Church Constitution

INTRODUCTION

Maplelawn Baptist Church exists for the sole purpose of glorifying the triune God by every means which He has ordained. Seeking to do all things decently and in order, we establish this Constitution, containing the following articles, to which we voluntarily submit ourselves.

ARTICLE 1 – GENERAL STATEMENTS

 

Section A – Doctrinal Statement / Confession

While affirming the supremacy of the Word of God, we acknowledge that historical creeds, confessions, and statements of faith have an important clarifying and unifying power in the life of the Church and in the lives of the individual Christians of which it is composed.  In this spirit, Maplelawn Baptist Church, does formally align itself with the New Hampshire Confession of 1833.

Section B – Church Covenant

Having been led as we believe by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior; and, on the profession of our faith, having been baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.

We commit, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines, to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the gospel through all nations.

We also commit to maintain family and personal devotions; to educate our children in the teachings and discipline of our Lord; to seek the salvation of our family and friends; to walk with wisdom in the world, to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements, and Christ-like in our conduct; to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior, and to avoid all gossiping, back biting, drunkenness, and excessive anger. Furthermore, while we acknowledge our freedom in Christ, we also recognize that certain behaviors and practices, not specifically prohibited in Scripture, should still be avoided.

We further commit to watch over one another in brotherly love; to remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech; to be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and to secure it without delay, being mindful of the rules of our Savior.

And we commit that when we leave from this place, we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.

 

Section C – Incorporation Statement

 

Maplelawn Baptist Church was incorporated under the laws of the State of Michigan in 1933 as a non-profit religious organization, so that it may own, provide and/or maintain a place of worship (including suitable real estate and buildings), receive, hold and disburse gifts, bequests and funds, and/or do all and sundry things necessary or incident to carry on such purpose.

 

ARTICLE 2 – MEMBERSHIP

 

Section A – Definition

According to Holy Scripture, members of the Body of Christ are to be joined to, indentified with, and in fellowship with an assembly of Believers which manifests that Body in a specific locality.  This assembly is commonly referred to as a local church.

 

While the New Testament plainly teaches formal church membership, it knows nothing of membership that does not embrace the concept of fellowship.  While membership may be a status to be maintained, and nothing more, fellowship encompasses commitment to faithful participation in the worship, study, prayer, ministry, and support of the local church, as well as submission to its spiritual authority, its doctrines, and its discipline.

 

Such membership/fellowship is not optional for the Believer, but is the plainly revealed will of God for every child of God. Therefore, such membership is to be entered into with the utmost seriousness and regarded as a solemn obligation, while at the same time it is to be enjoyed as the blessed privilege of the Christian.

 

The membership of this local church shall consist of baptized believers who have demonstrated their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior to the satisfaction of the Elders and who affirm the definition of church membership, are committed to the church covenant, and are in agreement with the New Hampshire Confession as referenced herein.

 

Section B – Process for Membership

The Elders shall present such individuals to the congregation.  If after a period of consideration of 2 weeks no scriptural objection is raised, the individuals will be received into the fellowship of the church.

 

Members may also be received by letter from churches of like faith and order.

 

Section C – Discipline

The purpose of church discipline is to affect a return to a biblical standard of conduct and doctrine in a member who errs (Gal. 6:1), to maintain purity in the local church (I Cor. 5:6), and to deter sin (I Tim. 5:20).

Any member of this church who teaches or insists on holding false doctrine, or persistently conducts himself or herself in a manner inconsistent with Biblical teaching, or who persists in disturbing the unity or peace of the church shall be dealt with as follows, according to Matthew 18:15-18.

 

  1. It is the duty of any member of this church who has knowledge of an erring member’s heresy or misconduct to warn and correct the erring member in private, seeking his or her repentance and restoration.

 

  1. If the erring member does not heed this warning, the warning member shall again go to the erring member accompanied by one or two other members to warn and correct, seeking repentance and restoration.

 

  1. If the erring member still refuses to heed the warning, the matter shall be brought to the attention of the Elders, who, upon careful and prayerful investigation, shall tell it to the church, encouraging the congregation to pray for repentance and restoration of the erring member.

 

  1. If the erring member refuses to heed the warnings of the Elders and the church, he or she shall be dismissed pursuant to the Scriptures and treated as an unbeliever.  There shall be no appeal of the discipline process or the dismissal to any court.  The congregation shall be encouraged to pray for the repentance and restoration of the erring member.  The discipline process will continue to conclusion even if the erring member leaves the church or otherwise seeks to withdraw from membership.

