The God of Romans 9

Our common theme in worship is the infinite worth of God and his purpose to “make known the riches of his glory for the vessels of mercy” (Rom 9:23). Our confidence in evangelism comes from God’s freedom to “have mercy on whomever he wills” (Rom 9:18). Our commitment to world missions is fueled by the passion of God to exert his sovereign power “so that [his] name may be proclaimed in all the earth” (Rom 9:17). And the ground of our conviction that God is reliable in all of life is this: No matter what heart-wrenching perplexities we face, “it is not as though the word of God has failed” (Rom 9:6).

John Piper, The Justification of God

8/13 Discussion Questions

  1. We read, sang, prayed, and listened to God’s Word today. How did God use His Word to comfort, correct, or encourage you today?
  2. If you were going to take one step toward Jesus what would it look like?
  3. In Romans 9-11, the Apostle Paul is explaining why the Jewish rejection of the Messiah does not mean God has failed or is untrustworthy. Why is this an important issue?
  4. What would it look like for your love of your neighbors to grow? What practical steps can you take to put that into practice?
  5. Love often involves extreme measures and great cost. Is there anything in your life or your family that you are refusing to give? Is there an idol, something you love more than God or neighbor, that is holding you back?
  6. Did the nine great blessings of the Jews mean they were saved? See Romans 9:4-5; 1 Corinthians 10:1-5; and Hebrews 3:19.
  7. What does it mean to believe in Jesus? We often say, you are believing Jesus takes something from you and gives something to you. What is the great exchange? Give particular emphasis to Christ as the righteousness of God.
  8. Explain why it is necessary for a person to believe in Jesus in order to be saved. Or, can a person not believe in Jesus and still be saved?
  9. Pray for the salvation of your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.

8/6 Life Group Questions

  • Share one way God comforted or challenged you today through what was read, sung, prayed, or preached.
  • What is the evidence that God is for you and not against you?
  • How should the sacrifice of Christ for your sins help you think about the struggle you face everyday (v 32)?
  • Explain what it means to be justified by God. How should justification help you think about your current struggle against sin?
  • How would you respond to a person that says, “It doesn’t matter what I do because I have been justified. I can keep sinning, my struggle doesn’t really matter, because Jesus died and rose again”? See Romans 6:1-4.
  • What is Jesus doing right now (see Romans 8:34)? How does this shape the way you think about living a holy life and putting sin to death?
  • Romans 8:35-36 make it clear that difficulties will come to the Christian who is loved by God, obeys God, and lives a life of faith. What does it mean to be more than a conqueror through Christ?
  • What would it look like for you to be more than a conqueror through Christ?
  • Where should you look when you do not feel loved by God?
  • Explain the connection between justification, love, and obeying Jesus’ commands.
  • What would that look like for you to take one step toward Jesus?

Bylaws Revision

Here is the full proposed bylaws revision. We will discuss this document in our August 13 members’ meeting at 9:45 am.

1.    The Church

 

This congregation shall be known as Mambrino Baptist Church. The church’s property is located at 1625 Mambrino Highway, Granbury, Texas.

 

Mambrino Baptist Church is a congregation of baptized believers in Jesus Christ who take the Bible alone as the standard by which all matters of belief and conduct are to be decided. We believe the Bible, consisting of the 39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament books that comprise the Canon of Sacred Scripture, is the completed and final revelation of divine truth. We believe every word of the original writings of the Sacred Scripture is inspired by God and that the Bible is, therefore, our inerrant and final authority in all matters of faith and practice. If any point of these Bylaws is found to be inconsistent or contrary to the Bible that point of Bylaws is null and void.

 

1.1.  Purpose of the Church

Mambrino Baptist Church exists to make disciples of Jesus Christ who love God and love their neighbors.

 

Our purpose is derived from the Great Confession in Matthew 16:13-20, the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, and the Great Commandment in Matthew 22:37-40.

 

1.2.  Polity

Mambrino Baptist Church is an autonomous body subject to the Lordship of Christ, under the authority of Scripture, led by its elders, and accountable to the congregation. The membership reserves the exclusive right to determine who may be members, elders, and deacons of this church and the conditions of such membership in accordance with Scripture.

