The questions for membership are presented along with practical explanations as to what these vows mean for the thinking and life of ARPC members.
(1) Do you acknowledge yourself to be a sinner in the sight of God, justly deserving His punishment, and without hope save in His love and mercy?
The only thing we ARPs will ever deserve from God is His displeasure. We do not deserve the best job or the best boss, the best neighbors, the best house, the best car(s), the best vacation or the best retirement plan. No ARPC member is entitled to the best preacher, choir, Sunday School program or youth group. Of course, it is sensible for a Christian congregation to have a faithful preacher, it is Biblical for a congregation to emphasize sound teaching, it is Christ-honoring to glorify God in song and by way of a solid youth ministry. However, the only thing any of us deserve (or will ever deserve) is the punishment of God. Period.
(2) Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Saviour of sinners, and do you trust in Him alone for salvation as He is offered in the Gospel?
By saying ‘yes’ to this question, one communicates a heartfelt dependence upon God’s grace through Christ. ARPC members confess their trust in Christ ‘alone’ for salvation. The Lord Jesus Christ is the ‘Savior of sinners’. Every member of the ARPC is a sinner in daily need of cleansing and forgiveness from the Son of God. We gather together in corporate worship, thanking God for His Son, our Savior. We are grateful for Christ as Savior and we adore Him as the Son of God. We can appreciate a pastor, Sunday School teacher, and so forth, but we worship God through Christ alone.
(3) Do you believe the Scripture of the Old and New Testaments to be the written Word of God, the only perfect rule of faith and how to live?
An affirmative answer to this question means that you view the Bible as unique and authoritative for your thinking and for your entire life; ‘faith and practice’. The Bible doesn’t merely ‘contain’ the Word of God, it is the Word of God. ARPC members have no business tampering with the content of God’s Word, nor are we at liberty to pick and chose what we like from the Bible, while ignoring what is unpleasant. The Bible is to be presented and explained, rather than ‘explained away’.
The Bible is the only Perfect rule of faith and practice, not the Koran or the Hindu Vedas or the Wall Street Journal or the latest sound bite from Talk Radio. The Word of God is also superior to the ARP Form of Government and the Confessional Standards of the ARPC. The Form of Government and the Westminister Standards (the confessional position of many Reformed and Presbyterian churches) contain much wisdom; yet they are secondary to the Word of God. In short, these documents are derived from the Word of God, but they are in no way on equal footing with the Word of God.
(4) Do you promise to trust in the guidance and strength of the Holy Spirit so that you can live all of life as a Christian, following the example set by Jesus Christ?
The ARPC does not buy into the notion that a once-upon-a-time claim to believe in Jesus automatically guarantees someone a place in heaven.. A vocal claim to believe in a shadowy Jesus of some kind is meaningless if one’s attitudes, worldviews and lifestyles remain exactly the same after a claimed conversion (see Matt.13:18-23).
We believe that those who are truly born-again have been drawn to the Savior by the agency of the Holy Spirit; furthermore, the Third Person of the Trinity continues to guide saved sinners into the truths of Christ (John 16:13-15). We believe that God’s Sovereign grace changes God’s people from the inside out. ARPC members are thus challenged, not to a life of sinless perfection on this earth, but to a life of humble reliance upon the Spirit’s guidance in our walk with Christ. We endeavor to live in a way that shows a consistency in our relationship with Christ, not an absolute perfection on this side of heaven (see Phil.3:12-16 and Titus 2:11-14). We are to be faithful servants of Christ, even during those times when no human eye is upon us.
5) Do you promise to exercise faithful stewardship of God’s resources entrusted to you for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom and purposes?
An ARPC member is motivated to give of resources so that others will receive the blessing of the King of Kings, wherever they may live. The ARPC is committed to planting churches throughout this country. The ARPC is also passionate about foreign missions and in furthering the Kingdom of God to the uttermost parts of the earth. If a potential candidate for membership insists that “we’ve got to make sure that everybody in the USA gets saved before we even think of sending out missionaries to other places”, then that candidate is simply not ARP material.
6) ) Do you accept that the doctrines and principles of the Standards of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church are founded upon the Scriptures?
By answering ‘yes’ to this question, you communicate acceptance of ARP doctrines and principles ‘so far as you understand them’. While it may be unreasonable to expect new ARPs to understand all aspects of Reformed and Presbyterian belief, members of the ARPC ought to be aware of the denomination’s adherence to the Lordship of Christ and the trustworthiness of God’s written Word. Those coming on board the ARPC should also be aware that we are not in favor of abortion on demand, nor do we ordain practicing homosexuals to leadership positions. If there is vigorous objection from a potential member concerning these matters, the honorable thing for that person to do is to avoid membership in the ARPC, rather than joining the ARPC and seeking to undermine or overturn our platform on these issues.
7) ) In loving obedience, do you submit yourself to the government and discipline of this church, promising to seek the peace, purity, and prosperity of this congregation as long as you are a member of it?
Every member of the ARPC vows to do work in the Church. As Christians, we are to actually do some Church work in the Name of Christ. You cannot keep this vow for the ‘prosperity’ of the congregation if you seldom darken the door of the Church.
Furthermore, every member of the body of Christ has an area of spiritual giftedness (Rom.12:3-8; 1 Cor.12:4-31; 1 Peter 4:10-11). There is no proof text in all of Scripture which teaches that a congregation should hire a person or persons to do all the work of ministry, while the congregation sits back and reaps the benefits. Granted, full-time laborers for Christ should receive some financial compensation (See Luke 10:5-7 and especially 1 Tim.5:17-18); however, all members of the Body of Christ have ministry to perform.
Consider the perspective put forth by Paul in Eph.3:14-21- “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”
 ‘Communicant’ Church members are, by their own admission, in saving communion with Christ. This communion extends to all other authentic members of the Body of Christ, in general as well as to Christian congregations, in particular.
 This revised Form of Government presents the word 'punishment' as a much stronger term than the previous rendering 'God's displeasure'.
 Bear in mind: Walking down an aisle during an altar call or filling out a card after a crusade may be done by someone who has been genuinely converted, but these acts are never the cause of salvation.
 The ARP Form of Government deals with the matter in direct fashion: “The mission of the Church is a mission of witness and ministry. Christ called the people of the Church “witnesses.” Paul saw God as giving gifts to equip the Church’s people for the work of ministry./ All that the Church says and does is to be a witness to Jesus Christ, God’s living Word, as He is spoken of in the Holy Scriptures, God’s written Word. God has sent His Church into the world that the Church will present Jesus Christ through preaching, witnessing, teaching, sacrament, worship and both individual and corporate Christian living and action. All of the Church’s people in every phase of their living are to be God’s ministers to the world by being servants of His Son, the King of the Church."