We believe in the absolute truth of the whole Bible, the Word of God.

We believe that God is perfect and that He cannot be in contact with sin.

We believe that every human sins, which means we cannot make contact with God.

We believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that his mother was a virgin and that he had no earthly father.

We believe that Jesus, who was God wrapped in a human life, never did anything wrong.

We believe that Jesus, who was perfect, died to pay for the sins of the rest of us so that we can have a relationship with God.

We believe that death could not hold Jesus and that He came back to life on the third day, just like the Bible said He would.

We believe that Jesus lives now and will someday return to earth.

We believe that each person must choose to surrender his life to Jesus to relate to God.

We believe that every person who has surrendered his life to Jesus should announce that faith by the act of water baptism.

We believe that the church is the physical body of Christ for this time, under His direction, reaching out to those who do not know Him and teaching believers how to serve Him.

 

How members are received into fellowship of Lake Chapala Baptist Church

Membership classes or classes in what we believe will be offered from time to time… at least once during low season and a couple of times during high season.

Members, whether affiliate members or full members, will express agreement with the following basic doctrines:

The Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God and is the revelation of God to man. It is totally true and trustworthy and is the final word, standard, and guide for all theology, polity, and practice of the church. The Holy Scripture defines and judges the church, as opposed to the church defining and adding to the scripture.

God is Sovereign, Eternal, Creator and Sustainer of all. He is infinite in holiness, perfection, knowledge, and power. He is one God who reveals Himself in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with distinct personal attributes but without division of nature, essence, or being.

God the Son, Jesus Christ is virgin-born, God in the flesh, sinless, crucified for the sins of man, buried, and raised from the dead (all according to scripture) and is returning personally, visibly and bodily to the earth; the dead will be raised and Christ will judge all men in righteousness.

God the Holy Spirit is fully divine. He inspires and illuminates men’s understanding of truth. He calls men to the Savior and effects regeneration. At the moment of regeneration, He baptizes every believer into the Body of Christ. He bestows spiritual gifts and empowers believers to serve God through the church and is the guarantee that God will bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ.

Salvation is by faith alone in the finished work of redemption through the substitutionary death, burial and resurrection of Jesus alone. Repentance and faith are inseparable and are linked to the sovereign grace of God. Salvation is an experience, accomplished in a moment as God changes a repentant believer from death to life.

The local New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a theonomous (God-ruled) congregation of baptized believers associated by covenant in biblical faith and fellowship. There are two ordinances of the church commanded by our Lord, Jesus Christ -- baptism and the Lord's Supper. The scriptural offices of the church are pastors / elders and deacons. These offices are limited to those qualified by Scripture. Their purpose is to minister and equip the saints for the work of ministry which will include encouraging members to good works and Godly character and discipline. The purpose of the church is the glory of God in the ministry of the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

Along with agreeing with the basic doctrines of Lake Chapala Baptist Church, the candidate for membership at any level must maintain the following minimum statement of faith:


Statement of faith

I am a Christian saved from the eternal wrath of God by faith in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, through his death and resurrection, by which I am assured of eternal life (John 3:16-18; Rom. 3:23-26).

I believe Jesus Christ is exactly who he claimed to be (Isa. 5:6; Matt. 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:70; John 4:25-26; 6:29; 8:58; 11:25-27; 14:6-7; 15:5).

I have repented of my sins and have been made a new creation in Christ (1 John 1:9; 2 Cor. 5:17).

In obedience to Scripture, I have been baptized to personally identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, and to publicly demonstrate my commitment as a disciple of Jesus (Col. 2:12; 1 Peter 3:21).

Lake Chapala Baptist Church is a part of the universal Body of Christ and all people may attend its worship services and participate in its programs.

There are two types of membership available to allow for extended involvement of those who agree to the basics above stated:

Affiliate membership is for those who hold different convictions concerning some of the more distinctive doctrines and commitments of full membership. While entitled to fellowship, pastoral care and oversight, and to participate and serve on teams and committees, they will be non-voting members in matters of church business and polity.

In order to maintain fellowship with the body of Christ at LCBC, Affiliate members must covenant with the other members on the following points:

My obligation as an affiliate member

I covenant to submit to the authority of Scripture as the final arbiter on all issues (Ps. 119; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).

I will not function in leadership or as a member in another local church family (Heb. 13:17).

I agree, by God's grace, to walk in holiness as an act of worship to Jesus Christ, who has saved me from my sin that I could live a new life (2 Cor. 5:17);

I will practice complete chastity before marriage and complete fidelity in heterosexual marriage by abstaining from practices such as cohabitation, pornography, and fornication (Job 31:1; Prov. 5; Rom. 13:12-14; 1 Cor. 6:9-7:16; Heb. 13:4);

I will refrain from illegal drug use, drunkenness, and other sinful behavior as the Bible, my pastors, and my conscience dictate (1 Cor. 8:7; Gal. 5:19-21).

Should I sin in such a manner, I agree to confess my sins to Christian brothers or sisters and seek help to put my sin to death (Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5; 1 John 1:6-10).



Full membership is for those who have been baptized by immersion after having made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ and who, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit of God, are in agreement with the doctrines and practices of Lake Chapala Baptist Church and are convinced of their biblical bases and their legitimate call to mutual submission. The obligation of full members, entitling them to vote on matters of church business and polity, are:

My obligation as a member

I have read and understood the doctrinal statement and agree to its teaching. I also understand the importance of submission to church leadership and will be diligent to preserve unity and peace (Eph. 4:1-3; Heb. 13:7, 17).

I covenant to submit to the authority of Scripture as the final arbiter on all issues (Ps. 119; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).

I will maintain a close relationship with the Lord Jesus through regular Bible reading, prayer, fellowship, and practice of spiritual disciplines. My relationship will be evident through my participation in weekly worship services, service, and a life that glorifies Jesus (Ps. 105:1-2; Ps. 119:97; Acts 2:42-47; Heb. 10:23-25; 2 Peter 1:3).

I will steward the resources God has given me, including my time, talents, and treasure (Prov. 3:9-10; Rom. 12:1-2; Gal. 5:22-26; Eph. 4:1-16; 5:15-18). This includes regular financial giving, service, and participation that is sacrificial, cheerful, and voluntary (Rom. 12:1-8; 2 Cor. 8-9; 12:7-31; 1 Peter 4:10-11).

I will not function in leadership or as a member in another local church family (Heb. 13:17).

I covenant to submit to discipline by God through his Holy Spirit, to follow biblical procedures for church discipline in my relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ, to submit to righteous discipline when approached biblically by brothers and sisters in Christ, and to submit to discipline by church leadership if the need should ever arise (Ps. 141:5; Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:1-5; 2 Cor. 2:5-8; Gal. 6:1-5, 8; 1 Tim. 5:20; 2 Tim. 2:25; Titus 1:9; 3:10-11; Heb. 12:5-11; Rev. 2:5-7, 14-25).

I agree, by God's grace, to walk in holiness as an act of worship to Jesus Christ, who has saved me from my sin that I could live a new life (2 Cor. 5:17);

I will practice complete chastity before marriage and complete fidelity in heterosexual marriage by abstaining from practices such as cohabitation, pornography, and fornication (Job 31:1; Prov. 5; Rom. 13:12-14; 1 Cor. 6:9-7:16; Heb. 13:4);

I will refrain from illegal drug use, drunkenness, and other sinful behavior such as outbursts of anger, as the Bible, my pastors, and my conscience dictate (1 Cor. 8:7; Gal. 5:19-21 Eph. 4:31).

Should I sin in such a manner, I agree to confess my sins to Christian brothers or sisters and seek help to put my sin to death (Rom. 8:13; Col. 3:5; 1 John 1:6-10).

Agreement to these things will be confirmed in an interview with a designated church leader. Classes and personal instruction or clarification will be provided for inquirers to fit their schedule.

Obligation of Lake Chapala Baptist Church to its members

We covenant that your elders and deacons will meet the criteria assigned to them in the Scriptures (1 Tim. 3:1-13; 5:17-22; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4).

We covenant to seek God's will for our church community to the best of our ability as we study the Scriptures and follow the Spirit (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-5).

We covenant to care for you and seek your growth as a disciple of Christ, in part by equipping you for service (Eph. 4:11-13) and praying for you regularly, particularly when you are sick (James 5:14).

We covenant to provide teaching and counsel from the whole of Scripture (Acts 20:27-28; Gal. 6:6; 1 Tim. 5:17-18).

We covenant to be on guard against false teachers (Acts 20:28-31).

We covenant to exercise church discipline when necessary (Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 5; Gal. 6:1).

We covenant to set an example and join you in fulfilling the duties of church members (1 Cor. 11:1; Phil. 3:17; 1 Tim. 4:12).

After agreeing to expectation of members and expectations of the church, members will be announced and presented to the congregation.

Conditions for changing membership status: moving membership, placing members on inactive (non voting) list, or dismissing from membership.

Moving Membership—Letters of recommendation shall be granted by the Elders to members who apply for them provided they are in good standing and not subject to or under discipline at the time of application. When such letters have been granted, the relationship to this church shall be considered terminated. Letters of recommendation shall be given only to other evangelical churches.

Placement on Non-Voting Membership Roll —If a member is habitually absent from the regular meetings of this church without just cause, he may be excluded from the voting membership at the discretion of the Elders. Reasonable attempts will be made to notify those who are being considered for change of status and whose status has been changed.

Dismissal of Membership (removal from the membership roll) —It is right and in harmony with the Scriptures for the congregation, upon recommendation of the Elders, to exclude from this fellowship any person who persists in holding false or heretical doctrine; or who obviously and persistently lives inconsistently with his Christian profession; or who lives in violation of the law or public morals; or who walks disorderly; or any person who persists in disturbing the unity and peace of this church. (See Matt. 18:15ff; I Cor. 5:1ff; II Thess. 3:6, 11-15; Rom. 16:17) Reasonable attempts will be made to notify those who are being considered for change of status and whose status has been changed.

This provision for exclusion from membership is intended for and will be exercised for the health of the local body of Christ and for the redemption or reclamation of the person.

Membership can be restored at the request of the congregant upon recommendation by the Elders.