Click the mp3 link below to listen to this message. When leaving a comment for your Community Connection assignment, please summarize in your own words what you learned or how you were blessed. Use your full name so that your Connection Coach can find your comments.

 

Intimacy Belongs in Covenant

Sunday, March 27, 2011
Sunday Service (Hillside Campus 1pm)
Speaker: Christian Lee
Passage: Galatians 6:7-10
Duration: 00:58:25

In an age where people seek intimacy without covenant and pleasure without responsibility, this message talks about how much God values covenant.

Comments

  1. Very enlightening and so true. I never quite connected intimacy and covenant before. No that I think about it, so many levels of relationship has its own unique form of covenant and those that are defined always have a start date to the covenant be it concious or unconscious. Relationships are safe and secure in covenant and it is in this that we have an assurance that God will always be with us as it is part of the terms of His covenant with us hence we are safe in it :-)……Makes me wonder ‘just how many covenants am I in?’ hehehe

    • Rona Babb says:

      Jasmin, you are such a relational person. God is going to really take you to a deeper level of intimacy in all your relationships as you enter into covenant with NPC. I’m so excited for you!

    • Nandawula Elizabeth says:

      Jesus!!! The way pastor Christian explains the covenant bit. It is right that the more you are committed to something the more you invest in it , with your whole coz it means alot to u.I am so touched and this makes me realise that indeed i cannot give less of myself in my covenat or relationship and excpect more.Wow.Am so blessed by this message. I had never considered my commitment to a church and after this sermon,i wanna give it my all

  2. Hmmm
    Grace comes through covenant!
    Lord be the center of relationships

    • Hi Red and Blue,

      If you are trying to complete your Community Connection assignments, then please: 1) leave your real name so your Connection Coach can find your comments; 2) your comment is too short, please revise.

      ~PC

  3. “Christianity isn’t just about believing but belonging” Truly, we are made for love and some of us are so desperate for it that we will seek it outside of covenant (Ie. adultery). However, as Pastor Christian presented, those pursuits are futile. We’ve got to commit to seeking intimacy in covenant! This is a call not just for the personal covenant we made with God but also with His people. I think loving the people around us will give us glimpses of God’s love for us because His unconditional love transcends our flaws and we aim for that kind of love.

  4. Eunhae Grace Han says:

    Covenant is something I can’t fully grasp yet and something I have been wondering about for a while. Although this sermon didn’t answer all my questions it aided me to never stop taking a revelation or thought deeper and to the Lord.

    It is interesting statement you made “Grace comes through covenant” are those outside of covenant nonparticipant of His grace?

    It is through the cross and the blood Christ shed that we are all under one covenant, so before I was confused of why we are to establish covenants again through churches but it is for intimacy with that part of the body.

    Intimacy and covenant is such a deep and wonderful themes of the bible that I hope to learn more from through New Philly.

  5. I like how PC said about how everyone is coming to church in search for relationship. Either you’re coming to church to look for a relationship with men / a relationship with God. It made me started to think the reason that I keep continuing to attend service back home, was it because I wanted to worship God / was it because I wanted to meet my friends? It kinda convicted me somehow. Now I just want to be in the covenant because I want to taste more of His goodness through this church.

    I also used to think about how the sowing & reaping thing can be related to Karma. But now I know they’re not the same. I always thought that my parents don’t love me enough & how I used to be rebellious towards them, is because of what they’ve sown in me but my aunt rebuked me saying that I shouldn’t think that way & act that way because I am a Christian now & I need to show them how Jesus can change me & be a role model of His disciples to them.

  6. Masande.G says:

    I love and believe in the truth that Christianity is not just about believing but also about belonging. As humans we long for intimacy with other people and as christian’s we long for intimacy in the church with other brothers and sisters. We come to church for God but we also come for real and deep relationships with others.

    church is a family and feeling like you are part of a family is a huge part of being a christian. Covenant allows us protection, intimacy and realness. I think this sermon has made clear why New Philly values Membership and committing to the local church. If intimacy is found in covenant and covenant is found in membership then i am excited about becoming a member of New philly!!

  7. Magdeline Goh Seen Hui says:

    In our christian walk, not only must we have intimacy with God but also with His people to know where we belong to, or else we are missing a huge part of our Christian walk. Through this podcast, it reminds me again that I should have intimacy with brothers and sisters in Christ and I can this intimacy among NP members. Now I can see how important relationship and intimacy are!

  8. I think it is so true that people come to church not only for God but also for relationships.I think that the two things are on equal ground. You can’t really have strong relationships without God or God without strong relationships. It makes it a bit safer when your are in covenant. It is a good thing when people are not allowed to act crazy in church. But I also want to say that covenant can be a really scary thing especially for people that don’t know how to or can’t trust the church. I think that if it is done right and biblically then it can be a really amazing thing.

  9. Kristine Wong says:

    Another great sermon to convict me that membership at NP is definitely something I need to do in my life right now. I like the analogy of sowing and reaping with one apple seed. How can you expect a great harvest if you don’t sow it well and devote time to it? This analogy goes hand in hand with the way we are in the church. If you don’t sow into the church with the love, care, and time, how can you expect good fruits to grow in your life? I grew up with people who expected big harvest with little effort. That concept like a flea market doesn’t make sense at all in the church and is based on how Western culture is all about consumerism. “Great results with little effort/cost.” This doesn’t build up commitment, patience, love, care, time, and intimacy. I grew up with people who thought this way, and this makes sense to me as to why these people kept switching churches so often. And so… with great sowing… you must not be afraid of intimacy in the church because that is how we can really grow in our spiritual maturity. You can be committed to the Lord by yourself, but if you’re not committed to the church and people of God, then it really doesn’t mean a whole lot because you are not sowing your spiritual seed properly. I have been asking myself this question for the longest time: How can I grow more in my spiritual life? How can I grow a deeper intimacy with the Lord? This sermon answered it and it is through commitment with the church. This all makes sense now, and I’m so glad to be given this opportunity to grow more as a Christian. It is something I have been praying for for a very long time~

  10. Stephanie Grady says:

    Covenant can be such a foreign concept to so many people, yet it is such a treasure that God has provided to bless all of His people. It is SO true that all people are looking for relationships where they will be loved, accepted, and celebrated. God intended His church to be THE place where people find those kind of relationships. However a lot of churches haven’t been that and instead taught their people to live independently outside of covenant. What most people don’t realize is that those kind of relationships come through investment and are found in relationships where people are committed to each other’s best.
    Sowing and reaping is about investment. Many things in the kingdom of God are about the investment of our hearts, faith, time, and desires. Tithing is about investment and obedience as well. Money issues can and many times do sabatoge believers in their connection and journey with God. I appreciate how seriously NP is about tithing and helping people grow to be wise stewards of the resources we’ve been entrusted with. As we learn to wisely steward what we have, we can then be entrusted with more of God’s heart and gifts.
    Intimacy without responsibility is such a damaging concept. It’s something most people have been hurt by at some point in their lives, which is why covenant can sound scary. They’ve had people say they will be there for them, but in tough times they found themselves alone. I know I want to be a person who can be relied on and counted on when others need me. I also know I want to be a part of a church that teaches the benefits of covenant and it’s importance. I look forward to living in covenant with my New Philly family.

  11. Janice So Hyun Lim says:

    It’s funny how I always expected to receive from church but didn’t try to give as much as I could. I served from time to time, but my service was out of a sense of duty, not a sense of honor toward the covenant with the church. Yet, I thought to myself, “I’m doing so much work, but why am I not getting anything in return from the church?” After listening to the sermon, I learned that it was because I wasn’t in a covenant. I went to church on Sundays, but had nothing to do with it during the rest of the week. I went, but was not committed to any relationship with the members. I was a passive attendee, occasionally serving by whim. I didn’t make covenant with the church, and thus missed out on the intimacy that comes through the covenant. This sermon convicts me to be firm about my decision to commit to a church, and follow through on my commitments. Can’t wait to be a part of an intimate family secured by a covenant!

  12. Audrey Tan Ngerong says:

    It’s only natural that people constantly seek after intimacy because we are designed to love and to be loved. I had always distance myself from the church community before as there had always been a reluctance to commit and to take the initial steps to belong to a community. Ironically, I expected to receive so much more than from what I had sown in. As I was listening to this sermon, my heart grew in realization that it would be a selfish act to keep expecting the church community to embrace and take me in when I’m not willing to be in covenant. I agree that our walk with God is incomplete when there is an absence of the right environment along with His people that enables us to grow and mature together in our faith. I’m excited to belong in covenant with my New Philly family!

  13. Joee Teng says:

    ‘Christianity is not about believing, but also belonging’ I started to understand that being a christian means you belong to the family of God and a part of the body of Christ. Church is not only a place we go to, but also a place we belong to. I once felt reluctant to be connected to a local church and people but throughout the previous semester, I began to realize the importance of having a good relationship with our brothers sisters in our Christian walk. They had blessed me so much and helped me grew so much in my spiritual maturity.
    God had been pouring His love to me unconditionally all these while and sometimes, He even gave me more than I sown in. I am truly thankful for His’s unconditional love and I wish to have more intimacy with Him. ‘Intimacy belongs in covenant!’ Submitting myself to New Phillly, I believe that I could have that kind of intimacy with my New Philly family! 😀

  14. When I came to Korea, I definitely struggled with finding a church that I felt like I belonged to. The moment I walked into New Philly, it was like BAM. I am HOME. I felt like I belonged. This message definitely made me realize that I was one of those people who was hurt in the past and I put up this facade that I was happy or that I cared or that I liked you or that I wanted to be friends when in reality, I always had this guard up. This fear or suspicion that people don’t really care, they don’t to invest in a relationship with me; much less a covenant-based relationship (as PC put it) super-charged with commitment. I hadn’t realized how much God wanted me (and wants others) to not only have a close intimate relationship with Him, but also with His people because Christianity is about community as well. I definitely feel like I am going to form some covenant relationships with my brothers and sisters at New Philly, and I am so excited to grow with them in the Lord.

  15. Janis Pok says:

    Intimacy within the church and God’s people is a rather new concept to me. Even though I grew up in a Christian home and as an MK, i was never actively involved in the church. My Sundays were just going to the adult service with my parents, sitting through it, and walking out. I went to youth group for awhile but couldn’t understand the Korean and the Korean kids never really liked me, so I stopped going. Basically, to me, a church is just a place I have to go on Sundays and only on Sundays. I felt weirded out by everybody at New Philly being so friendly and nice when I first came and it felt very fake to me. I just thought the welcoming team was so nice and friendly because that was their job. so for about 6 months, i’ve been attending new philly, but it is finally now that i have decided to join membership. i don’t think i have any past traumas/ hurt from the church, it’s just that i don’t know what to expect, and i don’t want to get disappointed, so i just try to keep my distance. it’s nothing against new philly or the people there, it’s just how i feel about the church, i guess. also, as PC said in the sermon, many young people today desire for intimacy without responsibilities, and i felt guilty as i heard that, because that is how i have been handling most of my relationships since i have major commitment issues. but im honestly tired of myself for not following through and being committed, and i want to change that around. i believe my first step in committing to the church will enable me to become committed to other things as well. i really do want to be part of an intimate community in a church for once, but i know that won’t happen unless i take the first step and trust God that He has put me in the right family. also, i really hope that i don’t only expect to receive from the church, but i become a proactive member who can give much back.

  16. The marriage analogy really resonated with me, because it’s such a clear-cut example of what true love (commitment) really is because of the very specific way God designed it. Like PC says, intimacy is only biblical when it happens under covenant, a public declaration of a commitment or a confession… I never really considered that taking a membership class and becoming a member is actually a public declaration of my commitment to God’s people, and I realize how seriously it needs to be taken. I’m coming into agreement that I will allow people to speak into my life and help build me up by encouraging and also rebuking me. Covenant is THE key to intimacy, for relationships to be taken to new levels, just like marriage was designed to do originally before the world distorted it… Intimacy is scary because it’s meant to tear down your walls and leave you vulnerable, but that place is a powerful one where we always experience God on new levels. I am expectant of all the relationships I’ve established already and will establish in the future as I come into agreement that I’m committed to God’s people in this local community in Seoul, and that in turn this community agrees to be committed to me and to my growth as a son of this house.

  17. Bea Bettina Ramos Francisco says:

    My, this message really hit home. As I was listening to it, I can’t help but feel convicted. Even though I knew about “the sowing and reaping principle” and “intimacy with God”, these concepts were all just head knowledge to me. I used to think that intimacy with the Lord means only focusing on my relationship with Him and coming out to church to spend time with Him alone. But through Pastor Lee’s sermon, I realized that “relationship with God AND His people” are BOTH important in order to grow as a Christian. No wonder I was stagnant and dry when it comes to living out the Christian life. Coming from a broken family, I had come to acquire this fear of people leaving me behind over time. I am one of those people who thinks that “the best way to manage a relationship is to keep people at a distance” because I’m afraid that if I let my guard down, especially to those I barely know, that attachment might just end up being a disappointment later on. But then again, I am reminded that “Christianity is not just about believing but belonging” – that it is a relationship not only with Jesus but His body as well.

    Commitment in a community was also difficult for me to carry out because I used to think that it would require so much of my time and effort; and that what matters most was that I had a personal relationship with Him. But now that I contemplate about it, I realize that choosing to follow Christ and having a relationship with Him entails getting involved with and immersed into His bride – the Church. I recall what our senior pastor preached before – that the Church is not merely a place of worship but a living organism which is us, His people. And to quote him exactly, “We are the Church, not the building” (Tan-Chi, 2013).

    That’s why I’m really thankful for my Emmaus & New Philly friends because they have blessed me in so many ways and levels. Now I am glad that I get to spend more time with people whose hearts are burning for Him and also so psyched to see what He has in store for us!

  18. carol lee says:

    Ive been in Korea for almost 2 years and, during this time, I thought that would be enough for me only attending church and focusing daily in my relationship with God. I had strongly in my mind that my staying in Korea would be pretty short, so I didnt try to have something more than a good worship time and a good message on Sunday. But now that God put me in New Philly, I think He is showing me that is time for new things. I am sure that my relationship with God got to another level during these 2 years, but now it’s time for something more through this church. I dont know yet what it is, but I have a lot of expectations about that.

  19. From being a boy who has dull-dark-boring-life-which-had-only-games-and-selfactivities attitude and lifestyle, to a man who is now outgoing, blessed and a comforter as well. And that’s me. I can still remember how I was when I locked myself in a small room packed with computer games and movies, and whenever cousins or church mates or friends came over, I immediately locked up the door and refused to communicate with them. I hated everything : I hated how people only chatted with people based on appearance and interest; I hated how people only think that only people with same style and attitude will have a good and interesting life. But through this message, I realized that “you’re not alone”, and that you is me, for you guys as well :). God shows me that there are still wonderful people out there who will eventually bless and love me instead of the dull and meaningless life that I’d been to previously. God bless me through people, through church messages. Through intimacy with brothers and sisters in church, I’ve realized that we must not only be close to those who we are already close with, but instead, must approach and try to open up a healthy and good relationship with the person that you’ve never talked to before. Who knows wewill eventually bless each other, too. I believe that everything’s God’s plan to bring me up to this wonderful and amazing New Philly Church Community. And this is the first time I don’t feel left out and I feel blessed everything I get connected with church mates ^^ Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, Lean not on your own understanding, Acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight :)

  20. A couple of things PC said really stuck out. One was that Christian faith isn’t just about relationship with God. It is also about relationship with his body of believers. Also he mentioned that the “on-fire and independent” Christian does not mature. I am so blessed by this teaching and the others we have been listening too. They are exposing my “religious” ways of thinking and also challenging my western ways of thinking. It is so evident that in the west we have a concept of weakness for those who are tied to or dependent on each other. I loved the bit where PC talked about bringing someone to Jesus and after only a few visits setting them out on their own with a list of churches and a “good luck” attitude. This was really brought into perspective by tying in 1 Corinthians 13. We can attain great levels of passion individually, but without love, what are we? What fruit could we possibly produce?

    I also appreciated the different applications of people seeking intimacy while avoiding covenant. Without covenant our love is self-serving, but in covenant we are encouraged, held accountable, and we learn how to truly be relational as God has intended. If you think about sewing and reaping, to the other extreme, if you do not sew into anyone in covenant, than what could you reap. In order for a farmer to reap anything without sewing he would have to steal from those around him. Intimacy outside of covenant is self-seeking robs others of what they have to give.

  21. Samuel Choi says:

    I’m feeling a bit scatterbrained but I’ll try to articulate what I can from this. It makes complete sense to think about intimacy in a paradigm of covenant. It’s particularly appealing as a reactionary stance to the fallen nature of intimacy without covenant. But I’m trying to peel deeper than that layer. This is what it was all about from the beginning. We were made for intimacy with God. The fact that we have to think about entering into that state shows the deficit at which we start, namely through a lens tainted by sin. And through that we have all the different kinds of ways that intimacy without covenant manifests in the present day.

    God saves us and we are then at a point where we can reap benefits from the principle of sowing. The parable that comes to mind is the parable of the talents. And of course 1 Corinthians 13: As mentioned in the sermon, without love, we are nothing but a clanging cymbals. We are called to love and sow into each other.

    Interestingly, the covenants themselves seem to telescope further and further as if reflecting this principle of intimacy. The first, though debatable, is with Noah, where God says that he won’t destroy by flood waters again, then with Abraham, God says that there will provide countless descendants, then with Moses, it is a covenant with the nation of Israel, with David, we have a specific lineage or “house”, and then with Jesus, a single man.

    The idea of sowing seems to be present in the covenants as well. God said before giving the Noahic covenant to be fruitful and multiply, not “sit there and receive blessing for nothing.” God gives, but He wants us to work. I like how PC mentioned that there is the grace of overflowing abundance when we sow. God does more than match our works’ worth of blessing.

    Of course one of the best examples for covenant is marriage. A good marriage isn’t one where the husband and wife simply give up because they are done or have reached the end. Likewise, after salvation, we are called into intimacy. And we are able to express that intimacy because we are in that covenant relationship.

  22. John-Paul Smart says:

    I Think the Message was good. I learned that it’s good to have intimacy in relationships and that it should be under covenant. And the importance of covenant in a church and how it affects church community. It was enlightening.

  23. John-Paul Smart says:

    An that we should have Intimacy in Church Community under covenant

  24. Intimacy… a very powerful word. I’ve always wanted lasting and deep relationship at church and it is very difficult when people are not consistent. Intimacy takes trust however, trust is earned overtime not all at once. But having clear guidelines as to who can do what definitely makes things safer. And trust is also nurtured in a safe environment. I am overjoyed to hear that New Philly strives for integrity and authentic relationships.

  25. Jessica Hyun Joo Kim says:

    It was very interesting to have listened to this message because it was just yesterday when I actually talked a little bit about this topic with my connection coach. I told my connection coach that I am one that seeks intimate deep relationship, instead of surface level relationship as many people do, and the exact words that I was told was that ‘everyone wants intimate relationship’. And again, listening to Pastor Christian’s message, he also said the same thing that ‘everyone wants intimate relationship’.This message helped cleared some things that I was troubled by about intimacy because the environment I grew up around until I graduated high school was definitely not that kind of environment. Many people did not seek intimate relationship as I did, and those that did, only did what Pastor Christian said which was to have 1-2 really close friends, while everyone else would have a hard time building that relationship. So I always thought it was a bad thing to do and I actually wanted to stop. I remember telling one of my friends that I have too much love and want to give some to my friends. But God gave me a new better environment to help strengthen me up so that I may help those that were in my position.
    The other interesting thing that I found in Pastor Christian sermon was what he said about ‘being committed to a church means being committed to God’s people and loving them no matter if they hate or love you’. I always jumped from church to church back in my University and did not want to commit to a church because I thought it was unnecessary. But for the first time I am going to be a member of a church and grow my relationship with God’s people; as well as do the same and help others do so after I leave Korea and go back to America.

  26. In-Ae Seo says:

    Intimacy… When I heard this word, only thing came across my mind was marriage. Even when I read the massages that say God’s people are pure brides or something, I couldn’t really think of that relationship as marriage. But after listening to the sermon, God, who is full of love wants to just… love me as my parent, as my friend, and also even as my husband. I regret taking God’s love for granted and not giving it back to Him. Now I think that the way I can show my love back to God is to give my love to God’s people.. I am so thankful to God that He has been so faithful and leading me to His warm love using people around me..
    .

  27. Shin Young Park says:

    “Commitment to a local church” really resonated a lot to me.
    I’ve attended various churches in Korea, China, United States… also KM, CM, EM churches… it’s not that I intentionally shopped around for a church but God gave me an opportunities to see various churches and a heart for a living & awakened church in this generation. However, as I didn’t fully realized the importance of local church back then, I was getting confused and lost between church boundaries.

    When I was attending one of the mega-church in Korea, not being fed as a leader, I met a small group (para-church?) that met every Monday praying for NK. There I was fed fully with the bible itself and experienced deep intimacy with God for the first time in my life. So attending two church at the same time (as I understand that church is not about building but a people & a group of people gathered together in the name of Jesus), I was being fed here and feeding people there. I thought this was the best I can do and I lost the boundary(?) of ‘local church.’ I tried my best to feed the people who are close around me but not for a certain ‘church.’ Before I knew, I lost the concept of “MY church (MY local church)” and thought it was okay.

    Long story short, I was told that committing to a local church is important even though it takes the price of cutting down other fellowship meetings if needed. Maybe I was only picking up the good things from here and there that fits my taste and hunger but not taking responsibilities of the bitter ones. Committing to the local church in covenant and taking the responsibilities of both good and bad things based on love needs to be trained. You need to serve the local area through the local church, etc…

    Therefore, I’m really thankful that I’m being trained in NPC how to commit to a local church in covenant. There are still more questions wondering around but I’m looking forward to how God will push me to an another level through the church.

  28. Christina Parchem says:

    I always feel incredible relief and peace when I hear a Christian talk about the importance of fellowship, and I’ve never heard anyone talk about it as needing to be intimate as PC talked about the importance of covenant with other Christians at a local church. In the past I struggled with forming covenant with a church or even having fellowship and it put me in a really dark place of cynicism and apathy. Even when I started going back to church I felt ashamed to be there, like I didn’t belong and I couldn’t even bring myself to look anyone in the eye. I thought I had failed as a Christian because I wasn’t strong enough to do it all on my own. But PC makes it perfectly clear that our spiritual family is absolutely necessary in order to grow and mature. Taking the leap of faith to be vulnerable at a church is the only way we can grow closer to God, without covenant we end up building walls and believing lies. Every Christian needs a father to put dinner on the table.

  29. Until I came to New Philly, what intimacy with church meant to me was an always-on, available relationship I can find whenever I need. It sounds bad, but this was how I have kept connection with church. I have grown up in a mega-church, and getting older, I shopped around churches judging which speaker is better than one another. Making myself such an orphan, I could not get a chance to sow a seed in a good soil. There were a couple of seasons that I could build a good relationship with God, but it did not last long maybe because of distorted interpretation come from lack of discipline and constant coverage. So I loved how PC illustrated “God’s grace comes in the context of covenant.” beyond the salvation of Jesus Christ. We are saved and rescued, but need to go further. Thank you pastor Christian and New Philly for beeing a good soil and encouraging to shape and mold myself more like Jesus each and every day.

  30. Natalie Cheung says:

    Intimacy comes in a covenant – I haven’t heard this phrase used outside the context of marriage, and I find it really interesting that PC uses this as within the context of having covenant with a local church. Being a Christian requires a relationship with God AND his people – although I always knew that Christianity is not meant to be a solitary walk, I never lived it out because I never made an effort to delve deeper in the spiritual aspect of others, nor did I allow them to delve deeper in me. But the more I think about it, the more I find it so true; how can you love others, if you don’t have anyone to love? Just like how Paul says that faith without works is dead, in the same way love without fruit (true fellowship/intimacy) is dead as well. I liked the comparison that a newborn Christian should be put in a family, of brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers to nurture them and love them. The responsibility/role I play as a church member should be as important as the one I play in my own family, and I definitely have not been doing that. I have been serving at my church for a long time, but actually investing myself intimacy was something I hadn’t been doing. I’m sad to say that I was one of those, who gave tithing like child support; just giving the scraps that were left in my wallet while expecting the church to be a place of blessing for me. How very wrong my attitude was towards that – I’m glad to say that I have been challenging myself to change since I was convicted during the back-tithing sermon the PC preached a couple weeks back. Coming here to Korea has been good to me, and I’ve been more open to people than I have ever before. I’m excited to find the new blessings that come with intimacy here at New Philly!

  31. Sharon Ahn says:

    Where you sow, you will reap. Sow to the spirit and you will reap eternal life. Intimacy is only to be enjoyed in a covenant relationship. Being part of a local church IS God’s will. I did not have any type of ‘intimacy’ in a church before – even though I have been going to church ‘all my life’, I had never felt ‘home’ at a church. Because I went to an MK school all my life, all my close friends at school were MKs and I already had that ‘Christian fellowship’ that I did not feel the desperate need to pursue that at a church community. But after leaving my home and coming to Korea for college, I was ‘naked’ and had no one to be accountable for me. For the first time in my life I prayed to God for a spiritual family and a local church that I could be committed to. I knew that it was God’s will and he led me to one right away. I am beginning to learn ‘commitment’ and what it means to really be a ‘member’ at a church and the responsibility one has. I am looking forward to this intimacy that I will be sharing in covenant.

  32. I really appreciated the discussion about sowing and reaping in relation to commitment to a local church. Often times when I have thought about sowing, I have only thought about my own personal actions. It never once occurred to me that I could sow into other things like sowing into a local church. But it makes perfect sense that if you sow commitment you will reap the blessings of intimacy. I also really appreciated PC’s comment that lasting change in your spiritual walk comes not just from a relationship with God, but also with his people. Through commitment to his people there is accountability, encouragement, and guidance to really grow as God intended.

  33. Soojin Sou says:

    The idea of intimacy scares me a times, and Pastor Christian is spot on in saying that people who were hurt in the past keep people at a distance. It is really just a defense mechanism for me and I find myself thinking that it is better to keep people at bay than risk getting hurt again.

    But this message really reminded me that God see rules and laws for our own good. In this case, we really are the most protected when that intimacy with a church is in commitment. Also, people really can only reap benefits of intimacy when they sow into the covenant. I’m glad that PC was able to lead me into recognizing my selfish desires of wanting the benefits without the commitment.

    Although the fear of commitment may rise inside of me at times, I feel reassured with all these protective measures taken. I look forward to growing in Christ not only through my personal relationship with Him but through the intimate relationships with other NP members as well.

  34. Susanna Kim says:

    I’ve always been committed to my local church and we’ve had our own membership classes and covenants but it didn’t hold as much weight as it does here at New Philly.
    PC’s teaching of what being in covenant with the church looks like takes my experiences of being committed to a church on a whole new level. Being in covenant with New Philly provides true accountability to God’s Word. It provides such a healthy environment for us to grow and the measures that are taken to ensure protection and safety is so precious. The policies of laying of the hands and dating are particularly a huge blessing to me because it’s my first time experiencing this type of covering within the church.

  35. Rose Balais says:

    Back at home, I didn’t really pay much attention to creating an intimacy with the people in church because growing up in church, it all came naturally to me. But when I came to Korea, that’s when I realized the significance of building relationships with God’s people, something I took for granted before. When I discovered what I was lacking, that’s when I started my unhealthy practice of church-hopping. It’s true how Pastor Christian said that there are a lot of Christians nowadays who are going out with an orphaned spirit, moving from one church to another to find a house where they belong, because before I came to New Philly, I was once one of those people. I struggled for a long time to look for a church where I felt I belonged, but I thank God that He brought me to New Philly wherein they really give importance to sonship, committing to a church and creating intimacy that belongs in covenant. I really feel that New Philly will help me grow and mature my faith in Him and I’m looking forward to the things the He has in store for me as I continue my spiritual journey in this church.

  36. Alice Lim says:

    “Christianity isn’t just about believing but belonging” – that’s what really stuck with me while listening to this sermon. And it’s so true. God created us to long for intimate and rich relationships because we were created for LOVE! I only really understood what this meant last year when I realized that I’ve been attending my home church my whole life without having meaningful relationships with the body. Before I’d make excuses saying that all of my friends were from my campus fellowship but as soon as I graduated school, the emptiness stared right at me. There were no weekly large group meetings and small groups meetings and I felt so lost. I longed for community and deep relationships and kept wondering where I would find that. That’s when I realized that I’ve been neglecting my own church this whole time, and haven’t been making the effort to get to know my fellow brothers and sisters. The more I became involved, the more intimate the relationships became. Coming back to Korea is almost like deja vu, but this sermon really encouraged me to keep sowing and grow into intimacy with the NP family!

  37. Charlie Lee says:

    Intimacy belongs in covenant… ‘You reap what you sow’ – this is soo true in my experience as a Christian. Even though I would go to church, my walk with God would be so shallow, because the I didn’t have the intimacy with the church community. i would always be the one not being involved with anything and not talking to people around me. It’s not just about believing but it’s about belonging! Church is a family. God calls us to love one another and Christianity is about have a relationship with God and he’s people!
    We all ultimately desire intimacy and love because that’s what we were created for… To be loved and to give love! Church isn’t about religion but about relationships.

  38. Sharon Shin says:

    What struck me the most about this sermon was the revelation that Christianity isn’t just about believing, but about belonging. And that God doesn’t just desire us to have a relationship with Him, but also with His people. This intimacy that we all desire, God actually fulfills for us through the covenant. “Intimacy belongs in covenant.”… And that in order for us to have a lasting relationship with God, we also need a relationship with His people. That it isn’t some sort of luxury but also a necessity in order for us to have that relationship with God. And that God made this covenant possible by sending Jesus to die on the cross for us… it’s a gracious and beautiful thing! His establishing this in order to love us, and to create that intimacy with us is wonderful, and I loved how Pastor Christian linked this to the membership, that while membership is a public showing of our being a part of a community in Christ, it is also important because membership is in order for us to share intimacy and love with the members of the church. :)

  39. Yoon Jung Jung says:

    God calls me to intimacy, life of love and relationship. I have always wanted to become more intimate with God, but I had a relationship only with God, not with His people. I was told that Christianity is about belonging and intimacy belongs in covenant. However, I was scared and did not want to get hurt. Except few close friends, I distant myself from people and refuse to go deep. I didn’t want to admit that I have to relate to people and I had no hope that I could have a true relationship. When I saw NP people having rich deep relationships, I realized that I was missing a huge part. So naturally, I got to know how great is to go deep and to belong to the family of God. My fear faded away and I sincerely want intimacy with God and his people. And I am ready to commit without fear because I saw the goodness of God. Now I know that I am created for love and I belong to the family of God.

  40. David Ha says:

    It’s amazing how relationship with God and living in Him parallels relationships in everyday life.
    Do Not Be Naked taught us to first have a mind of a son, then of a servant, and finally as a friend. We should follow this in our relationships in church and with God.
    Intimacy Belongs in Covenant taught us that our romantic relationships, and even our friendships, should mirror our relationship with the local church.
    It’s so true that our generation has the spirit of an orphan. We rely on our own strength and power instead of relying on our spiritual families. But we reap what we sow. If we sow shallow relationships in church, we’ll reap shallow dividends, shallow breakthroughs in church.

    God established the covenant through Jesus’ blood so He could love us, not because He was being legalistic. We should rejoice in the fact that His design allows us to go deeper in love than our plans would.

  41. Lily Oh says:

    This sermon has taught me a lot and made me look back at my actions and attitude. I think trying to live the life of a “mature” Christian made me forget what I sow is what I reap. Without knowing, I found myself giving the least and expecting the most because I didn’t want to lose anything (time, money, etc.) in my relationships. I was tired of getting hurt from the people I needed to help at church and tired of them expecting so much from me, being the leader. Eventually, I found myself having two or three close friends because it was so much easier and comfortable. I know I need to be more intimate with not only God, but also with God’s people. I need to be in a covenant and I need to be committing! My prayer request is to try to have intimacy with people at NP.

  42. Katie Voytasek says:

    This sermon opened my eyes to a ton of great chicken nuggets of truth. This has been an issue that I deal with personally because I travel and move around so much that being part of a church is short lived and intimate friendships can feel rushed if I strive for them. This sermon also gave words to what I’ve always felt was missing in many churches I’ve been to. There is no emphasis on covenant in many bodies. It is a word only associated with marriage and the word intimacy is commonly reduced to meaning sex. There is so much more to these concepts than I’ve between taught and PC highlighted the depth of the goodness of these gifts. The encouragement I took away was when he talked about how God is releasing the spirit of sonship in our fatherless generation and how the orphan spirit has no place in our bodies! I’m so blessed to be the child of a great Father and part of the family at NP.

  43. Hannah Kil says:

    This helped me understand what being part of membership is all about. The idea of covenant and intimacy were only pictures and words before, and difficult to relate to on a personal level. I didn’t understand its importance and it felt like in today’s culture, we do things differently. But in fact a covenant is core to growing as a Christian, and not only is it something I need to be in, it’s something I don’t need to be afraid of. The thought of really promising to be part of the church family is difficult for me. But I want to give my best because this is about growing in love, life, and truth. This is about God and my identity in Him. This gives me the courage and purpose to move fourth with membership. I will have to constantly remember when I forget, but the sermon was eye opening for me in understanding what intimacy and covenant mean within the church.

  44. Yii Koah Kien says:

    I totally agree and would like to highlight again the fact that Christianity isn’t just about believing but also belonging (this is seriously so good). In order to obtain intimacy with God by becoming his sons and daughters, we need to go through baptism. Likewise, in order to be intimate with God’s people we need get ourselves commited to a local church and that’s through membership. I also like how it was been highlighted that when one isn’t under an intimate covering with a local church, no matter what gifts he has it’s still hard for him to receive grace and blessings from the Lord and do miraculous works through his gifts. As God said in the bible, “If you love me, love your neighbour.” It’s being made clear that Christianity isn’t a “solo” thing, in fact our church lives manifest our lives in Christ.

  45. Su Jin Jeong says:

    The part that stood out to be was the part about reaping & sowing. I also fall into the habit of expecting to reap a lot when I sow the bare minimum. I justify that by thinking I can rely on God’s grace for what I do not sow which is why Pastor Christian saying the “grace of God is delivered to us in the form of covenant” really struck a chord with me. I realized I don’t have 100% fulfillment even when I get to know people because I have the tendency to meet lots of people and open up to them, to a point. I realized I cannot expect to receive unconditional love, true acceptance, and intimacy without me giving the same love, acceptance, and effort to create deep and lasting relationships. This sermon really emphasized the importance of committing to a church and putting in the effort to develop relationships, not just waiting around and expecting to feel fulfilled.

  46. Suzie Im says:

    I didn’t even come to this realization until PC said it in this sermon–Church has become all about giving the least and expecting the most. We do this not just in church, but also with God. We may not sow into prayer, bible study, attending services, and meditation, but we find ourselves expecting favor upon favor, grace upon grace from the Lord. But, the grace of God is delivered to us in context of a covenant. It was great how PC brought it to full understanding through saying this is because God calls us to a life of love.

    “Christianity is not just about believing, but about belonging.” It’s about belonging to a community that will love and accept me even after they find out who I am, what I struggle with. I struggle with this. There are so many churches that gossip and condemn those who struggle with sin, which is in our nature! But that’s not the Church God envisioned us to have and to be. He wants us to be in community with people in the same relationship He has with us, full of love, grace, and honor.

    Oh, and I really liked the apple tree metaphor. A single apple seed can reap a hundred apples in the form of a tree. Do not despise the day of small beginnings!

  47. Nina Park says:

    I’ve been going to church pretty much all my life. And I have slowly come to see that there was something missing in my walk in faith, especially as I finished my studies and became part of workforce. I attended church every Sunday but I just didn’t seem to be really connecting deep in my heart. Superficially it was all good but not deep in my heart.

    However, when i first came to New Philly I felt that something was different. After hearing this sermon I understand why I felt this warm and closely-knit-family-like church. It was possible through this covenant.

    Covenant is not something that I take lightly but I feel a little nervous(? not exactly the right word) not know what to expected but at the same time I am also excited to see how God will transform my life through this covenant with our church.

    Thank you PC and New Philly!

  48. Hye Ryoung Rhee says:

    This is the first time I’ve ever heard a sermon on intimacy before, and I must say that I actually felt really convicted throughout. I feel like I’ve been attending church with the mentality of “giving the least and expecting the most” — I never felt the need to become committed to a local church, and yet always expected to be loved and welcomed in whichever church I went to. It seems like I always wanted to reap without having sowed anything that could be reaped — that I wanted intimacy without covenant. Only recently did I actually realize that I struggle big time with commitment, especially when it comes to my faith, and going through this membership process and making what PC called a “public commitment to God’s people” is kind of the ‘first step’ I am taking to overcome this issue. On this note, the part about grace in this sermon really stood out to me because it actually gave me comfort and joy to think that once I begin to sow, I could (should) expect more because of God’s grace. It’s amazing (and quite sad at the same time) how God has so many good things in store for us, yet we still struggle with merely “sowing the seed.” By establishing covenant with New Philly’s community, I hope to overcome my issue with commitment and find intimacy with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ :)

  49. Christianity isn’t just about believing but belonging. We all crave for love, cause we are made for love. But we need reaping & sowing in our lives. This sermon has taught me a lot and made me look back at my actions and attitude. We need to sow in the relationship cause that is what god want in our life. God want Intimacy in our relationship with God, with people and so on. But we must do it in Covenant. Christianity isn’t a “solo” thing but a fellowship walk.

