To download a .pdf version of this document click here: RBC Constitution 2012
CONSTITUTION OF ROY BIBLE CHURCH
ARTICLE 1: NAME
The name of this church is Roy Bible Church.
ARTICLE 2: PURPOSE
This church exists to glorify God by making disciples of all people, through the means of prayer, evangelism, teaching, fellowship and worship.
ARTICLE 3: ORGANIZATION AND INCORPORATION
This church is an independent non-denominational, church: The authority of this church derives from the Lord Jesus Christ and is vested in its membership, governed through its appointed officers and according to this constitution. The title to the property and buildings, and the ownership of all church equipment is vested in the membership.
ARTICLE 4: AFFILIATION AND FELLOWSHIP
This church shall have fellowship with other Bible-believing churches and individuals of like faith.
ARTICLE 5: CONFESSION & STATEMENT OF FAITH
We accept the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 (excepting the assertions regarding the salvation of the mentally incompetent [10:3] and the identity of the Antichrist [26:4]), as our primary confession of faith. We find this confession to be an aid in controversy, a confirmation in faith, a means of edification in righteousness and a basis for church unity. We acknowledge, however, the inerrant Scriptures to be the supreme authority in all matters of faith, morals and order.
As a summary of our beliefs we teach the following fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith.
Section 1 The Holy Scriptures
The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the verbally inspired and divinely preserved Word of God, inerrant in the original languages, the complete authority for faith and life, infallible and God-breathed. (2 Tim. 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21, Mt. 5:18, John 16: 12-13)
Section 2 The Godhead
A. There is one Triune God, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit … co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. (Deut. 6:4, Mt. 28:19-20, 2 Cor. 13:14)
B. This Triune God is infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth; and He is creator of all things. (John 4:24, Luke 24:39, Ps. 90:2, Gal. 3:6, James 1:17, Is. 44:24, Rev. 9:6, 1 John 3:20, Ps. 147:5, Ps. 139:7-10, Jer. 23:24)
Section 3 The Person and Work of the Father
A. The Father, who is spirit, with the Son and the Holy Spirit, was active in creation and, along with the Son sustains the creation. He is the first cause and source of all things. (John 6:46, 1 Tim. 6:16, Gen. 1:1-2, 1 Cor. 8:6)
B. The Father willed and decreed the plan of salvation. He elects, calls, justifies, forgives, reconciles, adopts and glorifies the redeemed. (Matt 26:39, Rom. 8:28-33, Eph 1:3-6)
Section 4 The Person and Work of the Son
A. The Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. (John 1:1-2, 14, Luke 1:3 5)
B. The Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His life of perfect obedience to the Law, His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and our justification is made sure by His literal, physical, resurrection from the dead. (Rom. 3:24-25, 1 Peter 2:24, Eph. 1:7, 1 Pet. 1:3-5)
C. The Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate. (Acts 1:9-10, Heb. 9:24, 7:25, Rom. 8:34, 1 John 2:1-2)
Section 5 The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
A. The Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, and He is the supernatural agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption. (John 16:8-11, 2 Cor. 3:6, 1 Cor. 12:12-14, Rom. 8:9, Eph. 1:13-14)
B. He is the Divine Teacher who guides believers into all truth; and it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit. (John 16:13, 1 John 2:20, 27, Eph. 5:18)
Section 6 Creation, the Fall and the Depravity of Man
God created the heavens and the earth from nothing, by His Word, in seven days. Man was created in the image and likeness of God, but in Adam’s sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. Man is totally depraved, and, of himself, totally unable to remedy his lost condition. The created order, declared good by God when He created it, was subjected to the effects of the fall of Man and sin. It awaits redemption in its current imperfect state. (Gen. 1:26-27, Rom. 3:22-23, 5:12, Eph. 2:1-3, 12)
Section 7 Salvation
Salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace alone and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. (Eph. 2:8-10, John 1:12, Eph. 1:7, 1 Peter 1:18-19)
