Rachel Nelson Soldier Enrollment
Good morning to you all. This next few moments of our service are very exciting. The enrollment of Salvation Army soldiers is an important occasion in the life of the person, today, Rachel Nelson, but also in the life of the Corps.
Enrolling soldiers testifies to God’s continued call on people’s lives and demonstrates that God has confirmed yet again the power of testimony - that one more person will wear the uniform of The Salvation Army and serve as a testimony of God’s work in their lives.
Bible Reading - Philippians 3:10-14
My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead. Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
The Salvation Army rejoices in the truth that all who are in Christ are baptised into the one body by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13). Therefore, all who wish to become soldiers of The Salvation Army and sign the Soldiers’ Covenant testify that:
– They worship God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. – They have accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord. – They desire to fulfil their membership of his Church as a soldier of The Salvation Army.
They affirm their belief in the Bible as the Word of God and their acceptance of The Salvation Army’s articles of faith.
They declare that:
– They will be responsive to the Holy Spirit and seek to grow in grace – They will make the values of the Kingdom of God the standard for their lives, showing Christian integrity in their deeds, maintaining Christian ideals in their relationships, and upholding the sanctity of marriage and family life. – They will be faithful stewards of all they have and are. – They will abstain from the use of all enslaving substances and harmful activities. – They will be active in God’s work both in sharing the gospel and in serving the needy, and will contribute financially to its support. – They will be true to the principles of The Salvation Army.
They witness that they freely enter into this covenant, convinced that the love of Christ requires the devotion of their lives to his service for the salvation of the whole world. And they declare their determination by God’s help, to be true soldiers of The Salvation Army.
Do you, Rachel, declare, in the presence of God and this congregation, that you undertake, by the help of the Holy Spirit, to live and work as a true soldier of Jesus Christ and of The Salvation Army, according to the witness and promises you make this day? If so, raise your right hand and say ‘I do’.
Rachel, we are going to invite you to sign this copy of the Soldier’s Covenant.
Earlier we read from Philippians 3:10-4 where the Apostle Paul clearly tells us that we are called to face the same direction - forward! He begins, like many great leaders do, with sharing his goals. Goals lie in front of us, meaning the only way to accomplish them is forward. He also concludes by reminding us of our movement forward towards the goal - which is promised to us by God’s heavenly call. So, today marks an important step in your journey forward toward the prize that God has promised you in His Son.
But this call on Rachel’s life is a reminder for us all, particularly those of us who are already soldiers. Sandwiched between Paul’s talk about goals is a challenge - don’t get overwhelmed by the details in the process. We hear this statement often - “The devil’s in the details.” No, he’s not. The devil’s not in the details, God is. Paul is so certain that God is in the details of his journey toward that goal of resurrection that he completely leaves it all to God and he just faces forward and says, like Isaiah, Here I am! Our challenge to you this morning, and to the soldiers listening - face forward and let God work out the details. Keep facing forward.
It is our prayer as your officers that wearing the uniform, testifying openly for Christ, giving prayer a central place in your life and home, stewarding all you have for God’s glory, all come as a response to His work in your heart.
Rachel, In the name of the Lord whom we love and serve, I accept your declarations and receive you as a soldier of The Lakewood Temple Corps of The Salvation Army.