  50. Jina Nam says:

    Like PC said in the end, he gave us chicken nuggets – bits and pieces all over the place, but I feel like the underlying message was powerful and actually relevant to all the points of his messages. I felt like the beginning about sowing and reaping could be connected to how you have to invest in your local community, the relationships, so that you can reap the benefits, which is intimacy. And the ways you can sow and invest into those relationships is by abandoning the orphan spirit and by developing a spirit of son-ship. And with baptism and commitment to local churches, these public announcements really seem like public declarations of how much you’re committing and investing, how much you’re sowing, into these aspects of your life. And the intimacy that you reap is ultimately found in covenant (including responsibility, son-ship spirit, etc = responsibilities and investments of your time, effort, money, etc). This message convicted me of my orphan spirit; something I didn’t realize I had. Through membership (and leadership training), I realized that I am learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, but one of the biggest areas where I feel the most uncomfortable is connecting and belonging in this church with the people. But now I know that I have to abandon this spirit, truly take my place here in this church and house, belong here, and make my commitment and take responsibility so that I may get that intimacy with my brothers and sisters :)

  51. Nneka Anunkor says:

    The part of this message that really resonated with me was when PC mentioned the spiritual walk and how it cannot be achieved independently. For years since I have not had a church home I have not had a relationship with a church or in a church community. My relationships with Pastors were very shallow and I found for the longest time that no matter how often I prayed or went to church I was very unfulfilled. After coming to New Philly and definitely after hearing this sermon I realized that I was lacking that community. I think this also goes with the idea that God puts people around you and works through people in your life, and if you do not have stable, meaningful relationships you will not be able to realize and receive all that He wants to bless you with. Just from the relationships I’ve made with people in the church so far I know that I am growing just a bit more and maturing just a bit more spiritually. I can see why intimacy in the church is such a crucial part of my spiritual journey.

  52. I never realized how important intimacy is to the covenant. I’ve always been taught that church isn’t a place to meet friends and boyfriends, but a place to meet with God. Although I still believe that, I feel more comfortable with the idea of building relationships with people in the house. I tend to be run away from building deep relationships with people, but I realize now that my lack of deep relationships with people in any house I’ve been a part of has made me slip in my faith and my relationship with God. I’m excited to see how God will continue to push me to build intimacy with people in this house.

  53. “We were created for Love”, “True love does not stay shallow, goes deep”, “Christianity not just about believing but belonging”. This sermon is full of many wonderful, glitter sentences.
    Listening this sermon, I want to really appreciate my SG leader. connection coach and every NP people who show their warm heart, caring, kindness to me. I think about the caring and covering I’m receiving. and all of these are becoming a seeds to encourage me and make a step forward.
    I didn’t contribute nothing till now for NP and NP’s people. but already, I received so many things from them. they are sharing their wisdom and love only because I came to NP without any expectation for rewards. In this community, I’m learning real love and It make me to overcome fear for relationship.
    when I came NP first in May of this year, it was really hard to get along with people. Even my English is poor, when someone talked to me, I felt extreme uncomfortable. but at the same time, my hunger and desire to belong here and to mingle with others was so strong. So I preyed “Please heal my fear through relationship with people”. Because My chain of feal to bind my mind came from broken relationship.
    In a sermon of the past, PC said “God touches and changes thinking, mind, behavior.” I’m experienced this meaning. These days I feel my fear approach a panic is fading slowly and my attitude is changing from passive and closed to aggressive and open. I think God’s love and God’s people with sonship is power to make these changes. Although now I’m just receiving caring from others, as a member of this community I hope to grow as a healthy tree with lots of fruits, and return this love I’ve received to all of them and this community.

  54. Jihyun Roh says:

    Intimacy with a covenant and responsibilities is what takes to have an intimate relationship with God and His people. I always tell people that I became a strong christian when I stared having an intimate relationship with God a few years ago. I have to admit that for the past few years I was focusing so much on having an intimate relationship with God alone not really his people with a covenant and responsibilities. The longest time I went to the same church for the past few years was only less than a year because I moved around different places and churches. Although I truly enjoyed having fellowship with the people at the churches, it wasn’t committed and long-term relationships with them. As God has put me in NP, I am so excited to serve and grow in this church under the covenant between me, God and His people at New Philly.

  55. Heidi Anna Chae says:

    “We were made for love.” I love how PC kept repeating this throughout this sermon. It is common to see people in the church come for friends than to know God. I was reminded of a time when my friend was sharing about how they realized that they had been going to church all their life with the Greatest Commandment switched around, instead of to “love God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength…. And the second is like it, to love your neighbors as yourself”, they came loving their friends first, before establish and growing their love with the Lord, and they ended burnt out. This was so clear through this sermon, that in Church, we relate and have full, long-lasting intimacy in covenant, because we believe. Our faith in God is what brings us together in community, and allows us to have deeper, true intimacy where people can be celebrated and loved for who they are, beyond their weaknesses and downfalls. I love intimacy and desire for more through being part of this community :)

  56. I WANT covenant with the church and ALL the intimacy and responsibilities of that covenant!!!! Such a powerful message of God! It was as if Pastor Christian was reading my private thoughts–with a ghetto punch–out loud of how I have been living a closet Christian life! I came to New Philly with the mindset I’m just going to attend church by myself and reflect on the Word by myself and at the same time be blessed… but I realize that I was all wrong! I want to commit to covenant with New Philly so that I am nourished and molded into the full mature Christian by fellow brothers and sisters of Christ! I want to live the life of love I was called to by God. No more will I hesitate and no more will I fear rejection and no more will I put myself in a box where nothing can come in or out! So thankful for the few relationships I’ve made so far and excited for the new myriad of relationships to come!

  57. Jimmy Kwon says:

    I have to admit that I have been seeking for intimacy without the covenant, both with God and the people of God. Just as I can’t build intimacy with these children without any commitment, I see the importance of my commitment to a local church in order to establish that intimacy. And just looking back, it was the times where I was commited the most to a community that I grew the most spiritually.
    I think so many of us, definitely including myself, come to a local church with some type of entitlement, thinking that we are there to be served. With such consumer mentality as mentioned in the sermon, we are attending church to just feel good. Feeling good on the outside isn’t going to bring the change and revelations that we need in Christ. I want more than just feeling good. I want to be set free from sins, be covered spiritually, and create intimacy with the people of God!
    Lastly, it’s unchanging yet always so eye-opening to know the love of God for us. Like P.C. said, He knew the cost of the intimacy yet He paid the price for us so that we can enjoy the intimacy with Him. If He paid such price for the intimacy, maybe we are to return at least a bit more than just attending church on Sundays…

  58. Derek Cho says:

    “…speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is a the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body(*members in church), joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Love builds up. 1 Cor.8:1)

    “let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,”

    “Let brotherly love continue. ”

    “all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love…”

    “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood…”

    “Behold, how good and pleasant it is
    when e brothers dwell in unity!”

    “Christianity is not just about believing but belonging.” – PC
    Intimacy(familiarity) among fellows in Christ is the tangible sense of true Christian belonging. We were created for LOVE to Christ Jesus(1st commandment) and through Him we’re able to LOVE others and each other in Him. (2nd commandment)

    especially to “those who are of the household of faith.”

    • Derek Cho says:

      To add this, Timothy Keller puts this in terms of church membership,

      We’re accountable to other believers. We don’t just come to church like a consumer. But we say “I’m accountable, I support, I’m responsible here.”

  59. John Kim says:

    I have been seeking a church that takes intimacy seriously as something(intimacy with God)that defines the core of every believer’s existance and also as something that can be often abused or perverted. It gives me a assurance believers at New Philly will be under protection and a spiritual covering that will encourage us to a deeper intimacy with God.

  60. Michelle Kim says:

    “Christianity isn’t just about believing but belonging.”
    This message just increased my desire to join the covenant and have a deeper, intimate relationship with God and the New Philly members.

    “Intimacy belongs in covenant.”
    I feel like New Philly does an AWESOME job emphasizing this.
    For example, I was amazed when I first heard about the Dating Protocol.
    I’ve never heard of anything like it (even at my previous church) and the way that the protocol is designed is so unique and effective! I look at the Godly couples at New Philly who went through the protocol, and it just shows me that intimacy in covenant/Godly-based relationships are better than the worldly idea of dating. I want intimacy with God’s people!!!

    The part where PC mentioned being “born again Christian,”.. I feel like this is the process I’m going through right now. I’m so honored and thankful to have New Philly members/leaders walk me through this process, because instead of just “sending me off on my own” after, I know they will continue to cover me! This is what is so awesome about the covenant at our church!

    This message overall was just so relevant to what I’m going through right now.
    Thank you for this message Pastor Christian!

  61. Rae Kim says:

    intimacy within the covenant. Seems like the topic has allowed Pastor Christian to cover a lot of controversial topics, marriage, abortion, tithing… AND MAKE SENSE OUT OF IT. Great to get preached about our responsibilities as a christian directly, having a relationship with fellow christians in covenant and sacrificing finances, its a topic that other churches can not discuss, they rather concentrate on what PC refers to as “God’s grace.”
    Its fantastic to hear that the church admin and PC is working hard in providing a organised structure for the church community to grow in. How PC talked about the guidelines of prophesy reminded me of my past boxing coach. His attitude showed me that he actually personally cares for his congregation and the time he invests in us. All these guidelines don’t seem to be to control our freedom, rather they are set up with clear concern for our spiritual welfare.

  62. Sonya Lee says:

    I think this message really shows the importance of committing to a church and the community. Last year, when I was getting distant from my church, I thought I had everything handled still because I was still committed to God. I thought it didn’t matter if I missed church from time to time or that I refused to commit myself to the church community because I had Jesus. Then God humbled me then and He humbled me again with this message. God doesn’t want me to only have an intimate relationship with Him but also with the community He blessed me with. I feel so blessed that God provided for me a community where I can learn to commit here in Korea even for a year. I really am very excited for this intimacy with my new community :)

  63. Kayla Black says:

    I was one of those people who left a church do to a lack of connectedness. It was a smaller church and I went to their smaller college evening service in hopes of getting to know people, but I found after an entire semester, despite making an effort, that I still was lacking meaningful connections. After returning to university after the Christmas break, during which my family went through a traumatic event, I saw how clearly unconnected my church was to me. That was when I decided it was time to find a real community. I ended up going to a church that was affiliated with the Christian club I was a part of, and through that I came to join small group, and eventually I became a full member of their church. (although it was not to the level of intimacy that New Philly seems to strive for).

    I’m excited to be a part of the New Philly family, and to me the different ‘rules’ or ‘requirements’ for membership that might sound restricting to others, I can appreciate it because I felt that lack of connection and church family before.

  64. Della Collins says:

    “Christianity is not just about believing but belonging”- Growing up in church, I believe this is very true. I grew in my home church, but I didn’t feel like I really belonged, especially after graduating from college. I believe this is partly what led me to leave my home church a find another church to go to. My new church in California is awesome, the teaching is the Word and there are true worshipers, but even still that element of belonging was missing. This is something I appreciate about New Philly. There are so many opportunities to belong and it is regarded of high importance. Also I never though of applying the law of sowing and reaping principle to church. I know this is true for all of life, but I hadn’t thought it applied to commitment in church. However, it makes sense. If intimacy in church is desired, if you want people to care about you and keep you accountable, check on you when you’re gong, I believe you should also commit yourself to that church. And according to the law of sowing and reaping, the more you commit to church, the more you will reap in relationship, shepherding and accountability. It makes sense that intimacy would belong in covenant, this is the safest place. There is comittment on both sides, and intimacy becomes natural and safe. I feel that this also explains my incomplete and partly empty feeling when i attended a church but was not able to serve, which I think happens with EMs in Korea. We get used to being served by the Korean church, and not giving back in our own service and commitment. I think being allowed to give back is just as important. Nobody who wants to really commit themselves in a relationship wants to only receive and not be given an opportunity to serve. As PC said that we were created for love, true love gives as well as receives. All in all, I’m glad that New Philly provides opportunities to belong, to serve, and commit.

  65. Pingping Kan Rogers says:

    All men (and women) want is to be loved and to love. Loving, and trusting relationships can only be established in covenant community. And, yes, our God is a covenant God revealed to us. Without a covenant with Him, we wouldn’t know how to relate to Him and we will be offending Him all the time. Expecting to be part of this covenant Christian community of NPC!

  66. Wow, powerful word, PC! I really don’t know what to say other than that I am really happy to be a part of New Philly family. It is good that the leaders and members are actively committed to helping all who attend to experience a feeling of belonging.

    Granted, the sowing and reaping principle greatly applies to how people relate to one another. Contributing through giving of time and money helps establish and promote a community of trust and unity. A covenant contract helps establish the guidelines as to how this community should operate.

    Woodland Hills Church asked me to sign a covenant before I was able to join one of their small groups. It was understood that anyone that did not abide by the terms of this covenant wasn’t allowed to continue to participate. I remember there I had made some wonderful friends, who were truly seeking to invest in and bless others.

    Then I went to another church that shall remain unnamed. I joined a men’s small group attached to the young adult ministry of this church. I shared something in confidence, which was shared outside the group and eventually made its way to my step-sister, who criticized me for sharing something so personal. I never have felt so much share and embarrassment in all my life.

    Through covenant, there is an expectation of committing to and submitting to a set of standards and guidelines. If all are submitting, then everyone is on equal footing upon which meaningful relationships can be established, and accountability, can be acquired.

  67. This message made me feel really comfortable and reassured about becoming a member of the New Philly house. I usually run away from building deep relationships with people. I enjoy having a lot of acquaintances that I can pick and choose from, but I’m happy that being at New Philly that I’m pushed to step outside of my comfortably with surface-level relationships. I’m hoping that building intimacy with other members will help me feel more comfortable with submitting to authority as well.

  68. Yong Shu Hua says:

    Based on the biblical principle of Sowing and Reaping, Ps Christian talks about the benefits of having intimacy in church. How much you sow is how much you reap, and sowing into a church can be in terms of commitment, attendance, tithing, prayer, offerings, service. By doing so, we get to reap the benefits of sowing such as experiencing the love of and intimacy with the members of the church. Intimacy within the context of covenant comes with responsibility.

    The importance of having intimacy within the church (i.e. having a family of brothers and sisters in Christ) is emphasized as Ps Christian states that Christianity is not just about believing but belonging in a community (i.e. church). The community will help us grow and mature as believers.

    Even after we have made the decision to sow, and even what we sow may be small, just be faithful in it, and whatever we sow will be multiplied because of God’s grace. The grace of God is activated when we accept the covenant that Jesus cut for us on the cross; the covenant that God has made with us. The grace of God is also the multiplier of the our amount of sowing into church. Every time we sow, the benefits we reap are always more than what we sow.

  69. Rachel Shin says:

    Very enlightening. This is the first church that I’ve applied to be a member to be at. It was a very foreign concept to me, and honestly it still kind of is. Especially with the membership classes, quizzes, connections, etc. It was all a very new aspect to my life as a Christian. However, this sermon has taught me that membership at a local church is not something to be taken lightly. Honestly, my first day at New Philly-Hillside, was the day of membership classes and I took the class because I thought, “I might as well?” But I am so thankful to be in this process to have this covenant with God and His people.

  70. Jiinny Kim says:

    It was really powerful to hear PC articulate the need for commitment to a local church. It makes so much sense that having that commitment and the responsibility that follows it is really for US. For us to be blessed with relationships and for us to position our selves to grow as we hold each other accountable to live out the word. I was so convicted because I was one of the people who shyed away from commitments, and this message really shed a new light to challenge me to actly commit to the church. Im’s so glad to know that true community in Christ is a safe environment for me to be vulnerable. I’m really looking forward to getting to know the family and just growing and edifying each other through commitment to this community.

  71. Lillian So says:

    Very balanced and covered a wide range of issues related to intimacy. Gives a good understanding of the futile pursuits for intimacy outside of covenant and church. Convincing reasons for why we must not be islands, seek counterfeit intimacy.
    To live according to the bible and Jesus, means to be in relationship not just with God but also his people. Also not just to turn up but to be involved and to serve, and committed… COMMITMENT to a group of people can seem scary scary when most people cannot even commit to their love/lust interests. However a healthy church family, this is really the only place in the world that it is safe for people to be truly open and known, and to give.
    It is so so so true and sad that in the world people are looking for the greatest pleasures without any responsibility, that people and programmed to TAKE from each other, not to give – no wonder so many people are in dysfunctional relationships, not having real intimacy and feeling alone among the crowds.

  72. Myko "Kaori" Okada says:

    Giving the best and expecting the most is a reality that must be changed,if not eradicated. Whenever we commit there’s a responsibility to obey. Due to busy schedules and work,the church is not a priority by some. Intimacy takes time,energy and effort, so sometimes I admit that I’ve got superficial friendships. Then, suddenly I remembered, that they are my brothers and sisters in Christ. Nobody must be taken for granted and I must do everything I can to make them feel special,even if I’m tired, because God loves us equally.I believe in seasons,even if I am focusing in my career,I still want to be accountable and have covenant with my local church.

    I think New Philly is gonna be the best church for me. I am starting to be more systematic, less lazy =) and establish meaningful relationships with joy. Honestly I am still amazed on how the NP Sydney team reaches out to me, despite their busy schedules.

    The most important thing that I learned from this message is that Christianity is not just about believing but belonging. Love and intimacy are essential to my christian walk. I want also to trust God in my finances big or small even if it means I have to sacrifice some things, because God love a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians) and I am reminded of Matthew 4:4 that Man doesn’t live by bread alone. Jennifer’s ( one of NP leaders) faithfulness and testimony about tithing is like a disease ( in a good way) , because it’s transmitted to me easily.

    Starting a new chapter here in AU, with the NP community will not just add excitement in my life, but being with God’s people will make me become a better and stronger christian.

  73. James Kang says:

    It was with a deeply concerned heart that I listened to this message. Intimacy is something that everyone desires and there is always a deep longing in our hearts for belonging. However, the fact that a commitment to a covenant is necessary to experience the fullness of intimacy is always something that has troubled me.

    In all honesty, it was with great reluctance that I have taken this message to heart. I had to repent for my incorrect views in regard to commitment and had to shift out of the place of wanting to freeload. I now understand that no relationship can be truly intimate without commitment and that covenants are made to be kept in full wholeness.

    I thank God for convicting my heart in the sense that in his Kingdom, no fruits are to be expected unless seeds are sown and watered and nurtured. In this new season, in all areas, I will commit to the Church and its people.

  74. Gil Su Kim says:

    Realized that I have had a flea market mentality: expecting an unfair ROI (return on investment). I have sown little prayer, Bible-reading, praise, and sermon-listening and expected to receive the greatest both tangible and intangible blessings from God. I understand that faith is not the concept of causality or karma but I need to take actions to grow.

    Look forward to having a great conversation with a Community Connection Coach.

    P.S. Also, I am reminded that intimacy belongs in covenant.

    • The principle of sowing and reaping was drilled in me as a kid, and I always had thoughts that if I did not pay tithes faithfully I was going to be whacked by God. I had such an unhealthy view of my relationship with God growing and developing. And now that I am older, I understand how my tithes are the first fruits of what the LORD has been able to allow me to work for. Therefore, I am able to sustain healthy relationships within myself, the people around me, and the community of believers. I love to give now more than ever!

  75. I am totally blown away by the stress of covenant. Many are ignorant, or sometimes limited in their knowledge, of covenant. I saw many of the things spoken of throughout the sermon in my own life and in the lives of family members of having this quick idea of intimacy without covenant, commitment, or connection. I am totally looking forward to see how my life can change for the better in terms of my intimate connections with the LORD my God through His people here at such a wonderful gathering in Christ. Hallelujah!

  76. Donnae Shone says:

    We were, each one of us, created for love. Love cannot exist without intimacy. Intimacy is reserved to be enjoyed and to thrive within covenant. God calls us to intimacy with himself and with his people through commitment to a local church. In this way we are primed to workout our Christianity and to grow in our spiritual walk as we are surrounded and supported by community. Becoming a member of a local church is a public declaration of one’s commitment to God’s people. Missing this covenant means stunting one’s own spiritual growth.

  77. I realized Christianity is not just all about believing, its all about belonging & committing to a household of faith through membership with a local church. And church membership becomes meaningful when the church leadership holds you accountable to the word of God. I also learnt that intimacy in a committed relationship (covenant) leads to spiritual maturity.

  78. Kirby Beneventi says:

    I agreed with PC’s perspective on the potential danger of fostering and celebrating independence so much so that it seeps into the mindset of Christian westerners…believing that they can maintain a relationship with the Lord by themselves, without being plugged into a local church family. I acknowledge that I have operated most of my Christian walk without being under proper covering, and therefore have felt a lack of belonging and intimacy. I truly am thankful for the teachings and principals New Philly has instilled in me. I am excited to enter into covenant and feel connected with God and His people!

  79. When PC said about christian sometimes sow just a little bit in a church and expect to reap a lot from it, i cant agree more. Sometimes we, as a member of a church, keep whining about our responsible to tithe, complaining about the very long prayer request, and sometimes avoid to attend service if we dislike the pastor who preach on the particular day.
    “Christian is not about believing but belonging” this statement made me to review my christian life more. I always struggle connecting with church members and my church leaders in my home country never push me to connect with other church’s members. I usually go to church with my parents, sit there for 2 hours service and immediately leave after the service ends. I often feel something is missing inside me and when PC said that spiritual growth laid in the intimacy relationship with church members (beside a relationship with God), i thought this is it…. I need to fix that section in order to grow! I cant wait to see my progress as a NP member in the future!~

  80. Keketso Makape says:

    Intimacy and covenant (and the relationship between the two) have been topics I’ve become familiar with over the last few years but mainly referred to in the context of marriage. This sermon was interesting because, as much as I understood intimacy in the marriage covenant, I have seldom heard of its application in the context of church community. So throughout the message, I started realizing that being part of a very individualistic society and generation, it’s so easy to cringe at the thought of committing to a church. I thought back to my church-relationships in the past and how they remained pretty shallow because there was not really that commitment. More recently, my spiritual growth has been so closely tied to how much I was willing to serve and commit to a body of Christ and its people. It goes to show that a relationship will only be as deep as you want it to be, and being committed to God and people who love Him, means growth, mutual edification and blessing. We really don’t need to, and were not meant to, walk alone.

  81. Rebekah Kim says:

    I’ve also only ever viewed intimacy and covenant through the perspective of marriage, and never through the church. But it makes sense. Even in friendships, I’m not likely to open up unless I know that my friend and I have some sort of commitment to each other. I’m starting to appreciate more and more the power of a public, official declaration of commitment. It’s easy to see it as a formality, but I think because God honors covenants in marriage and church, there’s greater blessing in them.

  82. Felix Baumer says:

    One of my principles in life, which has been borrowed from the famous physicist Isaac Newton, is his third law of motion: To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction. Thinking of this principle in a more abstract practical manner and applying it to the life in its entirety, it provided me with lots of wisdom (I thougth). To find out that this principle actually already existed in the bible long before Newton was even born simply stunned me. I knew that in the bible one can often find similar passages about sowing and reaping, but I never saw the greater picture of it so far. It put my faith onto a new and higher level.
    To hear how this principle of sowing and reaping can be applied onto the relationship to my church family and in relation to a commitment to a local church, was the wisdom that stud out the most for me from that sermon and provided me with new fresh wisdom. Thank you PC

  83. Sophia Sitorus says:

    I used to not really care about making relationship with people at the churches I attended before, I think it was partly because of something I witnessed at the past. Somebody asked me before, “Do you have many friends at the church?” I answered, “no” and I thought to myself that I attended church not to look for friends, I just want to worship and listen to God. I was kind of being judgmental to people who seemed to go to church so that they can make friends. I acknowledged that it was some arrogance of me, as if I attended church with “purer” or “holier” intention than them. Wow. I just realized how arrogant I was as I typed this comment. Thank you God for making me realizing it!

    However, as I pursued real intimacy with God last year, I felt He kept on building a desire for me to seek intimacy with fellow believers in an honorable way – that is through convenant and accountability. Intimacy without convenat is pretty much leading the people in it to feel “hollow”ness. It is unhealthy. I am thankful that there are churches that obey the word of God to encourage the members to live out their faith in convenant, one of them is New Philly. I believe that during my time here I am going to experience deeper intimacy with God as I am growing in a healthy relationship with fellow believers.

  84. Ma-Abena Aduonum says:

    Intimacy with God, the church and fellow Christians is essential for your Christian growth. I remember always going to Church and never talking to anyone because I didn’t see the importance of fellowship with anyone in the church. To grow spiritually in Christ, it is important to have relationships with believers and to especially have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ in everything we do ALL the time.

    • Rona Babb says:

      Ma-Abena, you’re so right! Intimacy with God and others is CRUCIAL for our growth and maturity as believers. So proud of you for the way you’re claiming these truths!

  85. Justin Hamilton says:

    I absolutely agree with the message that PC is giving in this sermon and feel really connected to it. Although I have always grown up and been raised with a belief in God and His devotion to us, I really have never had the constant covenant and covering that is essential to our growth. When PC was referring to how “Christianity is not about believing, but belonging,” it really put things into perspective. I’ve always lacked a sense of belonging and it hasn’t allowed me to progress as much as I can in my spiritual walk. I love how welcoming New Philly and the instant feeling that you belong to a family. I’m thankful for the growth that I have received from this community so far and am excited to continue forging relationships in the body of Christ.

  86. So before I joined New Philly I had no idea how important membership was. The idea of covering and commitment were really important to me, but I never considered that membership was the public display of that commitment. I am really glad that I learned this at this age where I have to make choices about my faith and my walk. I remember back home, I was involved in my Korean church so completely, I was a Sunday school teacher, worship leader and yet I didn’t even know if I was a member because we didn’t have that structure. However, it was the first time I experienced what it was like to be in a church family where I was committed to the church even when there was a church spilt ( I also didn’t know that this was common in the Korean church). But, I think going through that church family, it really opened my heart quickly to open my heart to the church family at New Philly. Itaewon church family has really become my family in Korea. I have never been so in love with a family~~ along with my family at Emmaus too~~ There is so much freedom when I know that I am committed to them as much as they are committed to me and because of that freedom, I have intimacy. I know who my leader is and who the next in line leader etc– there is just so much trust and safety in commitment that intimacy can not not happen. So I’ve come to realize how important membership is important- it creates safety for intimacy because we are committed to the people around us as family members. I have come to a lot of healing through this. God is so good. Anyway, the message really confirmed everything that I have experienced at New Philly. I think that this teaching from God through New Philly will stick with me the rest of my life. I am so grateful. Yes I think that really stuck out to me also is “Christianity is belonging” I always was to be in a Christian community.

  87. Paul S Kim says:

    Enjoyed this one too.

    What I sow, I reap. Commitment to other believers in a local church – no sow, no reap. God wants to love me (intimacy) so he established a covenant. He calls me to love other believers in a local church (intimacy), so, NP charts out boundaries of “in” vs “out” in order to create opportunity for commitment (covenant). Accountability, responsibilities included. I want to be obedient, but that may just be the rule-follower in me. I want to sow because I want to be value added in God’s eyes (aka not useless). I am reluctant to get too close to people too fast because it is uncomfortable. So, a covenant-system that creates a bubble of safety / trust is relieving.

    I will probably have zero issues with not laying hands or prophesying. I feel God has brought me to a place where I don’t have issues committing to tithing or attending (which is kind of new, so kind of good). Not sure about the other things that the word “intimacy” brings to mind, like crying and emotions and really close proximities to faces. Maybe it’s a good thing that being 100% comfortable with doing something is not a prerequisite for doing it.

  88. Hanna Hong says:

    It was refreshing to listen to a message that emphasizes the importance of covering by leaders. I’ve understood and experienced the importance of small groups, but after listening to this sermon, I’ve realized that one on one relationship with a leader is just as crucial in growing a deeper relationship with God.

  89. Lisa Young says:

    Covenant really is exactly what the church needs in order to become something other than the place of hurtfulness many people think of it as. Lots of people who grew up in the church complain that it’s a place of hypocrites, a place where people don’t do what they say they’ll do. So, a place where there’s no covenant, no commitment. If I had tried to explain why that is, I would have said something about people not really caring about each other, but this message points out a much more specific and concrete problem than that. People have no commitment to each other and no one to hold them accountable for what they do to each other. The complaints about how destructive gossip in the church is have been around for years and years, but there’s been no church discipline to prevent gossip. People feel like they’re not part of anything at church, and there’s not really anything to be part of because no one’s made any commitment to anyone else to be there for them. I’m so glad to have this explained and to see people being a real family to each other and not letting these same problems go on happening.

  90. I totally agree with PC’s message that says about intimacy in a relationship. We need to have an intimacy with God but at the same time; we should get to know each other deeply in the church. Intimacy without covenant causes serious problems around us. If I have intimacy but do not want to be responsible for that relationship, it will also cause the problem. It also means that I do not love God’s people. This is not what the bible teaches us, and it implies that I should get involved in a deep, true relationship within NewPhily church. Thanks PC! :)

  91. Caroline says:

    We were created for love, and true love does not stay shallow. It is deep and that is why every Christian comes to church looking for true love. As PC said, we are all looking for people to “accept, love, and celebrate” who we are even after they find out about our faults and weaknesses. We want to be accepted. And we need to remember that “Christianity is not only about believing, but also about belonging.” This statement struck me, because I never put it into perspective that as a Christian we needed to “belong.” Yes, we would attend church regularly, but I believe that our faith solely relied on our relationship with God alone. It is true, as PC said that for a “true and lasting spiritual walk, we need a relationship with not only God, but also with HIS people!” AMEN. And though we live in a secular culture, we need to be reminded that intimacy belongs in covenant. God desires intimacy with us and the only way is through His covenant. Just as God established his covenant to us by sending His one and only son to shed his blood and die for a sinful people, PC explained why New Philly also creates a covenant with its members. The covenant between members and New Philly is to help members by keeping them accountable and also to restore spiritual fathers and the spirit of son-ship. I feel blessed to be part of the New Philly family.

  92. John-Paul Smart says:

    It was a good Message about having Intimacy in Covenant. And that relationships should have intimacy especially our relationship with God. And that it’s important for a church to have covenant so that there can be intimacy.

  93. Ahreum Kim says:

    Like the relationship under the covenant between the couple, to have intimacy I as a member of the church also need commitment to the church! This totally make sense! Also what I sow is exactly what I reap to the local church! I regret having putting little efforts to the church and expecting the most from it, this is not biblical at all. This sermon helped me to see the things I didn’t realize before! I love it and act in it!

    • Can hear how excited you are to put this sermon into practice, Ahreum. I am so excited with you!!!

  94. suzy shin says:

    Now that i think back i only had couple people i was intimate with. I was always shy and did not feel the need. Listening to this message it really made me think about the way i was interacting with people. I learned a lot from this message

  95. Coming to New Philadelphia Church was a hard move because I had left the church that I felt the most intimacy with. I enjoyed the environment as I knew everyone and everyone knew me, but I felt that God had wanted me to leave, as there were some doctrines God had stirred in my heart about that were incorrectly taught and enforced. It was a traditional Korean church and I had a hard time understanding the messages. I was also not feeling spiritually fed. It felt like I was leaving a family, but I knew this was God’s desire.
    I kept praying and as I looked around to different churches, I realized that my first priority was to find that same intimacy. Especially as a teenager, I wanted to find somewhere that I could “belong”. I didn’t first care about the worship, service, pastor, or doctrines. I tried different churches that would satisfy this physical craving. But once I came to New Philadelphia, my heart melted as I saw the raw worship and desire for God. I was also blessed by the sermon and I felt God’s anointing over Pastor Christian. But after a month of being spiritually fed, I left, not feeling that my physical desire of intimacy was being fed. I kept wandering once again. I didn’t really feel like hearing God’s voice either. But as time went on, I felt that God strongly told me once more to go to New Philly. No matter what happens. This time I obeyed and went with faith. I am now joining membership and I was shocked how after I took this step of faith, God opened the door to many spiritual brothers and sisters who are praying and pouring into my life. I feel constantly blessed by this church and I feel myself growing everyday in Christ. This message of intimacy by Pastor Christian made me think of this testimony and how we all crave intimacy. But this crave can become unhealthy if we allow it to either die out or if we put too much priority into it.

  96. Jeff Moses says:

    At first, seeing the amount of accountability for members at New Philly was, honestly, a bit overwhelming. But the more I think about it and pray about, the more I realize how good it is. I grew up in a church where everyone who got baptized automatically became a member, and so many of them never came back again after they became members….except when it was time to vote on church business. Then, these “non-active members” (a term I always found partly sad and partly funny) would force their will on the active, prayerful members of the church simply because their families had been there a long time and they were able to do it. It gives me great joy to see a church like New Philly that takes membership very seriously. A church that wants to truly bring people into the fold and build them up as individuals while at the same time building up the house. Some of the churches I’ve visited over the years felt no more intimate than watching a church service on TV. From day one, it was obvious that New Philly would never be that way.

  97. Matt Anderson says:

    This message helped reestablish the background for the church covenant. I like how PC referenced the “orphan spirit” and how many Christians are not in covenant with a local church. In a sense, they are “dating” the church. Most do this because they fear intimate relationships with other Christians in the community. As PC noted, covenant is not just with God but is with community. God works through people in the community. Accountability helps people grow and gives mature Christians a chance to sow into others and vice versa. This is part of what makes New Philly a forerunner church: the value of relationships in the church community and the continuous sowing and reaping.

    • Chris P says:

      Great reflection, Matt. Have enjoyed our connection chats and expecting great things for you this coming year, brother.

  98. Susan Shin says:

    This sermon about intimacy and about covenant really helped me think about why it is more important to become a member in a church. To promise and to commit to a church to building intimate relationships with others and to reap what i sow and the efforts i put into church and to God.

  99. Aram Lee says:

    Whatever you sow, you reap.
    A lot of people seem to sow very little attendance, tithing, prayer, offering, and service. Then they turn around and expect the church to give them the whole lot back.
    If you sow just a little bit, you’re gonna reap just a little bit.

    Church is not a museum. We are not all here, “Look at us, we are holy!”
    -> I laughed at first, but I realized that it was kind of my perspective on the New Philadelphia Church.
    To me, NPC always looked something special and interesting. I needed and wanted to learn many things from them.
    It’s funny I saw the church in that way when I was already a member.
    Anyway I learned a lot, but sometimes it was just hard for me to fully trust and follow (or apply).
    So many things in membership class material were spoken throughout this sermon, and I was very surprised that my ears were completely shut at that time by my Korean church friend who were trying so hard to lead me to 신천지.

    Intimacy belongs in covenant. God established covenant to have intimate and deep love relationship with His people between holy God and sinful people.
    “I’m committed to be in love relationship with God’s people. So whether they hate me, or I hate them, I’m not gonna walk away. I want y’all to speak into my life, and as I grow, I’m expecting to speak into yours.”
    I take this as my confession today!
    NPC loves me, and wants to have intimacy with me.
    NPC wants to celebrate me, and raise me up to my full potential in Christ.

  100. jaesin nam (jason) says:

    galatians 6 :6~8
    = = exec summary & what touched my heart
    0. commitment to a local church ; don’t act like orphans anymore.
    1.Christianity is not just about believing but also about the belonging.
    2. Lots of problems are came from intimacy without covenant
    3. Water baptism is a public confession of commitment to god ; Hello world, I am christian from now on!
    4. What god invested is his only son to make intimacy with us. 

    – Whatever we sow, we will reap
    – many christians lack of this important thing : “commitment to a local church”
    – They want to give least, but want to get most (from church) – It is a business mindset.
    – Christianity is not just about believing but also about the belonging.
    – here is the thing ; When u belong (to somewhere) – means you need deep intimacy with them
    – 2 corinthians 13 ; whole chapter is about the love and relationship came from intimacy – so read it 
    – People have hurts in their heart are afraid of getting hurts again : defence machanism
    – Lots of problems are came from intimacy without covenant : ex. rape, sexual intercourses without marriage(= covenant), and orphans.
    – Even though you are not christian we welcome you cuz we are not a museum
    – When a baby born, he/she needs a family to mature him fully.
    However, lots of churches misses it. They don’t know what else to do next 
    – Water baptism is a public confession of commitment to god ; Hello world, I am christian from now on!

    – Thigh : most christians dont like to talk about money (esp. for Korean)
    – For many people, money is their god – and we can’t have 2 god (hot or cold ! )
    – Why we track it? We want you to hold accountable 
    – thigh : Don’t give it so reluctively(?) 
    – It is not us who made decision – it is YOU to make decision for 3 weeks 
    – What god invested is his only son to make intimacy with us. 

  101. Tachie Maureen says:

    Lord Help me to keep my intimacy and my convenant with you. Help me order my steps in your word and grace. Pastor Christian thank you for this great message. God bless for you!

  102. Deborah Uwera says:

    “Intimacy belongs in covenant” speaks to me in so many ways. As Christians we tend to forget that the bible tells us that “we reap, what we sow” and we assume that Grace has it all covered and that we can gain intimacy outside of the context of covenant, and this is such a lie. We need to sow commitment not only to God ,but to his people too(his children); the body of Christ.
    We also need to show commitment to God by publicly testifying that we are Christians throught Baptism, and by being accountable to our Church leaders ( one of the ways being through our tithes.) Ensuring that we tithe regularly and without the “child support” mentality.
    Christianity is not just about believing, but also belonging. Personally, i find it hard to be vulnerable and authentic and i just love how PC said, “you have to dare to go deeper” in pursuing real, authentic relationships in the family of God. In community is where growth happens…this is where you receive the nurturing.

  103. Jessie Lee says:

    ‘Where do I go from here? How do I grow?’ These were questions I kept asking myself about after being saved. I remember how I first met Christ, but from then on it was all dark for a long time with a few glimpses of light. Now I can see that I wasn’t looking for a real intimacy neither with Christ nor with a community, I was just trying to keep believing and to ‘survive as a Christian’ by myself. Actually, I even thought that intimacy with other church members was not necessary at all. This message although enlightening, it is also very challenging to me, daring me to really go deeper in my covenant relationships.

  104. Luke Woo says:

    Religion, especially Christianity isn’t simply just about believing in a God or any prophet; it’s about making yourself belonged and committing your faith through membership in a church, which in this case in NPI! Membership is something that becomes meaningful when we participate and really focus. You get what you gave up and did. I think I was trying to reap things without actually trying. I need to be reminded that that stuff is not what I should pursue. Intimacy belongs in covenant. He made it all to have intimate relationships with his people. It’s not about hating people; whether you hate them or not, you still have to love them. NPI loves me. I feel it. I’ve never been loved more than NPI, even home. I will celebrate them by raising myself to the fullest to serve Christ. Amen.

