Randolph Street Baptist Church Constitution
January 2008 (revised 1/2013)
We the members of Randolph Street Baptist Church, desiring to honor the Lord Jesus Christ, do hereby establish the following Biblical principles of government and order and adopt this constitution as a declaration of our commitment to carry out the work of the Lord in a proper and orderly fashion. May Christ receive glory through His Church.
Article 1 - Name & Purpose
The name of this church is Randolph Street Baptist Church (hereafter referred to as, “RSBC”). This church exists by the grace of God and for the glory of God through promoting worship, evangelizing the world and edifying believers.
Article 2 - Membership
A member of RSBC is a follower of Jesus Christ who has publicly affirmed their commitment to this local church as expressed in the membership covenant. The aim of membership is to serve the Body of Christ and spread the gospel of Christ.
2.2 A Responsible Body
Under the leadership of the elders, the membership is ultimately responsible for the ministry of this local church. This responsibility will be evidenced mainly through the following four governing areas: affirmation of new elders and deacons, affirmation of new members, approval of a yearly budget, and all constitutional revisions. Each of these items require a 2/3 majority vote by the voting membership present at a scheduled business meeting.
2.3 Admission to Membership
To become a member of this local church a person must profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, give evidence of regeneration, have received baptism, and strive to keep the commitments expressed in the church covenant. Each prospective new member must receive unanimous approval of the elders and be publicly affirmed by the existing membership.
2.4 Our Membership Covenant
Having been brought by divine grace to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and to submit to His Lordship over our lives and having been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God and His people, most joyfully enter into covenant with one another in this local church.
We will work and pray for the unity of this local Church through walking together in brotherly love, edifying, admonishing, nurturing and caring for one another, speaking truth in love, esteeming others above ourselves, and praying for one another. Further, we will seek to avoid those sins that greatly hinder the unity of the Church such as gossip, bitterness, anger, and pride, and we will never act as a stumbling block to our weaker brethren.
We will work together to sustain the ministry of this Church through participating in corporate gatherings, observing the ordinances, practicing church discipline, promoting sound doctrine, and giving cheerfully of our finances. Further, we will submit to, and pray for those who lead us, even as they submit to Christ.
We will seek to be men and women that conform our lives to Christ, husbands and wives that pursue God-honoring marriages, grandparents and parents that educate our children in the Holy Scriptures, and sons and daughters that honor and serve our parents.
By God’s grace, we will be a Church that advances the gospel of Jesus Christ to the praise of His glory!
2.5 Termination of Membership
A member may be removed from membership by our elders by request, for inactivity or through church discipline (see Article 4). For a member to be removed from membership through church discipline it requires a unanimous vote of the eldership and a 2/3 vote of the voting membership.
The members of RSBC knowingly and voluntarily agree that a member cannot voluntarily withdraw or resign his or her membership in the midst of the church discipline process, and may only voluntarily withdraw his or her membership if they are not the subject of a church discipline proceeding at the time.
Moreover, the members of RSBC understand that, should a member undergoing church discipline seek fellowship at another church body, the elders of RSBC are compelled to inform the leadership of that church that said member is subject to ongoing church discipline under the elders of RSBC and will encourage the leadership of the new church to cooperate.
2.6 Status of Membership
Voting Member: A member, eighteen years old and over, who is striving to fulfill the responsibilities in the church covenant.
Non-Voting Member: A member who may not participate in the governing of the Body due to age, or lack of participation in corporate church meetings, or is under active church discipline. For full participation in governing exercises a person must frequently attend corporate church meetings if circumstances permit. Each case shall be determined by the elders.
Article 3 - Church Organization/Structure
The Biblical offices for the New Testament Church are elders and deacons. In addition, our church recognizes the need for other administrative positions such as treasurer, financial secretary, clerk, and trustees. Any person filling one of these positions must be a member prior to assuming their responsibilities.
This office is described in the New Testament by the use of three terms: elder (James 5:14), bishop (1 Timothy 3:1) and pastor (Ephesians 4:11).
Elders must be men who satisfy the qualifications for this office as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9 and wholeheartedly embrace the Eldership Affirmation of Faith (see Article 7.2).