 

1.3.  Core Values of the Church

  • The Supremacy of God

We cherish the value of God above the recognized worth of every person, institution, and thing (Philippians 3:8, Deuteronomy 4:39, Romans 11:33-36, 1 Corinthians 8:6, Ephesians 4:4-6).

  • The Authority of Scripture

We cherish God’s Word written and seek to live every aspect of our lives in accord with the whole counsel of God’s authoritative, inerrant, infallible, and sufficient word (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 3:15-16).

  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ

We cherish the good news that God himself has come to rescue, reconcile, and renew his creation through the work of Jesus Christ on our behalf (1 Peter 3:18; Romans 6:23; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Colossians 1:15-23).

  • Prayer

We cherish prayer as God’s ordained form of continued communication through which we confess our sins, offer praise and thanksgiving to God, become aligned with God’s will, petition our heavenly Father, and are guided by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:15-17 & 26-27, Luke 18:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:17).

  • The Great Commission

We cherish biblical evangelism and discipleship as the only way individuals can be reconciled to God (Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 10:14-15, Acts 1:8, John 14:6).

  • Biblical Fellowship

We cherish unity that is expressed in a passionate concern for one another as well as for our neighbors (1 Corinthians 12:4-26, Hebrews 10:23-25, Luke 10:25-37).

 

1.4.  Statement of Faith

This church will have a statement of faith for the purpose of teaching and uniting the people of God with the Word of God. Our statement of faith, known as the New Hampshire Baptist Statement, can be found in appendix 1 of this document.

 

  • Meetings

The number and extent of such meetings are to be determined by the congregation or its elders. The congregation may vote on any particular issue only at a properly called meeting of the membership where a quorum is present.

 

Mambrino Baptist Church will conduct the following Congregational Meetings under the oversight of its elders:

 

Regular Congregational Meetings

The Church shall meet regularly on Sundays for the worship of Almighty God and the building up of one another.

 

  • Quarterly Members’ Meetings

Church members’ meetings shall be held  on the second Sundays of February, May, August, and November. The time of each meeting will be determined by the elders to best suit the members. The purpose of these meetings is to prayerfully renew the membership covenant, prayerfully receive and release members, and prayerfully review ministries.

 

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 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.

 

An elder designated by the elders shall preside as moderator at all members’ meetings of the church.

 

  • Changes and/or Cancellations

Changes to the time or place for a Regular Congregational Meeting will require a two-thirds (2/3) approval vote taken during any members’ meeting. Changes to the time and place or cancellation of any Congregational Meeting during a situation that could pose a dangerous or emergency situation for the congregation may be made by the elders without an approval vote of the congregation. In such a situation all reasonable efforts shall be taken to advise the congregation of such action in a reasonable and timely manner.

 

  • Quorum

Eighteen members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

 

  • Location

All meetings shall be held on church property.

 

 

  • Cooperation

The government of this church is vested in the members of Mambrino Baptist Church. This church is subject to the control of no other ecclesiastical body. This church will, as it chooses, cooperate with and contribute financially to its local Baptist Association, Texas State Conventions, and the Southern Baptist Convention.

 

  1. Membership
    • Qualifications for Membership

To qualify for membership in this church, a person must be a believer in Jesus Christ who gives evidence of regeneration, has been baptized following his or her regeneration, and continues in gospel repentance and faith. Each member must be in friendly agreement with 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 and presenting those candidates to the church. In making this determination, the elders may rely on a person’s profession of faith, or such other evidence, as the elders deem appropriate.

 

  • Expectation of Membership

Every member is expected to continually grow in Christlikeness through repentance and faith, humbly protect the unity of the church, exercise their gift for the good of the church, support the church, and not forsake the weekly gathering of the church. According to 1 Corinthians 12:7 each believer has been given the manifestation of the Spirit for the good of others.  Each member, therefore, will strive to make a gospel difference in the lives of others.

 

 

  • Church Membership Covenant

As we trust we have been brought by divine grace to embrace the Lord Jesus Christ and by the influence of his Spirit to give ourselves up to him; so, we do now solemnly covenant with each other:

That, God, enabling us we will walk together in brotherly love.

That, we will exercise a Christian care and watchfulness over each other, and faithfully build up, encourage,  rebuke, admonish, and discipline one another as the case shall require.

That we will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, nor omit the great duty of prayer, both for ourselves and for others.

That, we will participate in each others joys and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy to bear each others burdens and sorrows.