  105. Joseph Lee says:

    Building intimate relationships under covenant by committing. I really need to step it up~

  106. Trash Yang Moses says:

    “It only works and grows best when you are in community.”
    “If you don’t have love, doing all good things from you is nothing.”
    I denied to building up relationship with church community when I was young. Because I didn’t want to get judged by someone who doesn’t understand who I am or who I barely connected. And I met my evangelist in 2008 and I trained how I can live with Jesus and how I can be not just me but filled with holy spirit. I got changed a lot since then, but still I had only her is one intimate relationship with church. So my growing was huge but not continued…
    Now I found a house of God that I decided to be related and intimate with, so I am looking forward to share my life and hope to my soul get grow more and more joyfully.

  107. Eunsoo Timothy Kim says:

    In the previous sermon posted on this website, I commented that I used to have a hard time grasping the importance of being connected to a community and being covered spiritually. I think this sermon added to the depth of my understanding in that you can be connected to a community but still not be intimate with its covenant community members.

    This sermon helped me realize that making a commitment to join a church community is not the only step we should take. After joining a community, one should continue to open him/herself up to covenant members so that true intimacy can grow.

  108. The sermon reminded me of the importance of being part of an authentic community, which requires authentic commitment. I was reminded once again that the Church is a family birthed by the works of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that all of the ministries revolve around building, growing, and protecting the family of God.

  109. Tachie maureen says:

    Wow powerful message and an eye opener. I am glad I heard this message I never thought depending on my soul could cause me distraction, my spirituality and my intimacy with God. Lord I thank you for the spiritual fathers that are interceding on my behalf in order for me to walk in truth and your ways.

  110. Halima Dodo says:

    The beginning of the sermon reminded me of a common western saying “you get what you deserve.” As is said in Galatians 6:6-7, we will reap what we sow. And if we enter the church and sow in little commitment what we harvest will be just as shallow. Here Pastor Christian really reminded me that God calls us to a life of love. This means not only true love for Him but also love for His people. What struck me most is when Pastor Christian mentioned that if we believe we belong, and to belong is to have intimate relationships under a single promise–not to multiple church parties or without diligent responsibility. In the churches that I have attended in the past and even the church that I grew up in, the overall expectation of the congregation was how will church service us today. It was easy to neglect how as a church member I could sow into and reap abundantly from my spiritual family with love. The independent mindset is heavily ingrained and can be difficult to shake because of past experiences. However, since coming to New Philadelphia and experiencing deeper relationships within the church (probably for the first time) I have started to grow out of over distancing myself from God’s people and am learning to love them without personal barriers. And this kind of intimacy can not be enjoyed to its fullest without commitment to the covenant of this house.

  111. Taylor Herman says:

    The part about the Western faith being like a flea market, sowing little and expecting to reap much, really resonated with me, because that’s one of the reasons why I never was able to get into Christianity in the States, because I would see people that wouldn’t go to church every Sunday, they wouldn’t pray or read their Bible very often, yet they would expect miracles in their life; basically using God to fulfill their to-do list or their wish list. I didn’t understand how a God like that could be real, I just saw it as a superstition, as like a very consumeristic religion. But when I came to Korea I was really taught that walking like that is so backward. That it’s not about just using God, but having a relationship with him. Like if all I used my earthly father for was money, we would have a very business-minded relationship, and we would never be able to get close, and at some point my dad would stop wanting to have anything to do with me. Instead, it’s all about building a relationship~ Talking to God (like my earthly father) daily, through prayer, and understanding the Lord’s heart through getting into the word. “True love does not stay shallow. True love goes deep.” This was the truth about Christianity that truly set me free~

    Also I think Pastor Christian really hit the nail on the head in speaking about the common misconception about ‘grace,’ and about it being in the context of a covenant. Many people go about this concept of grace thinking that they can do anything, and God will forgive us because of His grace, but that’s not how grace works in the kingdom; we always reap what we sow~ If we break our covenant or refuse it, we won’t reap anything we desire.

    As a final thought, I actually really appreciate the fact that New Philly keeps its members accountable, even for attendance and tithing~ Because we all have those times where we just don’t feel like doing it, or we run into a rough patch or a rough season, and we don’t feel that we have anything to spare, but being kept accountable keeps our spirit in check.

  112. John Han says:

    The fact that a covenant is necessary is uncomfortable because its invention proves how sinful and unfaithful the humanity has been. It’s such a pitiful invention as it was born out of at least one party’s distrust in the other’s promise. It is amazing how low God stooped down to make a covenant with Abraham, the first of many to come, when He should’ve been insulted by Abraham’s inability to have faith in Him. He submitted to the traditions of men and passed through pieces of the dead animals Abraham presented before Him, just the people of the time used to do. All this to give assurance to Abraham. That is as intimate as it can get! Our love for God starts with the covenant but His love for us started way before. I think it’s good that New Philly views membership as a covenant. It does sound real creepy, not gonna lie but it def is vital to the Church. The weight of the word “covenant” needs to be restored in this age when we got people breaking covenants left and right with divorces and abortions.

  113. God’s word is always refreshing and new. I thank You God for feeding me with this word. In this word, i am reassured that we the children of God have been called to a life of deep covenant and commitment, first to God and then our fellow men.
    “For God so loved the world…………….that whosoever BELIEVES in Him………(John 3:16).”
    This confirms that intimacy belongs in covenant, which requires me to sow seeds of commitments in diverse ways and also open up my heart to what God has surrounded me with. Thank you God and the vessel of God, PC for this revelation. God bless and help us all to always please Him.

  114. Christianity in the western world has turned into a flea market. We sow in very little but expect a lot. Wow, what a harsh truth. When it comes to committing to a local church or committing in general, people sow in only a little bit of prayer or service. As I go through this membership process, I realize how important it is to make a commitment to a local church. Being fully committed means that I am fully able to receive the blessings from the Lord on my life. Sowing only a little bit will result in very little and I should not expect so much but if you sow in a lot, be very expectant!

  115. Youngha Park says:

    I strongly feel that committing to and serving church is so important. Giving the least and expecting the most should not be a natural thing. One should make covenant with a local church because that would bring intimacy with God, the church, and spiritual growth. Intimacy with God and the church is so important not only because of one’s own spiritual growth but also because it shows commitment to God’s people.

    You sow what you reap and I think this fits well with committing to a church. Serving and committing to a local church, and sowing just a seed will help one reap not just one, but many countless fruits.

  116. Paul Youngbong Lee says:

    Fresh new definitions of intimacy and commitment that ive never heard before. It was an enlightening message. Thank you :)

  117. Gon Kim says:

    I called the church I attended in college my home church. Unfortunately, the church had to close its doors right before my senior year, and since then, I haven’t really felt like I belonged to a church. I didn’t stop attending church; I attended another church my senior year and I was attending the church back at my parents’ but I couldn’t experience the same level of intimacy and comfort I once felt, no matter how much I longed for it. I’m glad I’ve found NPC where I can enter into a covenant in which I may edify the house and the house, me. The idea of committing to a local church again, since college, has scared me, but knowing the intimacy, covering, teaching, and freedom a covenant brings to my walk with God and with my brothers and sisters is very reassuring.

  118. Eunbi Lee says:

    Knowing that God calls us to a life of love was something I knew and understood since I was young but the way Pastor Christian explains that intimacy belongs in a covenant and love is in the covenant, was new for me. I thought if I had a relationship with God, that was all I need and His love was all I need. For the 15 years of my life attending church, I never felt like I belonged to the church. I always felt like I was alone and never a part of the community. In the past, I thought it was okay to just believe and belonging was something that I will never have. I think that was why I was so scared of coming out to New Philly because it was very different to any other church I have been to. When I read the membership booklet during membership class, the words “Christianity is not just about believing but belonging”, I just kept on reading that part. It really sunk into my heart and to be honest I realized that the concept I had about “church” was wrong. I thought having a relationship with only God was what was important and Pastor Christian really helped me understand that I also need intimacy with God’s people because that is what God wants.
    This sermon helped me understand New Philly’s values and learning God’s heart through this sermon was what was mostly important to me. I came into New Philly with a concept of a community that was wrong. I was the type of person that would put up walls and keep distance from the people who tried to reach out to me because my concept of the church was different to the people in New Philly. Now I know clearly that God calls us to intimacy in a covenant and He wants us to be loved and love His people.
    Thank you Pastor Christian for preaching this sermon. It really changed my mindset and took away all the wrong and bad concepts that I had for a while.

  119. Pastor Christian was so on-point about how our world today seeks intimacy without commitment. It breaks my heart when I hear about children ending up in adoption due being born outside of marriage. I truly do hope that one day marriage will be restored to the beautiful gift that God had intended it to be.

    It was also refreshing to hear the importance of covenant within the church. “Church hopping” has become an epidemic and people are forgetting that we were created to run this race together with our brothers and sisters in deep community.

    Thank you Pastor Christian for a powerful word!

  120. Vivian Fung says:

    I think the phrase that really struck me in this sermon is Pastor Christian said that Christianity nowadays is about “giving the least and expecting the most”. I have a lot of friends who aren’t satisfied with the church that they attend and so they just church hop from one church to the other. This consumer mentality focuses on the self instead of on God. My pastor back home really disapproves of this because he says that you are ruining the concept of a church family. Pastor Christian also says that “Christianity is not just about believing, but belonging”.

    I thought that this sermon was powerful because it not only talked about our relationship with God, but also our relationship with fellow brothers and sisters. Even though I’ve only been at New Philly for a short time, I feel that a lot of people here are really open about who they are. In my familia group, we share a lot about intimate facts about ourself, whether it’s things that happened in the past or the temptations that we are still struggling with. I think this really lets us know more about each other and it allows us to keep each other accountable. I hope to get to know more people at a deeper level as I continue to attend this church.

  121. Annie Weiss says:

    Intimacy with responsibility is so clear in the physical that is seems absurd that we would not also consider it as necessary in the spiritual. When PC said that the church has been infected with the mindset of intimacy without covenant it really hit home for me. The consumer mentality that is pervasive in society says that if we cannot get what we want, then we should look elsewhere for it. But many people bring that into the church. When they cannot get what they want, they move elsewhere. This hinders growth of the individual and of the community. It is hard to understand yourself as on in the body of Christ when you are not connected to a family. Being a part of this family means that we will be able to know God and his people which will bring about true change. It means that we will be held accountable for what we do. And one of the best parts about being in this community is that we are in a covenant relationship where PC has committed to be the father of the house. It is exciting to be under a father and in this covenant community where we can be loved and grow.

  122. Kimberly Ahn says:

    Intimacy can only be achieved through covenant. And covenant isn’t through merely visiting the Church but rather making that promise to protect the house and be a family with the house. It doesn’t just stop there either though! Genuine commitment is needed. I noticed I struggled a lot with greed, in just wanting more, more, and more from the church, with very little input on my part. The definite flea market consumer mentality. In order to grow exponentially, I need to sow into the community by being proactive in my duties as a member. I need to realize that if I don’t, not only am I robbing myself to grow, but also robbing God from using me for others as well.

  123. Philip kuhns says:

    I found this message very challenging. PC said, “if you desire change/growth in your spiritual walk, you need a relationship with God and his people”. I think this is spot on and very encouraging!! However, to be honest, i am not so sure about some other points that were made..
    For example, the point was made that “grace ONLY comes in covenant”, which is perfectly agreeable if “covenant” is referring to my relationship with Christ. But its very clear that covenant here is referring to membership. I dont think Scripture ever talks about grace in this way. The church i grew up in did not have membership, so i have never been “in covenant”, but i cannot even describe the amount of grace and blessings that God has poured out on me (salvation aside).
    Although the concept of church membership is good, valuable, and an important part of New Philly’s dynamic, I do not agree that it is as absolute as this message makes it seem. Nor do i think it needs to be the standard for the body of Christ as a whole. There are many flourishing, spirit-filled churches that don’t practice membership.
    I truly learned a lot through this message, and I mean this post to be as loving and gracious as possible. It is clear that God is leading New Philly church in this direction for His purposes and i think that is wonderful. But i felt i had to be honest about my position on some things that were said.

  124. Choi Lok Yan Sharon says:

    This message reminds me a very important thing when getting new comers involved in my fellowship. It is common that my peers bring their friends to my fellowship but I never see their face again after few weeks. I understand that they may just expect for meeting new friends but not getting to know about Christianity so I will give them warm greeting at the first time.However, I usually forget about the welcoming things and stick with my old friends at the fellowship after few weeks. Pastor Christian said that Christianity is not only about believing, but also belonging. That’s why those new comers left my fellowship after they found that they cannot penetrate into our stoical circles! I think the situation of social circles beyond reach among Christians is worth reflecting on.
    Another thing impresses me is the concept of “orphan spirits” .I have no actual experience on son-ships even I have joined my church for 8 years already. I start to think about the relationship which makes me commit to my church is merely friendships in the fellowship rather than the sense of being as a family. In order to enjoy intimacy with God and my brothers and sisters from church, I will rethink about how can I really get related to the church during the few months I stay at New Philly.

  125. I think this sermon made it very clear to me that intimacy requires commitment. Expecting to receive without giving shows immaturity in faith and wouldn’t allow one to yield fruits. This is actually the first time I encounter a Church that requires tithing which surprised me at first. But it shows how NP takes growth seriously and does what is necessary to keep their members to keep growing. It was a good reminder of what a covenant looks like and that it requires us to do our part in it.

  126. Eddie Mun says:

    We were made for relationships. The point that really hit home for me was the fact that even if one has great faith – faith to move mountains, ability to interpret tongues, etc, all of this is futile if one does not love. Out of personal experience, I also came to realize how important it is to have intimacy with church members in order to have a true and lasting Christian walk. Back in Germany I was not very intimate with the church family and tried to walk my Christian walk by listening to Joel Osteen’s podcast. It wasn’t until I came to New Philly however, that I realized that zeal alone was not enough to walk the Christian path. I am so grateful that I get to have intimacy with the New Philly family – this is an intimacy that the Lord has given me to enjoy in covenant!

  127. Thank you pastor Christian for this “meal”. Hearing this sermon made me realized that Christianity is not all about believing but also belonging. We belong in a family of God and to grow together with our brothers and sisters. We need to sow, to invest into our family. Especially I think it’s important to invest time for our family. Until now actually I feel that it’s rather awkward to talk to the other strangers in church. To open yourself to somebody that you don’t really know well. But we are not strangers and we are not orphans for we have the same Father ^^
    Due to work circumstances there was also a period of time when I was just listening to Joseph Prince’s sermons provided by my dear friend in Singapore and then one day I don’t know why I just feel so dry, I thought that there must be something wrong with my heart because I think I’m still eating my meal. Hearing a sermon from your laptop is the same as looking for a gloriously yummy food over the internet. Visually it looks amazing, so colorful, balanced nutrients and everything but eventually it wont fill you up. And so that’s why I came to emmaus on the first place. I am very thankful that there’s an English service during the weekdays near my house~
    I have to admit sometimes I feel lazy to talk and also a little bit intimidated by all the people speaking English like in the TV in NP. But I’ll try my best to connect and maybe one day I would be able to become intimate with fellow brothers and sisters in my new family :)

  128. Oscar Sun says:

    For me this really struck a chord in me. I completely agree that intimacy belongs in covenant, that without the covenant the intimacy becomes very fragile and can easily be taken advantage of or broken. The covenant is what keeps us accountable and allows us to truly trust. I am a very trusting person, I give my trust to everyone, because I believe that everyone deserves it. However, my trust has been betrayed many times, because there was no covenant to keep that trust from being broken. But since I’ve been to New Philly, I don’t feel that my trust will be broken, I’ve finally met a place that will uphold the same covenant that I will give. Thank you Lord

  129. Janet Cushey says:

    As a child reading the bible and studying the bible, I had always considered holy covenants to be something for very important people in God’s eyes, like Abraham, Noah, etc. I never saw myself as one of those people. I think that’s why I slipped away from my own covenant with god, when I promised to be obedient to him and committed my life to him. I hope that I can rebuild the trust that has been so eroded in my relationship with god. As a person who has not being a faithful churchgoer recently, and had never had one single church that I attended for a long period of time, I never understood the importance of a covenant in a church with its members as well. I guess I’m just starting to learn now. I think that’s where all the love in New Philly comes from when I walk in – it flows from everyone!

  130. Having grown up in the church, I thought going to the service each Sunday is what commitment meant. Coming to New Philly, I’m quickly seeing that there is a lot more to it than just “showing up”. I didn’t realize how non-commital I am and how I’ve been robbing myself of so many things which would help me grow as a Christian. Having relationships under covenant creates a family that will accept you for who you are, help you through the hard times and be the place where you can fall back on. For a lot of us, it’s uncomfortable to be transparent and accountable in areas of our lives, but the benefits outweigh that initial discomfort.

  131. Daniel Kim says:

    I have always believed that my relationship with God was a very personal relationship, so I’ve never felt that I had to be a member of any church. I feel that I have always held this view in fear of having my conception of God being altered by the experiences within the church. Intimacy is something I have been selective of, so it is assuring to me that New Philly emphasizes intimacy within covenant/commitment. This sermon has pointed out that in a church relationship; you are either in or out.

  132. Chuck Chun says:

    This message about what commitment and intimacy in a relationship was meaningful to me because this is what I value about New Philly and is the primary reason for applying for membership. Really getting to know someone is opening yourself up to be exposed — the good with the bad. What does that investment look like? Relationships require covenant. This type of commitment reminds me of marriage and how Christ loves the church. He says he is committed, loves us, pursues us, and serves us. Commitment isn’t commitment without actions to back up that commitment.

  133. Thank God for this sermon. I have being searching for intimacy with God’s people outside covenant. I now understand that intimacy is not automatic in a gathering of believers. Covenant is very necessary even in the midst of the most organised group of believers to enjoy intimacy. I’m blessed to have come to meet a spirit filled church that gives importance to covenant between believers as well as covenant with God.

  134. Lydia Ju says:

    I was really happy and thankful to listen to this sermon. I had never really thought about how intimacy belongs in covenant. I was really blessed by how PC said if you want a true and lasting change in your spiritual walk you need a relationship with God AND His people. I guess for me I have always thought only God, but especially after coming to New Philly I have come to realize how important intimacy with a local church is and how New Philly loves me enough to want to celebrate me and have intimacy with me. I am just very thankful and want to be an accountable daughter of Christ and New Philly.

  135. Alina Cho says:

    I’m very thankful I have found New Philly and that there is such a big focus on making relationships and being plugged in. I know that the church is here to help support and guide you throughout our walk.
    The part that hit me the most was when PC talked about when we are not part of a covenant or stop being a part of one and the negative results from it. I recently haven’t been plugged in and have not been able to grow deeper in the Lord. But God has finally led me to my spiritual Korean family and I’m so thankful and blessed.

  136. Man this sermon is so good because I feel like this is what the church was meant to be. Intimacy in covenant. It also kind of reminds me of a P.Marcus sermon on being vulnerable to each other. Having a relationship with both God and His people is another fundamental aspect of the Christian walk.

  137. Katrin Paul says:

    I’ve never thought of church membership as a public commitment to Gods people, which shouldn’t be taken lightly. To me it was more like an optional decision, which was in no way of any major importance. The sermon made me reevaluate my attitude in relating to church.

  138. Jeremiah Silvey says:

    The sowing and reaping principle stood out the most. Not to sow just so you can reap, but to sow from a place of genuine love first. It’s encouraging to know that New Philly is a community that expresses the heart of God out of genuine love.

  139. Tiffany Maxwell says:

    I just felt so much joy listening to this. In the past I had really negative views/feelings about covenants–mostly because I didn’t really understand how God wants them to be. Over a number of years, though, my views/feelings changed as I grew deeper in relationships and learned more about God. When I listened to this, I was reminded of my past feelings, and I rejoiced in seeing how I have changed. At the same time, I was encouraged that my growth won’t stop here–and that I can encourage and celebrate others too.

  140. Luc Silva says:

    I was not happy to leave my church but I was very happy to find and join the New Philly.
    I always thought that if I dedicate to God and have intimacy with him was enough but with this message it is clear that we need to have intimacy with the local church and his members.
    Before this message I was always thinking twice before have a real intimacy with someone that you don’t know but now it is clear that the key point is intimacy belongs in Covenant and with God and the Local Church. I hope I can help and support my brothers and sisters and have intimacy with them and God will be always looking into it.

  141. Yery Reyna Yoon says:

    “Intimacy gives birth to new life.” That really stood out to me. To think that we would have fruits as our intimacy with God deepens but not know how to steward those fruits with wisdom and potentially abuse those gifts was a sad thought. Intimacy within a covenant relationship would make sure we have accountable leaders protecting us and allowing us to mature in our faith in a healthy way!

  142. Na Hee Kim says:

    I felt like PC was talking about me the whole sermon! I was definitely someone who pushed people away and deliberately distanced myself because I had been hurt in the past and I was afraid and also because I had become so accustomed to being alone I didn’t realize that this was actually poisonous to me. I always believed that Christian Faith was all about intimacy and relationship with God and God only, but this sermon really highlighted to me that Christianity is also about having a relationship with God’s people. It is about belonging as well as believing. I realized this when I started coming out to church and CG every week. I found myself to be growing, finally breaking down the wall of hurt and fear that prevented my growth in Christ for all these years.
    I really do believe that God has designed our spiritual walk to only work and grow when we are in community. This sermon really encouraged me to keep sowing and grow in intimacy with the New Philly community ☺

  143. Hannah Chong says:

    Intimacy belongs in covenant! Amen. When there is no safety and commitment (through covenant) that has been defined in relationships, especially in the context of church community, the danger for hurt, confusion, and abandoment, arises. I won’t lie and say I have previously had this kind of church experience before. However, I am learning to trust in being vulnerable, open, and honest, especially as I have joined NP because I know I am entering into a covenant, in which when I sow, I will reap. Because I have been established as a son in this house, I know that I am not just joining a large gathering of passive and lax Christians, but one in which I am being shepherded and cared for, and ultimately a FAMILY, in which I can be kept accountable and find belonging and love.

  144. Yu Jeong Park says:

    “Christianity is not just about believing, it’s about belonging”. Amen.
    This sermon really hit home for me as I was someone who was very closed off and wasn’t comfortable in sharing. But now I have learnt, through PC’s word, that Christianity is about the intimacy with God and also relationships with community. Intimacy truly does belong in covernant. I’m excited to grow in the New Philly community!

  145. Alex Quach says:

    This sermon really opened my eyes on how crucial it is to build an intimate relationships not only with god but the body of christ around you New Phillys been a great place for me to explore Christianity and it is through the church community and intimacy that i come to a place where I’ve accepted christ as my saviour.

  146. Michael Chan says:

    Missing out on intimate close relationships within the body of Christ. I’d been missing out on that for many years. Definitely, stunted my spiritual growth. I couldn’t relate to the people in my previous church, nor did I try, so I’ll never know, but this sermon really spoke to me, to open myself up to my fellow bro’s and sis in the church and to enjoy intimacy in covenant of the church. We need to have a relationship with the Lord AND his people in order to grow spiritually. Amen! This is why we have membership!

  147. Samuel SC Choi says:

    I liked it when PC said that Christianity is not just about believing but it’s also about belonging. I also believe that having a community that holds the same beliefs/paradigm is the best place to grow and be encouraged in ones’ faith.

    Much like intimacy between a man and a woman outside of marriage not being God’s original intention, the saint must learn to love the church in a covenant relationship.

    The church comes with benefits but also requires a level of ownership, commitment and responsibility. The more we invest into the church, the greater harvest we will reap.

  148. laurenjhchun says:

    It was truly eye-opening when Pastor Christian said that Christianity isn’t just about believing but belonging; Christianity is not only about the beliefs but intimate relationship. Pastor Christian goes back to the basics that we always forget living in the fallen world. The truth that God had created covenant in order to protect and nurture human beings allowed me to view membership commitment as a blessing, not a burden.

    This sermon also convicted me to approach relationship within a covenant with a renewed mindset. Once within the covering of a church, we have the full responsibility to mature relationally with fellow brothers and sisters. Whereas in the past, I had the orphan spirit, fearing and lacking trust that hindered me from being intimate with the pastors, leaders and majority of my church members. I had not realised that this mindset and behaviour prevented me from manifesting father’s heart to newcomers and edifying fellow Christians. Love, and openness is key to growing in a covenant community.

    And Tithing! God has been constantly reminding me of the danger of holding money as master as this is the second sermon addressing this issue within this month. It seemed like God was saying covenant is no joke, you’d better honour it because I love you! Understanding that God had created covenant to protect us made me realise that God wants to protect me from becoming slave to money, not that He “needs” it. Even if I am studying full time and living off allowance, He still wants me to honour the covenant for greater intimacy with God, maturity and protection.

  149. Relationship through covenant is something I am learning and understanding more and more through New Philly. The idea of a covenant is very weighty and requires trust and commitment. Much like marriage to a husband/wife, Jesus referred to the church as his bride and I am getting more challenged to view my relationship with the church (it’s people) as a committed relationship.

    To build love and intimacy requires time, submission and most importantly trust. I feel that through PC’s message he is setting a standard for our relationships as brothers and sisters in Christ and also sheds light on the reason behind it all.

    Being a part of a church that believes in trust and love through covenant as well as trust through finances is refreshing and challenging.

  150. Helen Kim says:

    WOW! I seek to have healthy and fruitful relationships through greater intimacy with the NPC body. Not just through the covenant that I have with God but with NPC as a family/community.

    • Helen Kim says:

      I realised what I wrote was too short.. haha so there was a couple of things I wanted to add! I agree that Christianity is not just about believing but also about BELONGING!! Yes. We were created to love and be loved and to experience TRUE LOVE (that is not shallow) but deep! I have been longing for rich and meaningful friendships/relationships that are truly grounded and centred in Christ… and what can I say, this sermon was exactly what I needed to hear!!

  151. Louise Kim says:

    God calls us to intimacy, not only with him but with other believers. This makes local church membership more than a formality; it a commitment to invest in relationships within the church and to build up the body of Christ. This is vastly different to a consumer mentality of wanting to receive much whilst investing little or nothing into the church. Whilst it is true that we will reap more than we sow since we cannot out give God (like a hundred apples coming from a single seed), we still need to initiate the process by planting the seed and also tend to it faithfully as we wait to see the harvest.

    The Christian life is not just about believing but belonging. Some will stay away from being relational to avoid the pains and troubles that come with it, but every heart longs for deep and rich relationships. It is through covenant that trust and intimacy can be established, absent of fear.

  152. Kevin Choi says:

    People look for true love without realising at times, and we need to come into intimacy with each other and do the walk as a church family. PC put this beautifully. Galations shows this explicitly.
    I believe and know that New Philly has become my home church. Somewhere I feel I belong, and I can see this in others too here in Sydney. I have been growing deeply and exponentially, and am excited for more. As Gideon did. No longer behind closed doors. No longer doing the walk alone. But to do life together and grow in intimacy with each other. So that his love can be perpetuated in all of our hearts and be truly understood. In order for others who have not yet received to come into the same place.

  153. Alyssa Yan says:

    Prior to attending New Philly, I never knew the importance of intimacy with other church members and leaders. At New Philly, I experienced the sense of belonging, as well as intimacy with the church. In the 4 months that I have been attending New Philly, I have received immense love and covering from the church. The grace of God is delivered to us in the context of a covenant. And I am extremely excited to be part of this covenant. I am happy that I’m doing the Christian walk with my amazing leaders. “Christianity is not about believing, it’s about belonging”. At New Philly, I belong to the family of God and I know my spiritual walk will be amazing with intimate and genuine relationships with the leaders. Now that I’ve experienced intimacy and true love, I realised how much I have been missing out. New Philly is my safe place where I know I won’t be judged based on my past and shortcomings.

  154. Michelle Kwak says:

    I was very blessed by the heart of the Father that Pastor Christian conveyed, even through the hilarious and great analogy of chicken nuggets and putting food on the table. I know how seriously this matter involving covenant and sonship/fathership is taken, and that comforts me! It really is about Jesus and His commitment to us! If we accept the love of Jesus, our commitment to Him should be full of grace, joy, and honor, but somehow we often view earthly covenantal relationships as burdensome or fear-ridden instead of an exciting reflection of Jesus. Knowing this intentional heart behind covenant is amazing; I recognize that membership is a truly meaningful and significant step that marks us spiritually. And I know that the accountability and rules are for the sake of family and growth.
    On a different note, I appreciated the comment about those who have the anointing of the Holy Spirit but also operate by influence of other spirits, and how only a discerning person could distinguish even while they are ministering. I would love to learn more about that.

  155. Emil Bredahl lavsen:

    After listening to the sermon twice, am I starting to understand why this sermon is so important for me to listen too, and why I had to listen to it at this point of my life. Coming from Denmark, which is an extremely individualistic country has it been really hard for me to really grasp the idea of true biblical covenant community. I have honestly been afraid of real community.
    But I must realize that Intimacy must be enjoyed within the Covenant, because that is the only place where it can be enjoyed and experienced truly. Attending new philly iteawon have i for the first time experienced a taste of the community that pAstor christian explains so well. Some amazing bros have blessed me and challenged me to go deeper with Jesus. But I must understand that True covenant community requires commitment from me, and listening to this sermon really helped me to ask questions so a right foundation can be formed within me. I must let love me the ruler of my life. Even the question of tithing really has challenged me this week to ponder of my own heart and where I’m at on this question. I am excited about community, but before true community within covenant can be experienced personally, do I need to be ready to change. It is painful and not easy, but needed and I give God glory through this process that I’m going through.
    Thanks for a wonderful sermon that I’ll return to over and over again.

  156. Crystal Hunt says:

    Oh my goodness yes this ~ I am very interested in growth and nurture!! This has been quite an interesting sermon for me because -I’ve been to so many different types of churches -I haven’t heard this kind of topic before in this way. Oh, there would be mentioned types of relationship but intimacy with covenant makes sense.
    Intimacy is very much two way and I am looking forward to being held accountable since I haven’t been reading the Bible in a long time, I haven’t prayed as constantly as I used to. I am being blessed for hearing and learning lessons from these sermons.

  157. Michelle Euperio says:

    This entire sermon really blessed me and taught me so much about intimacy in covenant. It was such a blessing to hear PC’s heart behind covenant. I loved the analogy of farmers sowing and reaping to committing to a church. Also, I’m so happy that PC spoke some truth over what karma really is. Any time, I heard the word ‘karma’ there was always something in my spirit that felt tension and disagreement and was never really able to put to words why. I love how PC mentioned that karma is an imitation of sowing and reaping. Another part that had such a profound impact on me was PC’s explanation of 1 Corinthians 13 with Paul about love. I never realized that he was preaching to them about love because they were all crazy about the supernatural but didn’t know how to love and relate to each other. That segment alone set me free from some things with the past. I stopped and listened to that part 3 times and felt that truth and freedom were being released over me. It just made me desire an even greater intimacy with the Lord but also with his people and with New Philly. “Membership to a local church is your public commitment to God’s people.” I have never been part of a church who held their members accountable and the more I learn about it all, I see that there is just such a great outpour of love. I want to make that commitment. Years ago, I would have ran away at the thought of being held accountable (plus I used to have large walls up) and living in a covenant community but it is something I really want to be part of. :)

  158. Neil Gordon Smart says:

    PC restates themes from ‘don’t go naked sermon’ making his sermons into a unity. Christianity is not just about believing –it’s about belonging. When you believe, you can relate to people. Keeping people at a distance is missing out on your Christian walk. Intimacy belongs in covenant to retain its delicate fabric. We need community to nurture us. The spirit of son-ship is lost in recent generations. But God is restoring spiritual fathers. Intimacy is membership in a local church. A covenant holds everybody mutually accountable. No spiritual one-night stands. God sent his one and only son into the world to forge a covenant between a sinful people and a holy God. God wants intimacy and intimacy belongs in covenant symbolized by the nourishing relationships within a local church.

  159. From this sermon, I understand that intimacy requires a deep commitment laid as a foundation. Intimacy bares fruit, new life, and only a covenant relationship provides the proper healthy and secure environment where this new life can develop properly.
    Because we are all created for love, and love does not remain at the surface, it requires to go deep. So God instituted covenant so intimacy could be enjoyed safely.
    One model is the covenant of marriage where intimacy and all its forms has been designed by God to be enjoyed. This model is also reproduced when as a believer, we commit to a local church.
    God calls us to love and have intimacy not only with Himself but with His people. Intimacy belongs in covenant. When you believe, you need to belong, to reach healthy maturity in character and have all the blessings. But it also comes with responsibility.
    Personally, having suffered from rejections for the major part of my life, I do find it safer to keep people at a safe distance.
    However, I am glad that New Philly has cultivated such a strong culture of son-ships. I am craving that intimacy. And since that New Philly is making that covenant with me, I am ready to make that same commitment in return. Because accountability is enforced, I feel secure enough to open up and experience intimacy with God and his people.

  160. One of the first things I noticed about New Philly is how *healthy* it is. I’ve never seen anything like it! It’s rare to see a church hold itself and its members accountable to the Bible in such visible ways. Covenant. Commitment. Intimacy. “True love doesn’t stay shallow. True love goes deep.” We all want that true love in the church, but when things get real, we get nervous. We want love, but we fear rejection. It’s hard to let someone love you with all your imperfections, we don’t want anyone to think we aren’t as good as they think we are at first, so we often keep things shallow instead of going deep. I’m so tired of that… I’m done fearing rejection. I’m committing anyway, investing anyway, because fearing potential hurt hinders joy. I’m done with that defense mechanism. I want the love of the family. (I have also read The Supernatural Ways of Royalty recently and oh goodness it hit me hard, especially about fearing rejection and pushing good things away because of a poverty spirit. This sermon reminded me of that!)

  161. David Haram Kim says:

    This message really spoke to me regarding the importance of membership and covenant. I realize that just attending a church without participating in membership will result in a non-fruitful experience. As PC has repeated throughout his sermon, we reap what we sow. If I want to experience the best of what God has through church, then I’m going to have to invest and sow the best into the church. That means giving my all in investing and being faithful to the other members of the church, offerings and tithes, and even acts of service. Often we expect the best from God yet give Him our least.
    And being part of a covenental membership with the church is so crucial as many churches lose people (who don’t take part in the covenant) because they feel like they don’t belong or relate to anyone in the church. New Philly is awesome in that it really takes care of its members and gives people a sense of security and family.

  162. Mariyah Gonzales says:

    Pastor Christian’s message covered a lot of groundwork on my heart as it touched on themes of belonging, commitment and vulnerability. There was a lot to lay out and digest but what got me chewing the longest was his mention of our victory as a fatherless generation.

    Most important, that it wasn’t our fault. Looking at my own story, it’s not that I desired to be outside of covering. I didn’t mean to choose individuality over community. It was so much the opposite that I strived to create what I knew could exist, what I believed was called for each of us, by my own efforts. I had never seen or heard of sonship before. The Father’s heart wasn’t cultivated in the communities I tried to grow in. For a long time, this left me angry and I didn’t fully understand why. So, I attempted to build outside of the body. Like PC said, when we’re not committed to a local church, we do some weird things to stay alive and that’s what I did, for a long time- I just made it up. Something so good, this innate desire for community with God and those that choose Him, in my hands began to look nothing like Christ but rather all the ugliest parts of me. It was exhausting and I was spent. It is my fault, as they were a series of moments when I said yes to all the wrong things and no to all the right, but like PC said, it isn’t really. His heartbreak and recognition of this hurt brought me comfort and rest. We as children live out the truths that have been sown into us. Claiming sonship is vital to our spiritual health and growth.

    It’s not about commitment to any church that will satisfy our desire for intimacy. Many of us have found ourselves at a pew in the back, closest to the exit, even with membership. Rather, it’s commitment to a body that you can believe in, that believes in you. It is saying yes to and being transparent with a body that you know is here to love and protect you; with spiritual parents and siblings who want nothing but for you to grow into full maturity. Places like this exist! I’m forever indebted to the teachings and guidance I’ve received at NP and am coming into membership in expectancy of greater breakthrough. God is so good and He is not done yet.

  163. This sermon personally hits home for me. It took me nearly one year and half since I came back to Korea to finally run out of excuses and commit myself to a church. I realized you cannot do faith alone and there is no such thing as “the perfect church”. I appreciate the analogy of marriage to the church because my attitude on committing to a church is often times a direct reflection of my attitude on committing to a relationship. Without a covenant, Iit is easy to move onto another church (as well as in the case of relationship) and my heart would not be fully in that church (as well as in the case of relationship). Only through a covenant, can I fully be me and accept others as they are. Grace abounds and the intimacy roots out deeper. And because of this safe and protected environment to learn and grow, true maturity can be reaped. I am blessed to be able to sow my time and resources with NP.

  164. David Kim says:

    Everything PC mentioned in this sermon made so much sense. In the bible there are only 2 covenants mentioned and that is between husband and wife and God and His church. That’s why it is important for Christian’s not to treat church as a ‘flea market’. I was challenged how PC even compared not being in a church covenant is like people who go to prostitutes and who are involved in adultery. Since people who go to prostitutes and are involved in adultery are wanting intimacy without commitment. We need to live a lifestyle of sowing our time and resources into the church (NP)

  165. Amanda Hawkins says:

    I think covenant and covering kind of go hand and hand. After you start attending a church, and like what you are experiencing and people start investing time and prayer into you, I think you should make a commitment to that body, and start giving back with your time, relationships, and money. I also think its important to be at peace with your decision. Even though I have been tithing since the beginning I still had an issue with the accountability. I wanted to be a member of this church but also needed to have peace in my decision. I didn’t want to have any resentment or regret. After talking to several leaders, and getting such support from most I truly felt blessed to be a part of this church. And God changed my heart. I think without the relationship and feeling comfortable enough to talk out these issues with leaders and pastors, I probably would not be going thru the membership process. Great sermon P.Christian! Thank you!