Elders will oversee and manage the ministry of the church (1 Timothy 3:5; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Hebrews 13:17), seek to protect the church (Acts 20:28-31), pray for the needs of the church (James 5:14), and devote their time to the ministry of the Word (1 Tim 3:2; Titus 1:9).
The eldership will be a shared leadership consisting of a plurality of men who are equal in authority. All elders will be involved in and responsible for, the administrative and spiritual oversight of RSBC and her members. The eldership may consist of paid and unpaid elders. While maintaining equality there will be structure and organization to best enable our elders to fulfill their ministry.
3.1.5 Lead Elder
The membership will appoint an elder to serve as the primary preaching elder and chairman of the eldership.
3.1.6 Nomination, Examination, Training & Appointment
The eldership, in consultation with the membership, will nominate, examine and train men to fill the office of elder. Upon unanimous approval of the elders the membership of RSBC shall appoint elders to their office through a 2/3 vote of members present at a scheduled business meeting.
3.1.7 Term & Sabbaticals
Elders will serve a three-year term and may be reappointed by the unanimous approval of the eldership. Sabbaticals will be available to all elders. This is a time for renewal of their personal discipline and commitment to the ministry. The appropriate time and length of the sabbatical will be determined by the eldership.
An elder may step aside upon completion of his term or be removed from office due to the following reasons.
- Resignation - An elder may resign his office if he finds he is no longer able to discharge the duties of this office. It will be encouraged of all elders to continually examine their desire for this office (1 Timothy 3:1).
- Discipline - If an elder is not fulfilling his responsibilities or found to be living contrary to his confession of faith he may be removed from office by the unanimous vote of the other elders.
Deacons must be men who satisfy the qualifications for this office as set forth in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
Deacons are servants of the church. The main role of this office is to free the elders to shepherd the church through the ministry of the Word and prayer. Responsibilities include caring for the temporal needs of the membership, providing for the needs of the facilities/properties, attend to accommodations for public worship, and any other role deemed necessary by the elders. The deacons, in conjunction with our elders, will also maintain and disburse funds for benevolence.
Deacons will work together, under the leadership of the elders, to fulfill their duties for the glory of Christ in His church.
3.2.4 Nomination, Examination, Training & Appointment
The eldership, in consultation with the membership, is responsible for nominating, examining and training prospective deacons. Upon unanimous approval of the elders, the membership shall appoint deacons to their office through a 2/3 vote of members present at a scheduled business meeting.
3.2.5 Term & Sabbaticals
Deacons will serve a three-year term and may be reappointed by the unanimous approval of the eldership.
Sabbaticals will be available to all deacons. This is a time for renewal of their personal discipline and commitment to the ministry. The appropriate time and length of the sabbatical will be determined by the eldership.
A deacon may step aside after his term or be removed from office due to the following reasons.
- Resignation - A deacon may resign the office if they are no longer able to discharge the duties of this office.
- Discipline - If a deacon is not fulfilling his responsibilities or found to be living contrary to his confession of faith he may be removed from office by the unanimous vote of the elders.
3.3.1 Treasurer & Financial Secretary
The treasurer & financial secretary will be appointed by the elders to oversee the daily needs of the church finances. The treasurer’s responsibilities include ensuring that all funds are properly secured in such banks, financial institutions or depositories as appropriate. The treasurer will also be responsible for disbursement of funds to meet expenses and proper recording. The financial secretary will be responsible for the deposit and recording of all weekly offerings.
A deacon, appointed by the elders, will serve as the clerk for all church meetings.
Deacons and/or the treasurer, appointed by the elders, will serve the church in all legal matters as trustees. At all times, there will be a minimum of three (3) trustees.
3.3.4 Church Staff
The elders are responsible for the hiring of staff to serve various administrative details. All staff must adhere to the membership statement of faith and the church covenant as a condition to their employment.
Article 4 - Church Discipline
The purpose of church discipline should be the repentance, reconciliation, and spiritual growth of the individual disciplined, for the instruction in righteousness and good of other Christians, for the purity and unity of the church as a whole, for the good of our corporate witness to non- Christians, and supremely for the glory of God by reflecting His holy character.
