Calvary Baptist Church Constitution
We, the members of Calvary Baptist Church of Show Low, Arizona, do ordain and establish the following Articles and Constitution to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.
ARTICLE 3 Covenant
We believe that the Holy Bible was written inerrant in its original languages by men divinely inspired and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter: that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried. Places in the Bible Where Taught: II Timothy 3:16,17; Proverbs 30:5,6; Romans 2:12; Philippians 3:16; II Peter 1:20,21; John 16:12-15
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent, perfect Spirit and personal Being, the Creator, Preserver, and Supreme Ruler of the universe, inexpressibly glorious in holiness and all other perfections, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. Places in the Bible Where Taught: I John 1:5; 4:8; Hebrews 1:3; 3:4; 11:5; Romans 1:20; Exodus 3:14; I Peter 1:15,16; Matthew 3:15-17; 28:19; I Corinthians 12:4-6; II Corinthians 12:9; Ephesians 2:8, 9; 4:4-6; John 5:6; 10:30; Job 11:7; Isaiah 55:8-11.
We believe the Holy Spirit is the supernatural and sovereign Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, instructs, empowers believers and seals them unto the day of redemption. Every believer has the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation and are to yield to His control. The Holy Spirit administers all spiritual gifts, intending that they be used in His church “until He comes.” God the Holy Spirit is sovereign in the bestowing of all His gifts for the perfecting of the saints today. Speaking in tongues and the working of signs and miracles in the beginning days of the church were for the purpose of pointing to and authenticating the apostles as revealers of divine truth and were never intended to be characteristic of the lives of believers. Places in the Bible where Taught: Genesis 1:2; Romans 8:9 I Corinthians 4:20,21; 12:4-11; II Corinthians 5:18;12:12 Ephesians 4:3-13; 5:18 John 14:16,17; 15:26; 16:13; I John 2:20,27; Hebrews 2:1-4.
We believe in the literal 24-hour, 7-day Genesis account of creation and that it is to be accepted literally and not figuratively: that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness and did not evolve from any lower form of life; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly through God’s established law, that they should bring forth only “after their kind.” Places in the Bible Where Taught: Genesis 1 & 2; 1:26; Exodus 20:11; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:10; John 1:3; I Corinthians 15:22, 45.
We believe that man was created in a state of holiness, under the law of his Maker. Through the temptation of Satan he voluntarily transgressed and fell from his holy state. The consequence is that all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but choice, being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God. Mankind is positively inclined to evil and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin without defense or excuse. Places in the Bible Where Taught: Genesis 1:27; 3:1-24; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Acts 17:26-29; Romans 3:9-18; 5:12, 19; Psalm 51:5; Isaiah 53:6; Ezekiel 18:19,20; Galatians 3:22; Romans 5:12-19.
We believe that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ by the merit of His shed blood, not on the basis of human merit or works. The election of God does not contradict or negate the responsibility of man to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord. The unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part or to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will, but is solely of His Sovereign Grace and Mercy. The redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever. Out of deep gratitude for the undeserved Grace of God granted to us, and because our glorious God is so worthy of our total consecration, all the saved should live in such a manner as to demonstrate our adoring love to God so as not to bring reproach upon our Lord and Savior. Places in the Bible Where Taught: Ephesians 2:8,9; John 3:16; 8:58; 10:30; Philippians 2:6-8; Acts 2:32; 16;27-31; Romans 3:21; 6:23; 10:9; I Peter 1:18-23, Acts 4:12.
We believe that we are declared righteous through faith in Jesus who bore the punishment of God for our sins. This act of justification is achieved not through any of our own works but by the works of Jesus whom we trust for our salvation. Justification does not rely on any prerequisite besides simple faith; whereas sanctification can only take place once a person has become a believer and is therefore justified. Sanctification is the process of God working in us to set us apart to do His Will and His Work for His good pleasure. He guides our hearts through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit and directs and leads our actions through His word, the Bible. Sanctification is a process that will continue in a believer until their death or the return of Christ. Places in the Bible Where Taught: Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:21-25; 4:1; 5:1; 8-9; 18-21; Acts 13:38; Titus 3:5-7; John 6:37-40; 8:28; Philippians 1:6; Jude 24,25; I John 5:13; Romans 8:29-30; II Peter 1:4-7.
