Friday, November 23, 2012

Old Baptist Confessions

R. L. Vaughn of "Ministry and Musis - Seeking The Old Paths" has posted links to two old Baptist confessions of faith for early 19th century associations in western Tennessee.  (see here)  One of these is the Forked Deer Association.  This association continued with a Hardshell faction until recent years when it was disbanded.  In my younger days as an Elder in the "Primitive Baptist Church" I visited churches in this association.  I want to copy some of the articles of faith of this association for the year 1825 and ask whether today's Hardshells are in agreement with them.

"Art. V. Although the Gospel is to be preached to all the world and sinners be called upon to repent and believe in Christ, yet such is their opposition to the Gospel plan, that they all freely choose a state of sin, rather than enjoy the blessings of eternal life. But "where sin abounded grace did much more abound," God of his mere good pleasure, "and that he might make known the riches of his glory," hath elected or chosen unto salvation in Christ, "a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people and tongues." These by the regenerating influence of the holy spirit, are "effectually called," become dead to sin, and alive unto God, and being the subjects of repentance, faith, &c., and having the love of God shed abroad in their hearts, freely choose Christ for their Savior, and willingly devote themselves to his service by a life of holiness.   Art. VI. Those who are thus united to Christ by a living faith, have the full and free forgiveness of all their sins, & a complete justification of their persons, which favors are bestowed, not on account of any works they may have performed, or disposition they may possess, but solely on account of the merits of Christ, arising from his Suffering and death.   Art. VII. All those who are born of the spirit, and justified by the imputed righteousness of the Son of God, shall persevere unto the end, being kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation."   (emphasis mine)

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