 

Section D – Termination of Membership

If a member of Maplelawn Baptist Church is found by the Elders to not meet the qualifications of membership as stated above, the Elders may choose to remove his or her name from the church membership rolls.  If this happens, the Elders will communicate this action to the congregation.

 

Any member may seek to have his or her name removed from the membership at any time. After a review, the Elders will grant the request. In this process, the Elders will seek to identify and resolve any open issues which will allow the membership relationship to be restored. In the case where church discipline has started, the termination request will not be granted until the discipline process has culminated.

ARTICLE 3 – CHURCH LEADERSHIP

Section A – General Statement

 

While all believers compose “a royal Priesthood” and are therefore able to offer to God sacrifices of praise and service, it is the express will of God for some believers to be consecrated to the particular ministry of local church leadership.

 

God has established the office of Elder to provide leadership for His Church.  At Maplelawn Baptist Church, the office of Elder is filled by the Senior Pastor, other staff Pastors and by Elders from among the congregation. The office of Deacon was established by God to assist the Elders in the ministries of the church

 

Section B – Elders

 

Those who serve and minister in the office of Elder shall collectively and individually oversee, provide for, and encourage the spiritual life, welfare and total ministry of the congregation to ensure the proper equipping of the saints.  The Elders shall consist of those men officially recognized as being biblically qualified to lead the congregation, and each Elder shall remain such, as long as he is faithful to his calling and has the confidence of his fellow Elders and the congregation. The Elders will serves as the Board of Directors of the corporation.

 

  1. Elders must meet the qualifications as given in Scripture (I Tim. 3:1-15, 5:19-25; II Tim. 2:24-25; Titus 1:5-9).

 

2.  Duties of Elders:

  1. To be devoted to prayer and the study of God’s Word and sustain a caring ministry for the flock, which involves:
  1. Serving as partners with the Pastor for the church’s spiritual growth
  2. Praying for the sick and visiting the congregation
  3. Overseeing the administration of the Ordinances of Baptism and The Lord’s Supper in accordance with the Word of God.

 

    1. To teach and exhort as well as refute those who contradict the truth, which involves:
  1. Ensuring that all those that teach the Word of God are properly qualified
  2. Arranging for pulpit supply during the Senior Pastor’s absence

 

    1. To lead by Christ-like example, which involves:
  1. Consistently modeling spiritual character, attitudes, values and behavior among the members
  2. Providing and inviting the opportunity for frequent and ongoing contact with members
  3. Conducting the affairs of the church in an atmosphere of openness and mutual sensitivity, focusing as much on nurturing the members as on decision making

 

    1. To oversee the affairs of the church which involves:
  1. Being responsible for the employment, terms of employment, and direction of the pastoral and support staff
  2. Installing the Senior Pastor and/or Pastors who have been selected according to the processes as defined in this document
  3. Approving all subordinate organizations of the church
  4. Approving all applicants for church membership
  5. Maintaining the legal status of the church and ensuring the maintenance of records– including the appointment of official clerks and recording secretaries, as needed
  6. Being responsible to oversee the financial business of the church – including current budgets, ongoing ministry needs, and long-range planning  – including the appointment of a Treasurer
  7. Approving nominations for additional Elders
  8. Ensuring that all ministry workers are properly qualified
  9. Conducting meetings of the church, at least quarterly, in order to provide for regular communication of financial position, Elder activities and concerns, and any other necessary business items
  10. Lead, direct, and oversee the ministries of the Deacons
    1. To perform other constitutional, Scriptural, and general duties of oversight

 

3.  The selection process of Elders shall be as follows:

 

    1. At any time during the year, Elders may nominate candidates to the Eldership. A list of those nominated by the Elders shall be presented to the congregationfor a period of consideration of six weeks. During this period, prayerful consideration will be given to these individuals presented. Any scriptural objections to the nominees are to be presented confidentially to the Elders.  If no scriptural objection is raised during the six week period, these individuals will be accepted to the ministry of Elder.

 

    1. Church members shall be encouraged to regularly and confidentially submit to the Elders the names of men whose qualifications are consistent with the requirements set forth in Holy Scripture and recognized as such by these articles.  The Elders shall review the individuals nominated in this manner and present a list of approved individuals to the congregation and the nomination process will proceed as described above.
    1. Any new Elder shall be publicly installed at a regular worship service by the Senior Pastor and the existing Elders.

 

4. The Elders shall elect a chairman from their membership. Length of terms for the chairman shall be at the discretion of the Elders. The chairman of the Elders will serve as the president and sole officer of the corporation. The chairman of the Elders shall:

 

    1. Preside over the meetings of the Elders or request that someone preside in his absence

 

    1. Ensure that the Elders serve the congregation in a balanced and consistent manner, addressing each area of responsibility as outlined in the duties.

