By Chase Harrison
Top 5 Reasons why I personally believe Primitive Baptist doctrine is the truth of God’s word:
1) GOD AND JESUS CHRIST GET ALL OF THE CREDIT, PRAISE, HONOR, AND GLORY.
“That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” -1st Corinthians 1:29-31
Primitive Baptists believe that all of God’s children are eternally saved by the grace of God (100%) and that they are totally passive in receiving this free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord by the Holy Spirit. If it was up to me to accept, repent, be baptized, and/or persevere in order to have eternal life and be “saved”, then I could obviously take some credit upon myself for doing one or all of those things. But the Bible says let no flesh glory in the presence of God but he that does glory let him glory in the Lord because God is the one that has accomplished it and made it a reality for us!
So I believe a good way to tell if what you are believing about the Bible is true or not is just by asking yourself a simple question: Is God getting all the credit, praise, honor, and glory by the doctrine that I am professing that I believe in? If not, then you should continue searching for the truth of God’s Holy Word because everything in it is designed to bring Him all praise.
“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”
2) JESUS CHRIST DID NOT FAIL AND DID NOT LIE
I do not think there is a Christian person in the world who would disagree with the statement that Jesus Christ could not lie or fail. We even have prophetic scripture for it:
“He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgement in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.” -Isaiah 42:4
Yet, there are so many Christian denominations that imply by what they believe that Jesus Christ did not fully complete the redemptive work or salvation on the cross without the cooperation of the sinner and them having to do something to earn it, gain it, and/or make it effectual.
Primitive Baptist believe that when Jesus Christ said “It is finished” and bowed his head and gave up the ghost(John 19:30), that eternal salvation was FINISHED legally and representatively for all that the Father gave to Jesus Christ in which to live and die for (John 6:37-40). If I have to accept it, Jesus Christ did not finish the work, but rather I finished the work when I accepted it. Also, I can and often do fail. What if I had all the good intention in the world to accept Jesus Christ but suddenly died before I actually did so? I am much much happier and secure in believing in the One who could not fail rather than in myself, who could and would fail.
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” -Matthew 1:21
I do not believe the angel of the Lord lied when he told this to Joseph, and I definitely do not believe Jesus Christ lied when he said “It is finished”.
3) A TRUE GIFT IS NOT ACCEPTED OR REJECTED
“For by grace as ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” -Ephesians 2:8-9
This is just one place, but the Bible clearly teaches in several places that eternal salvation and eternal life are gifts from God. It is the principle of a gift that has gotten fuzzy. In modern day times, almost everyone, whether Christian or not, is under the thinking that a gift must be accepted in order for it to be yours. This is contradictory to the word itself. A true gift, meaning a gift not given grudgingly or with alternate motives, does not have to be accepted for it to be yours. Now, whether the person chooses to use the gift and enjoy the benefits of the gift is a different subject totally, but the gift is theirs whether they accept it or reject it, use it or do not use it, enjoy it or do not enjoy it. Ownership or possession of the gift is passively transferred to the recipient when the gift is given, whether it is accepted or rejected.
A gift ceases to be a gift when it is accepted. If you have to accept something, it was never a gift to begin with but rather an offering. So over time, we have actually just gotten the terms gift and offering confused. We believe that eternal life was given to all of God’s children by the grace of God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Now, what is a sacrifice? It is nothing more than an offering. If you need more proof of that just read in the Old Testament and you will see exclusively that animal sacrifices were “offered” on behalf of sins. In fact, some sacrifices under Levitical law were even called and referred to as “offerings”. Well if we know that Jesus Christ was the one and only ultimate sacrifice for sin, and a sacrifice is an offering, then who did Jesus Christ make his sacrifice or offering to? If you go by the most popular doctrines of today that say you must accept, then it must have been offered to us, right?
No, the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ made one sacrificial offering for sin to God the Father.
“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
– Hebrews 9:14
So we see that Jesus offered himself to God as THE sacrifice for sin. It was never offered to sinful man but rather freely and willingly done on our behalf. Therefore, since it was not offered to us, the only way we can have it is to be given it by God. Jesus Christ paid the price for the gift and therefore it is said that we are given the “free” gift(Romans 5:15-18). It is a free gift to us, but it came at a very very costly price. The un-repayable price of the only begotten Son of the Father. Now that’s LOVE!
4) NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:38-39
This verse clearly covers everything and boldly tell us that nothing shall separate us from the great and everlasting love of God. Not only that though, it goes even further and tells us just exactly where this love was placed and is located. It is IN Jesus Christ our Lord. So not only did God love us but this love is tied directly to His Son Jesus Christ and his sacrifice.
