Primitive Baptist Believe
In order to help you develop
an understanding of the basic doctrine of the Old Line Primitive Baptist,
here are some basic & fundamental points presented in the form of questions
1. What is the basic difference between
Primitive Baptists and other religious societies?
- Answer: The basic difference is that
Primitive Baptists believe in salvation by grace. There are really only two
positions that a person can occupy on this matter. One is that salvation is
by grace, and the other is that salvation is by works. It cannot be a
combination of the two. A person may say that he believes in salvation by
grace, but if he sets forth any act of man's will, such as repentance,
faith, baptism, or hearing the gospel, as a condition for obtaining it, then
this position must be put on the works side. Primitive Baptists believe that
salvation is of the Lord, that it is by His grace, and that nothing needs to
be added to it.
2. What do Primitive Baptists believe
about the fall of man?
- Answer: That Adam willfully
transgressed the law of God and therefore plunged himself and his posterity
into a state of guilt and corruption (Rom. 5 : 12-19) .That now man in his
natural state is dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2: 1) and is unable to
recover himself by an act of his own "free-will" (John 1: 13; John
6: 44; Rom. 3: 10-20; Rom.9: 16).
3. How do Primitive Baptists support
their view of unconditional election?
- Answer: They believe that Ephesians
chapter one plainly teaches that before the foundation of the world, God,
according to His own sovereign pleasure, elected a people to eternal
salvation and made all of the arrangements necessary for them to live with
Him in glory .
4. What is their position on
- Answer: They believe that God has
predestinated a great number to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom.8:
28-30) .While some object to this doctrine because they say it is unfajr,
Primitive Baptists rejoice in it, for they see that had it not been for
predestination, the whole human family would have been lost forever.
Predestination is not the thing that condemns a man, or puts him in a ruined
condition, but the very thing that gets him out of such a state.
Predestination concerns not "what" but "whom." It is the
great purpose of God to lift a people up from sin and corruption and make
them like Jesus Christ. That's glorious !
5. Did not Jesus die for the whole
- Answer: No, the Scriptures will not
support that idea. Jesus said He came into the world to do the will of His
Father, and that will was that He should save all who were given Him (the
elect) even before the world began (John 6: 37-39). Jesus came to save HIS
PEOPLE from their sins, and He did it (Matt. 1: 21; Rom. 8: 33, 34). He died
for His sheep, not for goats (John 10: 15). He died for sons, for the
sanctified, for the brethren, for the church, and for the children (Heb. 2:
9-15). He saw the travail of His soul and was satisfied (Isa. 53: 10-12) .
6. Do Primitive Baptists deny that
Christ died for the world ?
- Answer: No, they believe that the
world for which He died was the world of His elect. The world of souls for
which He died do not have their trespasses imputed to them and therefore
cannot be condemned (ll Cor. 5: 18-19).
7. How do you know that all of the
elect will respond to the call of the Spirit ?
- Answer: All of the called are justified,
so all who were called were called effectually (Rom. 8: 30). Jesus said all
that the Father giveth me SHALL come (John 6: 37).
8. Do you not then teach that some
might want salvation but could not have it because they are not one of the
- Answer: No, the man who wants
salvation already HAS it. The man who hungers and thirsts (desires it) after
righteousness is a blessed character (Matt. 5: 2-6). The alien sinner doesn't
want salvation, he doesn't fear God, and he doesn't love God; therefore we
conclude that the man who wants salvation, fears God and loves God is a
subject of grace (Rom. 3: 11, 18; I John 4: 10) .
9. Why then do you preach, if you are
already sure that all of the elect are going to be saved in Heaven?
- Answer: For the comfort and instruction
of the Lord's people (Isa. 40: 1-2, 9; Eph.4: 11-16).
10. Don't you believe that the
preaching of the gospel is God's ordained means of bringing eternal salvation to
- Answer: No, only by the direct
operation of the Holy Spirit can eternal life be brought to the dead sinner
(John 3 : 6-8) .The gospel brings life and immortality to light, but doesn't
produce life (llTim.1: 10).
11. How then do you explain I
Corinthians 1 :21 and passages like it?
- Answer: The text says, "For
after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased
God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." Please
notice, that the one saved by the gospel is a believer, one who believes in
God, one who has already been born again ; he is not an alien sinner .
12. Why is it that Primitive Baptists
do not send out missionaries?
- Answer: First, they believe that
since preaching is not designed to make people ready for a home in Heaven,
it is not necessary to send men across the seas in order to "save
souls." The Lord put gifts in the church, and these are listed in
Ephesians 4: 11; there is no mention of a missionary. Furthermore, the gifts
that the Lord did put in the church were not put there for the purpose of
saving souls but "for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the
ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Eph. 4: 12).
