Constitution of Covenant Baptist Church

Preamble

We, the members of Covenant Baptist Church, do ordain and establish the following articles, to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.

(Click on an Article below)

 

Article I: NAME

Article II: PURPOSE

Article III: CONFESSION OF FAITH

 

Section 1: Sources of Truth

The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and are the ultimate standard of truth, by which all potential truths and sources of truth must be evaluated.  The Bible has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without error for its matter.  It reveals the principles by which God will judge us and therefore is, and shall remain till the end of the world, the standard we use for judging ourselves and one another (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:21; John 5:38-39; 12:47-48; Proverbs 30:5-6; Acts 17:24-28; Exodus 15:11; Isaiah 6:3; 1 Peter 1:15-16; Revelation 4:8, 11; Mark 12:30).

Section 2: God

There is but one true God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, an infinite and intelligent Spirit, whose name is Jehovah, the Lord, and who is perfect in all He is and does.  Because of His holiness, to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience (John 4:24; Psalm 83:18; Jeremiah 10:10; Acts 17:24-28; Exodus 15:11; Isaiah 6:3; 1 Peter 1:15-16; Revelation 4:8, 11; Mark 12:30).

Section 3: The Trinity

God has revealed Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being (Matthew 28:19; 1 John 5:7; John 1:1-2, 14; 10:30; Acts 5:2-4; Ephesians 2:18).

Section 4: Providence

The Sovereign God, from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events, yet so as not in any way to be the author or approver of sin, nor to destroy the free agency of men (Ephesians 1:11; 2:10; Philippians 2:13; Romans 8:28-29).

Section 5: Election

Election is God’s eternal choice of persons for everlasting life, not because of foreseen merit in them, but solely because of His mercy demonstrated in Christ, and as a result of which choice people are called, justified and glorified.  Therefore, the salvation of sinners is based wholly on God’s grace, yet not in such a way as to interfere with the responsibility of men to repent and believe (1 Timothy 1:8-10; Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:8-10; Romans 8:28-30; 9:8-26; 11:5-6; Acts 2:38-39; 13:48; John 6:37, 44; 15:16; 1 John 4:19; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14; Exodus 33:19; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31; Colossians 3:12; 2 Timothy 2:10).

Section 6: The Fall of Man

God originally created man in His own image, and free from sin.  But through the temptation of Satan, the first man and first woman violated the command of God and fell from their original holiness and righteousness, as a result of which, all following generations inherit a nature that is corrupt and opposed to God and His rule, and are therefore worthy of being condemned for eternity (Genesis 1:26-27, 31; 3:1-7; 6:5; 8:21; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Romans 3:9-18; 5:12, 16-19; Psalm 51:5; Isaiah 53:6; Ephesians 2:1-3).

Section 7: The Sacrifice and Mediator for Sinners, Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ, the one and only Son of God, is the divinely appointed Mediator between God and men.  Having taken upon Himself a human nature, yet without sin, He was perfectly obedient to the Heavenly Father, and then suffered and died on the Cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for sinners.  He was buried, and rose again on the third day, and ascended to the Heavenly Father, at whose right hand He sits forever to intercede for His people.  He is the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the universe (1Timothy 2:5; John 6:40; Hebrews 4:14-16; 7:25; 9:15; 12:24: Philippians 2:6-11; Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 20:28; Romans 4:5; 1 John 2:2).

Section 8: Regeneration

Regeneration is a change of motives, attributes and desires, brought about by the Holy Spirit, who gives spiritual life to those who are spiritually dead because sin.  By doing so, He enlivens their minds to understand the Word of God, and renews their whole nature so that they desire to please God instead of self (John 3:3-8; Ephesians 2:1-2, 4; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ezekiel 36:26; James 1:16-18; 1 Peter 1:3, 23; Romans 8:9; Galatians 5:16-25).

Section 9: Repentance

Repentance is an act of the sinner in which, being convinced by the Holy Spirit of the wickedness of sin, he humbles himself with sorrow, confesses to be a rebel against God, and determines to turn away from sin, toward God, in order to please Him in all things.  It always accompanies saving faith (Matthew 3:5-11; Mark 1:15; Acts 2:37-38; 11:18; Romans 10:9-10; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Psalm 51).

Section 10: Saving Faith

Saving faith is an absolute trust in the fact that there is no payment that can be made for sin except that made by Jesus Christ on the Cross, and that, therefore, the sinner has no other hope of being a part of God’s Kingdom and His heaven except to depend on Christ alone to pay the penalty for his own sins.  It is a gift of the Holy Spirit, always accompanied by repentance, and leads to a life of holiness (Mark 1:15; John 1:12; Acts 16:30-31; Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8).

Section 11: Justification

Justification is God’s gracious and full acceptance of sinners, who genuinely turn to Christ and trust in Him.  In the sight of the Heavenly Father, all of their sin is covered with the righteousness of Jesus.  Justification is granted, not by any works of righteousness that we have done, but solely through faith in the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.  It secures for us every other blessing needed for time and eternity (2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 53:11; Acts 10:43; 13:39; Romans 3:23-30; 4:4-5, 25; 5:1-2, 9, 16-18; 8:1, 30-33; 10:10; Galatians 2:16; 3:11; Ephesians 1:7; Philippians 3:8-9; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 John 2:12; 1 Peter 2:2 Luke 9:23).

