on Fundamental Faith
Over the next
two or three months, we will attempt to publish weekly, a
work by Elder Robert “Bob” Dickerson (dec.), from the
“Gospel Appeal” (A monthly publication, of which elder
Dickerson was editor for 30 years) on the fundamental
principles of gospel faith, as was advocated by our
forefathers, and to set forth the principles of “Fundamental
Faith” as believed by the Church, from apostolic times down
to this present hour.
has ably delivered these fundamentals from the Articles of
Faith (AOF), of the Baptists as set forth in the London
Confession of Faith (1644), and the Philadelphia Confession
of Faith (1742), for us to examine and compare with the AOF,
we all might see posted somewhere in the churches we now
Hopefully as we
read these AOF, and the thoughts of Elder Dickerson on them,
we will find that they are supportive of the principles
stated in the AOF we as Primitive Baptist stand for, and
believe are in harmony with the gospel as established by our
Lord Jesus Christ, and preached “to every creature which is
under heaven,” (Col. 1:23) by His apostles, and those whom
they ordained, by the laying on of their hands.
So, as we read
the thoughts set forth here, by Elder Dickerson, let us
“examine ourselves” (2 Cor. 13:5), and see how our walk in
the truth today compares with the “Fundamental Faith,” which
was believed and practiced by those who have labored in the
faith before us.
The following is
used by permission of: “The Primitive Baptist, The Christian
Pathway – Gospel Appeal.”
Established July, 1966
An Earnest Appeal to a
Closer Observance of Gospel Truth
Vol. XL No. 12 Craigsville, WV
By Elder Robert “Bob” Glenn
10-5-1930 to 1-12-14
We begin in this
issue a series of articles based on the "Articles of Faith"
held by the Primitive Baptist churches. These Articles of
Faith may vary in their wording from one section of the
country to another, but in essence are the same as those
proclaimed in the London (England) Confession of Faith in
1644 and the Philadelphia (USA) Confession of Faith,
September 25, 1742. These are the items that our forefathers
in the faith felt were essential in the belief of the local
church. It was never intended that these Articles of Faith
should replace the Scriptures, or be considered as superior
to the Scriptures. Rather they are an attempt to make a
simple statement of the principle doctrines found in the
pages of the Bible.
In listing the
reason we believe the Bible to be God's inspired word, I
have drawn on external evidence to supplement the claims
of the Scripture writers themselves. Having proved that the
Bible is God's inspired word and the only rule for faith and
practice, I have sought no other source to support the
remaining articles other than the Bible. What Primitive
Baptists believe and practice is based on the Bible.
WE BELIEVE THE
SCRIPTURES OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS ARE THE WORD OF
GOD, AND THE ONLY RULE OF FAITH AND PRACTICE.
"Holy men of
God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (II Peter
Scriptures we mean the Old Testament (Genesis to Malachi)
and the New Testament (Matthew to Revelation). We do not
mean the Apocryphal books, the book of Mormon, the edicts of
the Popes or of any religious council. God is the author of
every book in the Bible, but He is not the author of any
other book. The Bible is the fullness of the written
revelation of God to men (Jude 3).
writers of the Old Testament mention the subject, they
testify that God is the source of their words; for example,
Jeremiah 32:1; and 36:1 and 2. The New Testament writers
recognized the entire Old Testament as inspired: Hebrew 1:1;
II Peter 1:21; I Peter 1:11; Luke 24:44; John 10:35; and
Acts 1:16. The multitude of references to the Old Testament
Scriptures by our Lord in His public ministry, and the
multitude of references by the writers of the gospels to the
Old Testament Scriptures clearly declare that these writings
are the inspired word of God. And when the writers of the
New Testament refer to their work, they invariably denote it
as the inspired word of God: II Peter 3:15, 16; Galatians
1:11, 12, 16, 17; and Ephesians 3:5.
are so inspired by God that not only the ideas contained in
them are God's ideas but so that the very words recorded are
God's words: II Timothy 3:16; I Peter 1:11, 12; Exodus
4:15 and 19:6; and I Corinthians 2:13. This refers, of
course, to the original writings in Hebrew, Greek and
Chaldaic (Aramaic); but of all the
translations available today the King James Version does
most accurately present God's word in the English language.
