WHAT IS A REFORMED BAPTIST CHURCH?
Condensed and adapted for use by
Faith Community Church from the substance of a sermon by Pastor William Payne, Ontario, Canada
As Baptists, we hold to those truths which some have referred to as "Baptist Distinctives" (e.g., the sole authority of Scripture, a believing and voluntary church membership, believer's baptism, autonomy of the local church, and a non-sacramental view of the Lord's Supper and Baptism. )
We also hold to the great doctrines of the Reformation (including the Solas of the Reformation and a Reformed Theology of Scripture, God, Man, Sin, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and Redemption.) Because of this relationship we are not averse to being called a Reformed Baptist Church.
The following points are helpful in summing up what it means to be a Reformed Baptist church.
I. The Scriptures
First of all, a Reformed Baptist Church is a local church which acknowledges the supreme authority of the Bible. In all matters of faith and practice, our sole authority is the Bible as the Word of God.
We believe in the authority of this Scripture and desire in our church life to be patterned after and conformed to the Word of God.
Secondly, Reformed Baptists believe in the preeminence of the preaching of the Word of God.
We believe that the preaching of the Bible must have the central place in the services of the church and thereby occupy the majority of the time. We believe that nothing can or should take the place given to the preaching of God's Word.
III. Doctrines of Grace
Thirdly, Reformed Baptists unashamedly declare their belief in those doctrines which are sometimes called the doctrines of grace. By this we mean in particular the doctrines of radical/total depravity, unconditional election, definite atonement, effectual calling and the perseverance of the saints.
We rejoice in those glorious truths which uphold the sovereignty of God in the salvation of men, and which so gloriously affirm the great central reality that salvation is all of grace, and that salvation is of the Lord.
Fourthly, Reformed Baptists believe in the necessity and responsibility of evangelism.
We do not believe that there is an inconsistency between God's sovereignty in the salvation of His chosen people and His command to preach the gospel and call men to repent and believe.
We believe that the message of evangelism must be according to the Scriptures; and that the method of evangelism must be governed by the Word of God and serve His glory.
Finally, a Reformed Baptist church is a local church with a serious and God-centered approach to worship.
The God we worship is a God of majesty, glory and holiness. We believe that when we come together to worship this great and glorious God of the Bible, we ought to do so with reverence and with godly fear.
There ought to be a sense of awe in our hearts when we gather to meet with God in worship.
To this end our worship is to be Word-centered. It is to be reverent and humble, reflecting the reality of who God has revealed Himself to be. Herein lies the joy and relevance of our worship.
We therefore believe that the music and singing of our worship ought to also be governed by the great and central fact of the One whom we worship and not by worldly or fleshly tastes and trends.
In conjunction with its Statement of Faith, Faith Community Church affirms the historical confessional standard of the 1689, London Baptist Confession.