Onawa Bible Baptist Church
Articles of Faith and Bylaws
OF THE SCRIPTURES
We believe the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired; that it
has truth for its matter without any admixture of error; that it is and shall
remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the
will of God to man; and that it is the true center of Christian union, and the
supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be
tried.We believe the Authorized (King James) Version Old and New Testaments are
the Word of God kept intact for English-speaking peoples by way of God’s divine
providence and work of preservation; and that the Authorized Version
translators were not “inspired”, but were merely God’s instruments used to
preserve His words for English-speaking peoples.By “Holy Bible” we mean that collection
of sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which, as originally written
and providentially preserved, does not only contain and convey the Word of God,
but is the very Word of God.By “inspiration” we mean that the books of the
Bible were written by holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost in
such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally
inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will
be inspired.By “providentially preserved” we mean that God through the ages
has, in His divine providence, preserved the very words that He inspired; that
the Hebrew Old Testament text, as found in the Traditional Masoretic Text, and
the Greek New Testament text as found in the Textus Receptus, are indeed the
products of God’s providential preservation, and are together the complete,
preserved, inerrant Word of God.
Dt 4:2; Ps 12:6-7; Ps 19:7-11; Ps 119:89,105,130,160; Isa 8:20; Isa 40:8; Jer
23:29; Ezek 12:25; Mt 5:17-18; Mt 22:29; Lk 24:44-45; Jn 12:48; Jn 17:17; Jn
20:30-31; Rom 3:4; Rom 15:4; Eph 6:17; II Tim 3:16-17; Heb 4:12; I Pt 1:23-25;
II Pt 1:19-21; Rev 22:18-19.
2. OF THE TRUE
We believe there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite,
intelligent Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth,
inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence
and love; and that in the 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.
Ex 20:2-3; Ex 15:11; II Sam 7:22; Ps 83:18; Ps 90:2; Ps 147:5; Isa 40:28; Isa
45:5-6; Jer 10:10; Mt 28:18; Mk 12:30; Jn 1:1-2,14; Jn 4:24; Jn 14:7-11; Jn
17:5; Rom 11:33; I Cor 8:6; I Cor 12:4-6; Phlp 2:5-6; Col 2:9; I Tim 1:17; I
Tim 3:16; I Tim 6:13-16; I Jn 5:7; Rev 1:8.
OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, equal with God the Father and
God the Son, and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that
in His relation to the unbelieving world, the Holy Spirit restrains the evil
one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, of
judgment, and of righteousness; that He is the witness of and guide into all
truth; that He shall not speak of nor exalt Himself, but will glorify the Son
of God; that the Holy Spirit is the agent in the New Birth; and that He seals,
endues, comforts, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies, and helps the
Gen 1:1-3; II Chr 7:1-3; Neh 9:20,30; Job 33:4; Ps 139:7; Isa 11:1-2; Isa
59:19; Ezek 36:26-27; Zec 4:6; Mt 12:31; Lk 1:35; Lk 24:49; Jn 3:5-6; Jn
14:16-17,26; Jn 15:26; Jn 16:7-11,13-14; Acts 1:8; Acts 5:30-32; Acts 6:5; Acts
13:2; Rom 8:9,14-16,26-27; I Cor 3:16; Gal 5:22-23; Eph 3:16; Eph 4:30; I Pt
1:2; I Jn 4:13; Rev 22:17.
4. OF THE DEVIL,
We believe Satan was once holy, and enjoyed heavenly honors, but through pride
and ambition to be as the Almighty, he fell and drew after him a host of
angels; that Satan is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the
unholy god of this world; that he is mankind’s great tempter, the enemy of God
and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions,
the chief power behind the present apostasy; and that he is the lord of the
antichrist, and the author of all the powers of darkness – destined, however,
to final defeat at the hands of God’s own Son, and to the judgment of an
eternal justice in the Lake of Fire, a place prepared for him and his angels.
Gen 3:14-15; Job 2:2; Isa 14:12-17; Ezek 28:14-19; Zec 3:1; Mt 4:1-11; Mt
13:19,38-39; Mt 25:41; Jn 8:44; Jn 13:2; Jn 14:30; II Cor 4:3-4; II Cor
11:13-15; Eph 2:2; Eph 6:11-12; I Ths 3:5; II Ths 2:7-10; Heb 2:14; I Pt 5:8;
II Pt 2:4; I Jn 2:22; I Jn 4:3; II Jn 7; Jude 6; Rev 9:11; Rev 12:7-10; Rev
We believe the Genesis account of creation; that the Genesis creation record is
to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was
created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that by God’s
own handiwork, in the space of six twenty-four hour days, were all things
created that are in heaven and that are in the earth, visible and invisible;
that creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species,
or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms;
and that all animal and vegetable life was made directly, and God’s established
law was that they should bring forth only after their kind.
