April 02, 2020 | Governing Documents
This body of believers shall be called the "Berean Bible Church". We recognize that every born-again person of all nations throughout the world comprise the Church Universal, which is the body and bride of Christ. According to the teaching of the Word of God there are many local assemblies within the Church Universal, with each local assembly being subjected to the direct headship of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Believers who gather to worship the Living God at the "Berean Bible Church" shall thereby make up a local assembly.
The objective of this church is the promotion of godly worship; the defense of "the faith once delivered" until He comes; the edification of Christians through the teaching of God's Word; the salvation of souls; and the world-wide proclamation of the saving grace of God expressed in the shed blood and the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary.
Having been born-again by the Spirit of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ according to the provisions of the abounding grace of God, and being justified on the grounds of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and acknowledging our willingness to confess Him as our Saviour before men; we do now in the presence of God, the Holy Angels, and this Assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.
We engage therefore, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this local assembly within the body of Christ in knowledge, holiness, and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, disciplines, and doctrines; to contribute cheerfully, scripturally, and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the Church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations by means of our missionaries and fundamental faith missions.
We also engage to maintain family and private devotions; to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; to seek the salvation of our kindred, our acquaintances, our enemies, and all children and adults within and beyond this Assembly.
Through the provision that God has made for victorious Christian living, it shall be our desire to abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul, and to live a life of separation from sinful and worldly practices, with a desire to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Through the love of Christ, we will put away from us all bitterness and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking - and be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven us. We recognize that the outstanding evidences of the Christian life is love, according to the words of our blessed Lord when He said, "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one for another." (John 13:35)
We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling, and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the commands of our Saviour, to secure it without delay. And this we do depending entirely upon the aid of our Heavenly Father, who so loved the world that He gave His only Son for our salvation, and Jesus Christ our Saviour, who hath redeemed us with His own precious blood, and the indwelling Holy Spirit, our Comforter, Teacher, and Guide.
THE DOCTRINAL BASIS
The Scriptural doctrines which every member believes and accepts are briefly contained in the
Articles of Faith:
(1) The Holy Scriptures
We believe that the Bible is the verbally inspired Word of God, His revelation to man, inerrant in the original writings; and that it is therefore the supreme and final authority in all matters of doctrine, faith and life. (II Timothy 3:16-17)
(2) The Trinity of the God-Head
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)
(3) The Pre-Existence, Deity, and Incarnation of Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ eternally existed with the Father and the Holy Spirit; that His incarnation was begotten by the Holy Spirit; born of the virgin Mary, and is true God and true man. (John 1:1-19; I Timothy 3:16)
(4) The Creation and Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in the image of God; that he sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God; that all human beings are born with a sinful nature, and are totally depraved; that those who reach moral responsibility become sinners in thought, word and deed, and must be born-again to be accepted of God. (Romans 5:12, Romans 3:10, 23, and John 3:1-21)
(5) The Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Jesus Christ
We believe that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who believe in Him are justified on the grounds of His shed blood. We believe that He arose bodily from the dead on the third day in the same body in which He suffered and died. We also believe that our Lord ascended into Heaven; that He is now seated on the right hand of the Father, and is our High Priest and Divine Advocate with the Father. We believe that by His finished work on the Cross and His unceasing ministry of intercession in Glory, Jesus Christ has procured for every believer Eternal Redemption, Eternal Salvation and Everlasting Life. (I Cor. 15:3, 4; Romans 5:9; John 20:27; Mark 16:19; Heb. 8:1; 7:25; 9:12; 5:9; I John 2:1; John 3:16).
(6) The Personality and Ministry of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person; that He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; that He regenerates the sinner by the Word of God; that He permanently indwells the Church and the body of each believer. He seals, enlightens, instructs, and guides every born-again person, and is the efficient power for godly living, Christian service and spiritual worship. (John 16:7-15; John 3:5-7; I Peter 1:23; Eph. 4:30; John 14:16, 17, 26).
(7) The Nature of the Church
We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ was begun at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended from Heaven and came into the Church; that it is composed solely of born-again people who have been called out from among the Jews and Gentiles to become the body and bride of our Lord. Christ glorified in Heaven is its Head; and the Holy Spirit on earth is the active agent of the God-Head, whoever seeks within its ranks, to bring about conformity and obedience to the Word of God and the Will of God. Being one body unites believers to each other and all to Christ; and its chief purpose of existence is to evangelize the world and complete itself through the winning of lost souls to Christ. (Acts 2; Romans 1:16; Acts 15:14; Ephesians 5:23,24; I Corinthians 12:12,13; Acts 1:8, Mark 16:15).
We believe the two ordinances that Christians are commanded to observe are water baptism and the Lord's Supper. While recognizing that water baptism has no saving merit, it is our conviction that after one is saved, water baptism is the next step in order to portray to the world the believer's union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. It is our conviction that the Scriptural method of water baptism is immersion. We believe that Jesus Christ instituted the Lord's Supper to commemorate His death 'til He comes. We further believe that water baptism by immersion is to be observed but once and is a sign of identification and a testimony to newness of life; but the Lord's Supper is to be observed often as a memorial of the broken body and shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:9-13; I Corinthians 11:23-33)
(9) Our Lord's Second Advent
We believe in the Blessed Hope, the personal, pre-millennial, pre-tribulational, and imminent return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which is known as the Rapture of the Church. We also believe in the personal, visible and glorious return of Christ to the earth with His saints at the end of the Great Tribulation. This phase of His coming is known as the Revelation of Jesus Christ. When He returns to the earth with His saints, we believe that Jesus Christ will establish His millennial Kingdom and will reign for one thousand years. (Titus 2:13; I Thessalonians 4:13-17; John 14:3; Revelation 19:11-21; Revelation 20:1-6).
