The Dearest Place on Earth Part 5. What Is a Church Covenant?
Church Members are… A group of Christians who regularly gather in Christ’s name to officially affirm and oversee one another’s membership in Jesus Christ and his kingdom through gospel preaching and gospel ordinances.
What is a Church Covenant? #1. It is not a contract #2. It is a promise #3. It is a summary of how we agree to live “watch your life and doctrine closely” 1 Timothy 4:16
“If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight reign on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless” Jams 1:26
“We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands”1 John 2:3
#4.It is a sign of commitment #5. It is an ethical statement “A church covenant is a series of written pledges based on the Bible which church members voluntarily make to God and to one another regarding their basic moral and spiritual commitments and the practice of their faith” –Charles W. DeWeese #6. It is a biblical standard
What does our Church Covenant say? Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith having been baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we do now most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant one with another, as one body in Christ. To God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit we pledge our love, faith and obedience and covenant to live as Christians in our community and in our world, to be exemplary in our conduct, just in our dealings and faithful in our engagements; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Savior.
We also covenant to live as Christians in our homes, to engage in personal and family devotions, to teach our children by instruction and example that Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord; and to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances.
We further covenant to live with one another in Christ like love; to pray for one another; to help each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy of speech; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, gossip, and excessive anger; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation; to forgive one another as Christ, has forgiven us; and to minister to one another in compassion, sacrifice and concern as we share each other’s joys and sorrows.
We moreover covenant to love as disciples of Jesus Christ and to grow in His grace and knowledge, as we will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together; nor neglect to study the Holy Scriptures; nor fail to pray faithfully. We also covenant to contribute cheerfully and regularly with our time, tithes and talents to support the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
We will, when we move from this place, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
How do we use our Church Covenant? #1. We require all new members to sign it before joining the church. #2. We hold one another accountable to it.