Gen 1:1-2:3; Gen 2:21-23; Gen 5:1-2; Ex 20:11; I Chr 16:26; Neh 9:6; Job
12:7-9; Job 38:4-11; Ps 8:3-6; Ps 19:1; Ps 100:3; Ps 102:25; Prov 30:4; Isa
42:5; Isa 45:11-12,18; Jer 10:12; Jer 32:17; Jn 1:1-3; Acts 4:24; Acts
17:24-26; Rom 1:20; Col 1:16-17; Heb 11:3; Rev 4:11; Rev 10:5-6.
6. OF THE FALL
We believe man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by
voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state; and that by the
sin of one man all men are now sinners, not by constraint, but by choice, and
therefore all are under just condemnation without defense or excuse.
Gen 3:1-13,16-24; Job 15:16; Ps 14:2-3; Ps 51:5; Prov 20:9; Eccl 7:20; Isa
53:6; Jer 16:12; Jer 17:9; Ezek 18:4; Mt 7:21-23; Mt 23:28; Rom 1:18-20,28-32;
Rom 2:1; Rom 3:10-19,23; Rom 5:12; I Cor 15:21-22; Gal 3:22; Eph 2:1-3; I Tim
2:13-14; Jms 1:13-15.
7. OF THE VIRGIN
We believe Jesus Christ, Who was preexistent in the Godhead from eternity-past,
was made flesh when He was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner:
born of a virgin woman, Mary, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born
of woman; and that Jesus Christ is God Incarnate, both the Son of God and God
Gen 3:15; Ps 2:7; Isa 7:14; Isa 9:6-7; Mt 1:18-25; Mt 16:16; Mk 1:1; Lk
1:30-35; Jn 1:1-2,14; Jn 8:58; Jn 12:45; Jn 17:5; Rom 8:3; I Cor 15:47; Gal
4:4; Phlp 2:5-8; Col 2:9; I Tim 3:16; Heb 5:5; Heb 7:3; II Pt 1:16-18; I Jn
4:2; I Jn 5:9,20.
OF THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace through the mediatorial
offices of the Son of God, Who by appointment of the Father, freely took upon
Himself the nature of man yet without sin, Who honored the divine law by His
personal obedience, and Who by His death made a full and vicarious atonement
for the sins of mankind, providing redemption through His blood; that without
the shedding of blood is no remission of sin, therefore, the shed blood of
Jesus Christ, that cleanseth man from all sin, was presented in heaven, was
sprinkled on the true mercy seat, and was accepted by God the Father as the
atonement for the sins of the whole world, only becoming efficacious through
man’s individual repentance, confession, and faith; that Christ’s atonement
consisted not in setting man an example by His death as a martyr, but was the
voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the
unjust, Christ the Lord bearing the sins of man in His own body on the tree;
and that after having given Himself for man, an offering and a sacrifice to God
for a sweetsmelling savor, and having, in turn, risen from the dead, Christ
Jesus is now seated on the right hand of God, becoming in every way a suitable,
a compassionate, and an all-sufficient Savior.
Isa 53:4-7,10-12; Lk 19:10; Jn 3:16-17; Acts 15:11; Rom 3:24-25; Rom 5:6-8; I
Cor 15:3; II Cor 5:15,21; Gal 1:4; Eph 5:2; Phlp 2:7-8; Tit 2:14; Heb 1:3; Heb
2:14-17; Heb 7:25; Heb 8:1-2; Heb 9:12-15,22-26; Heb 10:10-12; Heb 12:2; I Pt
1:18-19; I Pt 2:24; I Pt 3:18; I Jn 2:1-2; I Jn 3:5; Rev 1:5.
OF THE RESURRECTION
We believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead bodily the third day, according to
the Scriptures; that the Lord’s resurrection was attested to by many infallible
proofs; and that forty days thereafter, He physically ascended back to heaven
assuming His place as man’s Advocate with the Father: the faithful High Priest
Who ever liveth to make intercession for mankind.
Mt 16:21; Mt 28:1-15; Mk 16:1-13,19; Lk 24:1-51; Jn 2:19; Jn 20:1-20,24-29;
Acts 1:1-3; Acts 2:22-27,29-33; Acts 3:14-15; Acts 4:33; Acts 10:39-41; Acts
13:29-31; Acts 17:2-3,31; Acts 26:22-23; Rom 1:4; Rom 6:9-10; Rom 8:34; Rom
10:9; I Cor 15:3-8; II Cor 4:14; Eph 1:20; Phlp 3:10-11; II Tim 2:8; I Pt
3:21-22; Rev 1:18.
10. OF GRACE IN
THE NEW CREATION
We believe sinners must be born again in order to be saved; that the new birth
is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that the new birth is instantaneous and not
a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made
a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of
God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above man’s
comprehension, and is not by culture, nor by character, nor by the will of man,
but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine
truth, so as to secure man’s voluntary obedience to the gospel; and that proper
evidence of the new birth appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith,
and newness of life.