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated or born again. Regeneration consists of giving a holy disposition to the soul; that the soul is affected, in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine trust, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel. Its proper evidence should appear in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life. Places in the Bible Where Taught: John 3:6,7; 16:8; I Peter 1:22,23; II Corinthians 5:17; I John 4:15f; Ephesians 4:17-20; Galatians 5:16-23; Mt 7:16.
We believe that repentance and faith are sacred duties and are inseparable Graces, offered by God who has put the desire in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God, to be forever with Him for all Eternity. Being deeply convinced of our guilt and knowledgeable of the possibility of eternal damnation and separation from God, and completely helpless in ourselves to attain salvation and eternal companionship with God, we freely receive the Lord Jesus Christ as the only and all-sufficient means of Salvation. That by His willing Sacrifice we may turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession and supplication for Mercy accepting his Sacrifice in order to make us free from sin and thereby able to be present with God. The condition of salvation excludes boasting, promotes humility, love, prayer, praise and Trust in God; actively imitates His free Mercy, and is the foundation of Christian assurances.
We believe in a visible, local church with the Lord Jesus Christ as its Head and highest authority. It is a congregation of immersed believers associated by Covenant in the Faith and fellowship of the Gospel; a voluntary and independent autonomous church. Each congregation recognizes its own democratic, self-containing government. It is a democracy with the power and right within itself to confess its own faith in accordance with the New Testament. We believe in observing the Ordinances of Christ which include Baptism and the Lord’s Table. We are governed by His laws and exercise the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word.
We believe that both Christian baptism and the Lord’s supper are each a memorial, a symbol and a prophecy. We believe that Christian baptism is not required for salvation but is an act of obedience and identification with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. The process is the bodily immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This shows a solemn and beautiful emblem, 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 prerequisite to the Lord’s Supper. Believers, by the sacred use of bread and fruit of the vine do commemorate together the Lord’s death until He comes. Participating in the Lord’s Supper is preceded always by solemn self-examination. Places in the Bible Where Taught: Romans 6:3-11; Matthew 3:13-17; 26:26-29; 28:19,20; Ephesians 4:5; I Corinthians 11:23-28; 12:13; Acts 2:38, 41-42; 8:36-39; Colossians 2:12; Luke 22:14-20.
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His sight. All such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death. Places in the Bible Where Taught: Romans 1:17; 5:9; Malachi 3:18; Genesis 18:23; Acts 10:34,35; I John 3:7,8,36; 1 Peter 4:18; Isaiah. 55:6,7; Matthew. 7:13,14
We believe the Scriptures clearly teach that Jesus rose from the dead bodily. His grave was emptied of its contents. He appeared to the disciples after His resurrection in many convincing manifestations. He now exists in His glorified body at God’s right hand and there will be a resurrection of the righteous and a resurrection of the wicked, separated in time. The bodies of the righteous will conform to the glorified body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Places in the Bible Where Taught: Matthew 18:1-8; I Corinthians 15:1-58; John 11:25; Acts 1:3; 10:39-41; 24:15; Mark 16:19; I Peter 3:22; Philippians 3:21.
We believe in the imminent pre-tribulation (seven years) rapture of the redeemed and the pre-millennial return of the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ will rapture His redeemed after which He will personally and visibly return with His saints to establish His millennial kingdom upon the earth to reign as King with power and great glory and that at the end of the millennium a solemn separation will take place. The wicked will be judged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy. This judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven and hell, on principles of righteousness. Places in the Bible Where Taught: John 14:3; I Thessalonians 4:16-18; II Thessalonians 2:1-10; Acts 1:11; Revelation 1:7; 20:5-15; Matthew 24:30,31; II Peter 2:9; Philippians 3:20; I John 3:2,3; Daniel 9:24-27; Zachariah 14:4-5.
We believe discipline is an important part of the Christian life. The Church is to deal with any sin or offense problems. The intention of Church discipline is to pursue and maintain purity in the Church and to seek reconciliation and restoration. Places in the Bible Where Taught: Heb 12:10, I Co.9:25-27, I Tim 3:4-5, Gal 6:1.
B. Pastor/Elders of Ministry The church may call additional Pastor/Elders of Ministry, upon the recommendation of the Elder Body, who are recognized by the church as needed to assist the Pastor/Teaching Elder in the performance of his regular duties, perform any other duties as usually pertain to the office of pastor, or which may be specifically assigned to him by the Pastor/Teaching Elder.