- Secondly, they believe that gospel
ministers should go where they are directed by the Spirit and not by a
mission board (Acts 20: 22-23). Primitive Baptists believe that if the Lord
impresses one of His servants to go to a foreign land to preach the gospel,
he ought to go at once and not wait for someone to pay his way.
13. Why is it that Primitive Baptists
do not have Sunday Schools?
- Answer: This ties in very closely
with the previous question. The Lord put gifts in the church, and so the
church has no more right to appoint someone to teach than they do to call a
man to preach. We believe that "pastors and teachers" are one
office. Children ought to be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the
Lord (Eph. 6: 4), but this is the responsibility of the parents in the home.
The church cannot possibly do for a child in one hour a week what his
parents should have been doing all week long. The Sunday School is another
of man's inventions which is generally used as a "soul-saving"
agency But it must be emphasized that Jesus the Saviour is the only soul
winner and that man never has been able to do that work (Heb. 8 :11). Furthermore,
we are taught that women are to keep silence in the churches (1 Cor. 14:
and this is ignored in most Sunday Schools and Bible Schools. The church
should be taught by the pastor, who is to be a God-called man and who must
be apt to teach even before being recognized by the church as an elder (1
Tim. 3: 2).
14. Why are your ministers called
- Answer: The term "Elder"
is a scriptural one (1 Tim. 5: 17), but the title "Reverend" used by
many today is a name belonging only to God (Psa. 111: 9).
15. Are Primitive Baptists Protestants
- Answer: No, the true church of Jesus
Christ was established before the religious institutions of men bearing the
name "Christian" came into being and has been somewhere in the
world since that time. The true church was in existence long before the
Protestant Reformation, so it cannot really be called a Protestant Church.
16. Why is it that Primitive Baptists
do not build hospitals, orphanages, and other charitable institutions?
- Answer: It is not that they are
unconcerned about caring for those who have need, because they feel to have
a duty in that regard. But the church is a spiritual body and not a
charitable institution. The church is a home for God's people where the
gospel of Christ is proclaimed, His ordinances are observed and discipline
is maintained. It is the duty of every member of the church to visit the
fatherless and widows in their affliction (James 1: 27), and prayer should be
offered for the sick (James 5: 14-16) ; but it is the chief aim of the
church to render a spiritual service that is pleasing to God ( John 4: 24).
17. Do you believe in tithing?
- Answer: No, this was a requirement
put on the Israelites under the old law service but is not binding today. If
we bring over part of the old Jewish service into the church, we might as
well bring it all. God's people in this dispensation ought to give, but the
principle set forth is that "God loveth a cheerful giver" (II Cor.
18. Do Primitive Baptist ministers
receive a salary?
- Answer: No, they devote their time
and substance to the service of God out of love, and as the Lord blesses
their labors among His people, those among whom the minister has labored
contribute willingly to his needs (ICor. 9: 9-14).
19. Is it true that Primitive Baptists
- Answer: Yes, Jesus said we ought to
wash each other's feet, and Primitive Baptists do so. "Ye call me
Master and Lord: and ye say well ; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and
Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's
feet." (John 3: 13-14).
20. Do Primitive Baptists actually
believe they are the only ones going to Heaven?
- Answer: Absolutely not; in fact they
allow for a larger number being in Heaven than most religious societies.
Ideas like this have been started by the enemies of the church and not by
her friends. Jesus is the firstborn among MANY brethren. There will be a
people in Heaven out of every nation on earth (Rev. 5: 9-12). No one will be
there because of what he believed, but many will be there in spite of it.
One's doctrinal views or church affiliation has nothing to do with his
21. Can you know beyond a shadow of a
doubt that you are saved?
- Answer: In response to this question
we would ask another; does any man have access to the Lamb's Book of Life?
Of course there is but one answer. No man knows the names which are recorded
there, so we must say with Paul, "In hope of eternal life" (Titus
1: 2) .We are confident that the God Who cannot lie is going to save those
He loved before the world began, and we have the sweet hope of being in
the number. When Jesus said one of His disciples would deny Him and was a
devil from the beginning, they all asked, "Lord, is it I?" We must
acknowledge that if some can be deceived, thinking they are a child of God
but are not, we could be in that number. A humble expression of hope in the
mercy of God is far more befitting the little child of grace than a
presumptuous boast that he knows he is secure.
22. Why do you not preach that God
- Answer: Because the Scriptures do
not teach it. God loves His people but does not love every man in Adam's
family (Rom. 9: 11-13).
23. Since you believe that your destiny
is in the hands of God and that you can do nothing about it, does this not cause
you a great deal of anxiety?
