The Church Covenant
This morning I said that the Church Covenant in your bulletin is an “oath” that is made between believers of Westview Baptist Church with God and one another to grow in our relationship with Him and one another through the various Christian practices mentioned in it.
That covenant is not worth the paper it is written on if the “Quality of our Character” never intends to grow in it!
So I want us to look tonight at our Church Covenant and understand it’s purpose.
Having been led as we believe by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now in the presence of God 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, doctrines, and discipline; 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 devotions; 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 gossip, backbiting, and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale of and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage to use our influence to combat the abuse of drugs and the spread of pornography; and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior 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 church covenant and why do we need one? We have the Bible why do we need this piece of paper?
A church covenant is a promise/oath made to God, to a local church, and to one’s self.
A church covenant is a summary of how we agree to live as a Christian. More importantly, it is a summary of how God would have us live. It does not include every command regarding obedience, but it does give a general idea of what it means to live as a disciple of Christ.
A church covenant is a sign of commitment – a commitment to God, to His church family, and to personal holiness.
Paragraph #1; This covenant is made by and between baptized believer’s of the family of faith. Family is relational. The purpose of this covenant is commitment, not to establish an institution, but to grow in our relationship with one another in Christ.
18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
Paragraph #2; Promise to Church Family
To walk in the Spirit
To be diligent to present ourselves approved to God by rightly dividing the word of truth
To promote the Christian life [Salt Life/Loving and living Salt Life to the Fullest] in worship, ordinances [baptism/communion], teaching, discipline, giving, ministry to the needy and above all evangelism.
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Any ability we have to fulfill the promises of this covenant must be attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit! This means first that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, and secondly, that we should have no reason to be proud of any spiritual success in our lives. God gets all the credit and all the glory.
Paragraph #3; Promise of our Private/Public Family Life
Private; We will not neglect the worship and teaching of God in our homes and among our family. It is in the home where the child should learn of salvation in Christ. The church family is there to aid in that process.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
Public; We need to be careful to practice what we preach to the world. Every Christian must guard how he lives and works in the world so as not to bring shame or reproach on Christ and his church.
15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
Righteous living, privately and publicly, will lead to opportunities to share the gospel with the lost in order to “win their souls.”
Paragraph #4; Promise to Care for One Another
Parents care for their children to secure their physical and spiritual health. And as the family of God, we are to care for one another to secure and promote our spiritual, emotional and physical health.
25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
Paragraph #5; Benediction
If God so chooses to plant us somewhere else, then we are to unite with His family there and continue to grow with them.
Remember this morning when Jesus says “let your Yes’ be Yes’ and your No’, No’.”
He is reminding us as christians, that the “Quality of Our Character” is everything!
Remember that a church covenant is a summary of how we agree to live as a Christian. More importantly, it is a summary of how God would have us live. It does not include every command regarding obedience, but it does give a general idea of what it means to live as a disciple of Christ.
Luke 9:23 (NKJV)
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.