Any member consistently neglectful of his or her duties or guilty of conduct by which the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be dishonored, and so opposing the welfare of the church, shall be subject to the admonition and the discipline of the church, according to the instructions and example of Scripture (Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; 1 Timothy 5:19-20).
Church discipline can include informal private admonition or formal public admonition, suspension from communion for a definite period, removal from membership and/or office, and excommunication.
Formal church discipline should ordinarily be contemplated after individual private admonition has failed. The membership of RSBC must sense a responsibility to lovingly confront a brother or sister who has dishonored Christ without repentance.
The process of formal church discipline will be led by our elders. If this process is initiated, the elders will communicate by letter or by electronic communication to the member of RSBC informing him or her of the nature of the offense, the desired outcome, and a general understanding of how the church discipline process will be carried out. At the appropriate time, the elders will communicate with the membership of RSBC the details of the process (Matthew 18:17; 1 Cor 5:4). For a member to be removed from membership through church discipline it requires a unanimous vote of the eldership and a 2/3 vote of the voting membership.
As outlined in Article 2.5, the members of RSBC knowingly and voluntarily agree that a member cannot voluntarily withdraw or resign his or her membership in the midst of the church discipline process, and may only voluntarily withdraw his or her membership if they are not the subject of a church discipline proceeding at the time. Moreover, the members of RSBC understand that, should a member undergoing church discipline seek fellowship at another church body, the elders of RSBC are compelled to inform the leadership of that church the said member is subject to ongoing church discipline under the elders of RSBC and will encourage the leadership of the new church to cooperate.
Article 5 - Church Meetings
Each quarter the elders will conduct a meeting designed to update the membership on items such as ministry, finances, etc.
The church will hold an annual meeting in January of each year. The date will be set by the elders with a two-week notice given to the membership.
Other business meetings may be called by the leadership with a minimum of one week notice given to the membership.
Thirty percent of the membership will constitute a quorum.
Article 6 - Church Finances
The eldership, with the assistance of the deacons and treasurer, will be responsible for establishing a yearly budget. The budget must be affirmed by a a 2/3 vote from the membership at a scheduled business meeting.
Article 7 - Theological Confessions of Faith
We have two statements of our faith at RSBC. The first is our membership statement of faith which contains the bare essentials of the Christian faith. Our Member Statement of Faith is what one must believe in order to become a member of RSBC. The second is our Elder Affirmation of Faith. This statement is more detailed and describes what one must affirm to be an elder at RSBC. The Elder Affirmation of Faith (Article 7.2) will guide the elders of RSBC in matters of doctrine and church discipline.
7.1 Member Affirmation of Faith
I . The Triune God
We believe that God has eternally existed as one true God in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit in harmonious relationship, purpose and will yet distinct in their respective roles in creation, providence and redemption. He is all wise, all powerful, all knowing, all perfection, all righteousness, all good, all merciful. He is true and complete Love. God created all things and all things exist by Him and for Him and through Him for His good pleasure and purposes.
Genesis 1:1, 26; John 1:1, 3; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19, 20; Ephesians 4:5, 6
II. God the Father
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully and purposefully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
Luke 10:21,22; Matthew 23:9; John 3:16; John 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:1,2; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; I Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6
III. Jesus Christ, God the Son
We believe in Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, that is, of the same substance and expression of the Father, and conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, His perfect life despite being in all ways human, yet without sin, His prophecies, miracles and teachings. We believe in His satisfactory, acceptable and substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for and presence with His people, and personal visible return to earth.
Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1; 20:28; Romans 9:5; Romans 8:46; II Corinthians 5:21; I Peter 2:21-23; John 20:30, 31; Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6-8; Romans 6:9,10; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:28; I Timothy 3:16
IV. The Holy Spirit
We believe in the Holy Spirit sent forth by the Father to glorify the Son. We believe that His work is to convict of sin, righteousness, judgment, regeneration and sanctification. We believe He indwells everyone who trusts in Christ, and helps them make progress in overcoming sin and in becoming more like Jesus Christ in thought, deed, and love for God the Father.
