from the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith:
- [Section 26, paragraph 5]
In exercising the authority entrusted to Him,
the Lord Jesus,
through the ministry of His Word, by His Spirit,
calls to Himself out of the world
those who are given to Him by His Father.
They are called
so that they will live before Him in all the ways of obedience
that He prescribes for them in His Word.
Those who are called
He commands to live together in local societies, or churches,
for their mutual edification
and the fitting conduct of public worship
that He requires of them while they are in the world.
- [Section 26, paragraph 6]
The members of these churches are saints by calling,
visibly displaying and demonstrating
in and by their profession and life
their obedience to the call of Christ.
They willingly agree to live together
according to Christ’s instructions,
giving themselves to the Lord
and to one another by the will of God,
with the stated purpose of following
the ordinances of the gospel.