Summary: This is part one of a series dealing with the church covenant used by most baptist churches. We seek to answer the question: What is required of church members ?
Church Covenant: What Is Required Of Church Members ? Part 1
1 Cor. 12:18-27 ,Acts 11:25-26
1Co 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 1Co 12:19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 1Co 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 1Co 12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 1Co 12:22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 1Co 12:23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 1Co 12:24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 1Co 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 1Co 12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 1Co 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Congregation stand and read covenant:
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotion; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drink as a beverage, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Saviour.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Saviour, to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that, when we remove from this place, we will 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.
What is a covenant ? A mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons, to do or to forbear some act or thing; a contract; stipulation. In church affairs, a solemn agreement between members of a church that they will walk together according to the precepts of the gospel in brotherly affection.
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, Ryan, 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. "If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ’Let my brother have the first pancake. I can wait.’" Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, "Ryan, you be Jesus!"
The covenant that we have just read is the covenant for most every baptist church. It is the covenant of The Rock Baptist Church ! And if this is the covenant of this church, then we should abide by it. We should be responsible to it, and accountable to each other !
Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at scripture, and at this covenant, to see what is required of the members of this according to the word of God, and the churchs covenant.
This morning I want us to look at the first paragraph.
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and on the profession of our faith having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, we do now, in the presence of God, angels and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.