(with insights from Greg Nichols and Kurt Smith)
I. THE BIBLICAL DISTINCTIVES OF THE 2ND LONDON BAPTIST CONFESSION OF FAITH
A. WE ARE ORTHODOX (Jude 3—the faith once and for all delivered…”)
1. We hold to the classic doctrines of Christianity which all true Christians everywhere
have believed (universal or small “c” catholic).
2. We hold to the early creeds of the church like the Apostles Creed & the Nicene Creed
3. We believe in one God in three persons; we are Trinitarian; we deny the teachings of
of “one-ness Pentecostals” and Unitarians.
4. We also believe in the Divine and human nature of Christ being in one Person. We
reject Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and other cults.
5. We believe the Bible is God-breathed and alone the final authority all faith & practice.
B. WE ARE COVENANTAL
1. We believe God entered into a covenant with His Son before the foundation of the
world to save a people for His own honor and glory and for His people’s eternal good.
2. We believe that God has revealed His will and organized His Word by covenants
3. We believe in one people of God in two testaments; we are not Dispensationalists.
4. We believe Israel and the Church comprise one people of God and both testaments
reveal one way of salvation—by grace alone through the Messiah (Christ) alone by
faith in Him alone!
C. WE ARE REFORMED (Augustinian, Calvinistic, doctrines of grace) PROTESTANTS
1. We believe that the Bible teaches that man is sick unto death and wholly unable to
to turn to God or save himself. Sovereign grace must be exerted by God or no man
will be saved. We deny Pelagian (man is well) or semi-Pelagian (man is sick), or
Arminian (man is dying but not dead) teaching. Reformed Protestants all believed that
man is dead in sin, powerless to change his/her life and in total need of God’s grace.
2. We deny that Rome is a true church, because it denies the gospel and impedes those
wanting to come to God through Christ alone. It teaches the “Galatian heresy” that
salvation is by Jesus + something else (in this case the sacraments of Rome).
D. WE ARE PURITAN
1. As orthodox, covenantal Reformed Protestants, we believe in the sufficiency of the
Bible and deny that new revelations are needed–Anabaptists, Quakers, Seekers,
Ranters, Diggers, Levelers, 5th Monarchy men and mystics.
2. We believe that salvation is more than notional but includes mind, emotion, will and
the whole of life—we deny “nominal Christianity” and all forms of Liberalism.
3. We believe that God should be worshiped according to how He has revealed His will
in the Bible. We deny man-made ideas of worship or elements of worship not
sanctioned by God Himself. We affirm the Regulatory Principle of worship).
4. We believe Jesus Christ died as a substitute for His people. He got what He paid for.
All Christ substituted for shall and will be saved and stay saved by His merits—His
shed blood and perfect righteousness. We deny the temporary salvation taught by
Rome, Lutherans, Methodists and Pentecostals.
E. WE ARE BAPTISTS
1. We believe in the independence of the local church. We deny that any church is
under the jurisdiction of any other church. We deny denominations. We deny that
state churches or national churches are true churches.
2. We believe that state churches in England (Anglicanism/Episcopalianism), Scotland
(Presbyterianism), and Germany (Lutheranism) are in serious error.
3. We believe the Bible teaches that Elders, chosen by the congregation in line with the
Bible’s qualifications, are to lead the local church. We deny that bishops (Anglicans,
Lutherans, Methodists) rule the churches. We deny that pastors are not members of
their local churches but of the regional presbytery (Presbyterianism). We deny
Plymouth Bethren polity that has no pastors/preachers.
4. We believe that each local congregation is accountable finally to God.
5. We believe that local churches of like doctrine and polity ought to have communion
together (that is, cooperation, fellowship, mutual encouragement, accountability).
6. We believe that the sacrament of baptism is for professing believers only who have
been duly examined by the elders. We do not believe that the baptism of infants is
biblical baptism. We do not believe baptism by sprinkling or pouring is biblical.
7. We are “credo-baptists” (“I believe”), not paedo-baptists (“my parents believe”).
8. We believe that the local church, not denominations or para-church agencies, are the
center of God’s will. Monies and manpower should be focused on the local church.
9. We believe that believer’s must not be coerced into conforming with a national
church and that force should not be used to conform people’s consciences. We
believe in freedom of religion.
II. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE 2ND LONDON BAPTIST CONFESSION?
A. WE BELIEVE IN “FULL SUBSCRIPTION”—some words may be expressed better and
may be tweaked but not sentences, paragraphs or chapters. We stand by the confession.
B. WHAT ARE SOME OTHER TYPES OF SUBSCRIPTIOM THAT WE DO NOT HOLD ?
1. “gospel essentials subscription”—just the basics, the Fundamentals
2. “system of doctrine subscription or skeleton subscription”—the skeleton of
the confession must be held to but the meat on the bones are negotiable.