What We Believe: Article 2 We Believe In Scripture
We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God, and the only rule of faith and practice.
In our last post we discussed that we believe in the True and Living God. Let me begin today by posing a question: What good would it do us to believe in God if anyone can define Him however they see fit? If the God we believe in never explained anything to us and was just some benevolent being ruling over all things? We would be lost and have nothing to connect us to this god. We do not believe in that type of god. We believe in the God that loves us and cares for us enough to share with us. He shares with us who He is, how He works, and what He has, is, and will do for, and among, us. We believe just as Hebrews 1:1 tells us God has in sundry times and divers manners spoken to us. We believe that His word is found in the Holy Scriptures. We believe that the bible is perfect in every way. There are no contridictions, mistakes, over abundances, or missing pieces in Scripture. To understand and learn about an unchanging God, we need an unchanging standard. That standard is the word of God.
With this article, we are going to start with the second point. We, as Primitive Baptist, believe that Scripture is our only rule of faith and practice. There can not be divers standards. This is found even in Scripture. Proverbs 20:23 tells us that divers weights are an abomination unto the Lord. If you build a house using multiple tape measures, all claiming a foot is a different length, what would you end up with? You would end up with a house that can not stand. The same is true about an understanding of a Holy God. There must be an unyielding standard. Our Articles of Faith are excellent writings and have stood the test of time and false doctrine. However, they are not the standard. Confessions of faith are great writings and have stood the test of time as well, but they are not the standard. They are study guides to learn your way around the standard. Personal beliefs, generational beliefs, and story books are not the standard. Scripture, and Scripture alone, is our standard in understanding God. It is the rule by that we judge Articles of Faith, confessionals, preaching, and all other teachings. We must not ever get it the other way around. This is why God so often, in His word, encourages us to study His word. The more of it we know, the more we know of Him.
The reason that we strive to follow Scripture above all other teachings is, we believe they are the word of God. Our final proof text shares one of my personal favorite teachings. The bible is not just a gathering of stories, history, and fables. It is perfectly inspired and kept by God. When we are told in Timothy that the Scriptures are inspired; that literly means God breathed these words. We believe that God used these men to write perfectly the things that we need to know. All other teachings are just the words of men. That is not to belittle writings such as this, Articles of Faith, confessionals, or even preaching, but they are not inspired. Therefore they are not our rule. God has kept His word recorded for us perfectly. God has truly given us everything that we need to know. May we spend our days striving to learn these things.
We believe the Bible is the only rule of our Faith. What we believe about God is found in the pages of the Bible. We find our beliefs of God, in both the Old and New Testament. It is often said there are two Gods in Scripture. The mean judgemental God of the Old Testament, and the soft and gracious God of the New. The reality is, there is only one God. He is the jealous, judgemental, loving, and gracious God of the bible. We can not turn our backs on the Old Testamnet and pretend it no longer exists. It is a common false doctrine that the Old Testament has been done away with in the New Testament era. The New Testament will not allow for that. In our opening text of Romans 15, the Apostle is telling the New Testament church that comfort of the Old Testament was given for our blessing and teaching. Fully understanding the true and living God includes the understanding of a creator God. It includes the clear teaching of a people choosing God. It includes a clear teaching of a God that cares and directs how, when, and where we worship and follow Him. These things among many others are taught clearly in the Old Testament. God clearly tells of His moral standing on marriage, family, authority, and personal sacrifice in the writings of the Old Testament. Our faith, or here to mean understanding of, God would be very small without these things. This is why we need both to fully understand the God we serve.
We also believe that the Bible is our only rule of Practice. Living in the New Testament era, we strive to follow the teachings of Jesus and His Apostles on how we come together to worship. We are not against modern day worship music. We are not against small group teachings. We are not against men's and women's devotional gatherings. However, we do believe they have their place. As we study the New Testament we find why and how we are to worship as the church of God. In today's church,in America, we can see a strong push towards entertainment and show in worship. While we understand the drive behind this, we believe it is misplaced in church worship. We find, in Scripture, directions to come together for singing, praying, and preaching in a family intergrated way. This practice is what we follow today. We strive to not follow other teachings and thoughts towards practice. We also believe Scripture directs us in our personal worship and practice. Scripture tells us to pray without ceasing. It tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. It tells us to love God with all our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls. There is enough recorded in Scripture to spend generations of lifetimes studying and perfecting. We believe this is the goal of our personal study and the teaching of the ministry. Study and learn our standard as we strive to love, follow, and share God more perfectly day by day.
May God bless each one of you in your study.