Jer 17:7-8; Jn 1:12-13; Jn 3:3,6-7; Jn 5:24; Jn 6:63; Rom 3:24; Rom 5:15; Rom
8:11,32; I Cor 6:9-11; II Cor 5:17-19; II Cor 9:15; Gal 2:20; Gal 4:29; Gal
5:22-24; Gal 6:15; Eph 2:1,5-8,15; Eph 4:24; Eph 5:9-10; Col 2:13; Col
3:1,9-10; II Tim 2:1; Tit 3:5; Jms 1:18; I Pt 1:23; II Pt 1:4; I Jn 2:29; I Jn
3:8-10; I Jn 4:7; I Jn 5:1,4,10-12,18,21.
11. OF THE
FREENESS OF SALVATION
We believe in God’s electing grace; that the blessings of salvation are made
free to all by the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all men to accept
salvation by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents
the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity
and voluntary rejection of the gospel, a rejection which involves the sinner in
an aggravated condemnation.
Isa 55:1; Ezek 33:11; Mt 11:28; Lk 11:10; Jn 3:14-20,36; Jn 4:10; Jn 6:37; Jn
15:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 8:20-21; Acts 10:34-35; Acts 17:29-31; Rom 5;18; Rom
6:23; Rom 8:29-30; Rom 10:12-13; Eph 2:7-9; Tit 1:1-2; II Pt 3:9; Rev 3:20; Rev
We believe the great gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in
Him is justification; that justification includes the pardon of sin, and the
gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; and that justification and
its benefits are bestowed not in consideration of any works of righteousness
which man has done, but rather, God’s righteousness is imputed to man solely
through faith in the Redeemer’s vicarious shed blood.
Gen 15:6; Job 9:20; Ps 40:2; Isa 53:11; Hbk 2:4; Lk 16:15; Jn 5:24; Acts 13:39;
Rom 1:17; Rom 2:13; Rom 3:24-28; Rom 4:1-9,23-25; Rom 5:1,9; Rom 8:1; I Cor
6:11; Gal 2:16; Gal 3:8-11,24; Phlp 3:9; Tit 3:5-7; Heb 10:38; Heb 11:4; Rev
13. OF REPENTANCE
We believe repentance and faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable
graces, wrought in the soul of man by the quickening Holy Spirit of God; that
being deeply convicted of his own guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the
way of salvation by Christ, man must turn to God with unfeigned contrition,
confession, and supplication for mercy, while at the same time heartily
believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, openly confessing Him as the only true and
Ps 34:18; Ps 51:1-4; Prov 28:13; Isa 55:6-7; Isa 66:7; Ezek 18:31; Joel
2:12-13; Mk 1:14-15; Mk 6:12; Lk 12:8; Lk 13:3; Lk 18:13-14; Acts 2:37-38; Acts
3:19; Acts 8:22-23; Acts 17:29-30; Acts 20:21; Acts 26:18-20; Rom 10:9-11; II
Cor 7:10; I Jn 1:8-9.
14. OF THE
ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE SAINTS
We believe all the Redeemed are kept by the power of God through faith unto
salvation, and are, therefore, secure in Christ; and that eternal security is
synonymous to eternal life, and is a work of God which insures that the gift of
salvation, once received, cannot be lost by any true believer.
Ps 31:23; Ps 37:28; Ps 121:3; Prov 2:8; Isa 46:4; Mt 7:24-25; Jn 3:16; Jn 5:24;
Jn 10:27-29; Jn 17:11; Rom 4:21; Rom 8:15-16,33-39; II Cor 1:21-22; II Cor 5:5;
Eph 1:13-14; Phlp 1:6; II Tim 1:12; II Tim 4:18; I Pt 1:3-5; I Jn 2:19,25; I Jn
3:2; I Jn 4:13; I Jn 5:11-13; Jude 24.
15. OF THE RETURN
OF CHRIST AND RELATED EVENTS
We believe Jesus Christ will physically return to the earth in like manner as
He was seen to go into heaven: bodily, personally and visibly; that His Second
Coming will be preceded by a chronology of Last Days’ events – literal events,
beginning with a pre-tribulational, pre-millennial calling out of all the
redeemed: the Rapture; that the Rapture will terminate the dispensation of the
New Testament Church, and will induce the time of Jacob’s Trouble: a seven-year
Tribulation Period and reign of antichrist; that the Tribulation will culminate
with Armageddon: the final terrible event in world history when the Lord Jesus,
with heaven’s host, returns victoriously making the kingdoms of this world to
become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ; that upon the Second Coming
of Christ, the Lord shall reign in righteousness on the earth for one thousand
years, climaxing with the final condemnation of Satan and the last judgment of
Revelation Chapter Twenty; and that, eternally thereafter, the Lord Jesus
Christ shall reign for ever and ever.