That, we will earnestly endeavor to bring up such as may be under our care in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

That we will seek Divine aid to enable us to walk circumspectfully and watchfully in the world, denying ungodliness and every worldly lust.

That we will strive together for the support both temporally and spiritually for a faithful evangelical ministry among us.

That we will endeavor by example and effort to win souls to Christ,

And through life, amidst evil report and good report, seek to live to the glory of Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light,

And may the Great Head of the church enable us to keep and perform this solemn covenant. Amen.

 

  • Acceptance into Membership
    • Universal and Local Church

We believe that having been regenerated by the Spirit and receiving Christ as Savior through repentance and faith makes one a member of the universal Church, the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). However, in order to be admitted into the fellowship of a local assembly, we must understand and affirm that we are related to each other by covenant and responsibility, and as such we should hold to common beliefs and vision concerning the Word of God and the purpose of His church.

 

  • Membership Class

New members shall participate in a church membership class as determined by the elders.

 

  • Application for Membership

Any person may offer himself or herself as a candidate for membership in Mambrino Baptist Church. All such candidates are to be presented to the church at any congregational meeting/service of the church. Membership may be granted in any of the following ways:

  • Baptism; By repentance toward God and profession of faith in Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord followed by Believer’s baptism by immersion.
  • Transfer of Membership; By letter in hand or the promise of a letter of recommendation from another Evangelical Church of like faith and order.
  • Members dismissed by the Church shall be restored to full membership privileges according to the spirit of 2 Corinthians 2:7-8 when their conduct is judged by the elders to be in accordance with biblical repentance, The Statement of Faith, and The Church Membership Covenant.

A two-thirds (2/3) vote of those church members present and voting shall be required to elect such candidates to membership.

 

NOTE: Should there be any dissent as to the validity of the application of any candidate for membership, such dissent shall be referred to the elders for resolution. This dissent shall be in writing with the reason(s) for the dissent clearly presented. The resolution, determined by the elders, shall be presented to the church within thirty (30) days of their decision.

 

  • Voting

Every member of this church is entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to the church for a vote. The voting member must be present at said meeting unless the congregation has made provision for the use of absentee balloting. A vote of a majority of the members in attendance shall be an act of the membership unless otherwise stated in these Bylaws. A two-thirds (2/3) vote of its members in attendance shall be required for the Church to take the following actions: dissolution of the corporation, merger or consolidation with another corporation, sale of substantially all of the corporation’s assets, and amendment to the corporation’s Certificate of Formation or its Bylaws.

 

  • Church Discipline
    • Purpose of Discipline

The church will engage one another in the biblical process of church discipline in order to restore the individual(s) and collectively pursue a life of holiness. Disciplinary action in response to ongoing rebellion is part of God’s loving and redemptive pursuit of his children. Redemption through Christ, rather than punishment with the law, is to be the guideline that governs the attitude of all members toward each other. The elders and  members of the congregation stand ready and available to assist any member as the need arises. Counseling and guidance are some of the services that will be provided to any person desiring such assistance. Any such disciplinary proceedings shall be conducted in a spirit of Christian love, kindness, and forbearance.

Process of Discipline

  • In all cases of a divisive attitude, personal difficulty between members of the church, or immoral behavior, the parties involved shall endeavor to bring about reconciliation in the manner laid down by our Savior and recorded in Matthew 5:23-24 and 18:15-17.
  • In every instance of sin or offense, the members involved will endeavor to reconcile with one another as quickly as possible. The first step in discipline is going to a brother or sister, one-on-one, in order to clarify what has happened and seek gospel reconciliation. When the sin involves a person of the opposite sex it is recommended to take one’s spouse or an elder in order to avoid all appearances of evil or misconduct.
  • If the members refuse to acknowledge the offense or seek forgiveness, the elders need to be contacted in order to help determine the next step. Should the investigation result in favor of the accused, the elders shall make no report to the church. If, however, the elders determine it is necessary to continue with church discipline, then the member will be contacted and the matter will be discussed with at least one elder and the two members involved in the offense. Should the member refuse to meet, the elders can take the next step and tell the matter to the church. Should the member repent and reconcile, then no further disciplinary action will be necessary. Continued discipleship, encouragement, and counselling must be considered.
  • In every case in which a member is charged with an offense that would subject he or she to expulsion, the elders shall invite such a one to meet them and hear the charges and offer such explanations and evidences as may be desired. If afterwards the elders determine by three quarters (3/4) majority vote that the sin pattern of essential moral and/or biblical failure occurred the elders will then prayerfully plead with the member to repent. If the member repents no further action will be taken.
  • If the member will still not repent then the member subject to termination will be notified in writing and the elders will call a special meeting of the membership. The matter will be told to the church and it will be recommended that the church carry out the biblical admonitions to bring about repentance and restoration of the disciplined member.
  • If the member chooses to remain in sin after the special meeting of the membership and if the finding is that the welfare of the church will best be served by the exclusion of the member the church shall take such action based on a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members present at a congregational meeting scheduled for this purpose.

