Building on a Foundation of Faith
The Evangelical Covenant Church seeks to form and nurture communities that are deeply committed to Jesus Christ and passionately engaged in Christ’s mission in the world.
The purpose of Covenant Affirmations is to make clear the values and principles that have guided the Evangelical Covenant Church since its founding in 1885.
We believe in God, the Almighty, Creator, and Sustainer of all that is…
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, who, through His life, death, and resurrection, gives salvation to all who believe in Him and follow Him as Lord…
We believe in the Holy Spirit, God’s presence with, and in, us who believe…
We affirm the centrality of God’s Word
The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct (II Timothy 3:16).
We affirm the necessity of new birth in Jesus Christ
Jesus said to Nicodemus, “No one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3, NIV). The Apostle Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). 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 the world.
We affirm a commitment to the whole mission of the church
Established by the good news and grace of Jesus Christ, the Church exists to fulfill the mission given by Jesus Christ, known as the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). As Christ’s representatives in the world, the Church is to be an agent of grace, entrusted with the message of reconciliation, hope, compassion, justice, and peace.
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, all followers of Jesus share in the ministry of the church. 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, rooted in historic Christianity, affirms one God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. According to the Gospel of John, Jesus promised that His Spirit would live in His followers as a result of His crucifixion and resurrection. The Spirit “lives with you and will be in you,” Jesus said (John 14:17). The Holy Spirit empowers us to continue Christ’s mission in the world (Acts 1:8), comforts us in times of sorrow, inspires our prayer and worship, and gives us each gifts to enable the church’s unified ministry in Jesus’ name.
We affirm the reality of freedom in Christ
Jesus sets us free from the power of sin to condemn, control, and destroy (Galatians 5:1). We are not without sin but find in Jesus’ death and resurrection release from the bondage and punishment of sin. We are also set free to follow and serve Jesus, as led by the Spirit’s power and under the guidance of scripture. 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 witness seems to allow for a variety of interpretations of the will and purposes of God. We seek to focus on what unites us as followers of Christ, rather than on what divides us.