Gen 18:25; Isa 11:4-10; Jer 23:5-6; Jer 30:6-10; Dan 7:23-27; Dan 9:24; Dan
12:1; Zech 14:9-11; Mt 24:3-31,36-51; Mt 25:31-33; Mt 26:64; Jn 5:22; Jn
14:2-4; Acts 1:9-11; I Cor 15:22-26,48-54; Phlp 3:20-21; I Ths 4:15-17; I Ths
5:1-9; II Tim 4:1; Tit 2:13; Heb 9:28; Heb 10:37; II Pt 3:10-13; Jude 14-15;
Rev 1:17; Rev 16:16; Rev 20:1-15; Rev 22:20.
16. OF THE
RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe 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 Spirit of God, are truly righteous
in His esteem, and that all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in
God’s sight wicked and under the curse; and that among men both in and after
death there exists this great eternal distinction: the everlasting bliss of the
saved, and the everlasting, conscious suffering of the lost.
Gen 18:23,25; Ps 11:5-7; Prov 10:6-7,10; Prov 11:31; Prov 14:32; Mal 4:1-2; Mt
7:13-14; Mt 13:38,47-48; Mt 25:32-34,41; Lk 16:25; Jn 3:18-21,36; Jn 12:25; Rom
1:17-18; Rom 2:9-11; Rom 5:18; Rom 6:16-18; Rom 7:5-6; I Cor 6:9-11; I Cor
15:22; Gal 3:10-11; II Pt 3:7; I Jn 2:29; I Jn 3:7-10; I Jn 5:10-12,18-19.
17.OF HUMAN SEXUALITY
We believe that God purposely created mankind as male (man) and female (woman);
that God blessed and charged man and woman to fulfill the design of their
sexuality (intimacy and progeny) strictly within the confines of a marriage
relationship between one man (who was born a male) and one woman (who was born
a female) for one lifetime; and that pornography, fornication, adultery,
polygamy, incest, bisexuality, homosexuality, bestiality, transgenderism, and
any other such aberrations are all perversions of God’s design for mankind and
heinous transgressions of God’s Law.
Because God has ordained marriage and define it as the covenant
relationship between a man, a woman, and Himself, Onawa Bible Baptist Church
will only recognize marriages between a biological man and a biological
woman. Further, the pastor(s)/leaders
and staff of Onawa Bible Baptist Church shall only participate in weddings and
solemnize marriages between one man and one woman. Finally, the facilities and property of Onawa
Bible Baptist Church shall only host weddings between one man and one woman.
(see THE USE OF CHURCH FACILITIES)
Gen 1:27-28; Gen 2:18,21-24; Lev 18:6-18,22-30; Deut 23:17; Deut 27:20-23; Prov
5:15,18-20; Prov 6:29; Prov 9:13-18; Prov 18:22; Eccl 9:9; Mt 19:3-8; Rom
1:18-32; I Cor 5:9; I Cor 6:9-10,18; I Cor 7:1-2,8-11; I Cor 10:8; Gal 5:19,21;
Eph 5:5-6; Col 3:5-6; I Ths 4:4-5; Heb 13:4; Jude 7
18. OF SEPARATION
We believe one distinguishing mark of biblical Christianity is a separation
from worldly conduct, interests, philosophies, and unions; that separation from
the worldly unto the godly should be maintained in two primary realms: the
personal and the ecclesiastical; that personal separation is the believer’s
responsibility to live circumspectly: denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,
living soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; and that
ecclesiastical separation is a vigilant adherence to holiness in all matters
related to the church.
Ezra 10:11-12; Ps 1:1; Prov 4:14; Prov 13:20; Prov 24:1; Isa 52:11; Ezek 44:23;
Amos 3:3; Mt 5:13,16; Jn 15:19; Acts 2:40; Rom 8:1; I Cor 6:19-20; II Cor 5:17;
II Cor 6:14-18; Gal 5:16; Eph 5:11,13-15; I Ths 4:3-5; I Ths 5:22; II Ths 3:6;
Tit 2:11-12; Jms 4:4,8; I Pt 2:11-12; I Pt 4:1-4; I Jn 2:6,15-16.
19. OF THE CHURCH
We believe the New Testament church is a local, visible, autonomous assembly
only; that Jesus Christ established His Church during His earthly ministry,
prior to the events of Acts Chapter Two and the Day of Pentecost; that a
Baptist church is a congregation of born-again baptized believers associated by
a scriptural covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel, said church being
the citadel and propagator of the divine and eternal grace; that the church
alone is authorized to administer and observe the ordinances of Christ; that
all church members, ministries, and polities are to be subject to the Lordship
of Christ, exercising the gifts, rights, disciplines, and privileges vested in
them by His Word; and that church officers are pastors or elders, and deacons,
whose qualifications, claims, and duties are clearly defined in the
scriptures.We believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great
Commission: first, to make individual disciples; second, to baptize believers
and add them to the church; and third, to teach and instruct as Christ
commanded. We do not believe in the reversal of this order.We believe the church
has the absolute right of self-government, free from the interference of any
hierarchy of individuals or organizations; that the one and only superintendent
of the church is Jesus Christ, through the work of the Holy Spirit; that it is
scriptural for churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the
faith and for the furtherance of the gospel; that every church is the sole and
only judge of the measure and method of its cooperation with others; and that
in all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipline, of
benevolence, the will of the church is final.
