General About US

Brad Williams is one of our founding pastors here at New Covenant Baptist Church. Brad earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama in English Literature, and then earned his Masters of Divinity in Biblical Languages at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He met his wife Amy while in seminary, and together they have two children, two dogs, a turtle, a cat, and five bee hives.


 

David Porch was discipled by members of New Covenant in his late teens and early twenties. After earning his Bachelors in Religion from Liberty University and finishing his ministry internship in New York City, David joined the membership of New Covenant in early 2010. Subsequently, New Covenant sent David out to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where he graduated with a Master of Arts in Old Testament. David’s passion is to teach and preach Christ from the Scriptures, especially showing how the Christ is the central figure of the Hebrew Bible.
David met his wife, Holly, at a conference in Atlanta while a student at SEBTS. The Lord has currently blessed them with two children—their daughter, Raenan, and their son, Nathan.

What is New Covenant Baptist Church?

NCBC is a Southern Baptist Church that was planted in Albertville, AL in 2008 that values the expositional preaching of God’s Word, personal discipleship, and the spread of the gospel to all nations. We meet every Sunday Morning at 10:30 A.M. for corporate worship and 9:30 A.M. for Sunday School. Each Sunday evening at 6:00 various families in our church host community groups which are small group fellowships with topical Bible studies. We also have Wednesday night activities for students, children, and adults.

We are probably slightly different from churches you may have been a part of in the past. We are congregationally ruled and elder led, meaning we make all decisions as a congregation but are led by a plurality of elders (Titus 1:5) rather than just one lead pastor. We have two pastors on staff which both serve as elders and three lay elders. The elders teach various classes and community groups and work as a team to cast the vision for the church.

Our goal as pastors is to help each member of New Covenant to “grow up in every way into him who is the head [of the church], into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). We believe the church exists to make disciples of all nations and so we seek to train our members to go out into the world and live faithfully for glory of Christ. We also support missionaries stationed across the globe and challenge our members to consider going on both short and long term missions.

Above all, New Covenant exists to make much of Jesus Christ. We believe that He is Lord and glorious beyond compare and we want our every boast to be rooted in Him and the work of salvation he has accomplished through his death and resurrection (Galatians 6:14).

What should I expect if I visit on Sunday morning?

When you come to NCBC, we think you will find friendly people of all ages and a church that is seeking to center itself on the Word of God. We believe that God’s Word is powerful and you will see that emphasized in our services through multiple scripture readings, scripturally sound praise songs and hymns, and preaching that seeks to highlight God’s Word and examine what it has to say to us and how we can apply it to our lives.

You will also find topical Sunday School classes for students and adults. We offer age graded Sunday school for children up to the 6th grade. All others are encouraged to attend an adult Sunday school class. This is partly due to limited space and partly due to our philosophy of ministry.

There is no dress code for NCBC—come as you are. You will see people in very informal dress as well as some in more business casual attire.

We hope, above all, that when you visit, you will find services centered on highlighting the truth of God’s Word and a community of faith that loves, serves, and cares for one another.

We are located in our new building behind Crossroads Mall off of Hwy 431 in Albertville

New Covenant Baptist Church

912 E. Main Street

Albertville, AL 35951

256-660-0330

256-849-2454

 

Mailing: PO Box 131, Albertville, AL 35950

 

New Covenant Baptist Church Membership Covenant


The Basis for our joining together as members is our relationship with God the Father through the work of his son Jesus Christ communicated to us by the Holy Spirit.


As a member, I joyfully agree to walk together with the members of this church by making the following commitments:


  • I will rejoice in the grace of God, privately and corporately giving thanks to our heavenly Father for the sacrifice of his son Jesus, for the forgiveness of our sins, and for the gift of the Holy Spirit who empowers us to believe and live for the glory of God.
  • I will live together with my brothers and sisters in love, just as God has loved us.  I will seek their good through forming relationships that promote holiness, discipleship, worship, and sound doctrine.
  • I will, as God enables me, care for my brothers and sisters in Christ in distress, sickness and poverty.
  • I will not neglect to meet together in corporate worship and in small group fellowship in those settings that the church provides.
  • I will devote myself to the study of Scripture and to prayer both privately and through group contexts.
  • I will seek to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ through seeking progressive growth in holiness through the application of the means of grace as taught in Scripture.
  • I will seek to advance the proclamation of the gospel through those relationships God has afforded me in my family, my workplace, and my community, and support those whom the church sends to proclaim the gospel beyond our locale.
  • I will seek to serve the church’s ministries through regular giving of my time, effort, and money.
  • I will pursue reconciliation when offense occurs between myself and another member, and I will reject all opportunities to speak or to hear gossip or slander.
  • I will watch out for church members and admonish anyone whose practice of sin requires it.  If one of our number requires corporate discipline, I will support the efforts and direction of the church, as led by its elders, to call that member to repent of his sins.  I agree with the church’s doctrine and practice of church discipline.
  • I will promote marriage as a reflection of Christ’s relationship with his church and bring up any children God gives me in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
  • I will, if I move from this place, unite with some other church where I can carry on the spirit of this agreement and the teaching of God’s Word.

 

