The Bible always refers to believers and their children as members of the church under the oversight of elders. Therefore, church membership is a matter of grateful Christian duty. To place oneself under the oversight of the elders in a local church finds expression by taking vows to the Lord. Membership vows are simply a confession to the Lord made in the presence of people in a local congregation. Membership entitles you to the oversight of the elders, a voice to vote in congregational meetings, and other privileges involving the life of the church. Simply put, the vows below express your belief in the Bible, your sinfulness and need for salvation found in Christ alone, your pledge to walk in newness of life, and your agreement to submit in the Lord to the proper ministry of the church according to the Word of God. Here are the five vows taken by every OPC member.
- Do you believe the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, to be the Word of God, and its doctrine of salvation to be the perfect and only true doctrine of salvation?
- Do you believe in one living and true God, in whom eternally there are three distinct persons—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—who are the same in being and equal in power and glory, and that Jesus Christ is God the Son, come in the flesh?
- Do you confess that because of your sinfulness you abhor and humble yourself before God, that you repent of your sin, and that you trust for salvation not in yourself but in Jesus Christ alone?
- Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your sovereign Lord, and do you promise that, in reliance on the grace of God, you will serve him with all that is in you, forsake the world, resist the devil, put to death your sinful deeds and desires, and lead a godly life?
- Do you promise to participate faithfully in this church’s worship and service, to submit in the Lord to its government, and to heed its discipline, even in case you should be found delinquent in doctrine or life?