 

  • Process of Restoration
    • If church membership has been terminated due to church discipline the affected individual may be reinstated as a member of Mambrino Baptist Church when he or she has presented evidence of repentance and reformation and has demonstrated that such repentance and reformation has occurred for a period determined by the elders of the church. Reinstatement will require a two-thirds (2/3) vote of all voting members present at a congregational meeting scheduled for the purpose of reinstatement.
    • If an officer or staff member of the church is determined to have failed in his/her responsibility to the congregation or has failed to maintain the qualification of the office or staff position he/she holds, then the congregation is to follow the above guidelines as it implements its responsibility of church discipline.

 

  • Termination of Membership

The hope of the congregation is that no member will be removed, however if such a condition does arise then membership in Mambrino Baptist Church may be terminated for any of the following reasons:

  • Death
  • Letter of recommendation, transferred upon request, to another church of like faith
  • Request for membership termination by the specific individual, unless under church discipline
  • Dismissal of a member by church discipline action.
  • Inactivity with this church. Any member who is consistently absent from the gatherings of the church, or who otherwise demonstrates a lack of commitment to keeping the church covenant shall be contacted by the elders and requested to re-evaluate his/her commitment to the church. Any member who fails to respond to the efforts of the elders to renew his/her covenant commitment to the church, or who fails to respond to correspondence directed to him at his last known address, shall be removed from the roll of membership. Those providentially hindered due to health or temporary career reasons are excluded.
  • Any member moving from the area shall be released from membership after a period of four months unless extenuating circumstances have kept the member from joining a local church. The elders will make every effort to recommend a faithful church for the member to join.

 

  1. Leadership
    • Two leadership offices of the church

According to the New Testament, we recognize the offices of elder or pastor and deacon.

 

  • Office of Elder, Overseer, or Pastor

The terms elder, overseer, and pastor are used interchangeably. While the elders serve in various ways according to gifting and availability, they share equally in the authority of the office. While giving equal honor to all the elders, some of the elders may receive financial support.

 

  • Qualifications

The elders shall be comprised of those men who desire the office, are called and gifted by God for the office, and are set apart by the church for the office. Elders must meet the qualifications for the office set forth in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. Each must also be a giving and serving member of the church with proven ability to teach and make disciples (1 Tim 3:2; 2 Tim 4:2).

  • Responsibilities
    • The elders shall, first and foremost, devote their time to prayer and the ministry of the Word by teaching and encouraging sound doctrine and practice, and by shepherding God’s flock.  (Acts 6:2, 4)
    • The elders shall take particular responsibility to examine and instruct prospective members and recommend to the congregation those who fulfill the expectations for membership.  (Titus 1:9)
    • The elders must examine and recommend to the congregation all prospective candidates for offices and ministerial/administrative positions.  (Acts 6:2-6; Titus 1:9-11)
    • The elders shall examine and discern the need for and recommend to the congregation the creation and dissolution of all teams.
    • The elders shall oversee the work of the deacons and appointed teams and agents of the church.  (Acts 6:5)
    • The elders shall administer/oversee the ordinances of baptism and communion.
    • The elders shall gently but firmly admonish and correct those in error, aiding and overseeing the process of church discipline as necessary.  (Matthew 18:15-17, Galatians 6:1; Titus 1:9-11)
    • The elders shall coordinate and promote the ministries of the church, ensuring a balance between edification of the saints and evangelizing the lost, being mindful of the Kingdom’s work both locally and globally.  (Ephesians 4:12; 2 Timothy 4:5)
    • The elders shall ensure that all who minister the Word to the congregation are properly qualified and scripturally sound.  (1 Thess. 3:9, 5:22; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; Titus 1:9-11; James 3:1)
    • The elders shall ensure that all song leaders, as well as all songs sung in our services, are God-honoring and edifying to the body.  (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; Titus 1:9-11)
    • The elders shall appoint the Moderator for all Members’ Meetings.
    • The elders shall be responsible for the proper staffing and supervision of that staff. (See Personnel Handbook)
    • The elders shall pray for the sick upon request and visit the congregation.  (James 1:27, 5:14)
    • The elders shall communicate to the congregation on a regular basis, at least quarterly, concerning the activities and concerns of the elders.
    • The elders shall establish policies and practices for the church consistent with her purposes.
    • The elders and deacons will meet together at least quarterly for the purpose of prayer.