- Answer: No, there is far greater
peace and comfort in knowing that our case is in the Lord's hands than in
thinking it is in our own (Titus 3: 5-7).
24. For what purpose were the
- Answer: The Scriptures are written
that the child of God "may be thoroughly furnished unto all good
works." The Scriptures do not bring eternal salvation but are able to
make us "wise unto it" (ll Tim. 3: 15-17).
25. Is not the word the means by which
we are born again?
- Answer: It is true that we are born
again by the Word of God which liveth and abideth for ever, but that Word is
not the written word, or the preached word, but the living Word-Christ (John
1: 1, 2, 14; I Peter 1: 23-25) ."And this is the word which by the
gospel is preached unto you." The Word and the gospel are two distinct
things. Christ and the message of Christ are not synonymous. The gospel is
the good news of what Christ has done for His people.
26. Do Primitive Baptists believe in
preaching the gospel to sinners?
- Answer: Yes, because the only people
in the world interested in the gospel of grace are poor, needy sinners. A
man must be made sensible of his sin by the Spirit, must be born again to
receive the gospel message (Luke 5: 31, 32; I Cor. 2: 14). The gospel is not
addressed to the dead alien sinner but to the burdened sinner (Matt. 11:
27. Do you call upon men to repent and
- Answer: Yes, the burdened sinner
ought to repent and believe the truth. The one who thus repents, believes,
and is baptized is going to be saved from the distress he feels and from
much error and confusion (Mark 16: 16). The salvation involved here is not
that which takes a man to Heaven, but that which saves his life here in the
world (Acts 2: 40).
28. What is meant by the expression,
"the gospel or militant church"?
- Answer: There are two phases of the
church. The universal church or the church of the first born is made up of
all the children of God. This is the church which Christ purchased and which
He shall finally present without spot or wrinkle and therefore must involve
more than one assembly or body of people (Eph. 5: 25-27; Heb. 12: 23). Then
the visible, gospel or militant church was set up by Christ as a home for
His people during the days of their pilgrimage. To enter the gospel church
one must be taught by the gospel and follow the Lord in obedience through
the waters of baptism. The gospel church is but a little flock in each place
where it is found (Matt. 18: 17; Luke 12: 32; Rom. 16: 16; II Cor. 1: 1) but the church which shall be housed in heaven includes multitudes (Heb.
11:12,13; Rev. 5:9 and 7:9).
29. Do Primitive Baptists preach
infants in Hell ?
- Answer: No, the doctrine preached by
Primitive Baptists is the only message which leaves any hope for infants,
the feeble-minded, and the heathen, most religious groups preach that one
must hear and understand the gospel, actively obey the gospel, and
manifestly believe on Christ, in order to become a child of God. But the
great message of grace which is so firmly believed and preached by Old
Baptists, declares that one may be a recipient of the mercy of God without
hearing the report of it through the gospel and even without fully
understanding what has taken place in his heart. If infants, the feeble
minded, and the heathen must hear the gospel preached by man and actively
repent and believe the truth, then there is no hope for them. But since
salvation is by the sovereign grace of God through the work of His Son, we
know that He will save His own regardless of their circumstances in life
(Rom. 8 :34-39; Rom. 11 :28; II Tim. 2 :13, 16-19) .
30. Where did the Primitive Baptists
get their name?
The true church has been known by several different names since Christ set
it up during His earthly ministry .In centuries past those who made up the
gospel church have been known as Christians, Donatists, Waldenses,
Albigenses, Ana-Baptists, and others. Around the year 1832 there was a
division in the Baptist family in this country. Those who insisted on
establishing mission boards, Sunday Schools, and other unscriptural
societies in the church became known as the New School or Missionary
Baptists. Those who continued to walk in the old paths were known as Old
School or Primitive Baptists. The word primitive simply means: "Of
early times; of long ago ; first of the kind; very simple; original."
The Primitive Baptist Church is certainly of early times, from the time of
Christ. It is the first of the kind, tracing its identity to the church
which Christ established. It is very simple, adorned only with that beauty
which Christ gave His church. It is original, the very church of Christ.
If the principles set forth here find a
response in your heart, we would encourage you to attend services at a true
old-line Primitive Baptist Church near you. You will find a very simple but
beautiful form of worship as God's people meet to sing the old songs of Zion,
pray, and delight themselves in the joyful sound of the gospel. And you will
find that the fellowship is sweet with those who have felt themselves to be
poor, needy sinners, but have been blessed to rejoice in hope. Regrettably,
not all churches who carry the name Primitive Baptist adhere to the old
ways. Unfortunately, there are those who now advocate missions (while
denying them to be such), salaried pastors, and a host of other changes to the
church which are clearly unscriptural.