Below is the Covenant Triangle. (If you’re unfamiliar with the Covenant Triangle, see this by Mike Breen). Every story, every teaching, every book of scripture is written through the lens of relationship (Covenant) and responsibility (Kingdom). Below is a teaching tool that summarizes the reality of Covenant from scripture:
Some questions I use personally to align myself rightly in the Covenant Triangle:
- Do I measure my closeness to God by how little I’m sinning? Or by my trust that, to the extent the Father loves Jesus, the Father loves me?
- Do I understand my primary identity as “saved sinner” or “saint who sins”?
- When I talk to God do I spend more time rehearsing my failures or enjoying His presence?
- What sort of preaching/teaching do I connect with? Am I drawn to pastors who are “tough on sin” and “let me have it” or those who encourage me to trust what God says about my identity in Jesus? Does their teaching reverse the flow of Father -> Identity -> Obedience?
- When I sit under this teaching/preaching do I get caught up in the Cycle of Religious Enslavement? Or does this teaching set me free to enjoy the ‘easy yoke’ of Jesus and live out of who God says I am?
- Do I believe that one day, with much effort and striving, I will eventually please God? Or do I believe that he is already pleased with me?
- Where is my focus: on overcoming sin or giving and receiving love from God and others? What do I measure? What do I count?
- When I engage in spiritual disciplines am I trusting them to fix me? Or – do I experience a spaciousness and opening up of my heart in them to receive grace?
- Do I believe that God has yet to change me? Do I still believe that my heart is desperately wicked and untrustworthy? Or do I believe that I, in fact, have been given a new heart by God and he is in the process of maturing (not changing) me?
- When I read commands in scripture do I internalize them as: “you ought…you must…you should…why can’t you…when will you…” or as “You may…you are able…you can…this is who you are now”?
(Adapted from “The Cure” by John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, and Bill Thrall, p. 47-48)