  166. Intimacy without covenant is non-existent. Being from the United States, I forget too often that true freedom exists only within the bounds of a willingness to submit to true authority. As as Christian, the same is true. Freedom and intimacy in Christ only comes through submitting to God’s authority. Upon hearing this sermon, I am brought to a state of repentance for not realising the importance of being in covenant with Christian believers as an outward manifestation of being in covenant with God. I believed that as long as I was in covenant with God, everything was good, but I realise covenant happens on a horizontal level with fellow believers, as well as, a vertical level with our heavenly father.

  167. Winnie Chan Wei Ling says:

    When we sows generously and willingly, we will also reap abundantly even greater than the seed. Grace works under covenant. In the covering of a covenant, we’ll have intimacy that goes deep beyond any shallow relationship in a community with God’s people. God designed us to be a part of the community and grow along it. The bible says if we prophesy but don’t love, we’re nothing; if we speak in various tongues but have not love, we are nothing either. God is love. Love while being in a covenant community is an important part in our Christian walk. It’s not healthy to build up walls within the members of Christ and striving to have just “me & God” relationship.

    Even though I’ve been quite awhile in this church, the thought of being a member didn’t really came in my mind before this. I used to be holding back myself thinking that I can still attend church without membership and not taking any responsibilities that comes with membership. But soon I began to realise I need to go deeper into the water that God’ve called me and not holding back myself.

    I’m excited to be part of this church and the goodness of God overflow in this community!! :)

  168. Albert Lee says:

    Intimacy must be experienced under a covenant! To experience healthy growth in our christian walk we must be commited in both our relationship with God and God’s people. The heart behind God’s rules and boundaries is love. And to the people who do not know the heart of God this message could have sound legalistic. But P.Christian ending the message with the story of the cross-the most powerful represantation of God’s heart, made all the difference!

  169. I really loved this message. I don’t think enough churches understand the importance of addressing the topic of intimacy in such a way. It only makes sense to have intimacy in covenant because that was how God designed it from the very beginning. Intimacy without covenant and responsibility is exactly what the enemy wants as it creates distance from God and a misunderstanding of who God really is. God is all about covering His people through covenant. And I love that New Philly is a church that is committed to intimacy and deeper relationship through covenant. That it is a church committed to not stay shallow but to go deeper. The part about Christianity not being just about believing but about belonging stood out to me. When I first came to New Philly last year, not really knowing anyone at church, it was tempting for me to feel alone and carry on the orphan spirit. God really had to break that in me (and He still is) through the revelation that I was a son with inheritance and not an orphan forsaken by the Father. Every human being desires intimacy and connection. But it can only come when we fully understand the importance of finding intimacy in community. I am truly blessed to know that taking membership is not just a formality. That once I am committed to a member of this house, that I am being fully accepted as a member of a family. Thank you PC for the heart that you carry to provide a safe environment for intimacy in the church through covenant.

  170. I am so thankful that God brought me to New Philly. Thank you Pastor Christian for this message. I connected so much with what you said about being a new Christian and needing a good family and community that can raise you and build you up. But you need to be committed. A relationship is always two-ways. God made a covenant with us and we need to take our covenant with Him seriously as well. Quite ironic how our earthly relationships can reflect on our spiritual relationships. BUT that God actually desires us to have intimacy within the church?? That is something I never knew before. I am excited! :)

  171. Its a good reminder that can never be brought up enough. And how one seed can produce so much. If even you plant truth and goodness into someone once a week, you can potentially see an overflow of fruit from that simple act.
    Someone not excited about intimacy because they don’t really know what it is, and all they know are hurts from the ones that they should have had a pure intimacy with, so sad. Another good reminder of how we all have a different lens that we view life through, and to be extra aware/in tune with the holy spirit. Hopefully we’ll all be looking through a 7′ inch, 7 layers of glass, 7 pound lens one day 😉

  172. (Dilys Efesoa)

    I think as human beings we all crave intimacy and a sense of being a part of something. This is really important as a Christian because when I am going through a tough period my first response is to want to be alone- away from others. However this is exactly what the enemy wants, for me to feel isolated like no one cares for us. This is where the need for belonging in the body of Christ becomes important. Not just going to a church but actually becoming a part of it as well making an effort to impact the lives of those at that church. This message challenges me to seek deeper meaningful relationships and to realize that as the body of Christ we ought to fellowship together as one.

  173. Ann Lee says:

    When I was new to Christianity, I didn’t understand the dichotomy of Having a personal relationship with God + Having an intimate relationship with the church. Coming from a Catholic background, I guess I wasn’t that interested in connecting with the people in church but I did see attending church as a duty for a Christian. Since I wasn’t used to the New Philly way of connecting with members, I always felt uncomfortable and more used to attending church as a ritual without any personal intimacy. I also wasn’t familiar with the concept of tithing, so to be honest I was pretty against it. Once I did decided to tithe, I did it relectantly and wasn’t aware of the biblical significance of it. Now that I have attended New Philly for over 2 years, the values of this church have been pretty engrained inside me. Although I’m used to and agree pretty much with everything of this message, it’s quite funny that I definitely didn’t start this way and it took 2 years to fully believe it!

  174. Jason Yang says:

    This message really shined light on the bad habits that we Christians have. I particularly liked the emphasis on how Christians sow little, but want to reap so much. This not only applies to the church and God, but also in life in general. It doesn’t make much sense for one to put in minimal effort and expect something grand out of it. Still, I feel that the average Joe (and some Christians) don’t realize “whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”

    There are different ways for a Christian to show commitment to a local church, and one of them is through tithing. I have to admit that before entering college, I never had any problems with tithing. I gave generously with my own money and didn’t feel reluctant about giving large amounts occasionally. However, as a college student, I started to think more about my tithings. When PC mentioned that some tithe but do so in a “child support”-like manner, it was a wake up call for me to stay away from heading that direction.

  175. Jorie Bonham says:

    I thought that intimacy was only in romantic relationships. I never thought of it in terms of church family or covenant relationships. Coming from a western Christian culture, I really did think of Christianity as only being between me and Christ. I didn’t even think about the community aspect of it. I even went so far as to think that it was selfish of me to look forward to the community aspect of church or to look for a church based on if they have good community. Intimacy needs to happen in covenant community. It is a safe place that we can grow and mature and be sowed into. I learned that making a commitment to one church isn’t only healthy for my relationships with others, but also with my relationship with God. I can grow in intimacy with the family at one church and in that, grow in my intimacy with Christ. Thank you PC!

  176. “Christianity is not about believing, but also belonging.” I’ve always struggled with finding a church that I felt like I belonged to. I’ve always put a wall up at church because of past hurt and always reminded myself saying “Okay. This much. No further.” Coming to NPI I believe god is telling me new things are going to happen. New mindset. New season. I am excited to grow in my intimacy with God.

  177. When we don’t commit to a local church, we can’t enjoy the intimacy with its members and with God the way it was intended to be. A loving relationship isn’t just one dimensional, and requires work and sacrifice from both parties. You cannot expect to go to a church and only receive blessings and benefits, you have to be active, participate, and make sacrifices in order for the relationship to truly bring intimacy. Not only this, but you must sign the membership covenant and seal the deal so to speak. The commitment allows the church to hold you accountable and call you out when you don’t act in line with the covenant, and also helps you to work through difficult seasons without backing out.

  178. This message was very eye-opening, especially when Pastor Christian mentioned the covenant relationship that we have with God. The grace of God is delivered to us in the form of a relationship filled with commitment. And when we sow, God allows us to reap more than what we could ever ask for. But if we only sow a little bit, we will only reap a little bit. There is a strong consumer mentality that has seeped into the relationships, where we try to give only a little bit and then get as much as they can out of it. I used to have a mentality of just focusing on my relationship with God, but I didn’t understand that relationships with people are an important part of my faith – other people help me to grow in my faith! This message was really blessing and good to hear.

  179. Intimacy belongs in covenant.

    Praise God for this message by Pastor Christian.

    I remember when I first started coming out to New Philly, Pastor Christian was just beginning to talk about how God was doing a new thing, in a planned church split. In that message, Pastor Christian outlined why he wanted to form two covenant communities with dedicated members, so that church members would be able to grow deeper in relationship.

    I think that the alternative to covenant communities are churches that we see today where people are unable to really commit to the church or safely form meaningful relationships. Many don’t get shepherded because they keep people at arm’s length. Because of the lack of accountability at covenant-less churches, God is never able to build momentum in the hearts of those that attend.

    This message reminds me of something on New Philly Vision statement page – that New Philly believes that the days of “playing church” are over.

    I’m so so so thankful to be part of a church that takes its membership seriously, where those in covenant are held accountable, and where there is a safe space for us to grow deeper in our love for one another.

    I know that this covenant is for my good, and that building authentic, accountable relationships, will only help me to grow more in my intimacy with God and live out my calling more powerfully.

  180. This message from Pastor Christian was so powerful! I loved what he said about Christianity is not just being about believing, but also about belonging. I often felt that I just needed to believe and “independently” walk with the Lord, but it’s so true that a strong and mature Christian not only believes, but also belongs in a family with deep, intimate relationships. I felt especially encouraged and convicted when Pastor Christian mentioned that our spiritual walk works and grows when in community–it can never be done independently and dares us to go in deep in our relationships with others within our community.

  181. Dave Jung says:

    Reaping what you sow, and how a covenant with Abba is not just one of grace, but of sowing what you would like. Of course there is the extra blessings when Abba gives back, but in order to receive, you have to sow.
    We are beings who yearn, and are made to be relational beings, and a term that I’ve heard too many times, which would be koinonia. As we can’t expect it to happen without giving, or as PC mentioned, only to certain people, I think it would be time to reassess what our priorities are, and if need be, asking for help with healing over the root cause. Of course there are people who are more naturally gifted than others, but when God takes you out of your comfort zone, it’s up to me to respond.
    Intimacy without covenant, or even worse – without any form of responsibility is just asking for trouble. I have to say that I am blown away at the dynamics of NP, really being able to go deeper in relationship, not only with those around me, but with God and His word.

  182. Kristen Whitney says:

    The part when he talked about people coming to church for relationships really stood out to me because I’d be lying if I said that that wasn’t a big part of what I was looking for when I started coming to church in South Korea. I had never really thought about being a part of a church as being in covenant relationships with those in the church before, though. I really like the idea of being in covenant with other people. I think having those intimate relationships with other people is an important part of growing in intimacy with God.

  183. Claire YuJin Choi says:

    After going through some serious friend problems, I put up these walls and whenever I met new people, I kept my relationships pretty shallow (in fear of being exposed, betrayed, and hurt like before). That is why it was so convicting when Pastor Christian mentioned the kind of person who has few close friends and keeps a distance from all others as a defense mechanism. It is so true that life is meant to be filled with love and relationships. I am not meant to be walking alone as a Christian but in a covenant community full of intimacy. In EMMAUS and NP, I know I am safe and that people around me are my fellow brothers and sisters-in-Christ. As mentioned in the sermon, Christianity is not just about believing but also belonging. I will keep reminding me of this and try to break down the walls I’ve put up in the past, open up more, and relate with His people, as part of this precious NP community.

  184. Yun Jeong Seo says:

    “Christianity is not just about believing but belonging.” This part stood out to me the most because it reminded me of the past church I had been trying out before coming to New Philly. Every Sunday I would only attend the service and head back to my house right away. I did not even try having a relationship with those in the church community. Part of the reason is that I have a hard time meeting new people and being part of a group; I preferred walking independently. I also can’t deny that I sought for new relationships in the first church I had found in Korea. Through this sermon I learned that I need a relationship with God AND His people to have a true and lasting change in my spiritual walk, because intimacy grows in the community.

    • Jae Hee Suh says:

      Yes, that’s it! Mmmm it’s only the beginning Yun Jeong~ I believe God wants to bless you richly both in relationship with HIM and His people in this next season. I’ve already been so blessed seeing you faithfully come out to Emmaus and connecting :) More is to come!

  185. “Christianity is not just about believing, but beloging.” I am blessed to have had the opportunity have met and hold a relationship with God. Just because I accepted Christ into my life and got baptized does not necessarily mean my spiritual life’s progress is done with. God wants me to have a relationship not just with Him, but with His House and People as well. As I have been attending New Philadelphia Church and Emmaus Campus Ministry for 6 months, the words “family”, “brothers”, and “sisters” are beggining to become clear and hold meaning to me. All of us were created for love. And true love does not stay shallow but instead goes deep. And every Christian is looking for intimacy, where they will be celebrated for who they are despite their falls. That’s True Love. These kind of concepts used to be wikipedia texts to me, but now they are things that actually make sense and are felt in my heart. God wants me to have intimacy in convenant. It may come with responsibilties, but it also means I will grow and florish.

  186. Kymberly Riggins says:

    I 100 percent believe in sowing and reaping. I give to the kingdom out of duty (tithe) and as a display of worship (offerings). My life has been blessed because of it. Pastor Christian was right that a lot of people come to church for friendships, but I want to point out that not everybody has that goal. People should come to church to develop and improve their relationship with God. Because of their relationship with God, their relationship with others will improve. I personally don’t come to church to make friends and develop friendships. But also in my experience, once I became involved in church activities and ministries, the friendships do eventually develop. I really liked the fact that this church has guidelines that are enforced to ensure that things are done in decency and order.

  187. The term ‘covenant’ really means a lot in Christianity. This sermon has really taught me the importance of being under covenant. God has sent us His son, Jesus to save us and pay for our sins. Through the precious blood of Jesus, God has made a covenant with us. So we are under the covenant with God and we need not to do anything to receive salvation. However, after receiving salvation, we need to do our responsibility for the grace of God to be poured upon us. Grace comes in the form of covenant and this covenant is different from the covenant of God. This covenant is the commitment to a local church. When you sow you reap, whatever you sow, you reap. When you sow with faith and love in the form of attendance, tithe, prayer and offering, for sure you will reap even more abundantly in form of blessings, deeper intimate relationship with God and the people. Sowing and reaping is the basic principle that deeply applies to commitment to a church as mentioned by PC.
    ‘True love goes deep.’ ‘Christianity is not just about believing but also belonging.’ These two sentences resonances with my heart. The first time when I come to church, I just wanted to know some friends, receive blessings from pastors and leaders and not into deeper relationship with the people in the church. I couldn’t even think of taking membership and leadership class to become one of the members or even leaders in NP. I didn’t feel the necessity to be under covenant and commit to the church. However, the longer I attend NP, the more I realized about the importance of being in a community, become the member of this family. I believe that God is doing something amazing on me as I go deeper and deeper in the river of lives. I seek for love and intimacy with God and also in this community which I have a feeling of home. As in this big family of Christ, we are to bless and to be blessed by each other along our Christian walk. I am so excited of being one of the member of this family and I cant wait to see the grace and covering of God be fully filled in this community! :)

  188. Charles Ting says:

    I really like this sermon very much. Christianity is not just only a religion but is the relationship between man and God. To build an intimate relationship with Heavenly Father, I need to commit myself to God’s covenant because INTIMACY BELONGS IN COVENANT. Amen!! As Christian I believe Jesus Christ is my Savior, my Messiah and He is the Only One who can connect me with Holy the Father. I believe I am the son of God, there is seat that have been reserved to me in His Kingdom. I believe I came from Him, I live through Him, and when I die, I go back to Him. In short words, I’m belonged to God. I’m belonged in the house of God. God highlighted me that “We need to have relationship with Him and His people.” God not only want me to have intimate relationship with Him but also with His fellow people! It is because we as Christian are parts of the body of Christ, we are One in Christ! Amen!

  189. Jason Yoon says:

    This relates to my comment from the sermon Do Not Go Naked and this sermon. “Christianity is not just about believing, but belonging.” I would go to church back in America and was frustrated when I would not get the spiritual enlightenment, intimacy, and love everyone was experiencing and talking about with God. I didn’t even realize that I didn’t try to build relationships with the community itself, and simply walked independently even while being at the church. Just attending the services, not asking others about the message or even meeting one another, I would just leave church as soon as the service was done. I realize through this message that just isn’t enough. We need to build deep meaningful relationships through covenants with the Lord and the community. I found the analogy of the apple seed and the apple tree to be particularly meaningful to me. I never even bothered to plant the seed, I just expected the apple tree to grow out of nothing. I never really started a deep intimate relationship with Christianity and God and the church community. I put no effort in to my offerings, my prayers, I would often lose interest in sermons with no interest, ignore my peers, etc. Why am I not getting fruitful results? It was because I never gave the opportunity to even plant the seed.

  190. Atembe Fonge says:

    Galatians 6:6 one who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches
    Verse 7-8: do not be deceived for god is not mocked; for whatever one sows that will he also reap; for the one that sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption. But for the one who sows from the spirit will reap eternal life
    We can’t have intimacy in any relationship without a covenant and have that relationship flourish
    Intimacy requires responsibility
    We need a relationship w God AND His people for our spiritual walk to progress

    I’m glad that intimacy was covered in this sermon. I think some people have a narrow view of intimacy as only being between spouses or couples but it’s really essential to many kinds of relationships. To have a covenant, a sense of responsibility and accountability in a relationship, is also essential for the relationship to flourish. I don’t think I’ve ever had intimacy with a church because I’ve never had a sense of responsibility or loyalty to one. Even in regards to the one I attended since childhood, I viewed it mostly as a gathering place to see friends and get a little whiff of the Word as well. As I’ve grown closer to God, I’ve realized I’ve grown closer to His people as well. It’s exciting to meet other Christians; it’s like meeting family. Before I really claimed Jesus, I was always trying so hard to find The Lord by myself and it was always a hassle and never successful. Once I started having fellowship with other Christians and a church, I really felt my relationship with God flourish.

  191. A covenant is a form of relationship that is filled with commitment…and when we are in a covenant, we have God’s grace as a gift of God. Even on Earth, we know it to be true that there is a deeper intimacy with marriage, we know it to be true that there is deeper intimacy when we are committed and under covenant with Christ and His church. Yet PC mentions how there are so many Christians who are still not under covenant, and having spiritual “one night stands” with various churches. I wrote in my previous smart comment that I myself was like this during my college years. I wonder…has this concept of covenant with the church become less important as the concept of marriage has become less important? Now a days we see a lot more couples “committing” without getting married, living together without getting married, and having premarital sex. Marriage has become less important, and people want to live as if they are married without actually being in that covenant. Divorce rates are also extremely high now- so many couples are finding it to be okay for them to divorce and break their covenant. I believe this culture has increased Christians to start neglecting the importance of covenant in general, and be less inclined to be in covenant with God and the church.

    However, we NEED to be in covenant to have the proper intimacy with God’s people. We need to sow the seed before expecting all of the reaping. When I wasn’t committed to a church before, I could definitely tell a lack in my spiritual walk with God- I used to always get frustrated when I would go to church but not get filled with the Holy Spirit week by week. Coming from that place, I noticed the change in my walk with God after attending New Philly and mentally committing to this church. Even when I was mentally committed to coming every week and joining membership in the future, there was a change in me and I really craved deeper relationships with brothers and sisters. As I now complete the new membership process, I am super excited for what God has in store for me and I pray that I will experience the deep intimacy that belongs in this sweet covenant.

  192. Minah Kim says:

    I have been praying this year for the restoration of my intimacy with God. Although I had a desire to be intimate with God, I did not sow the seeds for a relationship. I only moaned that I want to restore intimacy with God. Of course I couldn’t reap, because I did not sow.
    In addition, for past few years, I struggled in looking for a church where I want to belong. Nevertheless, after coming to New Philly last year, I did not even think about the intimacy with God’s people because I thought that if I restore my relationship with God, I will naturally belong to the church. My only concern was the relationship with God.
    But! New Philly people came to me with warm hearts, so naturally I became expecting to meet them. Also, thanks to them, I could put down the burden and fear of English to take the Membership Class and NRTC.
    Surprisingly, through the Membership Class and NRTC, I have experienced intimacy with God. “Intimacy comes in a covenant relationship.” “Christianity isn’t just about believing but belonging” It’s so true!! I’m grateful for the people of New Philly for their unconditional kindness, caring and love.

  193. Jina Yu says:

    This message really emphasized the need for a person to belong in a community of believers as Christianity is not just about believing but belonging. Being in a covenant community and being joined in intimacy really takes the sense of just belonging to a different level as true intimacy comes with being in a committed covenant relationship. When there is a covenant then true intimacy can take place where new life can grow in safety whether it be with baby believers receiving prayer or people who are new to the Holy Spirit can receive prophesy in safety knowing that their leaders are covered and ministering and carrying the same spirit of the father.

    It’s good to be reminded of the fact that our covenant relationship with the church is just a poor reflection of Gods eternal covenant with man. As God desires intimacy with us he established a covenant through the shedding of his sons blood on the cross that by that sacrifice we have access to the father.

  194. Wow, this is such a hard message to hear. I can definitely relate to many things in this message. I can definitely see where I came from now and why I have made some of the decissions that I did. I think I will need to listen to this message again, it really spoke to me in more ways than one. It is so much easier to run away and a lot harder to belong to a family. It is true that Christianity is not just about believing in God, but belonging to His family and kingdom.

  195. Megan Holmes says:

    I really liked how Pastor Christian brought attention to the importance of establishing intimacy with a body of believers in a covenant. I does seem like more and more emphasis, at least among christians in the States, is being placed on individuals relationships with the Lord and with their spouses, and like less and less attention is given to the importance of the church body. I have experienced first hand various degrees of intimacy with the Lord, and the times that it was the greatest were times when I was very invested in both my quiet time with Him each day and with being involved in ministry and serving within a body of believers. When living in Korea a few years ago, my husband and I lived in a small town with no English churches or programs, and while I was able to “maintain” my relationship with Father, I was definitely not able to grow. I found myself really missing and desiring deep and intimate relationships with other strong believers.

    Pastor Christian’s analogy between local church membership and water baptism was great. It gave me a new perspective of church membership. If publicly declaring our new christian life in water is crucial to starting our christian walk and relationship with God, then being a dedicated and committed part of the body of Christ is crucial to growing in our walk and to helping others grow as well. Not to mention the pure joy that comes with getting to really know other brothers and sisters!

  196. Stella Lee says:

    The sermon was interesting and encouraging my decision for membership. I used to dislike the idea that a relationship with the people around you was required for a healthy connection with the Lord, but i realize now that humans are naturally relational beings. The people you choose to have intimacy with will have a bigger impact than some of us expected. Coming from a family of nonbeliever/believer mix I realize it can discourage and encourage your walk depending on their closeness with you. It makes me more determined to have intimacy with the right people.

  197. Sally Kim says:

    I can summarize the sermon in this.
    A lot of people in the church sow only a little and expect the church to give a lot back. They expect to reap a lot. Covenant is a relationship full of commitment. Some people come to church for relationships. Everyone wants intimacy within the church. Everyone was created as wanting true, deep love.Christianity is about believing and belonging. However, intimacy should be in covenant.
    This sermon gave me one of biggest reason why I chose to be a member of New Philly. I always believed that in Christianity, community, intimacy, belonging, and relationships are really important. I visited many churches and was looking for a church with a tight community, a family-like community in God. And New Philly always emphasized that we are family.
    Because I am an introvert, it has been hard for me to open up as a new-comer. It seemed like that all the members already had tight relationships and with meeting a lot of new people it’s difficult for me to find a way to be intimate without being awkward. I am trying and I will keep on trying to be a Christian in intimacy with covenant in New Philly.
    But not only with the people in the church, I love how PC mentioned that God wants to be intimate with me.

  198. Ericka L. Mack-Andrew says:

    When PC used the lives of farmers to illustrate the principle of sowing and reaping I got back a memory of a friend of mine on campus who was reading the Farmer’s Almanac. I remember I asked her about it and she showed me how detailed it was about weather patterns and the uses for different crops. At the time, I was confused why anyone would read a reference text in their free time for “fun reading”. But now, when I place it in a spiritual sense, it is not that different from Christians reading their bibles to understand more about their walk. I understand now that as I prepare to enter into this new covenant, there is no better source than the Word of God for guidance into the details and practical nature of this relationship.

  199. Amy Loi says:

    Intimacy comes in a covenant.
    After listening to this message, I get a clearer idea about why submitting to a church is so important. I m thankful that I signed up for membership class and be in this covenant, and from here I get to build deep relationship and intimacy with God and His people. This relationship will not be something free or irresponsible, but with so much genuine love as we manifest Jesus’ love when He calls us to be in His covenant.

  200. Shine Jang says:

    This sermon reminded me of the importance of a community and of a deep, real, and genuine relationships. If you want to reap much, you have to sow much. If you want your relationship to go deep, sow into it by making commitment. Desire for intimacy without responsibility only results in so many wounds , scars, and destruction. The ideas of covenant/ commitment shouldn’t burden us. It wasn’t meant to be burdening. In fact, It is for the God’s goodness and faithfulness to be manifested and reflected. Our God is very relational, and we are made in His image. This means we were made/called to be relational as well (not only with God, but also with one another).

  201. Spring park says:

    It was the great message toward to new memebers also all the believers. I really liked the illustration of the famers’ liveing, sawing and reaping. Yes, it is quite true many Chistians in modern societies now want stay in babies or consumers, and we really need to consider about that. I also liked the amphasis how it is crucial to have a intimacy wiht God and with community, not is being placed on individuals relationships with the Lord alone. Well,it was the great times when I was very invested in both my quiet time with Him each day and with being involved in ministry and serving within a body of believers. but few years later, I found myself something missing and desiring deep and intimate relationships with other strong believers. I want to restore my faith and love toward God with the lovely covenant family. Lastly, I liked PC’s analogy between local church membership and water baptism. It gave me a new perspective of church membership. it is crucial to growing in our walk and to helping others grow as well. also, It brings with the full of joy!

  202. Kyu Won Kim says:

    The sermon reminds me of the days I was thinking ‘ if christianity is about the personal relationship with God, why would I need community and follow leaders.’
    I am thankful that I take the serious steps to settle down and leaving the life of spirit of orphan.
    Realizing importance of commitment, I am ready to be humbled under teachings of leaders now. And excited to be matured and healed.

  203. Jessica Kim says:

    This sermon made me even more excited for my church membership. God’s really been highlighting New Philly to me since the very first service I attended. Whereas before, I was completely content being a Sunday visitor, since being at New Philly, my heart’s been wanting more. I’m ready for deeper, more personal relationships and a more mature covenant in which I’m kept accountable for things I would’ve sown little into in college. Instead of just receiving & receiving from the church, I want to give now, and if it results in me making the slightest difference in a brother or sister’s life, what more could I ask for? I’m very excited to see what will result from more sowing and intimacy.

  204. Dani Ashcraft says:

    Before coming to New Philly/ Emmaus I had never before considered the bond between the church and its individual members as a covenant. It’s always been hard for me to relate and have intimacy with people I’ve met at church, but I know that a lot of fault lies in how I’ve treated the church in my life. I really understand the importance of community and belonging to a church community and what it can do for you in your personal walk with God. I think before, I truly lived with a “consumer” mentality in the church and before coming here it never really hit me that even in the church you reap what you so. I find myself excited and willing to be a part of the church community. I attribute a lot of these new feelings I have to the welcoming and immediate intimacy I received after coming to New Philly, and I’m extremely grateful that this community has reached out to me and brought me up to this new level. I’m really excited to see what membership and commitment will do for my personal walk with God, and I look forward to how I may change.

  205. Mirae Lee says:

    “Christianity is not just about believing but belonging.” Thank you for this wonderful message and a wonderful invitation of covenant relationship with New Phily. It’s been a challenge for me to find myself in intimate relationship with a particular church, and this helped me realize how wrong I was to think that it’s okay as long as my relationship with the Lord stays intimate. But we are created to love and to be loved in a covenant relationship and I’m really excited to be part of New Phily community.

  206. What really stood out to me the most in this message is the sowing & reaping principle regarding intimacy in relationship. When I reflect back in my Christian life, I can really understand and testify to the sowing & reaping principle because there was always a season for reaping when I faithfully sowed in the previous season. Without the sowing, the following season was so dry and without much fruits. The same principle goes to the relationship. I got so blessed and reaped much out of my relationship with my sisters and brothers in Christ when I partook in sowing into their life as well. The more I sowed into their life, the more I reaped as well.

    I also loved how PC was so on point about intimacy belonging in covenant. Whether it’s a local church or marriage, in order to have intimacy, it’s important to understand the commitments and responsibility. In the secular, modern culture, we see so many people wanting intimacy without commitments or responsibility. I’m really thankful that PC is flat out preaching to discipline us & hold us accountable to the word of God.

  207. Yeo Kyung Yang says:

    In our christian walk, not only do we have intimacy with God but also with His people to know where we belong , or else we will miss a huge part of our Christian walk.
    Even though I know this truth, I can’t count how many times I find myself running away from that truth because of fear. Fear caused by lies in my head, fear of rejection and fear of commitment. But God really gave me clarity about being under covenant. You can’t grow as a Christian without covenant. Even thought you might be scared and you can’t trust people,You need to trust God with the leaders He gives authority to. He won’t put you in the wrong hands. And because of that, I truly believe that through committing to this church and submitting to the leaders of this house, I will grow in intimacy with God and really believe that I belong.

  208. The world is changing so fast and we all are starting to expect things to come to us faster. And it can many times create a problem that translates to our walk in faith in Jesus. We want the intimacy part without having to commit much of anything. It’s one of the big things that God is changing in my heart the past 2 years. Our God is a God of covenant and community. I can’t imagine being a part of my natural family but only coming for the meals.

  209. Dennis Lee says:

    “Christianity is not just about believing, but it’s about belonging.”
    This message really spoke out to me just because of the idea of the church that we have in today’s society. There were so many times while I was growing up that I would be going to all these churches, but would also end up trying to move to another church because I didn’t have that intimacy with my church family. As PC put it, I would be treating the church as a flea market. I would go and try to receive, receive, receive without sowing anything into my church ministries or relationships within the church family. There have been several times where I moved churches because a lack of relationships in covenant.
    However, through this message, I began to understand that intimacy with the Lord is not just through my own spiritual walk, but my relationship with my family. I need to be committed to the local church and not just go consistently, but be in a BINDING COVENANT with that church in order for myself to build intimacy with the people of that house as well as with the Lord.

  210. Calvin Bodiford says:

    I have been looking for deep and intimate relationships all my life with people but I really couldn’t find it. When I finally accepted Christ and started to fellowship with Christian brothers and sisters, God showed me a glimpse of true love and intimate relationship. But relationships without covenant were shallow and I started feeling rejected and hurt through those relationships. After those experiences, I became cautious and kept my distance from such relationships. At the same, I realized the importance of commitment/covenant and I was longing for intimacy. As PC mentioned, marriage is the prime example of the covenant relationship where true intimacy can be enjoyed and there is true freedom. To enjoy the same type of intimacy with NPC and Jesus, I want make the first step by signing up for membership.

  211. Minsook Hong says:

    Comments by Hye R. Song: Intimacy with New Philly, the charismatic EM church could be a challenge to me, a grown-up from a conservative KM church. However, I holds a “default” Covenant that PC highlighted at the end. God already fulfilled his Intimacy with us through his only son, Jesus. This is the everlasting Covenant with Him. Our challenge is to fulfill it through our life-long processing of Intimacy with People. What is stunning is that many times the Intimacy with our God is much easier than that with people. A blind spot to me. Dear PC, thanks for this gentle reminder!

  212. Gina Park says:

    Throughout this sermon, I was able to understand how important the role of a local church as a spiritual family is. Ive been always afraid of belonging to a church, and being responsible to covenant. I am still not very confident in this area, but now I choose to build up my intimacy in New Philly through covenant.

  213. Ariel Jung says:

    My relationship with God has been just asking for things I need. I intentionally ignored and did not want to bear my responsibilities as a Christian even when God has been really tried to knock on my heart to change me for the last couple of years. I attended church every Sunday for my own comfort not seeking for any commitment/covenant and intimate relationships. Although I still don’t totally understand the God’s family concept yet with the church, I will try to open my heart to make the covenant with NPC.

  214. Christopher Ju says:

    I have been a son from afar for a few years now. I was able to attend NP every summer for the past few years, but because I was only in Korea for a few months at a time, I wasn’t able to take up membership with the church. However, through coming out regularly and getting to know different brothers and sisters of the house, I was able to forge very meaningful relationships that I have maintained over the years. Various individuals have reached out to me over and have been a continual source of encouragement and blessings.

    To be honest, I didn’t expect formal membership to make that great of a difference regarding my relationships within this community (as I was quite content with the level of intimacy and fellowship that I had been experiencing). Through this message, however, I have greater anticipation and expectancy that completing membership will usher me into deeper and closer intimacy and fellowship with God, this church, and the brothers and sisters that make up this community.

  215. I remember when I first became a Christian, I noticed that I grew rapidly when I committed to the church and was plugged in the community. Pastor Christian makes a strong point that intimacy belongs in covenant and that so many people today don’t follow with that, because instead they walk with the consumer Christianity mindset. PC brings up the concept of sowing and reaping, how people tend to sow very little, but expect so much more from the church. However, that’s not what God has called us for. However, that’s not how sowing and reaping actually works. When we sow, such as commit to the local church, commit to the God’s people, we can surely expect bigger blessings (harvest) that we will receive. That’s how grace works in the Kingdom. PC brought up really good examples of intimacy without a covenant can be compared to promiscuity when not married, prostitution, and rape. People want to enjoy the intimacy without the covenant and responsibility.

    Many tend to think that membership isn’t anything big, but it’s surely significant. When we come into covenant and commit to a local church there are many blessings from that. Benefits would be that we get to be a part of a family, we come into sonship, we get spiritual covering, accountability, and so much more. When we take the leap of faith to commit and open up to the church, it only draws us closer in our relationship with God.

    -Lyann Trang

  216. Toko Kim says:

    “Christianity is not just about believing but it’s also about belonging”

    Such simple words but so true. Indeed believing and belonging go hand-to-hand but I feel that before believing, we have to belong. An example of this is when we first look for a church to congregate, most people tend to go with their “I’m feeling it” or “I’m not feeling it” before they even start considering a church and some of the factors that can define these are: pastor’s sermon, type of congregation (friendly, on-friendly), the way the chairs are set up, the “vibe” of the church, etc.

    Sometimes people have the crazy criteria’s when deciding on a church but definitely once the “belonging” feel sinks into them, they start building this trust and the trust usually leads to many actions like: them opening up to the members/leaders, share their stories, take the pastor’s sermon to heart, joining a CG and most importantly, believing in the church and their leaders.

    Another point that really hit me was when P.C says that to learn about spiritual life we should learn about a farmer’s life and when he gives the comparison of the apple seed that becomes a tree. If we plant this one little apple seed and we nurture it, then when it becomes a tree. Once it becomes a tree we can reap a lot of apples. The apples are the blessings we can receive from God and the seed that we have to nurture and plant is our commitment to the church and God. When I pictured this, it blew my mind. Even though is such a simple comparison and because I guess I eat apple like almost every day, when I pictured this, it made so much sense and now every time I see and apple, I will think of the many blessing God gives me every day, Thanks P.C!

  217. young rae kim says:

    PC really explained well what grace really is. We need to be in a covenant in order to receive grace. While there is grace, the principle of you reap what you sow is still at work. Also PC made a strong point about how everybody craves intimacy whether it be with friends, workers, family, or lovers. People seek intimacy in the church as well. However, so many people today long for intimacy without the covenant. God intended for us to enjoy intimacy only when we are in a covenant, when we are committed to the church.
    A lot of times I only focus on my relationship with God and think that will be enough. However, as PC pointed out, we can not just live our lives seeking intimacy with only God and not the people he has placed around us. We need to be vulnerable and in covenant with His church in order to experience the fullness of his blessings.

  218. Yeakyung Kim says:

    This was really eye-opening for me. When Pastor Christian was talking about people whom often push away intimacy for fear of past experiences, I thought to myself, “that’s me”.
    I always thought the only intimacy I needed was with God. It never occured to me how important it was for me to practice it with His people as well.

    To be honest, I am still not sure if I really know how to be intimate in a church community yet. I do know, however, that I want to get better at it. I realize it is not intimacy itself I am worried about, but it is the fact that I must be intimate in covenant in a community that makes me nervous. Despite this I no longer want to be the person who seeks a surface-level relationship from church and run away to another when things get a little “too personal”. This is the first time I ever felt the want to know what it feels like to truly belong in Christianity instead of just believing.

    I need to not just know in my head but allow myself to experience that fullness of being part of a church community without putting up fence guards.
    Fear of responsibility and vulnerability should not be things that hinder my committment and submission to covenant.

  219. Audrey Anderson says:

    When I was younger I had a saying that “every time I go to church I get a little more atheist” I never felt like I belonged in christian church, and I felt like the people there didn’t want me to belong either. But through this message I realized that it wasn’t those people who were at fault at all. It was me, who wasn’t opening up to any of them, or seeking intimacy. I feel so blessed to finally be in a community where I can talk to anyone without having to put up any walls.

  220. Linda Lam says:

    I have no actual experience with the church other than New Philly. However, I have attended New Philly on and off for a couple of years. The sermon made me realize I was the person who was not sowing any seeds. I refused to make a commitment to a local church and thought that if I believed in God and read the bible it was enough. During the past few months, I have seen that it is important to form deep and meaningful relationships with God’s people to enjoy true intimacy. I cannot grow on my own without intimacy with others in the local church.

  221. Really enjoyed the message and remembered many of my good experiences from my home Church which came as a result of being the “sound guy” for many years. When I moved to South Korea for University, again I served as the sound guy in my local Church and also in my University. Serving allowed me to practically live out my covenant with my Church and and to watch and learn about ministry from good leaders. It taught me to belong, like Pastor Christian talked about. I believe we have been saved unto a people and into Christ’s Church – and it’s risky to try to live our Christianity alone.

  222. Lawrence Bowlby says:

    This is a message that I wish I had received in my teenage years. Throughout my 20s I really didn’t bother to attend a local church regularly out of a reaction to legalistic attitudes about church attendance. The idea that “good Christians go to church on Sundays” was offensive to me. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I NEED to be surrounded by fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to be held accountable and to grow in my walk with the Lord.

    Intimacy belonging in covenant is absolutely correct and I say amen. I have experienced first hand the hardships of intimacy outside of covenant. I am thankful for this teaching at New Philly.

