Calvary Church of the Nazarene Huntsville, Alabama
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Membership as Covenant
The word covenant denotes a solemn agreement between two or more people as a group for united reasons and purposes. It is a compact or contract of agreed upon principles by which people are forged or shaped into a unity. In Christian circles, it is being shaped or molded into a religious unity as the people of God. This religious unity is manifested by commitment to shared teachings and lifestyle conduct or behavior.
From the beginning of His interactions with and calls to individuals, God=s purpose has been for those individuals to >come together= in a united front. It was true for the Jews in the Old Testament and for Christians in the New Testament. After all, life is not lived in a vacuum but in a social context as a community of believers. Even though answering the call from God must be experienced on an individual basis, it is to be expressed on a broader, expanded playing field. As stated in I Cor. 12:12-27, even though the Body of Christ is one, it is made up of many members, with each one receiving any of a Avariety of gifts for a variety of ministries@ (vs. 4-5).
As Christians within the Church of the Nazarene, we >come together= for group participation in the sacraments (baptism and the Lord=s Supper) and in sharing the message of holiness (that God transforms or changes lives through holy living). With a collective or community consciousness of shared beliefs (cp Manual, Part II: Articles of Faith, The Church, Articles of Organization and Government, and Amendments) and shared behaviors (cp. Manual, Part III: The Christian Life, Marriage and Divorce, Sanctity of Human Life, Human Sexuality, Christian Stewardship, Church Officers, Rules of Order, Amending the Covenant of Christian Conduct), we pledged to God and to one another that these shall represent our requirements for membership in the Church of God as it is fleshed out in the body of believers known as the Church of the Nazarene.
Dr. Morris Murray, Jr.
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