Every Thursday for the past few months, I’ve posted an article from The Baptist Faith and Message 2000. On some of the articles I provided related links, relevant books, and my own random thoughts. For all of them, I posted the accompanying scripture references to my Bible translation of choice, the ESV. For convenience, here are the links to each article:
- The Scriptures
- God’s Purpose of Grace
- The Church
- Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
- The Lord’s Day
- The Kingdom
- Last Things
- Evangelism and Missions
- The Christian and the Social Order
- Peace and War
- Religious Liberty
We have also been reading through the Baptist Faith and Message in our Sunday morning worship services at Lakeshore Baptist Church. This exercise served to bring our confessional statement out of a dusty file cabinet and into plain view.
In the spirit of the protestant reformation, Lakeshore Baptist Church holds to the doctrine of Sola Scriptura, which states that scripture and scripture alone is our only infallible rule of faith and practice. Although we affirm that no man-made creed or document can be set on equal footing as the authoritative Word of God, we feel that historical doctrinal statements can articulate to the world what we believe the Bible to teach on various issues, to educate ourselves, and to serve as a guide for theological accountability.
I encourage our folks to, not only read through our confessional statements, but use them as helpful guides to their own study of the scriptures. The Baptist Faith and Message works well for this. Use the document, not as an end, but as a beginning of your study. Read each article and the accompanying scripture reference. When reading each Bible passage, ask yourself what this verse tells you about the topic in the article. for example, when reading Romans 14:19 ask yourself what this says to the topic of “Peace and War.” Look for an echo of the scripture passage in the confessional statements wording. Take the time to read the fuller context of each passage, to understand the point in context. Take notes along the way.