What Is A Reformed Baptist
The term Reformed Baptist best refers to those who adhere to the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith in practice as well as in theory.
The name Reformed refers to the distinctive historical and theological roots of these Baptists. There is a body of theological beliefs commonly referred to as the Reformed faith. Such great biblical truths as sola fide , sola gratia , sola scriptura , solus Christus , and soli Deo gloria are all noted hallmarks of the Protestant and Reformed faith.
The Reformed faith, however, touches on far more than these foundational truths regarding Gods glory in salvation. It is also concerned with Gods glory in the church, in society, in the family and in the holiness of the believers life. The Reformed faith has a high and God-centered view of worship, regulated by the Word of God alone. The Reformed faith embraces a high view of Gods law and of His church. In short, the Reformed faith is no less than a comprehensive world and life view, as well as a distinctive body of doctrine.
The confession of faith embraced by Reformed Baptist churches takes its place among, and is deeply rooted in, these historic Reformed documents. In most places the 1689 Confession is an exact word for word copy of the Westminster and the Savoy. Consequently, the term Reformed Baptist is not a misnomer. Reformed Baptists stand firmly on the solid ground of the Reformation heritage.
A Definition Of Terms
Two questions will be answered under this heading. What do we mean by reformed?, and what do we mean by Baptist?
What We Mean By Reformed
We have taken the name reformed purposefully and for two reasons. First of all it helpfully explains something of our historical and theological roots. There is a body of theological beliefs that is commonly referred to as the Reformed faith. Such biblical truths as sola fide , sola gratia , sola scriptura , and soli deo gloria are the hallmarks of the Protestant and Reformed Faith.
The Reformed Faith is perhaps best known for its understanding that God has, before the foundation of the world, chosen certain sinners for salvation. Eph. 1:3ff is a prominent text which underlies this biblical conviction. The Reformed Faith teaches that in time Christ came and died for the sins of the elect. It teaches that in conversion the Holy Spirit works in harmony with the decree of the Father and the death of the Son by applying the work of redemption to the elect.
Reformed Baptist are making it their aim and ambition to come more and more in line with the Word of God. In this sense Reformed Baptists are not static churches. We do not claim to have arrived. We want to go back again and again to the scriptures. We do not want to do things because the puritans did them or because other Reformed churches do them, we want to do what we do because we see it in our bibles. To the law and to the testimony must be upon our !
What We Mean By Baptist
Some Distinctive Marks Of A Reformed Baptist Church
Someone may be saying, I understand all of that, but what practical difference can be seen in Reformed Baptist Churches?
Reformed Baptist congregations are distinguished by their conviction regarding the sufficiency and authority, in addition to the inspiration and infallibility, of the Word of God. What do I mean by all that verbiage? All true Christians believe in the inspiration and infallibility of the Word of God. All true Christians believe that the bible was breathed out by God and that it is infallible and without error in all of its parts. To deny this is to lose your soul. But while all true Christians believe this, they do not seek to regulate the life of church in every area by the Word. There is a common belief, whether it is clearly stated or not, that the bible is not a sufficient guide to tell you how to do church. Is this not behind much of what we see in the modern church growth movement? It is founded by and large upon a belief that the bible is silent regarding the nature and purpose of the church. It is for this cause that many feel the freedom to reinvent the church. For some reason they seem to argue God has no principles in His Word concerning the corporate life of his people! The clarion cry of the day by the Christ appointed shepherds of sheep needs to be that of the prophet Isaiah, To the law and to the testimony if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them.
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What We Mean By Reformed
Out of this theological understanding came the great Reformed confessions and creedsthe Synod of Dort, The Savoy Declaration, The Westminster Confession of Faith, and The Heidelberg Catechism. The Confession of Faith held to by Reformed Baptist churches is deeply rooted in these historic Reformed Documents . For these historical and theological reasons we lay hold of the title Reformed.
But we also use the term Reformed in a second way: We are seeking to reform ourselves and the churches of our generation back to the Bible. The vast majority of announcements from mainline denominations concerning the reformation of the church in recent days have been to move it away from its biblical and historical roots to that which is man-centered and culturally pleasing. There is a reformation going on in our day. It is an attempt to change the nature of the church from the House of God to the House of Entertainment. Sinners are being coddled rather than convicted. Gods power and majesty are things of a bygone era!
