Last Sunday was a special day at HBC, the day we call Covenant Sunday.
This is when we, as God’s Church at HBC, come and renew together our Covenant to the Lord and to each other in this, His church, and we did this by all reading the Covenant in unison. These were the promises we made when we became members of HBC. In preparation, it is always helpful to review our Covenant with its six key sections.
Last Sunday had the added blessings of receiving an additional 28 brothers and sisters into Covenant Membership with us. After our service, we continued in fellowship with a wonderful time together over lunch, with new and current members, visitors, and regular attendees.
In preparing for this day each year, we can even print off a copy of the HBC Church Covenant beforehand and prayerfully review this covenant that we are to renew. Perhaps, having a pencil and underlining the key words and ideas in each of the six sections will help as we individually prayerfully review before the Lord these promises and blessings.
Another idea in the future for preparation before renewing our HBC Covenant is to review all the preached messages from God’s Word that we have had the blessing to sit under during the past year. This can be done simply by using the link on the HBC website to access each sermon then its relevant set of Study Questions. Within each set of Study Questions is a key sentence labelled Main Lesson. It doesn’t take long on your computer to copy each Main Lesson sentence. If you paste these together into a Word document, you will then have a concise, encouraging, and instructive compiled summary of what the Lord has blessed us with over the preceding year as He has continued to lead, instruct, admonish, encourage and mature us in our life together as His Covenant people.
This reasonably easy exercise is an excellent review to prepare us as we come to renew our HBC Covenant each year. Pre-reading the HBC Covenant and reviewing the key lessons from the previous year’s preaching also brings the added blessings of causing us to rejoice in the Lord’s mercy, grace and blessings to each of us and to this, His church at HBC, that the Lord has thankfully placed us in. We can then renew our Covenant with renewed and rejoicing hearts.
There is much more we can review and rejoice on as HBC Covenant members, both at this season and throughout the year. If we pause, and reflect on the many activities and gatherings of God’s people at HBC occurring on Sunday and beyond each week, each with the key foundation of the Word of God, and if you begin to make a list, you will be much encouraged and have cause to thankfully rejoice.
From this link, you can print off a copy of our HBC Church Covenant; read it, carry it in your Bible, discuss it with your friends and family, in your life group, etc. You can also save it to your computer files for easy future access.
We read in unison and agreed with the HBC Statement of Beliefs; acknowledging Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour; renewing promises towards our fellow believers; promising to exercise our spiritual gifts to the building up of the whole church family and to support the appointed leaders and pastors; agreeing to be faithful in all things entrusted to our care, the Gospel, our time and our homes; and, enabled by the Holy Spirit, endeavouring to live consistently with the principles of His Gospel in all aspects of our life.
We began the Covenant Sunday service with the “call to worship” from Psalm 104:31-35. This reading encouraged us to sing praise to our God, and to rejoice in the Lord. Our first hymn, “Blessed Assurance”, had us thankfully rejoicing as we sang. Another hymn from Sunday, “Give to Our God Immortal Praise”, had us together rejoicing, including with these words:
He sent His Son with power to save
From guilt and darkness and the grave:
Wonders of grace to God belong,
Repeat His mercies in your song.”
We can thankfully rejoice in the Word of God as we read it and sit under its preaching, as we discuss and meditate on it, as members of God’s church here at HBC. During the preached message on Sunday, we again had references made to many encouraging scriptures, each urging us to thankfully rejoice. One was from 2 Corinthians 5:21,
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
When Paul was in prison writing to the church of Philippi, he told them to
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice”
Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord because that is something we as Christians can always take joy in, no matter what we are going through.
Spurgeon’s comments on Galatians 5:1 can also be our words as we spur each other on in seeking to honour and follow the Lord’s plan for our lives in His service here at HBC:
Exercise your right, O believer, and live up to your privilege. You are free to all that is treasured up in Christ – wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.”
The concluding section of the HBC Church Covenant that we renewed last Sunday is a fitting challenge for us all:
I will, with the enablement of the Holy Spirit, live consistently with the principles of His Gospel in all aspects of my life in word, attitude and conduct, in order to bear witness to the reign of Jesus Christ”.