that understands this vital concept has included a time for confession and asking each other for forgiveness prior to the communion service. When appropriate, sins that have been committed are confessed before the entire congregation. In one service, a man asked the congregation to forgive him for sinning in anger that week. Another asked forgiveness for immorality. Two young believers asked forgiveness of the other church members for the quarreling and fighting they had done during the past week. This cleansing process is consistent with the admonition of Scripture to “confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another ...” (James 5:16).

Let's realize the seriousness of our sin and the fact that it is not a "private matter." Our secret sins affect every other member of the Body of Christ. If they are not confessed and forsaken, they will eventually result in carnal churches that are ineffective for the Lord.

“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:26-28).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard