Cremona Congregational Church
CREMONA CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH CONSTITUTION The name of the congregation shall be the Cremona Congregational Church
. STATEMENT OF PURPOSE 1. The purpose of the Cremona Congregational Church shall be to gather Christians together under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. (a) To extend the message of salvation of Jesus Christ to the community. (b) To participate in public worship. (c) To mutually support and encourage one another through prayer and Christian fellowship. (d) To offer Christian education to all ages. (e) To participate in the worldwide mission of the Church universal.
2. The Cremona Congregational Church shall be carried on without purpose of gain for its members and all its profits and gains shall be used to promote the furtherance of Christ's kingdom here on earth.
STATEMENT OF FAITH 1. We believe that the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments, is the only divinely inspired and infallible revelation of God. It is our only guide and final authority in matters pertaining to faith and life.
2. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
3. We believe in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, His conception by the Holy Spirit, His birth of the virgin Mary, His real but sinless humanity, His voluntary humiliation in life as a Man of Sorrows culminating in His substitutionary and atoning death as a sacrifice for sin, His bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven as the only and eternal mediator between God and humanity, and His coming again in power and glory.
4. We believe in the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit through Whom people are born again to saving repentance and faith, and by Whom the saints are sanctified and enabled to live a godly life.
5. We believe that the salvation of individuals is solely by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, that the saved partake of eternal life now and will share in that glorious resurrection which is to come.
6. We believe that humanity, in consequence of the fall, is utterly sinful and therefore lost, and the unsaved will be raised for final judgement.
7. We believe in the spiritual unity of all who truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, that is, the holy universal Church, which is the body of Christ.
STATEMENT OF POLITY 1. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Head of His body, the Church universal, and of each local church.
2. We believe that each church is in itself a complete church, and therefore autonomous, and possesses, by the Holy Spirit, all the rights and responsibilities of the church as set forth in the Holy Scriptures.
3. We believe that Jesus Christ exercises His authority in each local church by the Holy Spirit and through the Holy Scriptures.
4. We believe that each local church is amenable only to Jesus Christ and not to any association, conference, council, synod or any other ecclesiastical body.
5. We believe that it is proper and beneficial for each local church to seek fellowship and counsel of other local churches.
STATEMENT OF DOCTRINE Cremona Congregational Church hereby sets forth its Statement of Faith. In so doing we build upon the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. We affirm our belief in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the primary source and ultimate standard of Christian faith and life. We acknowledge the teachings of the great creeds of the ancient Church. We further maintain allegiance to the evangelical doctrines of the reformation. We present the accompanying statement as a brief summary of our common faith and commend it to the studious attention of our members and adherents, as in substance agreeable to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.
ARTICLE I: OF GOD We believe in the one, only, living and true God, a Spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable, in His being and perfections; the Lord Almighty, who is love, most just in all His ways, most glorious in holiness, unsearchable in wisdom, plenteous in mercy, full ofcompassion, and abundant in goodness and truth. We worship Him in the unity of the Godhead and the mystery of the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three persons of the same substance, equal in power and glory.
ARTICLE II: OF REVELATION We believe that God has revealed Himself in nature, in history and in the heart of mankind; that He has been graciously pleased to make clearer revelation of Himself to people of God who spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit; and in the fullness of time He has perfectly revealed Himself in Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, Who is the brightness of the Father's glory and the express image of His person. We receive the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, given by inspiration of God, as being the only infallible rule of faith and life, a faithful record of God's gracious revelations and as the sure witness of Christ.
ARTICLE III: OF DIVINE PURPOSE We believe that the eternal, wise, holy and loving purpose of God so embraces all events that, while the freedom of individuals is not taken away, nor is God the author of sin, yet in His providence He makes all things work together in the fulfillment of His sovereign design and the manifestation of His glory.
ARTICLE IV: OF CREATION AND PROVIDENCE We believe that God is the creator, upholder and governor of all things; that He is above all His works and in them all; and that He made man in His own image, to worship Him and have fellowship with Him, yet free and able to choose between good and evil and responsible to his Maker and Lord.
ARTICLE V: OF THE SIN OF MAN We believe that our first parents, being tempted, chose evil, and so fell away from God and came under the power of sin, the penalty of which is eternal death; and that, by reason of this disobedience, all people are born with a sinful nature, that we have broken God's law and that no one can be saved but by His grace.
ARTICLE VI: OF THE GRACE OF GOD We believe that God, out of His great love for the world, has given His only begotten Son to be the Saviour of sinners, and in the Gospel freely offers His all-sufficient salvation to all people. We believe also that God, in His own good pleasure, gave to His Son a people, an innumerable multitude, chosen in Christ unto holiness, service and salvation.
ARTICLE VII: OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST We believe in and confess the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Mediator between God and mankind, who, being the eternal Son of God, for we people and for our salvation became truly human, being conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, yet without sin. Unto us He has revealed the Father, by His Word and Spirit, making known the perfect will of God. For our redemption, He fulfilled all righteousness, offered Himself a perfect sacrifice on the Cross, satisfied Divine justice and made propitiation for the sins of the whole world. He rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven, where he ever intercedes for us. In the hearts of believers He abides forever as the indwelling Christ; above us and over us all He rules; wherefore, unto Him we renderlove, obedience and adoration as our Prophet, Priest and King.
ARTICLE VIII: OF THE HOLY SPIRIT We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who moves upon the hearts of people to restrain them from evil and to incite them unto good, and Whom the Father is ever willing to give unto all who ask Him. We believe that he has spoken by holy people of God in making known His truth to mankind for their salvation; that, in our exalted Saviour, He has sent forth in power to convict the world of sin, to enlighten our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and to persuade and enable us to obey the call of the gospel; and that he abides with the Church, dwelling in every believer as the Spirit of truth, of power, of holiness, of comfort and of love.
ARTICLE IX: OF REGENERATION We believe in the necessity of regeneration, whereby we are made new creatures in Christ Jesus by the Spirit of God, Who imparts spiritual life by the gracious and mysterious operation of His power, using as the ordinary means the truth of His word and the ordinances of divine appointment in ways agreeable to the nature of mankind.
ARTICLE X: OF FAITH We believe that faith in Christ is a saving grace whereby we receive Him, trust in Him, and rest upon Him alone for salvation as He is offered to us in the Gospel, and that this saving grace is always accompanied by repentance, wherein we confess and forsake our sins with full purpose of and endeavor after a new obedience to God.
ARTICLE XI: OF JUSTIFICATION AND SONSHIP We believe that God, on the sole ground of the perfect obedience and sacrifice of Christ, pardons those who by faith receive Him as their Saviour and Lord, accepts them as righteous and bestows upon them the adoption of sons, with a right to all privileges therein implied, including a conscious assurance of their sonship
. ARTICLE XII: OF SANCTIFICATION We believe that those who are regenerated and justified grow in the likeness of Christ through fellowship with Him, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and obedience to the truth; that a holy life is the fruit and evidence of saving faith; and that the believer's hope of continuance in such life is in the preserving grace of God. And we believe that in this growth in grace, Christians may attain the maturity and full assurance of salvation whereby the love of God is made perfect in us.
ARTICLE XIII: OF PRAYER We believe that we are encouraged to draw near to God, our Heavenly Father, in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ, and on our own behalf and that of others to pour out our hearts humbly yet freely before Him, as becomes His beloved children, giving Him the honor and praise due His Holy name, asking Him to glorify Himself on earth as in Heaven, confessing unto Him our sins and seeking of Him every gift needful for this life and everlasting salvation. We believe also that, inasmuch as all true prayer is prompted by His Spirit, He will in response thereto grant us every blessing according to His unsearchable wisdom and the wisdom of His grace in Jesus Christ
. ARTICLE XIV: THE LAW OF GOD We believe that the moral law of God, summarized in the Ten Commandments, testified to by the prophets and demonstrated in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, stands forever in truth and equity, and is not made void by faith, but on the contrary is established thereby. We believe that God requires that every person to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with God; and that only through this harmony with the will of God shall be fulfilled that fellowship of believers wherein the Kingdom of God is to be made manifest.
ARTICLE XV: OF THE CHURCH We acknowledge one Holy Christian Church, the innumerable company of saints of every age and nation, who being united by the Holy Spirit to Christ their Head are one body with Him, and have communion with their Lord and with one another. Further, we receive it as the will of Christ that His Church on earth should exist as a visible and sacred fellowship, consisting of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to Him, together with their children and other baptized children, and organized for the confession of His name, for the public worship of God, for the administration of the sacraments, for the upbuilding of the saints, and for the universal propagation of the Gospel; and we acknowledge as a part, of this universal brotherhood, every particular Church throughout the world which professes their faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to him alone as divine Lord and Saviour.
ARTICLE XVI: OF THE SACRAMENTS We acknowledge two sacraments, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, which were instituted by Christ, to be a perpetual obligation as the signs and seals of the covenant ratified in His precious blood, as means of grace, by which, working in us, He doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and comfort our faith in Him, and ordinances of which His Church is to confess her Lord and be visibly distinguished from the rest of the world.
1. Baptism with water into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is the sacrament by which are signified and sealed our union to Christ and participation in the blessings of the new covenant. The proper subjects of baptism are believers and infants presented by their parents or guardians in the Christian faith. In the latter case the parents or guardians should train up their children in the nuture and admonition of the Lord and should expect that their children will, by the operation of the Holy Spirit, receive the benefits which the sacrament is designed and fitted to convey. The Church is under the most solemn obligation to provide for their Christian instruction.
2. The Lord's Supper is the sacrament of communion with Christ and with His people, in which bread and wine are given and received in thankful remembrance of Him and His sacrifice on the Cross; and they who in faith receive the same do, after a spiritual manner, partake of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to their comfort, nourishment and growth in grace. All may be admitted to the Lord's Supper who express their love of The Lord Jesus Christ and their obedience to His Law.
ARTICLE XVII: OF THE MINISTRY We believe that Jesus Christ, as the Supreme Head of the Church, has appointed therein a ministry of word and sacrament, and calls men and women to this ministry' that the Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, recognizes and chooses those who He calls, and should thereupon duly ordain them to the work of ministry
. ARTICLE XVIII: OF CHURCH ORDER AND FELLOWSHIP We believe that the Supreme and only Head of the Church is the Lord Jesus Christ; that its worship, teaching, discipline and government should be administered according to His will by persons chosen for their fitness and fully set apart of their office; and that although the visible Church may contain unworthy members and is liable to err, yet believers ought not lightly to separate themselves from its communion, but are to live in fellowship with their brethren, which fellowship is to be extended, as God gives opportunity, to all who in every place call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
ARTICLE XIX: OF THE RESURRECTION, THE LAST JUDGEMENT AND THE FUTURE LIFE We believe that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust, through the power of the Son of God, Who shall come to judge the living and the dead; that the finally impenitent shall go away into eternal punishment and the righteous into eternal life.
ARTICLE XX: OF CHRISTIAN SERVICE AND THE FINAL TRIUMPH We believe that it is our duty as disciples and servants of Christ, to further the extension of His Kingdom, to do good will unto all men, to maintain the public and private worship of God, to hallow the Lord's Day, to preserve the inviolability of marriage and the sanctity of the family, to uphold the just authority of the State, and so to live in all honesty, purity and charity, that our lives shall testify to Christ. We joyfully receive the Word of Christ, bidding His people go unto all the world and make disciples of all nations, declaring unto them that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, and that He will have all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. We confidently believe that by His power and grace all His enemies shall finally be overcome, and the kingdoms of this world be made the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ.