SCBC

ARTICLES OF FAITH

LAST UPDATED: 2/18/2024

The name of this organization shall be Calvary Baptist Church, 1779 Depot Road, Salem, Ohio. This organization shall function as an Independent Baptist Church.

ARTICLE I: NAME

Its object shall be to promote the worship of God by preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ at home and abroad, trusting that as a result, sinners shall be saved and believers edified. Its object is further expressed in our Church Covenant. This Covenant shall be read frequently, preferably in conjunction with the Communion Service. (Congregation standing as Pastor reads).

ARTICLE II: OBJECT

Its object shall be to promote the worship of God by preaching the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ at home and abroad, trusting that as a result, sinners shall be saved and believers edified. Its object is further expressed in our Church Covenant. This Covenant shall be read frequently, preferably in conjunction with the Communion Service. (Congregation standing as Pastor reads).

THE CHURCH COVENANT

Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, we do now in the presence of God, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ. We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this Church, in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines; and to contribute cheerfully 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. 

THE CHURCH COVENANT
Cont'd

We also encourage and maintain family and secret devotions to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, backbiting and excessive anger; to abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drink as a beverage, and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior. We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember one another in prayer, to aid one another in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior, to secure it without delay. We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will as soon as possible unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.

ARTICLE III: DOCTRINE

Its doctrine shall be in conformity with those generally accepted by Baptist Churches and expressed in our Confession of Faith.

CONFESSION OF FAITH

SECTION I: OF THE SCRIPTURES We believe that the Bible, as originally written, was verbally inspired and the product of Spirit controlled men, and therefore has truth without admixture of error or its matter.

We believe that it is the true center of Christian union and the only infallible rule for all human conduct, creeds and opinions. (II Timothy 3:16, 17; II Peter 1:19-21)

SECTION II: OF THE TRUE GOD

 We believe that there is only one living and true God, infinite in every excellence; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three personal distinctions: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; yet one in substance and equal in every divine perfection. (Exodus 20:2,3; I Corinthians 8:6, I John 5:7)

We believe in the absolute Deity of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ; that He was divine as no other man can be, being very God of very God, existing from all eternity co-equal with the Father and the Spirit; that He never ceased to be God for one instant and that His humiliation did not consist in laying aside His deity; that as man He was miraculously begotten of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary. (John 1:1,2; I John 5:20; Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:26-38)

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine person, equal with the Father and Son and of the same substance and nature; that He convicts of sin, righteousness and judgement, bears witness to the truth, is the Agent of the New Birth and that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses to, sanctifies, and helps the believer, indwelling every true Child of God. (II Cor. 13:14; John 14:16,17; Romans 8:14-27)*

SECTION III: OF THE DEVIL OR SATAN

We believe in the distinct personality of Satan, that he is the unholy god of this age, author of all powers of darkness and sin, and is destined to the judgement of an eternal justice in the lake of fire. (Matt. 4:1-3; II Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10)

SECTION IV: OF THE CREATION

We believe that God created the heavens and the earth, including all life, “each after its own kind” by direct act and not the process of evolution. (Gen. 1:2, Col. 1:16,17; John 1:3

SECTION V: OF THE FALL OF MAN

We believe that man, in the person of the first Adam, was created in innocence but by voluntary transgression fell into sin thus plunging the whole race into condemnation and death, so that now all mankind is born in sin and shapen in iniquity and become willful sinners with the first expression of personal choice, and so are without excuse before God. (Genesis 3; Romans 5:10-19)

SECTION VI: OF THE REDEMPTION FROM SIN

We believe that the only escape from the condemnation of sin is through the redemption wrought by Jesus Christ, when He voluntarily took upon Him a human body and nature, yet without sin, and by His suffering, death and resurrection made full satisfaction to the justice of God for sin of man; that the blessings of this salvation are given on the grounds of grace to all who believe and confess and that it is the immediate duty of all to accept these offers of mercy. (John 1:1-3; John 14; John 3:1-7; Hebrews 10:4-14; Acts 16:30-33)

SECTION VII: OF SALVATION BY GRACE

We believe that faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation from sin, and this salvation is wholly by grace; that no works, however good, make that salvation more secure. (Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5-7; Romans 10:913)

We believe that all that takes Christ as their Savior are born from above and are eternally secure in Christ. (John 10:28,29; Rom. 8:35-39; Phil. 1:6)

