I. The Scripture
We believe in the authority and sufficiency of the Holy Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, as originally written; that it was verbally and plenarily inspired and is the product of Spirit-controlled men, and therefore is infallible and inerrant in all matters of which it speaks.
We believe the Bible to be the true center of Christian unity and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creed and opinions shall be tried. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21.
II. The True God
We believe there is one living and true God, an infinite Spirit, the Maker and supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth. In the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; Deut. 6:4.
We believe the Biblical account of the creation of the physical universe, angels, and man; that this account is neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate creative acts of God without any evolutionary process; that man was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race. Genesis 1, 2; Colossians 1:16, 17; John 1:3.
IV. The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; that He bears witness to the truth of the gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the Agent in the new birth; that He seals, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer. We believe that the sign/ revelatory gifts of the Holy Spirit have fulfilled their purpose and are not applicable to the work of the Holy Spirit today. John 14:16, 17; John 14:26; Genesis 1:1-3; John 16:8-11; Acts 5:30-32; John 3:5, 6; Ephesians 1:13, 14; Mark 1:8; John 1:33; Acts 11:16; Luke 24:49; Romans 8:14, 16, 26, 27; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30; 13:8-10; 14:1-40; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Hebrews 2:2-4.
V. The Devil, or Satan
We believe in the reality and personality of Satan, the Devil; and that he was created by God as an angel but through pride and rebellion became the enemy of his Creator; that he became the unholy god of this age and the ruler of all the powers of darkness and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire. Matthew 4:1-11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:10.
Anthropology & Hamartiology
VI. The Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in innocence (in the image and likeness of God) under the law of his Marker, but by voluntary transgression Adam fell from his sinless state, and all men sinned in him, in consequence of which all men are totally depraved, are partakers of Adam’s fallen nature, and are sinners by nature and by conduct, and therefore are under just condemnation without defense or excuse. Genesis 3:1-6; Romans 3:10-19: 5:12, 19; 1:18, 21.
VII. The Virgin Birth
We believe that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner, born of Mary, a virgin, and that He is both God and man. Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:14.
VIII. Resurrection and Priesthood of Christ
We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ and in His ascension into Heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest interceding for us. Matthew 28:6, 7; Luke 24:39; John 20:27; 1 Corinthians 15:4; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:2-6, 51; Acts 1:9-11; Revelation 3:21; Hebrews 8:6; 12:2; 7:25; 1 Timothy 2:5; 1 John 2:1; Hebrews 2:17; 5:9, 10.
We believe that the salvation of sinners is divinely initiated and wholly of grace through the mediatorial office of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who, by the appointment of the Father, voluntarily took upon Himself our nature, yet without sin. By the shedding of His blood He fully satisfied the just demands of a holy and righteous God regarding sin. His sacrifice was a voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place. He is in every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate and an all-sufficient Savior.
We believe that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation. Repentance is a change of mind and purpose toward God prompted by the Holy Spirit and is an integral part of saving faith. Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24, 25; John 3:16; Matthew 18:11; Philippians 2:7, 8; Hebrews 2:14-17; Isaiah 53:4-7; 1 John 4:10; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24.
X. Grace and the New Birth
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about by our sovereign God in a manner above our comprehension, solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith and newness of life. John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 5:1; Acts 16:20-33; 2 Peter 1:4; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1, 5; Colossians 2:13; John 3:8.
We believe that justification is that judicial act of God whereby He declares the believer righteous upon the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any work of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s shed blood. Romans 3:24; 4:5; 5:1-9; Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9.
We believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God accomplished in a threefold manner; first, an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts the Savior; second, a continuing process in the saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the life; third, the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord’s return. Hebrews 10:10-14; 3:1; John 17:17; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 4; 5:23, 24; 1 John 3:2; Jude 24, 25; Revelation 22:11.
XIII. The Security of the Saints
We believe that all who are truly born again are kept by God the Father for Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6; John 10:28, 29; Romans 8:35-39; Jude 1.
XIV. The Church
We believe that a local church is an organized congregation of Immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers are pastors and deacons, whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is the discipleship of all nations. W hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only Superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is Scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; that on all matters of membership, of polity, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final. 1 Corinthians 11:2; Acts 20:17-28; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Acts 2:41, 42.
XV. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
We believe that Christian baptism is the single immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our identification with the crucified, buried and risen Savior, through Whom we died to sin and rose to a new life; that baptism is to be performed under the authority of the local church; and that it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership.
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death until He come, and should be preceded always by solemn self-examination. Acts 8:36, 38, 39; John 3:23; Romans 6:3-5; Matthew 3:16; Colossians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 11:23-28; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:41, 42.
We believe in obedience to the Biblical commands to separate ourselves unto God from worldliness and ecclesiastical apostasy. 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:9, 10; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; Romans 16:17; 2 John 9-11.
XVII. Civil Government
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed; except in those things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ Who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming King of kings. Romans 13:1-7; 2 Samuel 23:3; Exodus 18:21, 22; Acts 23:5; Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:29; 4:19, 20; Daniel 3:17, 18.
We believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God’s eternal covenant people, that she is now dispersed because of her disobedience and rejection of Christ, and that she will be regathered in the Holy Land and, after the completion of the Church, will be saved as a nation at the second advent of Christ. Genesis 13:14-17; Romans 11:1-32; Ezekiel 37.
XIX. Rapture and Subsequent Events
We believe in the imminent rapture of the Church and pre-millennial return of Christ. At the rapture, the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies, and the living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death, and all shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 51-54; Philippians 3:20-21; Revelation 3:10.
We believe that the Tribulation will be culminated by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory to sit upon the throne of David and to establish the millennial kingdom. Daniel 9:25-27; Matthew 24:29-31; Luke 1:30-33; Isaiah 9:6, 7; 11:1-9; Acts 2:29, 30; Revelation 20:1-4, 6.
XX. The Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that there is radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only those who are justified by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and sanctified by the Spirit of our God are truly righteous in His esteem. Those who reject the free gift of salvation will be judged by their works and shown that by their works failed to meet the demands of a righteous God. The result of that judgment will be conscious and everlasting suffering in the lake of fire. Malachi 3:18; Genesis 18:23; Romans 6:17, 18; 1 John 5:19; Romans 7:6; 6:23; Proverbs 14:32; Luke 16:25; Matthew 25:34-41; John 8:21; Revelation 20:14, 15.
The Council of 16 has spent the past year prayerfully developing a set of core values to provide guidance for the development of the fellowship in the next decade. These values continue to be evaluated and enhanced as input is received from its constituency.
- Our churches commit to remain Biblically and doctrinally resolute.
- Our churches desire to be progressing in ministry mindset and method.
- Our churches seek to pursue cultural and generational diversity.
- Our churches urge their members to engage their neighbors in Gospel relationships.
- We will seek to strengthen our existing churches and regional associations.
- We will seek the revitalization of struggling churches by developing strategic partnerships.
- We will seek to forge new partnerships with other likeminded churches and organizations.
- We will seek to participate in joint initiatives to impact our state.
- We will seek to plant ten new churches.
Article I – The Name
The Name of this organization shall be “Bridge Fellowship: A Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches Ministry.”
Article II – Design and Object
The design and object of this Association shall be to provide a medium of cooperation among Regular Baptist Churches of the State of Michigan, and to promote the spreading of the Gospel through whatever mediums may seem advantageous.
Article III – Fellowship and Voting Privileges
Any Baptist Church in Michigan which has endorsed the doctrinal position of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches shall be eligible to affiliate with this Association.
Any Baptist Church qualifying under Article III, Section 1, and approving the constitution and bylaws of this association shall submit to the Secretary written official notice to the effect that it desires fellowship in this Association; such application(s) shall be recommended to the Association by the Council at the Annual meeting of the Association.
This fellowship may be dissolved for any Church by: (a) The action of the local church, notifying the Secretary of this intent. (b) By a majority vote of the messengers at any annual meeting upon proof of a serious departure from the Articles of Faith or from the provisions of our constitution.
Each church shall designate three of its members who shall be entitled to vote at all sessions of the Annual meeting. However, there shall be no limitation to the number of messengers any church may wish to send.
Article IV – Annual Meeting
The Association shall begin its fiscal year on October 1st, and shall end it on September 30th, and shall meet annually the last Monday and Tuesday of October.
All business of the Association shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order.
Article V – Council Members (Amended 10/28/79)
The Council shall be composed of nine members at large to be elected from the fellowshipping churches at the annual meeting and one representative from each of the local area MARBC associations. The nine council members at large elected at the annual meeting of the MARBC shall be eligible to succeed themselves a second term. Their terms of office shall be for three years arranged so that three are elected each year. The election of the other council members by their own respective associations will allow the person to succeed himself as often as the local association desires.
Election: Each fellowshipping church shall be requested to send to the Secretary a list of seven (7) names chosen by the church. From the aggregate list, the Secretary shall record the ten (10) highest names (those occurring most frequently in the lists) who shall be considered the nominees for the council members at large to be voted upon by the messengers at the Annual meeting of the Association.
Organization: The council shall meet after the election and during the Annual meeting to select from the Council members at large a chairman, vice-chairman, secretary and a treasurer.
The Council can be called together as often as the chairman deems necessary. The Council will pay its members mileage driven to the council meetings. After the annual meeting and at the first council meeting the chairman will present appointments to such standing committees as may be deemed necessary for the approval of the council.
Article VI – Amendments
Any amendments or alterations to this constitution shall be submitted to the fellowshipping churches by the council at least thirty (30) days prior to the annual meeting. Such changes must be approved by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the voting messengers present at the annual meeting of the Association.