Mt 16:18-19; Mt 18:15-18; Mt 28:18-20; Acts 2:41-42,46-47; Acts 6:2-6; Acts
11:25-26; Acts 20:17-21,27-28; Rom 16:1-5; I Cor 3:9-11; I Cor 6:1-3; I Cor
11:2; I Cor 12:12-27; I Cor 16:15-19; II Cor 1:1; II Cor 8:23-24; Eph 1:22-23;
Eph 3:8-11,21; Eph 4:11-12; Eph 5:23-27; Col 1:18; I Tim 3:1-15; I Pt 5:1-4.
20. OF BAPTISM
AND THE LORD’S TABLE
We believe baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in the name of the
Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, by and under the authority of a New
Testament Baptist church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem one’s
faith in and identification with the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with
its effects: death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that baptism is
requisite to the place and privileges of a church membership and to the Lord’s
Table in which, after solemn self-examination, and by the use of unleavened
bread and the fruit of the vine, the members only of a given Baptist church are
to commemorate together the sacrificial love of Christ.
Mt 3:5-8,13-17; Mt 26:26-29; Mt 28:18-19; Mk 13:34; Lk 22:19-20; Jn 3:22-23;
Acts 2:41-42; Acts 8:12,36-39; Acts 10:48; Acts 18:8; Rom 6:3-5; I Cor 10:21; I
Cor 11:2,23-29; I Cor 12:12-13; Eph 4:4-5; Col 2:12; I Pt 3:21.
21. OF MISSIONS
We believe Missions, the endeavor to reach all the world with the gospel, is a
charge to, and the responsibility of the church; that the church is debtor to
those who have never heard the gospel; that the Lord Jesus Christ has commanded
the gospel to be preached at home and abroad — to the uttermost part of the
earth; and that the magnitude of the Great Commission constrains autonomous New
Testament Baptist churches to cooperate together for the accomplishment of the
Ps 96:3; Prov 11:30; Isa 6:8; Dan 12:3; Mt 9:36-38; Mt 24:14; Mt 28:18-20; Mk
16:15; Lk 24:45-47; Jn 4:35-38; Jn 20:21; Acts 1:8; Acts 13:1-4; Acts 16:9-10;
Rom 1:14-16; Rom 9:22-26; Rom 10:13-15; II Cor 5:18-20; II Cor 10:13-16; Phlp
4:14-18; II Pt 3:9; Rev 14:6.
22. OF THE GRACE
We believe God’s program for financing the execution of His Great Commission is
the program by which every believer gives tithes and offerings to God in and
through the New Testament storehouse: His Church; that the institution of
tithing predates and is separate from the Law; and that cheerful, obedient,
sacrificial giving presents for God opportunities to manifest His grace and His
inexhaustible bounty of blessings.
Lev 27:30,32; I Chrn 29:3; II Chrn 31:10; Prov 3:9-10; Prov 11:25; Mal 3:8-11;
Mt 6:1-4; Mt 23:23; Lk 6:38; Acts 4:33-35,37; Acts 11:29-30; Acts 20:35; I Cor
4:2; I Cor 16:2; II Cor 8:1-9; II Cor 9:6-7; I Tim 6:17-18; Heb 7:1-2,4; Heb
23. OF CIVIL
We believe civil government is ordained of God for the interest and good order
of society; that government’s purpose is to punish evildoers and to support and
defend the righteous; that believers are commanded to conscientiously honor,
obey, and pray for all that are in authority, that men may lead quiet and
peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty; that civil government has no
jurisdiction in respect to the free exercise of the church; and that civil
disobedience is justified only in things opposed to Divine Law, which is supreme,
and to the will of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Lord of the
conscience, and the coming Prince of the kings of the earth.
Ex 22:28; II Sam 23:3; II Chrn 19:6; Ps 72:11; Prov 16:12-15; Prov 19:12; Prov
24:21; Prov 29:2; Eccl 8:2; Isa 10:1; Dan 2:21; Mt 17:24-27; Mt 22:21; Acts
4:19-20; Acts 5:29; Rom 13:1-7; Eph 6:5-9; Phlp 2:10-11; Col 3:22-25; Col 4:1;
I Tim 2:1-4; I Tim 6:1-2; Tit 3:1; I Pt 2:13-14,17-18.
24. OF THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its
dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally
challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural
death. We are therefore called to
defend, protect, and value all human life. (Genesis 1:26; 9:5-7; Psalm 139)
Reposing our faith wholly in the Lord Jesus Christ for
our salvation, believing in the teaching and practices of New Testament
Baptists, and in those great distinctive principles for which they have stood,
and accepting as a general summary of doctrine and duties a covenant and
Articles of Faith contained herein:
We, therefore, bind ourselves together, as a body of
baptized believers in Jesus Christ and adopt for our government and plan of
worship and service the following articles:
The name of this church under the authority of God
alone, shall be the Onawa Bible Baptist Church of Onawa, IA.
