The section on the church in the Baptist Faith and Message begins with the statement, "A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the two ordinances of Christ, committed to His teachings, exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth." Covenant is the word that describes how church members are connected. Churches affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention are covenantal in nature. The moment a body of people understands that it is the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, God has indeed birthed His church in their midst. The people then intentionally define their own covenant with God and with each other. A body of people in a covenant relationship that clearly identifies, articulates, and affirms the headship of Christ and the presence of the Holy Spirit becomes a church.
We, the members of Anchor Baptist Church, do hereby covenant with each other before God that:
As Christians we will:
Be as family; committed to love, accept, and forgive each other, sharing our time, talent and abundance for the good of all and for reaching the lost.
Toward members we will:
Receiving from members we will:
Invite others to pray for us, teach us, correct us, or rebuke us, if necessary, in a spirit of gentleness and humility should we stray from our Lord‚ commands. Because the thing we desire most in life is to serve Christ, we voluntarily submit ourselves to one another and to the discipline of the church. Such discipline will always be for the loving purpose of restoration ‚ restoration to fellowship with God and with the church and it will always be done in accordance with Matthew 18:15-22.
In the World we will:
Strive to extend the Gospel at work, at play, at home and in the community through word, deed and attitude. We will bring honor to the body of Christ by maintaining a good testimony.
We enter into this covenant because we have the common purpose of obeying Christ, and because we believe we need one another‚ help to do this. As believers, and disciples of Jesus Christ, we have entered into a covenant relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ‚ with the God who revealed Himself in Jesus. Since the blessing and promise of the covenant have been freely extended and given to us, out of wonder, love, thanksgiving, and reverence, we hereby accept and take up the covenant responsibilities that go with this privilege. This is our reasonable service and we should do no less. We rely on His grace and hold fast to His promise that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.