SECTION VIII: OF SANCTIFICATION

We believe that sanctification has a two-fold meaning, (a) That of setting apart of things, days or persons specifically for God, and that the believer at the time of his regeneration is so set apart by God the Father; (b) The progressive work of the Holy Spirit whereby the believer, obedient to the Word of God, experiences the power of the indwelling Christ for holiness of life and victory over the old nature, which work will be completed when the believer stand in Christ’ presence. {(a) I Cor. 1:30; Hebrews 10:10-14 (b) Col. 1:2629; John 17:17; I Thess. 5:23; II Cor. 3:18)}

SECTION IX: OF THE CHURCH

We believe that the Church universally is a New Testament institution; unknown to the Old Testament prophets; established by Jesus Christ, who is its sole Head; revealed through the holy apostles; empowered and perpetuated by the Holy Spirit; His “body” for service and His “bride’” for glory. It began with the New Testament saints on the day of Pentecost and will be consummated at the coming of Christ in the Rapture. (Matt. 16:18; Acts 1:8, 2:1-13, 41-47, 15:14; Rom. 16:26; I Cor. 12:12-28; Eph. 1:22,23, 3:21, 5:23-33; I Thess. 4:13-18)

We believe that the Church universally is manifest through the local Church which is a congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in it by His Word; that its officers are bishops ( or Pastors) and deacons; that it has the absolute right of self-government directed by the Holy Spirit and is answerable only to Christ, and that in all matters of membership, policy, government, discipline and benevolence the will of the local church is final. (Matt. 18:1517; I Cor. 1:2; I Cor. 6:1,2,4,5; 7:17; 11:16; I Tim. 3:1-15)*

SECTION X: OF THE ORDINANCES

We believe that there are two ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water and is properly called “Believer’s Baptism”. It sets forth in a beautiful and solemn way our faith in a crucified, buried and risen Savior, with the effects of that faith in our lives as it produces death to sin and resurrection to new life. Baptism is a prerequisite to the privilege of Church membership. The Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of our Lord’s death until He comes and our continual fellowship with Him should be preceded by Baptism and always by careful self-examination. (Acts 8:36-39; Rom. 6:3-5; I Cor. 11:23-32)

SECTION XI: OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only such as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Holy Spirit of God, are truly righteous in God’s esteem; while all such who continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse; and that this distinction holds among men both during life and after death, in the everlasting conscious felicity of the saved and the everlasting suffering of the lost. (Mal. 3:18; Rom. 6:17-23; Matt. 25:34-41; Luke 16:25; John 8:21)

SECTION XII: OF THE RETURN OF CHRIST

We believe in the bodily, personal, premillennial return of Jesus Christ; that He will come before the seven year tribulation period to catch away His church, coming only into the air, and that He will come with His church at the close of the tribulation to judge the living nations and to set up His kingdom on earth. (I Thess. 4:13-18; Matt. 25:31-46; Rev. 19:11-21)

SECTION XIII: OF THE RESURRECTION

We believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ according to the scriptures. We believe in the resurrection of the bodies of the dead; that believers who sleep in Jesus will be raised at the coming of Christ for His church and caught up with transformed living saints to meet the Lord in the air, and that the wicked dead will be raised at the close of the millennial kingdom and stand in their bodies at the Great White Throne Judgment to receive their final doom. (John 5:21-30; I Thess. 4:16; Rev. 7:9-17; 20:11-15)

ARTICLE IV: ASSOCIATIONS

A New Testament church cannot “join” anything outside itself but only affiliate therewith on the grounds of fellowship. This church shall not affiliate with any group or church that is apostate or interferes with the sovereignty of this local church. This church, shall however, seek fellowship with other churches holding the same convictions and beliefs as set forth in our Articles of Faith.

ARTICLE V: MEMBERSHIP
SECTION I: PRESENT MEMBERSHIP

All whose names appear upon the rolls of this church are members but only those upon the “active” list are considered in good and regular standing. Those whose names appear on the “inactive” list have no right of franchise and may not be granted a letter of “good and regular standing”. Members who have not reached their sixteenth birthday shall not have the right of franchise.

SECTION II: RECEPTION OF MEMBERS

Paragraph A: Anyone professing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior, giving evidence of a change of heart, and declaring himself (or herself) in accord with the principles, practices and doctrines of this church may become a candidate for church membership.

Paragraph B: Candidates may become members of the church in one of four ways: (1) By Baptism; (2) By Letter; (3) By statement of Christian Experience (having been previously baptized); (4) By Restoration.