CHURCH GOVERNMENT AND AFFILIATION
Section A. Government
This church is an autonomous body of baptized
(immersed) believers, the government being vested in its active membership and
exercised through its duly elected officers.
The instruments of government are the Holy Bible (66 canonized books),
the Articles of Faith, and Bylaws.
Section B. Autonomy
(1) We, the Onawa Bible Baptist Church of Onawa, IA,
shall be known as an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church.
(2) This church reserves the right to fellowship with
any Christian organization which clearly holds to our Articles of Faith, and in
no way lays claim to any of our property.
In no wise shall this church become a permanent “affiliate” or “member”
of any organization; we forever reserve the right to withdraw fellowship.
Section C. Separation
(1) In no wise
shall this church cooperate fellowship or contribute to any organization
identified or connected with the National Council of Churches and/or World
Council of Churches or future progenitors of such (i.e. ecumenical movement).
(2) In no wise shall this church cooperate, fellowship
or contribute to any organization identified or connected with the so-called
(3) In no wise
shall this church cooperate, fellowship or contribute with any cult—i.e.
Jehovah’s Witness, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventist, Catholicism, etc.—or any
Section A. Church Membership
This church shall consist of baptized (water immersion)
believers in Christ, who take the Holy Bible as their rule of faith and
Section B. Membership
Persons may be received into the membership of this
church (a) by letters of recommendation from other Baptist churches of like
faith and order; or, (b) by relation of the Christian salvation experience,
having previously been baptized into a Baptist church of like faith and order;
or, (c) by confession of faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior and following
Him in scriptural water baptism. In each
case for baptism, the candidate must give evidence of a change of heart, the
testimony of a Christian life, and the adoption of the views of faith and
practice held by this church.
Section C. Membership Dismissal
(1) A member in good standing may be dismissed to the
fellowship of another Baptist church by a letter of recommendation. A member wishing to withdraw from the church
to enter some other denomination shall be dropped from the membership roll.
(2) To be
considered a member in good standing of this church, and maintain one’s voting
privilege, a member must have attended at least twenty-five (25) regular
services during the preceding three (3) months, unless providentially
hindered. Those who willfully absent
themselves for this stated period of time shall automatically be considered not
in good standing, forfeiting the voting privilege afforded active members in
good standing. (Hebrews 10:25)
(3) If a member of Onawa Bible Baptist Church comes under
church discipline, their membership cannot be freely terminated unless they
choose not to repent of their sin after being confronted by the church. Then the church will remove the unrepentant
member from the membership rolls. This
process is laid clearly in Section D, dealing with Church Discipline.
Section D. Church Discipline.
(1) All members
of this church shall hold themselves subject to the discipline of this church
and shall conduct themselves in accordance with the Word of God (Articles of
Faith) and bylaws of this instrument.
(2) In a case
where offense is believed to have been given, those who are in possession of
evidence concerning the alleged offense (witnesses), must confront the sin the
way Jesus demanded it to be confronted:
One on one, then two or three on one, then the church on one. If the person refuses to hear and repent,
then he shall be dismissed from church membership and from all church
privileges. He will not be allowed to
return until repentance has been truly demonstrated.
(3) If a member
under church discipline shall voluntarily make a confession to the church, and
manifest an evidence of true repentance, no further proceedings shall be
entertained. One who has been excluded
from membership may be reinstated to full fellowship by making a voluntary
confession, showing true repentance, and by expressing a desire to reunite with
the church fellowship.
(4) Sin that is discovered that is in violation of the
law must be reported. It should first be
reported to the Pastor, then to the authorities (police). Immediate response to the known sin is
required, not only for the spiritual health of the church, but the testimony of
the church as well.
Section A. The Existent Offices.
The offices of this church shall consist of pastor(s)
and deacons. All other offices (i.e.
trustee, treasurer, church clerk) will be appointed by the pastor to assist the
pastor and the church needs. All persons
holding such offices shall be members of this church in good standing. Each office holder/employee shall be required
to sign a statement affirming that they agree with Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s
articles of faith and are willing to comply with its standards and conduct
(articles and bylaws). Violation of
Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s articles of faith and/or bylaws constitutes good
cause to terminate the office holder’s position/employment.
Section B. The Office of Pastor.
(1) A pastoral
candidate for this church must meet the qualifications of that office as listed
in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, and rigorously adhere to the Articles of Faith adopted by
(2) The pastor
shall be elected for an indefinite term of office.
pastor/church relationship may be dissolved by mutual agreement after thirty
(30) days notice. This time may be
extended to meet the needs of the pastor or church by mutual agreement.
(4) If the
pastor terminates the relationship, the church is automatically relieved of any
further obligation as to salary or regularly extended church facilities. Other arrangements may be made by mutual
agreement. If the church should
terminate the relationship, the church will extend regular church facilities
and salary for (1) month.
