Our Treatise

of the
Faith and Practices
of the
National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc.
Adopted by the National Association
November 7, 1935,
at Nashville, Tennessee
Revised 1948, 1956, 1958, 1969, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1992, 1996, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2013
Published by the Executive Office of the
National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc. ©
2013 The Executive Office NAFWB, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
Table of Contents
Part I: Church Covenant …………………………………1
Part II: The Faith of Free Will Baptists ……………..3
Chapter I The Holy Scriptures ………3
Chapter II Being and Attributes of God …………………………3
Chapter III Divine Government and Providence ……………………4
Chapter IV Creation, Primitive State of Man, and His Fall ……..5
Chapter V Of Christ ………………………6
Chapter VI The Atonement and Mediation of Christ ……….7
Chapter VII The Holy Spirit …………….9
Chapter VIII The Gospel Call ………….10
Chapter IX Repentance …………………10
Chapter X Faith …………………………..10
Chapter XI Regeneration ………………11
Chapter XII Justification and Sanctification ………………12
Chapter XIII Perseverance of the Saints ……………………12
Chapter XIV The Lord’s Day …………..13
Chapter XV The Church …………………13
Chapter XVI Tithing ……………………….14
Chapter XVII The Gospel Ministry ……14 Chapter XVIII Ordinances of the Gospel ………………………15
Chapter XIX Death …………………………16
Chapter XX Second Coming of Christ …………………………16
Chapter XXI The Resurrection …………16
Chapter XXII The Judgment and Retribution ………………….17
Appendixes …………………17
Notes …………………………20
Part III: Articles of Faith …………………………………35
Part IV: The Practices of Free Will Baptists ………37
Chapter I The Local Church ……….37
Chapter II The Minister ……………….43
Chapter III Associations of Churches …………………….47
Part V: Constitution of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc. …………………..54
The Free Will Baptist denomination is a fellowship of evangelical believers united in extending the witness of Christ and the building of His Church throughout the world. The rise of Free Will Baptists can be traced to the influence of Baptists of Arminian persuasion who settled in the colonies from England. The denomination sprang up on two fronts at almost the same time. The southern line, or Palmer movement, traces its beginnings to the year 1727 when one Paul Palmer organized a church at Chowan, North Carolina. Palmer had previously ministered in New Jersey and Maryland, having been baptized in a congregation which had moved from Wales to a tract on the Delaware River in northern Pennsylvania. The northern line, or Randall movement, had its beginnings with a congregation organized by Benjamin Randall June 30, 1780, in New Durham, New Hampshire. Both lines of Free Will Baptists taught the doctrines of free grace, free salvation and free will, although from the first there was no organizational connection between them. The northern line expanded more rapidly in the beginning and extended its outreach into the West and Southwest. In 1910-1911 this body of Free Will Baptists merged with the Northern Baptist denomination, taking along more than half of its 1,100 churches and all denominational property, including several major colleges. On December 28, 1916, at Pattonsburg, Missouri, representatives of remnant churches in the Randall movement reorganized into the Cooperative General Association of Free Will Baptists. Free Will Baptists in the southeastern United States, having descended from the Palmer foundation, had often manifested fraternal relationships with Free Will Baptists of the Randall movement in the north and west; but the slavery question and the Civil War prevented formal union between them. The churches in the southern line were organized into various associations and conferences from the beginning, and had finally organized into a General Conference by 1921. These congregations were not affected by the merger of the northern movement with the Northern Baptists. Now that the remnants of the Randall movement had reorganized into the Cooperative General Association and the Palmer movement had organized into the General Conference, it was inevitable that fusion between the two groups of Free Will Baptists would finally come. In Nashville, Tennessee, on November 5, 1935, representatives of the two groups met and organized the National Association of Free Will Baptists. This body adopted a treatise which set forth the basic doctrines and described the faith and practice that had characterized Free Will Baptists through the years. Having been revised on several occasions, it serves as a guideline for a denominational fellowship which comprises more than 2,400 churches in 42 states and 14 foreign countries. The National Offices are located at 5233 Mt. View Road, Antioch, Tennessee 37013-2306. National departments operating here include the Executive Office, International Missions, Home Missions, Retirement and Insurance, Free Will Baptist Foundation, Master’s Men and Women Nationally Active For Christ. The mailing address is P. O. Box 5002, Antioch, Tennessee 37011-5002. Free Will Baptist Bible College is located at 3606 West End Avenue, P.O. Box 50117, Nashville, Tennessee 37205. Randall House Publications is located at 114 Bush Road, P. O. Box 17306, Nashville, Tennessee 37217.
Having given ourselves to God, by faith in Christ, and adopted the Word of God as our rule of faith and practice, we now give ourselves to one another by the will of God in this solemn covenant. We promise, by His grace, to love and obey Him in all things, to avoid all appearance of evil, to abstain from all sinful amusements and unholy conformity to the world, from all sanction of the use and sale of intoxicating beverages, and to “provide things honest in the sight of all men.” We agree faithfully to discharge our obligations in reference to the study of the Scriptures, secret prayer, family devotions, and social worship; and by selfdenial, faith, and good works endeavor to “grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” We will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together for church conferences, public worship, and the observance of the ordinances of the Gospel; nor fail to pay according to our ability for the support of the church, of its poor, and all its benevolent work. We agree to accept Christian admonition and reproof with meekness, and to watch over one another in love, endeavoring to “keep the unity of the Spirit” in the bonds of peace, to be careful of one another’s happiness and reputation, and seek to strengthen the weak, encourage the afflicted, admonish the erring, and as far as we are able, promote the success of the church and of the Gospel. We will everywhere hold Christian principle sacred and Christian obligations and enterprises supreme; counting it our chief business in life to extend the influence of Christ in society, constantly praying and toiling that the kingdom of God may come, and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. To this end we agree to labor for the promotion of educational and denominational enterprises, the support of missions, the success of Sunday schools, and evangelistic efforts for the salvation of the world. And may the God of peace sanctify us wholly, and preserve us blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
CHAPTER I The Holy Scriptures
These are the Old and the New Testaments; they were written by holy men, inspired by the Holy Spirit,1 and are God’s revealed word to man. They are a sufficient and infallible rule and guide to salvation and all Christian worship and service.2 Since the Bible is the Word of God, it is without error in all matters upon which it speaks, whether history, geography, matters relating to science or any other subject.3
CHAPTER II Being and Attributes of God
The Scriptures teach that there is only one true and living God,4 who is Spirit,5 self-existent,6 eternal,7 immutable,8 omnipresent,9 omniscient,10 omnipotent,11 independent,12 good,13 wise,14 holy,15 just,16 and merciful,17 the…Creator,18 Preserver,19 and Governor20 of the Universe; the Redeemer,21 Saviour,22 Sanctifier,23 and Judge24 of men; and the only proper object of worship.25 The mode of His existence, however, is a subject far above the understanding of man.26 Finite beings cannot comprehend Him.27 There is nothing in the universe that can justly represent Him, for there is none like Him.28 He is the fountain of all perfection and happiness. He is glorified by the whole creation, and is worthy to be loved and served by all intelligence.29
CHAPTER III Divine Government and Providence
1. God exercises a providential care and superintendence over all His creatures,30 and governs the world in wisdom and mercy, according to the testimony of His Word.31
2. God has endowed man with power of free choice, and governs him by moral laws and motives; and this power of free choice is the exact measure of man’s responsibility.32
3. All events are present with God from everlasting to everlasting; but His knowledge of them does not in any sense cause them, nor does He decree all events which He knows will occur.33
CHAPTER IV Creation, Primitive State of Man, and His Fall
SECTION I: Creation
1. Of the World. God created the world, and all things that it contains, for His own pleasure and glory and the enjoyment of His creatures.34
2. Of the Angels. The angels were created by God35 to glorify Him36 and obey His commandments.37 Those who have kept their first estate He employs in ministering blessings to the heirs of salvation38 and in executing His judgments upon the world.39
3. Of Man. God created man, consisting of a material body and a thinking, rational soul.40 He was made in the image of God, to glorify his Maker.41
SECTION II: Primitive Man, and His Fall
Our first parents, in their original state, were upright. They naturally preferred and desired to obey their Creator, and had no preference or desire to transgress His will42 until they were influenced and inclined by the tempter to disobey God’s commands. Previous to this, the only tendency of their nature was to do righteousness. In consequence of the first transgression, the state under which the posterity of Adam came into the world is so different from that of Adam that they have not that righteousness and purity which Adam had before the fall; they are not willing to obey God, but are inclined to evil.43 Hence, none, by virtue of any natural goodness and mere work of their own, can become the children of God,44 but they are all dependent for salvation upon the redemption effected through the blood of Christ, and upon being created anew unto obedience through the operation of the Spirit;45 both of which are freely provided for every descendant of Adam.46
SECTION I: His Divinity
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, possesses all divine perfections. As He and the Father are one, He in His divine nature, filled all the offices and performed the works of God to His creatures that have been the subjects of revelation to us. As man, He performed all the duties toward God that we are required to perform, repentance of sin excepted. His divinity is proved from His titles, His attributes, and His works.
1. His Titles. The Bible ascribes to Christ the titles of Saviour,47 Jehovah,48 LORD of hosts,49 the first and the last,50 God,51 true God,52 great God,53 God over all,54 mighty God, and the everlasting Father.55
2. His Attributes. He is eternal,56 unchangeable,57 omnipresent,58 omniscient,59 omnipotent,60 holy,61 and to be worshiped.62
3. His Works. By Christ the world was created.63 He preserves64 and governs65 it; He has provided redemption for all men,66 and He will be their final Judge.67
SECTION II: The Incarnation of Christ
The Word, which in the beginning was with God and which was God, by whom all things were made, condescended to a state of humiliation in being united with human nature and becoming like us, pollution and sin excepted.68 In this state, as a subject of the law, He was liable to the infirmities of our nature,69 was tempted as we are,70 but lived our example,71 perfect obedience to the divine requirements.72 As Christ was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh, He is “the Son of man,”73 and as the divine existence is the fountain from which He proceeded, and was the only agency by which He was begotten,74 He is “the Son of God,”75 being the only begotten of the Father,76 and the only incarnation of the Divine Being.
CHAPTER VI The Atonement and Mediation of Christ
1. The Atonement.
As sin cannot be pardoned without a sacrifice, and the blood of beasts could never wash away sin, Christ gave Himself a sacrifice for the sins of the world,77 and thus made salvation possible for all men.78 He died for us, suffering in our stead, to make known the righteousness of God, that He might be just in justifying sinners who believe in His Son.79 Through the redemption effected by Christ, salvation is actually enjoyed in this world, and will be enjoyed in the next by all who do not in this life refuse obedience to the known requirements of God.80 The atonement for sin was necessary.81 For present and future obedience can no more blot out our past sins than past obedience can remove the guilt of present and future sins. If God pardoned the sins of men without satisfaction for the violation of His law, it would follow that transgression might go on with impunity; government would be abrogated, and the obligation of obedience to God would be, in effect, removed.
