Church Covenant: Teaching One
Introduction: The Church Covenant should be read and reflected upon from time to time, as suggested by passages like Titus 3:8. Today, we hope to discuss the first three paragraphs of the Covenant.
Read Paragraph One
Notice in paragraph one that the Church Covenant or agreement is among those who claim to have been led by God. The covenant parties have professed to being saved and being baptized. And they say that the covenant is solemn and joyful.
Teaching Points –
- John 3:16 teaches that we are saved from going to Hell because of the penalty of our sins, by accepting Jesus as our savior by faith. Make sure you are saved.
- Matthew 28:19-20 and Romans 6:3-10 support the idea of believers being baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptists believe in the trinity formula of baptism by immersion.
Because the picture is of dying with Christ and then being resurrected to live for Him, it should be obvious why Baptist disallow infant baptism. Live like a baptized believer.
- Notice that the covenant/agreement is among the covenant readers, not simply with God. The reason we can hold one another accountable is because we enter into covenant with one another.
Too many people do not understand the covenant relationship that comes with church membership, and some who do understand are not willing to comply.
The former calls for education and the latter calls for loving discipline. Some people would make better visitors than members, because of their unwillingness to comply with our covenant.
Proverbs 6:16-19; 19:1; Romans 1:31 all support the idea that not keeping our word is dangerous. What the NIV calls faithless the KJV calls covenant breaking. Keep your word.
In summary, the Church Covenant is entered into by baptized believing members of the church. It is a covenant/agreement among them with the realization that God calls lying and covenant breaking sin.
Read Paragraph Two
In this paragraph of the Church Covenant, we covenant/agree to do great things like walk together in Christian love. We said we would strive for the advancement of this church. Among other things, we agree to give cheerfully, regularly, and proportionately. And we affirm our commitment to a democratic style of governance.
Teaching Points –
- John 13:34-35; Romans 12:5; and I Corinthians 3:17 support the idea that Christians are to love one another and work together as a body of Christ. That phrase “walk together in Christian love” is pregnant with truths.
Notice our commitment to walk, as opposed to stand or run. The old must not stand still in yesterday’s traditions and the young must not run into uncharted territory.
Notice our commitment to walk together, as opposed to division. And notice our commitment to love, as opposed to either hatred or apathy. Let’s walk together in love towards the advancement of this church.
- Luke 14:15-24 supports the idea that God doesn’t want to be second to anybody or anything. To put God first in our affections means that the Masons, bowling leagues, Greek organizations, etc. should be well behind church/God duties. Let’s keep God first.
- John 4:23-24 teaches that God wants His people to worship Him. Matthew 28:19-20 supports the idea of teaching (see KJV) and baptism. Matthew 26:26-29 supports the Lord’s Supper ordinance. I Corinthians 5:6-7 supports the importance of discipline.
At very least, the leaders of the church must set an example of discipleship and no one should be allowed to act disruptively foolish in the church.
Titus 1:10-16 and Joshua 1:16-18 support standing against and disciplining trouble makers. II Timothy 3:16 supports the importance of Bible based doctrines or teachings. Let’s work on worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrine.
Conclusion: Let’s work on keeping our word/covenant. We would have such a great church and make such great positive impact, if we simply lived up to our Church Covenant.
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