Not Just Another "Baptist" Church
SOVEREIGN GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH
Like the New Testament churches, Sovereign Grace Church is an unaffiliated, unincorporated assembly of God’s elect remnant, chosen by the eternal counsel of the Godhead before the world began, redeemed by the atoning work of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross at Calvary, and regenerated unto new life by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We seek to demonstrate obedience and service unto Christ through the ordinances given unto the local church—believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper—until the return of the Lord Jesus Christ in glory and in judgment.
The local church is called and commanded by God to be distinct and separate from the ways of the world and man-centered religious ritual. We are Baptist in structure and doctrine, insofar as baptistic principles coincide with historical Christian doctrines and practice. As necessitated by the theological and secular rendering of the Greek word for “baptism”, believer’s baptism must be by immersion in order to fulfill its identification with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, as the new believer publicly identifies with the local assembly and symbolizes death to sin and new life in Christ. Nevertheless, while necessary to demonstrate obedience to Christ’s instruction and thus experience His greater blessings, baptism has no regenerative qualities nor merit for salvation.
The church’s only Head is Christ and therefore may have no affiliation with the state, neither in the marriage of the church with civil government, nor even in derivation of economic benefits through the state’s sanctioning authority. The church must never concede its divine ordination and thus its right to existence by subjection to the state through articles of incorporation, as such articles delegate the church's authority to human government. Separation of church and state does not mean that Christians can have no voice in the public arena, but it does mean that the local church is independent of control by civil government, as each have their divinely ordained areas of authority and responsibility. God's local churches are living organisms, not corporate organizations.
Ultimately under the Headship of Christ, like the early churches, Sovereign Grace Baptist Church affirms the Biblical qualifications for filling of the offices of human leadership and authority in the local church. The epistles of Timothy and Titus confirm the spiritual and other qualifications for leadership, and the Bible requires adherence to the principle of male headship in the offices of pastor, elders, and deacons. Our church practices a plurality of eldership, as to avoid the pitfalls of absolute authority vested in one office. The church is governed by the principles of the Bible, not by democracy, corporate charter, or constitution. The pastor and elders seek to govern and lead by consensus in a Christ-like manner.
Nevertheless, the pastor is recognized as the one called of God to the role of preaching and expounding the Word of God, and it is the responsibility of the congregation to submit to the authority of Scriptures. Likewise, God has ordained women to equality in matters of salvation and to a special role in the local church, though not in positions of authority.
Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, therefore, is not a 501(c)3 entity created by the federal government, but rather is a local assembly of believers and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. While we willingly identify with other Christians individually and churches collectively who share commitment to the Great Commission and the work of the Gospel, we are party to no associations, mission boards, or other human contrivances which, though they may have good intentions and ideals, would usurp the God-given authority and autonomy of the local church.
The Local Church -- God's Program for the Work of His Kingdom
Each Christian, as a member of the local church, has the divine duty and privilege to give regularly and generously to the work of Christ through the church. With both tithes and offerings, the Christian gives in proportion to the degree to which God has blessed, with the full promise and assurance of God that He takes note of sacrificial giving as Christ noted the widow's mites given in the Temple at Jerusalem.
The Great Commission was Christ's commandment to go into all the world, preaching, teaching, and baptizing. All missionary outreach, while through individual witness and potentially with the cumulative financial support of others, is to be conducted under the authority of the local church. Likewise, missionaries are to be sent out, as they were from the beginning of the New Testament churches from a local church.
Each Christian, as a member of a local church, fulfills the representation of believers as "living stones" in the spiritual Temple as we carry out our divinely-given tasks within Christ's Kingdom even now.
back to top