"We, the members of the
a non-profit organization, do ordain and establish the following
articles, to which we voluntarily submit ourselves."
ARTICLE 1: INSTITUTION
The official name of this church is
SOVEREIGN GRACE BIBLE
CHURCH OF CEBU,
A true Christian church as a divine institution, separate
from the family and the state, is a definite group of Christ's
disciples, distinguished both by being an ecclesiastical organization,
constituted by their solemn ecclesiastical commitment to Christ, and
by being a spiritual organism, animated by Christ's special presence
with them, expressed by endowing them with the Holy Spirit, thereby
consecrating them as a true temple and house of God (1 Cor. 3:17;
1 Tim 3:15; Rev. 2:5).
This article addresses our existence as an ecclesiastical
institution. Our essential distinctiveness as an ecclesiastical
institution is defined in Our Purpose.
OUR ESSENTIAL DISTINCTIVES AS AN ECCLECIASTICAL INSTITUTION
Paragraph A. General Statement.
Our essential distinctives, which are each defined in the following
paragraphs, are Our Name, Our Purpose, Our Doctrinal Commitment,
Our Policy Commitment, and Our Civil Commitment.
Paragraph B. Our Name.
Paragraph C. Our Purpose.
Paragraph D. Our Doctrinal Commitment.
The general ecclesiastical design and purpose of the Sovereign
Grace Bible Church is to walk together in ecclesiastical life and
practice, to be and do everything Christ, in the scriptures, wills of
the church, whether respecting our existence as an institution, our
membership, our leadership, our commission, our order, our assemblies,
or our associations.
The Identity of Our Articles of
Faith. We adopt as our articles of faith and doctrinal statement
the London Baptist Confession of Faith in 1689
(or the 1689 Baptist
Confession), with revisions mainly based upon the work of the Elders
of Trinity Baptist Church, Montville, NJ; The Reformed Baptist Church,
Grand Rapids, MI; and The Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Mebane, NC.
authority in all matters of faith, order and morals is and must be the
bible alone, which truth is clearly set forth in the opening article of
the Confession itself. This historic document, albeit imperfect, is an
excellent summary of "the things must surely believed amongst us"' and
we find it to be an assistance in controversy, a confirmation in faith,
and a means of edification in righteousness.
Possible future revision of the 1689 Confession
of Faith. Although the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith is a comprehensive
summary of our doctrinal distinctives, nevertheless, because it was written in
the 17th century, it could not have anticipated and addressed adequately all the
relevant issues of our day. Furthermore, since the 1689 was written by fallible
men, it might lack precision in articulating the "things most surely believe
amongst us" in certain areas. Therefore we make provision for the possible
future revision of our confession of faith. This future revision, however, must
be done cautiously, and prayerfully, never precipitously or presumptuously.
Furthermore, it must not in any way alter the distinctives of our doctrinal
heritage as defined in our articles of faith, namely, our Orthodox, Covenantal,
Calvinistic, Puritan, and Independent/Baptistic distinctives. Therefore, any
proposed revision must be distributed to the congregation in written form at
least one month prior to its public consideration and adoption. And, since this
process of revision concerns the entire church, this Confession may only be
amended by a three-fourths majority of the members present and voting at a duly
convened business meeting of the congregation.
Any future amendments of the
Confession shall be listed in writing at the conclusion of the Confession, and
subsequently published along with it as part of our doctrinal commitment.