Section 8 The Assurance of Believers
A. All the redeemed, once saved, are preserved by God’s power and are in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40, 10:27-30, Rom. 8:1, 38-39, 1 Cor. 1:4-8, 1 Peter 1:5)
B. It is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh. This privilege is contingent upon a continuing walk in the Spirit, without which such assurance is presumptuous. (Rom. 13:13- 14, Gal. 5:13, Titus 2:11-15, Rom. 8:5-14, Heb. 11:14-4:1, Heb. 10:22-29)
Section 9 The Nature of the Believer
Every saved person possesses power to lead a life of Christ-like character and to bear fruit to the glory of the Father through the indwelling Holy Spirit; but claims to perfection in this life are unscriptural. (Rom. 6:13, 8:12-13, 1 Cor. 6:19-20, Gal. 5:16-25, Eph. 4:22-24, Col. 3:10, Titus 2:14, 1 Peter 1:14-16, 1 John 2:15-17, 1 John 3:5-9, 1:8-10)
Section 10 The Church
A. The Church, which is the body and espoused Bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all the saved. (Eph. 1:22-23, 5:25-27, 1 Cor. 12: 12-14,
1 Cor. 11:12)
B. The establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures. (Acts 14:27, 20:17, 28-32, 1 Tim. 3:1-13, Titus 1: .5-11)
Section 11 Ordinances
There are two church ordinances: water baptism for believers and the Lord’s Supper. These are acts of obedience and are of great benefit to individual believers and to the body as a whole. However, they are not to be regarded as a means of salvation or as inherently containing grace. (1 Cor. 11:23-24, Acts 8:35-37, 10:47-48, 1 Cor. 1:14, Acts 8:12)
Section 12 Missions
It is the obligation of the saved to witness by life and by word to the truths of Holy Scripture and to seek to proclaim the Gospel to all mankind. (Mark 16:15, Acts 1:8, 2, Cor. 5:19-20)
Section 13 Satan
Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of The Fall; he is the open and declared enemy of God and man; and he, the fallen angels and unsaved mankind shall be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire. (Job 1:6-7, Isa. 14:12-17, Matt. 4:2-11, 25:41, Rev. 20:10)
Section 14 The Second Advent of Christ
We teach the personal, imminent, coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones and His eternal reign with them in the new heavens and new earth. (1 Thes. 4:13-18,
Rev. 19:11-16, 21:1—4, 1 Thes. 1:10)
Section 15 The Eternal State
Ail men will be bodily resurrected, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. (Mt. 25:46, John 5:28-29, 11:25-26, Rev. 20:5-6, 12-13)
ARTICLE 6: MEMBERSHIP
Section 1 The Purpose of Membership
The New Testament presents a picture of individuals who, once committed to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, identified themselves with and committed themselves to a particular local body. In order to implement the principles of accountability and commitment to the local body of Christ, as defined in the New Testament and practiced in the early churches and to achieve the purpose of this church as stated in Article 2, this church recognizes the need for formal membership. We also recognize that the body of Christ includes every regenerated believer, whether a member of this church or not.
Section 2 Qualifications for Membership
Any person desiring to unite with this church shall be 16 years of age or older, shall express personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and shall give clear evidence of having been born again and demonstrate a sincere desire to live a godly, exemplary, separated, and obedient Christian life. One of the ways such faith is often expressed is by having been baptized as a believer.
Section 3 Procedure for Receiving Members
Requests for membership shall be made to an Elder. Upon making such a request, the person shall be given a copy of this Constitution and any other materials deemed appropriate by the Elders. An Elder (or Elders) shall meet with the applicant following review of the material, answer any questions, and listen to the person’s testimony. Upon a successful interview and unanimous approval by the Elders, the applicant shall be accepted into membership.
Section 4 Termination of Membership
A. By death.
B. By erasure, occurring either as a result of the member requesting that his or her membership be cancelled or as a result of a determination by the Elders in response to repeated or prolonged absence and subsequent inquiry by the Elders to determine the cause of such absence.
