As those who have experienced the grace of a life changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ, we have the opportunity to reflect the character of Christ through the putting off the old and putting on the new. The Scriptures refer to this reality as “living by the Spirit” (Romans 8). The requirements of this membership covenant are no way intended as an addition to the biblical obligations of a believer. Rather, this document functions primarily as an accessible, yet non-exhaustive explanation of what the Scriptures teach about the obedience that faith produces. As a community of believers, we are to live as God’s own unique people marked by a unified pursuit of godliness. The writers of the New Testament exhort individual believers within as they live the Christian life with other believers in a faith community. As a faith community, all members of Bible Baptist Church are expected to commit to the biblical teachings summarized in this covenant.
- to submit to the authority of the Scriptures as the final arbiter on all issues (Psalm 119; 2 Timothy 3: 14-17; 2 Peter 1: 19-21).
- to pursue the Lord Jesus Christ through regular Bible reading, prayer, fellowship and practice of spiritual disciplines (Luke 18: 1; Acts 17: 11; 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27; Ephesians 5: 1-21; 1 Thessalonians 5: 12-22).
- to follow the command and example of Jesus by participating in the ordinances prescribed to His Church:
- By being baptized after my conversion by the immersion in water.
- By regularly remembering and celebrating the person and work of Christ through communion.
- to regularly participate in the life of Bible Baptist Church by attending weekly services, engaging in biblical community and serving those within and outside of this church (Acts 2: 42-47; Hebrews 10: 23-25; Titus 3: 14).
- to steward the resources God has given me, including time, talents, spiritual gifts and finances. This includes regular financial giving, service and participation in community that is sacrificial, cheerful and voluntary (Matthew 25: 14-30; Romans 12: 1-2; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 1 Peter 4: 10-11).
- by God’s grace through the power of the Holy Spirit, to walk in holiness in all areas of life as an act of worship to Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1: 13-16, 4: 1-3). Believers should strive to put certain attitudes and actions to death, while stirring and stimulating love and good deeds through the Spirit. Below are a few examples of actions addressed in the Scriptures:
- I will practice complete chastity unless married, and, if married, complete fidelity within a heterosexual and monogamous marriage. Complete chastity and fidelity means, among other things, that regardless of my marital status, I will pursue purity and abstain from sexually immoral practices such as adultery, premarital sex and pornography (Romans 13: 11-14; 1 Corinthians 6: 15-20, 10: 8; Ephesians 5: 3; 1 Thessalonians 4: 1-8; Hebrews 13: 4).
- I will seek to preserve the gift of marriage and remain committed to the covenant of marriage as intended by the Creator and taught by our Lord (Matthew 19: 1-2; Mark 10: 1-12; Luke 16: 18; 1 Corinthians 7: 10-11).
- I will refrain from illegal drug use, drunkenness, gossip and other sinful behavior as the Bible addresses (Romans 1: 28-32, 13: 13; Galatians 5: 19-21; Ephesians 5: 18; James 3: 3-18).
- to refrain from such activities that Scriptures would deem foolish (Romans 14: 14-23).
- to take seriously the responsibility of Christian freedom, especially actions or situations that could present a stumbling block to another (1 Corinthians 8: 1-13).
- to submit to the discipline of God through His Holy Spirit by:
- Following the biblical procedures for church discipline where sin is evident in another – the hope of such discipline being repentance and restoration.
- Receiving righteous and loving discipline when approached biblically by fellow believers (Psalm 141: 5; Matthew 18: 15-20; 1 Corinthians 5: 9-13; Hebrews 12: 5-11).
- to do the following when I sin:
- Confess all my sin to God and sins of brotherly offense to my fellow believers (Palm 51: 5; 1 John 1: 9; James 5: 16; Hebrews 3: 12-13).
- Repent and seek godly counsel and accountability that I may put the practice of habitual sins to death (Romans 8: 13; Colossians 3: 5; James 5: 16; 1 John 1: 6-10).
- Submit to the elders and other appointed leaders of the church and be diligent to strive for unity and peace within the Church (Ephesians 4: 1-3; Hebrews 13: 17; 1 Peter 5: 5).
- When I move from this church, as soon as possible, to unite with some other church of like confession and covenant where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.