Doctrine

Bible compassWe believe that it is important to know and confess what we believe and why we believe it. For centuries Christians have worked to contend for the faith that has been once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). This effort has been passed down in the form of confessions and catechisms. We have adopted the First London Baptist Confession of Faith (1644/1646), and the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (1689). These statements succinctly summarize our thoughts on essential truths with which every church and believer must grapple.

Long, difficult, theological studies are not the modern man’s thought of great religious experience. But we want to encourage you to not turn away from theological study and pursuit. J.L. Dagg, a Baptist pastor who lived during the 19th Century, encouraged his people with these words:

The study of religious truth ought to be undertaken and prosecuted from a sense of duty, and with a view to the improvement of the heart. When learned, it [theological truth] ought not to be laid on the shelf, as an object of speculation; but it should be deposited deep in the heart, where its sanctifying power ought to be felt. Our eternal interests are involved in the subject of religion, and we should study it with a view to these interests. (Manual of Theology, p. 13).

R.C. Sproul, 150 years later spoke of the study of theology this way:

For the soul of a person to be inflamed with passion for the living God, that person’s mind must first be informed about the character and will of God. There can be nothing in the heart that is not first in the mind. An intellectual understanding of doctrine is a necessary condition for spiritual growth. It is not, however, a sufficient condition for spiritual growth. Without the gracious operation of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, the mere presence of doctrine, even sound doctrine, will leave us cold. (Essentials Truths of the Christian Faith, XX).

We pray that as you fill your mind with a right understanding of God that the Holy Spirit will fill your soul with a passion for the person and work of Jesus Christ and the Gospel that saves.

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