C. By church discipline. (See Article 7)
ARTICLE 7: CHURCH DISCIPLINE
The threefold purpose of church discipline is to glorify God by maintaining purity in the local church (1 Cor. 5:6), to edify believers by deterring sin (1 Tim. 5:20), and to promote the spiritual welfare of the offending believer by calling him or her to a biblical standard of doctrine and conduct (Gal. 6:1). Members of this church and all other professing Christians who regularly attend or fellowship with this church who err in doctrine, or who engage in conduct that violates Scripture as determined by the Elders, shall be subject to church discipline, including dismissal according to Matthew 18:15-18.
Before such dismissal:
A. It shall be the duty of any member of this church who has knowledge of the erring individual’s heresy or misconduct to warn or correct such erring individual in private, seeking his or her repentance and restoration;
B. If the erring individual does not heed this warning, then the warning member shall again go to the erring individual, seeking his or her repentance, but accompanied by one or two other individuals, who shall confirm that the sin has occurred or is continuing to occur, and/or that the erring individual has been appropriately confronted and has refused to repent;
C. If the erring individual still refuses to heed this warning, then it shall be brought to the attention of the Elders. If the Elders determine after thorough investigation in accord with the procedures prescribed by pertinent Scripture, including Matthew 18:15-18; 1 Timothy 5:19 and Titus 3:10, that there is corroborating evidence the erring individual has sinned or is continuing to sin, that he or she has been appropriately confronted, and that he or she has refused to repent, then the Elders shall inform the church at a regular service in order that the church may call the erring individual to repentance. If the erring individual demonstrates repentance, then notice to that effect may be given at a regular service;
D. If the erring individual does not repent in response to the church in its collective call to repentance, then he or she shall be publicly dismissed from the fellowship and/or membership of the church at a regular service. If the erring individual, after such dismissal, heeds the warning, demonstrates repentance, and requests reinstatement before the Elders, then he or she shall be publicly restored to all the rights, duties, privileges, and responsibilities of fellowship and/or membership.
Because of 1 Cor. 6:1-8, we the people of Roy Bible Church will not pursue legal action or sue the Elders, Deacons or church staff in connection with the performance of their official duties.
ARTICLE 8: GOVERNMENT
Section 1 Fiscal Year and Congregational Meetings
The fiscal year of this church shall be from January 1 to December 31. There shall be an annual business meeting of the church. Other meetings may be called at the discretion of the Elders. All business meetings must be announced at the morning worship service prior to the business meeting or all resident members must be duly notified. If a vote is taken, a secret ballot vote may be requested in any business meeting by any member. Any member shall vote by absentee ballot with a written and signed request.
Section 2 Regular Business of the Church
The regular business of the church shall be conducted by the Elders in accordance with Article 8, Section 3 of this Constitution. The Elders shall be the official representatives to act for the church in all legal business transactions.
Section 3 Elders
A. Qualification of Elders: All Elders shall be males who are called of God to the task of shepherding God’s flock, who desire the office of Elder, and whose lives meet the character qualities set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, and 1 Peter 5:1-4.
B. Responsibilities of Elders: The Elders shall have oversight of all persons, ministries, and functions of the church. One of the Elders shall serve as chairman of the Elders for purposes of administration. Whether through the oversight of a functional area or through more direct personal ministry, the ultimate concern of all Elders is to shepherd the flock of God among them (Acts 20:28, 1 Peter 5:2).
The Elders shall share pastoral responsibilities. Elders should be willing to be called “pastor” as that is their role and responsibility (a title is not necessary; the point here is simply that Elders are pastors – the terms are considered interchangeable). Although all Elders shall be “able to teach” (1 Timothy 3:2) and “able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:9), it is recognized that some (perhaps only one) may be especially gifted at preaching and teaching and will carry more of those responsibilities. Those who handle more of the teaching/preaching duties are to be considered “teaching Elders.”