As president, the chairman of the Elders shall have the following authority:

 

  1. Maintain the organizational chart of the church
  1. Be responsible for hiring and firing personnel as agreed by the Elders
  1. Be responsible for the signing of contracts for the church as directed by the Elders.  The Elders shall designate someone to countersign on all contracts.

 

5.  The termination of Elders shall be as follows:

 

  1. If a sitting Elder becomes unqualified to fulfill the office, the remaining Elders will meet with him and request he resign.  If he refuses to resign, the remaining Elders will remove him from the office by a majority vote of the Elders. This action will be communicated to the church, and as appropriate, the discipline process may be commenced.

 

  1. If a sitting Elder becomes unqualified or unable to fulfill the office, he may seek to voluntarily resign his Elder position at any time. After a review, the remaining Elders will grant the request.

 

Note: In recognition that the Elders task is significant and is accomplished while continuing care of family and work responsibilities, it is understood that individual Elders may need to take leave of some of the responsibilities of Eldership for periods of time.  Such sabbatical times will be arranged through mutual consent of the Elders.

 

Section C – Senior Pastor

 

God has placed a great deal of emphasis on the preaching and instruction of His Word. This is most effectively accomplished in the local church by the recognition and support of men who are uniquely gifted by God to fulfill the role of Senior Pastor.

 

1.  Duties of Senior Pastor:

  1. Give himself to prayer and the study of the Word of God
  2. Preach and expound the Word of God
  3. Administer the Ordinances of Baptism and The Lord’s Supper in accordance with the Word of God
  4. Share in the pastoral care of the congregation along with the other Elders and members of the pastoral staff
  5. Perform the marriage ceremony at his discretion in accordance with the laws of God and the State
  6. Officiate at funerals of members of the church and non-members at his discretion
  7. Together with the other Elders maintain church discipline
  8. Participate in the installation of newly designated Elders
  9. Act as an ex-officio member of all committees and boards
  10. Perform other general pastoral duties as required by Scripture

 

Under oversight of the Elders, the Senior Pastor shall be free to accept invitations to preach the Word of God to other groups or organizations, provided such engagements do not interfere with the work of the church.

 

  1. Selection of a Senior Pastor

 

When the Senior Pastorate of this church becomes vacant, it shall be the duty of the Elders to provide for the pulpit ministry in the interim, and to prayerfully seek a Senior Pastor who possesses the qualifications outlined in the Holy Scripture and recognized as such by these articles.

 

The Elders shall be free to specify the particulars of the search process, in consideration of unique circumstances and special needs as they occur at any given time, and shall regularly communicate the nature of the process, as well as their progress, to the congregation.  Upon reaching the conclusion of this process, the selected Senior Pastor will also proceed through the Elder approval process as previously defined.

 

  1. Pastor Staff: As needed, potential pastoral staff will be reviewed, selected, and directed by the Senior Pastor and the Elders.  If such individuals are to be Elders, they must meet the qualifications of an Elder and proceed through the Elder process as defined above.

 

Section D – Deacons

Those who serve as Deacons in the church shall be ready to assist the Elders in any service that shall support and promote the ministry of the Word, new and existing ministries of the Church, and the care of the members of the congregation. This will be determined by the needs of the ministry and by the call and qualifications of individuals in the church.

 

  1. Deacons shall be qualified for the office according to the requirements of Scripture, especially I Timothy 3:8-12.

 

  1. The responsibilities of the Deacons may include, but are not limited to:
    1. Caring for and maintaining the church properties
    2. Administering a fund to assist the poor and needy and otherwise providing aid in times of crisis and distress
    3. The greeting and welcoming ministries in the church.
    4. Assisting in administering the Ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
    5. Assisting at fellowship gatherings of the church
    6. Assisting in administering the business of the church that pertain to its material assets

 

3. The selection process of Deacons shall be as follows:

  1. At any time during the year, Elders may nominate Deacon candidates.  A list of those nominated by the Elders shall be presented to the congregation for a period of consideration of six weeks.  During this six week period, prayerful consideration will be given to these individuals presented. Any scriptural objections to the nominees are to be presented confidentially to the Elders.  If no scriptural objection is raised during the six week period, the individuals will be accepted to the ministry of Deacon.

 

  1. Church members shall be encouraged to regularly and confidentially submit to the Elders the names of men whose qualifications are consistent with the requirements set forth in Holy Scripture and recognized as such by these articles.  The Elders shall review the individuals nominated in this manner and present a list of approved individuals to the congregation and the nomination process will proceed as described above.