  223. The sermon was a time to think about how to get the intimacy. The answer was simple that I need to make the covenant. I simply take a look how I behaved in the past. In the most of my life, I kept Sunday pretty well except the late teenager days and early college years. I have taken tithing is what I do first since getting a job. Superficially, I was not bad but I had a critical problem. I have never willingly taken positions at the church. Few years back, I had some work duties; in a tech-team, in Sunday schools and so on. All things were almost a kind of burdens. Now, I realise that I need to intimacy with our Father as the priority. Through the time as a member at New Philly, I expect to take his calling joyfully of course with the covenant.

  224. Something that brought tears to my eyes while listening to the message was his example of broken homes. People seeking and enjoying intimacy without the covenant, leading to orphaned children and broken homes. Pastor Christian mentioned that about 1/3 of the people he counseled in church personally experienced the after effects of this intimacy without covenant… that really broke my heart. This consumer mindset of gain with no commitment is so devastating to everyone involved. I’m really glad to know that New Philly is committed to covenant and intimacy. I think it’s so important.

  225. Young Ko says:

    I was able to reflect that my intimacy with God echoes my intimacy/covenant with my wife/church members. It’s like a three way street: God = me = people. Also, Intimacy/covenant requires 100% effort/hard work/commitment/sacrifice/vulnerability and cultivates many fruits/blessings.

  226. “Grace comes in the context of covenant.” I actually found this message to be very challenging. I really had to spend some time in prayer and just be really honest with God about everything right after I listened to it instead of just trying to “fix” all my negative emotions on my own. Honestly, I was starting to feel uneasy as the seriousness of membership started to really kick in the past few days but I was again reminded during CG on how I need to run to my community not away from it when I feel doubtful. Honestly, the membership process isn’t something that is easy for me. I find myself having to really deal with the past and what truly keeps me from commitment, but these sermons are enlightening and slowing opening up my heart to not be afraid of intimacy. The fact that God wants to be intimate with me was a very important reminder for me. That’s what it’s about. God wants me to be committed to Him so He can shower me with His grace, to let the church love me more, for me to know Him more. I need to focus on that. Understanding and accepting the fact that trying to have intimacy outside of covenant was my problem in the past is difficult but I feel that it is needed and believe that I am going through this because God truly loves me and wants me to be free. I’m thankful and relieved to have found a church that really understands God’s heart.

    • Jamie, I’m so glad that you are being honest in your smart comments and letting us know how challenging it’s been for you to commit and enter into a greater intimacy with God and with the church. I commend your courage and I believe God is pleased with your steps of faith. Vulnerability always requires courage and it seems God is granting you a stream of courage to take these next steps. Praying for you today Jamie! -PC

  227. Through this sermon, I felt joyful for knowing that this new family I’m moving into. People I just met today whom really want to be in a relationship with me, love me and share with me. I am also very thankful that God had lead me to this place, through all my hardship, finish up being in the directions he want me in. Although there are many responsibilities I have to accept before committing to this intimacy, I still feel very very joyful in the boundaries I’m being placed in.
    I learned that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship. An actual relationship needs both caring and sharing, as well as God wills for that. It is a relationship that really needs my heart fully dedicated to praise Him and only Him. I have been baptised but felt saved after my baptism, which makes me think a lot if I should really be it again. Anyhow, through this membership process my trust and love towards the God I though I knew had gotten to be much powerful and joyful. The most important thing I learned, intimacy is not to be ashamed of but shared, not hidden but shown. And that smaller steps that I have started to take now will lead me to a huge move.

  228. As I was listening to this, I said to myself: this church takes relationships seriously. That was an encouraging thought, because I feel that relationships are just as important as doctrine. The phrase that stuck with me most is “Christianity is not only about believing, but also about belonging” – to believe and to belong is what we are called to do, as sons and daughter of God.

  229. Another great sermon that further reinforced my commitment to wanting to become a member of New Philly! This sermon touched a lot on one big question I have always had in the back of my mind. What is the churches stance on Karma? I was really interested to hear Pastor Christian speak about the idea of you reap what you sow. It made sense to me that if I want to receive something great back then I must put in the same effort I expect to receive. If I am stingy in my Christian walk then I can only expect little from God.

    It was so nice to hear that Christianity is not just about religion and believing in God but to also build up an idea of belonging. As Pastor Christian said so many people are so independent in their faith. They believe in God but they think it is about just that. It is so important for us to find covenant in a church. This should be a church we feel both safe and protected. New Philly has always made me feel like family and after listening to this Sermon I feel more secure in my choice that New Philly is a place that I can always feel like I belong.

  230. Belonging. This is something that we all long for and sometimes it takes time. This message spoke to my heart in that intimacy with God also includes intimacy with God’s people. No man is called to be apart or stand alone, no matter how anointed they are. There are many gifts that belong to us through Christ but these can only be accessed in covenant with Christ as His body.

    I feel like I am learning the basic, foundational principles about what church truly means, even though I have been “doing” church for quite some time now. Pastor Christian brings a depth to my understanding of what Church and covenant really means and entails. Personally, I am challenged by what I am hearing regarding commitment to the local body of believers, and also regarding my faithfulness to these simple, yet profound expectations that New Philly puts on their members (tithing, church attendance, etc.)

    It also makes me come alive and to take my commitment to Christ seriously. I do not want to take anything for granted anymore just because I am a Believer. This message inspires me to actively and purposely walk out my Christian faith. I know that I will get encouraged, strengthened and held accountable in covenant. I will also experience sharing, giving and self-sacrifice, areas I know the Lord wants for me to grow in.

    I thank God for this community of brothers and sisters in Christ!

  231. Choy Jun Ai says:

    Intimacy is not only about the distance but the covenant. Thank you Lord for bringing me to such great spiritual families and it is always safe. I want to live in the way how You’ve taught me and to be the blessing one for others in those relationships that I am connected. Thank you God for loving me from the first and You teach me how to love in Your way too.

  232. Eugenia Oh says:

    Creator and creation between them, there is a huge gap we can’t imagine how it is different. So God has given us the bible to understand him and how to live by his will. I don’t know why
    He loves us so much and want to have relationship with us, sometimes it is a big mystery.
    But I know He loves me so much whether I understand or not and He wants to have a deep relationship with me. But in order to have that I must be willing to spend time with him and follow him. I must love him with all my heart and all my soul, all my strength. This can be done by attending a church, giving tithe, following the church policy and rules (which are not against God’s will). God is always ready and is waiting for me to be intimate with us. We need to show our love to God to keep HIs covenant.

  233. CK Tong says:

    This sermon was about the necessity of making a commitment to invest in intimate relationships with the people of your local church so that you could enjoy the fruits of those relationships, i.e., spiritual growth and maturity.

    God wants us to be committed to people and truly love them, and a covenant (commitment) provides a healthy and safe environment to develop these intimate relationships, which are necessary for growth.

    • Judy Choi says:

      Again CK, I’m so excited to see you plugging into your cg, and seeing you get to know people each Sunday. I’m also excited to spend some quality time with you when we move to Hongdae as a community.

  234. It really got to me when pastor Christian referred to “spiritual one night stands”. Intimacy belongs in covenant just as intimacy between a woman and a man belongs in marriage. Being committed to a local church community, being a member of the church and being in covenant with the church provides a place for intimacy and to grow into a mature Christian.

    We need both a relationship with God and also with the people in the church. I think just simply knowing that within the body of Christ, in covenant, there is a spirit of sonship, not an orphan spirit, and this leads to intimacy in knowing that we are brothers and sisters and we are committed to each other. Also, tithing is a form of accountability within a local church.

  235. Crystal Smith says:

    Yes! Yes! and AMEN! That is the true beauty of the Church – relationship. Maybe that is one of the reasons that God chose “a bride” to represent the Church – a female figure. Women are inherently relational, and the church should be inherently relational! And the bride, even today, represents commitment – this is one who has not just fallen in love – but she is one that chooses to love every day, regardless of feeling or even self desire. Thank you Lord for the your beautiful Bride!

  236. Jessie Behrman says:

    Living in Korea and finding a church, personally I look for relationships the most, to get a closer relationship with God. Specifically when PC said that Christianity’s not just about believing but belonging.

    While in the process of becoming a member here, I didn’t know membership was a normal thing to be a part of a church. With my past churches, and the churches my friends attend back home, none of them are actual members. It was interesting to me to have that pointed out, and how that is the issue, of peoples commitment to a local church. With that being said, PC mentions that the way you related to a church at one point is not how you will commit to the church today.

    I did find it difficult to make relationships at New Philly so I am trying to involve myself and show my commitment by becoming a member. I agree that that happens with cg and relationships. Like said in the message, that you need to sow into something to reap from it. Especially at New Philly, membership is meaningful. This message was inspiring and comforting to know that this is what New Philly believes in, they are here to be my family, love me, nurture me and help me grow as I walk out in my faith and grow relationships in covenant.

  237. Another good one, I’m sure. The story of the Church as a bride will always be one of intimacy. God is an intimate God, on the deepest level. So if God is intimate we should expect to strive for intimacy with him and with each other. I can imagine meeting God and He says “I’d like you to meet my friend New Philly Church. I really think that the more you get to know them, the more you will like them”. To build on this little scenario I’ve started….a couple of months later I meet God again and He says “so how are you and NP getting on?”.
    If I put my relationship with NP in this context then it gives it a different gravity, and even a more intimate setting. I can say to God, I don’t like them..they do this and they don’t do this…and God might explain some things to me about NP and help me to get along better with my new friend…because NP is His friend too and he wants to enjoy communion/community with all of us…after all. All I’m trying to say is that a relationship with a church should always be thought of in the context of God and church and me. This is exactly the type of relationship I think God is establishing with us and I am happy NP believes this too. This relationship (God, the Church and me) is a covenant relationship. Covenant provides the context for intimacy because God breathes life into covenants. The covenant we make is only as good as it’s backer and a covenant with God where NP is in the picture is safe, I believe, because God is in the room (and He’s not leaving).
    I think it is telling that PC and New Philly stresses covenant because it shows what kind of relationship they want to cultivate. One of my high school teachers once told me that perhaps eternity can be understood not in the context of time but in the reality of a relationship with God that cannot stop growing. There is always something new to experience and to learn about God. If the church is united by this love of our Father’s, then I think He wants to provide a relationship among us that is also continually growing. But how could this happen without intimacy? We all know that a friendship without the more personal and tender questions only goes so far, it’s hardly eternal. And what do we believe in if we don’t expect our relationships to be eternal?
    So, all this to say, I really appreciated the fatherly message and the fact that this message on intimacy is a part of the membership process.

  238. Claire Ramsey says:

    I sincerely appreciate and love the emphasis PC puts on intimacy within the church community. Not only does it need to be there, but that it only belongs in covenant! I stopped going to church for a while in college because I was lacking that in the church’s I tried out. This lead me to try and find intimacy in other ways, which left me feeling empty and used.

    I especially related to the statement PC said about how we are a part of a spiritually fatherless generation. I grew up in the church with quite the religious spirit over it, and never really had a spiritual mother or father to help me grow. Teachers yes, but not the intimate fathers and mothers we all need. I didn’t realize I carried an orphan spirit with me as a result, until I finally realized what it meant to have my own identity in Christ.

    A good friend and spiritual mentor pointed this out to me when we were watching one of my favorite movies. We were watching Tangled. I LOVE that movie! And it always got me right in the feels when Rapunzel is finally embraced by her father and mother. I just thought I loved the movie for the good music and this sweet family moment. But my friend said to me, “You know, you are like Rapunzel. You were a lost princess for so long. And now you’ve finally come to know who you really are!” Man oh man did a million pieces of realization fall into place right then!

    It wasn’t until I found a church family to commit to and learn from that I found my true identity in Christ. It wasn’t until I was in a place of safety and intimacy could I let go of the orphan spirit and how it had been hurting me all those years.

    I am so happy to have found New Philly and to see immediately how strongly they stand by this principle!

  239. Grace Ko says:

    Was yet again reminded of the importance of being in community and how God created us as relational beings. I loved when PC said Christianity is not about believing but about belonging.
    It’s not about the faith WE muster up or the works we try to accomplish bc as P. JM spoke this past week, our works are but filthy rags. But it’s about knowing that we belong bc of what Christ did for us on the cross.

  240. Paul JS Park says:

    I must confess that I have had the ‘giving the least, reaping the most’ mentality toward my local church. I’ve been quick to point out what the church should be like before first considering what I was sowing into my community. Even JFK got it. He said to ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country. If that is what it is like for a community and a country here on earth, how much more should it be for the eternal community and kingdom we have in Christ!
    I agree that we all are looking for true love. At least for me, I know I am. I confess, however, that I have been going about with an orphan spirit for too long. I would wait for someone to reach out to me before being that person who first reaches out to others in love. When I did not find that intimacy at church, many times I would shrink back and tell myself that I am satisfied with the intimacy I have with God. But that is a lie. God has created me for intimacy—with Him and with His family.
    At this time, I wish to ask God to provide me the strength I need to commit to Him and to His people. I am thankful for this membership process and by this covenant, I ask God to help me to be committed and to be responsible in my commitment to this House.

  241. Diane Yoon says:

    This sermon was on the idea of intimacy through covenant. Nowadays, we go to church with all the expectation of receiving but not giving. That is the wrong mindset: you sow what you reap in the church. The Lord gives back more than what you give.
    Pastor Christian also said true love does not stay shallow. Every Christian is looking for a relationship of true love when they come to church. Christianity is not just about believing but BELONGING. That is why it’s important to commit to a church and serve God through the church. God established the covenant to enjoy intimacy with us. In the same way, the church wants covenant with us b/c it wants to love on us.
    The question “Are you in, or out?” really struck me because until now, I have been one to shy away from committing 100% with God, and consequently, church. That’s what got in the way of my becoming intimate with God on a deeper level. At New Philly, I want to commit my heart completely and not only receive but give this time, through serving the church. I don’t want to run away from being in a covenant with God anymore.

  242. Paul Lee says:

    I have never deeply thought of building intimacy with God through people and community. It is great to learn the importance of church community and how such commitment and interaction can lead to more intimate relationship with God. It is my first time officially joining a church community. Unlike the other times, I have no hesitation in doing so. I feel like the community group and the cares of my group leaders are serving as a secure spiritual hedge of protection. This message reassured the significance and the power of the community belonging in a covenant. I truly look forward to seeing myself growing in the New Philly community.

    • You have great foundation for your individual relationship with God but I’m excited to see you grow more through intimacy and relationship within CG. Thanks for sharing!

  243. Kate Jihae Park says:

    I loved this message. It was a reminder of how much God wants to be intimate with us, how much he loves us and how he is jealous for us that he would give up his one and only son on the cross so that He can establish a covenant relationship with us. It was also encouraging to learn that New Philly is a church that takes covenant relationships among the members very seriously, because the more you look around these days, I feel like Satan has influenced the society into thinking of intimacy and covenant relationships very lightly, where people have the mindset of ‘I’ll do me, you do you.’ I felt so blessed that I am in the process of becoming a member of this house that establishes a covenant relationship for intimacy, so that we may be loved, celebrated and raised up to our full potential. I can’t wait to be a member of New Philly and be in covenant with other members of the house!!

  244. Joen Lee says:

    I loved Pastor Christian’s articulation of how grace comes through in the context of covenant. It’s so true how we seem to take grace often for granted. His grace does come through in our relationship with Him, but indeed also through the relationships with those who love us. I am grateful that this house puts so much emphasis on this aspect of family, belonging, and community, because God wants intimacy with us and for us in our relationships. Wandering for a few months, have left me with an orphan spirit in a sense. I am excited for this process of resetting my commitments to become more accountable, more established, and more raised to my full potential, while doing the same for others in this new family.

  245. I admit I took part in the cheap consumer mentality. Though I gave so little, I expected to receive a hundredfold/thousandfold/millionfold. Fear of rejection comes into play here. I’m one of those people that Pastor Christian mentioned. I keep a few friends close and normally don’t try to befriend others. It’s not necessarily a terrible thing to prefer a few close friends over many, but the problem is when you put up a wall with others, which is exactly what I did. I don’t like to think about how many interesting and unique people I’ve missed out on
    ㅠ ㅠ.

    To belong is what I craved for so long. In His good time, God graciously answered my prayers, but I didn’t faithfully sow. I’ve been a lazy/wishy-washy farmer. One of my life verses is actually Galatians 6:9, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” I decided to start investing in what I’d put on the back burner: my God-given skills, spiritual friendships, and etc. This verse was a constant source of motivation for me (I gotta bring it back).

    At my home church, I still sometimes struggle with pursuing deeper levels of intimacy with even my close sisters. Back in the ole days, I expected others to open their hearts wide to me while I opened mine just a crack. I expected them love on me more than I did on them. Needless to say, all of that focus on self didn’t equal the best time. I hope and I pray that I won’t fall into old relational habits at New Philly. I don’t want to make the same mistakes and God is definitely challenging me to continually ask Him for His help. (I promise I’m not as dysfunctional as I might sound. I’ve made lots of progress in my healing since high school. Praise the Lordddd.)

    I hope that I can continue to see my relationship with God flourish in intimacy as I find intimacy in covenant with New Philly. Honestly, I’m sorta anxious and still fear rejection, but it’ll be ok.

  246. Ruth Lee says:

    Listening to this message about intimacy in the covenant brought up some realizations. As a child, having a relationship with church people was never really a problem, but as I left for college and moved on, I developed a fear for this idea of intimacy in the covenant. Because I had made so many deep relationships with secular friends, I became scared of what my friends would think if I had solid friendships and intimacy in the covenant. Later, I was also reminded of the fake and judgmental friendships I had made in the church. Which is why I only attended church intermittently and out of guilt. Now that I’m here in Korea, with all the reliable support from church friends and pastors, I see that these are the REAL and intimate relationships I had been looking for. I finally understand how salient intimacy in the covenant is, because more than anything, I need strong dependable Christian brothers and sisters.

  247. Natalie Weaver says:

    The world longs for intimacy – we see the evidence of that everywhere we turn, no matter which country we are in. I’ve seen it in all the places I’ve traveled (though they are not so numerous), and I’ve heard about it from those who are far more eloquent and well-traveled than I. Intimacy is sewn into the heart and soul of mankind, and it has long been evident to me that something is missing in the world’s view of it.

    To me it is particularly evident in the decline of the family and marriage. You can see how the longing for intimacy without the commitment necessary to protect that intimacy destroys like a fire. Those who have been burned by this, or by the misuse of this by others, often find it more difficult to take comfort in intimacy, always looking for the pain or destruction that is to come. I liked the naming of this the “orphan spirit.” It evokes a picture that really resonated with me, and I have seen a portion of it in my own life in hindsight (I never quite manage to see these things as they are occurring, and only as I’m brought partially through can I look back with the wisdom of hindsight to see where God is bringing me out of).

    I also found particularly important in my own life was the concept of reaping and sowing – a concept I know well, but had never thought to apply in the precise manner as was done here. This message brought it into clearer perspective, like putting on glasses and suddenly realizing an added depth to the world you had not noticed before. I liked the application of it into the church, and what we sow into the church.

  248. Macey Martinez says:

    This message was beautiful. I love how Pastor Christian said that church is more then just a relationship with God, but also a relationship with people. Also, the way he talks about spiritual fathers and mothers is something I see a lack in the in community. There is such a high demand for it. There are so many orphans in this church who need spiritual parents to help and guide them. Also, I love the fact that this church is so into having a family like community. It makes me feel accepted and apart of something more then myself.

  249. Mary Jung says:

    The message of intimacy in the covenant was new to me and made me reflect on my past close relationships within the church and think about why they had been so special. PC in his sermon helped me realise that it was covenant which made these relationships everlasting.
    Sharing with brothers and sisters in Christ made me understand myself to a completely new level as I could reveal what was really in my heart. What is so amazing about intimacy in the covenant is that you witness brothers and sisters in christ carry burdens with you and see through that you recover and proceed to grow with Christ. Without these relationships, I can definitely agree that it would not be easy to grow in my faith. With these relationships, I can only but anticipate more of God in my life as I am nurtured and loved and also taught how to give more of me to the body of christ.

    • It really is covenant that causes our relationships to be everlasting! Love the optimism and expectancy in your comment :)

  250. Interestingly, this is one of the areas I have been meditating about lately. For many adult and event mature Christians, it is hard to wear off what I would suggest to call “the Sunday school syndrome,’ you would know what I am talking about if you are part of the bunch who starts their testimony with “I grew up going to church, but since I was only a child it was merely about meeting my friends and playing some games.” I feel like for many of us this is what church still means to us. Not only should it be about through meaningful and intimate networking with other believers, which in a way are made easier hence of the ability to connect at a physical, let’s say tangible level but to understand that God Himself has made available countless avenues for us to relate to and experience Him. We forget that Christianity, as genuine as it may be, is in essence a response of created personalities to The Creating Personality, God. The blessings of the covenant, the joy of the intimacy that comes from commitment, are only achievable through extensive mental, emotional and spiritual intercourse with Him and what really blesses me is that He is all passionate about that progress, not perfection. PC mentions how we come to church looking for an specific experience with very specific people who would understand and accept our very specific current being; this is something I believe we are able to do for each other because He first loved your current version of you and not the future one. I have been encouraged by PC’s exposition of how we have a mandate to commit God, His church and His people, this is something many of us could find challenging to do because of our distorted concept of identity and our usually bias judgement of a specific congregation. Usually what we think is wrong with the church, is in fact what is wrong with us.

  251. As mentioned in the message, I understand that grace comes in a covenant. Freely given it might have been, God is not asking us to pay it back but become more mature through commitment to the church community. Many Christians live a life without wanting to fully commit to their covenant community so that they can get away from responsibilities or hide in the crowd. But no sowing brings no reaping as scriptures say and there will be only limited spiritual growth as a result. Therefore, intimate involvement and commitment are a must if we want to become more mature disciples following Christ.

  252. Christina Kim says:

    Listening to this sermon was a wake-up call, where it forced me to reflect back on the kind of relationships I’d built with the previous churches I’d been at. PC’s illustration on intimacy, relationships (in general), and what it means to truly be committed in love was striking in the sense that intimacy without responsibility results in mere desire. That true demonstration of love in Christ comes in the form of relationships that are fiercely protective, cared for, and committed in openly sharing. Making the covenant commitment is an act of faith for us to declare that n confidence that we are not just token believers but true Christians who choose to demonstrate a sense of no longer being orphans but belonging the family and thr house of God, our father.

  253. Pedro Gregorio G says:

    The feeling of intimacy within a christian community was new for me a couple of years ago, when i just got into my twenties, before that i couldn’t experience it even though I had been attending church for years.Along with this was this identity of “belonging” not only to God but to God’s people as well. In Korea I had some hard times trying to get accepted into a community like that because of language barriers or the legalistic methods they were into. I understood that it was needed a grade of commitment with them but at the same time I couldn’t felt comfortable because of the drawbacks I just mentioned. And as the covenant grows in value, the amount of sows that have to be done grows up with it but in the end it is the only way to reap in considerable amounts, this is something that I remembered a couple of times whenever trying to apart a time for prayer, or offering wholeheartedly but that I have missed many times and that has been pulling me back from receiving all of the promises and blessings from the Lord. So I’m sure the Lord is encouraging me to go into deeper level of intimacy with him and his people so I can enjoy his love and work faithfully to his kingdom under his and his’s people coverage!

  254. Spring Park says:

    It was the great message toward to new memebers also all the believers. I really liked the illustration of the famers’ living, sawing and reaping. Yes, it is quite true that many Chistians in modern societies want to stay in babies or consumers, and we really need to consider about that point. I also liked the amphasis how it is crucial to have a intimacy wiht God and with community, not is being placed on individuals relationships with the Lord alone. Well, it was the great time when I was very invested in both my quiet time with Him each day and with being involved in ministry and serving within a body of believers. but few years later, I found myself something missing and desiring deeper level and intimate relationships with other strong believers. I want to restore my faith and love toward God with the lovely covenant family. Lastly, I liked PC’s analogy between local church membership and water baptism. It gave me a new perspective of church membership. it is crucial to growing in our walk and to helping others grow as well. also, It brings with the full of joy!

  255. Elbert Hayama says:

    Through this message I could really grasp the importance of covenants in relationships. You cannot have an intimate relationship with God if you don’t have an intimately connected to our church members. This sermon challenged me to be open to the members of the church and felt the need of an intimate relationship in covenant. This message also really showed how much I lacked with the concept of healthy relationships and why did they did not last and broke down easily.

  256. Sarah Lee says:

    If I had to summarize this whole sermon in one sentence, it would have to be when P. Christian stated, “Christianity is not just about believing, but belonging.” This whole sermon really spoke to me and reminded me again of my times in New Jersey. I had attended one church my whole life but didn’t really start believing in Jesus and wasn’t saved until the end of my junior year of high school. Although Jesus is my savior, I can confidently say that community also played a big role to help me to get saved. Through me opening up to my leader and fellow sisters, the intimacy between each other grew, and my faith started growing as they would pray for me and built me up with encouraging words.

    Now that I’m in a new country that I am going to be in for an unknown amount of extended time, I know for sure (through this sermon and past experiences) that I need to be a part of community and be fully committed. I’m excited to become a member and look forward to be held accountable for the Word and to be able to have intimacy with God’s people at New Philly and

  257. Keith Yang says:

    This sermon showed a part of my relationship with God in a different light. I’d go to God like I would to an atm. I’d take out my covenantal debit card, punch in what I need, and expecting it come true. And the screen would tell me that it was low on money. And I would wonder why. I’d do my qt and attend church. I thought it was enough, but God seems to be telling me that it wasn’t enough anymore. My account was low on commitment and humility. My investment in God could not support my spiritual expenditures. And seeing it in this picture, I can see that I was trying to cheat God. I am amazed that I was treating God in this manner. I want to make right what my foolishness made wrong, but not alone this time.

  258. Brian Lee (Brian Jang Ho Lee) says:

    This sermon reminded me of our God in the Old Testament, how he set apart a people to be his, the Israelites, and how He was so strict to keep them set apart, holy. There is a part where He orders the Israelites to obliterate the Amalekites, even the babies. Now some may say that is cruel, but it was right in that the descendants, if left, would be an evil seed that would lead the Israelites astray from the holy God, lead them to neglect and forget the covenant with the Lord. This was how much God valued the covenant he had made with his people, and we see his faithfulness to it ultimately through the cross. He valued the covenant, the intimacy that comes through it. And we in turn, as people belonging to God and changed by the gospel, should know how to value the covenant and the intimacy that comes within, for we are no longer dogs that do not know the value of the pearl.

    So it is with the body of Christ. As people who have been called to one body, we ought to know how to value the words of Christ, who said, “That they may be one as we are one.” That is so much committment. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross shows the deepness of the committment, for he was committed to the will of the Father. Same. We ought to be committed to the body of Christ.

    One additional thing I’d like to add is Galatians 6:7. This may be a warning, but this is a comfort to those who sow much to the body. Though in the natural it may seem like a barren land, what we may sow with tears God will surely water and bless and bear many fruits, for we reap what we sow. This is such an encouragement for those sowing their hearts into the body of Christ.

  259. What kind of intimacy are we speaking about? Are we to say that love is intimacy and that intimacy is love? And if intimacy is equivalent of love—to which are we equating it to? Storge? Eros? Philia? Agape? This sermon is all over the place when it’s speaking about intimacy. Even without a biblical backing, there’s an innate desire for some sort of community and closeness. But with that there comes an unspoken agreement amongst the parties, there are conditions. Is that not what a covenant is? An agreement amongst two parties? If we’re going biblical with it, a covenant holds a much higher pact amongst the two than a simple promise. If one party breaks a covenant, then the penalty is severe—death is usually the case. I think there needs to be more biblical examples in the sermon if we’re going to say that intimacy belongs in covenant. I’m just going to end this with something C.S. Lewis once said, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

  260. Julian Cheung says:

    God’s design is intimate relationships with people where there is the responsibility of covenant.
    Intimacy without covenant is like promiscuity, leaves damaging effects.
    Before New Philly I completely related to the orphan spirit described by PC, getting what I could from church without giving back or committing to covenant.
    Part of that commitment is through membership and tithing.
    Don’t let strangers touch you….

  261. Valentina Kim says:

    “It’s not just believing but belonging” I totally agree with his statement, I realized that I have been trying to grow as a Christian without the covenant to a local church and it has been a difficult walk to maintain myself faithful. I realized that I missed out a huge chunk of goodies because I have been refusing the intimacy with the body of Christ.
    It really comforted me to hear that Pastor Christian believes in the commitment of loving even though its hard and tough sometimes. That is family and I am glad to be part of this family.

  262. Ines Yoon says:

    Being in Covenant with Church is a new concept for me to chew on because I have never learned it before. I have always attended church thinking that I was there to receive Gods word but I did not see the importance of relationship with people. I always thought that having a relationship with God was the one and only important relationship.

    I was reminded again of how important it is to belong into a Christian community. Even though it may seem hard at the moment, I lay myself down and trust that God will help me to be open to the members of the Church.

  263. David Chong says:

    For me, this sermon drew parallels with ‘Do not go naked’ in that intimacy in the Christian walk starts off with committing to a local church. People are seeking and desiring for intimacy in this world, that much is undeniable. But in the fast-tracked, instantaneous culture that we’re living in, people desire intimacy without responsibility or commitment. It is sad to see this mindset affect peoples’ views of committing to a local church, but I can’t deny that its easy to clothe yourself with such an attitude.

    This naturally leads to the point that the forging of intimacy is a two way street. I can’t be turning up to church and refuse to let people into my life and expect to grow in intimacy with the church community. Yes there is always grace, but I loved how PC said that in terms of God’s grace it always comes in the form of covenant as ultimately demonstrated in the promise of the cross. Same principle in respect to paving a way for intimacy to blossom in biblical community. And with intimacy comes so much more – joy, accountability, protection, creativity, passion.

  264. Grace Lee says:

    [This has been the most refreshing sermon I have heard in years!] Just to provide some background, I have been serving my previous church within the youth ministry for years to the point where intimacy with the church was lost. It became a weekly routine where I ceased from growing and learning, but just showing up and “doing what I had to do”. This led me to losing the motivation to do any more and it felt like I was just another person, physically contributing to the church but not with the heart and soul and mind. For a year or so after that, I was jumping from church to church (sometimes not willing to go at all) searching for a place to belong. Every church that I went to, it felt good at first but then began the “closing up” every time a church member tried to get to know more about me. As PC mentioned, I wasn’t willing to give enough to expect what I expected (hence the church jumping). Then (lo and behold), I stumbled across New Philly. I was invited to attend a beach outing with New Philly by a close friend one sunny day and… it felt like home. The members of new Philly I met that day felt like I had known them for years. Everything felt right. I felt a place of belonging. So from that moment, I decided to attend New Philly and begin my journey of intimacy with the church, the people, and most importantly, the Father whom I have lost intimacy with for way too long. Ever since then, I have made some great friends, rekindled old friendships, and found a place of intimacy within the church. Through applying for membership, I am adamant that being in covenant with New Philly will bring forth wonders through God in many ways! PTL.

  265. Andy Cheng says:

    I certainly had the consumer mentality and still have today because of my greed. But I came to see the point of sowing and reaping as mentioned in PC’s sermon. Commitment to a local church is more or less a prerequisite of making it possible for people to hold me accountable because there won’t be rich relationship if there is no such commitment. Membership is how it is done in New Philly and it makes sense. Only when we sow into it, we can get the apples eventually.

    As a very young Christian, I walked significant part of my journey with my peers (the bros from the same year at church) at UT Austin during my exchange year. In the year when I was exploring Christianity, I witnessed how they sowed into the church and the rich relationship among them. As a non Christian at the time, I was like “I really love these people” and that really encouraged me to open my heart and accept what God has put in front of me. Only when I visited them again last year, I found out the commitment between each other is 2 timothy 2 3:4 “Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.” It is impossible to have such relationship and if we just come and go as we please.

  266. Terence Tam says:

    “When you believe you belong.” Intimacy belongs in covenant because there is commitment and accountability. Sow and reap, sow and reap..These three points are eye opening to what is expected of individuals at the church and the investment that they are to make.

  267. Michelle Park says:

    I have been familiar with the concept of covenant. But I used it as an excuse for God to continuously forgive my sins while I can go off and do whatever I want. However, I realised that a covenant is a relationship. It is not just a one way love and work from God, but it requires me to be committed and invested in God and his church as well.
    We reap what we sow. We often want to enjoy the intimacy but not want to take responsibility. In order for God’s grace to flow, we need to enter the covenant with the right heart. And we live a fruitful life through sowing God’s words in our lives and belonging to God’s church.

  268. Julia Hong says:

    ‘You reap what you sow’
    For so long I justified hiding behind iron walls when connecting with church people as a form of protection from unfair judgment and betrayal of trust, but now I realised that it did more harm than good. I tried to be THAT ‘independent Christian’ mentioned in the sermon.

    It is human nature that our hearts yearn for love and belonging, but it is so easy to fall into the belief that these concepts are realistically unattainable or at most, shallow. However having plugged myself into the tight-knit and intimate community that is New Philly, I’ve realised just how wrong I was and how much I’ve been missing out on. The analogy of the small seed being unable to produce fruits straightaway was a wise remainder to avoid making unrealistic expectations though – being in covenant with the church doesn’t happen overnight, it is a gradual process of investing time and intentionally engaging with the church. The onus is on me to determine how intimate I am with the church and in turn, God.

  269. Jane Kim says:

    I like how this sermon draws a parallel between the God/individual covenant and the church/individual covenant. I think every Christian understands that God desires intimacy with you, that He shows this through His sacrifice, and establishes this intimate relationship through a covenant. But not everyone seems to understand that this is also true between an individual and the church. Most embrace the idea of commitment but not in the form of a covenant. PC put it bluntly when he said the church is not looking for spiritual one-night stands. In order to experience intimacy with the people of the house then you need to be in a covenant.

  270. Michelle Na-Hee Hwang says:

    This was an extremely powerful word and one that truly resonates with events and revelations in my life at the moment. I was undoubtedly stingy with my time, money and heart when I first started to attend New Philly. I would attend only the days I thought I had “free time”, I never tithed because I didn’t understand the significance of it, and I didn’t open myself up to anyone beyond a superficial level. However as time passed, I began to develop relationships and through those relationships I really committed my time, money and heart and this has been very fruitful – leading me to contemplate membership.

    However, the challenging aspect of this was PC’s referral to someone who is close to only 2 or 3 people and keep others at arms length. Due to past hurts and experiences, I am definitely more comfortable keeping people at a distance . This definitely challenged me to become more intimidate with people and to aim for greater depth in relationships. Pursuing these intimate relationships was aided by the membership process which allowed me to open up and garner trust with members and leaders of the church. Overall, it’s been a refreshing process and I am definitely seeing how sowing into intimacy with people within the church, has allowed me to reap big and beautiful things that I had never previously imagined possible. It’s been a challenging but beneficial process and this message has convicted me to pursue greater depth in relationships and open myself up to more than the handful of close friends I currently have.

  271. Yoon Han says:

    I definitely agree that Intimacy belongs in covenant and that intimacy comes along with responsibility which means that for me to want intimacy with God and walk with Him throughout my daily life that it comes along with responsibility. I have been listening to sermons treating them like educational talks and lectures and always been taking and taking without giving anything back to the God and God’s community. I now realise how important it is for me to commit to a local church and grow together with the community around me.

  272. Covenant, what a powerful word. For the first time I realize what the word really means. It is relationships with commitment. In this covenant you can’t give nothing and expect everything. We need intimacy! It easy to get cough up in your own time and own life. God wants use to have intimacy relationships. We are the body of Christ! Intimacy belongs in covenant, People will love you even if they find out who you really are. They would always try to bring the best out of you. I realize that I need a relationship with God and His people. For too long I thought if I had my relationship with God that is enough. We need the family in Christ, to help us on our journey. This sermon was a blessing.

  273. Ashleigh Kwak says:

    I really loved this sermon (my favourite out of the three in fact!) It’s because I love how God has specifically designed aspects of Life in a way so that intimacy is (should be) birthed and sustained in a covenant relationship. Unfortunately, there are too many examples of personal friends and family who have engaged in various forms of intimacy with no covenant basis. Every time, it has given birth to something negative, destructive and hurtful. It is a reminder that intimacy will also give birth to something – whether it’s good or bad, depends upon whether it was done in or out of a covenant relationship/environment. As I am preparing for marriage, this truth of marriage being a covenant relationship is something that is on my heart. And boy am I mighty glad that God designed marriage to be established on covenant – otherwise the world (and my life) would be chaos! This sermon is once again a wonderful reminder of God’s covenant plans, and all the amazing things He has designed to come forth when intimacy is nourished within a covenant relationship.

  274. Aaron Colquhoun says:

    “God call’s us to intimacy with Himself and His people”
    The Christian life does not only consist of relationship with Him, but also relationships with His people, fellow Christians. Christians nowadays lack church commitment and intimacy with the local church. Lack of commitment to the local church results in staggered growth in their spiritual walk and spiritual maturity. I need to realise that relationship with the church congregation is also very important. Having spiritual farther’s and being under them. Commit to God and commit to His people.

  275. God calls us to a life of love and a life of relationships- this was a phrase that really hit me in this sermon. Intimacy with God and his people- belongs in the covenant and is the way that God has designed this for us. I realize that there is a necessity to be commited to a local church, so I can spiritually grow in a healthy way. This commitment to a covenant will develop intimacy with God but also with the members of the local church.

  276. I have fallen in love with this church over the past year, I believe that by being in covenant it will be an official step for myself and Gods’ eyes. The covenant will allow me to call this church my church and my home and I believe it will allow me to serve God and his people on a more intimate level. This makes me happy :) I battled with committing to NP last membership process. I have been fortunate to serve on the tech ministry and having formed more deeper relationships with people at NP has shown me a different side to church. It has given me insight into the love and sacrifice that goes into the heart of this church and the fruit it has produced in peoples lives.