2. Mediation of Christ.
Our Lord not only died for our sins, but He arose for our justification,82 and ascended up to heaven,83 where, as the only mediator between God and man, He makes intercession for us until He comes again.84
3. We believe that all children dying in infancy, having not actually transgressed against the law of God in their own persons, are only subject to the first death, which was brought on by the fall of the first Adam, and not that any one of them dying in that state shall suffer punishment in hell by the guilt of Adam’s sin for of such is the Kingdom of God.85
CHAPTER VII The Holy Spirit
1. The Scriptures ascribe to the Holy Spirit the acts and attributes of an intelligent being. He guides,86 knows,87 moves,88 gives information,89 commands,90 forbids,91 sends forth,92 reproves,93 and can be sinned against.94
2. The attributes of God are ascribed to the Holy Spirit.
3. The works of God are ascribed to the Holy Spirit: creation,95 inspiration,96 giving of life,97 and sanctification.98
4. The apostles assert that the Holy Spirit is Lord and God.99 From the foregoing, the conclusion is that the Holy Spirit is in reality God and one with the Father in all divine perfections. It has also been shown that Jesus Christ is God—one with the Father. Then these three— the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—are one God. The truth of this doctrine is also proved from the fact that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are united in the authority by which believers are baptized; and in the benedictions pronounced by the apostles,100 which are acts of the highest religious worship.101
CHAPTER VIII The Gospel Call
The call of the Gospel is co-extensive with the atonement to all men,102 both by the word and strivings of the Spirit,103 so that salvation is rendered equally possible to all;104 and if any fail of eternal life, the fault is wholly his own.105
CHAPTER IX Repentance
The repentance which the Gospel requires includes a deep conviction, a penitential sorrow, an open confession, a decided hatred, and an entire forsaking of all sin.106 This repentance God has enjoined on all men; and without it in this life the sinner must perish eternally.107
Saving faith is an assent of the mind to the fundamental truths of revelation,108 an acceptance of the Gospel, through the influence of the Holy Spirit,109 and a firm confidence and trust in Christ.110 The fruit of faith is obedience to the Gospel.111 The power to believe is the gift of God,112 but believing is an act of the creature, which is required as a condition of pardon, and without which the sinner cannot obtain salvation.113 All men are required to believe in Christ, and those who yield obedience to this requirement become the children of God by faith.114
CHAPTER XI Regeneration
As man is a fallen and sinful being, he must be regenerated in order to obtain salvation.115 This change is an instantaneous renewal of the heart by the Holy Spirit,116 whereby the penitent sinner receives new life, becomes a child of God,117 and is disposed to serve Him.118 This is called in Scripture being born again,119 born of the Spirit,120 being quickened,121 passing from death unto life,122 and a partaking of the divine nature.123
CHAPTER XII Justification and Sanctification
1. Justification.
Personal justification implies that the person justified has been guilty before God; and, in consideration of the atonement of Christ, accepted by faith, the sinner is pardoned and absolved from the guilt of sin, and restored to the divine favor.124 Christ’s atonement is the foundation of the sinner’s redemption, yet, without repentance and faith, it can never give him justification and peace with God.125
2. Sanctification
The entire of sanctification in this life, is both the privilege and duty of every Christian. For as sin is odious in the sight of God, Christ died to save His people from it, and the Gospel has sufficient power to complete the work during this probation. 126
CHAPTER XIII Perseverance of the Saints
There are strong grounds to hope that the truly regenerate will persevere unto the end, and be saved, through the power of divine grace which is pledged for their support;127 but their future obedience and final salvation are neither determined nor certain, since through infirmity and manifold temptations they are in danger of falling;128 and they ought, therefore, to watch and pray lest they make shipwreck of their faith and be lost.129
CHAPTER XIV The Lord’s Day
This is one day in seven, which from the creation of the world God has set apart for sacred rest and holy service.130 Under the former dispensation, the seventh day of the week, as commemorative of the work of creation, was set apart for the Lord’s Day.131 Under the Gospel, the first day of the week, in commemoration of the resurrection of Christ, and by authority of Christ and the apostles, is observed as the Christian Sabbath.132 On this day all men are required to refrain from secular labor and devote themselves to the worship and service of God.133
A Christian Church is an organized body of believers in Christ who statedly assemble to worship God, and who sustain the ordinances of the Gospel according to the Scriptures.134 Believers in Christ are admitted to this church on giving evidence of faith in Christ, obtaining consent of the body, being baptized, and receiving the right hand of fellowship.135 The Church of God, or members of the body of Christ, is the whole body of Christians throughout the whole world, and none but the regenerate are its members.136
Both the Old137 and New Scriptures138 teach tithing as God’s financial plan for the support of His work. CHAPTER XVII The Gospel Ministry 1. Qualification of Ministers. They must possess good, natural and acquired abilities,139 deep and ardent piety,140 be especially called of God to the work,141 and ordained by prayer and the laying on of hands.142 2. Duties of Ministers. These are to preach the Word,143 administer the ordinances of the Gospel,144 visit their people, and otherwise perform the work of faithful ministers.145
CHAPTER XVIII Ordinances of the Gospel
1. Christian Baptism.
This is the immersion of believers in water, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,146 in which are represented the burial and resurrection of Christ, the death of Christians to the world, the washing of their souls from the pollution of sin, their rising to newness of life, their engagement to serve God and their resurrection at the last day.147
2. The Lord’s Supper.
This is a commemoration of the death of Christ for our sins in the use of bread which He made the emblem of His broken body, and the cup, the emblem of His shed blood,148 and by it the believer expresses his love for Christ, his faith and hope in Him, and pledges to Him perpetual fidelity.149 It is the privilege and duty of all who have spiritual union with Christ to commemorate His death, and no man has a right to forbid these tokens to the least of His disciples.150
3. Washing the Saints’ Feet.
This is a sacred ordinance, which teaches humility and reminds the believer of the necessity of a daily cleansing from all sin. It was instituted by the Lord Jesus Christ, and called an “example” on the night of His betrayal, and in connection with the institution of the Lord’s Supper. It is the duty and happy prerogative of every believer to observe this sacred ordinance.151
As a result of sin, all mankind is subject to the death of the body.152 The soul does not die with the body, but immediately after death enters into a conscious state of happiness or misery, according to the character here possessed.153
CHAPTER XX Second Coming of Christ
The Lord Jesus, who ascended on high and sits at the right hand of God, will come again to close the Gospel dispensation, glorify His saints, and judge the world.154
CHAPTER XXI The Resurrection
The Scriptures teach the resurrection of the bodies of all men, each in its own order; they that have done good will come forth to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation.155
CHAPTER XXII The Judgment and Retribution
1. The Judgment.
There will be a judgment, when time and man’s probation will close forever.156 Then all men will be judged according to their works.157
2. Retribution. Immediately after the judgment, the righteous will enter into eternal life, and the wicked will go into a state of endless punishment.158
Adopted July, 1969
1. We believe that salvation is a present possession by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, and that a person’s eternal destiny depends on whether he has this possession. This we hold in distinction from those who teach that salvation depends on human works or merit.
2. We believe that a saved individual may, in freedom of will, cease to trust in Christ for salvation and once again be lost. This we hold in distinction from those who teach that a believer may not again be lost.
3. We believe that any individual living in the practice of sin (whether he be called “backslider” or “sinner”) must be judged by that evidence to be lost should he so die in his sins. This we hold in distinction from those who suggest that pernicious doctrine that a man may live in sin as he pleases and still claim Heaven as his eternal home.
4. We believe that any regenerate person who has sinned OF FREE WILL BAPTISTS 17 (again, whether he be called “backslider” or “sinner”) and in whose heart a desire arises to repent may do so and be restored to favor and fellowship with God. This we hold in distinction from those who teach that when a Christian sins he cannot repent and be restored to favor and fellowship with God.159
Adopted July, 1979
Free Will Baptists believe in the plenary, verbal inspiration of the Bible. By plenary we mean “full and complete.” We hold that all parts of the Bible are inspired and that inspiration extends to all its subjects.160 By verbal we mean that inspiration extends to the very words of the Scriptures, not just to the thoughts and ideas expressed by human authors.161 We believe the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant.162 The Bible is without error and trustworthy in all its teachings, including cosmogony, geology, astronomy, anthropology, history, chronology, etc., as well as in matters of faith and practice. Being the very Word of God, it is God’s final revelation and our absolute authority.163
Adopted July, 1979
Free Will Baptists understand the Bible teaches the following facts: On the Day of Pentecost believers spoke in distinct foreign languages which were readily understood by the nationalities present.164 Tongues were given as a special gift to the early church as only one sign which confirms the witness of the Gospel to unbelievers.165 While tongues were bestowed by the sovereign will of God on some believers, all did not speak with tongues.166 When this gift was abused, it became a source of disturbance in the congregational meetings. To eliminate confusion and correct the error, Paul set particular guidelines for the Christian church to follow.167 The gift of tongues was neither an evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, nor does it bring about sanctification.168 We believe that speaking in tongues as a visible sign of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is an erroneous doctrine to be rejected. Any implication of a “second work of grace” has never been tolerated in our fellowship of churches, and will not be permitted. We teach and preach the fullness of the Holy Spirit and heed the scriptural admonition, “Be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”169
Adopted July, 2008
Both Scripture and nature as designed by God affirm the lifelong, covenantal union of one man, being male as created by God, and one woman, being female as created by God, in a one-flesh relationship. This one-flesh relationship is emblematic of the union of Christ and His church. It is the sole and beautiful context of the divine plan for the marital relationship of man and woman as image-bearers of God, as well as the foundation for the family as the basic, divinely ordained unit of human society. Violations of this one-flesh union, whether heterosexual or homosexual, premarital or extramarital, contravene the divine plan for the family and for the conception and rearing of children, bringing spiritual despair, guilt, and death to individuals and cultures.170
1) 2 Peter 1:18-21: And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
2) Exodus 4:15: And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do. Psalm 32:8: I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Hebrews 1:1, 2: God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds. [NOTE: The last sentence in Chapter 1, which was added in July, 1979 does not represent any change or modification of thought in the doctrine of the Holy Scriptures as it has been historically believed by Free Will Baptists. In view of the fact that some in the theological world have claimed to believe that the Bible is an infallible rule of faith and practice, while at the same time professing to believe that the Bible contains errors which were a part of the original manuscripts, this statement was added to make the position already held by Free Will Baptists unmistakably clear.]
3) See APPENDIX TO CHAPTER I (page 18).
4) Deuteronomy 6:4: The LORD our God is one LORD. 1 Cor. 8:4: There is none other God but one. Jer. 10:10: But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God. John 7:28; 2 Cor. 1:19; 1 John 5:20; 1 Tim. 6:17. 5) John 4:24: God is a Spirit. 2 Cor. 3:17.
6) Exodus 3:14: And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM. Psa. 83:18; John 5:26; Rev. 1:4.
7) Psalm 90:2: From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Deut. 33:27; Isa. 57:15; Rom. 1:20; 1 Tim. 1:17.
8) Malachi 3:6: For I am the LORD, I change not. Num. 23:19; James 1:17.
9) 1 Kings 8:27: But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee. Jer. 23:24; Psa. 139:7-10; Isa. 57:15; Acts 17:24.
10) Acts 15:18: Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. 1 Chron. 28:9; Psa. 94:9, 10; Acts 1:24.
11) Revelation 19:6: The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Job 42:2; Psa. 135:6; Matt. 19:26; Mark 14:36; Luke 18:27.
12) Ephesians 4:6: One God and Father of all, who is above all. Job 9:12; Isa. 14:13, 14; Dan. 4:35; Rom. 11:33-36.
13) Psalm 119:68: Thou art good, and doest good. Psa. 25:8; 106:1; 145:9; Matt. 19:17.
14) Romans 16:27: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Dan. 2:20; 1 Tim. 1:17; Jude 25.
15) Leviticus 19:2: I the LORD your God am holy. Job 6:10.
16) Deuteronomy 32:4: Just and right is he. Psa. 92:15; 119:137; Zeph. 3:5.
17) Ephesians 2:4: God, who is rich in mercy. Ex. 34:6; Neh. 9:17; Psa. 100:5.
18) Genesis 1:1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Ex. 20:11; Psa. 33:6-9; Col. 1:16; Heb. 11:3.
19) Nehemiah 9:6: Thou preservest them all. Job 7:20; Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:3.
20) Psalm 47:7: God is the King of all the earth. 2 Chron. 20:6; Psa. 95:3.
21) Isaiah 47:4: As for our redeemer, the LORD of hosts is his name. Psa. 78:35; Prov. 23:11; Isa. 41:14; 59:20; Jer. 50:34.
22) Isaiah 45:21: A just God and a Saviour. Isa. 43:3-11; 49:26.
23) Exodus 31:13: I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. 1 Thess. 5:23; Jude 1.
24) Hebrews 12:23: God the Judge of all. Gen. 18:25; Psa. 50:6; 2 Tim. 4:8.
25) Exodus 34:14: Thou shalt worship no other god. Ex. 20:4, 5; Matt. 4:10; Rev. 19:10.
26) Job 11:7: Canst thou by searching find out God? Isa. 40:28.
27) Romans 11:33: How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Job 26:14. 28) Exodus 9:14: There is none like me in all the earth. Ex. 8:10; 1 Chron. 17:20.
29) Psalm 19:1, 2: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. Psa. 145:10: All thy works shall praise thee. Psa. 150:6: Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.
30) Acts 17:28: In him we live, and move, and have our being. Matt 10:30: The very hairs of your head are all numbered. Psa. 104:13, 14; Job 14:5; Eph. 1:11.
31) Psalm 22:28: For the kingdom is the LORD’s: and he is the governor among the nations. Psa. 97:2: Righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. Isa. 33:22; Ex. 34:6; Job 36:5.
32) Deuteronomy 30:19: I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live. Isa. 1:18-20; John 5:40; Rom. 2:14, 15; Prov. 1:2428.
33) Ezekiel 33:11: As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Acts 15:18; 1 Sam. 2:30; Ezek. 18:20-25, 31; Jer. 44:4.
34) Revelation 4:11: Thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Isa. 43:7; 1 Tim. 6:17: The living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.
35) Colossians 1:16: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible.
36) Revelation 7:11: And all the angels stood round about…and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God.
37) Psalm 103:20: Bless the LORD, ye his angels,…that do his commandments.
38) Hebrews 1:14: Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? Jude 6.
39) 2 Samuel 24:16: The angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it. Rev. 16:1.
40) Genesis 2:7: And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
41) Genesis 1:27: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him. 1 Cor. 6:20. 42) Ecclesiastes 7:29: God hath made man upright. Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10.
43) Psalm 51:5: Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Rom. 8:7: The carnal mind is enmity against God. Eph. 2:3: And were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Psa. 58:3; Gen. 8:21; John 3:6; Gal. 5:19-21; Rom. 5:12.
44) John 6:44: No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him. 1 Cor. 2:14: The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them.
45) John 3:3: Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:5; 1:13; Heb. 12:14: And holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Col. 1:14; Titus 3:5.
46) See ATONEMENT CHAPTER VI (page 7).
47) Isaiah 45:21: There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Isa. 43:10, 11: Beside me there is no Saviour. John 4:42: This is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. Phil. 3:20; 2 Tim. 1:10; Titus 2:13.
48) Psalm 83:18: Whose name alone is JEHOVAH. Isa. 40:3: The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD (Jehovah). Luke 1:76.
49) Isaiah 8:13, 14: Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel. 1 Pet. 2:4-6; Isa. 6:5; John 12:41.
50) Revelation 22:13: I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Isa. 44:6; Rev. 1:1, 11.
51) 1 Timothy 3:16: God was manifest in the flesh. 1 John 3:16; John 1:1; Heb. 1:8; John 20:28, 29.
52) 1 John 5:20: We are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
53) Titus 2:13: Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
54) Romans 9:5: Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.
55) Isaiah 9:6: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
56) Colossians 1:17: And he is before all things. Micah 5:2; Heb. 1:8.
57) Hebrews 13:8: Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Heb. 1:12.
58) John 3:13: No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. Matt. 18:20; 28:20; Eph. 1:23.
59) John 16:30: That thou knowest all things. John 2:24, 25; 21:17; Rev. 2:23.
60) Colossians 2:8-10: Christ…is the head of all principality and power. Matt. 28:18; Heb. 1:8; Rev. 1:8. 61) Acts 3:14: But ye denied the Holy One. Luke 1:35; Heb. 7:26; Rev. 3:7.
62) Hebrews 1:6: Let all the angels of God worship him. John 5:23: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. Phil. 2:10, 11; Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:52.
63) Hebrews 1:8, 10: Unto the Son he saith…Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands. John 1:3, 10: All things were made by him. The world was made by him. Col. 1:16.
64) Hebrews 1:3: Upholding all things by the word of his power. Col. 1:17.
65) Isaiah 9:6: The government shall be upon his shoulder. 1 Pet. 3:22; Eph. 1:21.
66) Ephesians 1:7: In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins. Heb. 9:12; Gal. 3:13; Isa. 44:6; 1 Pet. 1:18; Rev. 5:9.
67) 2 Timothy 4:1: The Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead. Matt. 25:31-46; John 5:22.
68) John 1:14: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. Phil. 2:6, 7: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. 2 Cor. 8:9; Heb. 4:15.
69) Hebrews 2:17: Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren. Matt. 8:17; 4:2; 8:24; John 11:33, 35; 19:28; Isa. 53:3; Luke 22:44.
70) Hebrews 4:15: Was in all points tempted like as we are. Matt. 4:1-11.
71) 1 Peter 2:21: Leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. John 13:15; 1 John 2:6.
72) Isaiah 42:21: He will magnify the law, and make it honourable. Matt. 5:17; 3:15; Gal. 4:4.
73) Luke 19:10: For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
74) John 16:27: I came out from God. Matt. 1:18, 20.
75) Luke 1:35: That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. Mark 1:1; John 1:34; 20:31.
76) John 3:16: God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son. John 1:18.
77) 1 John 2:2: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. Isa. 53:5; 10:11; Rom. 4:25; Matt. 20:28; 1 Pet. 3:18; John 1:29; Heb. 9:26; Rom. 5:6, 8.
78) Titus 2:11: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Heb. 2:9: That he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. 1 Tim. 2:6; Isa. 45:22; 2 Pet. 3:9; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15; 1 Tim. 4:10.
79) Romans 3:25, 26: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Rom. 5:9, 18; Matt. 26:28; Eph. 1:7; Rev. 5:9; 1 Pet. 2:24.
80) Romans 5:18: Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. Rom. 8:1: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Mark 16:15; Rom. 2:14,15.
81) Hebrews 9:22: Without shedding of blood is no remission. Eph 1:7: In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins.
82) Romans 4:25: Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. 1 Cor. 15:17.
83) Acts 1:11: This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven. Mark 16:19.
84) Hebrews 7:25: He ever liveth to make intercession for them. Rom. 8:34; Heb. 9:24.
85) 1 Corinthians 15:22: For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. Matthew 18:2-5: And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. Mark 9:36, 37: And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me. Matthew 19:14: But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
86) John 16:13: Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.
87) 1 Corinthians 2:11: Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
88) Genesis 1:2: And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Acts 8:39.
89) Acts 10:19: While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. 1 Cor. 2:13; Acts 21:11; John 14:26.
90) Acts 13:2: The Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
91) Acts 16:6: And were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia.
92) Acts 13:4: So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia.
93) John 16:8: And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Gen. 6:3.
94) Mark 3:29: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness. Isa. 63:10, Acts 7:51; Eph. 4:30.
95) Job 33:4: The Spirit of God hath made me. Job 26:13; Psa. 104:30.
96) 2 Peter 1:21: Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
97) 1 Peter 3:18: Quickened by the Spirit. Rom. 8:11.
98) 1 Corinthians 6:11: But ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
99) Isaiah 6:8, 9: I heard the voice of the Lord,…And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not. Acts 28:25, 26: Well spake the Holy Ghost…Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand. Compare John 3:16 with Matt. 1:18.
100) Matthew 28:19: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 2 Cor. 13:14: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. 1 Pet. 1:2.
101) See APPENDIX TO CHAPTER VII (page 18).
102) Mark 16:15: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Isa. 45:22: Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth. Prov. 8:4; Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17.
103) Joel 2:28: I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh. John 16:8; John 1:9; Isa. 55:11; Luke 2:10.
104) 1 Timothy 2:4: Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. Acts 10:34: God is no respecter of persons. Ezek. 33:11; 2 Pet. 3:9.
105) Hosea 13:9: O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself. Prov. 1:2431; Isa. 65:12; Jer. 7:13, 14; Zech. 7:11-13; John 5:40: And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. Matt. 23:37.
106) 2 Corinthians 7:10: For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of. Psa. 51:17; Prov. 28:13: He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Psa. 32:3, 5; Ezek. 36:31: Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Psa. 51:3, 4; Ezek. 18:30: Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
107) Acts 17:30: But now commandeth all men every where to repent. Luke 13:5: But, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Acts 3:19.
108) Hebrews 11:6: He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Heb. 11:1: Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. John 5:46, 47; Rom. 10:9.
109) Romans 10:10: With the heart man believeth unto righteousness. Gal. 5:22: But the fruit of the Spirit is…faith. 1 Cor. 12:8, 9.
110) Acts 16:31: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. John 3:16; Rom. 4:20-22; Eph. 3:12.
111) James 2:17: Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Gal. 5:6; 1 Tim. 1:5.
112) Philippians 1:29: Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ…to believe on him. 2 Pet. 1:1; Eph. 2:8.
113) John 3:36: He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. Mark 16:16; John 8:21, 24; Heb. 11:6.
114) John 1:7: That all men through him might believe. Gal 3:26: Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Acts 10:43; Rom. 5:1; John 3:15.
115) John 3:3: Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Heb. 12:14; Rev. 21:27; Gal. 5:19-21.
116) John 3:5: Except a man be born…of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. John 1:13; Ezek. 36:26, 27; Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:10.
117) Romans 8:16: The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. John 1:12; 5:25; James 1:18; 2 Cor. 5:17.
118) Ezekiel 11:19, 20: And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them. 1 Pet. 2:5.
119) John 3:3: Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
120) John 3:6: That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. John 3:58; 1 John 4:7; 5:1.
121) Ephesians 2:1: You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. Psa. 119:50, 93; Eph. 2:5; Col. 2:13.
122) John 5:24: He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me…is passed from death unto life. 1 John 3:14.
123) 2 Peter 1:4: That by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature. Heb. 3:14.
124) Romans 5:1: Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. 5:16: The free gift is of many offences unto justification. Acts 13:39; Isa. 53:11.
125) Acts 3:19: Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. Heb. 4:2; 11:6, Rom. 9:31, 32; Acts 13:38, 39.
126) From the Treatise on the Faith of the Freewill Baptists, in 1834, 1 Thessalonians 5:23: And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Cor. 7:1; 2 Pet. 3:18: Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Heb. 6:1; 1 John 5:4; Col. 4:12; Prov. 4:18; 1 John 1:7, 9; 1 Pet. 1:16. Galatians 2:20: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
127) Romans 8:38, 39: For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 1 Cor. 10:13: God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 2 Cor. 12:9: My grace is sufficient for thee. Job 17:9; Matt. 16:18; John 10:27, 28; Phil. 1:6.
128) 2 Chronicles 15:2: The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him…but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. 2 Pet 1:10: Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall. Ezek. 33:18: When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. John 15:6; 1 Cor. 10:12; Heb. 6:4-6; 12:15; 1 Chron. 28:9; Rev. 2:4; 1 Tim. 1:19; 2 Pet. 2:20, 21; 1 Cor. 9:27; Matt. 24:13; Acts 1:25; Rev. 22:19.
129) See APPENDIX TO CHAPTER XIII (page 17).
130) Genesis 2:3: God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it. Mark 2:27: The sabbath was made for man. Neh. 9:14.
131) Exodus 20:8-11: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
132) Luke 24:1-6: Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre…He is not here, but is risen. Luke 24:33-36; John 20:19, 26; Acts 2:1; Acts 20:7: And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them. 1 Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10; Psa. 118:22-24.
133) Isaiah 58:13, 14: If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD. Isa. 56:2; Ex. 20:8-11.
134) 1 Corinthians 1:2: Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints. Acts 2:41, 47; 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1, 2; Rev. 1:4.
135) Ephesians 5:25, 27: Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…that he might present it to himself a glorious church. Eph. 1:22, 23; 1 Cor. 12:27, 28; Col. 1:18, 24; 1 Pet. 2:5; John 18:36; John 15:2, 6.
136) Acts 2:41: Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. Acts 8:12; Gal. 3:27.
137) Genesis 14:20: And he gave him tithes of all. Gen. 28:22: I will surely give the tenth unto thee. Deut 14:22: Thou shalt truly tithe. Mal. 3:8-10.
138) 1 Corinthians 16:2: Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him. Matt. 23:23; 1 Cor. 9:9-14; Heb. 7:9-17; 2 Cor. 9:6-8.
139) 2 Timothy 2:15: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 1 Tim. 4:13-15: Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee… Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Titus 1:9; 2:7, 8; 2 Tim. 1:7; 2:2; 1 Tim. 3:2-7.
140) Psalm 50:16: But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? 2 Tim. 1:8-11, 14; 2:22; 3:5; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Cor. 2:12-16.
141) Acts 20:28: Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers. Heb. 5:4; 1 Cor. 9:16; Acts 13:2.
142) 1 Timothy 4:14: With the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 2 Tim. 1:6; Acts 13:3.
143) Mark 16:15: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 2 Tim. 4:2; 2 Cor. 4:5; Ezek. 33:7.
144) Matthew 28:19: Teach all nations, baptizing them. Luke 22:19, 20: This do in remembrance of me. Acts 20:11; 27:35; 1 Cor. 10:16; 11:23-28.
145) Hebrews 13:17: They watch for your souls, as they that must give account. 1 Pet. 5:2: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof. Acts 20:28; Jer. 3:15.
146) Matthew 28:19: Baptizing (Greek: immersing) them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Col. 2:12: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him. Acts 8:36-39; Matt. 3:16; Mark 1:5; John 3:23; Acts 16:32-34; 2:41.
147) Romans 6:4: Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Col. 3:3; 2:12; Titus 3:5; Gal. 3:27; 1 Cor. 15:29.
148) 1 Corinthians 11:23-26: For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Matt. 26:26-28.
149) 1 Corinthians 10:16: The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 1 Cor. 10:21; 11:27-29.
150) 1 Corinthians 10:17: For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. Matt 26:27: Drink ye all of it. Rom. 14:1, 10; 1 Cor. 12:12-17; Acts 2:42; 20:7.
151) John 13:4-8; 1 Tim. 5:1-10.
152) Romans 5:12: As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Heb. 9:27: It is appointed unto men once to die. 1 Cor. 15:22; Psa. 89:48; Eccl. 8:8.
153) Ecclesiastes 12:7: Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Phil. 1:23: Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better. Luke 23:43; Matt. 17:3; 22:32; Acts 7:59; Matt. 10:28; 2 Cor. 5:8; Luke 16:22-26; Rev. 6:9.
154) Acts 1:11: This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Matt. 25:31; 1 Cor. 15:24-28; 1 Thess. 4:15-17; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; 2 Pet. 3:3-13; Matt. 24:42-44.
155) John 5:28, 29: The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. Acts 24:15; 1 Cor. 15:22, 23; 2 Tim. 2:18; Phil. 3:21; 1 Cor. 15:35-44; Dan. 12:2.
156) Acts 17:31: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness. 1 Cor. 15:24; Rev. 10:6; 22:11; 2 Pet. 3:11, 12; Eccl. 9:10.
157) 2 Corinthians 5:10: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Eccl. 12:14: For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Matt. 12:36; Rev. 20:12; Rom. 2:16.
158) Matthew 25:46: And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. 2 Thess. 1:8-10: Taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints. Rom. 6:23; 2 Pet. 1:11; Mark 3:29; 9:43, 44; Jude 7; Rev. 14:11; 21:7, 8, 27; Matt. 13:41-43; Rom. 2:6-10.
159) 2 Peter 1:4-10: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
160) 2 Timothy 3:16.
161) 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Cor. 2:13; 2 Sam. 23:2; Jer. 1:9.
162) John 10:35; Matt. 5:17, 18.
163) John 17:17; Psa. 119:151, 160.
164) Acts 2:5, 8, 11.
165) 1 Corinthians 14:1-40; Heb. 2:4.
166) 1 Corinthians 12:10, 30.
167) 1 Corinthians 14:18, 19, 23, 33.
168) 1 Corinthians 12:13.
169) Ephesians 5:18b-20.
170) Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18, 20-25; Exodus 20:14; Deuteronomy 5:18; Matthew 19:4-6; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 7:1-5; Ephesians 5:21-33; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; Hebrews 13:4.
1. The Bible.
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, and are our infallible rule of faith and practice.
2. God.
There is one living and true God, revealed in nature as the Creator, Preserver, and Righteous Governor of the universe; and in the Scriptures as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; yet as one God, infinitely wise and good, whom all intelligent creatures are supremely to love, adore, and obey.
3. Christ.
Christ is God manifest in the flesh; in His divine nature truly God, in His human nature truly man. The mediator between God and man, once crucified, He is now risen and glorified, and is our ever present Saviour and Lord.
4. The Holy Spirit.
The Scriptures assign to the Holy Spirit all the attributes of God.
5. The Government of God.
God exercises a wise and benevolent providence over all beings and all things by maintaining the constitution and laws of nature. He also performs special acts, not otherwise provided for, as the highest welfare of men requires.
6. The Sinfulness of Man.
Man was created innocent, but by disobedience fell into a state of sin and condemnation. His posterity, therefore, inherits a fallen nature of such tendencies that all who come to years of accountability, sin and become guilty before God.
7. The Work of Christ.
The Son of God by His incarnation, life, sufferings, death and resurrection effected for all a redemption from sin that is full and free, and is the ground of salvation by faith.
8. The Terms of Salvation.
The conditions of salvation are:
(1) Repentance or sincere sorrow for sin and hearty renunciation of it.
(2) Faith or the unreserved committal of one’s self to Christ as Savior and Lord with purpose to love and obey Him in all things. In the exercise of saving faith, the soul is renewed by the Holy Spirit, freed from the dominion of sin, and becomes a child of God.
(3) Continuance of faith and obedience unto death. 9. Election. God determined from the beginning to save all who should comply with the conditions of salvation. Hence, by faith in Christ men become His elect.
10. Freedom of the Will.
The human will is free and self-controlled, having power to yield to the influence of the truth and the Spirit, or to resist them and perish.
11. Salvation Free.
God desires the salvation of all, the Gospel invites all, the Holy Spirit strives with all and whosoever will may come and take of the water of life freely.
12. Perseverance.
All believers in Christ, who through grace persevere in holiness to the end of life, have promise of eternal salvation.
13. Gospel Ordinances.
BAPTISM, or the immersion of believers in water, and the LORD’S SUPPER, are the ordinances to be perpetuated under the Gospel. FEET WASHING, an ordinance teaching humility, is of universal obligation, and is to be ministered to all true believers.
14. Tithing.
God commanded tithes and offerings in the Old Testament; Jesus Christ endorsed it in the Gospel (Matt. 23:23), and the apostle Paul said, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him” (1 Cor. 16:2a).
15. The Christian Sabbath.
The divine law requires that one day in seven be set apart from secular employments and amusements, for rest, worship, holy works and activities, and for personal communion with God.
16. Resurrection, Judgment, and Final Retribution.
The Scriptures teach the resurrection of all men at the last day. Those who have done good will come forth to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation; then the wicked will “go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
The following is a description of the organizational practices generally followed in the Free Will Baptist denomination. It is recognized that there is considerably greater variety in actual practice than can be expressed in this section. It is not intended that the following description should require that every organization conform in every detail, so long as there is not variance from the basic principles which underlie these practices. Each organization, including the local churches and the various associations, will define its own practices by usage and/or by a formal constitution and by-laws.
CHAPTER I The Local Church
SECTION I: Its Authority and Independence
A. The local congregation of believers is the only visible form of the “church” founded by the direct authority of Scripture. Free Will Baptists, therefore, recognize the local church as the sole source of authority possessed and exercised within the visible church.
B. The local church is an independent and self-governing body, with full authority to transact its business, choose its pastor and officers, receive, discipline and dismiss members, hold free title to all its properties and conduct all its internal affairs.
SECTION II: Its Relationships
The local Free Will Baptist church bears two important relationships to other churches: A. Christians within the local church are members of the universal and invisible church, known as the body of Christ. B. Local churches voluntarily form associations which organize and cooperate as the Free Will Baptist denomination. (See Chapter III: Associations of Churches.)
SECTION III: Its Organization
A. The authority to organize a local church lies within the group of Christians who covenant together, as they believe themselves directed by the Spirit of God, to form a local church.
B. Whenever such a group of Christians wishes to be organized as a regular Free Will Baptist church in fellowship with the denomination, these steps are followed:
1. The Quarterly Meeting or District Association is requested to send a committee to examine the group as to character, doctrine, and fellowship.
2. If the examination proves satisfactory, the formal organization proceeds as follows:
a. The Bible is presented as the only rule of faith and practice.
b. The Free Will Baptist Church Covenant is adopted.
c. A prayer of consecration is offered.
d. The hand of fellowship is given by the associational committee or its chairman.
C. Occasion often arises when a local church already organized, desires to unite with the denomination. A committee is requested from the Quarterly Meeting or Association for the purpose of examining the church as to its doctrine, character, reputation, fellowship, stability and organization. The committee, if the examination is satisfactory, makes recommendation to the body which sent it; and the body votes whether to receive the church into fellowship. Great care should be exercised by associations when examining and receiving into fellowship local churches already organized, especially when those churches have been in fellowship with other associations of churches in either the Free Will Baptist denomination or other denominations.
D. Many local churches find it helpful to adopt a constitution and by-laws; such a document serves as a guide to government and procedure within the congregation. Some Free Will Baptist churches also find it helpful to be legally incorporated.
SECTION IV: Its Officers
One of the primary duties of an organized local church is the election of officers from within its membership. All officers, including the pastor, are elected by majority vote of the congregation. Some of the most usual and important officers are listed below, although there are many others used in various churches.
A. The Pastor, who preaches the Word of God, ministers to the needs of the members, and exercises general leadership within the congregation. It is expected that he will unite with the local church if he is not a member when called. The church should not call a man who is not at least licensed to preach within the denomination. (See further Chapter II: The Minister.)
B. Deacons are ordained—usually by the local church—to minister to the congregation and exercise general spiritual leadership. They assist the pastor in administering the ordinances, and may have to conduct worship services in the pastor’s absence. Regular practice insists that deacons be men who meet the qualifications outlined in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
C. A clerk (secretary) and treasurer, offices which may be combined if desired. Duties include the keeping of careful records of all business and financial affairs of the local church.
D. Trustees, officers elected by many churches to receive and hold title to property owned by the local church, but which may be disposed of only by decision of the church.
SECTION V: Its Meetings
Meetings of the entire congregation of a local church are of two main types:
A. Worship services are times set aside by the local church according to the schedule it finds most satisfactory. Included, wherever possible, are services in the morning and evening on the first day of the week, and a mid-week service for prayer and Bible study. Although discouraged as a regular thing, any item of business may be carried on by the congregation at any regularly scheduled worship service.
B. Business meetings (conferences) are held at regular times scheduled by the congregation.
1. Meetings should be frequent enough to insure that the congregation’s authority over its business affairs is not usurped by any person or board. Usually such meetings are held at least once each quarter.
2. All members are obligated to be present, and have a right—regardless of age—to speak and vote, unless otherwise decided by the local church.
3. All matters not specifically delegated to some officer or board by the congregation must be handled by the congregation.
4. The decisive authority of the local church lies in the majority vote of those present and voting at any session where business is legally conducted.
5. Special business meetings may be called for times other than regularly scheduled business or worship sessions, but only in the manner agreed upon by the majority of the congregation.
6. The pastor generally acts as moderator for business meetings.
SECTION VI: Its Ordinances
The Gospel ordinances to be practiced in local Free Will Baptist churches are described in Chapter XVIII of the “Faith” section of the Treatise.
A. Baptism is administered by an ordained minister to the individual as soon as possible after his conversion.
B. Provision should be made for regular observance of the Lord’s Supper and washing of the saints’ feet by the congregation. Ministers and deacons administer these.
SECTION VII: Its Membership
A. An individual may be received into the fellowship of a local church by decision of the congregation according to its regularly prescribed method. This generally applies to either of two situations:
1. Upon profession of faith in Christ, reception into full fellowship not being final until the convert is baptized by immersion.
2. Upon receipt of a letter of good standing from any church recognized as Christian, with the qualification that the applicant must have been baptized by immersion and satisfied therewith.
B. In no case should an individual be received into membership if there remains any doubt as to the genuineness of his conversion and Christian character. Persons expelled from any sister churches, for example, should not be received into full membership without giving satisfaction to the church from which they have been expelled.
C. Reception into full fellowship should be made final, if possible, by the extending of the hand of fellowship, at least from the pastor and preferably from the congregation.
D. Letters of commendation are granted, concerning members in good standing, to churches making such requests about members desiring to move their membership. The local church should not grant such a letter if there is doubt concerning the profession and character of the member.
SECTION VIII: Its Disciplinary Authority
The local church occasionally finds itself responsible to exercise its solemn right to discipline members. In such cases, the regular procedures of the local church are followed in keeping with the teachings of the Scripture.
A. Cases involving personal offense are to be handled according to Matthew 18:15-17.
B. In some cases, the church may have to effect a “break” in fellowship with a disorderly brother who is yet not an “enemy” (2 Thess. 3:6-15).
C. In other cases, the church may have to expel a member because of conduct or profession irreconcilable with the nature of a Christian (I Cor. 5:1-13).
D. In all cases, the member is expected to submit to the discipline of the church. If the member does not choose to submit, the only course of action open to the church is to withdraw fellowship from the member.
E. Withdrawal of fellowship from a member can take place only by majority vote of the congregation (see Section V) and should take place only after every effort is exercised in a humble Christian spirit to restore the member and give him adequate opportunity to be heard.
F. When a member, without providential reason, absents himself from the meetings of the church or refuses to support it for one year, it is considered a violation of the covenant and sufficient reason for dismissal.
G. A member (or minority group of members) dissatisfied with the action of the majority against him, may appeal to the association for a hearing among the sister churches. The nature of the association’s powers in such a case is described in Chapter III: Associations of Churches.
H. The actual “trial” of a member, when necessary, should be carried on in the sole presence of the membership and involved parties.
1. A written notice of the exact charges should be furnished to the accused at least a week in advance.
2. The pastor, unless personally involved as a witness, should be an impartial moderator of the meeting. He should read the charges, without comment.
3. The pastor should call for volunteer witnesses who wish to sustain the charges by testimony, allowing the accused, in an orderly way, to question the witnesses.
4. The pastor should allow the accused to speak in his own behalf and ask for witnesses who wish to sustain his position.
5. When both sides are presented, the pastor asks whether there is a motion concerning some type of discipline for the accused. If there is, and it is seconded, the motion is discussed and voted upon.
I. The local church should always stand ready to forgive a genuinely repentant member and restore him to full fellowship in the congregation (2 Cor. 2:6, 7).
CHAPTER II The Minister
SECTION I: His Ordination
A. The authority to ordain ministers has its source in the local church.
B. Free Will Baptist churches, in most areas, have traditionally delegated this authority to the associations in which they voluntarily unite themselves. This is done because the local churches desire the assistance of their sister churches and ministers.
C. Ordination procedure varies greatly from one district association to another, depending on the traditions of the various areas. In most cases, something like the following takes place:
1. The candidate must usually be licensed for a period prior to ordination, often at least a year. In some areas, license is issued by the local church directly; in others, it is issued by the association upon the request of the local church.
2. Before ordination, the candidate is examined by a committee of ministers appointed by the association for that purpose.
3. This committee usually makes recommendation directly to the association, which body votes whether to ordain. Usually, a request for ordination must also be received from the local church of which the candidate is a member. (In some areas, the association’s “ordination council” makes recommendation back to the local church, which then proceeds to ordain.)
4. The ministers of the association usually administer the actual ordination ceremony when the association has voted approval.
5. The actual ceremony generally includes the “presentation” of the Bible and a formal “charge.” In many places, a sermon by a brother minister is preached. The service usually concludes with the “laying on of hands” and a prayer of consecration.
D. Ordination requirements also vary greatly within the Free Will Baptist denomination.
1. Examinations generally include sufficient materials to determine a reasonable acquaintance with the Bible, Christian doctrine and Free Will Baptist teachings.
2. Some associations require some type of ministerial educational preparation, or at least manifestation of a desire for self-improvement and study.
3. All areas recognize the necessity of a definite conviction on the part of the candidate that he is divinely “called” to the ministry.
4. Some areas have certain specific requirements about special items of conduct, such as, for example, whether a minister can use tobacco. All areas require consistent Christian conduct and character.
5. Many associations require that the candidate already be involved in some specific ministry, usually either as a pastor or evangelist.
E. A minister transferring from one association to another within the denomination generally undergoes the following:
1. He is examined by the local association’s ordaining committee, though usually not so closely as the new ordination candidate.
2. He is required to present a letter of good standing from the association of which he was last a member. (Associations should exercise great care in granting such letters of standing; an unqualified letter should not be granted if there are questions about the minister’s reliability. In general, no association should receive a minister into full ministerial standing who cannot secure a letter of good standing because he has been disfellowshipped or had his credentials revoked or who is in the process of being disciplined by another association. In no case should his credentials be ratified without consultation with the association which disciplined him.)
3. His ordination credentials may then be “ratified” by the association upon recommendation of the ordaining council.
F. A minister from another denomination wishing to unite with the Free Will Baptist denomination must first unite with a local Free Will Baptist church and will then be subject to procedure similar to that outlined above in E. He can expect to be examined closely.
SECTION II: His Discipline
A. As in the case of ordination, the authority to discipline a minister has its source in the authority of the local church. Again, however, this is delegated to the association along with the authority to ordain.
B. In most cases, any accusation against a minister that is offered concerning his conduct, character, profession or doctrine (and which should be considered against his good standing), should be brought to the association by the local church. The only exception that should be made arises when an offense involves a fellow minister (as object or witness) in a situation unknown to the local church. In this case, charges should be preferred by three ministers jointly, with the local church fully apprised of the fact.
C. As with all other matters of church discipline, the minister accused should first be dealt with privately according to the principles outlined in Matthew 18:15-17.
D. If a formal “trial” becomes necessary, it should proceed in the same way as that described for members of a local church in Chapter I, Section VIII, except that here the moderator of the association presides (rather than the local pastor), and the delegates to the association hear the trial (rather than local members). All steps in part H of the Section just referred to should be followed.
E. The association’s disciplinary action against the minister can deal solely with his ordination and fellowship in the association as a minister.
1. If an intermediate and temporary act of discipline is needed, the minister may be retained on the roll of ministers but listed as not in full fellowship and denied the right to vote as a standing delegate.
2. The final act of discipline, if labors are not fruitful in bringing satisfactory resolution of the problem, consists in the revoking of the minister’s ordination and with OF FREE WILL BAPTISTS 45 drawal of fellowship from him as a minister in good standing in the association.
3. The association’s discipline cannot deal with the minister’s relationship to the local church, either as pastor or member. It can make recommendations concerning this to the local church, and the church’s fellowship in the association might be endangered if those recommendations were not followed, but no force can be applied.
F. The minister is expected to submit to the decision of the association and relinquish his “credentials” of ordination if they are called for. Civil action is not recommended, however, if he should refuse.
G. The minister who feels he has not been justly treated may, in union with at least one other sustaining minister, appeal to the next broader organization of which his district association is a member (such as the state association) for a hearing among the sister associations. The nature of the broader organization’s powers in such a case is described in Chapter III: Associations of Churches.
SECTION III: His Relationships
The minister has unique relationships to many persons. As a divinely-called preacher, he is subject foremost to the Lord and His Word. This relationship qualifies all the others.
A. To his church. Most Free Will Baptist churches recognize their responsibility to support their pastors with such financial means as are available to them.
B. To the association. When the minister becomes pastor of a given local church, it is his responsibility to obtain good standing in the association of which that church is a member if he is not already in good standing therein.
C. To fellow-ministers. Many associations maintain “ministers’ conferences,” organized for the fellowship and cooperation of the ministers in the area of that association. These conferences should remain subservient to and responsible to the association.
CHAPTER III Associations of Churches
SECTION I: Their Nature
Free Will Baptist churches, while independent, do not practice isolation. They form associations with one another in several levels of organization described in this chapter. It is to be remembered, however, that these associations are voluntary, both at the beginning and in their continuation. The local church remains at liberty to withdraw from the association it has voluntarily joined.
SECTION II: Their Organizational Structure
There is considerable variety within the denomination as to the exact number and nature of associational organizations.
A. The plan which seems to work best calls for four levels of organization, which can be diagrammed thus:
Level 1 — The Local Church
Level 2 — The District Association
Level 3 — The State Association
Level 4 — The National Association
1. According to this plan, the local churches in a given district form the district association; several (two or more) district associations in a given state form a state association; and the several state associations form the national association. Each of the levels is said to be the broader or larger (not “higher”) than the former.
2. In this plan, the district association usually bears a proper name that includes the word Association, although Conference is often used.
3. The district association, in this plan, is the body which deals directly with the local church and would be the first level of appeal from the local church. It is also the body to which the local church delegates its authority to ordain and discipline ministers (see Chapter II: The Minister).
4. In this plan, the district association may meet quarterly. Some district associations cover such larger geographical areas, however, that it is found preferable to subdivide voluntarily into smaller groups for three quarterly meetings between the annual meetings of the entire association each fourth quarter. In this case, these smaller quarterly meetings are mostly devoted to fellowship and inspiration. While the local churches are expected to report to these smaller quarterly meetings, their main annual reports are presented directly to the annual meeting of the association.
B. Another plan of structure followed in some areas calls for five levels of organization, which can be diagrammed thus:
Level 1 — The Local Church
Level 2 — The Quarterly Meeting
Level 3 — The Yearly Meeting
Level 4 — The State Association
Level 5 — The National Association This plan works much like the four-level plan outlined above, except for the fact that the quarterly meeting is given considerably greater status in the associational structure and stands between the local church and the yearly meeting (equivalent to the district association). Here, the churches form and report only to the quarterly meeting. Quarterly meetings form and make all reports to the yearly meeting. In other particulars the two plans are identical.
C. The organizational structure in many areas reflects a mixture of elements from both these plans, thus adding to the variety. In all plans, state and national associations meet annually, and most include representation from the local churches as well as from the smaller associations composing them.
SECTION III: Their Purposes
These associations of churches at the various levels are all organized for cooperation among the churches. These denominational meetings serve for mutual edification and inspiration. They also provide opportunity for the churches to accomplish cooperatively what they might not be able to do individually.
SECTION IV: Their Relationships
A. The district association (or quarterly meeting) and the local churches.
1. The association has no authority to interfere in the internal affairs of the local church (see Chapter I, Section I-B).
2. Once organized, the association of churches is constituted a body distinct from the local churches that compose it, and:
a. can speak only for itself, not for the churches;
b. can commit only itself to a course of action, not the churches;
c. is composed—at any session—of the “delegates” sent from the churches and who can act and vote only as a part of the association itself without the ability to legally commit the churches they represent;
d. can deal only with the local churches as members of the association, and not with the individual members of the local churches.
3. The associations’s only “power” over the local church is limited to dealing with the church’s rights as a member of the association:
a. The association may set whatever requirements it wishes as conditions for the church’s “good standing” in the association although it has no power to force the church to meet those requirements.
b. The association may, for example, refuse to seat delegates from a local church if there is a breach of fellowship being dealt with.
c. Ultimately, the most extreme power of the association is to withdraw fellowship from the local church as a member of the association.
4. An aggrieved minority within a local church may appeal to the association for a hearing among the sister churches, and reasonable appeals ought to be heard according to the association’s regular procedures.
a. The association may desire, or be requested by the aggrieved minority of the church, to send a committee to meet with the church and investigate the difficulties. In such case, the church is more proper to receive and meet with such a committee, although it is understood it cannot be forced to do so.
b. If the association agrees with the aggrieved minority, it may exercise all suitable labors to persuade the majority to reconsider. But if persuasion fails, and the matter is serious enough, the association’s only recourse is to withdraw fellowship.
5. When a church violates its covenant, or becomes corrupt in doctrine or practice, or discontinues reporting to the association, the association will have to deal with the church in a similar manner. But, again, if advisory and persuasive labors fail, the only recourse for the association is to withdraw fellowship from the church. If a “trial” of a church becomes necessary, procedures should be followed as nearly identical as possible with those outlined in Chapter I, Section VIII-H.
B. The broader associations, at each successive level, bear exactly the same relationships to the bodies composing them as that defined above between the district association (or quarterly meeting) and the local church.
SECTION V: Their Organization
A. A group of local churches may voluntarily form an association of churches (quarterly meeting or district association, depending on the structure followed in the area, as outlined in Section II) when they feel it helpful to their common cause.
1. If they wish to be in fellowship with the denomination at the time of their organization, they should request the broader association in which they will desire membership (yearly meeting, if a quarterly meeting is being organized; state association, if a district association is being organized) to appoint a committee to assist them in setting the organization in order. This committee can assist in such things as the drafting of a proposed constitution and by-laws for the association before the organizational meeting takes place.
2. The organizational meeting should be set for a date acceptable to all the churches and the assistance committee, and should include at least these items of procedure:
a. Each church desiring fellowship in the association to be formed should have elected delegates to accompany the minister to the organizational meeting.
b. Each church should have written a letter stating its purpose to unite in forming the association and naming the delegates that will represent it.
c. The meeting should begin with the chairman of the assistance committee presiding and reading the letters sent by the churches, followed by the recognition and listing of the delegates assembled.
d. The assistance committee should examine the delegates as to the character and doctrine of their respective churches, and should examine the constitution and by-laws which are to be presented for adoption by the delegates. Any churches who have previously belonged to other associations should have letters of commendation from those associations.
e. If the examination is satisfactory, the Bible is presented as the only perfect rule of faith and practice.
f. The proposed constitution and by-laws are adopted.
g. The Treatise of the Faith and Practices of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc., is adopted.
h. The assistance committee extends the right hand of fellowship to the delegates and leads in a prayer of consecration.
i. Officers for the new association are elected (as provided in the constitution and by-laws) beginning with the moderator, who will preside over the remainder of the meeting.
j. Delegates for the newly formed association are elected to attend the next meeting of and ask for membership in the broader association (from which the assistance committee was sent). [Note: Other advice concerning the formation of a new organization is given in Robert’s Rules of Order (Revised).]
3. A group of churches organized into an association without assistance from some larger association in fellowship with the denomination may request membership in such a broader association at any time. The following steps should be included in this procedure.
a. Delegates are elected to attend the association (yearly meeting or state association, as the case may be) and petition for membership.
b. A letter requesting membership is sent by the delegates, including a statement that the Treatise of the Faith and Practices of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc., has been adopted.
c. The delegates are examined by the broader association, as are the constitution and by-laws of the association requesting membership. (If information is not complete, the examination may be continued over a specified period.)
d. When the examination is completed and satisfactory, the delegates are seated and the association enrolled.
e. Caution in receiving previously organized associations is urged. The examination should be thorough. It should be clearly determined that the churches of the association seeking membership have all been in good standing with any other associations to which they have belonged, and that they have departed from those associations in peace.
4. Once an association of churches has been organized, new churches may be received into fellowship at will, according to the provisions of the constitution and bylaws of the association, and in keeping with the practice described in Chapter I, Section III-C.
B. A group of associations desiring to form a broader association (yearly meeting or state association, as the case may be), will follow procedure identical to that described above for churches forming an association.
C. The constitution and by-laws of the various associations at any level give detailed provisions for membership, officers, activities, meetings, and the like. These vary greatly from place to place, but should not be repugnant to the basic principles underlying the general practices outlined in these “Practices.” The Constitution and By-Laws of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc. are given in this booklet (Part V) and may serve as a model for any of the smaller associations.
D. When a church or association wishes to transfer membership to another association, it should obtain a letter of good standing.
E. A church or association which has been expelled by another association should not be received by another association without first giving satisfaction to the association from which it was expelled.
SECTION VI: Their Business
A. Associations of churches within the denomination have varied ways of conducting business, as provided in their respective constitutions and by-laws. In general the following items are basic:
1. Letters are sent from each local church to each meeting of the association in which it retains membership. The letter reports, as requested by the association, information concerning the state and progress of the church. The letter also names the lay delegates who will officially represent the church.
2. In all associations (and at any level within the denomination), ministers in good standing within the association are standing delegates.
3. The business of the association is decided by majority vote of the standing and lay delegates present and voting at any given session, as provided in the constitution and by-laws of the association.
B. The broader associations (yearly meetings, district associations, state associations, and national association) follow the same principles of business as in the associations composed directly of local churches, except that reports and lay delegates come from the associations composing them rather than directly from the churches (as noted in Section II-C, provision is also made in most of the broader associations for direct lay representation from the local churches).
From experience we, the members of the Free Will Baptist denomination, being regularly baptized upon a profession of our faith in Jesus Christ and realizing the necessity of a bond of union and fellowship among us; to preserve and maintain correspondence and coordination with us; to unify the work of the various bodies composing the National Association; and to devise and execute measures for the extension of the Kingdom of God in cooperation with the various bodies of the Association, or that may be hereafter represented therein, do therefore ordain this Constitution for our better denominational government.
This organization shall be known as the National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc. of the United States of America.
Section 1. Membership in the National Association is generally based upon affiliation of the several State Associations with the National Association. When a State Association is affiliated with the National Association, according to the process described in the by-laws, its various district associations, local churches, with their members and ministers, are also members of the National Association.
Section 2. Membership in the National Association is similarly open to any district association and its constituency in a state, or area embracing more than one state, which does not have a state association that is affiliated with the National Association and which does not belong to a state association of another state which is affiliated with the National Association.
Section 3. Membership in the National Association is similarly open to a local church and its constituency in a state which has no district or state association that is affiliated with the National Association and that does not belong to an organization in another state which is affiliated with the National Association.
Section 4. Membership in the National Association is similarly open to local churches or associations and their constituencies in any other countries of continental North America.
Section 5. In the above provisions, or in any provisions of the Constitution and By-Laws, an association must be composed of district associations if it will qualify as a “state” association, or the equivalent. Any associations allowed membership which are composed directly of local churches will have the status of a “district” association.
Voting representation in the National Association, at any session, shall be by delegates from the various organizations which hold membership in the National Association according to the provisions of Article II, and upon the payment of fees described in the by-laws. Delegates are of two kinds: standing delegates, who are the ordained ministers and ordained deacons in good standing with an affiliated organization, the officers of the National Association, and the members of the various boards, commissions and committees of the National Association; and lay delegates who are elected representatives of the various organizations affiliated with the National Association, according to the provisions of the by-laws.
The officers of this National Association shall consist of a moderator, an assistant moderator, a clerk, an assistant clerk, and an executive secretary who shall also serve as treasurer, each of whom shall be elected at the close of each regular session, except the executive secretary who shall be elected for an indefinite period.
The General Board and Executive Committee
Section 1. Power to act in behalf of and for the National Association from the one regular session to another shall be vested in the General Board of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc.
Section 2. The General Board shall be composed of the general officers of the National Association and the chairmen of all standing boards. The National Association shall also elect one member from each association affiliated directly with the National Association under the provisions of Article II, Sections 1, 2, and 4, with the exception that no state or country will be allowed more than one General Board member. Each association shall be allowed the privilege of making recommendation concerning its representative to the General Board. The president of the Women Nationally Active For Christ shall be an ex-officio member of the General Board. The terms of the office for elected associational representatives shall be three years, and arranged in three groups: Alabama through Illinois, Indiana through New Mexico, and North Carolina through West Virginia. Associatonal representatives representing states, countries or areas of continental North America shall expire sequentially.
Section 3. The Executive Committee of the General Board shall be composed of the moderator, assistant moderator, clerk and assistant clerk of the National Association. Three members shall be elected each year for three-year terms from the General Board members whose terms begin that year. Not more than one elective member shall serve from any state. An individual can serve no more than four full consecutive terms. The outgoing moderator shall serve as an advisory member for one year. The purpose of this committee shall be to serve as the executive arm of the General Board of the National Association. The nature of its work shall be executive and promotional rather than legislative.
Section 1. The National Association shall hold its regular meetings annually at the time and place determined by the Association while in session.
Section 2. The General Board shall meet annually, immediately prior to the annual session of the National Association at a time and place announced by the moderator.
Section 3. The Executive Committee shall meet at least semiannually, one meeting to be held immediately prior to the annual meeting of the General Board, and the others at a time and place determined by the committee.
Section 4. Special meetings of the General Board or Executive Committee shall be called when necessary by the moderator with the written consent of three other members of the Executive Committee. Special meetings of the General Board shall also be called upon the written request of one-fourth of its members. Special meetings of the Executive Committee shall also be called upon the written request of a majority of its members.
In the event of the dissolution of this National Association, any assets of the organization then remaining shall be conveyed to such organizations then existent dedicated to similar objectives to those of this organization selected by the General Board at the time of dissolution, which organization must be exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code of 1954 as amended or under successor provisions of the Code as may be in effect at the time of dissolution.
Section 1. This Constitution may be amended or altered at any regular session of the National Association by a two-thirds vote of the members present, provided proposed amendment or alteration be presented in writing to the body one day in advance.
Section 2. The Church Covenant, the Statement of Faith of Free Will Baptists as given in this Treatise may be amended or altered at any regular session of the National Association by a two-thirds vote of the members present and voting, provided proposed amendment or alteration has been presented to the body in writing one annual session in advance.
Section 1. The procedure for becoming a member of the National Association shall be as follows: An organization which is eligible shall present a written application to the Executive Secretary, stating that it has been filed by the majority vote of the body and signed by the officials of the body. The Executive Secretary may make any investigation he feels necessary and shall in turn make recommendations to the General Board. The National Association shall vote upon the recommendation of the General Board.
Section 2. All organizations affiliated directly with the National Association shall be required to adopt the Treatise of the Faith and Practices of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc., as adopted by the National Association, and the application for membership must contain a statement to the effect.
Section 3. It shall be the duty of each body directly affiliated with the National Association to send a letter to every annual session of the Association, reporting its statistics on a form provided by the National Association. Any body which fails to do this for two successive sessions may be dismissed from the Association by a majority vote of members present.
Section 4. Each affiliated state association, or its equivalent, shall be entitled to five (5) lay delegates to the National Association upon payment of a representation fee per church established by the National Association. Each “district” association affiliated directly with the National Association shall be entitled to three (3) lay delegates upon payment of a representation fee per church established by the National Association. Each local church which is affiliated either directly or indirectly, under any of the provisions for membership, is entitled to one (1) lay delegate, upon payment of a representation fee per church established by the National Association. Listing in the membership directory of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc., (Free Will Baptist Yearbook) is based on payment of the annual representation fee.
Duties of Officers
Section 5. The duties of the moderator shall include presiding at the meetings of the National Association, the General Board, and the Executive Committee; to call special meetings of the General Board or Executive Committee when the conditions of Article VI, Section 4, of the Constitution are fulfilled; to appoint such committees as are created without provision for their selection; to announce the time and place for the meetings of the General Board and Executive Committee; and in general, to fulfill whatever responsibilities may be commensurate with his office or delegated to him by the body.
Section 6. The duties of the assistant moderator shall include presiding at the request of, or in the absence of, the moderator and assisting him in such ways as may be necessary.
Section 7. The duties of the clerk shall include the preparation of minutes for the proceedings of all meetings of the National Association, the General Board, the Executive Committee; and the handling of such official correspondence for the Association as he may be directed.
Section 8. The duties of the assistant clerk shall be to act for the clerk at the meetings of the National Association and General Board in his absence or at his request and to assist the clerk in whatever ways may be necessary.
Section 9. The duties of the Executive Secretary shall be:
A. Administration. He shall administer the affairs of the Executive Office and carry out the responsibilities delegated to him by the National Association and the Executive Committee. He shall fulfill all duties commensurate with his office and present such plans and procedures that he feels would be effective in the life of the denomination.
B. General Promotion. He shall seek to show through general promotion the correlation and interrelation of all the national ministries. It is expected that he will promote impartially the total program of work as devised by all the departments.
C. Public Relations. He shall serve as consultant on general denominational affairs and as official representative when occasion demands. Through personal communication he shall keep close contact with pastors, state organizations and their affiliates. He shall represent the National Association to other bodies when in the interest of the denomination.
D. Publications. He shall serve as editor-in-chief of the association’s official magazine. He shall direct the production of general promotional materials, pamphlets, audio visuals and books as approved by the Executive Committee.
E. Stewardship. He shall provide a program of stewardship education that will produce increased support for the denominational ministries through The Together Way Plan and other methods of proportionate sharing. He is further charged with the responsibility of receiving and disbursing The Together Way funds, and in general to serve as treasurer and business manager of the National Association.
F. Arranging Annual Convention. He shall expedite the planning of the National Convention program, enroll all ministers and delegates, print and distribute minutes and investigate future sites for the annual sessions.
G. National Offices Management. It shall be the duty of the Executive Secretary to serve as chairman of the Management Committee of the National Office facilities.
Election of Officers
Section 10. No person shall fill more than one office at the same time, or any office and a place on any standing board, except as he may become a member of the General Board by virtue of his office. No person shall serve on more than one standing board at the same time, except as he may become a member of the General Board by virtue of being chairman of the board of which he is an elected member. No member of the Executive Committee may be a member of any standing board except the General Board.
Section 11. The procedure for the election of officers of the National Association shall be as follows: The nominating committee shall be appointed by the moderator one year in advance. The committee shall consist of seven members, shall meet at least three months prior to the annual session and present at least one name for each vacant office, excepting the General Board and Executive Secretary. The funding of the committee shall come from the convention fund. A brief resume shall be submitted with each nomination. Nominations for the General Board shall be made on Tuesday afternoon of the annual session, and nominations for other offices on Tuesday or Wednesday.
1. No Nominating Committee member’s name shall be submitted for a position being considered by the committee.
2. If a Nominating Committee member is placed in nomination by a third party, then they should immediately resign (not recuse) from the committee or refuse the nomination. Consequently, the national moderator shall appoint a replacement.
3. The Nominating Committee must at all times function as a body. Therefore, all discussions and considerations should be resolved exclusively during committee meetings.
4. Soon after the national convention, a nomination schedule for the upcoming national convention should be published in ONE Magazine. In the communiqué the Nominating Committee chairman’s address shall be published, and it should be stated that submissions for possible nominees must be in the chairman’s hands by a set date before the Leadership Conference.
a. These submissions must be made in writing with the resumes attached, or they will not be considered.
b. The source of these submissions should be withheld by the chair. In other words, the committee would not know the source of the nominations, but would consider them only on the merit of the person’s credentials.
5. The Nominating Committee’s recommended nominations will be published in an issue of ONE Magazine early in the year.
6. Any other nomination after the December meeting would have to be submitted on the floor of the national convention.
a. Anyone could submit a name from the floor, but it must be accompanied by a resume to be read by the clerk.
b. If a nomination is made from the floor, the resume of the committee’s nominee will also be read by the clerk.
c. If a resume is not available, only the nominee’s name, occupation, address and church membership may be stated. After the committee’s report the floor shall be open for further nominations and the election shall proceed in regular manner.
Section 12. The General Board shall have power to fill irregular vacancies that may occur in its own body, or in any department of the work between sessions of the National Association. When such is necessary, the procedure shall be as follows: The Executive Committee shall serve as a nominating committee and shall circulate ballots by mail to each General Board member with the names of the nominees. These ballots shall be marked by the General Board members, notarized and returned to the Executive Secretary.
The General Board and Executive Committee
Section 13. It shall be the responsibility of the General Board to make written reports of all its work to each annual session of the National Association, and it shall be responsible to that body for all its actions. Should necessity arise from war, or pestilence or any cause which prevents a regular meeting of the National Association, whether such a condition is of a local or general condition, then the General Board shall be privileged to call and act with full authority in all matters pertaining to the general welfare of the National Association, providing whatever transactions passed shall be by two-thirds vote of the members present, and providing that such transactions shall not conflict with the purpose and edicts of the constitution and by-laws of the National Association.