 

  • Selection and Removal

The elders are responsible for identifying, training, and presenting prospective elders to the congregation. Input from the congregation is encouraged by submitting an explanation of the perceived fitness of the candidate for the office of elder. Prospective elders must be presented at the members’ meeting prior to being voted upon. A two-thirds vote of those members present and voting is required to approve an elder. Installation to office will involve a time of corporate prayer by the church for that elder and his work.

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.

 

  • Terms

Elders will serve indefinitely according to personal life circumstances, the needs of the church, and the will of the congregation. It is understood that unpaid elders may have prolonged seasons of life when work, family, or physical circumstances prohibit them from fulfilling their duties. When this occurs, the church will be notified that the man will no longer fill the office. Reinstatement to the office will come by request of the acting elders at any regular members’ meeting then approved by majority vote of the congregation in the following members’ meeting.

 

  • Office of Deacon
    • Qualifications

Deacons must satisfy the qualifications for the office of deacon set forth in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.

 

  • Responsibilities
    • The deacons shall work for the unity of the body and support the elders. (Acts 6:1-7)
    • The deacons shall aid the elders in the visitation needs of the congregation. (Acts 6:2-3)
    • The deacons shall administer the Benevolence Fund to assist the poor and needy and otherwise provide aid in times of crises or distress. (Acts 6:1)
    • The deacons shall coordinate the greeting and welcoming ministries of the church.
    • The deacons shall assist with baptisms and the Lord’s Supper
    • The deacons shall assist at fellowship gatherings of the church
    • The deacons shall oversee the gathering of tithes and offerings.
    • The deacons shall oversee the buildings and grounds.
    • The deacons shall meet together with the elders at least quarterly for the purpose of prayer.

 

The deacons, according to the congregationally approved budget and with the agreement of the elders, may establish paid or unpaid positions to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities in the church.

 

  • Selection and Removal

 As needs arise, the congregation can present prospective deacons to the elders for nomination. Nominations need to be given with an explanation of the qualifications of the nominee. Upon testing and approval by the elders, deacons will be installed after a two-thirds vote of the congregation. Installation to office will involve a time of corporate prayer by the church for that deacon and his work.

Any two members with reason to believe that a deacon 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.  Any of the deacons may be dismissed by a two-thirds vote of the members at any members’ meeting of the church.

 

  • Terms

Deacons will serve indefinitely according to personal life circumstances, the needs of the church, and the will of the congregation.

 

  • Support Staff

Support staff is made up of individuals who are employed by Mambrino Baptist Church in the administration and maintenance of Mambrino Baptist Church. Support staff help the elders and deacons with the preparation and implementation of the various ministries of the church.

 

  • Selection and Removal

According to the congregationally approved budget, the elders and deacons of Mambrino Baptist Church will be responsible for the hiring and dismissal of all support staff.

 

  • Personnel Policy Manual

The elders and deacons will maintain a personnel policy manual with appropriate job descriptions and employment information. Creation of, and updates to, the policy manual will be approved by majority vote of the elders and deacons.

 

  • Ministry Assistants

Ministry assistants are generally, but not necessarily, unpaid volunteers who are chosen to assist the elders and deacons as they fulfill their responsibilities.

 

  • Selection

All ministry assistants will be presented annually to the congregation by the elders or deacons for approval by majority vote.