  277. Tri Thanh Nguyen says:

    There were so many things that I appreciated about this message including this quote from Pastor Christian: “I am committing to these people!”. Yes, amen. It really made sense what PC said about the father of the house having to put food on the table and put boundaries and guidelines in place. Both aspects of these guidelines, including the laying on of hands is really encouraging. Over the past few years, I have had some experience that have made me realize that it is important to have a level of spiritual discernment with a high value on health. I am very encouraged by Pastor Christian raising this point.
    Also, anointing of the Holy Spirit along with “looney” spirits truly does occur (ie. a mix of spirits). I am grateful for Pastor Christian’s awareness of this. I want to grow in discernment and purity. Thankful for this church. I am becoming more and more excited for the future. Looking forward to the vegetables too! :-) We are so blessed! Skies the limit!

  278. Rebecca Kim says:

    A very refreshing take on relationships and intimacy in the church. It was always pressed upon me that coming to church to meet you friends, meet people, develop relationships was wrong. That should not be the reason you go to church rather it should be for God alone. However, where better to establish relations than in the church where you strive towards intimacy in the covenant.

  279. I’ve found myself a home church. The message of reaping what you sow (in the church) opened up my eyes. Like PC said, modern day Christians treat church like a flea market and I think it shows in the individual right away. Over the past year I’ve been experiencing new levels of joy serving as part of the welcoming team at NP. As a result God’s allowed me to meet and grow in deeper relationship with the community of NP. I’m excited to see how God is going to grow me as I delve into membership and leadership at NP, because we reap what we sow! My heart towards seeing NP grow and mature has become stronger the more I sow into the church and I believe that it is a glimpse of God’s heart towards us.

    Thank you for the timely word PC.

  280. Greg Salvo says:

    This is a really stretching concept to be in a covenant with church leadership. It’s rarely taught in the church. However since coming to Korea, and even bore that, those that have committed to a local church have been Christians full of confidence, and power. I want the depth of power and confidence I see in NP leaders, NP members, and people who have fully invested themselves in a local church body.

    I realized listening to this that I will never overcome my parent’s divorce as an independent Christian. I will never overcome and grow into full maturity or into sonship as an independent Christian.

  281. Brian Lee says:

    Intamacy belongs in covenant. Gods relationship with us is a covenant in order to model how true relationships are. God will always love us and care for us no matter how sinful and rebellious we are because of his covenant and for the sake of his name and glory. This sermon helped me and convicted me in area of my life where i have tried to build relationship on mutual agreement instead of covenant. Deep relationships cannot stand in mutual agreement only in sacrificial covenant to one another.

    Church membership is incredibly important to learn how to live in covenant community that savrifices for one another and sows and invests oneself into one another.

  282. Benjamin Wong says:

    I found myself listening to the sermon twice.
    The sermon challenged my understanding of intimacy.

    The idea of “when you belong you have to relate to people” stood out for me, the notion that commitment and relationships being intertwined is another perspective for me personally.
    I have always separated commitment and relationships, where commitment can come from a sense of duty and responsibility; without really the need to relate.

    When you combine commitment and relationship, you will get intimacy.
    I don’t believe that I lack intimacy in my life, but I do know that I do not seek new intimacies.
    In order to be intimate with the Lord, you also need to be intimate with the Church and his people, to be in covenant with Him and his people, to have relationships and son-ship that can hold one accountable in the word of God.

    This topic has been insightful and challenging. I will continue to ponder on how intimacy belongs in covenant. I can understanding the teaching well, and will need to implement it into my own life.

    You reap what you sow, you reap what you sow……….

  283. This sermon was a great reminder on the importance of growing in intimacy with fellow Christians and with the importance of entering into a covenant with the a Church. I feel like this sermon expanded more upon what was spoken about at membership class and went even deeper into the heart behind their accountability. I also find it reassuring that this Church puts a great deal of effort into protecting their own and protecting the one’s who God has entrusted them with. I think this sermon serves a good purpose to show that no matter where life takes us we always need to quickly enter into a Church with great Biblical covering and a covent community in order to keep developing a strong relationship with God and to ensure that we stay within His ways

  284. Jessica Jin says:

    Intimacy involves commitment. Without commitment to the Church there can be no deep level of intimacy. I have seen church as something that i can just take take take from but need to re-evaluate the meaning of sowing and reaping. The more I sow into the Church, the bible, tithing, developing relationships and simply loving the Lord i will then reap as a natural consequence. God is plentiful with grace but that shouldn’t me from fully committing myself to the Church and its people.

  285. Lee,Kidong says:

    During the first couple of months after I started going to Newphily, I didn’t feel like I was being connected with people there. So, like pastor Christian said in this message, I thought it wasn’t the right church for me and thought about going to another one. For some reason, I wanted to keep coming back. Now, I feel well-connected to the church and developed some good friendship. This message made me see that I reaped what I sowed into this church and realise that if I want to reap more, I should sow more. I’m looking forward to what God will lead me to sowing and reaping in the future.

  286. Heather Smith says:

    I find this message to be such an encouragement. I am so blessed by New Philly’s commitment to intimacy within covenant. I am thankful for the challenge and accountability of this community. What a necessary message for the church today.

  287. Young Cho says:

    I’ve attended church in the past always having an expectation to be healed and receive blessings. When I felt my life was a little off track I believed that it was because my spiritual walk with God was dry so I would seek to find love and receive prayer from a church. I would only like to receive but not want to serve so I was always reluctant to actually commit and take the steps to be part of a community. After committing to NP, I realised how selfish I have been in the past. The more I get to know the members and the church, the more intimate my relationship has become with God. And the love for His people have been growing in my heart. I feel like my walk with God is more fulfilling and complete when I do it together with His people and will allow us to grow much deeper in our faith. I am so grateful that I am part of an intimate covenant and I can’t wait till I sow more than what I receive from the church and God’s people!

  288. Yongchan Kim says:

    PC’s sermon has taught me that intimacy came with responsibilities and commitment. Like typical consumers, I have always sought for maximum value with minimal commitment and effort not just in Christianity but in everyday life as well. Past few months, I have taken small steps to sow and already God has shown me overwhelming amount of love and grace. I look forward to more sowing and doing life together with the members of NP church

  289. Danny Fung says:

    “Christianity is not just about believing, it’s about belonging”
    Being in community was such a great opportunity to explore Christianity and connect with other Christians. This sermon really helped explain how being in community was key to me opening my heart and accepting Christ.

    As a non Christian at the time, I witnessed how leaders and members sowed into the church and how they not only have an intimate relationship with God, but also with each other. It is true that if you are cheap with your heart, then you should not expect much. Everyone that I have met in NP have been sowing so much into their community. The fruit the are reaping have made me excited to be part of this covenant.

  290. Deborah Kang says:

    Although I’ve been a Christian since I was young, I never really understood that intimate relationship with others was a significant part in the Christian walk. After being hurt by people, I gave up on relationships, withdrew myself and only pursued intimacy with the Lord. Thus, when God revealed to me that I should love others just as I should love Him, I was confused. One year after this revelation, I set my foot at New Philly and witnessed vividly how intimacy with God as well as intimacy with the body of Christ was being enacted. By spending more and more time in New Philly and also by listening to this sermon, I am grasping the significance of intimacy that belongs in the covenant. I am grateful to the church and also to God that I have come to honor and value this covenant as well.

  291. Tina Chen says:

    You reap what you sow. Although yes, we are saved by grace, but once we’re in the kingdom, there comes the covenant. The grace of god comes to us in covenant and covenant is a form of relationship that is filled with commitment.
    What makes Christianity so different and amazing is that it’s not just about believing or investing yourself, but there’s the concept of relationship, belonging and love. “Intimacy belongs in covenant“, by obeying God and committing to a local church, we know we can have a healthy, loving and spirit-filled FAMILY.

    • Yes, the covenant creates a vessel thru which blessings can flow. Covenant has become so much lighter and unwanted today by many but God’s ppl are called to share intimacy in the covenant!

  292. Grace Choi says:

    This sermon showed me the importance of sowing and reaping into a church that I am committed to. The consumer mentality is something that can be toxic and play the role as a barrier between myself and the Church. ‘Expectations’ need to be seen as gifts and blessings from God himself, as a result of sowing fully into a Church that I share mutual commitments and intimacy with.

  293. Jin Kim says:

    Coming from a church that kind of lacked intimacy between the congregation, I didn’t see the importance of intimacy between the church. I always thought that the only intimacy that mattered was the one between God and myself.
    I also need to sow into the lives of others and let others sow life into me. I’ve seen a lot of people leave my church back at home which left many others being hurt and scarred. I’ve had trouble opening up to people since, but I am glad that this sermon really opened my eyes to this.
    I am really looking forward to connecting with the Alpha community as well as my CG and receive all that God has planned for me here!! :)

    • Jin, intimacy is a relationship between two people that are mutually committed to each other. I hope that as you commit to this community and us to you, intimate and deep relationships will flourish in your life organically!

  294. Somyoung Choi says:

    Why aren’t I growing spiritually? Why don’t I have any fruit? This has been my main concern for a long time. As PC said, grace exists, but maybe I’ve just been waiting around for grace to come, without sowing into anything. I remember the time I got called up to the alter for prayer and PC prayed for my relationship with my father, and PE said I had yellow tape all over my heart, and that God was going to cut through all the tape and break down my walls. I think He is in that process. I realise the importance of sowing into community and having intimacy with the body of christ. It’s ironic that I used to pray to love more, but I just didn’t care to commit. I am very thankful for this community and the effort and love PC, the staff, leaders and members put into building this house, and am looking forward to sowing into this community, and being a committed member of the family.

  295. Sharon Park says:

    “If you’re missing out on intimate close relationships with people in the body of Christ, you’re missing out on a huge part of the christian walk and of your christian maturity” – PC

    I don’t think that I’ve ever had an intimate close relationship with anybody. When I am reading the Bible or going to church, I often find myself feeling stuck. I wonder why am I not growing in Christ? I think in the back of my mind I knew that it had to do with my relationships with people. PC’s sermon really blessed me by tearing down the excuses and explanations that I had been coming up with. What he said about ‘you reap what you sow’ opened my eyes to my commitment to a church and in other parts of my life.

    • God is going to bless you with deep and meaningful relationships! I can’t wait for the whole church to know this amazing person that I got to know these past months. I hope that you get to experience kingdom relationships through becoming a member at NPC.

  296. The sermon that PC had said on the podcast had a powerful meaning to me. When PC said,”You reap on what you sow,” I realized that I had been sowing little but wanted a lot. I realized that in order to reap many things, I need to have and strong relationship with God, except the covenant, and have intimacy with other people as well as God. Before I heard the message, I tried to sow very little or non at all and wanted the best and most largest thing in the “pile”. But now I see we have to work hard to achieve large things.
    I am thankful to come to a strong and powerful church like New Philly and will learn and sow from the things PC says in his sermons.

  297. soojiskyekim says:

    As I listened to this sermon, I realised I was becoming more and more comfortable with not putting in the commitment. Having consumeristic mindset, I always wanted most out of minimal commitment and effort in many areas of my life, including my walk with God. This answered why I had struggled to understand why I wasn’t growing spiritually and being in a mediocre faith season for a long time despite I was in church all my life. I desire to become more committed in this community, and to love and grow deeper in Christ. Thank you for a new understanding and bringing light to darkness in this area of my life. :)

  298. Mina Kimball says:

    Thank God for this message speak through my heart, i want to grow deeper and be under cover and commitments to the church where i want to invest grow strongly and be useful in God’hands. Where i feel the church is my family and intimacy not just only God but the community in my church and my leader. Where i can see my father and mother also sisters, brother in Christ involved alot of my life to encourage, discipline for i can grow up and be deeper in my faith.

    Love with me important for i can see that i am not lonely in the house of God for i can see how the love of God speak out loudly it just not about judgements but it about accepting and cover. It is not about i live my life you live your life and we just have the same faith. But it is about care for each other, pray for each other, fighting for each other in spirit.

    We can see around us this world more easier to me selfish and put our self above other and we live self center. It is all about me not about another one.

    Intimacy go with love and convernant also under the cover with responsibility and commitments.

    Thank you Pastor Christian for this sermond i cherish, honor and blessing to heard the words of God speak through you.

    Blessings

    Mina Kimball

  299. The relationship I always had with the Church was always considered less important than my relationship with God. This sermon completely changed my mindset. God created the Church so that I may grow in spiritual maturity but also so that I may stay within the covenant that He has created. As a member of a church, I have a special kind of privilege, intimacy, and covering that cannot be found as a person who is not ‘in’.
    Also, hearing PC relate this to the principle of sowing and reaping gave me a guideline in how greater sowing and greater reaping within a community can be fully experienced within the Church that I have committed myself to.
    This sermon was definitely an eye-opener on how important commitment to a church, as a member, is to myself, to others, and to God.

  300. Stella Kim says:

    I am so blessed with this message. I agree, “Christianity is not about believing, but belonging”. It is important to be committed to a local church and have a rich intimacy with His people. Praise God he led me to NPC where I can be spiritually led, biblically fed, have encouraging gifted leaders that will nurture me, and keep me accountable. I am ready to have a deep intimacy with God and His people under the covenant NPC.
    Amen~!

  301. Kayla Vezeau says:

    I have been so blessed by this message! I’m so thankful that this church takes this membership so seriously and biblically. I never really understood the full meaning of why we should do membership apart from being involved more closely with the church. There were so many great points that PC made about intimacy in a covenant that really challenged my thinking. I often thought that my personal intimacy with God was individual and that I just attend church to get fed and for fellowship. There is a true richness in being in this kind of covenant with NP and I’m excited to be apart of it!!

  302. Clive Poh says:

    This message so wonderfully and adequately define intimacy. I have a better understanding of 1 Cor 13 where Paul wants the church to know how to love each other because love is above all! I am so encouraged to love(even more) my family of God! In retrospect, I think God’s tangible love is evident where we see intimate relationship in church – where brothers(sisters as well) unite and genuinely share and listen for one another. I’m just so thankful for God has given me such a family where I can, without shame, share freely about my life and struggles for I know that my brothers would stand by me through joy/suffering. Such an environment is only made possible with the COVENANT we have made for our church.

  303. Anna Suber says:

    What PC said about how Americans see their christian walk as independently with just God is true. That’s how I was taught. You go to church, say hello to the same people, say the same lines every Sunday, but never feel confident and comfortable to say what’s really on your heart. Sadly, I admit that has been my problem with church and establishing intimacy with God and His family. I wanted to do the least work with community but expect rich results. When that plan never worked, I would get offended, take things personally, hermit myself, become bitter and place blame on those who wouldn’t accept me. Now I understand my problem was not the people but in my slothful approaches to church. I truly desire a lasting relationship with God and his people. Praise God for meeting his children where they are in their walks. I am ready to finally be held accountable and be apart of a family. I still don’t truly know what that relationship looks and feels like, but I feel that’s the point of community!

  304. Dae Kyung Jung(Cole Jung) says:

    Pastor Christian. You said right. I’m little nervous about joinning the membership. My knowledge about the bible is still not much,and I’m still poor at praying for god and even for myself. In these unsetting situation, I decided to join membership process. Because I want to pursue healthy relationship in this church more than that. It is an adventure for my life coz I was neither a member of other churches nor a christian. In the convenant, I trully want to feel true relationship with other brothers and sisters.

  305. As I listen to this message, I feel so safe and relief that I’m in the right place, true house of God. The point of this sermon is adequately addressing what God intend His church has to be. What struck me the most is the statement that Christianity is not just about believing, but about belonging. Like PC mentioned, I was the kind of girl who liked to just keep few friends close and then shut anybody else out to not get hurt. And I secretly presented myself as being “STUCK-UP” who was super stingy with taking all accountability in christian community, shame on me!
    But PC makes it completely clear that our Kingdom family need intimate relationship with covenant. I was missing out that Intimacy belongs in covenant that is a form of relationship that is filled with commitment. It’s so blessing to share these important principles in faith with all the sisters and brothers in New Philly, establishing covenant to make a commitment.

  306. Christian Loro says:

    Growing up in my church, membership wasn’t really taken seriously or I just didn’t take it as seriously as I needed it to be. I just thought membership was about tithing and attending church business meetings. But coming to new Philly and seeing the culture of the church and how the members take membership seriously makes me examine my own heart about what it really should have looked like back home.
    As I listened to this message, I realized that intimacy is not just between God and I but also other Christians. As we create a relationship with other Christians, it’s a constant reminder that we are not walking on this Earth alone and that we need each other to reach the next level that God wants us to be.

  307. This message just reassures me that I came to the right church and that I am meant to be a member here. In the sermon PC talked about how everyone just wants to be loved for who they are; at New Philly I see so many kind and welcoming people and it just makes me want to also be a part of this wonderful community of such genuinely caring and loving people. I was also convicted about the sowing and reaping part, how we will reap what we sow. It makes me want to be a better person in every way, because as Christians, our deeds all have greater consequences. I’m so thankful and excited to become a part of this covenant where I can learn and grow with other believers.

  308. Sheila Moh says:

    There is something special in this church, and that is the Covenant of the community. Everyone in this house of the Lord has a role to play, serving in different areas of ministry and to bless others what they have been blessed with. Sadly to say, this is not a common practice in any other churches.

    I now truly understand the meaning of covenant where it is a form of relationship that is filled with commitment. A commitment to the church is to bless others through serving in ministries, and to be accountable to live by the word of God through tithing. This draws me to the context in Book of Acts, where “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” I would like to commit by giving the love of blessings to others which allows me to admire the true love – that is the intimacy with God and His people.

  309. Emily Pack says:

    I absolutely loved this message. As a newly wed, I feel that my husband and I have a fresh understanding of what covenant looks like. You stay through the good and the bad, the life giving moments and the uncomfortable moments. And because you choose to stay, you always grow! Through this rooted commitment comes the joy of true intimacy.

    I love how this topic relates so strongly to our commitment to a local church. When we commit to a particular church family, we are invited into deeper intimacy. Why? Because we are choosing live through seasons together, not just a moment. If we reject covenant, we can easily leave when we feel “too vulnerable.” I can relate to this. In college, I was looking at church as a flea market (as PC noted). Give a little, get a lot! I wasn’t willing to dive into true covenant, true community, for fear of vulnerability. I’m happy to say I have grown past that season and welcome opportunities to be committed, grounded, and intimate with others.

    A thought/question this sermon conjured up was in regards to short terms missions work. PC noted that a struggle with mass evangelism is the “orphan spirit.” Many come into relationship with Christ at a retreat or conference but then have a moment of “now what?” and have no discipleship to follow. My mind immediately related this to my passion for missions work: how can we help establish a sense of covenant and intimacy as we go out to do short term missions work? Is this even possible? Just some thoughts :)

  310. Jennifer Kim says:

    I learned that about the sowing and reaping principle: what we put in, we get out. It’s important to make a covenant with God in order to receive. I agree that we all need rich relationships with the church! I’m so hopeful that I’ll build rich relationships, true love, and intimacy within the church because I’ve been looking for that type of relationship within the church ever since being saved, which was not too long ago. I’ve seen a church community fall apart because there wasn’t enough love within a church, and not being able to open up and relate to each other’s stories. Also, I feel that the majority of the world struggles with intimacy and responsibility, and it’s very easy to become influenced by what the world says about intimacy. We need to follow the wisdom of God in order to have healthy, happy relationships. I’m so blessed by how PC clearly explains the need for covenant in relationships because many do not explain the importance of this covenant, and just say “no pre-marital sex.” I’m excited to build this covenant with God, and my brothers and sisters in Christ.

  311. Jenny Han

    A few months ago when my sisters were about to leave Korea, Jayne made a comment on how she wanted to pluck a 무궁화 (Korean National Flower) with her to take on the plane. June rebuked with a, “Why would you want to do that? It’s going to wilt anyways.”

    It hit me the next day that that was exactly what I feared about joining a church, community group. I’m afraid of starting relationships that will most likely wilt (at least, that’s what’s in my head irrationally). I crave intimacy so badly but I am so scared of what it will take to reach that intimacy with God, let alone with His children. I cannot quite forget what Pastor Christian started the sermon with: “What I sow is what I will reap.” If I just keep pecking at the surface of the soil, there’s not much room for anything to take root. I realized I cannot expect fruit trees to sprout up if I’m not willing to let my hands get smothered with dirt or wield a shovel to actually dig a hole for a seed to be planted. I wonder what it’s like for anyone who actually gardens/farms in real life – when they see edible jewels sprout on leaves that started from nothing. Does the sight of fruits/growth smother how painful/difficult it was to get that all started?

  312. Paul Lee says:

    Paul Lee

    This sermon clearly warns of the individualism that is rampant everywhere in Korea. In fact, most christians only tend to or at least, pretend to cherish relationships with God. However, there seems to be an invisible wall around people and though we greet with each other and say nice things, it is really hard see a “true and deep” relations going on. just like the chruches in the early Christian days, depicted in Acts.
    Now, as for me, I have just taken the membership class, which happen to be my first visit to the NewPhilly, and to be totally honest, I do not know how things are going around here. But the church I went last time did not seem have a real bond between the people, and I found that very sad. But I certainly cannot judge anyone since I am myself a very “postmodernistic” person, in which I tend to be reserved regarding friendships and all that.
    And this sermon given by PC kind of awakens me to see the importance of having a true bond between members of a church. It is crucial not only in the sense that one should just get along well with people, but also in the sense that committing to a church and regarding the members as a family is a “Covenant” itself, just like PC said, and this is certainly what God wants.

  313. I feel like especially as a college student, you think of just the money – where your major will take you, to live a prosperous life. And I think it was a great reminder to hear that we should “love, God, not the money.” Yes, we live in such a materialist world and only see what we see. So we go after what the world does, away from God. And this is why accountability and a community who can lead you to the right path is essential.
    At the same time, seeking for intimacy in relationship with others is important, but it is also important to have that intimacy with your yourself; love yourself first before you love others. And more importantly, seek that intimate relationship with God.

  314. Max Park says:

    There are lots of moments where I thought I was not rewarded enough for my effort. But like PC indicated, it is I who have not put much commitment into relationships and be responsible. President Kennedy once remarked, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for the country.” I realized that I should ask myself what I can do to improve my relationship with God and his people and be much more responsible with such relationships. I should not just ask God what he can give me without putting my effort on him.

  315. There were a lot of parts in this sermon that really struck me. The first being how Christianity is not just about believing, but also belonging. I’ve always believed that church is just an extra part of being a Christian and viewed attending as something that has to be done. Similar to going to class in order to graduate. But I think this sermon really shows how important it is to become involved and committed to a church. Which is related to the other part that stuck out to me, “In order to grow in your spiritual walk you need a relationship with God and his people.” I’ve always believed that spiritual growth was something that had to be done on my own, like training for a marathon. It was all about how much effort I could put into it. I never stopped to think that not forming deep, personal relationships with other Christians might be a hindrance to my own growth.

  316. Nick R. Pack says:

    After listening to this message I can’t help but wonder if God reveals Himself more extravagantly to those who are most committed to Him. Intimacy through covenant. Regardless, being committed to God’s people, as PC laid out, is essential to spiritual health and growth.

    I’ve gone to a lot of churches in my life but rarely did I experience deep intimacy with other believers outside my circle of friends. I love the thought that commitment, covenant, comes before intimacy. I’ve been married only since February but this is the absolutely truth and must be! It was only after I made a covenant with Emily that intimacy can be experienced, because people are dynamic and complicated. We are ever-changing and growing and exploring. I love thinking about this and desire to experience it more and more in my own life, with my wife and with the body of Christ. I long to be known by my brothers and sisters in Jesus who are committed to me through thick and thin.

  317. Bekah Cho says:

    I’ve never thought of being a member of a church as a “covenant” and I never really thought about the importance of forming relationships in the church coming from the perspective of our desire for intimacy. When I was looking for a church to go to as a freshman in college in a new city, I didn’t really think about it but I definitely wanted intimacy with people. I wanted to feel like a belonged in a community… Also I was really blessed when PC said that God calls me to intimacy with His people. I never thought of relationship as a calling, but yeah that brings so much more purpose to building and deepening relationships in the church.

  318. Whatever I sow, I will also reap:
    Whatever I put my attention, efforts, and actions into, I will get fruit out of that.
    A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

    If I make decisions and efforts to please only my flesh without any thought of what will please the Holy Spirit, (or in fact ignoring the Holy Spirit), I’m hostile towards the Holy Spirit, and will reap destruction, corruption, I’m far from God. Romans 8.

    I need that reminder that I shouldn’t expect to receive largely from God if I don’t put in…()
    honoring God, truly following, submitting and obeying.

    The Lord has been weighing on my heart that I need to have vulnerability, and openness with Gods people, specifically church leaders. (referencing Do Not Go Naked)
    The Holy Spirit told me “The pattern that you’re doing, isn’t working, if you continue this way you will continue to fail”. In terms of hiding my sin, hiding my repeating sin where I do need growth, I can’t continue to do the same things & expect different results.
    So thankful for our Father who truly wants me to grow & not be stagnant, as well as a Pastor who cares.

    PS: Romans 8:14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

    This verse has also been highlighted to me recently, we are adopted into sonship with THE HOLY GOD. And I believe we are not meant to live a life fearful of the slavery of sin, that we can be free from that.I hope that this interpretation of this verse is right haha.

    The word covenant- is defined by the words bond, commitment, promise, pledge.
    I want to be faithful to God in return…

  319. Jenny Shi says:

    Intimacy.
    During the prayer I find my peace. I find my intimacy with God through those prayer tfrom time to time. He is speaking to me during the prayer.
    — Pray for the peace of jerusalem” may they be secure who love you>” Psalm 122
    when I feel insecure I start pray, I start crying. I feel the love from our farther and nothing more powerful like him can deliver this kind of peace and secure to my life. This is the love and the way how He shows his intimate.
    building relationship with God takes time, the more I pray the more I feel Him. we becoming closer and closer. You cant be intimate with someone with out spending time get to know eachother share your stories, it doesn’t happen overnight.
    Working on yourself and build your relationship with God’ church; prayer; worship; small group; sharing your testimony..all those small thing counts and seeking for God’s love is amazing.

  320. Christina Yoon says:

    After listening to this, I learned how ironical I was in that I wanted intimacy with God but not really commit to his covenant with him. I felt like throughout my life I had one feet in God and the other feet in the world. I feared not having the world with me or being alienated from the world by following Him completely. It was a new concept to put the covenant also with the local church community. I have never thought that I had a covenant and a need to commit to one church. I longed for intimacy but I was always half-hearted. I still fear letting go a lot of things because I never have let things go but hopefully I learn it sooner than later.

    • Christina, there are depths of intimacy with God and with people that the Father’s heart longs for you to experience! You won’t have to hold back in fear of being hurt or misunderstood, because covenant and commitment create such an environment of safety. I am so excited to see you blossom in the context of this spiritual family and community. Blessings on you, Christina!

  321. Gloria Lee says:

    Intimacy is more than just a relationship. I feel this word is used more when referring to sexual intercourse rather than to say how deeply connected people are in their relationship to each other. You can never have a real relationship with someone without knowing their full background and their uglies. God had created man to yearn for intimate relationships with him first. We can try to fill the void in our hearts with whatever, but it will never fill it like God will. I know from a female’s POV, shopping can be therapeutic but it cannot completely take away the hurt or disappointment. Being married and being in an intimate relationship with my husband, made me appreciate the type of relationship we have and makes me want to mimic the style of relationships with others around us. But of course a different type of intimate relationship.

  322. Sarah Park says:

    I found that in this message, it shows the importance of membership in a church. It is important to have genuine relationships with the people that you are going to church with and building a community and a family. I saw that some examples that PC uses in the sermon were helpful to understand why it is important to have intimacy with brothers and sisters in Christ. I found it very powerful when PC concludes with the ultimate covenant that God wanted to establish with us. This was through Him sending his only son to die for us so that we may be saved and have a relationship with God directly. Intimacy is a blessing and a gift from God whether it be in marriage , friendships and even at church.

  323. Fanny Choi says:

    This was another powerful message that made me reflect deeper on the meaning of covenant not only with God but also in the context of community. In a world that values individualism, it allowed to reflect on the need and the power of covenant within the diverse relationships we establish in life and how it is connected with the sowing and reaping principle. I have never thought that belonging to a community was a significant part of the Christian life. And actually I wasn’t really willing to establish deep relationships within the church as it implied being vulnerable and open to the judgment of others, but one of things I feel from NP is that this is a safe place in where I can truly build intimate relationships that can pour out life and speak into my life. And as PC emphasizes during the whole sermon, such intimacy should come within a covenant, meaning mutual commitment and responsibility for one another. My prayer after listening to this message is that I can commit and sow into this community during my time here, and through it I can experience more intimacy with God and his people.

  324. Seungmin lee says:

    Today although many people participate in church, they want to get something much more but Church is not a museum but people’s understanding and attitude toward church is a low opinion of it, seeing it as a consumer would. Everybody wants rich relationship and when we have relationship, we have to know the way. Intimacy belongs in covenant. We can enjoy relationship by belong in covenant.

  325. Jennifer choi says:

    There is an unfortunate social trend happening, which is the lack of use in the word “covenant”, and the cheap accessibility towards relationships. At least people that are my age (20s) don’t use the word “covenant”, unless we’re being “spiritual”. To be honest, I find that disheartening because God creates covenants with us and is keeping them to this day. Personally, I was also scared to even make promises to people or to God because I did not want to be bound, or “COMMITTED”, to something or someone. However, God is pleased with His covenants and He loves creating covenants with us, and I feel horrible that I had looked to so many other things in life, such as grades, money, etc, to satisfy me. Those things were already graciously given but I would refuse to accept it and sow it in to where He wants me to, so those gifts would die. Just as Pastor Christian said, grace also comes with our obedience (in reference to first sermon) and faithfulness to Him. In order to grow, I had to fix my attitude towards what I had. I should be thankful for all that I have now and because none of it is mine and was graciously all given by the Lord, I should faithfully follow His commands to how I should use these possessions (especially money). If God has put me in a church with tiding, then I should faithfully do so in knowing that He is in control of it.

    Our easy access to relationships, such as tinder, is the reason why commitment and covenants are avoided. The thought of responsibility towards our partners, friends, or acquaintances are just too risky. It could have been difficult for me to reach out first to people even when I was new at a university I just transferred into. But through the grace of God, BECAUSE I knew the love of God and was confident in my identity in Him, I was able to boldly open my heart. It’s an act of faith when I commit to something or someone. The Lord is sovereign and knows our fears, so when I trust Him wholeheartedly, I am okay with committing to a church, even though I was hurt by mine many times.

  326. Daeyoung Kim says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Pastor Christian’s urgency for believers to commit to the local church. Living in New York for some time, a common trend among my Christian friends was to church-hop from church to church each Sunday; If one needed to rekindle a passion for Christ he would go to Hillsong Church, and if another needed some deep theological teaching, Tim Keller’s Redeemer Presbyterian. At the time, I felt there was no bad connotation associated with church-hopping, but hearing pastor mentioning that our lack of commitment is out of selfish ambition, I understand the importance of membership to a single church.

  327. Jean Park says:

    “…you can dare to go deep in intimacy.” Understanding how to have meaningful and healthy relationships can only exist in covenant. So many people struggle with knowing how to set proper boundaries. This is why it is so important to consider what it means to be in covenant with one another, and the responsibity that goes with it.

  328. Natalie Weaver says:

    I still really appreciate this sermon. We long for intimacy, even if we have been hurt by it and fear it. This is because when we were created, we were created for intimacy with God and with each other.

    I really love the beginning of this sermon; I am really blessed by the representation of sowing and reaping within the context of relationships in the church in particular. It brought me back to a verse I studied: Hosea 10:12 “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.” To me, it gives hope to the promise of love and intimacy that comes from sowing into that. While there are times where we are hurt by those close to us, there is also a place of safety and protection. And I really appreciate the community of safety and security (and family) that New Philly preserves for their members. Already I’ve been blessed by the abundance of their sowing into the lives of each other, and I can see the fruit of this in the family.

  329. Tina So says:

    A fresh revelation of the relationship between covenant and intimacy and how it affects human behaviors. I have known the importance of these two things before, however I have gained a new understanding of how these two are connected. I have always believed in being connected to a local church as we need to be connected to the soil that God has planted us in, however this new understanding has helped me to see the importance through a different perspective.

  330. Valerie Ng Hui Sze says:

    “Christianity is not just about believing but belonging.”

    This sermon has really helped me understand the importance of belonging to a community. Coming to S.Korea about three years ago, I was committed to a Catholic church and even though I attended mass every single week, I became very stagnant in my walk with God. This, I realised, was because little to no accountability was offered and intimacy within the community was rare. But, April of this year, I decided to try coming out to NewPhilly and it is by committing to this community that I begin to grow and mature in my faith. I was extremely blessed when P.Christian mentioned that the reasons for establishing intimacy through covenant in NewPhilly are in order to love on us, to celebrate us and to raise us up to our full potential in Christ.

    I am excited to grow deeper into intimacy with God and His people here in NewPhilly. :)

  331. Wendy Younghyun Kim says:

    The point was ‘ Christianity is not  just about believing but belonging’. As a christian I can’t go by myself. I realized again the importance of the relationship with my church people and leaders.
    I also learned the meaning of water baptism. It’s such a public confession of christian.

  332. Thank you Pastor for this sermon. I strongly agree how people are longing to belong to someone and in this context, community. I think relationships in general are very intimate itself- the more intimate the relationships, the better our attitudes, behavior and words toward others (families,friends,partner). I am a very intimate person..naturally. I believe love is an absolute thing in relationships (PTL, He changed me haha) ever since I became a believer, I have struggled a lot with all my relationships because I wasn’t loving others like how God loves me. after time to time (to the present), I am still learning to love on people more and more. okay going back to my point, I am water-baptized from the beginning of this faith journey, tithing was not that regular back in the past because money was something I idolized a lot back in the past but now tithe is something I give to God because it’s all His. Oh when Pastor said in the house, there’s father and mother, not just brother and sister. wow. as long as I love my brothers and sisters, I do always find for that intimate relationship with pastor in a church because it’s something so important to me (how I’ve come to church and became a believer is my pastor’s deep love and care along the way). so my conclusion would be… God wanted to establish relationships to LOVE on us and CONNECT with us through JESUS! that’s what I want with the families in NP!

  333. Sohjeong Maeng says:

    There was times when I served in more than one ministry at my church back in Melbourne. It definitely burnt me out physically as well as spiritually, but I maintained myself doing it for long time. But I reflected myself as I listened to this sermon, that i was focused on thinking only to ‘sow’ not reap. I thought I was only sacrificing not receiving anything. Now that I see myself now, from sowing to my church with my gifts, I have grown and became firmer and stronger in Christ. Personally when I came to NP few month ago, I loved the fact that I am resting from all the serving. ‘church is not a flea market’, I realised that I’ve been treating NP as flea market. I think it is time for me to again, ‘sow’; it is not only good for me but also more for church and God. I was reminded sowing and reaping also link to commitment to church.

  334. Chai Kim says:

    “Intimacy belongs in covenant” I am actually experiencing it as a newly married woman these days. The intimacy I am currently having with my husband cannot be compared to “intimacy” that I had with him before marriage or in any other relationships. This is because my husband and I made covenant and committed to our relationship. So, the degree of intimacy is deep and truly enjoyable.
    Like what I am experiencing and Pastor Christian preaches in this sermon, in order to have a true intimacy with God, commitment to a community and to people of God should be made first. I kind of have forgotten this: intimacy belongs in covenant, as I just stayed at the same church for a long time and sometimes I did what I did as obligation. I am really thankful for learning this again as a new member of NP church. To have an intimate relationship with God and people of God, I am willing to commit to this church. That is why I took the membership class, and now I feel very grateful to begin this journey in this loving and supporting community.

  335. Enoch Than Woo Cho says:

    Privacy is something most cultures dears important because privacy includes most of the darkest sides of our lives.
    People tend to react with “Mind your own business” spirit
    but fundamentally we feel awfully uncomfortable when others touch our sensitive sides.

    Opening up to Church through fellowship and Community Groups
    and surrendering our privacy is first admitting we do not fear people and second we are not like the pharisees but humble sinners.

  336. Irina Jang says:

    Such a great sermon about the intimacy in covenant. I never connected them together but now i see that it is actually a very important aspect of the covenant to be belonged in it. I am very glad that i got to listen to this podcast before i got in a covenant with God and His church. Now i am going to meditate on this word and try to get in the covenant with Him and the church with an open and dedicated heart.

  337. Yuna Lee says:

    “They give very little bit and then they expect the most.”
    It made me look back about myself. How much pray did I plant? How much time did I plant?

    Christianity is not just about believing but it’s about belonging to the family of God.
    In our christian walk, God calls us to intimacy with God but also with his people.

    I definitely struggled with finding the church that I felt like I belong to. Now I’m so happy to have a family, brothers, sisters who keep me accountable for growing and maturing in God and I’m so glad to be given this opportunity to grow more as a part of the body of Christ. It is something I have been praying earnestly for a long time.
    I’m excited to belong in covenant with my New Philly family.

    Thanks to pastor Christian for setting the healthy environment as a father of this house, so that we can have intimate relationship with one another in right way. And I also love vegetables 😆

  338. Younghyun Kim says:

    Intimacy belongs in covenant

    PC said “If you are missing out on intimate close relationship people on the body of Christ, You’re missing out the huge part of the christian walk. The way God design whole spiritual walk to work, it only works and only grows when you are in community.”
    I used to think that I need intimacy only between God and me. I had had ‘defense mechanism’ for a long time. I was afraid of sharing my problems and my family’s because I cared them too much as a pastor’s kid. I frequently avoid the place where I have to talk to them about my life. So this sermon had made me woke up and realized that I need to make a decision for submission.
    I didn’t know that God called me to intimacy with not only God, but also His people.
    I felt that God wants me to submit to the local church, Newphilly in my case.

    I am really happy to meet this church and people in the body of Christ. I want to be the member of Newphilly family in covenant.

  339. Walter Doyun Kim says:

    True love goes deep. Everyone wants the true love. When you believe in God, you belong to the family of God. When you belong, you are related to the people in that family. I felt that this part of the sermon was the most intense because it made me understand why this sermon was chosen for the membership covenant by emphasizing the importance of having intimacy with God. If I have intimacy with God, I can have intimacy with people through God and people to people.