John 14:16,17,26; John 15:26,27; John 16:9-14; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 3:16; I Corinthians 6:19; Galatians 5:22-26
V. The Word of God
We believe that the Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is the infallible Word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit through holy men and without error in the original manuscripts. We believe the Bible is the supreme and final authority in testing all claims about what is true and right. The Bible illuminates and instructs in all matters of salvation and a life pleasing to God. It is God's Word generally to a fallen world and specifically to His people and speaks both plainly and in mystery yet understandable by any indwelt by His Spirit.
II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20,21; II Peter 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 14:37; Mark 13:31; John 8:31,32; John 14:26; John 16:13-14; John 17:17; John 20:31; Acts 20:32; Matthew 22:29, 43-44; Matthew 24:35; Numbers 23:19; Proverbs 30:5; Psalm 12:6; Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2
VI. The Human Condition, Salvation and Sanctification
We believe that man was created by God in His own image and for His glory. We believe that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory thus incurring physical, spiritual, and eternal separation from God. We believe that all human beings are born with a sinful nature, thereby deserving judgment and condemnation.
We believe that only those who trust Jesus Christ as their Savior, by virtue of His atoning death on the cross are justified, delivered from condemnation, and receive eternal life.
We believe that this new life leads to a turning from sin and a desire to please God. Such a life of faith is by grace, leads to holiness and good works. The overall desire of the Christian is to delight in Christ and in so doing display to a broken and fallen world the richness, goodness and blessings of living in and for God.
Genesis 1:26-7; Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:19; Eccl. 2:11; Matthew 13:44; John 1:13; John 3:14; John 3:16; John 5:24; John 5:30; John 7:13; John 8:12; John 10:26; John 17:3; Psalm 51:7; Jeremiah 17:9; James 1:14; Romans 3:19; Romans 5:19; Phil 3:7-8; I John 1:9; II Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:11; Romans 8:1; I Corinthians 15:1-2; Hebrews 3:12-14; Hebrews 6:11-12; Hebrews 10:39; Romans 3:28Corinthians 15:1-2; Hebrews 3:12-14; Hebrews 6:11-12; Hebrews 10:39; Romans 3:28
VII. The Church and Ordinances
We believe in one holy, universal Church made up of all who trust Jesus Christ as Savior. We believe that God calls us to unite with other believers to treasure, praise and glorify Him together, to grow in our love and knowledge of Him, and to stir each other up to good works. We believe that Christians should earnestly desire to share this treasure with others in humility, mercy, truth and love. We believe in the priesthood of the saints whereby every believer has direct access to the throne of grace through Christ alone, our High Priest.
Christ has instituted two ordinances for the Church: baptism and His supper. Baptism is a public demonstration and confession of faith in Christ and does so in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit before witnesses of such. The Lord's Supper signifies that a believer in Christ is identified specially and wholly with the Church of Jesus Christ as being bought, cleansed and nourished by Him in newness of life.
Ephesians 1:22-23; Acts 15:36, 41; Acts 16:5; I Corinthians 16:1; Galatians 1:1-3; Revelations 1:4,10,11; Hebrews 10:24-25; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
VIII. The Last Things
We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth, the subjugation of all His enemies and the establishment of His kingdom as Sovereign. We believe in the resurrection of the body and the final judgment of all people, leading to the eternal happiness of the righteous in the Lord’s presence, and the eternal separation of the wicked from the presence of the Lord.
Matthew 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Phil. 3:20; I Thessalonians 4:15-8; II Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; I Corinthians 4:5l I Corinthians 15; II Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 20:11-15
IX. Marriage and Human Sexuality
We believe that marriage is an institution ordained by God and is between one man and one woman. It is not lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time. It is the duty of Christians to marry in the Lord. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other and that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Therefore, any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexual conduct, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, any use of pornography, or any attempt to change one’s sex, is against the design of God and is therefore sin.
7.2 Elder Affirmation of Faith (What We Teach)
We declare ourselves to be in substantial agreement with many of the ancient Baptist confessions, such as the London, Philadelphia, and New Hampshire Confessions, which are presently held as confessions of faith by many of our sister churches. However, in light of our own contemporary setting, we declare the substance of our faith in the following articles:
I. The Bible, the Word of God
We believe the Bible, consisting of thirty-nine Old Testament books (Genesis through Malachi), and twenty-seven New Testament books (Matthew through Revelation), was written by holy men of God who were moved by the Holy Spirit so that the result of this cooperative work is the inspired Word of God, that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without mixture of error for its substance, that it perfectly reveals the will of God, and, therefore, is the true basis for Christian unity, and the supreme standard by which all conduct, creeds, and opinions should be judged.