  1. Why are you called “New Covenant Baptist Church”?
    1. The reason we chose the name ‘New Covenant Baptist Church’ is because we wanted our name to be a reflection of who we are.  We chose the words ‘New Covenant’ because of what Jesus said in 1 Corinthians 11:25. He said that He shed His blood for us in order to usher in a new era in salvation history. We believe that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah, the hope of Israel and all the world. Jesus died on the cross, and rose from the grave, to secure salvation for everyone who believes in Him. That is what the church commemorates in the Lord’s Supper. We chose ‘New Covenant’ because we want to celebrate that Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all of God’s promises in the Old Covenant.
    2. We chose the word ‘Baptist’ because we are Baptists by conviction. What this means is that we believe that baptism by water is only for those who have confessed Jesus Christ as their Savior, that baptism is to be done in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that the mode of baptism is by submersion in water.
    3. We chose the word church because we are a community of believers. God saves individuals from sin, and when He does that, He calls them to gather to fellowship with one another to worship Him and to encourage one another in the faith (Rom 12; 1 Cor. 12; Heb. 10:25).
  2. How is New Covenant Baptist Church different from other churches?
    1. It is not our goal to be ‘different’ so much from other churches. In fact, we are a cooperating Southern Baptist Church, and so we are not so different from many other churches in town. However, there are a few ways in which we are distinct. For one, we are Reformed in our theology. That means, generally, that we are Calvinistic in our understanding of salvation. We recognize that the word “Calvinism” is a loaded word, and in general, not very well understood. We encourage you to check out this link to Bethlehem Baptist Church. We read it and could not figure out how to improve on it!
    2. Another distinctive of our church is that we are committed to building a covenant community. That means that we are serious about encouraging one another, discipling one another in the Word of God, and holding one another accountable to the principles set forth in God’s Word. Other churches in the community probably share this same conviction, and we rejoice in that.
  3. What is Reformed Theology?
    1. It is probably better to answer the spirit of this question rather than trying to write a systematic one in a FAQ section! Reformed theology, at its heart, revolves around the understanding that we are all sinners, and as such, we do not want to pursue God as we should (Rom. 8:7; Eph. 2:1-3). Since this is the case, we must be careful to study the Bible to be certain that our own sin and prejudice has not corrupted our doctrine. One of the cries of the “Reformation” was Semper Reformata. That’s latin for “Always Reforming.” The church, since she is made up of sinners saved by grace, must persistently and consistently bring the Word of God to bare on the issues that occur. So, in actuality, we are reformed, we are being reformed, and we will seek reform through God’s Word until Jesus returns to make all things new.
  4. Okay, so what was the Reformation?
    1. “The Reformation” is sort of short-hand to refer to that period of time when Martin Luther began the protest against the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church that culminated in the Protestant Reformation. On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his famous ’95 Theses’ on the Castle Church door to protest the sale of indulgences. From there, he began to ‘rediscover’ the doctrines of salvation by faith alone, through Christ alone, by grace alone. He began to defend the supremacy of the Bible in all doctrinal matters over the supremacy of any man, pope, or magistrum. John Calvin (1509-1564) was the theologian who best systematized the doctrine of the protestant reformation. Strictly speaking, the reformation did not begin at the time but has always been occurring throughout the history of the church, and it certainly has not ended and will not until Jesus returns (as we continually seek to order our churches after the Word of God.
  5. Can Baptists be Reformed?
    1. Historically, many of the Baptist confessions were reformed in content. The London Baptist Confession of 1689, the Philadelphia Confession of 1742, the New Hampshire Confession of 1833 (which is our statement of faith) were reformed confessions. The Abstract of Principles written by James Boyce, which is the statement of faith for Southern Seminary, is also a reformed document.  In fact, many important Baptists in the history of the church were reformed, including Charles Spurgeon, known as the “Prince of Preachers”,  William Carey, the father of the modern missionary movement, and Adoniram Judson, pioneer missionary to the people of Burma (modern day Myanmar). 
  6. Do I have to be Reformed/Calvinist to be a covenant member of the church?
    1. You never have to call yourself a Calvinist to be a member of New Covenant Baptist Church. We find the term to be unhelpful, seldom understood, and it can bring more uncertainty of meaning than clarity. The pastors at New Covenant Baptist Church will hold to a reformed view of salvation as expressed in the New Hampshire Confession of 1833.  If you are comfortable with that statement, and if you are working towards an understanding of the difficult things of theology, and if you have a reforming spirit, then you should feel at home at New Covenant Baptist Church. A reforming spirit is simply a motivation to be taught, encouraged, and even corrected by the Word of God. So no, you do not have to be a full, five-point Calvinist to be a member of our fellowship.
  7. I’m not sure that I understand Reformed theology, and I have never heard of the New Hampshire Confession of 1833. How can I know if I should join?
    1. Before becoming a member, every person will have the opportunity to talk through the beliefs and confession with a pastor or teacher of the church. We offer classes that teach through the confession, and we are ready to discuss any concerns that a brother or sister may have with our doctrine before joining. The best policy is to simply talk to the leadership about your concerns or issues that you are working through. Odds are, they will not be an obstacle to fellowship. Disagreement between brothers and sisters will occur, and we will always seek to work through such instances with humility and grace. The greatest hindrance to fellowship and membership will be a quarrelsome or divisive spirit (Titus 3:10-11).
 

New Covenant Baptist Church Statement of Faith

We Hold the New Hampshire Baptist Confession of 1833 along side the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.

Declaration of Faith

Of the Scriptures We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction (1); that it has God for its author, salvation for its end (2), and truth without any mixture of error for its matter (3); that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us (4); and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union (5), and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried (6).

Of the True God We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is JEHOVAH, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth (7); inexpressibly glorious in holiness (8), and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love (9); that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (10); equal in every divine perfection (11), and executing distinct and harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (12).

Of the Fall of Man We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker (13); but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state (14); in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners (15), not by constraint, but choice (16); being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin (17), without defense or excuse (18).

Of the Way of Salvation We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace (19), through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God (20); who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin (21); honored the divine law by his personal obedience (22), and by his death made a full atonement for our sins (23); that having risen from the death, he is now enthroned in heaven (24); and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all- sufficient Saviour (25).

Of Justification We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ (26) secures to such as believe in him is Justification (27); that Justification includes the pardon of sin (28), and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness (29); that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood (30); by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God (31); that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity (32).

Of the Freeness of Salvation We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel (33); that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith (34); and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel (35); which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation (36).

Of Grace in Regeneration We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again (37); that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind (38); that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth (39), so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel (40); and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life (41).

Of Repentance and Faith We believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God (42); whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ (43), we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy (44); at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Saviour (45).

Of God's Purpose of Grace We believe that Election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners (46); that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end (47); that it is a most glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable (48); that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy (49); that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree (50); that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the gospel (51); that it is the foundation of Christian assurance (52); and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence (53).

Of Sanctification We believe that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness (54); that it is a progressive work (55); that it is begun in regeneration (56); and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means--especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer (57).

Of the Perseverance of Saints We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end (58); that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors (59); that a special Providence watches over their welfare (60); and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (61).

Of the Harmony of the Law and the Gospel We believe that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral government (62); that it is holy, just, and good (63); and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their love of sin (64); to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy Law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the visible Church (65).

Of a Gospel Church We believe that a visible Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers (66), associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel (67); observing the ordinances of Christ (68); governed by his laws (69), and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his Word (70); that its only scriptural officers are Bishops, or Pastors, and Deacons (71), whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.

Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer (72), into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost (73); to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life (74); that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a Church relation; and to the Lord's Supper (75), in which the members of the Church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ (76); preceded always by solemn self- examination (77).

Of the Christian Sabbath We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day, or Christian Sabbath (78); and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes (79), by abstaining from all secular labor and sinful recreations (80); by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private (81) and public (82); and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God (83).

Of Civil Government We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society (84); and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed (85); except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ (86) who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth (87).

Of the Righteous and the Wicked We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked (88); that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in his esteem (89); while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse (90); and this distinction holds among men both in and after death (91). 18. Of the World to Come We believe that the end of the world is approaching (92); that at the last day Christ will descend from heaven (93), and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution (94); that a solemn separation will then take place (95); that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy (96); and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness (97).

Of the World to Come We believe that the end of the world is approaching; that at the last day Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution; that a solemn separation will then take place; that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy; and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, or principles of righteousness.

