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01-20-08 - Church Covenant_Church - Col. 1.18 - NSB

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What Baptist’s Believe, Section on the church, Herschel Hobbs – The Tozer Pulpit, Vol. II, Book 7, p. 23, “No Second Class Christians.” -


I have a couple of things on my long-term preaching schedule that I need to get to.

            One of them is the book of Romans and the other is the Church Covenant.

Tonight we will look at a little of both as we talk about the first paragraph of the Covenant and Romans chapter twelve, verses four and five.

A covenant is an agreement that is entered into by two or more parties.

            Generally, each party has some benefits and some responsibilities.


There are all sorts of examples in the Bible where people entered into Covenant agreements with one another and with God.

When you come through the front doors of this church, right in front of you is our Church Covenant.

            It is the agreement that the members here have entered into.

We all share in the benefits of it and we all share in responsibility toward it.

Basically what it says is that we have agreed to walk together in subjection to Christ, one another, and the teachings of the Bible.

What I want us to do for the next little bit is to look at the biblical foundations of our Covenant.

And let’s begin by looking at the first paragraph.

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, 2 to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour 3 and, on the profession of our faith,4 having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,5 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.6

When I read that first paragraph I thought, “Well, that is the makeup of the church.”

So, tonight we are going to look at some things that the Bible teaches about the church.

So, stand if you will and let’s read together Romans 12:4-5

Romans 12:4 - 5 (KJV) 4For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  5So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 

Let us pray…

There are so many misunderstandings of what the church is that I thought we ought to set the record straight.


            A.  A GROUP GATHERED TO GOD based on their relationship to Jesus

That is why not every assembly is a church.

Not every group that gathers is gathered in the name of Jesus.

And some claim the name but do not have the identification with the Jesus of the NT.

But WE are gathered together as body of Christ.


                        1.  IT IS GOD’S CHURCH

1 Timothy 3:15 (KJV) 15But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

It is God’s church because we are God’s people


God’s people only become His people as a result of His call.

What then is the church?

            The church is people who have been called by God and who belong to God

                        2.  SAINT SIZED

No matter how many members are in a true New Testament church, it is just the right size.

See, when the definition of the church is properly understood then it becomes clear that in God’s eyes there are no large churches and there are no small churches.

A group that may be small in number is just as much a s church as a group that is large in number.

Stoney Point and New Salem and Green Pond are just as much complete NT churches as Woodstock and Bellevue and Dallas First Baptist

                        3.  CHRIST IS ITS HEAD

We are autonomous but we do not do as we will but as Christ wills.

            We operate under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:23 (KJV) 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 

Christ is the head of the church

            Colossians 1:18

The church is built upon Jesus Christ

            Matthew 16:18

The church was purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ

            Acts 20:28

What then is the church?

            The church is people who have been called by God and who belong to God


You and I are in covenant to work and worship together under His leadership.


It is an assembly of believers baptized in the Holy Spirit, who have gathered in the name of Jesus Christ.

- Jesus is in the midst and the Holy Spirit is in every believer.



It is my contention that there is no way that a true NT church cannot have Pentecost power.

                        1.  PACKS PENTECOST POWER

Same Lord and Savior – Same Spirit


                                    a.  PERPETUATED BY GOD FOR 2,000+ YEARS

                                    For 2,000 years God has perpetuated the church.

We do not have the same people in the church who were in the church 2,000 years ago but there is a line of descent that has not been broken.

Just as with the race of man.

I was not there to sit around with the family of Adam and Eve but somehow, through biological reproduction I am of the same race.

            God has perpetuated man in that He has never just stopped and started all over.

Today they can take your DNA and tell you if your ancestors came from Europe or Asia or wherever.

Same thing with the church -

God has not stopped the church and then started it all over.

There are groups who teach that the truth of the church was lost and so they had to start their cult to find it again.

                                    b.  SAME SPIRIT

What makes the members of the modern day church different from the OT believers in God is the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Ekklesia was used in the Greek Old Testament to refer to God’s chosen people.

When the NT believers used that term to describe themselves it not only gave them a connection with the God of the OT but it gave them a distinction of being called out.

What distinguishes us from OT believers is that we have the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God in our lives.


So, same Spirit but then the church has Power because it is neither dead nor weak.

                        2.  NEITHER WEAK NOR DEAD

A Sunday school teacher asked her little children, as they were on the way to church service, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?" One bright little girl replied, "Because people are sleeping."

You and I are not just in a social club together.  We are gathered here as one assembly of the church that belongs to God.

Every church is a church of potential if the Spirit of God is in it.

