Ever wondered why you believe what you believe? I read through the Baptist Faith and Message the other day…
Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:1-2
As I read through the BF&M, I felt grounded in my faith and secure in my belief. I thought you might like to walk through them with me. None of them are very long, but they do speak the basic truths of our Baptist beliefs.
I. The Scriptures
The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.
Exodus 24:4; Deuteronomy 4:1-2; 17:19; Joshua 8:34; Psalms 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isaiah 34:16; 40:8; Jeremiah 15:16; 36:1-32; Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Romans 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21.
I like the way that each article has a list of Scripture passages as references. The sad part is the loss of the original texts and our inability to read Hebrew. Hebrew is a three-dimensional language as opposed to Greek, Latin, and English. As was said by an interpreter around 3 BC, there are some concepts that simply do not translate from Hebrew to Greek*. Even so, from Hebrew to Greek, to Latin, to old English, and finally to contemporary English, the Central Idea of the Text has never changed.
We do well to remind each other often of the Gospel we have received from reliable witnesses and on which we have taken our stand. We are saved through this Gospel; let’s hold firmly to it. What is the Gospel on which we hold firmly?
- Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
- He was buried,
- He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
- and was seen by Cephas (Peter), the Twelve, more than 500 brothers and sisters at the same time, to James (His brother), and to Paul (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).
Abba, we search the Scriptures not to find life, but to find You, for You give life (John 5:39-40). May we study them diligently in order to correctly handle the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). Sanctify us with Your truth; Your Word is truth (John 17:17). Amen.
*In the prologue of Wisdom of Sirach