INDIANA ASSOCIATION OF SIX PRINCIPLE BAPTISTS
SIX PRINCIPLE BAPTIST BELIEFS
Six-Principle Baptists have no ecclesiastically binding creed. They hold to the historic Baptist distinctive of Liberty of Conscience in matters of faith and practice. They believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
"For by grace have you been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB)
Baptists believe that God's love and grace is the only basis for any person's relationship with God. We can do nothing to earn or deserve God's love and forgiveness. Faith is not something we "work up." It is not an effort or labor.
Faith is receiving God's love with an open heart and finding it transformed by God's grace.
Therefore Baptists believe that hope for the individual, the nation, and the world is found in Jesus Christ and a personal relationship with Him. They share many beliefs in common with other Christians including belief in one God, the human and divine nature of Jesus Christ, and the significance of his crucifixion and resurrection for salvation.
Six-Principle Baptists accept the six principles found in Hebrews 6:1-2 as foundational concepts of faith and practice.
"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine (teaching) of Christ, let us go on to perfection (maturity); not *laying again (not disrupting) the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."
* Note: Greek kataballo, casting down or overthrow. It means, do not cast down or destroy the foundation already laid of the 6 fundamental doctrines.
THE SIX PRINCIPLES
(The First Principles of Christ)
1. Repentance from dead works
In repentance the sinner, having seen his sin, being moved by the energy of the Holy Spirit, is led to grieve for and hate it as an offence against God, and apprehending the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, he lovingly returns to God to walk in the way of His commandments.
2. Faith toward God
Faith is a conviction of the intellect that God will perform all that He has promised and an implicit trust of the heart in Christ as a personal saviour. It includes a hearty concurrence of the will and affections with the whole plan of salvation as revealed in the gospel, and is a condition of justification and of cleansing from the pollution of sin and of all subsequent gospel blessings.
3. The teaching of Baptism
This is the immersion of believers in water into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in which are represented their death to the world, the washing of their souls from the pollution of sin, their resurrection to newness of life, the burial and resurrection of Christ, their resurrection at the last day, and their engagement to serve God.
4. Laying on of hands
The distinctive doctrine of the six principles is the laying-on-of-hands. This act is performed when members are received into the church.
5. Resurrection of the dead
There will be a resurrection of the bodies of the just and of the unjust; the righteous in the likeness of Christ, but the wicked to shame and everlasting contempt.
6. Eternal Judgment
There will be a judgement of quick and dead, of the just and unjust, on the principles of righteousness, by the Lord Jesus Christ, at His second coming. The wicked will be condemned to eternal punishment, and the righteous received into fullness of eternal life and joy.
Therefore, building on these foundational principles (doctrines), "let us go on to perfection ... and this will we do, if God permit." (Hebrews 6:1, 3)
Today, the Six-Principle Baptists continue those traditions by establishing and/or assisting ministers and churches to go on to maturity, building on the foundational principles of the teaching of Christ.
Again, we emphasize that Six-Principle Baptists have no ecclesiastically binding creed, but simply trust in:
1. One God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him. Our ultimate loyalty and allegiance is to God's Person, rather than to books, creeds, confessions, traditions, programs or procedures.
2. One Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him; ( See I Cor. 8:6). We affirm that Christ is Lord over the individual believer, He is Lord over the church, and He is Lord over the universe and all that is in it. He effectively secured salvation for all creation through his death, burial and resurrection. Every area in the believer's life and the life of the church is to be subject to the Lord. He is the supreme authority.
3. The Holy Spirit as their Comfortor and Guide. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the trinity, by whom all saving, comforting and sanctifying power is exerted upon human hearts.
4. The six priciples in Heb. 6:1-2 as foundational concepts.
5. Liberty of Conscience in matters of faith and practice.
George W. Truett expressed Baptist liberty of conscience most succinctly:
"Religious Liberty is the nursing mother of all liberty. Without it all other forms of liberty must soon wither and die. The Baptists grasped this conception of liberty in its full-orbed glory, from the very beginning. Their contention has been, is now, and must ever be, that it is the God-given and indefeasible right of every human being, to worship God or not, according to the dictates of his conscience; and, as long as he does not infringe on the rights of others, he is to be held accountable to God alone, for all his religious beliefs and practices."
Dr. Truett was pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas, TX 1897-1944, president of the Southern Baptist Convention 1927-1929, and president of the Baptist World Alliance 1934-1935. The quotation is from Truett's famous sermon, "Baptists and Religious Liberty," preached on May 16, 1920 to 15,000 people from the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
The Indiana Association of Six Principle Baptists invites ministers to consider ministerial membership in The General Association of Six-Principle Baptist Churches, Inc., one of the oldest Baptist associations in the United States. Membership applications are available at the General Association web site: http://spbaptist.tripod.com/.
We have this hope
as an anchor for the
soul, firm and secure."
Dr. Ray L. Parker, Associational Director
B.A., Bryan College, Dayton, Tennessee;
M.R.E., Temple Baptist Theological Seminary, Chattanooga, Tennessee;
D.Min., Trinity Theological Seminary, Newburgh, Indiana;
Ed.D., Luther Rice Seminary, Lithonia, Georgia;
Ph.D., Union Institute and University, Cincinnati, Ohio.