So if we cannot be separated from the love of God and every bit of this love is in Jesus Christ, then I do not see how there is any room for man’s obediance or disobediance. If nothing can separate us from the love of God, and God loved me, then whether I accept or reject, obey or disobey, believe or do not believe, repent or do not repent, etc., it does not matter eternally because NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS. Also, if God loved every single human being, and nothing can separate us from the love of God, and this love is in Jesus Christ, then every single human being would be saved and going to Heaven because Jesus Christ could not and did not fail. Yet, the Bible teaches that there is a literal place called Hell and that it will be populated by the “goats” (non-elect). Therefore, God did not love everyone. God loved those that are in Jesus Christ, those that he chose and put in Jesus Christ before the world began. So as far as eternal salvation is concerned, it is not about our belief or acceptance. It is about the sure and finished work of Jesus Christ which was motivated by the great love of God, in which we cannot be separated from!
“For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid:” -Romans 3:3
“If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” -2nd Timothy 2:13
Also, if me doing something or not doing something affected whether I was saved and went to Heaven or not, then God’s power would be limited in the respect that he would save me if I just did my part and cooperated. This is contrary to what I read in the word of God:
“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:” -Isaiah 59:1
5) ALL OTHER NATIONS, RELIGIONS, AND CHRISTIAN DENOMINATIONS ARE NOT AUTOMATICALLY EXCLUDED
Many people accuse the Primitive Baptist doctrine as being a “narrow” doctrine, basically meaning that our doctrine puts a limit on who can or cannot go to Heaven. This is simply because people do not understand what Primitive Baptist believe about the doctrines of eternal salvation as they are taught in scripture. First of all, Primitive Baptist DO NOT believe that only Primitive Baptist are saved and going to Heaven. How sad would that be?! That is the beauty of what Primitive Baptist believe: Eternal salvation is not about works or belief or anything on our part but about the sure and finished work of Jesus Christ.
So actually, Primitive Baptist doctrine is much larger than people think and includes many people that other Christian doctrines leave out. Most Christian doctrines today say that you have to know and accept Jesus Christ into your life in order to be eternally saved and go to Heaven. If this is true, everyone in the Old Testament is in hell right now because they did not know the name of Jesus Christ upon which to accept, i.e. they never had a “chance”.(I thank God that my eternal salvation is not based on a “chance” system.) Furthermore, everyone that has not heard the gospel or the name of Jesus Christ would also be excluded if this doctrine of acceptance is true. To me, this doctrine is the one that sounds “narrow”.
Primitive Baptist believe that God has a people (His people) out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and tribe of humanity (Revelation 5:9). A person being numbered as one of God’s children is not conditional or dependent upon accepting, repenting, believing, hearing the gospel, being baptized, and/or any other work or action on man’s part. Yet, these are one or more of the conditions or requirements that every other Christian denomination that I know of (other than Primitive Baptist) puts on eternal salvation. So whether they are willing to admit this or not, when you put a condition or requirement on eternal salvation, you exclude anyone from going to Heaven who does not adhere to that condition or requirement. Furthermore, you for sure exclude anyone who is not under the umbrella of Christianity. This would exclude billions and billions of people throughout time, including the Jews themselves! Because the orthodox Jew to this day does not believe in Jesus Christ and does not believe that the Messiah has come yet.
I could get into countless more examples of people that would be excluded just because of different doctrines, but I think the point has been made clear enough. That is what is so wonderful about Primitive Baptist doctrine, is that eternal salvation is not about doctrine or dependent upon doctrine! It is dependent upon the sure and finished work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Because we as Primitive Baptists are sure not infallible either and could be wrong about things. That makes the truth of God’s word even more reassurring to me. Even if I am wrong, or don’t believe, or don’t obey like I should, or don’t follow like I should, and much of the time I don’t, the Lord God Almighty still saved his people by the blood of Jesus Christ without the loss of one and without the counsel or help of man!
In summary, Primitive Baptist doctrine is not a narrow doctrine but rather includes the entire family of God that God chose in Jesus Christ before the world began (Ephesians 1:4). Basically, this doctrine includes every person that has the desire to be included, because it is God that works in us that desire in the first place (Philippians 2:13). I love the assurance that this doctrine not only includes me, but includes every person that has the desire to go to Heaven and be with God, regardless of what they believe or what they do. However, this does not give us a license to sin but rather a great motivation to believe and serve God out of love and appreciation for the great amount of grace that he abounded towards us(Romans 5:19-21, 6:1-11).