Seeking to be a Christ-centered church guided by truth and marked by grace, Calvary Bible Church desires to fulfill its mission through:
Mercy and Reclamation
Worship is central to everything that fulfills our purpose. It is the ultimate priority of every believer since it is what God seeks from His people. What is worship? “Coming into God’s special presence, listening to Him, and responding to Him in commanded acts of faith and love.”
John 4:23-24 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
Worship is not just a Lord’s Day activity, it is all of life as God intended it. The whole of life is both a procession toward worship and, at the same time, a procession out of worship. In this God is most glorified.
When our Lord fulfilled the Law in His death, burial and resurrection, He prepared the way for the truth that not only is the church the dwelling-place for God, but also individual believers are temples of the Holy Spirit. With this firmly planted in our hearts and minds we should be persuaded that life is to be dedicated to the service of God and that all believers are priests before Him. This is the beginning of genuine worship in a personal, individual way, and should never be overlooked as unimportant, but as the most important thing you can do individually.
There is, however, a special sense that when individuals who are living in this way come together, God’s presence and power are magnified in a corporate way. Christ spoke of His being especially present among two or three gathered together in His name in Matthew 18. In 1Corinthians 5 Paul says that Jesus is present in His power when the Church gathers to pronounce judgment. There was a special power afforded Peter in Acts 12 by the prayer of a group of people coming together in unity. Worship for the individual should be constant and ongoing, but there also is a special worship of coming together as a body of individual worshippers. We all know that God is sovereign and absolute. But when we come together into the presence of God, there ought to be a special sense of fear, subjection, awe and propriety. Worship is understanding that God is the audience and we are the participants—not spectators. God speaks and His people respond and attend to His commands.
The public assembly has throughout Scripture been a place of gathering with God. He sets forth His precepts, and we are to bless Him in return. This means that worship must be based on what God accepts as worship. In other words, not just the idea of worship is God-honoring, but the content of worship must be acceptable to Him as well. God’s transcendence reveals to us His incomprehensibility, yet His immanence—His ever-presence—is just as much a part of God to be worshipped.
You must prepare yourself to come into His presence!
You must prepare yourself to listen!
You must discipline yourself to obedience in faith and love!
Worship is based on two important aspects of Jesus Christ revealed in His incarnation. We read in John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Grace and Truth are the two important aspects that God provides for true worship. For Calvary Bible Church to be a worshipping community, whose chief aim is to please and glorify God, we must be living in the grace and truth of Christ.
The grace of God is that provision of God whereby man is changed from within, being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ, who is the only one in whom true worship can exist. Grace is the means by which, through which and in which man worships.
The truth of God is that provision of God whereby man continues to be changed from within in every area of life being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ, who alone is at the heart of true worship. Truth is the foundation through which and in which man worships.
With the grace of God changing man “from glory to glory…” (2Cor 3:18), and the truth of God causing man to “grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ,” (Eph. 4:15), worship is truly the summit toward which all the activities of Calvary Bible Church incline and the fount from which all its power flows. We will realize our purpose and glorify God when we live and worship in the realm of grace and truth.
These two words are put together so that we will be reminded of the breadth of this important distinctive of our ministry. To evangelize is “to present Christ Jesus to sinful men in order that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, men may come to put their trust in God through Him, to accept Him as their Savior and to serve Him as their Lord and King in the fellowship of His Church.”
It is the declaring of a specific message! The message to be declared in evangelism is about a Person—Jesus Christ. He is both Savior and Lord. It is not merely to teach general truths about God but specific truths about the person and work of Jesus Christ.
It is a message with a specific application. It is the presenting of the person and work of Christ in application to the real needs of man who is fallen, lost, without hope and under the condemnation of a holy God. The application is quite clear---Christ is their only hope. It exhorts sinners to accept Christ, thus admitting their hopeless and lost condition. As Lord, they submit to Him in the framework and fellowship of His body, the Church. In other words, it is issuing a call to turn as well as to trust.
With this in mind, evangelism covers a large spectrum of ways in which this message is delivered. In Acts we see evangelism in large meetings, in small meetings, from a pulpit, in a private setting, in schools, in open fields, on water and on the job. This message finds its climax in the confrontation of sin and the plea to turn from rebellion and trust in the Creator. It is not that you are bringing great numbers of conversions, but that you are heralding out the message, confronting sinners and urging them to turn from their sin and trust in Christ. This all happened in Acts, not only locally, but also in Judea, Samaria and then to the uttermost parts of the earth. “And the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved!”
For us, the Body of Christ, to accomplish God’s purpose and to influence our culture for Christ and advance His kingdom, we need the compassion of Christ to reach people in our communities with the gospel. Disciples who proclaim the gospel and hold to a sound biblical theology are able to provide answers to life’s important questions and issues of the day. By being witnesses and spreading the gospel in their city, region, country and farthest reaches of the globe, believers participate in evangelism and discipleship God’s way which results in Christ’s kingdom advancing throughout the whole world to God’s glory. There needs to be a deliberate sending of God’s called disciples into all the world to reproduce themselves as God directs.
Fellowship is central to all true worship, evangelism and discipleship. Worshipping and serving God is participation and partnership in biblical fellowship. If believers are to be equipped through the teaching of the grace and truth in Jesus Christ, fellowship must be understood correctly. Fellowship is the visual demonstration of a personal and passionate love for God and His people.
True fellowship is a genuine caring for one another. It is more than coffee and cake; it is more than a table spread of tasty food and desserts. It is the real-life outpouring of action that explicitly demonstrates love, care and concern for people. This begins within the body since true disciples are known by their love for one another, and it extends to those who are outside the church, meeting first their spiritual needs, and then beyond to the physical and mental needs of people. Fellowship is the purest form of expressing God’s caring love to His glory. This is genuine koinonia! It displays commonality. The people in Acts 2:44 began to have all things in common. This is also where serving the body of Christ with God-given gifts makes its mark.
At salvation each person in Christ is gifted for service to edify the body of believers. The common life for a true believer is found only in Jesus Christ. This is where the “one-anothers” come in. Fellowship is predicated upon the fact that God’s people are Spirit-led. It is a careful submission to God and giving of ourselves away. This is also why Satan dilutes fellowship by making it all socially oriented—never dealing with the real needs. He seeks to destroy the effectiveness of fellowship by causing us to look inward to its effect on ourselves, instead of its effect on others. Acts 2:43 declares what happens when true conversion and fellowship take place properly—a reverential awe comes over those who observe it. Fellowship is the relational serving of the over 50 “one-anothers” in Scripture that gives us God’s outline for service.
Calvary Bible Church is committed to equipping the believers for the work of the ministry. In Acts 2:42 God gives us a pattern for education:
They continued in the doctrine! It was a progressive thing for them to put themselves into the position of being taught doctrine and to continue to do it. This presupposes a teachable spirit—a willingness to be taught. 1 Tim. 4:6-- If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
They continued steadfastly! 1 Tim. 4:13-- Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. We should, with aggression, careful faithfulness and great honesty, follow hard after doctrine, always fixed on learning God. This presupposes a spirit of perseverance coupled with a humility that admits, “I have not arrived.”
From this commitment some conclusions are drawn:
The Supremacy and Sufficiency of God’s Word
Small Group Relational Environment - Sunday School Class and Shepherd Care Groups
Special Grouped Bible Studies - Children, Teen, Men and Women, Singles/Career
Specialized Bible Studies - Discipleship Studies; Financial; Parenting, Home-Life; etc.
Leadership Training - Elders and Deacons Training
Ministerial Training and Equipping - Training Future Pastors/Missionaries through Internship
Discipleship is the overall “broad brush” through which our desire for people to continue steadfastly in doctrine is expressed. It is not enough simply to teach and educate through the spoken word alone (the lecture method), but it takes a careful, purposeful living out of the truths taught that displays learning and causes others to learn as well. This happens through relational living, that is-- living in an open, transparent way in front of people and allowing accountability to impact our lives with each other. Through small groups, Sunday School classes, and Shepherding Care Groups, we hope to open four doors of discipleship.
The Door of Inreach
God’s Work - Enablement to Service
Man’s Work - Enfolding
The Door of Upreach
God’s Work - Exaltation
Man’s Work - Encouragement
The Door of Downreach
God’s Work - Gifting
Man’s Work - Educating/Equipping
The Door of Outreach
God’s Work - Evangelism
Man’s Work - Extension
MINISTRY OF MERCY AND RECLAMATION
The ministries of Mercy and Reclamation are two very important aspects of the body life of the church.
Calvary Bible Church, in fulfilling its purpose of the exaltation and glory of God, will seek to be a church that ministers to those who are caught in sin which affects the whole Body and its testimony. The church is to be hospital for those spiritually sick. The Ministry of Mercy is the first area where the church should be the first to demonstrate true religion (James 1:27). The Ministry of Mercy is a ministry that reaches out to those who are in need physically due to sin, unfortunate circumstances of life, or even natural disasters. The Ministry of Mercy is overseen by the work of the deacons and include ministries such as the Food Closet, Pregnancy Centers, people who are in need of financial help, ministering to single mothers, widows, orphans, handicapped and other social needs of humanity as God brings them to us. The Ministry of Mercy will be through the Benevolence Fund in the general budget.
Another area of ministry that is vital to the church is the Ministry of Reclamation. The process of reclamation is closely tied to church discipline. To maintain the peace and purity of the church, Scripture directs the church to discipline those who continue in uncorrected, deliberate sin (Matthew 18:15-20), whether it be in doctrine or in practice (Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; and 2 Timothy 2:16-22). The discipline of church members is solely for the purpose of restoration and restricts such members from active participation and membership in the church. In order to comply with Scripture, Calvary Bible Church will follow faithfully the discipline procedure given by Jesus Christ in Matthew 18.
If someone has first-hand knowledge of a church member in doctrinal error or sin, he is to attempt to correct the offender and encourage him to practice the truth and cease from sin (Luke 17:3; Galatians 6:1). If private reproof fails, the matter shall be brought to the offender with one or two additional witnesses who offer reproof and spiritual counsel (Deuteronomy 19:15). After reasonable attempts toward restoration have failed, the charges shall be officially submitted to the Elders. If the matter is not reconciled to the satisfaction of the Elders, the matter will then be taken to the congregation. The purpose for which these steps are to be strictly followed is to bring restoration to the member involved, patiently, lovingly, and gently, but firmly (1 Timothy 5:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5; 1 Timothy 1:20; Romans 16:17; and 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15).
All matters of discipline shall be conducted in the spirit and letter of Scripture. Such discipline is entrusted to the Elders, who shall take each incident into prayerful consideration and act with promptness. When all the restorative efforts of the Elders are rejected, the matter shall be brought publicly before the congregation to have the person removed from active participation and fellowship. No public discipline or dismissal shall be taken against any person until such member is informed and the charge is cited. The member shall be given the opportunity to appear at an Elder Board meeting to have the discipline action considered.
Should the church’s discipline achieve the desired restoration (reclamation), a written request of the disciplined member, stating his desire to be restored fully to the church, will be given to the Elder Board before reinstatement of fellowship takes place. The Elder Board will inform the congregation at an appropriate time of the disciplined member’s restoration so he can be received lovingly back into the fellowship and active participation in the membership.
The authority that God places in the lives of believers is important to the overall function of community!