THE CONSTITUTION OF THE CHINESE BAPTIST CHURCH OF MIAMI
We, the members of the Chinese Baptist Church of Miami, Florida, accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, and the Holy Bible as the full and sufficient rule of faith and practice, do bind ourselves together as a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ. We hereby declare and establish the following constitution to preserve and secure the principles of our faith.
ARTICLE 1: Name
This local body shall be known as the Chinese Baptist Church of Miami.
ARTICLE 2: Objectives
This church, with Jesus Christ as her head (Eph.5:23), shall follow biblical principles to establish the New Testament Church (Mt.16:18; Acts 2:41-42), to lead people to Christ (Phil.2:15), to build up believers to be His disciples (2 Tim.2:2), and to equip, unite and mobilize members (Eph.4:12-16) in order to fulfill the Great Commission (Mt.28:19-20).
ARTICLE 3: Statement of Faith
This statement of faith is a reflection of some of the basic beliefs of this church and shall not be regarded as a complete statement of faith. These beliefs arc based on the Holy Bible which is the only authority for faith and practice.
Section 1. The Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Bible which consists of the sixty six books of the Old and New Testaments, was composed by holy men of God who were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Pet.1:20-21) so that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible and inspired Word of God (Matt. 4:4; 5:17-18; John 17:17; 2 Tim.3:15-17; Heb.1:1-2); that it is the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of man (John 5:39; Acts 17:2-3) and is the divine standard of judgment (Heb.4:12) and only authority for Christian faith and conduct (John 15:7,10).
Section 2. The Triune God
We believe that there is one and only one living, true God (Deut.6:4; Jas.2:19) who eternally subsists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Gen.1:26; Matt.28:19), united in the same nature, essence and being (Mark 12:29; John 10:30; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor.3:17; 13:14).
- The Father.
We believe in the Father who is the Father of Creation (Gen.1:1; 1sa.45:18), of Israel (Exod.4:22), of our Lord Jesus Christ (Matt.3:17),and of the adopted hefts (John 1:12-13; Acts 17:29; Ga1.3:26).
- The Son.
We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal and only begotten Son of God (Isa.9:6; Micah 5:2; John 1:1,14), who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary (Matt.1:18-25; Ga1.4:4); that in Him perfect humanity and deity is found in person (Phil.2:5-11); that He was born sinless and died sinless (Luke 1:35; 2 Cor.5:21; Heb.4:15; 1 Pet.2:22),--tharlle- is The mediator -between- Qod and man (John 14:6; 1 Tim.2:5); that He was crucified on the cross and His blood was shed for the sins of mankind to fulfill the requirement of God and the Law (Heb.9:11-28); that He was bodily raised from the dead, and ascended into heaven (Acts 1:1-11; 1 Cor.15).
- The Holy Spirit.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, who proceeded from the Father (1 Cor. 2:10-11) and the Son (John 15:26), with the same nature, equal in power and eternally coexistent with the Father and the Son (Gen.1:2; Acts 5:3-4); that His ministry is to convict men of their sins (John 16:8-15), to regenerate (Tit.3:5), to baptize (Rom.6:1-10) and to indwell continually in believers from the moment of salvation (Eph.1:13-14), to guide (Eph.5:18), to teach, discipline, comfort (John 14:16,26), to sanctify (Ga1.5:22-23), and empower for witnessing (Acts 1:8) and service (1 Cor.12:4-7) and to magnify Jesus Christ (John 16:14).
Section 3. Man
We believe that man was created in the image of God (Gen.1:26-28; 2:7, 21-23); that in Adam all men have fallen into sin (Gen.3:1-19), and as sinners, men are in need of God's salvation from the bondage of the devil and eternal punishment in hell (Ps.51:5; Jer,17:9; Rom. 1:18-3:20; 5:12-14; 2 Cor.4:3-4); that in Christ all men may be justified by accepting the free gift of salvation, resulting in forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God (Rom.5:1,10-21) and may be made alive in Christ in order to know the riches of His grace and to walk in His good works (Eph.2:1-22).
Section 4. Salvation
We believe that the salvation of mankind depends solely on the finished work of Christ on the cross once for all as the atonement for the sins of men (Mark 10:45; Luke 19:10; 2 Cor.5:19-21; 1 Tim.4:10; 1 John 2:2); that by God's grace penitent sinners who place their faith in the saving work of the risen Christ (John 3:16,18,36) and not in any other works (Eph.2:8-9), are redeemed (Rom.1:16-17; 3:23-25; Ga1.3:13), regenerated (Tit.3:5), forgiven (Acts 13:39), justified (Rom.5:9-11), and assured of their eternal salvation (1 John 5:11-13).
