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 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, to 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 abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage, 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 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 or 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.
Analysis of the Covenant
An analysis reflects that the obligations of the Covenant are taught by the Scriptures.
1. The Spirit's Work in Salvation
"Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the LORD Jesus . . . " (Ephesians 2:1; John 6:63; 16:8-11; Acts 16:14. The Spirit leads a sinner to Christ in the sense of moving him through conviction of his sins in connection with the Word of God).
2. Salvation in Christ Jesus
". . . To receive the LORD Jesus as our Savior" (John 1:11, 12; Romans 2:4; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-10. A sinner, through the Spirit's convicting power, is moved toward Christ, not any system of good works or self-righteousness, in order to be saved).
3. Profession before Baptism
". . . On the profession of our faith" (Acts 8:37; I John 4:15; I Corinthians 12:3; Acts 2:41; 10:46-48. A profession, in some manner, is made before baptism; and, being Spirit-led, it signifies the professor is saved before baptism).
4. Baptism Divinely Authorized
". . . Having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 16:30-33; 19:1-5. Baptism is a divine command to a child of God, not the sinner. Anywhere the Scriptures speak of baptism being administered by the authority of Christ, the authority of the triune Godhead is implied, as the office work of the Persons of the Trinity is essentially related yet distinct. See John 5:30; Ephesians 2:18-20).
5. United by Covenant as One Body
"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" (Amos 3:3; Matthew 18:19, 20; I Corinthians 12:27. A covenant is a mutual agreement between two or more persons).
6. Spirit Leadership of God's Children
"We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit. . . " (Romans 8:14; I Corinthians 2:13-14; John 14:16; Acts 13:2. The Spirit, never leading contrary to the Word of God, personally aids the believer in his work and worship).
7. Obligations to the Church
a. Brotherly walk -- "To walk together in Christian love" (Acts 2:1, 46; John 18:34-35)
b. Mutual advancement -- "To strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness and
comfort" (II Timothy 2:15; II Peter 3:11; II Corinthians 1:4)
c. Growth of church -- "To promote its prosperity and spirituality" (Acts 2:41, 47; 4:4; I Corinthians
15:58; Philippians 1:27)
d. Loyalty to the church and her doctrines -- "To sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and
doctrines" (Hebrews 10:25; John 4:23; Matthew 28:19, 20; Romans 6:4; II Thessalonians 3:6;
Acts 2:42; Jude 3)
e. Regular and systematic financial support of the church's work -- "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" (II Corinthians 9:7; I Corinthians 9:14; 16:1-2; II
Corinthians 8:1-14; 9:6, 12; Galatians 2:10; Hebrews 7:8; Romans 10:15)
8. Obligations in Personal Conduct
a. A prayer life -- "We also engage to maintain family and secret devotion" (II Timothy 1:5; Matthew
6:6; I Timothy 2:1-2; Acts 17:11; I Thessalonians 5: 17)
b. Religious education -- "To religiously educate our children" (Ephesians 6:4; II Timothy 1:5;
c. Soul winning -- "To seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances" (Mark 5:19; John 4:28-
29, 46-53; Proverbs 11:30)
d. A worthy walk -- "To walk circumspectly in the world" (Ephesians 4:1; 5:1, 15)
e. Honesty -- "To be just in our dealings" (Romans 12:17; Philippians 4:8)
f. Reliability -- "Faithful in our engagements" (Romans 12:11; Luke 9:62)
g. Godly example -- "Exemplary in our deportment" (II Thessalonians 3:9; Philippians 2:14-15; I
h. Brotherly attitude toward one another -- "To avoid all tattling, backbiting, and excessive anger" (II
Corinthians 12:20; I Timothy 5:13; Ephesians 4:31)
I. Abstinence -- "To abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage" (Proverbs
20:1; Habakkuk 2:15; Ephesians 5:18)
j. Godly zeal -- "To be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior" (Colossians
4:12-13; James 5:16; Jude 3; Revelation 3:15)
9. Obligations to Fellow Members
a. Brotherly care -- "We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love" (I Thessalonians
3:12; Romans 12:10; Galatians 6:2; I Peter 1:22).
b. Praying for one another -- "To remember each other in prayer" (Ephesians 6:18; James 5:16)
c. Help given in time of need -- "To aid each other in sickness and distress" (Romans 12:13;
Hebrews 6:10; Matthew 25:40)
d. Christian courtesy -- "To cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in
speech" (Hebrews 13:2; I Peter 3:8)
e. Patience under pressure - "To be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and
mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay" (James 1:19; Ephesians 4:26, 32)
10. Obligation to Active Membership and Service
"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" (Acts 9:26-28; 11:19-21; 18:24-28; 28:30-31). Upon moving to a new location, a person should not delay moving his membership to a Scriptural church, if one is near. If he does not find such, he should seek assistance of a missionary or some minister in the organization of a church in which he can find fellowship.