Why we Believe What we Believe

The Baptist Faith and Message

(Series introduction)


Introduction: The Baptist faith and message goes back to the 1920ís where it began as a simple doctrine statement to identify the beliefs of Southern Baptists. In 1963 it was expanded upon to include specific doctrinal topics and their scriptural support. In 2000 the S.B.C. once again felt it was time to expand the Baptist faith and Message to address doctrinal issues that impact our modern culture. On June 14th, 2000, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a revised summary of our faith. The committee's report says in part:

"Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty, and deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches. We honor the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of believers, affirming together both our liberty in Christ and our accountability to each other under the Word of God.

Baptist churches, associations, and general bodies have adopted confessions of faith as a witness to the world, and as instruments of doctrinal accountability. We are not embarrassed to state before the world that these are doctrines we hold precious and as essential to the Baptist tradition of faith and practice.

As a committee, we have been charged to address the "certain needs" of our own generation. In an age increasingly hostile to Christian truth, our challenge is to express the truth as revealed in Scripture, and to bear witness to Jesus Christ, who is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

The 1963 committee rightly sought to identify and affirm "certain definite doctrines that Baptists believe, cherish, and with which they have been and are now closely identified." Our living faith is established upon eternal truths. "Thus this generation of Southern Baptists is in historic succession of intent and purpose as it endeavors to state for its time and theological climate those articles of the Christian faith which are most surely held among us."

It is the purpose of this statement of faith and message to set forth certain teachings which we believe."

During this study we will examine the Southern Baptist doctrine, ďWhy we Believe What we BelieveĒ, named the Baptist Faith and Message.



I.       The Subjects

PreambleThe Scriptures,   God,   Man,   Salvation,   God's Purpose of Grace,   The Church,   Baptism and the Lord's Supper,   The Lord's Day,   The Kingdom,   Last Things,   Evangelism and Missions,   Education,   Stewardship,   Cooperation,   The Christian and the Social Order,   Peace and War,   Religious Liberty,   Family.


II.    The Substance

A.     The word of God

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; (NASB)

B.     The charge:

The 1999 session of the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, adopted the following motion addressed to the President of the Convention:

"I move that in your capacity as Southern Baptist Convention chairman, you appoint a blue ribbon committee to review the Baptist Faith and Message statement with the responsibility to report and bring any recommendations to this meeting next June in Orlando."

President Paige Patterson appointed the committee as follows: Max Barnett (OK), Steve Gaines (AL), Susie Hawkins (TX), Rudy A. Hernandez (TX), Charles S. Kelley, Jr. (LA), Heather King (IN), Richard D. Land (TN), Fred Luter (LA), R. Albert Mohler, Jr. (KY), T. C. Pinckney (VA), Nelson Price (GA), Adrian Rogers (TN), Roger Spradlin (CA), Simon Tsoi (AZ), Jerry Vines (FL). Adrian Rogers (TN) was appointed chairman.



III.  The Significance

The Great Commission

Matthew 28:19-20 (New American Standard Bible)

19"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."




Conclusion: I donít want you to confuse biblical doctrine and the doctrine of man. We are not looking at manís doctrine; everything we are going to study will come from the word of God. There will be scripture to support every topic. It is not just important to know what we believe it is necessary if we are going to serve the Lord as He needs us to. We are told in 1 Peter 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;(NASB). If you and I are to give account, doesnít it stand to reason that we should know where that account comes from? As we progress through this study you should become more comfortable with your understanding of the Bible and more confident in your ability to share that knowledge with others. The group of people who put the Baptist faith and Message together are well respected and know for their knowledge and scholarship of Godís word, they have proven themselves trustworthy.