Basic Difference Between Primitive Baptists and Other Religious Groups
The main difference may be summarized by a look at the subject of cause and effect. What others say is the cause of salvation (such as belief, faith, repentance, baptism or other acts by an individual), Primitive Baptists believe these acts are the effects of, or evidence of, spiritual life and can only be performed sincerely by those already in possession of eternal life. In other words, salvation is totally by God’s grace.
Doctrine of Salvation by God’s Grace
1. The Fall of Man Resulting in Depravity
When Adam transgressed God’s law, he and all the human race died as they fell under the law of sin and death. This act did not result in sickness or injury but in death and separation from God. Therefore, he became incapable of recovering himself from this fallen condition by his own will or ability.
(Genesis 2:17, Romans 5:12, Romans 3:9-18, Psalms 14:1, Psalms 58:3-5)
2. Unconditional Election and Predestination
This wonderful doctrine teaches that God, according to his own purpose and will, chose an innumerable people in Christ out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation, before the world began, and predestinated them unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ and to obtain an eternal inheritance in heaven.
(Ephesians 1:4-11, 1st Peter 1:1-5, Romans 8:29-30, Revelation 5:9)
3. Regeneration, New Birth, Being Born Again
These different terms define what happens when God quickens one of his children into eternal life. We believe this is done by the life giving voice of Jesus Christ and is always effectual and irresistible on the part of the individual. This is done separate and apart from the preaching of the gospel and without any aid of man.
(John 3:6-8, John 5:25, John 6:37, Romans 8:30, Ephesians 2:1, 2nd Timothy 1:9)
4. Work of Redemption
The word “redeem” declares a price to be paid and prior ownership of that which is to be redeemed. The price of eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12) was the blood of Christ and those he redeemed were his by covenant out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation (Revelation 5:9). All Christ died for will live in heaven because the debt of sin was paid and the righteousness of Christ was imputed unto his family.
(Hebrews 10:17-18, 2nd Corinthians 5:21, 1st Corinthians 1:30, Ephesians 1:7)
5. Preservation or Eternal Security
This comforting aspect of salvation by grace teaches all that Jesus Christ died for will be eternally saved without the loss of one. They shall never perish, be cast out, separated from the love of Christ, nor plucked from the hand of God. They are preserved in the blood of Christ and kept by His power.
(John 6:37-39, John 10:27-30, Romans 8:28-39, 1st Peter 1:1-5, Hebrews 10:14, Jude 1)
Practice of the Church
The worship service is patterned after the New Testament example and authority which consists of congregational singing, prayer and preaching. Musical instruments are not used in the services because there is no New Testament command or example for them. Even though musical instruments were in existence during the time that Christ established his church, there is no record of their use in the worship services. We do believe in singing and making melody in the heart to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16)
There are no Sunday Schools for lack of New Testament authority. Their beginning was not until the 18th century in England, and then it was only to teach reading, writing and arithmetic to under-privileged children. However, this does not mean in any way that Primitive Baptists do not believe in teaching children. The scriptures teach that parents are to teach their children at home privately (Ephesians 6:4), and then under the sound of a gospel minister in the public assembly.
Primitive Baptists do not believe in tithing as this was an Old Testament command. However, they do believe in giving, by laying aside upon the first day of the week as God has prospered and one purposes in his heart, cheerfully supporting the Church. (1st Corinthians 16:2, 2nd Corinthians 9:7, Acts 20:35)
Primitive Baptists believe that God’s children should deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. They should live unto him that died for them and shew forth praises of him that called them out of darkness into his marvelous light.
(Titus 2:11-12, Romans 6:1-2, 2nd Corinthians 5:14-15, 1st Peter 2:9)
Purpose of the Church
The Church was established by Christ (Matthew 16:18) to be a home (on earth) away from home (Heaven) for God’s children. It is a refuge or sanctuary where one may receive spiritual comfort, rest and peace, and instruction in righteousness. The church was also established to give glory to God by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. (Ephesians 3:21)
Purpose of the Gospel
The gospel was never designed to bring eternal life to anyone. It means nothing to the dead sinner, but is good news and glad tidings to the born-again child of God who feels to be poor and needy and unworthy of God’s mercy and grace, to hear that Jesus paid the sin debt, saved him from his sins and now he is preserved in Christ.
(Isaiah 40:1 & 9, Isaiah 52:7, Ephesians 4:11-12, 2nd Timothy 1:9-10, John 21:15-17, Acts 20:28,
1st Peter 5:1-3)
We believe the scriptures are inspired by God (2nd Timothy 3:16, 2nd Peter 1:20-21), without error or contradiction and preserved (Psalms 12:6-7, Proverbs 30:5-6). We also believe the King James translation of the scriptures to be a work of God’s Providence in preserving the scriptures for English speaking people. The purpose of the scriptures is to make God’s children wise unto salvation by informing and educating them about their eternal salvation from sin by the finished work of Jesus Christ. The scriptures are also a thorough furnisher unto all good works. (2nd Timothy 3:14-17)