  340. Steven Nam says:

    It’s true that people come to church and believe in Christ only to reap so many benefits when they themselves have yet to give anything to the Lord. And they will leave just as quickly when the Church grows old on them.
    I barely gave anything to God and was just a “Sunday Worshiper.” I would feel boredom just thinking about my Church back in the USA. But at that time, I gave nothing to the Lord and I wished for all of the grand rewards that God had promised to his followers. I had no relationship or intimacy with the Lord and was completely shallow.
    At the same time…and I don’t want to seem like I’m giving excuses or anything but…I’ve always been going to churches with just old Korean people. I never had any peers of my own at church and I could never really converse with the Old Korean people.
    So I could never really establish healthy relationships at my church.
    But it has been so different at New Philly and I am quite happy to be with all the New Philly Hongdae people and Yonsei Emmaus peeps. I think it would be quite fine to establish a relationship or covenant with my new church people 😀

  341. Tae Eun Kim says:

    Sermon reminded me of the importance of being in a covenant and being committed. Sowing = reaping. Loving and committing to God’s people is also a part of christianity. The analogy of tithing and child support was very interesting.

  342. Jongwoo Lee says:

    I have had experiences in which I was rejected from people. For almost ten years, I have suffered from the negative influences of these experiences, and as Pastor Christian pointed out in the sermon, I have been extremely passive in connecting to new people and having deep relationships. Considering that it is impossible to be an independent Christian, however, I realized that it is important to have deep and solid relationships with other people in the community. Although I know that I have avoided thinking about relationships for a long time, I will try to make healthy and responsible relationships understanding that it is a necessity for me to have intimacy with God.

  343. I think my previous comment on “Do Not Go Naked” applies here as well. This was a sermon that really stood out to me in the past and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. To be sure, I don’t ever plan on entering a covenant-less relationship. My pre-Christ life was chock-full of these relationships and I’ve seen their fruit [or, rather, lack thereof?]. I’ve become incredibly serious about commitments over the years and am incredibly picky about making them.

    Through membership, I hope to follow through on this teaching. Don’t want to reap the benefits of the house without making a covenant with it.

  344. Tanisha Cosby says:

    After I became a Christian the church experiences I’ve had were all the same. You come in, sing some songs, hear the Word, and then you go home. There was no building of relationships with other people in the church or even with spiritual leaders. The subject of this sermon was totally new to me. I’m now in a place where I’m growing in a place of intimacy with not only people, but with my Heavenly Father. Spending time with other CG members and even my connection coach is allowing me to build up these intimate covenants and has even caused me to open up and be vulnerable with my leaders.

  345. James Jung says:

    Growing up in Korea, I have seen a lot of churches only focusing on “Love”. Though it is true that GOD loves us, there was not many churches that focused on the issue of covenants. I feel so grateful and blessed for finding a church that sticks to a sound biblical teaching. I believe that intimacy belongs in covenant, and there are responsibilities for us for having that relationship. Tithing and offering is definitely a part of that, and I was actually surprised that this church takes this issue very strictly.I have never seen a church like this before and at first it shocked me a little. But after praying and thinking about it, I realized that such approach toward tithing and offering is RIGHT, Honestly, I have been quite stingy with this issue of money and I admit that I have had this “consumer mind” that pastor Christian talks about. Through this sermon I was able to question and challenge myself again of who I was really serving: GOD or the money? Bible clearly tells us that you can not serve both GOD and money. It is then I realized again that my heart was tilted toward the money. I seriously do not know how long it’ll take for me to get over this issue, but through New Philly I pray that someday I will be mature enough to really trust and OBEY his words. Indeed. it is through such faith and obedience of the covenant that’ll lead us to GOD’s favor and love.

  346. John-Mark Christopher Raddatz says:

    When you believe you belong. It really hit me when he said that a Christian who outside of community reading his Bible all the time and praying all the time but still is outside of community is an immature Christian. It was actually difficult to hear because I like to think that I can do this on my own. Sonship is a reoccurring theme that appears in PC’s messages and being a shepherd is his heart.
    Jesus being sent to bring us into covenant shows how serious God is about covenant. It is really sad to think that many people try to make short cuts to intimacy without covenant. Being in community can be scarry and vulnerable but it is vital to spiritual growth.

  347. Lindsay Costello says:

    I was really struck by PC’s point that Grace is given in covenant and that covenant is a form of super charged commitment. I’ve known and see this applied in friendships and in family but I’ve never thought about it in the church body before. I’ve understood the part of commitment but missed the fruit it produces, it’s like being committed to a friendship without ever realizing you get love from it.

  348. I loved the example of intimacy in marriage, there is covenant and there is commitment necessary to be intimate. If I want to be ONE with church and Jesus commitement is necessary. We do not open up to strangers as well as they do not open up to us. in order to have healthy and and intimate relationship we need to be committed.

  349. Bongseok Shin says:

    Intimacy was what ive learned in this church first time in my life. At the first time i didnt understand why they are so warm and care me, and i didnt know how to feel connected with other people. Now i started feel something called ‘intimacy’ with church people like a family, and this is being built up not only limited in CG members, but also with other people, and this is very strong streangth to stay in this church and grow up as a strong person. On top of that, my favorite bible ‘1John’ helped me a lot to grow up connection with people without fear of being rejected, and feel holy presence.

  350. Intimacy : close familiarity or friendship; closeness.

    Intimacy can mean many things. The main definition is the one I used above. This sermon opened my heart. I learned God wants us to have intimacy by making a covenant with him and the church. By having a covenant we can go deeper with our faith. Everyone has that friend they only talk too sometimes. If you learned how to commit to this friendship you would have better relationship. I feel like that’s what PC wants for his members. He wants us to go higher in God and by committing to having intimacy with God through a covenant our love for God will be super charged !

  351. Jonathan says:

    The title of this sermon already has two words that I don’t like; intimacy and covenant (commitment). I have been aware that this is something that I should work on and I understand the importance and how crucial it is in order for a Christian to function in the church. I guess you could say I have that “orphan spirit” that pastor Christian mentions in this sermon. I hope that this is an area in my life that God will have breakthrough.

  352. This sermon was about me! I was that person who distanced herself from others (keeping only two to three people close by) because, as Pastor Christian put, “Intimacy? If it comes with hurt, I don’t want it, thank you very much.” But over time, especially these last few weeks, God has made me stronger, emotionally, than I would ever have expected. Praise be to God my Father, and my sisters and brothers in Christ.

  353. Joshua Kim says:

    We were created for love. But true love goes deep.

    People come to church to not only worship the Lord but to have a close relationship with other ppl. But without the proper covenant, we cannot have an intimate relationship with each other because we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and we don’t call people “brother” or “sister” if he or she is not in covenant of family

    PC’s word “When you believe you belong.” helped me to see where I was before I came to New Philly and was able to understand the importance of being involved in a local church.

    It was a great message!

  354. Hyun Jung Oh says:

    I thought I did not want to belong to a church not bc of the tithings or attendance but I did not want to be tied down. But now I have done my research and found the right church i want to belong in the covenant for the blessings and the accountability. Now that i am about to become a member i feel very blessed!

  355. Deborah Kim says:

    Not only does God want us to be committed to a spiritual family but he wants us to be in intimacy with him and with his people! “True love does not stay shallow…Christianity is not just about believing but about belonging.” So…believing leads to belonging leads to relating leads to intimacy (in covenant) leads to building maturity leads to growing faith and greater love and ultimately new life!

    The link between baptism and demonstrating commitment to church membership never occurred to me before. As we are reminded in this message and during the membership class – the commitment to join New Philly is not a mere formality, but a commitment to be held accountable according to God’s Word as a part of building the intimacy of the household of faith. The grace of our individual salvation leads us to being an intentional (not dormant or blurred) member of a greater family.

    We were created to share in His love. Whew.

  356. 김정경 says:

    교회에 나가는것이 사람들과의 친밀한 관계를 형성하기 위해서도 좋지만 하나님 보다는 우선시 되어서는 안된다고 생각한다. 다들 하나님이 우선이라는게 당연하다고들 말하겠지만 솔직히 나는 가끔가다 무었때문에 무엇을위해 교회에 오는건지 잊어버리는 경우도 있었다. 하지만 곧 나를 채워주고,위로해주는것은 하나님이라는것을 느꼈다.친밀함은 언약안에 있어야한다는 깊은뜻은 다 헤아리지 못했지만설교말씀처럼 나도 하남님과의 친밀함을 원하고있다.

  357. youngok kim says:

    Like a marriage covenant our relationship with God and church community needs a commitment and covenant.

  358. Orji Noble says:

    Convenient is a form of relationship that is filled with commitment, I just realize that most times God want to use a man He enters into a convenient relationship with the man and interestingly enough God is a convenient keeping God, God does not just want me to have intimacy with him but also with His family.

  359. Hope Schaeffer says:

    One thing I particularly appreciate about the sermons and teaching I’ve heard at New Philly is the focus on not just personal application of scripture, but how it affects the whole body of believers living in fellowship together as a local church. Intimacy in a personal relationship with Christ is of course important, but becoming more like Christ by learning in relationships with others in the same covenant is important too. The part about how spiritual life and growth only work in the context of a community stuck out to me here. The vulnerability and commitment that intimacy requires are hard for me, I guess they’re hard in general, but well worth it to experience Christ’s love in deeper ways.

  360. Yes, I believe covenants are important and it is very true that true intimacies can really happen in firmly established covenants. Even in families although we may not realize or not are established in covenants. The children have to obey their parents and the parents have the responsibility to love them and care for them. Even in friendships where intimacy is created when two friends prove to each other that he or she can trust him or her. I understand that NP church feels that tracking tithes is one way to validate ones commitment to the church and I respect this. Although in my home church in Hong Kong this was not the case I know every church is different and has its own reasons. The sermon was a blessing and have affirmed my beliefs again which was very encouraging.

  361. Whenever I heard the word covenant, I always associated it with strict rules and order. After hearing PC preach about the why covenant was established I have a new and refreshing way of looking at covenant. Covenant is needed for intimacy, without covenant and responsibility we will have intimacy without commitment! The very existence of covenant is so we can have intimacy, it always goes back to god looking out for our best interests!

  362. One of the points that PC made that really stood out to me is that relationships sometimes hurt; so we get afraid of going into deeper relationships. However, it is necessary for us to grow into maturity. A recent relational issue I had, which significantly negatively influenced me to the point where I became very hesitant in building deeper relationships with people, especially at church. However, I once again realize that it is an inevitable part of everyone’s life, which would lead us to grow up as a mature Christian. I truly believe and know that God did not create us only to love Him, but to love one another, which is the same notion of having intimacy with God and with people. Namely, love the Lord with all of you as well as love your neighbor as yourself. I’m glad that I can start a new chapter of my life with my dear fellow brothers and sisters at New Philly.

  363. Rebecca shin says:

    I appreciated the connection PC made between our walk of faith/relationship with God and our belonging to a church community. It is so true that as Chrisians, it is crucial to be in community with a body of believers to grow. In covenant, our patience, endurance, and willingness to be vulnerable are tested. We cannot simply come to church for a “one night stand” and be spiritually replenished but lack a community to hold us accountable to scripture and grow in relationship with. In the beginning of the sermon, PC said that “grace comes through covenant” and I agree in that it really is in relationship that we can be known, celebrate one another and live in the fullness of grace and intimacy.

  364. Seojung Ha says:

    I loved PC’s analogy of tithing with child support. Even though we understand and know what tithing is, like PC said everyone gets sensitive with money and finance so I thought it was a brilliant analogy for tithing. This sermon was easier for me to understand when PC explained how we make a covenant to have love relationship with God’s people. Because it is harder to make a covenant with people than with God. I think I could relate it to my marriage life and how it was easier to understand and agree.

  365. Dave Albano says:

    I like his analogy of being a farmer. I grew up working on lots of farms and understand the concept of sowing and reaping. I have often not sowed into the kingdom yet expected a lot back. I’m in a new season and I’m eager to commit and sow into the body of Christ with a family that supports me.
    I was fortunate to grow up in a church that preaches very similar to this exact message but I always rebelled. It is a new day and I claim it in Jesus name. Growing up as a pastors kid I often saw people leave the church for some very ridiculous reasons. I want to grow and be nurtured to true maturity to avoid cases like those. Now that I’m in Korea I know God has led me to New Philadelphia to grow deeper in him with others in this membership covenant.

  366. Stacy Kang says:

    This sermon really made me think about covenants. It’s not really a new concept to me, because my career in the military is based on a contract in that I have to follow certain standards, and a lot of the times, what I put into my career is what I get out of it (what I sow is what I reap, per se). I’m familiar with it in my job, and with it comes discipline which people are often in awe about. However, I am often finding myself in awe of those who are disciplined in the faith, and in awe of those who sow seeds and reap a harvest… Something I don’t believe I’ve done in a while. I do hope with the time I have here, I come to be disciplined and sow seeds here.

  367. Sarah Al Homadi says:

    This sermon reinforces and builds upon something the Holy Spirit spoke to me recently, God’s salvation is free but it’s not cheap (Jesus’s submission to death on a cross, the Lamb of God). So it is with intimacy. In God’s way, it doesn’t come cheap. Yet the way of the world is to pursue marital intimacy without the covenant marriage. Indeed I once read a comment from a prostitute that she believed men paid to neglect her. Not so with God. He calls us to a life of responsibility and accountability. In light of this, the concept of church membership becomes less of an alien concept (completely foreign and unheard of in my case ) and more of a response to God’s call to holy living.

  368. Sindy Montgomery says:

    I completely agree with this principle of keeping intimacy within covenant. We are truly living in a generation of people who want to connect and relate but desire to remain irresponsible and free of complications. This is not God’s plan for his people. He wants us to be intimate with him and his people. Growing up in church from a young age has allowed me to see both sides of this. There are many people who struggle to trust and share themselves with others. They want intimacy but become fearful of someone taking their openness and vulnerability and crushing their hearts. This is understandable, truly. But after experiencing true intimacy, the risk is worth it. It’s hard to open yourself in new surroundings and to new people . Beginning the process of membership fills me with anticipation and excitement at building intimate relationships with my new family members.

  369. Valerie Ng Hui Sze says:

    I’ve learnt that intimacy is kept in a covenant, and that means commitment and accountability should be enclosed by the membership covenant. This sermon has really helped me understand the importance of belonging to a community. Belonging to a community makes me feel supported and loved as the membership covenant calls for us to commit to one another. I was extremely blessed when P.Christian mentioned that the reasons for establishing intimacy through covenant in NewPhilly are in order to love on us, to celebrate us and to raise us up to our full potential in Christ.

  370. Sarah Kim says:

    Pastor Christian said grace comes in the covenant. He said so many christians give so little to God and expect so much blessing. I relfected myself and ive realised that i always try to give the least time and effort i can afford and wish to get more that what I give. This sermon will remind me to put more effort to get to know God whenever i feel like choosing easier ways to be Christian.

  371. From this sermon, i’ve learnt that we always ask for more than what we contribute. But in fact, we get what we contribute. We should contribute with sincerity.

  372. Ah Sung Yang says:

    As pastor Christian said, I realised how important it is that “baby Christians” should come into a family of community and be in a place where they can be nurtured and grown under the caring of spiritual fathers and mothers. It reminds me of one of my friends who I shared Gospel with but was not able to follow up afterwards and help her to continue to grow in Jesus; I feel I need to repent before God for my indifference and lack of love. Also, the sermon allows me to realise that intimacy belongs in covenant and also how important it is to keep intimate, accountable and loving relationships with each other in the community.

  373. Juanita Chan \ says:

    This sermon made me reflect on the commitments I have made to my past churches. I have never had to go through a membership process and realized that may have been the reason I had never found the spiritual family and intimacy I was looking for. The analogy of sowing and reaping was a great reminder that I can’t expect to receive God’s blessing day after day if I’m not committed in Him.

  374. Sarah Oh says:

    After listening to this sermon I feel so much safer and confident in entering a covenant with NP. The structures about intimacy that NP upholds is absolutely on point. You reap what you sow and being in covenant with the church, its members, and its leaders is what Christians are called to do. This was also a great challenge for me as someone who is very private and defensive, to let down my walls to be loved, reminded that I am in a loving community, and to grow through/with the community even with growing pains 😉 Also at the end about the laying of hands was a really good point and I remember what PC explained at the retreat last year about how the leaders know who can or can’t lay hands and it’s because of the church covenant he talks about in this sermon, everyone knows everyone because they are in covenant with each other.

  375. Bora Kim says:

    He established the covenant to love us and have intimacy with him. And not only that, to have relationship and intimacy with his people at the local church. We are created for relationships that include intimacy, and the intimacy is to be enjoyed. What I have been learning in the past few years is that Christianity is not only about believing but also belonging, and this means that the spiritual walk only works and grows when you are in community with other people. I can see this already through my community group. I think about my CG leaders and my connection coach who share their wisdom, love, time, care, and that shows how much they reach out to me. They keep me accountable to the word of God. I have experienced this through fellowship with my sisters too. As I have intimacy with them in Christ, they speak into my life as I grow. I also learned about the importance of water baptism. I saw it lightly as another optional tradition for the Christian walk, but it shows another aspect of your commitment to God besides membership as a public confession. Membership at a local church and its process is a foreign concept for me, but I am glad that this church provides these guidelines for us to belong, grow and commit.

  376. Jack Kim says:

    The meaning of intimacy has been destroyed by the culture. The Bible is trying to tell us how to have healthy relationships whether that is with people or God. Before anything, our intimacy with God comes from his covenant and his covenant is one of the greatest gift from God. He wants us to be holy, for he is holy. We need to consecrate ourselves to him so we can have intimacy with him. And that intimacy requires responsibilities. God is calling us to become his hands and feet, therefore, we shall love and serve God and others through church and through our daily lives. Once and for all, he gave his precious son to save us from eternal death, so now it is our turn to give our lives to him.

  377. I’ve recently renewed my commitment to New Philly, so this sermon was very relevant.

    My main takeaway was “covenant.”

    I think it’s important to note that I pretty much grew up at New Philly. I came in as an incredibly naive and reckless child, and as an incredibly naive and reckless child, I was all too eager to rush into various commitments. I was absolutely certain that New Philly would be my “forever home” and that I’d never doubt the nature of my commitment to the house. Then… I grew up. I started having opinions. I started having questions. I started looking at things differently. Over the years, my relationship with New Philly went through its ups and downs – much like a human relationship.

    After a period of intense skepticism, I realized several important things. However, the most important realization was that I’d, perhaps, never understood “church,” especially “New Philly Church.” Long story short, I did some research, talked to people, and did some introspection. After a talk with Pastor Marcus/Pastor Anna, I decided to start over with the community. After all, how could I limit God in the place where God so palpably dwells?

    I am proud to report that I am really getting somewhere with my relationships at New Philly. I am very proud of all the progress. I’m impressed with what intimacy can do (e.g. keep you accountable, expose your flaws, etc.). My campus community is becoming even more dear to my heart. It is, even with its imperfections, perfect to me.

    It is with a renewed heart (and tears) that I renew my commitment to New Philly. It is with gladness that I commit to building intimacy with my covenant community again.

  378. Chris Kim says:

    Intimacy Belongs In Covenant
    I really liked how intimacy was covered in this sermon as Pastor Christian said it is not just believing but belonging as well. Not only are we children of God, but also fellow brothers and sisters as well. At first I was a bit doubtful of the idea of taking membership, but after listening to the sermon, I have been given the importance of commitment and accountability. I am thankful and blessed for the loving community at New Philly, and I am excited to serve God and to be able to sow into the church as a fellow member.

  379. Grace Ng Chia Huei says:

    While I was listening to this message I felt convicted especially the part where PC mentioned “orphan spirit”. I realized all this while I’ve been going to church but I never really connect with the brothers and sisters in the church. Now I am clear that although as Christians we go to church for God but we were also called to have a covenant relationship with the members in the church for greater intimacy. I want to challenge myself to improve in this area and I understand the best way to do it is through taking the membership as a public declaration that I wish to be committed. Christianity is not only about believing but belonging!

  380. Chadol Lee says:

    This sermon was definitely an eye opener for me. From this message I learned how important it is to be committed to your church. In order to receive more blessing you must sow into your church. You don’t want to limit yourself by only being intimate with God. We as humans created by God are meant to be loved and to love. Without intimacy in covenant we only expect things to come to us without putting in the effort.

  381. Christine Kwon says:

    This message helped me to better understand the connection between the covenant that God establishes with his people through Jesus and the covenant that is established among his people in a church, or in a church that takes covenant seriously. I was moved by the reminder that God’s covenant is all about love, about God wanting to love me and have intimacy with me, and surprised and humbled and moved again by the realization that the covenant of membership at New Philly is intended to be a reflection of that. It made me realize that when I think I can have intimacy with God independent of his people and any sort of commitment to them, I am actually disconnecting myself from the very channel through which God raises his children, under proper leadership and care, into the maturity and purposes He has in mind for them. I am encouraged and blessed by the vision behind covenant and membership at New Philly, the vision to bless and celebrate and love and raise up. I’m also thankful that there aren’t just sons and daughters trying to take care of each other, like well-meaning siblings trying to raise one another, but also leaders who carry out the God-given roles of mother and father.

    • God works through community and this is great gift from God for his people. As a body of Christ, we help each other to grow in love and to mature in Christ. It is joy to see you getting connected to this community and establishing beautiful relationship in the Lord!

  382. Jeffrey Yau says:

    This message really remind me that how much you sow and then how much you reap. To me, I am not a good christian before, I did not do a lot prayer or participate in church surface. But I expect I can get a lot from the church. I know that I was wrong. Even sometimes I go to church is because I can see my friends in church but not to build a relationship with god. Therefore, committing the membership of New Philly is a great step for me to change. To build a good relationship or intimacy with god and his people. Because Christianity is not just about believing but also belonging. I really want to grow as a better christian in this church.

  383. Jaden Ho Hyeon Choi says:

    I’ve used to think about ‘covenant’ abstractly. Even I’ve focused on just ‘intimacy’ in my christian life. So, shamefully sometimes I went to church for other things : intimacy, receiving consolation, playing instrument etc. Although I had known that God does not want these things, I’ve accepted this wrong things naturally becoming insensible.
    As thinking about it now hearing this sermon, I recognize I’ve went to church without accurate covenant!
    Also, most important thing I remind again is everything in the church should be focused on the Lord not rational, emotional things people want to get.

  384. Thank for this good sermon. I already beptised. But I didn’t know church intimacy, and I wasn’t thinking of connection. However, P.C said, we are family. it touched my heart. So I want more intimacy with my Lord and church family, and I wish I’m in Father’s covenant.

  385. The Bible talks a lot about sowing and reaping. I always thought about it as sowing into your ministries or into non believers. And I never really thought of it in terms of relationships at a local church. God calls us to be in covenant with him and his people and when we don’t connect and have deeper relationships with people at our church we disobey God. Growing up in the states I have to admit I did grow up with the do it yourself mentality and I applied that to my Christian life as well. If I have an issue, instead of talking with my leaders, it was very easy to try and fix it on my own with my own efforts. In order to have that deeper connection with God we need to be open about our lives and issues to our community. connecting to people and being open to having a deeper relationship others. Pastor Christian had mentioned that some people grow up with a less ideal environment, and that leaves scars and wounds in their hearts. I believe that applies to me, it is hard for me to open up to people when I am fearful of being judged and rejected. But I know that in the house of God, there is no fear and we will always be accepted by our brothers and sisters. God has established a covenant for us to follow so that we can have that intimacy. Just like how we can choose to accept Jesus as our saviour, we can also choose to be under God’s covenant. When we do that and obey, we sow into our spiritual life. Listening to this sermon has really encouraged me to do that.

  386. Hyejo A says:

    What really stood out to me was “Christianity is not just about believing, but belonging.” I had a lot of frustration with not connecting with members of the prior church I attended before NP and it was mainly because I believed I was supposed to walk in my faith alone, and I did not want to re-experience the hurt I felt in the past. Therefore, I held a lot of people at a distance. Until I heard thus sermon, I never really thought about the importance of having close, loving relationships within the community. I’m really encouraged to be more loving even though it will be difficult!

  387. PCs analogy of the cheap consumer mentality stuck with me- church is not a place to give little and receive much, but I’ll have to admit that this was perhaps my mindset ever since moving away from my home church. Because I was so actively involved and committed to my home church, I didn’t think that I needed to be so plugged into a community that I would only be part of for a limited time, but yet my expectation was to receive as much as i could. Through listening to these membership podcasts, I have been really taught the importance of sonship, and acknowledge that I have been abroad and attending churches with an orphan spirit. God has indeed designed the spiritual walk for growth to take place whilst in community, with covering and submission to leadership. By becoming a member of New Philly, I am excited to, and committed to sow and to reap all that God has prepared for me in this season.

  388. In the past the main thing holding me back from being intimate with the church has been 1) time constraints, 2) spending most of my social life with non-church friends, 3) differences in background and attitudes toward secondary issues (non-gospel related). As I’ve grown in my Christian faith and made certain mistakes I do understand the importance of intimacy and commitment to members of the faith. Overcoming differences. Etc. because only Christians will hold you accountable and challenge you to learn to love the way Jesus did.
    I hope to grow in my ability to prioritise Christian friendships and relationships with people who are very different from me.

  389. I was one of the people who changed many churchs since I came to Korea. Even though, it has some reasons that I didn’t mean to do it, however I think one of reason I can walk out from my ex-church is because of the intimacy. I could find the place I feel like my home and my family. Anyway, I never think about having a covenant to become the member and to get the intimacy but after I heard about the message, I feel that all of yhe covenant is very important and it makes you feel the value and the clearness of becoming the members. Then you won’t take care for your membership like it have no value and you won’t say why the church never say about this to me before. And the last but not less I am expecting the intimacy from this chruch since I am in the covenant.

  390. Michael Ryu says:

    I’ve always struggled with committing to a church when I was in college. I would attend a church for about 3 weeks and then start to look for another church because I didn’t like the community or I felt as if the message was sub-par. I would make references and comparisons to my home church when church members would ask why I was leaving and would find myself straying away from the community and spending more of my time with secular friends. The way in which I went about seeking a church was wrong. I failed to immerse myself fully within the church and failed to partake in any of the community events. Then I would sit and wonder why I felt so distant from the community. From the beginning of the message, Pastor Christian brings up the point that Western Christians give only the bare minimum, but expect to receive the maximum. I was guilty of “sowing very little”, and expected to receive friendship and community from those I did not invest my time with. Moving forward, I want to give all I can do this church and to its leaders, because I’ve realized a lot of the mistakes I made from my previous church experiences.

  391. Mina Kang says:

    I have attended a small number of churches and I think I have always wanted intimacy with each of these communities. In the beginning it would obviously be a little awkward adjusting and getting to know everyone but as time went by I’d get comfortable and I would always reach a place where I wanted to be vulnerable and share with the community.
    I think the problem with me was that I was being vulnerable to people who had not fully committed to the church and would later leave, knowing my most inner secrets and this fact hurt me. Not only that, I was a fault also for always leaving these communities without letting them speak into me.
    The idea of the covenant church appeals to me so much because I feel that it means eventually I won’t have to struggle with this fear of vulnerability because this church will be tied to me and I to them and therefore there is no way I will feel like I had given my secrets away to robbers.

  392. Ryan Vogel says:

    I really appreciate this message from pastor Christian about the covenant. He explains the extreme importance on having a relationship with God AND community. For without Godly community we will never reach true intimacy with God. We can’t walk out our faith on our own. We need brothers and sisters to walk alongside us in this life of faith and dedication to our Savior Christ Jesus.

    I also really appreciated the passage he read from Galatians 6 about reaping what you sow. I’ve never tithed 10% on a regular basis. This has caused me to grow more and more selfish over the years. Money has definitely kept me in bondage and there are times where it’s all I think about. With New Philly’s tithing accountability it will help me focus on the Lords ministry instead of my savings account.

  393. This message hit home especially in the area of sowing and reaping. I definitely have been one of those people who sow in a little bit of prayer, tithe and attendance expecting bigger results.
    What I learnt from this message is that my mindset needs to change from being independent to belonging to a community especially if I want develop an intimate relationship with God and His people.

  394. Daniel Lee says:

    I think I’ve had a concept of jung as a value in itself and so it has been easier to bond rather quickly but not always deeply or wisely. Intimacy under covenant makes everything so much better defined and preserves the heart for the One who is most jealous for it. It’s really sowing into my sonship to the Most High that lets me have the grace to share from the overflow and not be shaken in my heart and soul when surrounded by some kind of noonchi or ungodly attitudes.

  395. Soo Jeong Park says:

    I have been questioning myself what hinders me from opening myself to people and community. I felt like the sermon has given me answers and explanation to these doubts.

  396. InnGee Kim says:

    Thankful that God gives us the gift of intimacy with loved ones. I also really appreciate how New Philly provides a safe environment to nurture intimacy with others in the body of Christ through covenant. Christianity is not about believing but about belonging.

  397. Jonathan Yoo says:

    My second time around, I am ready to make a covenant and I learned that some of the greatest blessings come from commitment. I know there will always be a separation if I do not make any commitment. Not because I want to “fit in” or “be in the group” but for my spiritual growth and possibly the potential to help others as well. Commitment is the way that I can not only grow intimate with the church but also with God.

  398. Jihyun Yang says:

    In here pastor is saying that if you want the grace of God to be poured out over your life, you need to understand that when you sow you reap. You still got to sow the seed. In our actual life people sow nothing. They just sow the minimum and they say “God, where is all the blessing?”. So before we blame God we should look back in our lives whether we really sowed. When it comes to “intimacy”, we really need to trust in God and open our hearts but sometimes it’s not really to do it. We need to ask God to let our heart open and see God. Like a child who fully trust in his/her parents, I hope all the doubts toward God will be disappeared. God made the covenant and he sent his only son for the relationship. God already paid the price for us to break all the obstacles to have intimacy so I want to once again step forward to God because of his grace.

  399. Beth Milka says:

    its really true that we need intimacy with other people in order to grow in the christian life. Because all of us are created just like God, and if we cant have intimacy with the other people then how is it that we can have deeper intimacy with Him. This sermon really opening my mind in order to have relationship with people and i feel really blessed by this :)

  400. Susie Song says:

    There were so many moments throughout this sermon where I thought Pastor Christian was talking about me! The idea of consumer mentality, fear of people therefore, only sticking by my close friends but most of all, lack of commitment to a local church resonated with me the most. For the past ten years, I wrestled with committing to a church however, one thing that has remained a constant within me during this period is my desire to grow closer to God; a deep, genuine, living relationship with God. Through this sermon, I have learnt that I need to truly let down my walls in order for this to happen. I need to stop treating church somewhat like a museum and sow into rich relationships within the church to allow people to hold me accountable to the word of God in order to reap and grow in intimacy, spirituality and maturity.

  401. My Phan says:

    Ever since I first started becoming a Christian, I have always attended church just for the sake of ministering only to God and focusing less on building intimacy and deeper relationships. When PC described how many Christians come and go to church like its a flea market, that was something that I went through. I have attended this one church for five years, but I had stopped coming all of a sudden. I realized what the reasons were after hearing these last few sermons. I never had any spiritual covering or had any deep, genuine relationships, which prevented me from maturing deeper in my faith. After hearing this sermon, I am ready to take on this covenant and receive any blessings that I may have through this commitment!

  402. Lydia Kim says:

    I’ve had the experience of being committed to a church community for an extended season and was blessed to have certain people I trusted to speak into my life from a place of relationship. I think this was only with certain people I knew very well and chose to open my heart to. Sadly, this was not always with the church pastor because I didn’t have sonship in my life back then. Then when I became a leader and sought to speak into other people’s lives, the haziness of commitment and lack of trust (on both sides) really hindered the intimacy I wanted to build with them. The meaningfulness of a covenant church and the clarity it brings, I think, really blesses both the church and those wanting to join the church by providing a safe relationship in which intimacy and growth can occur through commitment and trust.

  403. Michael Kang says:

    This was an important sermon for me to hear. I’ve been apart of a church for majority of my life – but still felt like I was missing out on receiving a full portion of blessings from it. What was missing was the fullness of intimacy of my church community.

    Intimacy takes two to tango. I can’t come to church and refuse to let people into my life and want to grow in love and intimacy with the church community. There is amazing grace – but Jesus gave that through covenantal relationship with us. I need to continually remind myself that spiritual covering comes from a deep intimacy within the community. Without intimacy with the church community there is no trust, no joy, no love and no protection.

  404. Mike Oh says:

    I think what Pastor Christian touches on is an ongoing move within our society toward a “consumer” mindset exacerbated by the growing convenience that is so readily available to us now.
    Especially those of us that are “city-kids” and have not had the chance to experience the physical manifestation of this “sowing and reaping” principals represented through a life on the farm or orchard. This is not to say “city-kids” are at a disadvantage, what it does reveal however, for some, is the lack of understanding of the “process” involved in getting from inception (sowing the seed) to final outcome (i.e. an apple at the store).
    This way of life cultivated in our society today results in an awareness of the input that is required of us, in order to reap much. So in seeking relationship with God and with people, desiring ultimately a meaningful love filled relationship, there is as much responsibility given to us as there is in the amount of love we receive. It has to do with the fact that love requires trust, commitment, honesty, protection,forgiveness, grace, mercy etc. All of which are things we desire in intimacy, but also are things that require commitment.
    It’s a two-way kind of give and take, as much as it sounds systematic, regulated, controlling, it is just the fundamentals of how intimacy works in covenant. And the true beauty of that, when understood, is when the “dull, systematic, regulated, controlling” vibes no longer remain but the truth of intimacy in covenant takes over.
    So the challenge remains and will continue to remain for the church, is how we address such a momentous mindset of our society and the unchurched. In a way that is not condemning or accusing, but done in a way where they are invited to join in. To choose commitment, rather than the empty joys of consumerism that’s in the world. I think it involves an approach that is deeply contextualised to the locality of each community, the culture, the people, the way of thinking and living that is so different from place to place.

  405. Niranjan Thomas says:

    I will admit that I have left a number of churches over my life time. Some have been because I have moved away from the area, others that I’ve no longer agreed with the teaching. But the majority have been because I just always felt like an outsider there. I have tried to foster intimate relationships but find it difficult to make myself vulnerable. And people tend to give up trying after too long. I truly tried to sow into these churches as Ps Christian talks about.
    It makes sense that the church covenant not only creates the intimacy that we all yearn for. My hope is that coming into a covenant with NP will help me to open myself up for this kind of intimacy but also that God’s grace can manifest itself in my life.

  406. Danielle Kang says:

    Listening to this sermon made me really appreciate the covering and covenant community that New Philly has. It really blesses me because I know that membership and the covenant relationship here isn’t just about formality or a way to ‘lock’ people down in a contract, but it’s about the real deal. It’s about having my life held accountable to God’s word, a commitment to spiritual growth and maturity, and walking out in health and wholeness. Furthermore, it entails growing as a son of the house and carrying the heart of the father, and entering into a covenant relationship with my community. It’s about loving my spiritual family in a place of commitment. In doing so, I am walking out a very crucial aspect of God’s plan and design for my life.

    Serving as a leader at my previous church and hearing about/seeing this covenant community at New Philly, my heart really yearned for the very same thing. Not just for myself, but especially for those whom I was serving alongside with or those I was leading at the time. I knew that there was something different about having a covenant community- The fact that it brought so much intimacy, but it was from a place of safety. Being a commitment that was made from both sides, I knew that it was something that would make so much of a difference in my life and with those around me. Not having this kind of structure in place at my previous church brought confusion and made me quite hesitant in who to reach out at times, because I didn’t know who was really ‘in’ or ‘out’.

    As I was listening to this message, it made me realise that I really am so blessed to be (soon, formally) a part of this house and it really excites me because covenant community is exactly what I’ve been hungering and longing for, for such a long time!!

  407. Janice So says:


    Intimacy belongs in covenant

    It was comforting to hear this sermon and relate to PC’s recognition that every person desires love and intimacy, especially in the Christian community.

    It was powerful to be presented with this in the context of the Gospel, that God wanted to enter into a love relationship each of us, through covenant and the blood of Jesus Christ. And likewise, as in the early Church demonstrated Acts, God wants us each to be in a covenant relationship with the local Church – to remain committed in covenant to love, even when loving is costly or painful; just like God is committed to us through Christ.

    It is definitely a counter-cultural message, where our world says to nevermind the responsibilities or commitment if we can get away with getting the intimacy of relationship without covenant. As demonstrated in the contexts of abortions, or adultery, etc. our selfishness in desiring intimacy without covenant has costly consequences not just for ourselves, but for other parties.

    This is a much needed message for the Church today, we can’t take on the consumerist mentality of the world.

  408. Eun Woo Hailey Park says:

    The society today teaches us to have intimacy without any covenant. As mentioned by P.Christian, through this belief, there are so many corruptions; abortion, promiscuity, prostitution, adultery, rape… Moreover, churches never addresses the issue of jumping one church to another, the need to build a relationship within a community and the importance to sow and reap. This message helped me understand the importance of having intimacy in covenant. The example of marriage perfectly illustrates this concept. In order to have “full” intimacy with your spouse, you need to have full covenant (marriage). Within the relationship, you become one with each other. Which means that you share with one another, encourage, and go through so many things together.
    You also need to have commitment within the church to be able to grow. God wants intimacy with us but also desires us to have intimacy with the community. He calls us to have a life of love and relationship. It is exciting to be able to hear about this teaching and to be able to be part of this house! :)

  409. James Bernal says:

    First off, thank you Pastor Christian for sharing a powerful and meaningful message. Listening to this sermon helped me understand the importance of being part of a covenant. During the last few months at NP Melbourne ive learned that growing intimately with the body of Christ, with His people really brings a greater aspect of Love. Becoming involved as a member of a local church is something new for me and also the idea of doing so makes me very excited. I believe its a great way to learn more about God and to continue walking the journey that he set for us in a intimate way. Pastor Christian mentioned that “everyone wants rich relationships when they go to church”, this truly highlighted to me about my experience as an exchange student in Melbourne and being involved with community group meetings, service, events, and even meeting with fellow brothers and sister in their homes. I have to say that I get really happy to meet with fellow brothers and sisters here at New Philly Melbourne and having the support from everyone brings a lot of joy. This message makes me excited to further grow my relationship with a local church and to really establish a greater relationship with God, His people, & to have a healthy spiritual growth. God is so good for establishing a convenant!