A New Testament church is not a dead church and a dead church is not a New Testament church.

Some are sick – Some need to get the world out and let God back in.

Some need a Bible in their pulpit.

I talked to a fellow the other day who had moved into an area close to here and I knew that he was looking for a church.

            So, we talked and he gave me a little history of the one that he had found.

            He said that the people were almost at the point of selling but God filled the pulpit and is filling the pews and now that church is growing.

Every church is a church of potential if the Spirit of God is in it.

Every church has potential because the same God who worked in the church at Jerusalem still works today.

What has had such a dampening effect on the church today is a low level of spiritual enthusiasm and the negative impact of some very bad examples.

There have been some church leaders and others who have sinned and done some foolish things – I know that.

            But they have not done any real damage to the real church.

There was a little boy who lived on the Atlantic Coast.  He loved to build sand castles.  They were intricate creations that took all day to form and yet at the end of the day it seemed that there were always a group of bullies who would come by and do damage to what had been built.

One day he had an idea and before he started applying the sand, he placed a large rock at the base of the castle.  Then he built his castle on and around that rock.

The bullies came by and kicked as always but they left in pain.

There will always be attacks on the church but let us never forget that the rue church is God’s built upon the rock of Jesus Christ.

I know that there have been some in the church over the years who have damaged the church but listen…

            The apostles did not quit when they found out that Judas was not one of them.

What makes the true church strong is the covenant that we have entered into with Christ.

            Sealed with His blood – It cannot be broken.

            What sealed the church then is the same thing that seals the church today.


                        1.  HIS WORD

It is a wonderful relief to the person who comes to realize that they do not have to follow the rules of man to be a member of the church of God.

            We follow the book

            In worship

                        Acts 13:2-3

                        1 Corinthians 14:23

            In Prayer –

                        Acts 12:5

                        Acts 13:3

                        Acts 14:23

            In Reading of Scripture –

                        Colossians 4:16

                        1 Tim 4:13

            In Teaching –

                        Acts 20:28-31

                        Ephesians 4:11

                        1 Timothy 3:2

            In The Lord’s Supper – and Baptism

                        1 Corinthians 11:18

            In Fellowship –

                        Romans 16:16

The point being that churches are not static or passive but they are active and involved with a powerful potential to impact the world for Christ.

                        2.  REDEMPTION

The church that was founded by Jesus only carries on as people are born again.

The overriding purpose of the church is the redemptive plan of God.

It was the church that - Christ committed the keys of the Gospel to.

It was to the church that Christ gave His commission

            D.  A Building – A Body – A Bride

                        1.  A BUILDING

Building – the church is God’s building – 1 Corinthians 3:9

If we will but let the Spirit be the mason that assembles all of the pieces in the church then the church will be well assembled.

                        2.  A BODY

Body – The church is the body of Christ – Romans 12:4-5

That is to say that in the local assembly there is everything that is required to be a NT church.

            We do not need a larger body to complete us.

We are to have the unity that a body has.

                        3.  A BRIDE

Bride – The church is the bride of Christ – 2 Corinthians 11:2


            A.  RECEIVE

Our Covenant says that we have been led to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior.

That is to say that …

We came to have this covenant relationship to one another through our covenant relationship to God through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

So, the requirement that we have for people to be a member of this church is that they be born again.


John 1:12 (KJV) 12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 

Bailey Smith would say…

“Is that the Baptist way?

                        Nope – that is the Bible way.”

            B.  PROFESS

Well, in our Covenant we see that not only have our members received Jesus Christ as their Savior but also they have made a profession of faith.

Why is that in our Covenant?

            A couple of reasons –

#1 – we can’t tell just by looking at someone who has and  who has not received Jesus Christ as their Savior.

#2 – But the next reason is that it follows what the Scripture tells someone to do.

Romans 10:9 says that we are not only to believe in out heart but that we are also to confess with our mouth that Jesus is the Lord and

            C.  IDENTIFY

            Identify with Christ through believer’s baptism.


Our covenant that we have with one another is based on the covenant that we have with Jesus.

            He has called, collected, and equipped us.

When the church is in God’s will then God will work through the church.

Each one who comes into the church comes based on their spiritual experience and their own personal, Spirit led decision.

Perhaps you are looking for a church to join.  We would love to have you come and be a part of our family as the Spirit leads you.

Have you accepted Christ?

            That is the first step.

            That is how you become one of the Sons or daughters of God.

If you have not, can you think of one good reason why tonight should not be the night?

If you have, and you want to join with this body, we invite you to do so.

The church is a place where there are no second class citizens because each member here has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus.

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