(5) The call or
dismissal of a pastor shall come before the church at a regular or specially
called business meeting, with notice of such meeting and its purpose having
been announced from the pulpit on two successive Sundays previous. A three-fourths (3/4) vote of all active
members present and voting shall be necessary to make such action valid.
(6) In the
event of a vacancy occurring in the pulpit due to death or resignation the
Deacon(s) shall put together a Pulpit Committee of men that are members in good
standing (see Article VII, Section E for duties of the Pulpit Committee).
(7) Any speaker
occupying the pulpit or otherwise addressing this church membership must first
be approved by the pastor (or Pulpit Committee, if a pulpit vacancy exists).
Section C. The Office of Deacon.
individuals designated as Church Deacons must meet the qualifications of that
office as listed in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. A
proving period (as mentioned in vs. 10) shall be defined as six (6) months of
prior membership in this church, and two (2) years tenure as a born-again
(2) This church
shall have sufficient number of deacons (such number will be determined by the
pastor), provided such men are available who meet the requirements of paragraph
incumbent deacon, derelict in his qualification or duties, shall be asked to
resign his office. If a resignation is
refused, said deacon may be removed from office in a special church business
meeting, duly announced by a simple majority vote of active church members
present and voting.
(4) A deacon
who moves his place of residence a distance prohibiting regular attendance,
automatically vacates his office.
Vacancies left by death or other causes may be filled by pastoral
the number of deacon offices is increased (such need determined by the pastor),
the total number required to fill all vacancies will be appointed by the
Pastor. All deacons shall be installed
according to Acts 6:1-7.
Section D. The Office of Trustee.
If necessity requires the church to have a trustee, he
will be appointed by the Pastor as he sees fit.
The Trustee shall be appointed for the sake of handling the legal issues
of the church.
Section E. The Office of Church Clerk.
The church clerk shall be appointed by the pastor.
Section F. The Offices of Treasurer and Assistant
The church treasurer and assistant treasurer shall be
appointed by the Pastor and voted on by the church. Those voted into office will continue as long
as the Pastor sees fit.
DUTIES OF THE CHURCH OFFICERS
Section A. General Responsibility.
In order to promote a high spiritual standard in the
church, all officers, teachers, and committee men will be members of this
church and will be expected to attend the regular services of the church
faithfully when not providentially hindered.
Section B. Duties of the Pastor.
(1) The pastor
shall preach the Gospel regularly, administer the ordinances, act as moderated
of all meetings for the transaction of business, supervise the teaching
ministry of the church, tenderly watch over its membership and spiritual
interest, organize and develop its strength for the best possible service, and
guard the church from wolves in sheep’s clothing and false teaching.
(2) In the
event of illness, absence, or pulpit vacancy, the associate pastor shall act as
business meeting moderator. If there be
no associate pastor, the head Deacon shall moderate that particular meeting.
(3) The pastor
shall be given liberty by the church to conduct revivals, Bible conferences, or
other such meetings, as he feels led of the Holy Spirit to do so. He shall be at liberty to attend seminars,
fellowship meetings, and conferences he deems necessary to his ministry. When the pastor is absent from his pulpit, he
is responsible to engage a suitable supply.
(4) The pastor
shall hire, discharge and accept or reject resignations of all salaried
personnel of this church.
(5) The pastor
shall possess authority for the appointment and removal of all church staff not
holding elected offices (superintendents, teachers, clerks, etc.).
(6) For purpose
of Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and
discipline, the pastor(s) shall act as Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s final
interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application concerning its
truth, morality, and what it teaches about the proper conduct of mankind.
Section C. Duties of the
The deacons shall attend to the necessities of the
poor, and act as an advisory committee to the pastor in planning the work of
the church financially and otherwise.
With the pastor, they will make such recommendations to the church as
they deem wise, and aid the pastor in zealously guarding and fostering the
spiritual life of the church.
Section D. Duties of the
The trustees of this church, as directed by the pastor
and church shall conduct all legal business of the church.
Section E. Duties of the Church
The church clerk shall (a) keep a correct record of
the proceedings of the church at all meetings (e.g., business meetings); (b)
keep a complete registry of membership; (c) be responsible for the issue of
dismissal letters and call for letters of recommendation as directed by the
church; (d) preserve all papers and letters coming into his (or her) hands
during the term of office, and delivering the same and all records kept by the
church clerk to his (or her) successor.
Section F. Duties of the
Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer.
(1) The church
treasurer and assistant treasurer shall receive and account for all funds
contributed and shall disburse the same as ordered by the church and Finance
(2) The church
treasurer shall present a monthly financial report of church receipts and
disbursements to the Finance Committee.
A detailed report showing the financial condition of the church will be submitted
to the entire church at each annual business meeting.
(3) All general
fund checks in the amount of $500.00 or more shall be brought before the church
Section A. General Principles.