(10) Israel's Place in God's Program
We believe that "the gifts and calling of God are without repentance," and therefore His covenant people, Israel, now blind and scattered, shall be redeemed and re-gathered to the land of promise, which is Palestine; and under the personal and millennial reign of Christ upon David's throne in Jerusalem, shall become the head of the nations; and "the Gentiles shall come to their light and kings to the brightness of their rising." (Romans 11:25-29; Psalm 72; Isaiah 60:3)
(11) The Resurrection of the Dead
We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just at the Rapture; and of the unjust at the end of time. (I Thessalonians 4:16; I Corinthians 15:51-57; Revelation 20:11-15; and John 5:28,29).
(12) The Eternal State of the Saved and the Lost
We believe in Heaven and Hell. Heaven is the place of eternal conscious joy for all who receive Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. Hell is the place of eternal conscious punishment in the Lake of Fire for all who reject Jesus Christ and those dying in their sin. (John 14:1-6; Psalm 16:11; Philippians 1:21, 23; Psalm 9:17; John 8:24; II Thess. 1:7-9; Revelation 20:10-15)
(13) The Personality of Satan
We believe that Satan is a personal being, a fallen angel, prince of demons, the god of this age, the great enticer and deceiver, the adversary of Christ and His people, the accuser of the brethren, whose end is in the Lake of Fire. (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19; II Cor. 4:3,4; I Peter 5:8; Revelation 12:9,10; Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10)
(14) Separation and Sanctification
We believe that the Scriptures clearly teach non-conformity to the world for every believer; that born-again people should be separated from the world unto Christ; that it is clearly commanded of God that all believers should live lives of separation from all worldly and sinful practices; and to be holy as He is holy. We believe that positional sanctification occurs at the moment of regeneration; and that practical sanctification is to be progressive throughout the entire life span of a believer on earth. God's provision for holy living is in the believer's identification with Christ in His death, resurrection and ascension, the indwelling person and power of the Holy Spirit, and the believer's yieldedness to Him, and by the powerful Word of God. (Colossians 3:1-4; II Corinthians 6:14-17; Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 10:13, 14; II Corinthians 7:1, 3:18; II Peter 3:18; Romans 6:1-14; Ephesians 1:15, 2:6; I Corinthians 6:19, 20; Rom. 6-13; Galatians 5:16-23; John 17:17; Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 5:25-27).
When in the judgment of the Board of Elders, a man in the membership of this church is called to the Christian ministry, it shall be within the power of the Board of Elders to call and conduct a Council of Ordination. This Council may consist of the Board of Elders and other representatives of the Church; or it may be a Council composed of ordained ministers and two representatives of the Church served by each minister. The ordaining Council shall examine all applicants for ordination as to Christian experience, reputation, their call to the Christian ministry, their preparation, character, doctrinal belief and demonstrated ability in Christian service.
The following shall not be ordained to the ministry:
(A) One who has not served twelve (12) months as Pastor or Assistant Pastor, or in some definite Christian work in such manner as to convey reasonable evidence of God's call to the ministry.
(B) One who is addicted to the use of intoxicating beverages, drugs, or tobacco in any form; or who belongs to a secret society; or who has brought disrepute upon his Christian life and ministry through worldly practices and associations.
(C) No woman shall ever be ordained by this church.
It shall be within the power of the Official Board to call an Ordination Council for the purpose of ordaining a man who is not a member of this church, but it shall not be a common practice to do so.
The entire program of this Church shall be supported by the free-will offerings of those who are led by the Holy Spirit to contribute to its support. At no time may this Church be permitted to use any unscriptural method of raising funds. This outlaws all suppers for pecuniary gain, all sale of tickets, chances, merchandise, rummage sales, and any other methods that are not supported by the teachings of the Word of God. It is suggested that the use of pledges be avoided.
This Constitution of the Berean Bible Church may be amended by the following procedure:
(A) The proposed amendment must be brought to the floor at the annual meeting, or one specially called by the Board of Directors of the Church Corporation. At least thirty (30) days shall elapse between the proposal of the amendment and the vote on the amendment by the Board of Directors. When the vote is taken, two-thirds of the Directors who are present must vote in favor of the proposed amendment before it shall be submitted to the congregation for their vote of approval or disapproval.
(B) When any amendment has received a two-thirds vote of approval by the Board of Directors it shall then be placed in writing; and a copy of the amendment, along with a ballot, shall be delivered, either in person or through the mail, to every member of the congregation in good standing. Members from the age of eighteen (18) years and upward shall be permitted to cast a ballot. Should the proposed amendment receive a majority of the ballots cast by the membership of the Church, it shall then become an amendment in force in the Constitution of the Church Corporation.
The Doctrinal Statement of the Berean Bible Church as set forth in Article IV of this Constitution cannot be changed or amended.