The Elders may designate one of themselves, or call someone from outside of the church, to be the primary teaching Elder and pay him a salary so that he can devote himself to teaching and preaching the word.
C. Selection of Elders: Elders will be responsible for appointing additional Elders based on the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, and 1 Peter 5:1-4. Names of those desiring the office of Elder may be submitted by any member of the congregation for consideration by the Elders. The Elders may only appoint new Elders after thorough and prayerful examination. The Elders shall solicit input from the congregation by announcing or publishing the names of any men to be considered for Elder for three weeks prior to the annual business meeting. The purpose is to give any in the congregation who may be aware of any Scriptural reasons why a prospective Elder may not be qualified to bring it to the attention of the Elders.
Following the examination, all candidates for Elder who are unanimously approved by the Elders shall be submitted to the congregation at the annual business meeting and confirmed by a three fourths (3/4) majority of all votes cast. As many qualified men as are called of God and needed may serve. Elders shall serve as long as they meet the Scriptural qualifications and are willing to serve.
At any time any Elders who feel the need may move to an inactive status. As God leads, they may move to active status again, assuming that their lives still meet the qualifications for Elder, and subject to the unanimous approval of the other Elders.
D. Operation of Elders: The Elders shall operate as a plurality. Authority is not vested in any one man. Decisions shall be made by reaching an un-coerced unanimity. The objective in any decision is to find the mind of Christ. This is best accomplished by unanimous agreement following thorough, biblically based discussion and prayer. Christ’s mind is not divided and the decisions of the Elders should reflect that to the church body. When unanimity cannot be reached, the Elders must wait upon the Lord until He reveals His will on the matter. The Elders may on occasion request response or input from the congregation. This is not for the purpose of taking a vote, but only as a further means of seeking the mind of Christ. If a plurality of Elders is lost, the remaining Elder and/or church shall seek a like-minded church whose Elders shall serve in an advisory role until a plurality is regained.
E. Discipline of Elders: If any church member has knowledge of a charge against an Elder, the process for dealing with sin in another church member as described in the section on Church Discipline (under Church Membership) shall be followed. The exception to this is that in step “C”, the accusation must be brought to the Elders by two or three witnesses in accordance with 1 Tim. 5:19-21. The Elder under accusation must absent himself from the vote on a matter of discipline or dismissal
F. Appointment of Deacons: To enable them to carry out their ministry more effectively, the Elders may appoint Deacons who meet the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:8-13. The names of prospective Deacons shall be announced or published for three weeks prior to the annual business meeting to solicit input from the congregation. Following examination and unanimous approval by the Elders, they shall be confirmed at the annual business meeting by a three fourths (3/4) majority of all votes cast.
They shall serve as long as they meet the qualifications and are willing to serve. Responsibilities will be assigned to Deacons by the Elders as needs arise.
ARTICLE 9: DISSOLUTION
No part of the net earnings of the corporation shall ever inure to the benefit of any donor, member, officer of the corporation or any private individual and no donor, member, or officer of the corporation or any private individual shall be entitled to share in the distribution of any of the corporation assets. Upon dissolution any assets of the corporation shall be conveyed as determined by a congregational meeting, provided said conveyance complies with Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
ARTICLE 10: ORDINATION
It shall lie within the province of this church to ordain to the Gospel ministry such men as have a desire, can give a satisfactory account as to their conversion, call to the ministry, and preparation for the same. Examination of the applicant as to these matters shall be in a public meeting and shall be conducted by the Elders or by a duly selected and qualified group of pastors assembled for this purpose.
ARTICLE 11: AMENDMENTS
This Constitution shall not be changed at any time in the future by any amendment to any article or provision of this Constitution wherein it provides for the complete autonomy and self-government of this church; but this Constitution may be otherwise amended by the action of the membership assembled in congregational meetings for such purpose.
Any proposed amendment must be publicized to the congregation at least thirty (30) days prior to the meeting at which action is taken.
Amendments to the Constitution shall require a three-fourths majority vote of members present at a congregational business meeting.