1. 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:21; 1 Sam. 23:2; Acts 1:16; 3:21; John 10:35; Luke 16:29-31; Psa. 119:11; Rom. 3:1-2
2. 2 Tim. 3:15; 1 Pet. 1:10-12; Acts 11:14; Rom. 1:16; Mark 16:16; John 5:38-39
3. Prov. 30:5-6; John 17:17; Rev. 22:18-19; Rom. 3:4
4. Rom. 2:12; John 12:47-48; 1 Cor. 4:3-4; Luke 10:10-16; 12:47-48
5. Phil. 3:16; Eph. 4:3-6; Phil. 2:1-2; 1 Cor. 1:10; 1 Pet. 4:11
6. 1 John 4:1; Isa. 8:20; 1 Thess. 5:21; 2 Cor. 8:5; Acts 17:11; 1 John 4:6; Jude 3:5; Eph. 6:17; Psa. 119:59-60; Phil. 1:9-11
7. John 4:24; Psa. 147:5; 83:18; Heb. 3:4; Rom. 1:20; Jer. 10:10
8. Exod. 15:11; Isa. 6:3; 1 Pet. 1:15-16; Rev. 4:6-8
9. Mark 12:30; Rev. 4:11; Matt. 10:37; Jer. 2:12-13
10. Matt. 28:19; John 15:26; 1 Cor. 12:4-6; 1 John 5:7
11. John 10:30; 5:17; 14:23; 17:5, 10; Acts 5:3-4; 1 Cor. 2:10-11; Phil. 2:5-6
12. Eph. 2:18; 2 Cor. 13:14; Rev. 1:4-5; comp. 2, 7
13. Gen. 1:27, 31; Eccl. 7:29; Acts 16:26; Gen. 2:16
14. Gen. 3:6-24; Rom. 5:12
15. Rom. 5:19; John 3:6; Psa. 51:5; Rom. 5:15-19; 8:7
16. Isa. 53:6; Gen. 6:12; Rom. 3:9-18
17. Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 1:18, 32; 2:1-16; Gal. 3:10; Matt. 20:15
18. Ezek. 18:19-20; Rom. 1:20; 3:19; Gal. 3:22
19. Eph. 2:5; Matt. 18:11; 1 John 4:10; 1 Cor. 3:5-7; Acts 15:11
20. John 3:16; 1:1-14; Heb. 4:14; 12:24
21. Phil. 2:6-7; Heb. 2:9, 14; 2 Cor. 5:21
22. Isa. 42:21; Phil. 2:8; Gal. 4:4-5; Rom. 3:21
23. Isa. 53:4-5; Matt. 20:28; Rom. 4:25; 3:21-26; 1 John 4:10; 2:2; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Heb. 9:13-15
24. Heb. 1:8, 3; 8:1; Col. 3:1-4
25. Heb. 7:25; Col. 2:9; Heb. 2:18; 7:26; Psa. 89:19; Psa. 14
26. John 1:16; Eph. 3:8
27. Acts 13:39; Isa. 3:11-12; Rom. 8:1
28. Rom. 5:9; Zech. 13:1; Matt. 9:6; Acts 10:43
29. Rom. 5:17; Titus 3:5-6; 1 Pet. 3:7; 1 John 2:25; Rom. 5:21
30. Rom. 4:4-5; 5:21; 6:28; Phil. 3:7-9
31. Rom. 5:19; 3:24-26; 4:23-25; 1 John 2:12
32. Rom. 5:1-3, 11; 1 Cor. 1:30-31; Matt. 6:33; 1 Tim. 4:8
33. Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17; Luke 14:17
34. Rom. 16:26; Mark 1:15; Rom. 1:15-17
35. John 5:40; Matt. 23:37; Rom. 9:32; Prov. 1:24; Acts 13:46
36. John 3:19; Matt. 11:20; Luke 19:27; 2 Thess. 1:8
37. John 3:3, 6-7; 1 Cor. 1:14; Rev. 8:7-9; 21:27
38. 2 Cor. 5:17; Ezek. 36:26; Deut. 30:6; Rom. 2:28-29; 5:5; 1 John 4:7
39. John 3:8; 1:13; James 1:16-18; 1 Cor. 1:30; Phil. 2:13
40. 1 Pet. 1:22-25; 1 John 5:1; Eph. 4:20-24; Col. 3:9-11
41. Eph. 5:9; Rom. 8:9; Gal. 5:16-23; Eph. 3:14-21; Matt. 3:8-10; 7:20; 1 John 5:4, 18
42. Mark 1:15; Acts 11:18; Eph. 2:8; 1 John 5:1
43. John 16:8; Acts 2:37-38; 16:30-31
44. Luke 18:13; 15:18-21; James 4:7-10; 2 Cor. 7:11; Rom. 10:12-13; Psa. 51
45. Rom. 10:9-11; Acts 3:22-23: Heb. 4:14; Psa. 2:6; Heb. 1:8; 8:25; 2 Tim. 1:12
46. 2 Tim. 1:8-9; Eph. 1:3-14; 1 Pet. 1:1-2; Rom. 11:5-6; John 15:15; 1 John 4:19; Hos. 12:9
47. 2 Thess. 2:13-14; Acts 13:48; John 10:16; Matt. 20:16; Acts 15:14
48. Exod. 33:18-19; Matt. 20:15; Eph. 1:11; Rom. 9:23-24: Jer. 31:3; Rom. 11:28-29; James 1:17-18; 2 Tim. 1:9; Rom. 11:32-36
49. 1 Cor. 4:7; 1:26-31; Rom. 3:27; 4:16; Col. 3:12; 1 Cor. 3:5-7; 15:10; 1 Pet. 5:10; Acts 1:24; 1 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:9; Luke 18:7; John 15:16; Eph. 1:16; 1 Thess. 2:12
50. 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Cor. 9:22; Rom. 8:28-30; John 6:37-40; 2 Pet. 1:10
51. 1 Thess. 1:4-10
52. Rom. 8:28-30; Isa. 42:16; Rom. 11:29
53. 2 Pet. 1:10-11; Phil. 3:12; Heb. 6:11
54. 1 Thess. 4:3; 5:23; 2 Cor. 7:1; 13:9; Eph. 1:4
55. Prov. 4:18; 2 Cor. 3:18; Heb. 6:1; 2 Pet. 1:5-8; Phil. 3:12-16
56. John 2:29; Rom. 8:5; John 3:6; Phil. 1:9-11; Eph. 1:13-14
57. Phil. 2:12-13; Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18; 2 Cor. 13:5; Luke 11:35; 9:23; Matt. 26:41; Eph. 6:18; 4:30
58. John 8:31; 1 John 2:27-28; 3:9; 5:18
59. 1 John 2:19; John 13:18; Matt. 13:20-21; John 6:66-69; Job 17:9
60. Rom. 8:28; Matt. 6:30-33; Jer. 32:40; Psa. 121:3; 91:11-12
61. Phil. 1:6; 2:12-13; Jude 24-25; Heb. 1:14; 2 Kings 6:16; Heb. 13:5; 1 John 4:4
62. Rom. 3:31; Matt. 5:17; Luke 16:17; Rom. 3:20; 4:15
63. Rom. 7:12, 7, 14, 22; Gal. 3:21; Psa. 119
64. Rom. 8:7-8; Josh. 24:19; Jer. 13:23; John 6:44; 5:44
65. Rom. 8:2, 4; 10:4; 1 Tim. 1:5; Heb. 8:10; Jude 20-21; Heb. 12:14; Matt. 16:17-18; 1 Cor. 12:28
66. 1 Cor. 1:1-13; Matt. 18:17; Acts 5:11; 8:1; 11:31; 1 Cor. 4:17; 14:23; 3 John 9; 1 Tim. 3:5
67. Acts 2:41-42; 2 Cor. 8:5; Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 5:12-13
68. 1 Cor. 11:2; 2 Thess. 3:6; Rom. 16:17-20; 1 Cor. 11:23; Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor 5:6; 2 Cor. 2:7; 1 Cor. 4:17
69. Matt. 28:20; John 14:15; 15:12; 1 John 4:21; John 14:21; 1 Thess. 4.2; 2 John 6; Gal. 6:2; all the Epistles
70. Eph. 4:7; 1 Cor. 14:12; Phil. 1:27; 1 Cor. 12:14
71. Phil. 1:1; Acts 14:23; 15:22; 1 Tim. 3; Titus 1
72. Acts 8:36-39; Matt. 3:5-6; John 3:22-23; 4:1-2; Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 8:12; 16:32-34; 18:8
73. Matt. 28:19; Acts 10:47-48; Gal. 3:27-28
74. Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12; 1 Pet. 3:20-21; Acts 22:16
75. Acts 2:41-42; Matt. 28:19-20; Acts and Epistles
76. 1 Cor. 11:26; Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20
77. 1 Cor. 11:28; 5:1, 8; 10:3-32; 11:17-32; John 6:26-71
78. Acts 20:7; Gen. 2:3; Col. 2:16-17; Mark 2:27; John 20:19; 1 Cor. 16:1- 2
79. Exod. 20:8; Rev. 1:10; Psa. 118:24
80. Isa. 58:13-14; 56:2-8
81. Psa. 119:15
82. Heb. 10:24-25; Acts 11:26; 13:44; Lev. 19:30; Exod. 46:3; Luke 4:16; Acts 17:2, 3; Psa. 26:8; 87:3
83. Heb. 4:3-11
84. Rom. 13:1-7; Deut. 16:18; 1 Sam. 23:3; Exod. 18:23; Jer. 30:21
85. Matt. 22:21; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13; 1 Tim. 2:1-8
86. Acts 5:29; Matt. 10:28; Dan. 3:15-18; 6:7-10; Acts 4:18-20
87. Matt. 23:10; Rom. 14:4; Rev. 19:16; Psa. 72:11; Psa. 2; Rom. 14:9-13
88. Mal. 3:18; Prov. 12:26; Isa. 5:20; Gen. 18:23; Jer. 15:19; Acts 10:34- 35; Rom. 6:16
89. Rom. 1:17; 7:6; 1 John 2:29; 3:7; Rom. 6:18, 22; 1 Cor. 11:32; Prov. 11:31; 1 Pet. 4:17-18
90. 1 John 5:19; Gal. 3:10; John 3:36; Isa. 57:21; Psa. 10:4; Isa 55:6-7
91. Prov. 14:32; Luke 16:25; John 8:21-24; Prov. 10:24; Luke 12:4-5; 9:23- 26; John 12:25-26; Eccl. 3:17; Matt. 7:13-14
92. 1 Pet. 4:7; 1 Cor. 7:29-31; Heb. 1:10-12; Matt. 24:35; 1 John 2:17; Matt. 28:20; 13:39-40; 2 Pet. 3:3-13
93. Acts 1:11; Rev. 1:7; Heb. 9:28; Acts 3:21; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 5:1-11
94. Acts 24:15; 1 Cor. 15:12-59; Luke 14:14; Dan. 12:2; John 5:28-29; 6:40; 11:25-26; 2 Tim. 1:10; Acts 10:42
95. Matt. 13:49, 37-43; 24:30-31; 25:31-33
96. Matt. 25:35-41; Rev. 22:11; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Mark 9:43-48; 2 Pet. 2:9; Jude 7; Phil. 3:19; Rom. 6:32; 2 Cor. 5:10-11; John 4:36; 2 Cor. 4:18
97. Rom. 3:5-6; 2 Thess. 1:6-12; Heb. 6:1-2; 1 Cor. 4:5; Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:2-16; Rev. 20:11-12; 1 John 2:28; 4:17
New Covenant Baptist Church Constitution