Section 14. The General Board shall review the annual reports and budgets of all boards at its regular session before these reports are presented to the National Association.
Section 15. The Executive Committee shall make written reports of its work to the General Board and shall be responsible to that body for all its actions. It shall not have power to commit the National Association to any course of action or policy not authorized by the National Association, nor to reverse any action of the National Association. Consequently, its work shall be to implement the policies and plans of the National Association; to publicize and promote the work of the National Association and its various departments; to arrange the agenda and program for the annual meetings of the National Association; to recommend the placement of future National Association sessions; to supervise and transact the business connected with the operation of the office of the Executive Secretary; to make plans and recommendations to the General Board for the advancement of the denomination; and to fulfill whatever other responsibilities may be delegated by the General Board or National Association. The Executive Committee shall arrange the working contract of the Executive Secretary, who shall assist in carrying out the work of the Executive Committee. The service of the Executive Secretary may be reviewed by a request from seven members of the General Board. Such services shall be terminated upon a 90-day notice by either his resignation, a majority vote of the National Association, or the majority vote of the General Board in called session. The procedure for election of the Executive Secretary shall be:
(1) The Executive Committee shall serve as a search committee to screen potential candidates.
(2) The Executive Committee shall recommend one candidate to the General Board.
(3) The General Board shall recommend one candidate to the National Association.
(4) The Executive Secretary shall be elected by a majority vote of the National Association.
Standing Boards
Section 16. In addition to the General Board, the National Association shall perpetuate the following standing boards: The Board of Trustees of Welch College, The Board of International Missions, The Board of Home Missions, The Board of Retirement and Insurance, The Master’s Men Board, The Board of Randall House Publications and The Board of Trustees of The Free Will Baptist Foundation.
Section 17. Each of these Boards shall be composed of nine members who are elected by the National Association, according to an arrangement whereby each member has a term of office for six years, and their terms are arranged so that they expire in groups of three biennially. A member can serve no more than two full consecutive terms. The Board of Trustees of the Free Will Baptist Foundation shall also include the Director of the Board of Retirement and Insurance, the Director of International Missions, the Director of Home Missions, the Director of Master’s Men, the Director of Randall House Publications, the President of Welch College, the Executive Director of Women Nationally Active For Christ, and the Executive Secretary of the National Association.
Section 18. The various standing boards shall plan a program and supervise their operations in their respective fields, and shall be responsible for all their actions to the National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc. Each board shall operate under its own constitution (or charter) and by-laws, which must be approved by the National Association.
Section 19. Each standing board shall prepare a budget of its proposed financial expenditures at the beginning of each fiscal year and shall present same for approval of the National Association along with an audit made by an independent certified public accountant which audit shall lead to the expression of an unqualified opinion on the financial statements. The auditor’s report shall include, where applicable, a balance sheet and income statement and other schedules as may be necessary for a proper presentation of the financial condition and results of operation.
Section 20. The Management Committee shall be composed of the directors of the departments which occupy the National Offices facilities. This committee shall be legal custodians of all property belonging to the National Association, except in the case of the boards of the National Association which are authorized by action of the Association to be incorporated.
Commissions and Committees
Section 21. When the National Association deems it wise, commissions may be established to perform a specific service in a restricted area on a more-or-less permanent basis. The number of members of any commission shall be decided by vote of the National Association, and the members shall be elected by the Association. Terms of office for all members of commissions shall be five years (except when the commission is originally established the member last elected shall serve a one-year term; the next member a two-year term; and so on); and their terms shall be so arranged that only one member’s term expires annually. Present commissions include:
A. The Commission for Theological Integrity
1. The Purpose: The purpose of this Commission shall be:
(a) To alert our people of theological trends that could threaten our theological integrity as a denomination.
(b) To prepare materials that will contribute to the continued preservation of the theological integrity of our denomination.
(c) As the need and opportunity arise to conduct seminars on subjects which are pertinent to the purpose of this Commission.
2. The Scope: The scope of the responsibility of this Commission shall be to address significant theological concerns such as:
a. Trends and influences that would threaten orthodox doctrine.
b. That which would threaten our theological distinctives as a denomination. It shall not be within the scope of this Commission’s responsibility
(a) To investigate the theological integrity of any individual, organization or institution in the denomination, or
(b) To address points of theology upon which difference of opinion has been permitted in the denomination.
B. The Historical Commission
C. The Media Commission
D. The Music Commission
Section 22. Various committees shall also be constituted, when need arises, by the National Association, General Board, or Executive Committee, to function for a more definite period of time in a specific area. The number of members of any committee shall be determined by the assembly. Committee members shall be appointed by the moderator unless otherwise provided by the action creating the committee; and they shall hold office for the length of time provided, or until their work is completed, or until they are released or their successors chosen.
Section 23. The following committees shall be used annually in the sessions of the General Board and National Association:
A. The credentials committee, which is identical with the General Board (although the Board may select a smaller committee of its members for this duty if it chooses). This committee has as its duty the examination of all letters to the National Association and the credentials of the various delegates. The committee shall make recommendations to the Association concerning the seating of delegates.
B. The nominating committee, whose duties are provided in Section 11 of the by-laws.
C. The resolutions committee, who shall receive and present worthwhile resolutions to the National Association.
D. The budget committee, who shall make recommendation to the National Association concerning the total denominational budget and the allocation of The Together Way Plan receipts. This committee shall consist of the Executive Secretary and the directors of the various departments which receive moneys through The Together Way Plan of Support.
E. The obituary committee, who will receive names of deceased leaders from state associations and individuals. This committee will give a report to the National Association so that these names can be included in the minutes.
Subsidiary Organizations
Section 24. The Women Nationally Active for Christ shall be recognized as subordinate to the National Association; but it shall organize at its own discretion and have power to create and adopt a constitution and by-laws and maintain complete management of the work for which it is constituted. The scope and character of the work shall conform to the general program and promotional plan of the National Association. It shall report its accomplishments and financial operations annually to the National Association.
Section 25. Two-fifths of its members shall constitute a quorum for any meeting of the General Board. Four members shall constitute a quorum for any meeting of the Executive Committee.
Proxy and Voting by Mail
Section 26. No voting shall be done by proxy in meetings of the National Association. Proxy representation shall be accepted for meetings of the General Board and Executive Committee, upon the presentation to the moderator of a statement signed by the member, designating the proxy representative. A proxy for the Executive Committee shall be a member of the General Board.
Section 27. When a ballot of the General Board must be taken by mail, it shall be approved by the Executive Committee and circulated by the Executive Secretary to all members who shall have their vote notarized.
Section 28. This National Association shall have the right to settle any questions of discipline, doctrine or practice that may properly come before it from any of the bodies composing said organization of the National Association of Free Will Baptists, Inc., or act upon any appeal that may be made by any body belonging to the National Association. Said appeal shall have been written and properly signed by the constituent body or bodies and filed with the Executive Secretary. The Executive Secretary shall in turn present it to the Executive Committee who shall make recommendation to the General Board. The General Board shall, at its discretion, hear the appeal and shall make recommendation to the National Association as to the course of action it deems best. The National Association may, in turn, hear the case by resolving itself into a committee of the whole, from which meeting all but delegates and parties concerned shall be excluded; or it may vote on the report of the General Board without discussion.
Section 29. The decision of the National Association in such matters shall be final; that is, it cannot be appealed, nor can the same issue be raised again except in one of the two following ways: The National Association may vote to reconsider and then refer the matter back to the General Board; or after the vote to reconsider, it may again resolve itself into a committee of the whole.
Section 30. Any action which the National Association may take cannot reverse the action of any member body, although it may act in a hortatory and advisory capacity toward that end. Actual disciplinary action upon a member body can deal only with the member’s rights as a member of the body; and in this vein the National Association may refuse to seat the delegates from a member body for a session of the Association or may ultimately withdraw fellowship from the member. The only members of the National Association who can be disciplined are those who are affiliated directly according to the membership provisions of Article II of the Constitution. Thus, in the case of those who are affiliated under the provision of Section 1 of that article, only the state associations may be disciplined; in the case of those affiliated under provision of Section 2, only the district associations may be disciplined; and in the case of those affiliated under the provisions of Section 3, only the local church may be disciplined.
Honoraria and Reimbursements
Section 31. The moderator and clerk shall receive an honorarium as set by the Executive Committee in the annual convention budget, plus travel expenses to the annual session. The assistant moderator or assistant clerk shall receive the same benefits in the absence of either the moderator or the clerk from the session of the National Association.
Section 32. When a special meeting of the General Board is called, the National Association shall assume the actual travel expenses of the members or their proxies, including meals and lodging. Automobile mileage shall be paid, not to exceed the amount allowable by the Internal Revenue Service. The same provision shall be made for all meetings of the Executive Committee except for the one which convenes immediately prior to the regular annual meeting of the General Board and National Association. Meals and lodging for the Committee during this meeting shall be provided for the days prior to the beginning of the convention.
Parliamentary Authority
Section 33. The meetings of the National Association and General Board shall be governed by the rules of parliamentary law as set forth in Robert’s Rules of Order, except in the case of those rules which are superseded by some rule of these organizations.
Section 34. These by-laws may be amended or altered at any regular session of the National Association by a majority vote of the members present, provided proposed amendment or alteration be presented in writing to the body one day in advance.
STANDING RULES of the National Association, General Board, And Executive Committee
1. Each session of the National Association shall be called into conference by the clerk, or assistant clerk, or in their absence the senior minister in years; and if a quorum is present, charge shall be then taken by the moderator, or assistant moderator, or in their absence the senior minister in years.
2. Each meeting of these bodies shall be opened by reading a portion of the Bible and with prayer, and shall be closed with prayer.
3. All meetings of these bodies shall convene with open doors except when resolved into committees of the whole.
4. Any person not a member of these bodies may be allowed to take part in the discussions by obtaining permission from the moderator.
5. It shall be the duty of all members of these bodies to be present at the time appointed for each meeting, and anyone wishing to retire shall first obtain permission of the moderator.
6. The moderator shall not allow discussions carried on in a spirit which is not Christian or orderly.
7. No member shall be allowed to speak more than ten minutes or more than twice on the same subject in meetings of the National Association and General Board without permission from the moderator.
8. At sessions of the National Association, the moderator shall seat delegates in a body in a designated section of the assembly room at the beginning of each business meeting.
9. At any meeting of the General Board or Executive Committee a member may have his dissenting vote recorded in the minutes by his request.
10. The following guidelines shall be enforced by the moderator: National departments, Executive Office, and WNAC shall limit their individual reports to 30 minutes each. Commissions and committees, with the exception of the General Board, shall limit their individual reports to 15 minutes each. Permission to exceed the allotted time must be granted by the moderator and should only be granted in rare circumstances. The above guidelines apply only to the individual reports and do not limit time for motions, debate, or elections.