Quick overview of covenant affirmations
The following is a quick overview of these affirmations. A more complete review of the Covenant Affirmations have been published by the ECC in a couple of formats: Complete Booklet or Brief Form.
We affirm the centrality of the word of God:
- We believe the bible is the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct. The dynamic, transforming power of the word of God directs the church and shapes the life of each Christian.
We affirm the necessity of the new birth:
- New birth in Jesus Christ is essential and it is more than the experience of forgiveness and acceptance. It is regeneration and the gift of eternal life. On the resulting journey of being transformed by the Holy Spirit into Christ's likeness, God's people experience and express love for God and others.
We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the church:
- The Covenant Church seeks to hold together proclamation and compassion, personal witness and social justice, service and stewardship in all areas of life. The work of mission includes evangelism and Christian formation, as well as the benevolent ministries of compassion and justice in the face of suffering and oppression.
We affirm the church as a fellowship of believers:
- The church is a grace-filled fellowship of active participation, through the Holy Spirit, in the life and mission of Christ.
- We observe baptism and Holy Communion as sacraments commanded by Jesus. We practice both infant and believer baptism. We affirm God calls some men and some women into professional, full-time ministry.
We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit:
- The Covenant Church emphasizes the continuing work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is alive and active, working through preaching, the sacraments, the Scriptures, and in the witness of one another. The Holy Spirit bestows believers with spiritual gifts to serve the Christian community.
- It is the Holy Spirit who instills in our hearts a desire to turn to Christ, and who assures us that Christ dwells within us. We believe that the Holy Spirit, in concert with our obedience, conforms us to the image of Christ.
We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ:
- Jesus came to set us free from the power of sin to condemn, control and destroy, but this freedom is never simply personal and individualistic. Authentic freedom manifests itself in a right relationship with God and others.
- As a Covenant Church, the center of our commitment is a clear faith in Jesus Christ. These Covenant affirmations form the parameters in which freedom is experienced. These commitments, including commitments to the Bible as the word of God and the historical interpretative consensus of the Christian church, have remained constants of the Covenant Church.
- United in Christ, we offer freedom to one another to differ on issues of belief or practice where the biblical and historical record seems to allow for a variety of interpretations of the will and purposes of God. We in the Covenant Church seek to focus on what unites us as followers of Christ, rather than on what divides us.