Ratified on February 8, 2009.

Preamble

Since it pleased Almighty God, by His Holy Spirit, to call certain of His servants to unite here on January 4, 2009 under the name New Covenant Baptist Church of Albertville, AL, for the worship of God and the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and He has sustained and prospered this work to the present day; and

Whereas we, the members of New Covenant Baptist Church, having searched the Scriptures under the guidance of His Spirit, have recognized the need to reconstitute ourselves to more closely conform to His will for the Church in this age and prepare ourselves for greater efforts in His name;

Now therefore we, the members of New Covenant Baptist Church, do hereby organize ourselves in accord with the Alabama Nonprofit Corporation Act and adopt this Constitution as our articles of governance, to be interpreted at all times to reflect the character of and bring glory to Jesus Christ, as revealed in the Holy Bible and articulated in the standards set forth in the Statement of Faith (2009) and Covenant (2009) of this church.


Article 1. Name

The name of this church is New Covenant Baptist Church.


Article 2. Purpose

This church exists by the grace of God, for the glory of God, which shall be the ultimate purpose in all its activities.

This church glorifies God by loving Him and obeying His commands through:

Worshipping Him;

Equipping the saints through Bible instruction and study;

Proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ through preaching and personal evangelism, and any other means consistent with the teachings of Holy Scripture;

Encouraging, supporting, and participating in missions work, local, domestic, and international;

Administering the ordinances of baptism and communion;

Encouraging Biblical fellowship among believers;

Serving other individuals, families, and churches by providing for physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, in the name of Jesus Christ; and

Calling fellow churches to biblical faithfulness and purity through instruction and encouragement about the nature of the local church.


Article 3. Membership

Section 1 – Qualifications

To qualify for membership in this church, a person must be a believer in Jesus Christ who gives evidence of regeneration, who has been baptized, in obedience to Christ, following his or her regeneration, and who wholeheartedly believes in the Christian faith as revealed in the Bible. Each member must agree to submit to the teaching of scripture as expressed in the Statement of Faith and must promise to keep the commitments expressed in the Church Covenant. The elders shall be responsible for determining each person’s qualification for membership. In making this determination, they may rely on a person’s profession of faith, or such other evidence, as the elders deem appropriate.