 

  • Church Clerk

The Church Clerk is responsible for recording the meeting minutes at all members’ meetings, and reporting said minutes at the next members’ meeting. The Church Clerk will maintain a current register of the names of Church members, the dates of membership admission, the dismissal of membership, the death of members, and the records of baptism.

 

The Church Clerk will issue the following: transfer of membership letters to another church and dismissal of membership letters that the church has approved.  When an individual seeks membership with Mambrino Baptist Church the Church Clerk will secure all necessary information and ensure that the information is accurately recorded. The church clerk will also prepare and submit the church’s annual report to the local association.

 

The congregation may elect assistant clerks to assist the Church Clerk in his/her responsibilities

 

  • Church Treasurer

The Church Treasurer is responsible for receiving, preserving, and distributing all monies, properties, or any other materials received by the church after the receipt of appropriate vouchers or receipts and such dispersal of funds and/or other material that have been authorized. The treasurer or his/her designated representative shall report to the church at each members’ meeting, for the purpose of conducting church business, the receipts and disbursements since the previous meeting. The Church Treasurer may have an adequate number of assistant clerks, elected by the congregation, to ensure that the church’s financial obligations are administered in a timely manner.

 

  • Directors

The Directors, under the general direction of the church, serve as the legal representatives for the church in all church transactions that involve the purchase, sale, mortgage or rental of church property. They have the authority to sign all documents relating to the purchase, sale, mortgage or rental of church property after approval of such transactions have been approved by the church in a regular congregational meeting. They are to serve as custodians of the church papers and property. 

  1. Committees
    • Guidelines for Committees

All committees of Mambrino Baptist Church are to be comprised of members of Mambrino Baptist Church that have been elected at a regular or special-called congregational meeting. All the following committees should be comprised of the appropriate number of members necessary to conduct its business. Committees shall not include more than one (1) member from the same family in the church, unless special permission is granted from the congregation. There should be no less than one member rotated off and one new member added each year.

 

The position of committee chairperson should be elected at the beginning of each new committee year. This does not preclude the same chairperson serving on successive years. The chairperson of the particular committee is responsible for scheduling all meetings and presiding as moderator during its meetings.

 

All church committees and organizations are responsible to the elders, deacons and congregation for carrying out their duties and responsibilities.

 

  • Budget and Personnel Committee:

This committee is made up of the church treasurer, one or more elders appointed by the elders, one or more deacons appointed by the deacons, and such other members, if any, as may be appointed by the church treasurer. This committee is responsible for establishing the financial budgets of the church. The proposed budget shall be presented to the congregation at least one month prior to the beginning of the new church financial year. These budgets include the overall church budget and the budgets of church positions, committees, and programs. This committee will work with the Church Treasurer in maintaining the status of all budgets of the church. A report to the congregation on the status of all budgets of the church shall be given at the quarterly members’ meetings.

 

This committee is also responsible for reviewing periodically the performance of the paid staff of Mambrino Baptist Church and in all cases at least once per year. Salary adjustments and bonuses will come by recommendation of this committee.

 

 

  1. Legal Matters
    • Amendments to the Bylaws

This church’s bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the church members present at any regular congregational meeting of the church. Any proposed amendment to the church’s bylaws must be presented to the congregation at least thirty (30) days prior to the date set for voting on said amendment. The proposed amendment(s) are to be posted at the church for a minimum of seven (7) days prior to being acted upon by the congregation.

 

  • Members’ Right to Inspect Books and Records

A member, on written demand stating the purpose of the demand, is entitled to examine and copy at the member’s expense, in person or by agent, accountant, or attorney, at a reasonable time and for a proper purpose, the books and records of the corporation relevant to that purpose.

 

  • Policy Filings

Two (2) identical and complete official copies of the Mambrino Baptist Church Bylaws along with any future amendments to either or both documents shall be kept at all times. One of the official copies is to be kept in the church’s safe, safety deposit box, or another safe location while the other official copy is to be kept by the church’s clerk.

A “Handy” Blog

I was raised in a traditional Baptist church (for which I am very thankful). But this beneficial upbringing left me a bit uncertain about what to do with my hands during worship and prayer. Maybe you can relate to Tim Hawkins.

On a more thoughtful note, I want to recommend Sam Storm’s blog post where he lists several passages referring to our hands and then draws some implications for times of worship, both individually and corporately. Check it out here- Sam Storms, I Will Lift Up My Hands

What’s up with all these metaphors?

