God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Joh 4:24  

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Primitive Baptist Doctrine and Practice

Primitive Baptist Doctrine

Primitive Baptist Practice

1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith

Undeniable Doctrinal Truths That Primitive Baptists Believe


Primitive Baptist Doctrine

The Primitive Baptists have many beliefs in common with the majority of Christian denominations.

Primitive Baptists believe:

1.  There is one Holy, omnipotent, omniscient and infinite God who is the three persons of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
De 6:4, Mt 28:19, 1Jo 5:7 (KJV)

2.  The scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the inspired word of God and are the final authority in all maters of faith and practice.
2Ti 3:16, 2Pe 1:20

3.  Jesus Christ was supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Marry.
Mt 1:18-20, Lu 1:35

4.  Jesus Christ is the Son of God and is the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament.
Da 3:25, Da 9:25-26, Mt 14:33, Mt 16:16, Mt 27:54, Mr 1:1, Lu 1:35, Jo 1:34, Jo 3:18, Jo 20:31

5.  Jesus Christ was crucified, died and resurrected from the grave the third day  by the power of God.
Mt 27:35, Mr 15:25, Lu 24:7, Mr 15:37, Lu 23:46, Jo 19:30, Mt 28:6-7, Mr 16:9, Mr 16:14, Lu 24:6-7, Lu 24:34, Joh 2:22, Jo 21:14

6.  All who believe upon Jesus Christ, having been born again of the Holy Spirit and trusting in Christ alone, will have an eternal reward in Heaven.
Jo 1:12-13, Jo 17:20-24, Ac 16:31, 1Ti 1:16, Jo 3:4-8, Jo 3:15-16, Ro 10:9-11, Ro 6:23, 1Jo 5:11, 13, 20

7.  Jesus Christ will visibly return to Earth again and resurrect the just and the unjust.  The just shall dwell with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the elect angels for ever in Heaven.
Jo 5:29, Jo 11:24-25, Ro 6:5

8.  There is a literal Hell where the Devil, his angels and the unjust shall perish forever.
Mt 5:22, Jo 5:29, 2Pe 2:4, Re 20:13-15

Doctrinally, the Primitive Baptists are distinguished from other Christian denominations by their united belief in:

1.  Total Depravity
2.  Unconditional Election

3.  Limited Atonement (Particular Redemption)
4.  Irresistible Grace
5.  Preservation and Perseverance

This acrostic is commonly known by the acronym T.U.L.I.P. and is often referred to as the Five Points of Calvinism.  Click here for Undeniable Doctrinal Truths That Primitive Baptists Believe, an in depth Bible Study on these doctrines.

1.  Total Depravity

Many denominations believe in Total Depravity.  However, Primitive Baptists hold to a more stringent understanding.  Most denominations teach that, although every descendent of Adam is totally depraved, there is still some spark in each person that, with or without the assistance of the Holy Spirit, may be ignited by each persons own will or by Gospel preaching and bring that person to the new birth.
It is our understanding that each descendent of Adam is completely dead (spiritually) in trespasses and sins and can do nothing to initiate his new birth or to initiate his faith in Christ.  This spiritual deadness is so complete that nothing less than a sovereign, predetermined act of God through the Holy Spirit can bring a person to spiritual life and faith in Jesus Christ. 
Ps 51:5, John 8:47, Rom 3:10, Rom 3:23, Rom 5:12, I Cor. 2:14, Eph. 2:1

2.  Unconditional Election

Most denominations admit the existence of election (reluctantly), few outside the Primitive Baptists teach that it is unconditional.  Most denominations teach that God elected people to be saved based on their foreseen faith and/or belief in Christ (conditional election.)
Primitive Baptists believe that election is not based upon foreseen faith or anything else merited by the sinner.  We believe election is based solely on the grace (unmerited favor) and mercy of God.   The election of God's people to eternal glory was predestinated before the creation of the world and they were chosen by the sovereign grace of God, wholly apart from any act or merit in the creature. 
Rom 8:33, Rom 9:11Eph 1:4, I Thess 1:4-5, II Tim 1:9, I Peter 1:2

3.  Limited Atonement (Particular Redemption)

Very few churches outside the Primitive Baptists believe in Limited Atonement (Particular Redemption).  By far the vast majority of modern denominations believe in the General Atonement, the belief that Christ died trying (but failing) to save everyone.  Most churches, outside the Primitive Baptists, who claim to believe in Particular Redemption (such as Reformed Baptist churches and other Sovereign Grace churches) believe in Fullerism, which Primitive Baptists deny. 
Our understanding of Particular Redemption sets us apart more than any other doctrinal distinctive.  We hold that the Bible teaches that Christ died to save his elect, a definite number of people who can never be lost, (Particular Redemption).  Considering these are the sinners for whom Christ died, he is a completely successful savior.  His atonement is not limited in its ability to save but is limited to saving the elect only. 
Matt 1:21, Matt 20:28, John 10:11, Rom 3:24, II Cor 5:21, Gal 3:13, Heb 9:12, Heb 9:28, I Pet 1:18-19, I Pet 2:24, I Pet 3:18