Section 2 – Admission of Members

To be admitted into church membership, applicants shall be recommended by the elders for admission after having interviewed with 2 elders to discuss our statement of faith and membership covenant.  A membership class may replace discussion with an elder on the statement of faith and covenant, but every potential member must still interview with 2 of the elders. New members will be accepted by vote of the members at any regular or special meeting of the members, and shall at that point relinquish their membership in other churches.  Prospective new members will be encouraged to present or write out their testimony to be presented in a public meeting of the church before they are voted on for membership.  Sharing one’s testimony is recommended as it encourages the body but it is not a required prerequisite for membership.

Section 3 – Duties and Privileges of Membership

In accord with the duties enumerated in the Church Covenant, each member shall be privileged and expected to participate in and contribute to the ministry and life of the church, consistent with God’s leading and with the gifts, time, and material resources each has received from God. Only those shall be entitled to serve in the ministries of the church who are members of this congregation; non-members may serve on an ad-hoc basis with the approval of the elders. Notwithstanding, non-members may serve the church for purposes of administration and professional consultation.

Under Christ this congregation is governed by its members. Therefore, it is the privilege and responsibility of members to attend all members’ meetings and vote on the election of officers, on decisions regarding membership status, and on such other matters as may be submitted to a vote.

Section 4 – Associate Membership

Students and others temporarily residing in the Albertville area who are members of an evangelical church may apply for associate membership. Qualifications are identical to those for full membership as set out above, except that home church membership must be retained. A letter of commendation will be sought from the applicant’s home church.

Duties and privileges of associate members are the same as for other members except that:

when absent from the Albertville area for extended periods of time they are released from the responsibility to attend our church services;

while they will be encouraged to participate in members’ meetings they will not be eligible to stand for any office or to vote.

Termination of associate membership as a disciplinary measure will be as it is for other members, except that the elders shall notify the pastor or elders of the home church of that termination. Associate membership will normally terminate immediately upon the ending of the period of temporary residence in the Albertville area.

Section 5 – On Church Discipline

Any member consistently neglectful of his or her duties or guilty of conduct by
which the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be dishonored, and so opposing the welfare of the church, shall be subject to the admonition of the elders and the discipline of the church, according to the instructions of our Lord in Matthew 18: 15–17 and the example of scripture. Church discipline, then, should ordinarily be contemplated after individual private admonition has failed.

Church discipline can include admonition by the elders or congregation, suspension from communion for a definite period, deposition from office, and excommunication (see Matthew 18: 15–17; 2 Thessalonians 3: 14–15; 1 Timothy 5: 19–20; 1 Corinthians 5: 4–5).

The purpose of such discipline should be for the repentance, reconciliation, and spiritual growth of the individual disciplined (see Proverbs 15: 5; 29: 15; I Corinthians 4: 14; Ephesians 6: 4; I Timothy 3: 4–5; Hebrews 12: 1–11; Psalm 119: 115; 141: 5; Proverbs 17: 10; 25: 12; 27: 5; Ecclesiastes 7: 5; Matthew 7: 26–27; 18: 15–17; Luke 17: 3; Acts 2: 40; I Corinthians 5: 5; Galatians 6: 1–5; II Thessalonians 3: 6, 14–15; I Timothy 1: 20; Titus 1: 13–14; James 1: 22);

For the instruction in righteousness and good of other Christians, as an example to them (see Proverbs 13: 20; Romans 15: 14; I Corinthians 5: 11; 15: 33; Colossians 3: 16; I Thessalonians 5: 14 [note this is written to the whole church, not just to leaders]; I Timothy 5: 20; Titus 1: 11; Hebrews 10: 24–25);

For the purity of the church as a whole (see I Corinthians 5: 6–7; II Corinthians 13: 10; Ephesians 5: 27; II John 10; Jude 24; Revelation 21: 2);

For the good of our corporate witness to non–Christians (see Proverbs 28: 7; Matthew 5: 13–16; John 13: 35; Acts 5: 1–14; Ephesians 5: 11; I Timothy 3: 7; II Peter 2: 2; I John 3: 10); and

Supremely for the glory of God by reflecting His holy character (see Deuteronomy 5: 11; I Kings 11: 2; II Chronicles 19: 2; Ezra 6: 21; Nehemiah 9: 2; Isaiah 52: 11; Ezekiel 36: 20; Matthew 5: 16; John 15: 8; 18: 17, 25; Romans 2: 24; 15: 5–6; II Corinthians 6: 14–7: 1; Ephesians 1: 4; 5: 27; I Peter 2: 12).

Section 6 – Termination of Membership

Termination of membership shall be recognized by the church following the death or voluntary resignation of any church member. Membership may be terminated as an act of church discipline at the recommendation of the elders and with the vote of two-thirds of the members at any regular or special meeting of the members.  In regards to requests to transfer membership, NCBC must be satisfied that a transfer is not being done for the purpose of hiding sin or refusing to settle a grudge.  We advise all transferring members to write a letter of explanation to NCBC regarding their move and stating the name of their new church. 


Article 4. Meetings

Section 1 – Worship Meetings

Worship services shall be held each Lord’s Day, and may be held throughout the week as the church determines.

Section 2 – Members’ meetings

In every meeting together, members shall act in that spirit of mutual trust, openness, and loving consideration which is appropriate within the body of our Lord Jesus Christ.

There shall be a regular members’ meeting at least every other month, at some time apart from a public worship service agreed upon by the membership.

An elder designated by the elders shall preside as moderator at all members’ meetings of the church. The elders shall see that the stated meetings of the church are regularly held and that required reports are submitted to the church by the responsible members.

Provided all constitutional provisions for notification have been met, a quorum shall be understood to be met by those members present. All votes shall be tallied based on the number of votes cast by members present.

A budget shall be approved by the membership at a members’ meeting no more than three months nor less than one month prior to the start of the fiscal year.

At any regular or special members’ meeting, officers may be elected and positions filled as needed, so long as all relevant constitutional requirements have been met.

Special members’ meetings may be called as required by the elders, or at the written request, submitted to the elders, of five percent of the voting membership. The date, time, and purpose of any special meeting shall be announced at all public services of the church within two weeks preceding the meeting. In the event of a written request from the members, the elders shall call a special meeting to be held within one month of their receipt of the request.

Members may vote by proxy only if they are present on campus.  For example, if a members is serving in the nursery during a members meeting in which an announced vote is taking place—that member may give their vote to an elder before the meeting.  Members not present on campus during a members meeting may not vote by proxy as they would be unavailable to be contacted should significant discussion be brought up regarding the vote.


Article 5. Officers

Section 1 – Summary

The Biblical offices in the church are elders and deacons. In addition, our church recognizes the administrative positions under this constitution of clerk and treasurer. All officers must be members of this church prior to assuming their responsibilities.