Section 5. The Local Church
We believe that a New Testament church is an organized congregation of baptized believers (Matt.28:19; Acts 10:47-48; 1 Cor.1:2,13-16) associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, observing the ordinances of Christ, governed by His teachings (Acts 2:42-47), exercising its gifts to evangelize the lost and to edify and equip the saints (Rom.12:3-8; 1 Cor.12:12-27; Eph.4:11-16; 1 Pet.4:10) and has as its officers, pastors and deacons (1 Tim.3:1-15; Tit.1:7-9; Heb.13:7,17).
Section 6. Baptism and the Lord's Supper
We believe that water baptism and the Lord's Supper are the only ordinances of the church.
- Water baptism.
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a person who professes faith in Christ (Acts 8:12,35-39; 10:47-48; 18:7-8), in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Maft.28:19-20); that it publicly identifies the Christian with Christ's death, burial and resurrection (Acts 2:38; 22:15-16; Rom.6:3- 5; Co1.2:12); that it is a prerequisite to membership in a local church (Acts 2:41).
- Lord's Supper.
We believe that the Lord's Supper is a memorial of the death of the Jesus Christ (1 Cor.11:24-25), and anticipates His return (Matt.26:29); that in the Lord's Supper, believers partake of the bread that symbolizes His body (Matt.26:26-28), offered for the sin-bearing sacrifice (1 Pet.2:24), and the fruit of the vine that symbolizes His blood shed for the forgiveness of sins (Eph.1:7).
Section 7. Last Things
- The Rapture.
We believe that the rapture of the Church will occur at the imminent coming (1 Thess.5:6) of the Lord in the air (1 Thess.4:17) to receive to Himself into heaven (John 14:1-3; .Phil.3:20-21), all who have fallen asleep in Christ and all in Christ who are alive at His coming (1 Cor.15:51-52; 1 Thess.4:13-18) so that the Church will be spared from the wrath of the Tribulation period (1 Thess.1:10; 5:9-11; Rev.3:10; 6:17).
- The Resurrections.
We believe that there will be a bodily resurrection of the just to eternal life (John 5:29a), beginning with the rapture of the Church and concluding (Rev.20:6) with the O.T. saints (Dan.12:2) and the slain saints from the Tribulation (Matt.24:31; Rev.20:4); and of the unjust to eternal punishment (John 5:29b) after the return of Christ, at the end of the millennial rule of Christ on earth (Rev.20:5).
- The Return.
We believe that the period of the Great Tribulation (Matt.24:21) on the earth will be climaxed by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt.24:29-31) to the earth as He left in person on the clouds into heaven (Acts 1:9-11).
- The Rule.
We believe that Christ will complete His return by establishing His millennial rule (Rev.19:11-20:6), judging the fallen angels (Rev.20:7-10), the unbelievers (Rev.20:11-15), and ushering in the eternal state (Rev.21-22).
ARTICLE 4: Church Covenant
Since we have received the acceptance, forgiveness, and redemption of God our Father and have committed ourselves to our Lord Jesus Christ, we covenant together as members of this church that with God's help through the guiding presence of His Spirit:
- We will walk together in brotherly love (1 John 4:7).
- We will admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak and be patient with all men (1 Thess.5:14).
- We will assemble faithfully (Heb.10:24,25) in order to encourage one another to devote ourselves to worship, witness, prayer, education, fellowship, and service (Acts 2:42).
- We will pray for one another as well as for ourselves (1 Thess.5:17,25).
- We will endeavor to bring up those under our care in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (1 Thess.2:11-12).
- We will seek, by Christian example and personal effort, to win others to Christ and to encourage their growth toward Christian maturity (Heb.13:7). G. We will share one another's joys and sorrows (Rom.12:15).
- We will avoid all conduct which compromises our Christian faith and uphold high standards of Christian morality (2 Tim.2:22).
- We will prove the reality of our faith by living godly, fruitful lives (Ga1.5:22-23; Jas. 2:17).
- We will be faithful stewards of our resources and abilities by giving regularly (1 Cor.16:1-2), liberally (2 Cor.8:2), willingly (2 Cor.8:3), and cheerfully ( 2 Cor.9:7) to support the ministry (2 Cor.9:l; Ga1.6:6,10), and to use it to share the gospel with unbelievers (Luke 16:9).