Romans 15:4; I John 1:4 and 2:1; II Timothy 3:16-17; and
John 20:31 tell us the purpose of the Scriptures: They are
addressed to the people of God (Eph. 1:1) and are given for
their comfort and instruction (I Thess. 4:18; II Tim. 3:16).
are sufficient. No other writings are necessary for the
child of God or the church of God. The Scriptures are the
ONLY rule for our belief and for our practice. This is
evidenced by the following facts: (1) God is the author of
these books and no other; therefore these contain the full
revelation of His will to us. (2) The word "testament"
indicates a will; this is the will of God setting forth the
full disposition of His estate (the Kingdom of Heaven). (3)
The testimony of the ages is that for every problem in the
life of the individual child of God and of the church, the
answer is found in the Bible. (4) The Scriptures are given
that the man of God might be "perfect" (II Tim. 3:16-17).
The word "perfect" here means complete. We could not be more
than perfect, therefore these Scriptures are sufficient. See
also Luke 16:29-31; II Peter 1.19. 11'.Isiah 8:20
Revelation 22:19; and Galatians 1:8-9.
We do not need
either priest nor scholar to interpret the Scriptures. The
Scriptures were written by the Spirit of God and are
interpreted to us by that same Spirit which is within the
heart of every regenerated child of God (I Cor. 6:19). Also,
Scripture interprets Scripture. Our understanding of any one
passage must of necessity agree with the whole body of
teaching of the Scriptures (II Pet.1:20-21; Acts 15:14-15).
We have shown
above that the writers of the Bible clearly claimed
inspiration. But how do we know their claims are true? The
external evidence of history and experience clearly testify
that the Bible is God's inspired word; and we see that by
opposition of Satan, who has attempted in every century
to destroy the Bible and prohibit the publication of any
portion of the Scriptures, and yet the preservation of
these Scriptures through the years despite the
formidable opposition of Satan and of men clearly shows
the providential hand of God. No other writings are
available from many of the periods of Bible history.
These writings alone have survived innumerable
obstacles because God has preserved them.
unity of the Scriptures — 66 books by some 24 different
authors written over a period of 2000 years and yet not
one conflicting statement is made. They all blend
together perfectly with one central theme to the entire
Bible — Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the only Savior
nature of the writings in their Godly attitudes; the
majesty of the style of those books written by unlearned
men; the complete truthfulness that would list all the
bad with the good; these are characteristics not found
in any other writings on earth.
adaptability of the Bible to all ages. Here are writings
ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 years old; yet today the
world's best seller year after year. The Bible answers
our every problem today just as easily as those of the
people of Bible times.
revelation within the Scriptures of things that man
could not possibly know; only God could know.
fulfillment of the prophecy of the Scriptures; hundreds
of predictions concerning men and nations fulfilled to
the letter by men who were either ignorant of them,
disbelieved them, or tried their best to avoid them. The
hundreds of predictions of the Messiah completely
fulfilled in Christ Jesus. No other book has a record of
being 100% right.
the greatest evidence of the Divine inspiration of the
Scriptures to the regenerated child of God is the
testimony within. The Spirit of God within testifies
(when hearing the Bible read or expounded) that this is
truly God's word. Upon no other writings does it leap
for joy and so certify the truth of the words recorded.
The Scriptures record our Christian experiences.
And what does
all this mean to you and me? That we should study the Bible
more than any other book. That it should be the
guiding light of our lives. That we should seek for the
strength and comfort the Bible gives and should pattern our
lives according to the teachings of the Bible. And
that we should ever live in recognition of this truth: The
Bible is always right (because it is God's word); and
whenever we or our church differ with the Bible, we are
wrong. Our Lord said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away; but
my words shall not pass away" (Matt. 24:35).