Paragraph C: Candidates for church membership shall appear personally before the pastor and deacons who shall pass upon their qualifications and prescribe any restrictions they may deem advisable for the best interest of the Church. Having been recommended by the deacons the name shall then be submitted to the church for acceptance or rejection, five dissenting voters constituting refusal of admission, but any member objecting may be required to present the grounds of his objection before the deacons at their next meeting. A two-thirds vote of the deacons shall over-rule the objection and the name shall be submitted once more to the church.

SECTION III: DISMISSAL OF MEMBERS

Paragraph A: Church Letters

  1. Letters of dismission may be granted any member in good standing. Such letters must be addressed to some particular church of the same faith and order as this and sent by the clerk to the pastor or clerk of the church to which the member is dismissed. Such letters shall be valid only for six months from the date and the member dismissed shall remain subject to the discipline of this church until notification has been received of the acceptance by the church addressed. No letter shall be granted except to a designated church of like faith and order.
  2. Members not in good and regular standing or those desiring to unite with a church not of our faith and order may be given a Certificate of Standing to date.

Paragraph B: Discipline of Members

  1. The matter of discipline of the membership shall be in the hands of the deacons assisted by the pastor, but in cases of expulsion from the membership, final action must be taken by the church. No member shall be expelled until every effort has been made, including if physically possible, personal visits to reclaim him (or her) for Christ and the Church.
  2. Members failing to support the church by their attendance within a period of one year, without legitimate excuse (such “support” and “excuse” to be defined by the deacons) may be placed on the “inactive” list and so lose their right of franchise. Names continuing upon the “inactive” list for more than a year may be removed from the church membership roll subject to (1) of this paragraph.

Paragraph B: Discipline of Members

  1. The matter of discipline of the membership shall be in the hands of the deacons assisted by the pastor, but in cases of expulsion from the membership, final action must be taken by the church. No member shall be expelled until every effort has been made, including if physically possible, personal visits to reclaim him (or her) for Christ and the Church.
  2. Members failing to support the church by their attendance within a period of one year, without legitimate excuse (such “support” and “excuse” to be defined by the deacons) may be placed on the “inactive” list and so lose their right of franchise. Names continuing upon the “inactive” list for more than a year may be removed from the church membership roll subject to (1) of this paragraph.
ARTICLE VI: ORDINANCES
SECTION 1: BAPTISM

Those professing saving faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior shall, by the pastor or some person authorized by the church, be immersed in water in accordance with the Scriptural teaching. Immersion shall be a prerequisite to church membership.

SECTION 2: LORD'S SUPPER

The Lord’s Supper (communion) shall be served to the assembled church by the pastor (or some person designated by the church) and the deacons, normally on the first Sunday morning of each month, and/or at the discretion of the deacons. Since it is the Lord’s table, none that are His shall be barred, but the pastor shall frequently state the Scriptural order, and shall explain the meaning of the ordinance.

ARTICLE VII: OFFICERS AND BOARDS

The officers of the church shall consist of the pastor, deacons, treasurer, clerk and Sunday School Superintendent, all of whom except the pastor, shall have been a member of this church for a period of at least one year before being placed in nomination; and their term of office shall begin on the first of the month following the Annual meeting. Retiring officers shall hold office until the terms of the newly elected officers begin. Other minor offices may be created from time to time as may be deemed necessary. No person shall hold more than two major offices at one time, and no member of the “inactive” list is eligible to hold office in the church or any of its organizations. No one can hold any office who is a member of a lodge (secret order) neither any divorced persons who has married another while their former wife or husband is still living. Only those can hold office who are living a separated Christian life especially in regards to loyal obedience to the moral precepts taught in the Word of God for believers, including: Freedom from carnal indulgences such as the use of intoxicating liquors, tobacco in all its forms, narcotic 7 drugs, all of which are harmful, a stumbling block and out of harmony with a dedicated life as set forth in Romans 12:1-2, 14:21; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Col. 3:1-10; I peter 1:1416; II Cor. 6:14; II Cor. 7:1.

SECTION I: PASTOR

Paragraph A: The pastor shall be elected for an undetermined term. Notice of the proposed choice of pastor shall be given from the pulpit for two consecutive Sundays preceding the election, voting shall be by ballot and two-thirds (2/3) of the votes cast shall be required for election.

Paragraph B: The pastor shall give the church notice of resignation in writing not to exceed sixty (60) days and continue as pastor. The church may by a two-thirds (2/3) vote at a regularly called meeting (See Art. XII, Sec.2) declare the pulpit vacant, provide a notice of not less than sixty (60) days from the time this action is taken be given the pastor occupying the pulpit to vacate the same.

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