1. Receive Christ as your Lord and Savior.
(from Church Covenant #1) I am a Christian, a follower of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, repenting from sin and believing in Jesus’ death on the Cross and resurrection from the grave. (Romans 10:9-10)
How to become a Christian... (See Billy Graham’s Steps to Peace with God tract)
ADMIT your need as a sinner separated from God. (Romans 3:23 & 6:23)
REPENT from your sins, turning towards God and His plan for your life. (Romans 6:23)
BELIEVE & CONFESS that Jesus died for you on the cross and rose from the grave, and that He is the
only hope of salvation. (Romans 10:9, John 14:6, Acts 4:12)
RECEIVE Christ as your Lord and Savior through prayer, inviting Him to control your life. (Rom 10:9)
2. As a believer, be baptized by immersion.
(from Church Covenant #2) I have been baptized by immersion in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as a biblical demonstration and witness of my faith. (1 Peter 3:18-22)
Here are some important truths that God teaches us about Baptism...
FORESHADOWED in the Flood & Old Testament (1 Peter 3:20-21)
John’s ministry of baptism POINTS TO JESUS (Mt 3:11)
Jesus was baptized because it was GOD’S PLAN (Mt 3:15)
In Jesus’ baptism we SEE THE TRINITY (Mt 3:16-17)
Jesus LED HIS DISCIPLES to baptize others (John 3:22)
Baptism was the FIRST STEP of being a disciple (John 4:1)
Jesus COMMANDS us to baptize believers (Mt 28:19)
Baptism was always connected with REPENTANCE AND BELIEF (Acts 2:37-41)
Baptism was always IMMEDIATE (Acts 2:37-41)
Baptism was always by IMMERSION (John 3:23)
Baptism is by a church leader, with a BIBLICAL understanding of baptism (Mark 1:1-11)
Jesus said baptism is a PICTURE of faith (Acts 1:5)
For UNITY, not division (1 Corinthians 1:10-17)
BAPTISM ALWAYS FOLLOWS SALVATION. (Acts 10:47-48)
The Ethiopian eunuch was EAGER to be baptized (Acts 8:38)
3. Agree to unite with our church family in our beliefs and covenant.
I am in agreement with our Statement of Faith (Baptist Faith and Message, 2000) and through the Lord’s help will serve Him by striving to live in accordance with our Church Covenant. (Joshua 24:14-28)
Why is a church covenant important to understanding church membership? Throughout Scripture, God’s people regularly committed to serve God together. Some Old Testament examples are seen under the leadership of Moses the prophet (Exodus 24:7-11), the servant-leader Joshua (Joshua 24:14-18), Jehoiada the priest (2 Kings 11:7), Josiah the King (2 Kings 23:1-3), Asa the King (2 Chronicles 15:2), Ezra (Ezra 10:2-5), and Nehemiah the Governor (Nehemiah 9:38, 10:28-29). New Testament examples are seen in Baptism (1 Peter 3:21, 1 Timothy 6:12), the Lord’s Supper (Mark 14:24; Matt 26:28), and church membership (Matt 18:15-17, 2 Cor 3:6, Eph 5:23, 1 Cor 15:1-11). Covenants have been part of church history (Pliny the Elder, AD 112 “binding themselves by a solemn oath”, Baptist history (see Charles Deweese, Baptist Church Covenants), and South Fork Baptist History. All South Fork Baptist Church members are currently held accountable to our church covenant (SFBC By-Laws, Article I).