As modern-day reformers, Reformed Baptists are seeking to call all churches everywhere to repent from their man-centered ways, their man-pleasing worship, and their shallow theology. We are, if need be, willing to stand as a lone voice in the wilderness, calling the church of Jesus Christ to its Biblical beauty and uniqueness. It is our desire to see all churches have a zeal for Gods house eat them up.
What We Mean By Baptist
Secondly, the name Baptist is meant to convey that only those who are converted and baptized have a right to membership in Christs church. This is often referred to as a regenerate membership. A careful reading of the NT epistles shows that the Apostles assumed that all the members of Christs churches were saints, faithful brethren, and cleansed by Christ. Sadly, many Baptist churches of our day are more concerned with having a decisioned membership and a baptized membership than a regenerate membership. It is the duty of the pastors and people of true churches to ensure, according to the best of their ability, that no unconverted person makes his or her way into the membership of a church.
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Perseverance Of The Saints
Those whom God hath accepted in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end and though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
The Difficulty Of The Subject
The answer to the question, What is a Reformed Baptist Church is difficult for two reasons: First, it is difficult to answer in the first place because the terms reformed and Baptists are often seen to be at odds with one another. Many theologians, from Reformed and Baptist camps, would say that such a title is a misnomer. They would say, It is not possible to be both reformed and Baptist! Though Baptists have been and can be Calvinistic they are not and cannot be Reformed. The reason for this charge is simple: Reformed theology is almost always associated with paedo-baptism . Many who are Reformed view this perspective as the sine qua non of Reformed Theology.
We must, therefore, explain the parameters of this study. Though the term, Reformed Baptist is not copyrighted or patented , I must define what I mean when I am using the term. The heart of this study will center around churches that adhere to the 1689 Confession in practice as well as in theory. This will settle beforehand such controverted issues as the so-called Law and Grace Debate, the issue of the Regulative Principle, and the doctrine of the Lords Day Sabbath. To adhere to the Confession in practice as well as in theory is to have such doctrines clearly delineated in the Word of God.
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Our Confession Of Faith
We embrace that orthodox, historic, and confessional faith handed down by our Reformation, Puritan, and Baptist forefathers. The confessional standard of our church is the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith.
This ancient document is the most excellent epitome of the things most surely believed among us. It is not issued as an authoritative rule or code of faith, whereby you may be fettered, but as a means of edification in righteousness. It is an excellent, though not inspired, expression of the teaching of those Holy Scriptures by which all confessions are to be measured. We hold to the humbling truths of Gods sovereign grace in the salvation of lost sinners. Salvation is through Christ alone and by faith alone
Reformed Baptist Churches In Kentucky
This is a list of 21 Reformed BaptistChurches inKentucky. These churches either subscribe to the1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith or something similar. If a church does not fully hold to the 1689, or the website is not clear, there will be a âNoteâ about this. Our goal is to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date Reformed Baptist church directory on the Internet.
To view the interactive map, visit theReformed Baptist Church Finder .
For a list of all of the Reformed Baptist churches in the directory, visitReformed Baptist Church Directory List .
We are constantly working to keep our Reformed Baptist Church Directory as comprehensive and up-to-date as possible. To help add or update a church, visitAdd or Update a Church .
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The Distinctive Marks Of A Reformed Baptist Church
Someone may be saying, I understand all of that, but what practical difference can be seen in Reformed Baptist churches? How does this theology work itself out practically? Let me say at the outset that numerous truths concerning the marks of true churches are not here dealt with. All true churches must be marked by such things as love for Christ, the presence of the Spirit of God, sincere and earnest love for the brethren, and heartfelt prayer and devotion among Gods people. My purpose here is to lay out the practical differences that exist in our particular churches.
Reformed Baptist congregations are distinguished by their conviction regarding the sufficiency and authority of the Word of God. While all true Christians believe in the inspiration and infallibility of the Word of God, all do not believe in the sufficiency of the Bible. All true Christians believe that the Bible was breathed out by God and that it is infallible and without error in all of its parts. To deny this is to call God a liar, and hence, to lose your soul.
Reformed Baptists have a conviction that the Bible and the Bible alone tells us what a church is . The Bible and the Bible alone defines the offices of the church. The Bible tells us their number , their qualifications, and their function . The Bible is a sufficient guide to tell us what worship is and how it is to be given , as well as who can be a church-member, and what is required of those members.
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