The Baptist Church Covenant
Deut. 6:6,7; Ps. 132:12, Jer. 11:2-6, Heb. 8:6-15
The voluntary agreement to meet regularly for worship and work is commonly called a “Church Covenant.” This covenant entered into by members of this Baptist church, is whereby they promise to conduct their lives in such a way as to glorify God and promote the ongoing of His church. The word ‘‘covenant” means agreement. This covenant is in writing lest some misunderstand the terms. This covenant entered into is the organization of the church. Every member should study it carefully and refer to it often and seek to live up to it, for it clearly outlines the obligations of church membership.
The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest institution that the world has ever known. Christ established it during His personal ministry and is its Head (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18). To it He gave the commission and the ordinances, and for it He went to the cross (Matt. 28:19-20; 1Cor. ll:23-26; Eph. 5:25). He loved the church and wants His churches to honor and glorify Him as His representatives on the earth (Eph. 5:25-27; Eph. 3:21).
The Lord’s churches have the greatest task ever assigned to any individual or group in the world’s history, the task of carrying the glorious gospel of Christ the Saviour to every nation and tongue. We see then, that we have a great privilege in being members of Baptist churches.
Membership places upon us inescapable obligations: an obligation to make the church and its work first in our lives; an obligation to use our time and our talents for the glory of God; an obligation to support the work with our presence, our talents, our influence and our means. Churches are never stronger than their membership. We are under obligation to be the very best members possible under the leading of the Lord.
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 of, and use of, destructive drugs or intoxicating drinks as a beverage; to shun pornography; 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 offence, 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.
Salvation and Baptism (John 1:11-12; Matt. 28:19-20).
Be sure that you are born again. Certainly you can not grow as a Christian if you are not one. We are born again (saved, redeemed, a child of God, passed from death unto life, related to God, etc.) when we repent of our sins and believe in Christ as our own personal Saviour. Have a know-so salvation. Be sure that you have scriptural baptism from one of the Lord's churches.
Duties to the Church.
1. To walk together in Christian love (John 13:34-35). You have a new Father and elder Brother and family of the saints. They should come first with us before any earthly relationship.
2. To strive for the advancement of this church, and promote its prosperity and spirituality (Phil. 1:27; 2Tim. 2:15; 2Cor. 7:1; 2Pet. 3:11). Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it and wants us to love it and give ourselves to it.
3. To sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrine (Heb. 10:25; Matt. 28:19; 1Cor. 11:23-26; Jude 3). Attend all the services of the church. Go to work in the church.
4. To contribute cheerfully and regularly (1Cor. 16:2; 2Cor. 9:6-8). Be honest toward God in money matters. One-tenth of every Christian's income belongs to God.
5. To move our membership when we move and be active in church work wherever we live (Acts 11:9-21; Acts 18:24-28).
Duties in Personal Christian Living.
1. To maintain family and secret devotion (1Thess. 5:17; Acts 17:11). Cultivate the devotional life through Bible study and prayer. Pray daily. Pray about everything. Pray as you work. Establish a time and place for the family to gather together for Bible reading and prayer.
2. To religiously educate our children (2Tim. 3:15; Deut. 6:4-7).
3. To seek the salvation of the lost (Acts 1:8; Matt. 4:19; Ps. 126:4-6; Prov. 11:30). The greatest work in the world is soul winning and every Christian can and should bring others to the Saviour.
4. To walk circumspectly in the world, and to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and exemplary in our deportment (Eph. 5:15; Phil 2:14-15; 1Pet. 2:11-12). Exercise self control.
5. To avoid gossip and excessive anger (Eph. 4:31; 1Pet. 2:21; Col. 5:8; James 5:1-14).
6. To abstain from sale or use of alcohol as a beverage (Eph. 5:18).
7. To be zealous in our efforts for Christ (Tit. 2:14).
Duties to Fellow Members.
1. To watch over one another in love (1Pet. 1:22). Make much of Christian fellowship. Let your closest friendships be with other Christians.
2. To pray for one another (James 5:16).
3. To aid in sickness and distress (Gal. 6:2; James 2:1-18).
4. To cultivate sympathy and courtesy (1Pet. 5:8).
5. To be slow to take offense. Always be ready for reconciliation. Don’t hold grudges. (Eph. 4:30-32).
6. Lastly, seek the counsel and help of your pastor (Acts 20:17-21). He is one of the best friends you can have. Confide in him. Pray for him. Work with him.