What we believe here at Pilgrims Way Baptist Church…
Our Church Constitution and By-Laws of Pilgrims Way Baptist Church
We, the members of Pilgrims Way Baptist Church, do ordain and establish the following articles of faith, to which we believe to be led of God’s Holy Spirit in drawing up this constitution and by-laws.
The name of this church shall be Pilgrims Way Baptist Church of Rutherfordton, North Carolina.
Our purpose is to glorify God by conducting a self-supporting, independent, local Baptist church in accordance with the Word of God – seeking to win the lost to Christ; assembling for prayer, spiritual fellowship, and worship God in spirit and in truth; preaching and teaching the whole counsel of God; administering the ordinances; maintaining a testimony of godliness and good works in the community; standing for the Biblical faith; exercising Biblical discipline; all for spiritual growth; and any other ministry the church deems necessary. (Luke 19:10, John 4: 23-24, II Tim. 2:15 and 3: 16-17).
Our Biblical Beliefs
So many in these latter times have departed from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils; so many have turned away their ears from the truth, and turned unto fables. All members are to adopt the following statements of doctrine.
We believe that “all Scripture” is given by inspiration of God, by which we understand the whole of the book called the Holy Bible. It was written by holy men of old, which were divinely inspired by the Holy Ghost, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter. The Bible is the all- sufficient rule of faith and practice. (II Tim.3:16-17; II Peter 1:21, I Cor. 2:13, Acts 1:16)
We believe that the Godhead eternally exists in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and that these three are one God, equal in divine perfection. (Matt. 28:19)
We believe in the virgin birth and sinless humanity of Jesus Christ. He took upon Himself our nature, being conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary; He died upon the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sin of the world; He arose from the dead in the body in which He was crucified; He ascended into heaven in that body glorified, where He is now, our interceding High Priest. He will come again personally and visibly to setup His kingdom and to judge the quick and the dead. (Colossians 1:15; Phil. 2:5-8, Matt.1:18-25; I Pet.2:24-25; Luke 24; Heb 4:14-16; Acts1:9-11; I Thess.4:16-18; Matt 25:31-46; Rev. 11:15-17,20:4-6 and 20: 11-15)
We believe that there is a literal hell and a literal fire of hell as a place for the eternal and conscious punishment of all the unsaved. (Matt 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-50; Rev. 20:14-15,21:8)
We believe that Satan is a person. He is the unholy god of this age, the prince and the power of the air, and the prince of this world. The Devil was a murderer from the beginning. He is a liar and the father of lies. There is absolutely no truth in him. He is the enemy of God and man and the author of all the power of darkness. He is a deceiver and blinds the minds of men. He is destined to the judgment of eternal justice in the lake of fire. (John 8:44,16:11; Eph. 2:2; 2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10)
Man—All have Sinned
We believe that this spiritual death, or total corruption of human nature, has been transmitted to the entire race of man; the man Christ Jesus alone excepted; and that every child of Adam is born into the world with a nature which not only possesses no spark of divine life, but is essentially and unchangeably bad, being enmity against God, and incapable by educational process whatever of subjection to His law. (Gen.6:5; Ps.14:1-3; Jer.17:9; John 3:6; Rom.3:23, 5:12-19)
Salvation—Only through Jesus Christ
We believe that owing to this universal depravity of death in sin, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless born again; and that no degree of reformation, however great; no attainment in morality, however high; no culture, however attractive; no humanitarian and philanthropic schemes and societies, however useful; no baptism or other ordinance, however administered, can help the sinner to take even one step toward heaven; but a new life implanted by the Holy Spirit through the Word is absolutely essential to salvation. (Isa.64:6; John 3:5-18; Gal.6:15; Rom.6:23; Phil.3:4-9; Titus3:5; James 1:18; 1 Pet.1:23)
We believe that Christ, in the fullness of the blessings He has secured by His obedience unto death, is received by faith alone, and that the moment we trust in Him as our Savior we pass out of death into everlasting life, being justified from all things, accepted before the Father according to the measure of His acceptance, loved as he is loved, and having His place and portion as linked to Him and one with Him forever. (John 5:24,17:23; Acts 13:39; Rom.5:1, 6:1; Eph.2:4-13; 1 John 4:17, 5:11-12)
We believe that it is the privilege not only of some, but of all who are born again by the Spirit through faith in Christ as revealed in the scriptures, to be assured of their Salvation from the very day they take Him to be their Saviour; and that this assurance is not founded upon any fancied discovery of their own worthiness, but wholly upon the testimony of God in His written Word, exciting within His children filial love, gratitude, and obedience. (Luke 10:20, 12:32; John 6:47; Rom. 8:38-39; 2nd Cor.5:1, 6:8; 2nd Tim.1:12; 1 John 5:13)
