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DISCOVERY CLASS. Exploring Church Membership Session 2 “What are Our Guidelines?”. COVENANT ORIGINS. The “Tree Diagram”. COVENANT BEGINNINGS. The Lutheran state church in Sweden was sterile , academic & formal. Important Emphases. Evangelical: sharing the good news

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Discovery class


Exploring Church Membership

Session 2

“What are Our Guidelines?”

Covenant origins

  • The “Tree Diagram”

Covenant beginnings

The Lutheran state church in Sweden was sterile, academic & formal

Important emphases
Important Emphases

  • Evangelical: sharing the good news

  • Pietism: personal relationship with Jesus

  • Moravian: joyful & celebrative nature of the Christian life

The mission friends
The “Mission Friends”

They met in homes for Bible study and mutual encouragement

The covenant church
The Covenant Church came to America

  • Born in Chicago in 1885

  • It’s first name was the “Swedish Evangelical Mission Covenant Church”

Sister denominations
Sister Denominations came to America

  • The General Conference Baptist Church

  • The Evangelical Free Church

Covenant affirmations
Covenant Affirmations came to America

  • The Covenant is a life movement

  • We have no creed but the Bible

Common christian affirmations
Common Christian Affirmations came to America

  • We are an apostolic church

  • We are a Christian church

  • We are a Reformation church

  • We are an evangelical church

    • Biblical authority

    • The necessity of the new birth

    • The mandate to evangelize the world

    • Educate & train disciples

    • Work for social justice

1 the centrality of the word of god
1. The came to AmericaCentrality of the Word of God

  • “The Bible, the Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God, and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct.”

    "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3.16

The big question
The Big Question came to America

  • “Where is it written?”

    “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4.12

    The choice: to be shaped by the Word or the world

How do we know the bible is reliable
How do we know the Bible is reliable? came to America

  • Authority: the Bible was considered to be authoritative by Jesus and the apostles

The bible
The Bible came to America

Unity: The Bible was written by 40 different authors over a period of 1600 years in 3 languages by people from many walks of life (prophet, priest, shepherd. king, government official, doctor, tax collector, religious leader) on 3 continents, yet the Bible is one book that agrees in doctrine, prophecy, comments on Jesus, and its view of life.

The bible1
The Bible came to America

  • Documentation

  • Accuracy: historical

    • Nelson Glueck, Jewish archaeologist, “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.”

    • Jeffrey Sheler, “In extraordinary ways, modern archaeology has affirmed the historical core of the Old and New Testaments – corroborating key portions of the stories of Israel’s patriarchs, the Exodus, the Davidic monarchy, and the life and times of Jesus.” (US News & World Report, 10/25/99)

The bible2
The Bible came to America

  • Prophetic accuracy

  • Individual & social impact

    • Cultural

    • Inspirational

    • Moral

2 the necessity of the new birth
2. The came to Americanecessity of the new birth

  • We are separated from God by our sin

    • Isaiah 59.2; Romans 6.23

  • To atone for our sin Jesus died in our place, Romans 5.8

  • His resurrection from the dead

    • Validates his teaching & ministry

    • Gives assurance of eternal life

Accepting god s forgivness
Accepting God’s Forgivness came to America

  • “conversion” or being “born again”

    • John 3.3

  • Salvation is only through Christ

    • John 14.6, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

3 the church is a fellowship of believers
3. The church is a came to Americafellowship of believers

  • There are no solo believers

  • All New Testament letters were written to churches or leaders of churches

A the necessity of mutual participation sharing
A. The necessity of mutual came to Americaparticipation & sharing

  • The centrality of corporate worship

    • Hebrews 10.24-25, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

  • We practice 2 sacraments: baptism and communion

B we are a gathered community set apart for mission
B. We are a gathered community set apart for came to Americamission

  • The emphasis is on people, not structures & programs

C membership is based on confession of faith baptism
C. Membership is based on confession of came to Americafaith & baptism

  • Doctrinal uniformity is not expected on all points

    • Psalm 119:63, “I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.”

4 conscious dependence on the holy spirit
4. Conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit came to America

  • The Spirit is…in every believer

  • Produces the fruit of “Christlike” character in us

  • Is our guide to conduct, morality & truth

  • Points us to Christ not himself

  • Gives believers gifts for ministry

  • We can all have the same fruit but not the same gifts

5 the reality of freedom in christ
5. The reality of came to Americafreedom in Christ

  • Primary beliefs: unity

    • the Trinity: Father, Son & Holy Spirit

    • the divinity of Christ

    • the virgin birth

    • Christ's atoning death

    • Christ's bodily resurrection

    • the necessity of the new birth

    • all must repent & seek forgiveness

    • the second coming of Christ

    • the inspiration & authority of the Bible

Christians sometimes disagree
Christians Sometimes Disagree came to America

  • Secondary beliefs: diversity & charity

    • the gifts of the Spirit

    • the timing or mode of Second Coming

    • styles of serving communion

    • baptism: infant / believer's

    • theories of biblical inspiration

    • the role of women

    • styles of worship & music

    • types of church organization

Conclusion came to America

  • We are a pilgrim church

  • The time is always right to share the good news of Jesus Christ

  • Until Christ returns we keep on with our work, worship & witness