  410. Katie Wong says:

    Thank you pastor Christian for this message. I’m truly grateful and blessed to become a part of a church that takes membership so seriously. It is crazy how our generation and society dodges responsibility anytime it is thrown our way, yet we expect the benefits and credit that comes with responsibility. I never connected the concept of reaping and sowing with this but I understand it a lot better now. Becoming a member of a church is important because it is publicly declaring your commitment to God’s people. In this commitment to a church there needs to be intimacy not only with God but with the fellow brothers and sisters in order to learn and grow in spiritual maturity. These relationships are crucial for encouragement, prayer, rebuking, loving, and serving. God calls us into a life of love and relationship and I am excited to do that with New Philly Melbourne for the remainder of my time in Australia. I already feel so much love and encouragement from them and can’t wait to grow more this next semester.

    It was also a great reminder that I am saved through grace and there is absolutely nothing i could ever do or give to justify my salvation. He, a loving and forgiving God, established His covenant through sending his sinless, blameless only Son to die for a selfish dinner like me and chose to love me. Praise God!

  411. Through this sermon I once again realise how important it is to sow in order to reap. Our commitment to the local church is not just a formality but a covenant to God. We were given a covenant as a form of grace and we shouldn’t forget. I can remember the many moments where my spiritual growth was due to the community around me praying and encouraging me. The intimacy we have or will have is an important part of the spiritual journey and we should really commit to it with our church. I cannot imagine not having Intimacy with your local community. When PC shared about being negligent and promiscuous, I imagined how lonely and bitter one might become and eventually despising authority and communities all together. I am glad to be in a process of membership.

  412. I do like how direct the pastor is when speaking on this topic. I feel it is an easy topic for churches to avoid, as it can easily come off in the wrong way. But I believe the sowing and reaping principle is true in the church, especially as churchgoers want and expect to receive (good things) from their time in church. It’s not that the church puts a pricetag on what it gives, but it’s by design as determined by God that you reap what you sow. This is even seen in science in such things as the conservation of energy.

    The pastor touches on grace by saying the grace of God is delivered to us in the context of a covenant. This defuncts the view of grace that leads one to take grace for granted, and illustrates the importance of not taking things out of context. Covenant is filled with commitment. Where supernatural grace comes into play is illustrated by how one can sow a seed and reap 100 apples. But you still have to sow the seed. Sowing and reaping is a principle that is happening all around us, so it is somewhat odd that people tend to expect things without first sowing their seeds.

    God calls me to covenant, and when I am cheap with time/money, I am refusing covenant. This is a good point. Covenant leads to intimacy, and intimacy with the church is a huge part of Christianity. I guess making church membership official is one way to solidify this covenant, and I agree that it can address issues with uncommitted Christians who harbor an orphan spirit. It was interesting to realize that this “fatherless generation” is a part of why the spirit of sonship is to a degree missing in the church.

    The church’s desire to hold me accountable to live according to the word of God in tithes may seem legalistic and even questionable in motives, but I appreciate that the pastor is honest when he says the church does need my (our) money. There’s no reason to deny that, or even see it as a bad thing. It’s part of God’s design. As I am part of the body of Christ, we are the church, so I should be part of nurturing the church as part of myself, not a separate entity. Live according to the word of God is the greatest place of blessing.

  413. Jiyeon Yoo says:

    Covenant provides the safety for intimacy to blossom in its fullness. We’re in a covenant relationship with Christ through His sacrifice. Also, we get access to the full blessings of community by committing to a local church. With both cases, I can’t help but to be thankful as it’s not just me but Christ and the church have also chosen to commit to me. “We love because He first loved us. (1 John 5:19)”

  414. You Sup Park says:

    This message really helped me to understand why church hopping is not truly what God wants us to do. I remember when I was young, Deacons and leaders would encourage me not to easily change churches due to personal circumstantial reasons. I always thought it was just because they were selfish and did not want the church to decrease in number. Now I understand that full intimacy and relationship truly grows when there is a covenant, a commitment which enables the relationship to continue in midst of storm and good times. Obviously, this reflects upon how God wants us to have an intimate relationship with commitment to Him only.

  415. Intimacy belongs in the covenant.
    What a good good hearty message. Pastor Christian describes grace of God to being delivered through the context of covenant. He says that that covenant is relation filled with commitment. And that God takes covenant very seriously. It was through the covenant made through the death of Jesus Christ that my relationship could be so intimate.
    The covenant membership of New Philly is something very special. I can testify of the power it carries through witnessing the impact it has on the way NewPhilly members treat relationship. That commitment has been so real. And it’s been nothing but inspiring and motivating me to renew the way I view relationship and being committed to this covenent family. I’m really looking forward to learning and being built up to do the same way and really putting in my part to this commitment to the community

  416. Shannon Chien says:

    Intimacy is not something that we freely offer up to anyone that desires to take root in our hearts and lives. True, wholesome intimacy can only happen in the context of covenant, where both parties are taking responsibility for their actions. The church has set up membership policies so that it can have intimacy and a loving relationship with its congregation. I think this can also be applied to the friends that we allow in our lives. There are healthy boundaries for a reason, even in platonic relationships, and without a mutual dedication to vulnerability and trust, intimacy will not happen.

  417. Sooky Park says:

    Intimacy belongs in covenant
    This sermon touched my heart firstly because Jesus shed His blood so we would be in covenant with, and have intimacy with God. God loves us that much. God wants and loves us more than we do Him. I recently had felt the need to realize how much God loves me and this sermon was an answer to that prayer. Secondly the concept of spiritual marriage/covenant—not spiritual one night stands/promiscuity—revealed to me the importance of commitment in bearing fruit. The main verses were Galatians 6:7-10 and they started off with the “you reap what you sow” principle. It was encouraging to hear that 1 seed reaps 100 apples, and that when you live by the sow-reap principle it is natural to expect God’s grace and blessings upon your life. I had been looking for a way to integrate God’s blessings in my life and here was a principle on how to do so!  Thirdly the part about intimacy really hit home. Everyone craves intimacy. It is because we were created for love—true, deep love. I love the challenge “dare to go deep in intimacy.” It was interesting when PC mentioned 1 Corinthians 13 against the context that the church at Corinth didn’t know how to relate to each other. They were in immorality. So God, through Paul, provided a model—commitment/true love. Fourthly PC mentioned children. I learned that, at least for the children’s sake, intimacy belongs in covenant. When you have intimacy you have new life/children, and you need a safe environment for that child to grow up in. Fifth, when PC mentioned money and tithing I was reminded of idolatry. It is so sad that you give reluctantly (tithes) what you’re supposed to give. All in all I learned that intimacy belongs in covenant—for us.

  418. One Jea Lee says:

    It was a pretty straight forward sermon about intimacy in covenant in God. What God told me through this sermon is that the most important is to love God and love my neighbors, which I have often forgotten about. God is telling that the sign of me having the covenant as well as that shows me if I have love or not. One of the covenant that I made 9 years ago when I met those who suffered in Malaysia, Nepal, Uganda is that I will follow him and take care his children in this world through my job…This sermon reminds me that covenant that I have gotten, which is ” love my neighbor and give them all I have”. Now, I finished short journey in U.S… I came back to Korea and looking back a decade what he has worked on me and my life. He allowed to meet my friends and to have grace and mercy in his plan so that he can raises me in his very plan and with unforgettable words and experience. It is hard to remember his covenant with God in daily life and I often feel like know one is watching me at my work place and I dont need to share the love of God coz they dont know my covenant btw God and me…Now, I confess and ask his forgiveness about my filthy mine in him. I guess I needs both my prayer and his Grace, ecery single sec… When I face all those obstacles making me stumble, I need to realize to think and meditate what he has done and the covenant that I made with him. I don’t want to blame on Satan is working through me, but it is my weakness that I have to go back to ” fishing like Peter” and not pray harder. Sometime, I failed to love one another, and sometime God success to share to love of God through me. But, I think, through the covenant, God will make me to remember him and to ask his grace and mercy on every single situation and those who I pray for in every single time.

    Praise the Lord!

  419. I live in the generation that everyone doesn’t seem to find value in any kind of commitment or really care about it. It is always about me and myself and things that I do. If it doesn’t make you happy you would have right to avoid, turn your back to it, you have no obligation to do anything and that was also my mind set from time to time. But very ironically, we can’t be truly happy without intimacy. I like how it hit me in the sermon PC says you gain no intimacy on a deeper level if you refuse to make the covenant. And it is not just about your romantic relationship, but also with anyone because we are built to have those relationship with people. God built us this way to enjoy his love among us as well. And It ultimately gives you more security because you will learn how to love others unconditionally in the way Jesus loves you. For a long time I ignored what God says about himself and intimate relationships with others. I was a cracked pot but for the grace of God He revealed himself when I reached to the bottom running through all the water I held. Me and my life was messed up because I was missing what is important in my life. I am still on the process of learning to be vulnerable and obey His words in the way God sees responsibilities I was never willing to carry on. And only He can change my views and perspectives of the covenant he wants me to have with him.

  420. Miles H. Rost – Intimacy Belongs In Covenant

    My dad grew up as a farmer’s kid. He learned a lot about being a farmer, and helping out. When I was younger, I helped out on a farm and learned what it meant to really get into the craft. Farmers are intimate with the soil, they have incredible understanding of what goes into the soil and what comes out, the proper care and maintenance of land, crops, implements, etc. Applying to myself and my walk with Christ, If I cannot stick in one place and actually work to develop intimacy within a community, I become like a farmer who cannot stick with one crop for a season. I would instead be changing crops after sowing seeds, and that yields nothing in the end.

    The point that we desire intimacy with people is a big one, and it’s one that we understand to be incredibly important. Someone who has been hurt by “church people” in the past are going to have it a lot harder in the intimacy department, and I know in the last year and a half, my own journey toward intimacy with the community has been one that has been a careful exploration of people. Only in recent months has it become much easier to be involved in living life with people I am in community with. Without that connection with people, it becomes hard to truly sow in full. This is the lesson I have learned.

  421. Lydia Park says:

    As I am preparing for membership, this messaged has helped me gain a deeper understanding of our calling to become members of a church. The kind of spiritual intimacy that we need as believers can only be found in a place where people are willing to love and serve for one another. A place where people are intentional and actually cares about you and your walk with God. Even weekly gatherings like CGs are a way deepen our intimacy with fellow members of the church.

    It was very refreshing to hear PC shout out “we are a family here!” because in the time that I’ve been attending NP, I’ve witnessed the sonship and the family-like intimacy in this house which is one of the reasons why I’ve committed to becoming a member of this house.

  422. Lexie Okosa says:

    I really like this message because I really want to have intimacy with a church family. I actually wasn’t interested in membership because I was kind of afraid. In the recent past I have joined the membership of other churches really seeking a covenant relationship like the one pastor Christian described. It hurts a lot to put yourself out there and be unable to make that connection in a church of all places. It feels like rejection really. It’s less painful to not get my hopes up and not sow into church relationships. I was prepared to do that with new philly but I’m sure the spirit was pushing me to learn more about what new philly has to offer through membership and I’m glad that I have come this far in the connection process. This sermon is the guarantee I wanted that I will receive the intimacy I am looking for in new philly as long s I am committed to invest in new philly.

  423. Enoch Kim says:

    Intimacy belings in covenant.

    I thought myself that It will be okay to have a swallow relationship with peoples if I could taking care of the relationship with Papa.
    Means, I was also part of the many christians who didn’t consider ‘committing to a local church’ as a important thing.
    But now I know that’s one of the way enjoying intimacy without covenant and sowing just a little thing with full of hope for great blessing.

    Committing to local church & tithing & getting water baptism could be a covenant.
    Church is a family. We can have a healthy & deep intimacy under the covenant.

  424. Hannah Lee says:

    Intimacy Belongs in Covenant
    There were so many points in this sermon that convicted me of what I knew but did not actively live out. Meaning that I had the head knowledge of the importance of having intimacy in covenant, but did not have the heart knowledge of living out the truths of what Jesus created us to be. To belong to Him and the body of Christ.
    One analogy that I really helped understand the accountability of tithing was the father and child support. I’ve always “knew” about tithing but never thought of it the way PC explained in his analogy. Honestly, the idea of someone keeping track of my tithing was hard to shallow at first. But I now, especially after hearing this sermon, I am believing that it will break the spirit of poverty and cycles of worrying whether God would provide or not.

  425. Aaron Krumsieg says:

    This message is a great reminder for living the reality that a commitment to Christianity and the Church entails. There are even some parallels between this message and PM’s recent sermon series of “The Show is Not on Stage” and “The Church of Me.” Instead of attending church simply for the sake of receiving weekly spiritual nourishment, it is imperative that we enter into a committed two-way relationship with a local church and the fellow members/attendees of that church. There must be a degree of vulnerability with and dedication to our church family. Otherwise, spiritual growth is stunted and the church ends up looking more like a buffet restaurant than a family home. We must be brothers and sisters and fathers who love on one another — not chefs and waiters and customers who try to get something from the other.

  426. Benjamin Jung says:

    Intimacy Belongs in Covenant… Amen! It’s incredible to see how GOD has instituted the power of covenant to establish intimacy with His people. I believe that the LORD has been collectively using the past 5 months of Sunday messages, along with this one by P. Christian, to really highlight the importance of building intimacy with His Church, His Bride. I’m thankful that my wife, my son, and I are steadily getting more and more connected with the brothers and sisters of New Philly. I thank the LORD for each of you, and I’m looking forward to really doing life with all of you; truly sharing in our joys & sufferings together, as the Body of Christ. ^^

  427. Joanna Kim says:

    Wow, this sermon was so great in understanding the importance of investing and committing to a local church. As part of this generation that likes to choose everything based on its entertainment value, I admittedly also liked to “church-hop” and expect more than I give. I also thought it was the church’s “duty” to give without ever thinking that we, as individual members of the church, are also expected to sow dutifully in order to reap bountifully.

    This sermon also brought a lot of relief and security as I’ve witnessed the covenant at work within the family of New Philly and have been blessed and stretched by it in the short time I’ve been attending so far. Knowing that New Philly is firmly rooted in covenant makes me excited to become a deeper part of it myself as a member!

  428. LiamanaiaLealaitafea says:

    Intimacy Belong In a Covenant
    Member of the house plays a vital role in my growth. It allows my abilities to blossom to its full potential. A Spiritual family will guide me through my journey and hold me accountable to my commitment to the church of NewPhilly. I am realizing that my current path is exciting, but is just a portion of my blessing due to what I’m willing to sew. Submitting to God-given authorities will allow me to get understand my purpose in life.

  429. Robin woo says:

    I love the way that new phili approacha to resonbility of members. I mean actually the church checks whether the member comes to church or not, give the tithe toGod or not. This is kinda practical way to live as a christain.

  430. JK Choi says:

    Christianity is not just about believing but it is about belonging.
    I grew up in a Christian family having attended a Korean church in my youth. Not only was l unable to speak Korean very well but the people around me were much older so l could not relate to them. I never felt the sense of belonging, lacked any meaningful relationship and l eventually left. Not only is my relationship with God important but I realise l need to focus more on building intimacy with covenant within my church community. I am excited to be apart of this membership as this covenant community is what l have been lacking but seeking.

  431. rachel kim says:

    “Christianity is not just about believing, it’s about belonging”. As a child, I attended a Korean speaking church and I often felt lonely and disconnected from my peers due to language barriers. I had grown up believing that one must attend church for only God and not relationships. I remember feeling a sense of guilt yearning for belonging and friendship at Church. It comforts me to know that the feelings of belonging I had as a child is not sinful, but natural and accepted as we have been created for love. I look forward to growing in intimacy with God and the New Philly family by sowing my commitment to Christ and this Church :)

  432. Yeagee Jung says:

    Loneliness drove me to seek out love from a community, but being as it was they could not fulfill all the greedy need that I had and all the parts of me that needed filling. I admit that I was not ready for the giving and receiving because I was scared of covenant. In immaturity, I expected more and more, but I couldn’t be satisfied. This sermon reminds me that God called me to seek more in him through community and to learn to let the community be a vessel of love and stop thinking of it as the producing source of intimacy.
    This sermon also helped me to realize that i’m missing out on a huge part of the walk by keeping people at a distance. It’s hard for me to be in intimacy with a community because I totally am scared with being held accountable and being vulnerable. But God is greater and I am more than ready to commit to His people and to challenge myself to be open and to reach out to others first instead of just waiting.

  433. Eugenia Nam says:

    This sermon gave me the opportunity to reflect on the moments of my past where I have failed to apply the principle of sowing and reaping effectively. As a person working in the finance and banking industry, the culture of consumerism had shaped my values to priortise my gains and to ‘work smart’ rather than to ‘work hard’. However, through God’s grace and wisdom, I have realised that this worldly concept – which is common in the workforce cannot be applied in the church nor in my daily life as a Christian. Pastor Christian’s statement that ‘God’s grace is delivered in the context of convenant which is relationship filled with committment’ highlights to me that as a mature Christian I must be aware that my Christian journey is not all about receiving blessings but also learning to give and share with the church community. In particular, the analogy of the apple seed growing into an apple tree has clarified my understanding of how God’s grace works in the kingdom and has reminded me of how grateful I should be to receive His grace.

  434. Huihui Wang(Vivian) says:

    In the world of intimacy without responsibility, I found this message is so important to me. It confronted me with a lot of my wrong thoughts. I realized that I had been the person who gives little and expect to receive a lot from God. Through this sermon, God reveals a lot of things to me. Pastor Christian states, if you want intimacy with God, you need to have intimacy with his people. You want spiritual growth, you got to have commitment with local church. I was afraid to have intimacy with God’s people because I didn’t want to be held accountable. I wanted intimacy with God, but I did not want to have covenant with him. God told me through this sermon, intimacy belongs in covenant. It reveals to me that how important the covenant is in God’s eye. As a Christian, I have to establish covenant with God and his people. God doesn’t want me to walk my Christian life lonely. I have to commit myself to the local church and let them hold me accountable to live out words of God.

  435. Kasey JooHyang Lee says:

    “You reap what you sow.” This is a phrase that I hear a lot when it comes to relationship with people or the words/actions that you take. I haven’t given a thought about it when it came to my relationship with God, church and my spiritual walk. If I sow very little of prayer, service and offering that’s how much I will get back from the church and my relationship with God. God gives us grace but he also called us to covenant and relationship. He wants to have intimacy with me. I have to make the chose to live in the covenant and it is followed by commitment and responsibility.

    Intimacy has been a difficult for me throughout my life. So many mission teams came and left Russia. So many people came and left my life. I moved so many times. It was challenging for me to settle in any church. Intimacy was a scary thing for me. I wanted to have fun with people but not close relationship. However, as time passed, I realized I had this deep desire to belong and to share deep love with those in the church. This is one of the many reasons I decided to join NP. This sermon challenged me to not give up pursuing intimacy with God and His people. So excited what God has for me.

  436. Dennis Johannisse says:

    Great message. You reap what you sow, both in our worldy and spiritual state – I fully agree with that.I strongly believe that you should indeed invest a lot of your own time for the well-being of the community as a whole. I personally sometimes felt disappointment in friendship / relationships / bonding when the commitment did not feel two-sided and safe to say I think no one likes that. Intimacy through accountability and commitment is therefore always better. I think this is one of many in ways how God allows us to be a light in the world.

  437. Hanna Bang says:

    While listening to this sermon, I’ve realized that I was keeping people away while wanting intimacy at the same time. Living alone for a long time made me build walls around people not because I didn’t like them but because I was afraid of getting hurt when having to say goodbye. And this affected my relationship when it came to church community as well. I couldn’t stay long at my previous church because I lacked the “intimacy” but as I think of it now, it was I who did not open up. One of the reasons why I decided to be a member of NP was because I knew that God wanted me to be part of a community and be an active member not a passive member. I pray that I will have an active and intimate relationship with God each day.

  438. Katherine Yang says:

    Christianity is not just about believing, but also, belonging. I completely agree with the feeling to want to go deep in relationships but the fear of judgement always lingers and makes it hard to be completely myself. I know that through relationship and being intentional with others will allow vulnerability with selected few in my CG and the community which will lead to security and deep, meaningful, relationships. I love this message and the heart behind having intimacy in a covenant relationship. As I invest in relationships here in the family, I can be vulnerable and grow deeply and intimately which shows not only my commitment to God, but also to His people. Being a part of a local church and having accountability isn’t legalistic, but it’s healthy and a place to be ministered to and minster to others. I am excited to sow abundantly and reap abundantly! :)

  439. Catherine Koh says:

    This sermon really helped me to understand the importance of becoming intimate with the church community in order to serve the lord in the correct way. I was able to reflect on myself where I would go to church to recieve teaching and blessings for my own good and not thinking about sowing and reapting within the community. This sermon allowed me to gain assurance and confidence to actively participate for the church covenant and the relationships within the church and thus be able to walk spiritually together under God’s warmth.

  440. Kwok Hei (Otto) Ng says:

    I agree that we reap what we sow. Therefore, if we want to build a connection with the church body and God, we have need to be proactive about it. And I would say that spiritual walk will work better and grow faster in community because we can help and support one another. And I agree that intimacy belongs in covenant. And we should be part of a church community and be in a covenant. However, I would not say it is not the only way. Elijah was alone for a long time, but it does not mean he was disconnected from God. It is also like that we should be baptized but it is not how we are saved. We should be mix up between what we should do and what we must do.

  441. Ayeon Lee says:

    We are saved solely on God’s amazing grace but thr Father has called us to an intimate relationship of covenant that asks our commitment. The full package of this intimate relationship of covenant is not just between God but also with the people of God.
    This strong fundamental message has reminded me how intimacy and covenant are like two sides of a one coin. I had the knowledge in my head but it really spoke into my heart that His covenant is not to control but is truly a covenant of love.
    This word of thruth has started to shape my heart to be ready with excitement for the commitments to come at His church.

  442. Ella Radwan says:

    Intimacy belongs in covenant.
    This sermon reminded me of my years of struggle- on and off- with God. I wasnt raised in a Christian home, but always felt Gods presence throughout my life. Each time I “randomly” went to a church, a retreat, or even a christian concert, my experiences werent “okay” or just “warm”. They were intense. full of fire, and I could feel Gods presence in me and I always promised myself that I would “keep it this way forever”.
    Intimacy belongs in Covenant
    Now I know the importance of valuing and investing in a local church. Investing time, and being able to love Gods people. It was only when I started a relationship with Gods people that I was able to have a deeper relationship with God.
    After I moved to Korea I lacked this relationship, became a temporary “orphan” and this definitely had a huge negative impact on my walk with God. I am so glad to know I am not alone. I have a family who loves me, and who I love back. Building relationships which will bring true and lasting change in our spiritual walk.

  443. Deborah Kang says:

    There were a lot of things that the message I was able to relate to a lot. The two problems that were addressed states that people desire intimacy without covenant and that people keep a distant from intimacy from fear of getting hurt. It made me address the problem inside my own heart where I place myself in a sheltered and comfortable environment. I put in the bare minimum in order to receive a level of shallow intimacy all without the potential to get really hurt. This can uphold me to a certain degree but no growth or transformation occurs. Throughout my journey as a member, it’ll be tough to break down all my habitual tendencies but a spark of desire to change stirs within my heart. Throughout my Christian walk I hope to serve God through complete love and devotion.

  444. Chaelin Kim says:

    After listening this sermon, I felt that God listened my pray. I came back to school after two years out of the school.
    During two years I traveled place to place, and also I moved church to church often. So, I prayed this summer to find a church where I can actually belong to when I came back to school. I remember when I first went to the Emmaus large group, when I still not sure was I in a right place, he spoke to me “you are in a right place. I am very proud of you.” Now I believe Christian is not just about believing but belong.
    We should be part of one big family, and belong. Also, the key point is that to belong, I need to have relationship with others. I should have intimate relationship and love. After more than a month in Emmaus and New Philly, I felt I finally settled in a church, and I had a feeling to commit for this church. I look back and realize, it’s by people and relationship in the community.
    When I moved church to church, the missing was true relationship in church. I afraid to have a relationship. Pastor said ”

    some people they like to just keep two or three people very very close and then, they distance themselves from anybody else
    “, and it was me. I had been scared of relationship and being hurt, so I always kept a few people who I could trust.
    But, by the amazing Emmaus and New Phily, I am changing.
    Once, I went to a church also had some talk with pastor, but after two months he asked if I am a new comer. I was shocked and disappointed. But now, I am shame on me. It was not just because of him, but because of me. I always liked to hide myself not to be hurt. I always acted like new comer or guest at the church.
    I decided to belong and commit to New Phily. As pastor said “the way I related to the church back then is not what I am gonna relate to this church.”

  445. David Lee says:

    Sermon 2: Intimacy belongs in covenant

    I realize how this message is such a crucial part of my walk of faith. The sermon is in connection to the sermon on not going around naked, because “being Christian is not just believing, but belonging”. The fundamental connection between intimacy and covenant is shown through the institution of marriage, which is also a metaphor used to describe Christ and his Church. This was a revealing message that puts so many things into perspective in walking the Christian life.

    Another thing that struck me was the fact that conflicts could happen within the framework of intimacy, and that they are necessary for the maturation and edification of a Christian’s life. This is something that I’ve been struggling with, and this message commended me to not fear building relationships with the Church, which I realize is just as important as building up the relationship with God.

  446. Beatrice Chum says:

    You reap what you sow. It makes so much sense and yet I’ve still been constantly refusing to follow it – not because I don’t believe that it’s true, but because I’m so easily tempted into believing that other worldly things come before God. I’ve held back from giving all of my time and trust to God without realizing that in doing so I am directly refusing the life of covenant God has called me to.
    Community has always been tricky for me. I keep my distance with people out of fear while I complain about feeling a lack of belonging to a community because I haven’t trusted God enough to accept the responsibility of covenant. To put God in the centre of my life is to show commitment to His people. That is something I need to remember as I continue my walk with God – one that is not solitary.

  447. Jean Sung says:

    Since leaving the church that I grew up in as a pastor’s kid following my father’s retirement, I’ve been afraid and hesitant of committing to a church again. To me, church held a stigma of distrust and hurt. But New Philly has been a fresh breath of air in terms of feeling connected and covered by the Body of Christ. I love when Pastor Christian talks about being called to a life of love. When consumed by the worries of the secular world, it becomes so difficult to feel that love. God did not design us to walk alone in this world; He meant for us to be in intimate relationship with His people and feel His love through them. And it is significantly different to have God-centered, intimate relationships than have strong relationships with those who do not believe. Our lives are meant to be lived for the Kingdom of God and His Will. And we can only hope to strive so far without the intimacy of covenant.

  448. Scott Barker says:

    Covenant is not a word that we are so familiar with these days. In the world of instant gratification it can be a hard message to swallow. “You want me to open up and be intimate with a group of imperfect people God?” …. “Yep.” … “Okay you’re trustworthy.” That’s always my struggle in a basic sense when it comes to covenant. I don’t think that we should be ashamed or nervous about having those feelings though. It is covenant. It is a big deal. Am I ready to commit? Am I willing to open up? Am I willing to prefer others above myself? Those are legitimate and important questions to ask. But it comes back to, family is the answer. Jesus asks us to do life together. We are the body he is the head. An eyeball without a body is useless. Jesus teach me to be a part of a family. Soften my heart. Family, teach me to be a part of a family. It’s a challenging but wonderful commitment that I have seen God honor again and again.

  449. Kellie Teague says:

    There is so much I could respond to from this message! What stuck with me the most is really a simple truth that we all know, but this message made it so much more intimate for me. God wanted a covenant with us so he could be intimate with his sinful children, and so he sent Jesus. How humbling! How can I ignore this merciful covenant God offers me? I cannot simply expect to receive from the covenant without giving. What’s even more beautiful is that the covenant is not only between myself and God personally, but also with the church and body of Christ. It is not burdensome to keep my end of the covenant, because, as Pastor Christian says, we are designed to desire intimacy. I desire intimacy with the Body of Christ, and with God! I repent of not giving and seeking intimacy through a covenant church in the past. I’m excited to change that with New Philly :)

  450. Samantha Johnson says:

    This is a challenging message and one that speaks so clearly of what our generation is going through – whether it be the prevalence of abortions, adoptions or single-parent homes – we are going thru a time where it is becoming more normal not to experience ‘sonship’ in the way God intended. We have grown up in a time where it is much more common to be fatherless, and many people reject the need of a ‘father.’ As it was stated in the message, we have found substitutions and created coping mechanisms but what God is asking for me to do, thru this message, is to commit. I have publicly shown my commitment to Christ thru baptism but God is asking us to show our commitment to His people. This is the next step of my walk with Christ – understanding what it means to be a member of the church and to be committed to a body of other believers.

  451. Sam Johnson says:

    I found in this message the importance of intimacy within relationships defined by a covenant. That church is not just a lecture about the bible, but the home for the family of God. Where safety and healing happens with the intimacy of fellowship. This only works when there is a commitment not only to God, but to each other. We can’t expect to have rich relationships without a commitment. Even worse is that intimacy without commitment leads to dysfunctional encounters. Often a cheap knock off for the gift God intended through intimacy.

  452. Young Suk Moon says:

    INTIMACY BELONGS IN COVENANT

    This message reminded me of how critical it is to establish the covenant with God and constituting the right relationship with him, and how this is strongly related to commitment to local church and getting to meet people there. I want to make sure I execute this principle of ‘intimacy belongs in covenant’ not only in local church, but also outside the church even when I step off the service on Sunday. By establishing this covenant, I truly desire to know him and love him.

  453. James Kang says:

    In so many ways the statement that intimacy belongs in covenant is absolutely true. Yet it is so easy for us to desire intimacy without covenant or any responsibilities that flow from it. The commitment we make not only to God but to each other shapes and builds the church of God. I believe that new philly has upheld this principle so well so far, and it is definitely demonstrated in the tightly knit communities in every campus. I wish to be a permanent part of it by keeping this covenant.

  454. Harry Kim says:

    Whenever i meet friend and go church, i thought i was not rude to people to greet and used to get good relationship with friend but i may lost convenant. i think that made me set limitation to deeply and intimately related with church member.

  455. In the message Pastor Christian talked talked a lot of times christians today go to church go in with a consumer mentality. He compared it to a flea market. We give the least but expect the most (a little bit of prayer, service, tithing, with the expectancy of receiving a lot from the church.) It’s so easy to get into the routine of church and call ourselves a christian without actually having to feel committed to the church. Covenant is so important because it calls us to an intimate relationship with God where there is an abundance of blessings. In order to have intimacy with God we have to seek covenant. A commitment with God in order for us go to deeper level with God and to have sonship as well. That all starts with a committed membership with a local church, it’s a commitment to the pastors and the leadership who are his people but also with God.

  456. Intimacy belongs in the covenant…wow….so true that in any relationship, if either party can simply walk out without warning, there can be no closeness or trust. I certainly tend to want to keep people at arms length, but doing so with the family of God not only shuns communion with the Church, but with God Himself. And such intimacy must be a two way street – if I don’t give love and time, it simply wont be reciprocated. One of these ways i can give is through tithe (literally giving). Not having a consistant income, I never really took the time to sit down and determine what my tithe should be. Well, I finally did so, and I’m looking forward to putting it into action!

  457. Hannah Boehmer says:

    It was a good reminder of that being vulnerable is part of entering into deeper relationships. I think it is easy for us to fall into the trap of feeling that attending church is enough and that the relationships aren’t a crucial part of our walk. I think it can be an intimidating thing for most people, including myself, so it was good for me to hear!

  458. Jamie Boehmer says:

    This message was a good reminder that as a church we are to be spiritual contributors not spiritual consumers. The church does not exist for us, but we are the church and we exist for the world. We come to the church to be a part, used for his glory and that intimacy is only available when all members have a trust in each other to build one another up.

  459. SooJi Suzy Kim says:

    One of the reasons that drew me to New Philly was the intimacy of God’s family. The “rules and regulations” that guide the members, e.g. tithing, attendance, etc. foster real commitment to the church, and ensure a safe and healthy environment for the spiritual growth of both the new and existing members. One person’s lack of commitment and intimacy can adversely influence others in the community, and I feel that these somewhat “legalistic” policies are necessary to help the members really prioritize God in their lives. I hope to build genuine and loving relationships at New Philly as a foundation for my spiritual development and for the growth of the church in Korea and worldwide.

  460. Angel Jung says:

    A wise man of God once told me, “God will not tell one person the answers to everything. No one person is meant to do it alone. We were meant to figure it out together, in community.”

    I do believe in the importance of being intimately plugged into a community of believers. In my experience, one of the strategies the devil uses most often and most effectively is dissension. You see it in the church, amongst leaders, and it is oftentimes most blatant on mission trips. When you are in a covenant relationship with your church body, you are committing not only to BE intimate, but to CONTEND FOR intimacy. You are constantly fighting and striving to become more intimate and to remain in that intimate place.
    Intimacy involves so many beautiful things – all the fruits of the Spirit, in fact.
    It is not a “once and done” lesson. It is something that must be heard, then understood, then accepted and finally, actively pursued.

  461. A covenant with Christ is not a cage.

    What I understood from this sermon is that a covernant is made to not only protect you from external forces, but to protect you from yourself. Without and agreement or a promise, trying to create intimacy for myself or with others can lead to confusion and pain. As we were created by God we were designed to have intimacy, and when we don’t have that, we seek it out. But without responsibility or guidelines, our quest for intimacy can become a destructive force, so much care and reinforcement is needed. Many can mistake covenant as a cage, but it is in fact, a gift from God which protects us and guides us through development to achieve intimacy ultimately with God!

  462. Vivien Nguyen says:

    This sermon just helped me reconfirm everything I believed was essential in keeping a strong and going relationship with God. I felt that over the years, it became harder and harder for me to remember what steps I needed to maintain or grow my relationship with God, but after heard Pastor Christian talk about the necessities: water baptism, intimacy with a community, etc., it made me realize how important God created the covenant to be. God created covenants so that we can all experience intimacy and any intimacy without a covenant will never last long. This sermon blessed me because it made me realize how important it is for me to go to a church and be committed to that church, because that way, God will be able to truly bless me.

  463. Rebecca Kim says:

    From this sermon, I learned the importance of sowing the seed of covenant before reaping the fruit of intimacy. Also, as I’m going through the process of becoming a member, it motivates me to honor the membership covenant, just so that I can fully enjoy the nourishment that this spiritual family offers. The concept of “Intimacy belongs in Covenant” made a lot of sense when Pastor Christian compared it to the rights to intimacy that married couples get, since their relationship is built on a covenant. He also mentioned, that on the other hand, intimacy without a covenant in a local church distorts the mindset of the people on how they relate to others in the church. I see this as a church having a shallow and shaky foundation, thus in order for the church to build trusting relationship with God and its people a strong covenant between God and its people is necessary. I am blessed to learn that this church puts a strong emphasis on the essence of the covenant.

  464. Andrew Kim says:

    Lots of things to be reminded of in this sermon. The importance of intimate relationships between men and women being within the covenant of marriage, the need for people to love and be loved, reaping what you sow in church membership, accountability in following Christ’s word through tithing… Being covered by a community like was mentioned in the previous sermon requires us to try our utmost to live according to the rules set out by God, but also to give to back to the community we join as opposed to only expecting to receive something from it.

  465. John Palmer Moise says:

    New Philly is the first church I’ve been too that has taught on intimacy within the community, not solely on intimacy with God. At first I found the church’s focus on accountability to be rather intimidating, but I quickly realized that New Philly’s strength of community exists because of everyone’s commitments to one another and to God. In the sermon, I found his statement that “Christianity is not about believing but belonging” to be particularly resonant and to perfectly describe where my faith has slipped in the past – I have focused too much on the individual relationship with God and not on building meaningful, committed relationships among the community – I’ve never felt a sense of belonging to a church. In my time at New Philly, I will be sure to remember that grace comes in the form of covenant, both in my covenant to the church community and to God.

  466. Gavin Yoon Jonghyun says:

    I was in a lot of pain listening to the sermon “Intimacy Belongs in Covenant”. I cannot agree more on the importance and significance of a covenant and responsibility. It pains and aches my heart so much just to look around and seeing things outside the covenant. Be it in my field of studies, in this age where people claim rights and freedom of choice without any boundaries and responsibility and even my dearest ones. I don’t know what to do. It just pains me. As well as being intimate with the church, its members and people in my life with a covenant, all I want is to be intimate with God badly.

  467. Seung Chan Philipp Hong says:

    This sermon made me reflect my past attitude towards the church… the part that touched me the most was about how we expect something big to ripen when we didn’t sow much…for example we expect to be blessed and get grace and so on but we don’t tithe, we don’t go to church, we don’t serve to the church…and I was one of the “we” here, although even the expectation disappeared in the end. After listening to this message I found out that in my relationship with God or with the church there was no covenant. I wanted to be saved but I didn’t do much in order to get it. Although maybe I always knew what I had to do…but whenever I did it, I did it reluctantly. So what I feel like I need right now the most is my sincere heart to desire the intimacy with God and His people under covenant which will lead me to bigger responsibilities .

  468. Sarah Lee says:

    God calls us to intimacy with not just Him, but also His people. Frankly, I was a bit taken aback the first time I came around New Philly. Everyone was so friendly – almost too friendly – and I didn’t know what to do..but I quickly found out that it was through these intimate relationships that the people here felt free to be themselves and really get in touch both spiritually and emotionally. The part of covenant in marriage also spoke to me. I was reminded of Ecc. 4:9-12, a passage P. JM introduced to us: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” I think I was reminded of this passage because God calls us to be intimate with Him and also His people, and God is well pleased with such relationships. Although I’m yet to be an official member of New Philly, I’m already grateful for such a supportive, loving, and dynamic spiritual family.

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