It shall be understood that all organizations of this
church are a part of this church and subject to its jurisdiction. They shall not conduct themselves in any way
that is unbecoming to the Christian faith or that shall bring discredit to the
body of which they are a part. They
shall in no way allow any activities which are contrary to scripture or
disapproved by this church.
THE USE OF CHURCH FACILITIES
Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s facilities were provided
through God’s benevolence and by the sacrificial generosity of church
members. The church desires that its
facilities be used for the fellowship of the Body to bring God glory. Although the facilities are not generally
open to the public, we make our facilities available to approved non-members as
a witness to our faith, in a spirit of Christian charity, and as a means of
demonstrating the Gospel of Jesus Christ in practice.
But facility use will not be permitted to persons or
groups holding, advancing, or advocating beliefs or practices that conflict
with the Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s faith or moral teachings, which are
summarized in, among other places, the Onawa Bible Baptist’s Church’s Articles
of Faith and Bylaws. Nor may church
facilities be used for activities that contradict, or are deemed inconsistent
with, the Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s faith or moral teachings. The pastor, or his official designee, is the
final decision-maker concerning use of church facilities.
This restricted facility use policy is necessary for
two important reasons. First, Onawa Bible
Baptist Church may not in good conscience materially cooperate in activities or
beliefs that are contrary to its faith.
Allowing its facilities to be used for purposes that contradict its
beliefs would be material cooperation with that activity, and would be a grave
violation of Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s faith and religious practice. (2 Cor.
6:14; 1 Thess. 5:22.)
Second, it is very important that the Onawa Bible
Baptist Church present a consistent message to the community, and that the
church staff and members conscientiously maintain that message as part of their
witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Allowing facilities to be used by groups or persons who express beliefs
or engage in practices contrary to Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s faith would have
a severe, negative impact on the message that the church strives to
promote. It could also cause confusion
and scandal to church members and the community because they may reasonably
perceive that by allowing use of our facilities, that Onawa Bible Baptist
Church agrees with the beliefs or practices of the persons or groups using its
Therefore, in no event shall persons or groups who
hold, advance, or advocate beliefs, or advance, advocate, or engage in
practices that contradict the Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s Articles of Faith
and Bylaws use any church facility. Nor
may Onawa Bible Baptist Church’s facilities be used in any way that contradicts
the church’s faith. This policy applies
to all church facilities, regardless of whether the facilities are connected to
the church’s sanctuary, because the church sees all of its property as holy and
set apart to worship God. (Col. 3:17.)
Section A. Church Business
(1) The annual
business meeting shall be held each year on the third Sunday night of
January. The fiscal year for this church
shall be the January 1 to December 31.
(2) The pastor
shall moderate at all church business meetings.
(3) All church
business meetings shall be opened and closed in prayer.
(4) All motions
shall be presented in writing when requested.
The names of all who make and second motions shall be included in the
church minutes. Those individuals making
and seconding motions shall stand and respectfully address the moderator.
motion shall not be entertained until all consideration and discussion of the
current motion has been disposed of.
Discourteous language or remarks intended to injure the reputation or
feelings of any member shall be ruled out of order and such speaker shall
forfeit his (or her) right to be heard.
introduction of any matter foreign to the subject at hand shall be ruled out of
order and may be asked to leave. (Colossians 4:6)
business meetings, with a minimum advance notice of three days given at a
regularly scheduled service, may be called by the pastor whenever such meetings
are deemed necessary.
(9) All special
business meetings must be in reference to those topics duly announced. Any motion to the contrary shall be ruled out
(10) Any and
all “secret” or unauthorized meetings of this church shall be invalid.
(11) A quorum
for all annual and special business meetings of the church shall consist of all
those members who attend that are qualified to vote.
Section A. Church Business
Unless otherwise authorized by this church, all voting
will be public. Those who call for a
secret ballot shall be considered.
Section B. Qualifications.
All scripturally baptized members of this church who
at least eighteen (18) years of age or older, and in possession of “member in
good standing” status (see Article III, Section C, Paragraph 2) shall be
entitled to vote.
Section C. Requirement.
Unless otherwise stated, a simple majority affirmative
vote of all members present and voting, who are in compliance with the
qualifications of Section B, is required for church business.
Section A. Bylaws.
These bylaws may be changed or amended at any regular
or special business meeting by a three-fourths (3/4) affirmative vote of all
active members present and voting, provided, however, a written notice of such
changes shall have been proposed and announced at a regular service to the
church at least one month previous, and such alteration does not conflict with
the Articles of Faith.
Section B. Articles of Faith.
(1) In no wise
shall an amendment, change or alteration be considered or enacted with
references to the Articles of Faith or Bylaws so related.
(2) Any member,
or group of members, who shall subject the Articles of Faith unbelief or
amendment shall be subject to church discipline.
No part of the net earnings of this church shall ever
become the personal benefit of any donor, member or officer of the church. No private individual, donor, member or
officer shall be entitled to share in the distribution of church assets.