Funny how things come together

I was talking with someone the other day about how when we are working hard at evangelism so many of our worries, squabbles and preoccupations seem so unimportant that they are forgotten. It was true in the Christian Union so long ago. It is true in churches.

Then this morning in Donald MacLeod's "A faith to live by", the chapter on the covenant, I read this:

it is a remarkable and solemn thing that the familiar words of the Great Commission in Matthew 28 are cast in the form of an ancient covenant. There is a preamble, "All authority is given to me in heaven and on earth". There is a stipulation, 'Go, teach all the nations." And there is a promise, "I am with you always." What are we being told here ? That the presence of God is covenantal: "I am with you as you go and because you go." If we divorce the promise from the stipulation, there is no presence. The preaching of the Word, the evangelising of the nations, church extension, outreach, bringing God's word to bear upon the lostness and blindness all around us: it is all covenantal. That is the precondition of our enjoying the presence of God. We cannot invert the Biblical order and say "We won't go; we're not ready; we're waiting for the presence." It is the going church which alone enjoys the presence of the promise of God.


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