Each of the metaphors used for the church can help us to appreciate more of the richness of privilege that God has given us by incorporating us into the church. The fact that the church is like a family should increase our love and fellowship with one another. The thought that the church is like the bride of Christ should stimulate us to strive for greater purity and holiness, and also greater love for Christ and submission to him. The image of the church as branches in a vine should cause us to rest in him more fully. The idea of an agricultural crop should encourage us to continue growing in the Christian life and obtaining for ourselves and others the proper spiritual nutrients to grow. The picture of the church as God’s new temple should increase our awareness of God’s very presence dwelling in our midst as we meet. The concept of the church as a priesthood should help us to see more clearly the delight God has in the sacrifices of praise and good deeds that we offer to him (see Heb. 13:15-16). The metaphor of the church as the body of Christ should increase our interdependence on one another and our appreciation of the diversity of gifts within the body. Many other applications could be drawn from these and other metaphors for the church listed in Scripture. -Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, 859.

The church must be something wonderful. Let’s work today to realize all the blessings that are ours in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:14-16 Led by the Spirit, Notes

Led by the Spirit

Text: Romans 8:14-16                                                7/2/2017

Main Point: The Holy Spirit leads Christians.

There is unfortunately a great deal of confusion in the church regarding the Holy Spirit. There is also a great deal of false teaching regarding the Holy Spirit and these errors often cause great personal turmoil. What is speaking in tongues? Should I speak in tongues? Am I less than Christian because I don’t speak in tongues? That one is easy, 1 Corinthians 12:30 tells us that not everyone speaks in tongues. The difficult passage is our passage today, Romans 8:16, and the promise that the Spirit will testify with our spirit that we are children of God. This is a universal witness and if you don’t have it then you are not a Christian. Let’s stop worrying about tongues and start worrying about the witness of the Spirit.

Romans 8:12-17

I. To be led by the Spirit means you are a Christian

  1. Who are the sons of God?
    1. The sons of God are the redeemed people of God
    2. Sons of God is another way of referring to Israel God’s people
    3. Deuteronomy 14:1-2, sons of the Lord your God, people holy to the Lord, chosen people, treasured possession
    4. Isaiah 1:2-4, my people, my children
    5. Hoshea 1:10, new covenant, children of the living God
    6. John 1:12, he gave the right to become children of God
    7. Sons of God is another way of referring to Christians, God’s people. Christians are sons of God. Christians are children of God
  2. The sons of God are those who have been given the Spirit of God
    1. Galatians 3:14, “in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham has come to the Gentiles, we receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.”
    2. The mark of the people of God is no longer circumcision, the Promised Land, or the temple. The mark is not preeminently baptism. The mark of the people of God is having received and being led by the Spirit of God. The seal of the Spirit is confessed in baptism (Acts 2:16-18, 33, 41).
  3. The sons of God are those who are led by the Spirit of God
    1. Romans 8:14
    2. Led by is a present passive verb- all those who are being led by the Spirit of God are sons of God
  4. The sons of God are disciples who make disciples
    1. Biblically speaking, discipleship is fundamental and universal in the Christian life. In our day we have made discipleship unnecessary and inconsequential. Jesus said, “Go make disciples and teach them how to obey everything Jesus commands.” This most certainly includes the command to be led by the Holy Spirit.
    2. We are meant to learn how to follow the Spirit according to the Word and with the help of other believers
    3. Since it is the case that Christians are those people who are led by the Spirit it is crucial to understand what it looks like to be led by the Spirit.