Scriptures—Christ Centered and Practical
We believe that all the Scriptures, from first to last, center about our Lord Jesus Christ, in His Person and work, in first and second coming; and hence that no chapter even of the Old Testament is properly read or understood until it leads to Him; and moreover, that all the Scriptures from first to last, including every chapter of the Old Testament, were designed for our practical instruction. (Luke 24:27,44; John 5:39; Acts 7:2-3, 18:28, 26:22-23, 28:23; Rom.15:4; I Cor. 10:11)
The Church—A Unity of Believers
We believe that the Church is composed of all who are united by the Holy Spirit to the risen and ascended Son of God, that by the same Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we Jews or Gentiles, and thus being members one of another, we are responsible to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, rising above all sectarian prejudices and denominational bigotry, and loving one another with a pure heart fervently. (Matt.16: 16-18; Acts 2:32-47; Rom.12:5; 1 Cor.12:12-27; Eph.1:20-23, 4:3-10; Col.3:14-15)
We believe that the Holy Spirit not as an influence, but as a Divine Person, the source and power of all acceptable worship and service, is our abiding comforter and helper, that He never takes His departure from the Church, nor from the feeblest of the saints, but is ever present to testify of Christ, seeking to occupy us with Him, and not with our selves nor with our experiences. (John 7:38-39, 14:16-17, 15:26, 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; Rom.8:9; Phil.3:3)
We believe that we are called with a holy calling to walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, and so to live in the Spirit that we should not fulfill the lusts of the flesh; but the flesh, being still in us to the end of our earthly pilgrimage, needs to be kept constantly in subjection to Christ, or it will surely manifest its presence to the dishonor of His name. (Rom.8:12-13,13:14; Gal.5:16-25; Eph.4:22-24; Col.3:1-10; I Peter 1:14-16; I John 3:5-9; Titus 2:1-15)
We believe that the souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation do at death immediately pass into His presence, and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His coming, when soul and body reunited shall be associated with Him forever in the glory; but the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery until the final judgment of the great white throne at the close of the millennium, when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to die, but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the Lord and His power. (Lu.16:19-26,23:43; IICor.5:8; Phil.1:23; IIThes.1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Rev.20:11-15)
We believe that the world will not be converted during the present dispensation, but is fast ripening for the judgment, while there will be a fearful apostasy in the professing Christian body, and hence that the Lord Jesus will come in person to introduce the millennial age, when Israel shall be restored to their own land, and the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord; and that this personal premillennial and imminent advent is the blessed hope set before us in the gospel for which we should be constantly looking. (Luke 12:35-40,17:26-30,18:8; Acts 15:14-17; II Thes.2:3-8; II Tim.3:1-5; Titus 1:11-15)
We believe that it is the obligation of all believers to witness by deed and word to these precious truths stated above. We are ambassadors of Christ and it is our duty to proclaim the Gospel to the entire world. We believe it is impossible to be thoroughly loyal to Christ without active participation in the spread of the Gospel to lost humanity everywhere. We believe that obedience to the missionary call of Christ requires study, intercessory prayer, and the consecration of our time, talent, and money. (Acts 1:8; Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16: 15-16; II Cor. 5: 20; Romans 10: 14-15)
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and our resurrection to a new life. It shall be pre-requisite to membership in this church. (Matt. 3:16; John 3:23; Acts 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-5; Col. 2:12)
The Lord’s Supper
We believe that the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should be preceded always by solemn self- examination. The Lord’s Table is not a barrier to separate believers, but rather a sacred place where all true Christians meet. (I Cor.11: 23-28)
In order to enjoy full membership in this church, it shall be mandatory that each candidate for membership publicly profess faith in Jesus Christ as his or her personal Lord and Savior. A person coming by letter from any Baptist church may also approve Church membership, as long as they have complied with the above requirements or statement of faith. Membership will also be granted after Biblical baptism.
Afterwards, he or she will be placed under a 90-day watch care period. If, after the ninety-day watch care period the church and member are satisfied with each other, the member will receive all privileges of membership and the Right Hand of fellowship. Therefore, we shall strive with the help of Almighty God to enroll no name that is not already written in the Lamb’s book of life, regardless of one’s wealth or social position. (Rev.20:12-15, 21:27; II Cor.10:17-18; James 2:9)