Section 2 – Elders

The elders shall be comprised of not less than three men who satisfy the qualifications for the office of elder set forth in I Timothy 3: 1–7 and Titus 1: 6–9. A majority of the active eldership shall be composed of church members not in the regular pay of the church, and no elder shall hold the office of deacon during his tenure.

Subject to the will of the congregation, the elders shall oversee the ministry and resources of the church. In keeping with the principles set forth in Acts 6: 1–6 and I Peter 5: 1–4, the elders shall devote their time to prayer, the ministry of the Word (by teaching and encouraging sound doctrine), and shepherding God’s flock.

The church shall recognize men gifted and willing to serve in this calling, in accordance with the constitutional provisions on elections. These men shall be received as gifts of Christ to His church and set apart as elders. This recognition shall be reaffirmed by the church triennially. After an elder, other than the senior or associate pastor(s), has served two consecutive three-year terms, he may only be elected to the office of elder after at least one year.

An elder’s term of office may be terminated by resignation or by dismissal. Any two members with reason to believe that an elder should be dismissed should express such concern to the elders and, if need be, to the congregation. Any such action shall be done in accordance with the instructions of our Lord in Matthew 18: 15–17 and I Timothy 5: 17–21. Any of the elders may be dismissed by a two-thirds vote of the members at any members’ meeting of the church.

The elders shall take particular responsibility to examine and instruct prospective members, examine and recommend all prospective candidates for offices and positions, oversee the work of the deacons and appointed church agents and committees, conduct worship services, administer the ordinances of baptism and communion, equip the membership for the work of the ministry, encourage sound doctrine and practice, admonish and correct error, oversee the process of church discipline, coordinate and promote the ministries of the church, and mobilize the church for world missions. The elders are further to ensure that all who minister the Word to the congregation, including outside speakers, share our fundamental convictions.

The elders may establish ministry positions or committees to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities. The elders may also propose funding for new paid staff positions. The membership shall approve all candidates to fill the positions of senior and associate pastor. The scope and approval of job descriptions for any staff position shall reside in the hands of those with hiring authority for that position.

The elders shall have primary responsibility for the employment, supervision, and evaluation of staff members. This responsibility may, on a case-by-case basis, be delegated to another staff member.

The elders shall elect a chairman of elders’ meetings and shall also elect one of their number to serve as moderator of members’ meetings. For purposes of compliance with the nonprofit corporation laws of the State of Alabama, the elders shall elect one of their number to serve as the president of the corporation.

Section 3 – The Senior Pastor

The senior pastor shall be an elder. He shall perform the duties of an elder described in Section 2, above, and shall be recognized by the church as particularly gifted and called to the full-time ministry of preaching and teaching.

His call shall not be subject to the triennial reaffirmation or to the term limitation set out in Article 5, Section 2, for elders. His call shall be defined as per Article 6, Section 3.

He shall preach on the Lord’s Day, administer the ordinances of baptism and communion, and perform such other duties as usually pertain to that office, or as set forth in the constitution.

In the absence or incapacity of the senior pastor the elders shall assume responsibility for his duties, any of which can be delegated.

Section 4 – Associate Pastors

The church may call additional pastors whose relationship to the senior pastor is that of associate.

An associate pastor shall be an elder. He shall perform the duties of an elder described in Section 2, above, and shall be recognized by the church as particularly gifted and called to the full-time ministry of preaching and teaching.

His call shall not be subject to the triennial reaffirmation or to the term limitation set out in Article 5, Section 2, for elders. His call shall be defined as per Article 6, Section 4.

He shall assist the senior pastor in the performance of his regular duties and shall perform any other duties as usually pertain to the office of pastor, or as set forth in the constitution, or which may be specifically assigned to him by the congregation.

In the absence or incapacity of the senior pastor for defined periods of time (such as sabbatical or illness), the associate pastor(s) shall assume the responsibility for his duties under the oversight of the elders.

Section 5 – Pastoral Assistants

The senior pastor may hire additional staff to assist with pastoral ministry, designated as pastoral assistants. These shall not be pastors, though they may be recognized as elders should they be nominated by the elders and elected by the congregation, in accordance with Article 5, Section 2.

The senior pastor shall assign the responsibilities of the pastoral assistant(s). They shall serve at the will of the senior pastor for a term of one year, though that term may be extended with the approval of the elders.

Section 6 – Deacons & Titus 2 Women

The office of deacon is described in I Timothy 3: 8–13 and Acts 6: 1–7. The church shall recognize, in accordance with the constitutional provisions on elections, men who are giving of themselves in service to the church, and who possess particular gifts of service. These members shall be received as gifts of Christ to His church and set apart as deacons. They shall be elected to one term lasting for a maximum of three years and may only be elected to another term after one year.

Titus 2 women’s roles coincide with that of deacons with a focus toward the special ministry needs of women as described in Titus 2:3-5.

Deacons and Titus 2 women shall care for the temporal needs of members, attend to the accommodations for public worship, and encourage and support those able to help others and those with gifts of administration.

Each year the deacons and Titus 2 women, with the approval of the elders, shall present to the church an itemized budget at a regular members’ meeting. This budget shall be presented for discussion at that time and called up for a vote at the following members’ meeting. No money shall be solicited by or on behalf of the church or any of its ministries without the approval of the elders and deacons.

The deacons and Titus 2 women shall receive, hold, and disburse a fund for benevolence, reporting on its use to the elders at their request, and reporting to the church its total receipts and total disbursements only.

The deacons and Titus 2 women, with the agreement of the elders, may establish unpaid administrative positions or committees of members to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities in the church. Each individual deacon and Titus 2 woman will be allotted an area of service and will report to the elders on their area of service.  The elders will present all such areas of service to the church.  Titus 2 Women will not be allotted areas of service that would in any way involve teaching men (1 Timothy 2:12).  Titus 2 women may serve in areas of teaching other women and children (Titus 2:3-5).

Section 7 – Clerk

It shall be the duty of the clerk to record the minutes of all regular and special members’ meetings of the church, to preserve an accurate roll of the membership, and to render reports as requested by the pastor, the elders, the deacons, or the church.

The clerk shall be nominated by the elders and elected by the congregation to serve a term of one year.

In the absence or incapacity of the clerk the elders shall appoint a member to perform the duties of the church clerk.

For purposes of compliance with the nonprofit corporation laws of the State of Alabama, the clerk shall serve as the secretary of the corporation.

The church clerk shall ensure that dated copies of the most recent revision of this constitution shall be available for all church members.

Section 8 – Treasurer

The treasurer, who shall not be an active elder, deacon, or paid church staff member, shall ensure that all funds and securities of the church are properly secured in such banks, financial institutions, or depositories as appropriate. The treasurer shall also be responsible for presenting regular reports of the account balances, revenues and expenses of the church at each members’ meeting. The responsibility may be delegated with the approval of the elders. The treasurer shall also ensure that full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements are kept in books belonging to the church, and that adequate controls are implemented to guarantee that all funds belonging to the church are appropriately handled by any officer, employee, or agent of the church. The treasurer shall render to the elders annually, or whenever they may require it, an account of all transactions as treasurer and of the financial condition of the church.