II. Evidence of the Spirit’s leadership

  1. The Spirit leads us to believe, confess, and depend on Christ for life (John 6:63; 1 Cor 12:3)
  2. The Spirit leads us to put to death the deeds of the body (Rom 8:13)
  3. The Spirit leads us away from a fear of punishment (Rom 8:15; 2 Tim 1:7)
    1. What is the spirit of slavery?
    2. Fear God and fear the future
    3. Fear God- I don’t measure up, I’m not good enough, God doesn’t love me, God couldn’t love me, I am doomed to hell
    4. Fear of the future- what is going to happen?
    5. Rom 5:5, hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us
  4. The Spirit leads us to cry out to God as Father (Rom 8:15)
    1. Spirit of adoption- sealed with the Spirit
    2. Eph 1:3-6
    3. Know the care and trustworthiness of God such that you pray to Him
    4. One evidence that God is your Father is when you are actively concerned about and practically doing helpful things for your brothers and sisters.
  5. The Spirit leads us to love the church (1 John 3:10; 1 Cor 12:7)
    1. 1 John 3:10, “By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil, whoever does not practices righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”
    2. We serve in the new way of the Spirit (Rom 7:6). We don’t serve in order to gain something from God. We serve because we have been made sons and daughters of God. We do not sit like parasites on the church. Led by the Spirit, gifted by the Spirit, we encourage, build up, correct, and exhort our brothers and sisters. If you have an active and practical concern for these people in this room, that is good evidence of the Spirit dwelling in you. If you have no active or practical concern for your fellow members that should cause serious concerns in your mind about your salvation. You may indeed not have the Holy Spirit. The Spirit leads us to love the church.
  6. The Spirit assures us of our reconciliation to God (Rom 8:16)
    1. See in the text that this is not a verbal witness to our ears. We are promised a witness alongside of our own spirits. You should not sit in silence waiting for this inner testimony of the Spirit. Instead, of waiting in silence we are to act upon our rights as children of God.
    2. We confess, “we are children of God.” The Spirit comes alongside and gives a corroborating witness, “these are children of God.”
    3. A corroborating witness is a witness who supports or confirms testimony already given[1]
    4. Deuteronomy 19:15, “only on the evidence of two witnesses or three witnesses shall a charge be established.”
    5. John 15:26 the disciples bear witness to Jesus and the Holy Spirit bears witness about Jesus. This also is corroborating evidence.
    6. What is happening here? To whom are the children of God and the Spirit of God testifying? Are the children of God and the Spirit of God trying to convince God of their rights? No, Ephesians 1:5 tells us it is the Father who predestined these children for adoption.
    7. Zechariah’s vision of Joshua the high priest in Zechariah 3
    8. Is the witness to Satan then? Are we testifying to Satan and the Spirit is testifying with us to Satan that we are children of God. Maybe, but I think that falls short of the context of Romans 8:14-16.
    9. More specifically, it seems to me, in the context of the struggle of Romans 7 with remaining sin and the blessing of sonship in Romans 8 that the witness is given by the Holy Spirit to us to continue crying out to the Father in light of our weakness, struggle, and sin.
    10. We confess Christ as our Savior, our justification, and our righteousness. We are sons and daughters. We so desperately want to come boldly to the throne of grace to find mercy and grace in our time of need. But we are often divided between pursuing the things of God and the things of the world. Our affections are very weak. We don’t feel like sons and daughters. Why should we think God would hear our cry to him as Father? As we pray depending on the Son and asking for the Father’s help, it is the Spirit who testifies alongside of us. We sheepishly and shyly go to the Father overwhelmed by His holiness and our sinfulness. Satan accuses us, “You have sin, your affections are weak, you don’t belong here. Don’t cry out to God, He’s not your Father.” But our spirits testify, our regenerated spirits testify that we have been adopted and justified children of God. It is the Spirit who comes alongside of us and testifies in response to our weakness and Satan’s accusations, “This one is a child of God.” It is as if the Spirit puts his arm around us to hold us up. To the children of God the Spirit says, “Keep praying, Keep crying out.” Against Satan’s accusations the Spirit says, “This one is a child of God!” The Spirit leads us, because of our weakness and sin, to keep crying out to God.

III. What do we do with all of this?

Stop sitting in silence playing some spiritualized form of duck, duck, goose. Maybe today the Spirit will tap me on the head, say goose, and then I’ll get to run around like a Christian. Romans 8:16 does not promise an internal warm fuzzy. Instead, because of adoption and justification, expect the Spirit to convict you of remaining sin while also encouraging you to cry out to your heavenly Father who loves you.

Expect the Spirit to lead you to put sin to death because you are a child of God.

Expect the Spirit to lead you to see and savor the great work of Jesus Christ securing righteousness and forgiveness so you can be a child of God.

Do not look for some second blessing. Instead, read and pray, expecting an ever deepening and satisfying appreciation for Christ’s righteous life, atoning death, and victorious resurrection. The testimony of the Spirit can only be heard beneath the cross.

[1] https://definitions.uslegal.com/c/corroborating-witness/