When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper we are renewing our covenant with God, in a corporate sense, to be his people, as He has faithfully been our God. Here is the insert from our Bulletin this last Lord’s Day. Most Churches today have lost the understanding and therefore the use of this important Biblical ordinance, covenanting.
Renewing your Covenant with God as Part of Communion Preparation
Each time we partake of Holy Communion, it is only right and fitting that we prepare beforehand, by renewing our covenant with God and His church as communicant members. Our Directory for Worship states that, “It is the privilege and duty of every member to observe the Lord’s Supper regularly and with careful preparation. The Lord’s Day preceding the celebration of the sacrament should be observed as Preparation Sabbath… the Terms of Communion should be explained at some time during the communion season” (DFW, 3:11). These “Terms of Communion” are embodied in the seven Queries of the Covenant of Communicant Membership.
These Queries are stated in plain words that need little explanation. The intention of the DFW seems to be to keep these Queries before our memebers, lest they be forgotten or neglected. They are solemn vows, to be kept by all who have made them, as to the Lord. By them we have professed faith in God, in His Word, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior. We have promised to forsake all sin, and to serve Christ as Lord, conforming our lives to His teaching and example. We have committed ourselves to live by the same rule, serving one another, and submitting to one another in love. We have promised to make diligent use of the means of grace, to practice good stewardship of our material wealth, to live in the world as citizens of a heavenly kingdom, and to seek to win others to Christ.
The seventh Query deserves particular notice. It places our profession of faith and promises of obedience in a particular context, namely, “the Last Great Day,” when Christ shall come again from Heaven to judge the quick and the dead. “All persons that have lived on earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds; and to recieve according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil” (Confession of Faith, Ch. XXXIII, Sec. I). Surely these vows of membership will chief among the words for which we shall give account. So it is well for each one of us, from time to time, to revisit these vows, and inquire as to how faithfully we have kept them; to repent of any unfaithfulness of which we may be guilty; and to renew our covenant with God and His church, seeking grace to grow in our ability to maintain our profession of faith, and to adorn it with a godly life, for Christ’s sake.
Covenant of Comunicant Membership
(Terms of Communion)
All who desire to be received as communicant members in the Reformed Presbyterian Church must give assent to the following queries at the time that they are examined by the church session:
1. Do you believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, the only infallible rule for faith and life?
2. Do you believe in the one living and true God–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as revealed in the Scriptures?
3. Do you repent of your sins; confess your guilt and helplessness as a sinner against God; profess Jesus Christ, Son of God, as your Savior and Lord; and dedicate yourself to His service: Do you promise that you will endeavor to forsake all sin, and to conform your life to His teaching and example?
4. Do you promise to submit in the Lord to the teaching and government of this church as being based upon the Scriptures and described in substance in the Constitution of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America ? Do you recognize your responsibility to work with others in the church and do you promise to support and encourage them in their service to the Lord? In case you should need correction in doctrine or life, do you promise to respect the authority and discipline of the church?
5. To the end that you may grow in the Christian life, do you promise that you will diligently read the Bible, engage in private prayer, keep the Lord’s Day, regularly attend the worship services, observe the appointed sacraments, and give to the Lord’s work as He shall prosper you?
6. Do you purpose to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness in all the relatioships of life, faithfully to perform your whole duty as a true servant of Jesus Christ, and seek to win others to Him?
7. Do you make this profession of faith and purpose in the presence of God, in humble reliance upon His grace, as you desire to give your account with joy at the Last Day?