4.  Irresistible Grace

Practically all denominations teach that the gift of eternal life is by grace.  However, it is usually a salvation by grace and works or grace and something else on the part of the sinner.  The work of grace is then depicted as the Holy Spirit's effort to nudge the person to 'accept Jesus as their personal savior, a grace which may be utterly rejected at the sinner's disposal. 
But grace that requires something on the part of the sinner to get him saved (born again) isn't grace.  Primitive Baptists teach that God gives eternal life to each of his elect sinners at his chosen time by sending the Holy Spirit into their hearts and regenerating them with the new birth.  This work of grace upon the person is irresistible and always succeeds in bringing the sinner to eternal life and salvation and faith in Christ. 

Ps 110:3, John 3:8, John 5:25, John 6:29, John 6:33, John 6:37, John 6:44, Rom 8:28-30, II Cor 4:6, Phil. 1:29, Titus 3:5, I Pet. 1:21

5.  Preservation and Perseverance

All Primitive Baptists believe in preservation (once saved always saved) as do many denominations.  Primitive Baptists believe, all of God's elect, having been redeemed by Christ, will be born again and after the gospel is preached to them they will be brought to faith in Christ.  Therefore, God will never allow any of his elect to be lost eternally.
Perseverance teaches that although a believer in Christ may, for a time, be overwhelmed with sin and the cares of this life, they will ultimately renew their repentance and persevere in their faith in Christ.  Historically, all Primitive Baptists (including the author of this web site) have held to the Perseverance of the saints.  Primitive Baptists still hold to this doctrine.  However, there are Primitive Baptists today who believe that not all of God's saints will persevere unto the end, yet they will still be preserved. 
Phil 1:6John 10:27-30, Rom 8:38-39I Pet 1:5I John 5:4, Jude 24, 25, Heb 13:5

Primitive Baptist Practice

Primitive Baptists believe in a very simple form of worship modeled on the scriptural practice of the first century church.  Our worship consists entirely of congregational singing, praying and preaching.

Primitive Baptists believe the New Testament pattern for worship is strictly congregational.  We do not divide the worship of the church members by age and segregate the young from the old.`  

Primitive Baptists believe the most beautiful and only scriptural instrument for use in New Testament worship is the human voice.  All singing is conducted a cappella (without instruments).   Most Primitive Baptists use modern hymnals with music, suitable for a cappella singing, written in four part harmony.  Individuals attend Primitive Baptist singing schools at their discretion or may take music lessons in order to produce the beautiful singing many of our churches are known for. 
Most churches assemble at 10:30 on Sunday morning and sing for approximately 30 minutes with songs being selected by both the song leader and members of the congregation.

Praying is an integral part of Primitive Baptist worship.  Individual men from the congregation may be called upon to offer prayers.  Primitive Baptists may also engage in prayer and fasting either individually or as churches from time to time.  Prayers are usually offered between the singing and preaching service and at the end of the preaching service.  Prayers may be offered during the singing or at other times as the church feels led to do so.

All Primitive Baptist ministers are known as Pastors and/or Elders and are males only.  Preaching generally begins at 11:00 and usually lasts for 45-60 min.  Preaching is usually doctrinal with the sovereignty of God and election and predestination frequently referenced.  Practical godliness is preached more or less frequently depending on the needs of each congregation and the inclination of each pastor.

Primitive Baptists believe there are two ordinances necessary to be kept by all sister churches in order to maintain church fellowship; Baptism and the Lord's supper.
Baptism is by immersion only.  Baptism by scripturally ordained Primitive Baptist elders is the only baptism which is recognized or permitted in Primitive Baptist Churches.
The Lord's Supper (Communion) is served with unleavened bread and wine.  Unleavened bread and wine is used because that would have been the only bread and fruit of the vine available the night the Lord instituted the ordinance.
Washing the saints feet is commonly kept but is not generally considered a condition for inter-church fellowship, though it may be required for membership in a local church.
Women wearing a head covering is kept by a very small minority and is not considered a condition for church fellowship.

Church Government
Primitive Baptist government is congregational.  All baptized members of each individual church are allowed to vote in church conference and partake of the Lord's Supper.  The pastor or visiting elder presides as moderator in church conference and officiates during the Lord's Supper.

Because Primitive Baptists do not believe in using missionary societies to propagate the Gospel, we have sometimes been accused of being against evangelism.  Such is not the case.  New churches are being established domestically and abroad.  Currently, there are Primitive Baptist churches growing and being established in the Philippines, India and Kenya besides the ongoing work in the U.S.  (This author has helped establish three new churches in the U.S. and traveled to India to assist the Lord's work in that country.)

Elder James Taylor




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