First Baptist Church DRAFT CONSTITUTION REVISION D3
The First Baptist Church of Downers Grove is a local church, a called out body of believers, that believes that the church exists to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ, to spread the Gospel for the salvation of our fellow men and women, and to further the believer’s growth in grace. This church is an independent Baptist church, organized under the laws of the State of Illinois, and is governed solely by this constitution and the church’s Statement of Faith.
EXALTATION — The Church Exists for Christ We begin with the recognition that we do not belong to ourselves; we have been purchased by the death of Jesus Christ and He alone is Lord. Enthroned with all authority, He is the Head of the Church, the One to whom our entire allegiance is due. We thus should seek in all things to follow His will as revealed in the Bible and bring glory to His name (Philippians 2:8-11, Colossians 1:18).
EVANGELISM — The Church Exists for Proclamation We believe we have a commission to proclaim the gospel. Our desire is to share as widely and effectively as possible the Good News of God’s forgiveness in Christ. God equips and calls all believers into a variety of vocations and ministries, and within that context they are to be witnesses by word and deed to the Lord Jesus Christ. God offers His love to all without distinction, and He is concerned that believers achieve their full potential in Christ. The proclamation of the Gospel should be accompanied by genuine love and concern for all and for the whole person (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 12:29-31).
EDIFICATION — The Church Exists for Itself. We believe that one of the goals of the Church must be the life-transformation of its members. This requires a strong program of Bible teaching, discipleship and personal evangelism. Church members are to be committed one to another in fellowship and worship. We are a body composed of interdependent members, each having received from the Holy Spirit gifts to be exercised for the upbuilding of the whole body and for the bearing of one another’s spiritual and temporal burdens. We thus desire to encourage in one another the development and use of each other’s abilities, knowing that “the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:16, NIV 2011)