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 the life of each Christian. This reliance on the Bible leads us
to affirm both men and women as ordained ministers and at every
level of leadership. It is the reason we pursue ethnic diversity in our
church and is the inspiration for every act of compassion, mercy,
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, NIV). 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 believers. God forms and transforms
us—and it is through people transformed by Christ that God transforms
We affirm a Commitment to the Whole 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,
Christian formation, and ministries of compassion, mercy, and justice.
We follow Christ’s two central calls. The Great Commission
sends us out into all the world to make disciples. The Great Commandment
calls us to love the Lord our God and our neighbors as
We affirm the Church as a Fellowship of Believers. Membership
in the Covenant Church is by confession of personal faith
in Jesus Christ and is open to all believers. We observe baptism and
Holy Communion as sacraments commanded by Jesus. We practice
both infant and believer baptism. We believe in the priesthood of
all believers—that is, we all share in the ministry of the church. We
also affirm that God calls some men and women into professional,
full-time ministry. The church is not an institution, organization, or
building. It is a grace-filled fellowship of believers who participate
in the life and mission of Jesus Christ. It is a family of equals: as the
New Testament teaches that within Christian community there is to
be neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, but all
are one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).
We affirm a Conscious Dependence on the Holy Spirit.
The Covenant Church affirms the Trinitarian understanding of
one God as Father, 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 assures us that Christ
dwells within us. It is the Holy Spirit who enables our obedience
to Christ and conforms us to his image, and it is the Spirit in us
that enables us to continue Christ’s mission in the world. The
Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to us as individuals and binds us
together as 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, NIV). 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 tend to divide. 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.
If you wish to learn more about the Evangelical Covenant Church or see these Covenant Affirmations at length, visit covchurch.org or ask a Pastor.