July 10, 2022In Sermons
The Ocean Church, English Speaking, Dar es Salaam, We are dedicated to leading people to a personal relationship with Christ
The Ocean Church, English Speaking, Dar es Salaam, We are dedicated to leading people to a personal relationship with Christ

In this sermon, Pastor Jimmy Abrams taught members of the Ocean about the meaning of Covenant Partnership. Through reference to scripture, Pastor Abrams articulates that the historical relationship between man and God has been defined by Covenant Partnership. And it is for this reason that the leadership at the Ocean Church hope that members will arrive at a newfound appreciation of Covenant Partnership with Christ. Without this important step in developing relationship, followers of Christ risk losing out on learning about God’s purpose for their life and walking in deeper relationship with Him.

One of the Biblical references that Pastor Abram uses to shed light on Covenant Partnership is found in 1st Samuel Ch. 20 vs. 1-17

“Then David fled from Naloth at Ramah….And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself.”

As the relationship that unfolds between David and Jonathan arose out of the most unlikely circumstances, a clear example of covenant relationship is provided   Despite Jonathan observing that David was being sought after and persecuted by his father; King Saul, Jonathan went out of his way to ensure David’s safety and protect him from harm. Jonathan was supposed to be the rightful heir to the throne. But because he saw that David was hand-picked by God, he made an oath to protect him and through this unlikely act of kindness, a covenant was born

Throughout scripture, God consistently chases after His people by renewing His covenant partnership with them. We observe it throughout the Old and New Testament:

Covenant with Adam: God promised Adam and Eve free reign over the Garden of Eden provided they did not eat the forbidden fruit

Covenant with Noah: After God protected Noah and his family from the floods that destroyed the whole world, He made a promise to Noah that he would never destroy the world by floods again. A consistent reminder of this promise is the rainbow

Covenant with Abraham: After Abraham faithfully obeyed God’s instructions to get up and go, He promised Abraham that He would make Him into a great nation

Covenant with Moses: After delivering the Israelites from enslavement in Egypt, God provides Moses with the 10 commandments: boundaries that would protect His relationship with His followers and keep them within reach of His blessings.

Covenant with David: God promised King David that all of His descendants would sit on a throne

New Covenant: This is the sacrifice that lasts for eternity. Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice to renew, protect, and enshrine a covenant partnership between God and mankind that is protected forever.

As shown here and throughout scripture, a Covenant partnership is what God has wanted with His people all along. God did not owe it to us to develop a Covenant partnership. Instead, He sought to maintain relationship and extend His love, kindness, and blessings to His people through Covenant Partnership. This relationship is not one of membership nor is it transactional, it is relational.  It does not rely on any form of wisdom or intelligence. Instead it is one where hearts are joined together. 

In this same vein, a covenant partnership with the church is centered on giving and not receiving. It pushes followers into a space where they can connect with other believers, serve the body of Christ, and go out into the world to fulfil His purpose for their lives.

Merely attending church does not guarantee Covenant Partnership. Covenant Partnership propels you to a place where you become a part of the body and pushes you into deeper relationship with Christ. We have no right to expect service of others if we’re not engaged in active service ourselves.  Our covenant with the church should be defined by:

  1. Commitment to knowing Jesus
  2. Generosity to the church through tithes and offerings
  3. Servanthood 
  4. Sacrificing our own needs for the betterment of others

Jesus love is conveyed through Covenant Partnership. If you put Jesus first, He’ll take care of everything else.  Saved people serve people. 

July 10, 2022In Sermons
The Ocean Church, English Speaking, Dar es Salaam, We are dedicated to leading people to a personal relationship with Christ
The Ocean Church, English Speaking, Dar es Salaam, We are dedicated to leading people to a personal relationship with Christ

Presently, the body of Christ is plagued by spiritual immaturity.

This is most evident in followers of Christ saying and doing immature things, acting in immature ways, and making immature decisions. This runs contrary to the purpose of the church as it exists to point people to Jesus and help people grow and mature in Christ. Jesus’ precise vision is articulated in the book of Ephesians Ch.4 v. 11-16: “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up… From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

Jesus’ goal for the body was for it to grow, become healthy, be united and be full of love. Jesus left behind the gifts of prophets, evangelists, apostles, and teachers as faithful executors of this vision. In as much as He left behind these trusted executors, the onus lies with us to take on this mantle and use these avenues to spiritually develop as Christians. The reasons for growing spiritually as Christians are to ensure that:

1. We will no longer be immature like little children. Growing spiritually enables us to be wiser in our decision making. These sentiments are also echoed in the 1st Corinthians 13: 11-12: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” As shown here, the transition to spiritual maturity also entails a mindset shift from that of behaving like a child to behaving like a mature adult. This transition can only be enabled through spiritual maturity. We can age physically but spiritual growth requires intentionality and deliberate action to nurture our spiritual development.

2. We will no longer be unstable and naïve. Instability is an indication of where someone is in their walk with God. It is impossible for us to stand firm and remain grounded unless we are spiritually mature as followers of Christ. The hallmark of an unstable Christian or adult is one that is easily swayed by fine-sounding arguments, and fads, having little to no discernment of what’s right and what’s wrong. This instability stems from spiritual immaturity and so too is reflected in their personal lives, relationships and even in their spiritual walk, God wants us to be stable so that we are no longer naïve, gullible, and easily tossed around in every direction. However, we can only stand firm if we grow in the knowledge of God through the word. This too will enable us to guard ourselves against false prophets and teachers.