II Peter 1:19-21; II Timothy 3:15-17; Psalm 19:7-14
II. God, the Holy Trinity
We believe that there is one and only one living and true God, an infinite, personal, holy, and good Spirit, the Creator, Sustainer, governor, Judge, and Redeemer, that He is inexpressibly glorious in all His perfections and worthy of all honor, confidence, and love, that in the unity of the one God there are three Persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
I Corinthians 8:4-6 I Timothy 4:10; John 4:24; Matthew 28:19; I Timothy 1:17; John 10:30; Romans 11:36; Ephesians 1:3-14
III. The Creation and Fall of Man
We believe that God created man, male and female, in His own image and in righteousness and holiness, though peccable, under His authority, but by voluntary transgression man fell from that holy and happy state, in consequence of which all mankind are now by nature sinners; being from birth utterly void of that righteousness required by the Law of God, positively inclined only to evil and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, and without excuse or hope apart from the love and grace of God.
Genesis 1-3; Romans 3:9-19; Romans 5:12-19; Ephesians 2:1-10
IV. God’s Gracious Purpose
We believe that election is God’s free, sovereign, and gracious choice of sinners from eternity to share in His salvation in Jesus Christ, according to which He graciously regenerates, justifies, sanctifies and preserves them in time through the Gospel, that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end; that it is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign love, being infinitely gracious, wise, holy, and unchangeable, that it utterly excludes all boasting, and promotes trust in God, love, humility, worship and prayer, that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree, that it may be discerned by its effects in all who truly believe the Gospel, that it is the foundation of Christian assurance, and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves requires the utmost diligence.
II Thessalonians 2:13, 14; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 1:3-14; Romans 8:28,29; II Timothy 2:10; II Peter 1:10; Colossians 3:12-17
V. The Way of Salvation
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Himself our human nature (yet without sin); that He honored the Divine Law by His personal and exhaustive obedience, and by His death made full atonement for the sins of His people; that having risen from the dead He is now at the Father’s right hand where He makes intercession for us; and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with Divine perfections, He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all sufficient Savior.
Ephesians 2:8-10; Galatians 3:13; I Timothy 2:4-6; Romans 4:25; Romans 8:3; Hebrews 7:25; Romans 5:19; Hebrews 2:9-18
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in inclining the mind and heart to holiness, that is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with the Word of the Gospel, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith leading to newness of life manifested in obedience to God’s commandments.
John 3:1-13; 1 Peter 1:22-25; Titus 3:4-6; John 1:12, 13; Ephesians 4:17-24; Acts 2:37-47; James 1:18; 1 John 2:3-6
VII. Repentance and Faith
We believe that repentance and faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God, whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation through Christ, we turn to God with sincere contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy, at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ in His mediatorial offices as our Prophet, Priest, and King and relying on Him alone as the only and all-sufficient Savior.
I John 4:23; Ephesians 2:8; Acts 17:30; Acts 2:37, 38; Acts 11:18; Romans 10:9, 10, 13
VIII. Justification by Grace through Faith
We believe that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to believers is justification; that justification includes the forgiveness of sin, and the gift of eternal life on the basis of God’s righteousness in Christ; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of merit which we have done, but solely through faith and on the basis of Christ’s obedience and death; by virtue of which His perfect righteousness is imputed to us by God; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and acceptance with God, establishes the basis for God’s treatment of us as sons, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity.
Romans 3:31-31; Romans 4:1-25; Romans 5:1-10; Romans 8:14-17; Romans 5:12-21; Romans 8:31-39; II Corinthians 5:21
IX. The Free Offer of the Gospel
We believe that the blessings of salvation are offered freely to all without distinction by the Gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept by cordial, penitent faith, and that nothing prevents the salvation of any sinner but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel, which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.
