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Soldier's Covenant

(Promises made when becoming a soldier in The Salvation Army. Formerly called 'Articles of War'.)

HAVING accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour and Lord, and desiring to fulfil my membership of His Church on earth as a soldier of The Salvation Army, I now by God's grace enter into a sacred covenant.

I believe and will live by the truths of the word of God expressed in The Salvation Army's eleven articles of faith:

We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God: and that they only constitute the Divine rule of Christian faith and practice.

We believe that there is only one God, who is infinitely perfect, the Creator. Preserver, and Governor of all things, and who is the only proper object of religious worship.

We believe that there are three persons in the Godhead-the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost-undivided in essence and coequal in power and glory.

We believe that in the person of Jesus Christ the Divine and human natures are united, so that He is truly and properly God and truly and properly man.

We believe that our first parents were created in a state of innocency. but by their disobedience they lost their purity and happiness; and that in consequence of their fall all men have become sinners, totally depraved. and as such are justly exposed to the wrath of God.

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ has, by His suffering and death, made an atonement for the whole world so that whosoever will may be saved.

We believe that repentance towards God, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and regeneration by the Holy Spirit are necessary to salvation.

We believe that we are justified by grace, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; and that he that believeth hath the witness in himself.

We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ.

We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We believe in the immortality of the soul; in the resurrection of the body; in the general judgment at the end of the world; in the eternal happiness of the righteous; and in the endless punishment of the wicked.


I will be responsive to the Holy Spirit's work and obedient to His leading in my life, growing in grace through worship, prayer, service and the reading of the Bible.

I will make the values of the Kingdom of God and not the values of the world the standard for my life.

I will uphold Christian integrity in every area of my life, allowing nothing in thought. word or deed that is unworthy, unclean, untrue, profane, dishonest or immoral.

I will maintain Christian ideals in all my relationships with others: my family and neighbours, my colleagues and fellow Salvationists, those to whom and for whom I am responsible, and the wider community.

I will uphold the sanctity of marriage and of family life.

I will be a faithful steward of my time and gifts, my money and possessions, my body, my mind and my spirit, knowing that I am accountable to God.

I will abstain from alcoholic drink. tobacco, the non-medical use of addictive drugs. gambling, pornography, the occult, and all else that could enslave the body or spirit.

I will be faithful to the purposes for which God raised up The Salvation Army, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, endeavouring to win others to Him, and in His name caring for the needy and the disadvantaged.

I will be actively involved, as l am able, in the life, work, worship and witness of the corps, giving as large a proportion of my income as possible to support its ministries and the worldwide work of the Army.

I will be true to the principles and practices of The Salvation Army, loyal to its leaders, and I will show the spirit of Salvationism whether in times of popularity or persecution.

I now call upon all present to witness that I enter into this covenant and sign these articles of war of my own free will, convinced that the love of Christ, who died and now lives to save me, requires from me this devotion of my life to His service for the salvation of the whole world; and therefore do here declare my full determination, by God's help, to be a true soldier of The Salvation Army.

Soldiers of Christ


The Biblical basis for Salvation Army Soldiership

     The picture of a Christian as a soldier is one of the most vivid metaphors in the New Testament. It is easy to understand how the image of soldiery readily came to the mind of Paul and the other apostles when we consider that they were daily summoned to engage in spiritual and, at times, physical conflict with satan and his forces.

     Imprisoned in Rome for the second and final time, facing imminent death at the hand of the insane Emperor Nero, the battle-weary apostle Paul wrote a final letter to his young friend, Timothy. Knowing the struggles Timothy was encountering in pastoring the Ephesian Church, the verteran warrior encouraged him with these words: "Endure a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs - he wants to please his commanding officer" (2 Timothy 2:3,4).

     Modern-day Christians still are enlisted by "the Captain of our salvation" (Hebrews 2:10,KJV) to fight the forces of darkness. As soldiers we are called to:

  • *Enlistment: Enlistment is the initial step to becoming a soldier. The person who is seeking soldiership in God's army must first of all make a decision to join. There is no conscription; no one is drafted. A Christian is one who has made a conscious decision to accept Christ as Saviour and follow Him as a disciple. Joshua's words of challenge to the Children of Israel must be affirmed by every Christian recruit: "...Choose for yourselves this day whom you will for me and my household, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).
  • *Obedience: Jesus said, "If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love...You are MY friends if you do what I command" (John 15:10, 14).
  • *Loyalty: The Apostle John tells us in Revelation 2:10, "Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer...Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life." The Lord's soldier is called to a life of faithfulness and loyalty. His loyalty is to Jesus Christ alone.
  • *Discipline: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).
  • *Battle: "Fight the good fight of faith" (1 Timothy 6:12). "...I urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 3). "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12).
  • *Victory: "...Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57). Jesus promised, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

     It is important for the Christian soldier to understand that the Captain of our salvation not only gained the victory for us, but He also provides the spiritual armor needed for the daily battles of life. Paul admonishes the Christian to "put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes" (Ephesians 6:11). Divine armor is essential because the Christian faces a formidable, supernatural foe (Ephesians 6:12).

The Christian's armor (Ephesians 6:10-20) includes:

  • *The belt of truth (v.14): It is from the soldier's belt that his sword hangs, allowing him a freedom of movement while keeping his weapon close at hand.
  • *The breastsplate of righteousness (v.14): A righteous life is the Christian soldier's primary defense.
  • *The sandals (v.15): A soldier with his sandals on is ready to move. The Christian is always ready and eager to share the gospel with all whom he meets.
  • *The shield of faith (v.16): The word Paul uses here describes an oblong shield which only heavily armored soldiers carried - not the small, round conventional shield. This large shield was made of sectioned wood. It was pitch-soaked, and when fiery darts were thrown, the defender would duck behind his shield, and the darts would sink into the wood, extinguishing the flame. Only faith can protect the Christian from the darts of temptation.
  • *The helmet of salvation (v.17): Salvation protects both the front and the rear - the past, present, and future. Christ's salvation forgives past sins and gives strength to conquer sin in the future.
  • *The sword of the Spirit (v.17): The Word of God is both a defensive and an offensive weapon. It is a defense against sin and a weapon of attack against the sins of this world.
  • *Prayer (v.18): Here is the greatest weapon of them all! Paul notes that the Christian soldier's prayer life must be constant; it must be intense; and it must be unselfish.

     Salvationists are soldiers of Jesus Christ. We are engaged in a continual battle against satan for the souls of men. The Christian Mission Magazine of September 1878 stated that the Mission "has organzied a Salvation Army to carry the blood of Christ and the first of the Holy Ghost to every corner of the world." For more then 100 years Salvationists around the world have followed the biblical command to "endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:3). They have gladly put on the armor of God and are actively fighting the battle for souls. With Christ as their Captain, Salvationists join their conquering Christian brothers and sisters in singing and believing these great words:

Soldiers of Christ, arise,
And put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies
Through His eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of hosts,
And in His mighty power,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts
Is more than conqueror.
~ Charles Wesley


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