What Does the Covenant Church Believe?
We are an apostolic church. We confess Jesus Christ and the faith of the apostles as recorded in the Holy Scriptures. We believe he authority of the Bible is supreme in all matters of faith, doctrine, and conduct, and it is to be trusted. “Where is it written?” was and is the Covenant’s’ touchstone of discussion with regard to faith and practice.
We are a Reformation church. We stand in the mainstream of a church renewal movement of the sixteenth century called the Protestant Reformation. Especially important is the belief that we are saved by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, not by anything that we can do. The Covenant Church is also shaped by Pietism, a renewal movement that originated in seventeenth-century Europe and emphasized the need for a life that is personally connected to Jesus Christ, a reliance on the Hl Spirit, and a call to service in the world.
We are an evangelical church. A series of religious awakenings flowered in Europe and America during the nineteenth century and provided rich soil for the early growth of the Covenant Church with our passion for mission. Evangelicals historically have been characterized by a strong insistence on biblical authority, the absolute necessity of new girth, Christ’s mandate to evangelize the world, the continuing need for education and formation in a Christian context, and a responsibility for benevolence and the advancement of social justice.
Our identity and call to serve Christ in the world…
For Covenant people, our essential beliefs are summed up in what we call Covenant Affirmation:
We affirm the necessity of the new birth. The Apostle Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17, TNIV). New birth in Christ means committing ourselves to Him and receiving forgiveness, acceptance, and eternal life. It means being alive in Christ, and this life has the qualities of love and righteousness, joy and peace. New birth is only the beginning. Growing to maturity in Christ is a lifelong process for both individuals and communities of believer, God forms and transforms us-and it is through people transformed by Christ that God transforms the world.
We affirm a commitment to the whose mission of the Church. The early Covenanters were known as “Mission Friends” – people of shared faith who came together to carry out God’s mission both far and near. Mission for them and for us includes evangelism, Christina formation, and ministries of compassion, mercy and justice. We follow Christ’s tow central calls. The Great Commission send us out into the world to make disciples. The Great Commandment calls us to love the Lord our God and our neighbors as ourselves.
We affirm a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit. The Covenant Church affirms the Trinitarian understanding of one God as Faither, Son, and Holy Spirit. The New Testament tells us that the Holy Spirit works both within individuals and among them. We believe it is the Holy Spirit who instills in our hearts a desire to turn to Christ, and who assure us that Christ dwells within us. It is the Holy Spirit who enable our obedience to Christ and conforms us to his image, and it is the Spirit in us that enable us to continue Christ’s mission in the world. The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to us and individuals and binds us together a Christ’s body.
We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ. The Apostle Paul wrote, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1, TNIV). This freedom is a gift of God in Christ, and it manifests itself in a right relationship with God and others. It is not a private gift to be used selfishly, but is given to serve the community and the world. For Paul, this freedom means that we are set free from the power of those things that on their own trend to divide. United in Christ, we offer freedom to one another to differ ton issues of b=belief or practice where the biblical and historical record seem to allow for a variety of interpretations of the will and purposed of God. We in the Covenant Church seek to focus on what unites us as followers of Christ, rather than on what divides us.
The Evangelical Covenant Church is a pilgrim church. Until Christ comes, we worship, serve, and witness so that the whole earth may hear God’s voice, learn of God’s love, and experience God’s joy.