Is 55:1, 2; Romans 1;16, 17; Matthew 11:28-30; Revelation 22:17; Mark 16, 15, 16; Hebrews 2:1-4; Matthew 23:37-39; Matthew 11:20-24; Acts 17:30
We believe that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His holiness; that it is a definitive work begun with a radical separation from sin and to God by our union with Christ; and that this work is continued in the progressive work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of believers in an on-going separation from sin and to God through the regular use of the appointed means – especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, prayer, watchfulness and Christian fellowship.
II Peter 1:4-11; Lamentations 3:40; Romans 6; Matthew 26:41; Romans 7:5, 6; Matthew 6:9-13; Ephesians 4:17 – 6:20; Ephesians 6:9-13; Acts 20:36
XI. The Perseverance of the Saints
We believe that real believers endure in faith and holiness unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from false professors of the faith; that a special providence watches over their welfare, and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto final salvation and glory.
John 6:39, 44; John 6:66-71; John 10:26-29; Matthew 10:24-33; Matthew 13:1-23; I Peter 1:3-5; Matthew 25:1-13; Romans 8:28-39; I Peter 2:1-10
XII. The Church of Christ
We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ in the most inclusive sense consists of all the elect of God in every age who have or shall come to faith in His Word concerning Jesus Christ. This is the one Body of Christ consisting of all who have true faith in the Gospel. We believe that visible ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼love and unity ought to prevail between all true believers in our common Lord and gladly pronounce a benediction upon all who love Him in sincerity.
We believe that the primary emphasis given to the doctrine of the church in the New Testament is to local churches in various geographical locations, each having its own ordinances, order, and officers. We believe these churches to be congregations of baptized believers, associated in fellowship of the Gospel for worship, ministry, evangelism, instruction, and observance of the ordinances, according to the Word of God; that its officers are pastors and deacons; that its only Head is Christ, and under whose directing Spirit each church is separate from the state, free from human ecclesiastical authorities, and Divinely authorized to decided its internal and external affairs.
Hebrews 12:22-24; I Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 4:1-6; Galatians 1:2; Romans 12:4, 5; Revelation 2 -3; Matthew 16:18; Philippians 1:1; I Corinthians 12:13; Acts 2:37-47; Ephesians 2:11-3:21; Acts 14:23; John 17; Acts 18:1-11; John 13:34, 35; Hebrews 10:23-25; Ephesians 6:24; I Timothy 3:1-13, 14, 15
XIII. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, to show forth our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect, in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is a prerequisite to the privileges of membership in the local church. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a sacred commemorative meal in which believers participate by partaking of unleavened bread and wine in order to remember and “show forth” His dying love until His return, preceded always by solemn self-examination.
Acts 2:41; Luke 22:17-20; Matthew 28:18-20; Matthew 26:1-19; Romans 6:3-6; I Corinthians 11:17-34; Acts 2:27-41
XIV. The State
We believe that Civil Government is ordained by God for the interests and good order of human society, and that civil leaders are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed; except in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in Scriptures.
Romans 13:1-10; I Peter 2:13-17; I Timothy 2:1-3; Acts 5:25-29
XV. The Last Things
We believe that at the Last Day the Lord Jesus Christ will descend from heaven and will be visibly manifested as Lord to the whole world. At that time He will judge and condemn all who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel. The wicked will be condemned to everlasting torment in Hell. Moreover, the Lord Jesus will on that Day glorify His elect and receive them into the everlasting joy of His presence. At His coming the Lord Jesus Christ shall usher in the Age to Come and shall establish His everlasting Kingdom in the New Heavens and New Earth wherein righteousness shall dwell forever. We confess our confidence in these things with the prayer, “Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!”
Acts 1:11; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; II Thessalonians 1:6-10; II Timothy 4:1; John 6:37, 39, 44; II Peter 3:10-14; Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21- 22
XVI. Marriage and Human Sexuality
We believe that marriage is an institution ordained by God and is between one man and one woman. It is not lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time. It is the duty of Christians to marry in the Lord. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other and that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Therefore, any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexual conduct, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, any use of pornography or any attempt to change one’s sex, is against the design of God and is therefore sin.