The formal principle of the Protestant Reformation was the belief that the Scriptures alone are the final authority for faith and practice. The Bible tells us what we are to believe about God and what duty He requires of us. It is God’s complete and final revelation to us; therefore, we must not add to it or subtract from it. We believe that the Bible is sufficient to ‘thoroughly equip’ us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:17). We believe that the Bible (the revelation given to us through the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone) is the foundation of the church that has already been laid. The church’s foundation is complete and sufficient. Therefore, special revelation in the form of visions, dreams, tongues, or prophecies have ceased.
However, we live in a day of doctrinal vagueness and confusion, so we need to be clear about what we believe the Bible teaches. Therefore, we are a confessional church, i.e., we have a written Confession of Faith that clearly states what we believe the Scriptures teach. We fully subscribe to the historic London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. We do not hold our Confession as equal to or above Scriptures, but as an accurate expression of the system of doctrine taught in Scriptures. As such, it is a great help in our faith, both as an assistance in controversy and as an instrument of edification and instruction.
One particular doctrine we believe is that God is absolutely sovereign over all things. “He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?'” (Daniel 4:35). We believe that He is also sovereign in the salvation of men. The Bible teaches that man, because of sin, stands guilty and condemned before God’s Law; he has a corrupt heart and is alienated from God; and, worst of all, he can do nothing to save himself from God’s wrath or to reconcile him with God.
The good news of the Gospel is that God alone has undertaken to do all that is necessary to deliver man from his awful condition. The Triune God plans, accomplishes and applies redemption. God the Father unconditionally elects, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, redeems by His atoning death, and the Holy Spirit effectually calls and enables sinners to come to Christ. Salvation, from beginning to end, is ‘of the Lord’ (Jonah 2:9), therefore God receives all of the glory. Man receives none.
What is a Reformed Baptist Church?
That is a question frequently asked. By ‘Reformed’ we mean that we trace our theological roots back to the 16th Century Protestant Reformation. It was during this powerful movement of God that men and women turned from the traditions and commandments of men and began to look once again to the Holy Scriptures as their only certain and infallible rule of faith and practice. As they looked to the Scriptures alone they began to rediscover many of the great doctrines of the Bible, which have been summarized by these watchwords: the Scriptures Alone, salvation by Grace Alone, through Faith Alone, in Christ Alone, to the Glory of God Alone. It is upon these truths that we echo Martin Luther’s words: “Here we stand!” We are thankful to God for such a rich and Biblical heritage. We rejoice that this movement of Reformation is on the rise once again in America and worldwide. By ‘Baptist’ we mean that we believe that only professing believers should be baptized and become members of the church.