Each time I meet with a small group at Berean I receive some very good questions and often a simple but helpful suggestion is presented about the covenant.
Today was no different.
In class we identified how important it was for church members and potential church members to know the church's articles of faith. Our articles of faith are available for viewing and download at http://www.bbcfnc.org/cgi-bin/gx.cgi/AppLogic+FTContentServer?pagename=FaithHighway/10000/3000/914BE/welcome
Simply scroll down until you see the hyperlink to Articles of Faith and Constitution and you can see this .pdf file.
In view of the importance of understanding BBC's Articles of Faith prior to voting on the new covenant, I will spend time reviewing each article from the pulpit on a Sunday night at a time to be determined in the future.
Additionally, I made a minor change in paragraph three. I changed "agree" to "promise" thereby solidifying the relationship between the three "promises" (3, 4, and 5) or commitments the membership makes before the plural "promises" in paragraph 6. See below.
This extended period of review and discussion is extremely healthy and productive. Let me encourage every member to pray and ask God to give us great wisdom to develop a lasting and profitable articulation of the church covenant.
Our goal is to develop a document or statement that will stand the test of time in so much as it is relevant to BBC 50 years from now should the Lord tarry. I know we are well on our way and want to encourage anyone with a question or thought to send me a note.
As a bond of unity among us, Berean Baptist Church
accepts for its members the following covenant:
1) Having been led by the Holy Spirit to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and upon our profession of our faith in Him, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we do now solemnly and joyfully enter into this covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
2) We fully realize that the strength to uphold this covenant comes from the grace of God our Father, the shed blood of God the Son, and the power of the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit.
3) We promise to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church's spiritual growth and unity; to faithfully abide by the doctrines and behaviors outlined in this church's Articles of Faith; and to give cheerfully of our time, talents, and finances for the support of this ministry and its missionaries.
4) We further commit to maintain personal spiritual disciplines; to teach our children the Word of God; to share the gospel with our kindred and acquaintances; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements; and to avoid all gossip. We promise that we will love and pray for each other and in times of distress help one another.
5) We promise
to endeavor to obey the commandments of our Lord Jesus and to abstain from anything that would cause our fellow brother or sister in Christ to stumble or that will bring reproach to the name of Jesus Christ.
6) We further realize that if we should fail to live up to the promises we have made, our brothers and sisters in Christ will always strive for our reconciliation and spiritual restoration. However, if we partake in a sustained and unrepentant violation of an Article of Faith, we will be brought under church discipline in accordance with the Church Constitution.
7) We make this covenant with each other for the express purpose of glorifying God as the visible representation of the body of Christ.