 

  1. Any new Deacon shall be publicly installed at a regular worship service by the Senior Pastor and the Elders.

 

4. Organization – The Elders or the Deacons may designate any specific Deacon or group of Deacons to specialize in some particular deacon function.  Meetings of the Deacons, or a sub-committee thereof, shall be held as needed to best fulfill their responsibilities.

 

  1. The termination of Deacons shall be as follows:

 

If a sitting Deacon becomes unqualified to fulfill the office, the Elders will request that he resign. If he refuses to resign, the Elders will remove him from the office of Deacon by a majority vote of the Elders. This action will be communicated to the church, and as appropriate, the discipline process may be commenced.

 

If a sitting Deacon becomes unqualified or unable to fulfill the office, he can voluntarily resign at any time. After review, the Elders will grant the request.

 

ARTICLE 4 – CONSIDERATIONS

 

Section A – Indemnification

Maplelawn Baptist Church will indemnify and hold harmless any and all officers, Elders, Deacons, Ministers, Pastors and/or business administrators for any expenses actu­al­ly and necessarily incurred in connection with any action, suit or proceeding against said officers, directors, Elders, Min­is­­ters, Pastors and/or business administrators. This indemnifi­ca­tion shall include costs for attorney fees.  This indemnifica­tion shall occur as the expenses are incurred and in advance of the final disposition of the action, suit or proceeding, on re­ceipt of the officers’, directors’, Elders’, Ministers’, Pastors’ or business ad­min­is­trators’ promise: (1) to repay the amount advanced it if proved by clear and convincing evidence in court that the officers’, directors’, Elders’, Ministers’, Pastors’ or business administrators’ conduct in­volved a deliberate in­tent to injure the church’s best interest, (2) to reasonably co­operate with the church in connection with the action, suit or proceeding.

 

This indemnification shall be available to any officer, Elder, Deacon, Minister, Pastor, and/or business ad­ministrator who is made or thereafter to be made a part to any action, suit or pro­ceeding because of the person’s position within the church.  Persons who are officers, Elders, Deacons, Ministers, Pastors and/or business administrators at the time of being made a party, or threatened with being made a party to any action, suit or proceeding, or were officers, Elders, Deacons, Ministers, Pastors and/or business ad­mini­strators at the time of the event(s) complained of in any such action, suit or proceeding, shall be al­low­ed indemnification. Indemnification will also be available in criminal actions only if it is found that the officer, Elder, Deacon, Minister, Pastor or business administrator had no reasonable cause to believe that the subject acts were un­law­ful.

 

Section B – Amendments

Proposed Amendments to this Constitution of this church will be considered by the Elders and presented to the congregation. A period of 30 days will be given for the congregational review of the proposed amendment(s) or change(s). At the end of this time, if no scriptural concerns are presented, the Elders will incorporate the amendment(s) into this Constitution.

 

Section C – Confidentiality of Church Records

No mem­ber shall have the right to inspect the church records as to (1) the disciplining of any members, (2) the hiring or firing of any employee, (3) the need or problems of any member or em­ployee, (4) the financial contributions of any member.

 

Section D – Dissolution

In the event that circumstances dictate, the Elders can, by unanimous vote dissolve the Corporation known as Maplelawn Baptist Church, with the affirmation of the membership.  In this case, the Elders shall make a provision in the dissolution decision to assign the assets of the church to one or more non-profit religious organization or mission agency that would align with the ministry of Maplelawn Baptist Church.

 

 

 

New Hampshire Baptist Confession of 1833

This Confession was drawn up by the Rev. John Newton Brown, D. D., of New Hampshire about 1833, and was adopted by the New Hampshire Convention, and widely accepted by Baptists, especially in the Northern and Western States, as a clear and concise statement of their faith, in harmony with the doctrines of older confessions, but expressed in milder form. The text is taken from the Baptist Church Manual, published by the American Baptist Publication Society, Philadelphia.
Declaration of Faith

1. 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).

2. 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).

3. 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).

4. 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).

5. 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).

6. 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).

7. 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).

8. 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).

9. 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).

10. 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).

11. 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).

12. 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).

13. 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.

14. 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).

15. Of the Christian Sabbath *(see footnote)

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).

 

16. 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).

17. 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).
Footnote:

* Maplelawn Baptist Church clarifying point regarding the Lord’s Day:

 

We whole-heartedly maintain the particular and sacred nature of the Lord’s Day and encourage one another to faithfulness in attendance and participation in the public worship of the church.  We recognize, however, that the expectations and requirements of secular employment may at times prevent a believer from committing without reservation to abstain “from all secular labor” on the Lord’s Day.  We further acknowledge that decisions concerning recreation are best left to the discretion of the individual conscience.

 

References: 

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

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