The treasurer shall be nominated by the elders and elected by the congregation to serve a term of one year.


Article 6. Elections

Section 1 – Principles

The process for church elections shall be interpreted and carried out to fulfill the following principles:

Substantial prayer, both individually and corporately, should be an integral part of the election process;

Nominations should proceed with the support of the elders;

All candidates for church office should be treated with the grace, kindness, and honesty appropriate in evaluating fellow members;

The election process shall express that spirit of mutual trust, openness, and loving consideration that is appropriate within the body of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Section 2 – Selection of Officers

The election of officers shall be held at a members’ meeting of the church. Names of nominees to serve as elders, deacons, clerk, or treasurer shall be presented by the elders at the previous members’ meeting (providing that previous meeting occurred at least eight weeks prior), and the election shall proceed as directed by the moderator.

The elders should seek recommendations and involvement from the general membership in the nomination process. Any member with reason to believe that a nominated candidate is unqualified for an office should express such concern to the elders. Members intending to speak in opposition to a candidate should express their objection to the elders as far in advance as possible before the relevant church members’ meeting.

The moderator shall declare elected all men receiving a 75% majority of all votes cast for the office of elder. For all other offices, the moderator shall declare elected all persons receiving a simple majority of all votes cast; abstentions will not be considered as votes cast.

The persons elected shall assume their respective offices upon election, unless another date has been specifically designated.

Section 3 – Calling of the Senior Pastor

In the calling of any man to this position, the same basic process of calling an elder must be followed. In addition, however, the church must be given adequate opportunity to assess the preaching gifts of any potential senior pastor and, before being asked to express its judgment, must receive assurance from the elders that, having interviewed the man concerned, they are in no doubt as to his wholehearted assent to the Statement of Faith and Church Covenant. Notice of the nomination of a man to be elected to membership and called as senior pastor (which shall include, if necessary, election to membership of his wife if he is married) must be given at two Sunday morning services following the nomination, prior to the vote at a members’ meeting.

Section 4 – Calling of Associate Pastor

In the calling of any man to the position of associate pastor, the same basic process of calling an elder must be followed. In addition, however, the church must be given adequate opportunity to assess the preaching gifts of any potential associate pastor and, before being asked to express its judgment, must receive assurance from the elders that, having interviewed the man concerned, they are in no doubt as to his wholehearted assent to the Statement of Faith and Church Covenant. Notice of the nomination of a man to be called as associate pastor (which shall include, if necessary, election to membership of him and his wife if he is married) must be given at two Sunday morning services following the nomination, prior to the vote at a members’ meeting.

Article 7. Indemnification

Section 1 – Mandatory Indemnification

If a legal claim or criminal allegation is made against a person because he or she is or was an officer, employee, or agent of the church, the church shall provide indemnification against liability and costs incurred in defending against the claim if the elders determine that the person acted (a) in good faith, (b) with the care an ordinarily prudent person in a similar position would exercise under similar circumstances, and (c) in a manner the person reasonably believed to be in the best interest of the church, and the person had no reasonable cause to believe his or her conduct was unlawful.

Section 2 – Permissive Indemnification

At the discretion of the elders, the church also may indemnify any person who acted in good faith and reasonably believed that his or her conduct was in the church’s best interest and not unlawful.

Section 3 – Procedure

If a quorum of the elders is not available for an indemnification determination because of the number of elders seeking indemnification, the requisite determination may be made by the membership or by special legal counsel appointed by the membership.


Article 8. Dispute Resolution

Believing that the Bible commands Christians to make every effort to live at peace and to resolve disputes with each other in private or within the Christian Church (see, e.g., Matthew 18: 15–20, I Corinthians 6: 1–8), the church shall require its members to resolve conflict among themselves according to biblically based principles, without reliance on the secular courts. Consistent with its call to peacemaking, the church shall encourage the use of biblically based principles and the avoidance of suits of law or equity to resolve disputes between itself and those outside the church, whether Christian or pagan and whether individuals or corporate entities. The elders shall adopt policies and procedures to effect these requirements and aspirations.



Article 9 – Amendments

The Statement of Faith and Church Covenant may be amended by a three-quarters vote of the members present and voting at a members’ meeting, provided the amendment shall have been offered in writing at the previous members’ meeting, and shall have been announced from the pulpit at church services two successive Sundays prior to such vote.

This constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting at a members’ meeting, provided the amendment shall have been offered in writing at the previous members’ meeting, and shall have been announced from the pulpit at church services two successive Sundays prior to such vote.

The revised version of this constitution shall be made available to all church members by the church clerk.

 

 

 "We believe that Scripture does indeed teach that all persons who die in infancy are among the elect. This must not be based only in our hope that it is true, but in a careful reading of the Bible"

 

The Salvation of the ‘Little Ones’: Do Infants who Die Go to Heaven?

Article by R. Albert Mohler, Jr. and Daniel L. Akin

The death of an infant or young child is profoundly heartbreaking – perhaps the greatest grief a parent is called to bear. For Christian parents, there is the sure knowledge that our sovereign and merciful God is in control, but there is also a pressing question: Is our baby in heaven?

This is a natural and unavoidable question, calling for our most careful and faithful biblical study and theological reflection. The unspeakable anguish of a parent’s heart demands our honest and humble searching of the Scriptures.

Some are quick to answer this question out of sentimentality. Of course infants go to heaven, they argue, for how could God refuse a precious little one? The Universalist has a quick answer, for he believes that everyone will go to heaven. Some persons may simply suggest that elect infants go to heaven, while the non-elect do not, and must suffer endless punishment. Each of these easy answers is unsatisfactory.

Mere sentimentalism ignores the Bible’s teaching which bears on the issue. We have no right to establish doctrine on the basis of what we hope may be true. We must draw our answers from what the Bible reveals to be true.

Universalism is an unbiblical heresy. The Bible clearly teaches that we are born in sin and that God will not tolerate sinners. God has made one absolute and definitive provision for our salvation through the substitutionary atonement accomplished by Jesus Christ our Lord. Salvation comes to those who believe on His name and confess him as Savior. The Bible teaches a dual destiny for the human race. The redeemed – those who are in Christ – will be raised to eternal life with the Father in Heaven. Those who have not believed in Christ and confessed Him as Lord will suffer eternal punishment in the fires of Hell. Universalism is a dangerous and unbiblical teaching. It offers a false promise and denies the Gospel.

The Bible reveals that we are born marked by original sin, and thus we cannot claim that infants are born in a state of innocence. Any biblical answer to the question of infant salvation must start from the understanding that infants are born with a sin nature.

The shifting of the focus to election actually avoids answering the question. We must do better, and look more closely at the issues at stake.

