The Covenant Family Fellowship is an assembly of Christians gathered under the truth, authority and sufficiency of the Bible as Godís word for His church (2 Th 2:13-14).
Godís word is truth, but the Holy Spirit convinces only those who have been chosen in Christ of this fact (Jn 17:17). The Bible reveals that people are hopeless sinners who need a Savior and that this Savior is Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit testifies in those who believe in Jesus Christ that we have been gathered into Godís family when we call out to God as our Father. Jesus is Lord because Christians have new hearts yearning to obey His commands, and are brought to repentance when they fall short (1 Th 2:13).
The Bible is authoritative as an infallible guide for the faith and life of Christians, although it is handled by fallible people. Christians should not impose Biblical norms which are intended for Godís people on unbelievers (1 Cor 5:12-13).
Scripture is sufficient in its directions for the worship, mission and leadership of Christís church (2 Tim 3:14-17). God repeatedly warns His people not to add to or subtract from His word (Dt 12:32: Rev 22:19). And yet, un-Biblical practices tend to arise in all churches and gradually become hallowed religious traditions (Mt 15:3-9). Therefore, the church must continually reform itself so as to conform to Scripture.
Worship by the church in the Bible takes place in the congregation, in families, and in individual devotions. All practices which are not given in Biblical worship should not be part of Christian worship.
Congregational worship in the New Testament and the early church consisted of the reading and preaching of Godís word, prayer and singing praise to God, the celebration of the Lordís Supper, and the collection of offerings for the service of His people (Acts 2:42). Congregational worship in the Bible included all of Godís people. There is no Biblical warrant for dividing His people into gender, age, or social groups for congregational worship and instruction (Dt 16:11,14; 31:12-13). It is particularly important for families to be together in congregational worship so that they can discuss the preaching of the word at home (Acts 2:46-47).
The family should worship in the home. The head of the household should spiritually lead his wife and children in Bible study (Eph 5:26; 6:4). It is the task of the elders to equip the men to be spiritual leaders (Eph 4:11-12). Family worship also may include prayer and singing.
Individual devotions or Bible study should be a daily part of every Christianís life, especially for single people. The church should encourage and assist its members in developing their personal devotions (Acts 10:2).
Mission, as Jesus commanded the church, includes proclaiming the gospel, baptizing new church members, teaching, and caring for the people of the church (Mt 28:18-20).
The means provided by the Lord for spreading the good news of redemption in Christ is the word of God. Only the Holy Spirit can convert a sinner. Yet Jesus assures us that His sheep will hear His voice (Jn 10:27). Church growth based on attracting people with programs and services not mentioned in the Bible may increase the number of church members but not necessarily the number of Christians. A church made up of unbelieving ďmembersĒ is hampered in carrying out Biblical mandates (1 Cor 5:1-8).
Mission activities and giving by the church to Christians outside of their congregation should be limited to areas in which the members of the church are of one mind. A loving church does not have the right to ignore or over-rule the conscience of fellow Christians (1 Cor 8:12).
The Church is Godís household. Besides worship and evangelism, the church exists to build up believers led by the Holy Spirit to better conform to the image of Godís Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. The church should care for members who are in need as those in whom Christ dwells through the Holy Spirit and as part of Christís family (Eph 2:19-22).
Leadership of the church is under the head of our household of faith, Jesus Christ. No one may assume powers in the church reserved to Jesus Christ and His word (Eph 1:22-23).
The heads of families who are the elders (presbyters) of the church have ruled Godís people in the Old and New Testaments and in the early church. Representative groups of elders may be elected as overseers of the church, and individual elders may be elected to preside in the assembly and labor in the word of God as teaching elders (1 Tim 3:4-5).
Elders rule the church under the word of God. They do not have the right, even for ďgoodĒ reasons, to make un-Biblical rules for the church (1 Cor 4:6).
Deacons are servants of the church and should not act as decision-makers (Acts 6:2-4). Deacons may carry out their tasks with their wives (1Tim 3:10-12). Older women who are widows and meet Biblical standards may serve the church in roles which unmistakably do not involve leader-ship in the church (1 Tim 5:9-10).
Men are encouraged to become leaders in their homes and in the congregation. Therefore, in the church it is the men who teach, exercise authority, and speak during the discussion period after the sermon (1 Cor 14:34-35; 1 Tim 2:11-12).
Return to the Covenant Family Fellowship home page.
Contact the Covenant Family Fellowship and request a list of free publications and a sample of our newsletter, Covenant Family.