Church Order for the Reformed Bible Church
The Bible clearly teaches that believers shall congregate together as believers. These congregations shall have elders who minister the Word, exercise prayer, rule over the congregation, administer the sacraments of baptism and communion, serve as examples to the flock, administer discipline, care for the poor within the congregation, exhort, admonish, and in every way be spiritual shepherds over the flock. The Deacons are chosen and ordained in order to serve the elders and the congregation in all things needful for the well being of the flock.
Thus, the Reformed Bible Church, hereafter called "RBC", is not a man-made institution but exists by divine mandate and is to be established and operated in accordance with Biblical principles.
Article 1. RBC recognizes only one source of divine truth and that is the Bible. Sola Scriptura. The Bible alone, infallible and inerrant is the divine revelation of the mind of God. It therefore, from Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21, is the ultimate and final authority in all matters of doctrine and practice. Now that the Bible is complete, the RBC rejects any suggestions or ideas that God can bring any revelation whatsoever through dreams, visions, tongues, or angel visitations. The Bible alone and in it's entirety is the divine word that structures and determines the character of the true Gospel.
Section 1. We believe in the only true God, distinct in three Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit who out of nothing has made heaven and earth and all that is in them, and still upholds and governs them, so that nothing comes to pass, either in heaven or on earth, without His divine will.
Section 2. We believe that we are conceived and born in sin, and therefore, children of wrath by nature, wholly incapable of doing any good and prone to all evil; and that we, in thought, word, and deed, have frequently transgressed the commandments of the Lord; and we sincerely repent of these sins.
Section 3. We believe that Jesus Christ, who is both true and eternal God and very man, who assumed His human nature from the flesh and blood of the virgin Mary, is given to us of God as our Saviour, and that we by this faith receive remission of sins in His blood, and that we by the effectual power of the Holy Spirit have become members of Jesus Christ and His Church.
Section 4. We firmly resolve to manage all the affairs of this Church according to pure Word of God, to reject all things contrary to that Word, and to acknowledge Jesus Christ as the only Head of this Church and the Supreme Ruler of the World. Accordingly, we promise never to ascribe more authority to this Church, its teaching of decrees, than we do to the Word of God. Rather, we will rely on the Bible for the regulation, foundation, and confirmation of our faith, believing without any doubt, all things contained in the inerrant authoritative Word of God. We also promise to establish and maintain a church where the pure doctrine of the Gospel is preached, and where church discipline is exercised in the punishment of sin. Furthermore, we promise to labor fervently and devotedly in the building of the Heavenly Kingdom through the preaching of the Law-Word of God unto Reformation, Reconstruction and Dominion as commanded in Genesis 1:28.
Section 5. The RBC shall use the King James version of the Holy Bible as its official translation of the Scriptures but acknowledges that there are other translation that are faithful to the original tongues of the Scriptures.
Section 6. The RBC is a creedal Church. We assent to all the articles of the orthodox Christian religion in its creeds and confessions, as they are taught here in this Christian Church and from the word of God, and promise to continue steadfastly in the same doctrine to the end of our lives. We also reject all heresies and errors conflicting with this doctrine, and promise that we will persevere in the fellowship of this Christian Church, not only in the hearing of the Divine Word, but in diligent study and application of God's Word to our lives.
Section 7. We firmly resolve always to lead a Christian life, to forsake the love of the world and its evil lusts, as is becoming to the members of Christ and of His Church, and to submit cheerfully to all Christian admonitions.
Section 1. The Church stands in defense of the Orthodox Reformed Doctrine which is based on the Word of God and expressed in the Three Forms of Unity, namely the Heidelberg Catechism, the Cannons of Dort, and the Belgic Confession. This Church further stands in defense of the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Ecumenical Creeds which are excepted by nearly all of the churches of Christendom, namely the Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Athanasian Creed, the Council of Orange and the Council of Chalcedon. In regarding these confessions, we realize that these are not inspired, therefore, not infallible, yet are the most beneficial and accurate man made documents every given to the Church apart form Scripture. The RBC has adopted an extended version of the Apostles Creed which is more detailed yet maintains the original intent and accuracy. This Creed is read each week during the opening call to Worship.
Section 2. This Church will teach Biblical and Creedal doctrine diligently, defend it faithfully and will not contradict it directly or indirectly in any preaching, teaching, or writing.
Section 3. The RBC may be defined as Postmillennial, Partial Preteristic, Theonomic/Reconstruction, Puritan/Reformed, and Calvinistic. The RBC abides by exclusive psalmody principles and sings a'capella, non instrumental. The RBC uses the Psalms of David in Metre Psalter as well as other Metrical Psalter tunes all sung to familiar hymns and songs.
Section 1. The members of this Church hereby vest the Session with the temporal and ecclesiastical government of the Church, except for such matters which this Constitution reserves for a vote of the congregational meeting.
Section 2. This Church is not subject to the authority or control of any outside ecclesiastical authority nor is it subject to the State existing as a non incorporated entity and under the Sovereign Rule of the Lord Jesus..
Section 3. The Church, through the Session, may seek relationships with other Reformed congregations, associations, conferences and other cooperative organizations, and send delegates and representatives thereto, so long as the same are in fact, agencies of the local Churches and do not usurp the authority of the local church. While this body subscribes to Presbyterianism it remains cautious as to its involvement in General Assemblies.
Section 4. This Church shall not join itself to any denomination or other ecclesiastical association which has the power to enforce binding decisions on this Church unless such action is first approved by a three-fourths vote of the Consistory and ratified by a three-fourths vote of the congregational meeting.
Section 5. This Church shall support, both financially and spiritually, missionary projects selected by resolution of the Consistory. Such projects shall be the work of this Church, and the participation of this Church shall not be subject to the control of any outside ecclesiastical body, board, or agency.
Section 1. Public Worship services shall be held in the morning and/or afternoon / evening each Sunday. Since God has set aside Sunday as the Day of Worship, the Session will be responsible for the conduct of these services. A Sunday School shall be provided for the teaching of the Word. All members are to attend the Morning Worship Services. Weekday Worship services may be called as necessary, but not to substitute the Sunday Worship. All members shall be enjoined and admonished insofar as possible to avail themselves of all these Sunday activities. Only work of necessity and work of mercy shall be done on Sunday.
Section 2. In addition to the Sunday Worship the RBC shall hold as an option the observance of Christmas, Christmas Eve, Good Friday. These are optional Days for gathering and are not commanded to be observed by Scripture.
THE LORD'S SUPPER
Section 1. The celebration of the Lord's supper is a celebration of said sacrament for those who are under the care and supervision of the Session of Elders only. Only those members shall be permitted to partake of the Table of the Lord. Children who have been catechized by their parents and who show a sincere love to the Lord and a desire to serve him shall be permitted to the table. Very young children are asked to refrain. Consider the following articles from the Reformation and Puritan era:
1. Explanation and Defense of the Terms of Communion by the Reformed Presbytery
2. Calvin, Covenanting and Close Communion (1996) BARROW, REG
3. Concerning Close Communion, MCKNIGHT, W.J.
4. Close Communion, GEORGE, R.J.
5. The Ordinance of Covenanting (1843) CUNNINGHAM, JOHN
NOTE: all books above are available through Still Waters Revival Books (click here to go there)
6. The Necessity of Reforming the Church - John Calvin (Old Paths Publications)