Throughout the centuries, the church has offered several different answers to this question. In the early church, Ambrose believed that baptized infants went to heaven, while unbaptized infants did not, though they received immunity from the pains of hell. His first error was believing in infant baptism, and thus in baptismal regeneration. Baptism does not save, and it is reserved for believers – not for infants. His second error was his indulgence in speculation. Scripture does not teach such a half-way position which denies infants admission to heaven, but saves them from the peril of hell. Augustine, the great theologian of the fourth century, basically agreed with Ambrose, and shared his understanding of infant baptism.

Others have taught that infants will have an opportunity to come to Christ after death. This position was held by Gregory of Nyssa, and is growing among many contemporary theologians, who claim that all, regardless of age, will have a post-mortem opportunity to confess Christ as Savior. The problem with this position is that Scripture teaches no such post-mortem opportunity. It is a figment of a theologian’s imagination, and must be rejected.Those who divide infants into the elect and non-elect seek to affirm the clear and undeniable doctrine of divine election. The Bible teaches that God elects persons to salvation from eternity, and that our salvation is all of grace. At first glance, this position appears impregnable in relation to the issue of infant salvation – a simple statement of the obvious. A second glance, however, reveals a significant evasion. What if all who die in infancy are among the elect? Do we have a biblical basis for believing that all persons who die in infancy are among the elect?

We believe that Scripture does indeed teach that all persons who die in infancy are among the elect. This must not be based only in our hope that it is true, but in a careful reading of the Bible. We start with the biblical affirmations we have noted already. First, the Bible reveals that we are “brought forth in iniquity,”(1) and thus bear the stain of original sin from the moment of our conception. Thus, we face squarely the sin problem. Second, we acknowledge that God is absolutely sovereign in salvation. We do not deserve salvation, and can do nothing to earn our salvation, and thus it is all of grace. Further we understand that our salvation is established by God’s election of sinners to salvation through Christ. Third, we affirm that Scripture teaches that Jesus Christ is the sole and sufficient Savior, and that salvation comes only on the basis of His blood atonement. Fourth, we affirm that the Bible teaches a dual eternal destiny – the redeemed to Heaven, the unredeemed to Hell.

What, then is our basis for claiming that all those who die in infancy are among the elect? First, the Bible teaches that we are to be judged on the basis of our deeds committed “in the body.”(2) That is, we will face the judgment seat of Christ and be judged, not on the basis of original sin, but for our sins committed during our own lifetimes. Each will answer “according to what he has done,”(3) and not for the sin of Adam. The imputation of Adam’s sin and guilt explains our inability to respond to God without regeneration, but the Bible does not teach that we will answer for Adam’s sin. We will answer for our own. But what about infants? Have those who die in infancy committed such sins in the body? We believe not.

One biblical text is particularly helpful at this point. After the children of Israel rebelled against God in the wilderness, God sentenced that generation to die in the wilderness after forty years of wandering. “Not one of these men, this evil generation, shall see the good land which I swore to give your fathers.”(4) But this was not all. God specifically exempted young children and infants from this sentence, and even explained why He did so: “Moreover, your little ones who you said would become prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good and evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them and they shall possess it.”(5) The key issue here is that God specifically exempted from the judgment those who “have no knowledge of good or evil” because of their age. These “little ones” would inherit the Promised Land, and would not be judged on the basis of their fathers’ sins.

We believe that this passage bears directly on the issue of infant salvation, and that the accomplished work of Christ has removed the stain of original sin from those who die in infancy. Knowing neither good nor evil, these young children are incapable of committing sins in the body – are not yet moral agents – and die secure in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

John Newton, the great minister who wrote the hymn Amazing Grace was certain of this truth. He wrote to close friends who had lost a young child: “I hope you are both well reconciled to the death of your child. I cannot be sorry for the death of infants. How many storms do they escape! Nor can I doubt, in my private judgment, that they are included in the election of grace.”(6) The great Princeton theologians Charles Hodge and B. B. Warfield held the same position.

One of the most eloquent and powerful expressions of this understanding of infant salvation came from the heart of Charles Spurgeon. Preaching to his own congregation, Spurgeon consoled grieving parents: “Now, let every mother and father here present know assuredly that it is well with the child, if God hath taken it away from you in its infant days.”(7) Spurgeon turned this conviction into an evangelistic call. “Many of you are parents who have children in heaven. Is it not a desirable thing that you should go there, too? He continued: “Mother, unconverted mother, from the battlements of heaven your child beckons you to Paradise. Father, ungodly, impenitent father, the little eyes that once looked joyously on you, look down upon you now, and the lips which scarcely learned to call you father, ere they were sealed by the silence of death, may be heard as with a still small voice, saying to you this morning, Father, must we be forever divided by the great gulf which no man can pass?’ Doth not nature itself put a sort of longing in your soul that you may be bound in the bundle of life with your own children?”

Jesus instructed his disciples that they should “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”(8) We believe that our Lord graciously and freely received all those who die in infancy – not on the basis of their innocence or worthiness – but by his grace, made theirs through the atonement He purchased on the cross.

When we look into the grave of one of these little ones, we do not place our hope and trust in the false promises of an unbiblical theology, in the instability of sentimentalism, in the cold analysis of human logic, nor in the cowardly refuge of ambiguity.

We place our faith in Christ, and trust Him to be faithful to his Word. We claim the promises of the Scriptures and the assurance of the grace of our Lord. We know that heaven will be filled with those who never grew to maturity on earth, but in heaven will greet us completed in Christ. Let us resolve by grace to meet them there.

Endnotes:

  1. Psalm 51:5. All biblical citations are from the New American Standard Bible.
  2. 2 Corinthians 5:10
  3. Ibid.
  4. Deuteronomy 1:35
  5. Deuteronomy 1:39
  6. John Newton, “Letter IX,” The Works of John Newton (London, 1820), p. 182.
  7. Charles H. Spurgeon, “Infant Salvation” A sermon preached September 29, 1861. Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit (London, 1861), p. 505.
  8. Mark 10:14

R. Albert Mohler, Jr. is President and Professor of Christian Theology.
Daniel L. Akin is Vice President for Academic Administration, Dean of the School of Theology, and Associate Professor of Christian Theology.

 

linked from: http://www.albertmohler.com/2009/07/16/the-salvation-of-the-little-ones-do-infants-who-die-go-to-heaven/

 

Other Resources:

Rev. C. H. SPURGEON Sermon Text: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0411.htm


Our mission and passion at New Covenant Baptist Church is to glorify God by becoming a community that  fosters the love of God
with all of the heart, soul, mind and strength, and by learning to love one another as Christ Jesus has loved us.
The answer to every heart's need and the satisfaction of all our longing is found in Jesus Christ our Lord, who is Himself, the very image of Almighty God. We exist to adore Him, and to spread the knowledge of His greatness to the ends of the earth.

 

Contact the church office :  (256) 660 0330