Section 12: Sanctification

Those who have been made spiritually alive are also sanctified by the work of God’s Word and His Spirit dwelling in them.   Sanctification is the working of the character of Christ in those who belong to Him.  It is progressive, and is empowered by the supply of Divine strength that is taken hold of by faith (1 Corinthians 6:11; Matthew 7:20; 26:41; 1 John 5:18; Ephesians 1:4; Philippians 3:12-16; Romans 8:5; 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 5:17; 13:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:34; 5:23; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Timothy 4:7).

Section 13: Perseverance of the Saints

Those whom God has accepted because of Christ, and is sanctifying by His Spirit, will never totally or finally fall away from the grip of His grace, but will certainly persevere to the end.  Though they may fall into sin, through neglect and temptation, and in so doing grieve the Spirit, disrupt their fellowship with God, dishonor His Church, and suffer the consequences of rebellion against God, those who genuinely belong to Him will eventually be renewed again by repentance, and be kept by the power of God for His Kingdom and Glory (John 6:37-40; 8:31; 10:27-29; Romans 8:28-39; 11:29; Ephesians 1:13-14; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 13:5; James 1:12; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 1 John 2:19; 3:9; Job 17:9; Jeremiah 32:40).

Section 14: The Kingdom and the Church

The Kingdom of God is composed of all His true disciples.  The church is a local assembly of those who have openly declared their response to the gospel of repentance and faith, and entered a covenant to serve Christ through that Body.  Christ is the Head of each church, and as such, rules and exercised authority over each church.  The officers of a church are elders and deacons (KINGDOM: Matthew 3:2; 4:17, 23: 6:33; 10:7; 11:12; 13:44-50; 16:19, 28; 21:43; 25:34; Mark 1:15; 9:1; Luke 10:9; 17:20-21; 18:17; John 3:3, 5; 18:36; Colossians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; Hebrews 12:28; Revelation 1:6; CHURCH: Matthew 16:18-19; 18:17; Acts 2:41-47; 5:11; 6:1-7; 8:1; 14:23; 1 Corinthians 12:1-27; 14:12; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3; Titus 1; 1 John 4:21).

Section 15: Baptism

New Testament baptism is obedience to a command of the Lord Jesus.  It does not save, but offers a picture of salvation, acted out by those who have already experienced the forgiveness and renewal of God’s grace.  In baptism, the believer is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, symbolizing cleansing from sin, death to the old self and new life in Christ, and the burial and resurrection of Jesus.  It is a prerequisite to Church membership (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38, 41; 8:36-39; 10:48; John 3:23; 4:1-2; Mark 16:16; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12).

Section 16: The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper is obedience to a command of the Lord Jesus, administered with the elements of bread and the fruit of the vine.  It is to be observed by His churches until the end of the world.  It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is a reminder of His death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their covenant relationship with Him and His Church (Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; John 6:35, 51-56; 1 Corinthians 11:23-34).

Section 17: The Resurrection

The bodies of men after death return to dust.  The spirits of the righteous return immediately to God to rest with Him; those of the wicked are kept in darkness until the Final Judgment.  At the Last Day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised (John 5:25-29; Acts 17:31; 24:15; Job 19:25-27; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 2 Corinthians 4:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 21:1-8; Daniel 12:2; Hebrews 6:1-2).

Section 18: The Second Coming and Judgment

God has appointed a day on which His Son, Jesus Christ, will return to judge the world; therefore we should live with an attitude of expectancy.  The wicked will be separated from God and all of His goodness, thrown into everlasting destruction for eternity.  The righteous will enter the perfect presence of God where they will live forever without sin or its affects (Matthew 13:36-43; 16:27; 24:30-31; 25:31-46; John 3:36; 5:21-22, 25-29; Luke 14:13-14; 16:19-31; Acts 1:11; 10:42; 17:31; Romans 2:2-16; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:28; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Isaiah 25:8; 57:21; 1 John 2:17; Daniel 12:2; Jude 7; Revelation 20:11-12).

Section 19: Stewardship

God’s Word commands every Christian to observe the principles of tithes, offerings and sacrificial giving as the most honorable way of financing His Church.  This Church will not attach the name of any person to its properties or programs as a memorial for a gift; all gifts are considered to be memorials to Jesus Christ.  We believe that Church members relinquish all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made (2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 6:2-4; Acts 2:44-45; 4:34-35; Exodus 25:2).

Section 20: Abortion

We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being.  Abortion constitutes the unjustified taking of human life.  We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable (Job 3:16; Psalms 51:5; 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24; 49:1, 5; Jeremiah 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44).

Section 21: Human Sexuality

We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman (Genesis 2:24; 19:5, 13; 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4).

 

Article IV: CHURCH GOVERNMENT

Article V: CHRUCH MEMBERSHIP

Article VI: CHURCH DISCIPLINE

Article VII: CHURCH OFFICERS 

Article VIII: GUIDELINES FOR CHURCH ADMINISTRATION MEETINGS AND GOVERNMENT

Article IX: AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION  

Article X: BYLAWS

Amendments