What is a Reformed Baptist Church?

“Religion is your seeking after a god in your own image. Christianity is God’s seeking you and moving to redeem you by the death of His Son.” -James Montgomery Boice

WHAT IS A REFORMED BAPTIST CHURCH?
Klondike is a church that is part of the reformed tradition. A reformed Baptist church is not a movement to create something new, or an attempt to be novel in practice, but instead a return to our Baptist roots grounded in the God’s Word, the Bible, the first Baptists in England and America, and reflected in the Protestant Reformation.  What we call “reformed” Baptists today were called “regular” Baptists before 1850. 

Reformed churches see the chief aim of life to be lived coram deo (in the presence of God) to the Glory of God.  As a church, we intentionally put Christ first as a daily reminder to us that He is to be First in All Things (Colossians 1:18) and the goal of everything we do is to be His glory. Our emphasis lie more on the sovereignty of God, on the authority of Scripture, on the need for holiness in the Christian life, evangelism and discipleship by sharing and joyfully spreading the Gospel in our families, community, and around the world through worship, discipleship, evangelism, and missions.

Reformed Christians have a high view of God’s sovereignty, a belief that “nothing happens in this world without God’s orderly arrangement” (Belgic Confession, Article 13). This does not mean we believe that God uses His power carelessly or without order. Instead, we emphasize God’s loving providence, which explains that God makes all things work together for our good (Romans 8:28), and truly controls all things and does all things well.

Though “reformed tradition” in Protestantism can mean a variety of things, it generally speaks to a church family identifying with the preaching, evangelism, and writings of the reformers, including the first English Bible translator William Tyndale, German reformer Martin Luther, Scottish reformer John Knox, Swiss reformer John Calvin, English reformers like Thomas Cramner and the Puritans; for reformed Baptists, the pastors who wrote the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689, and other heroes of the faith like Andrew Fuller, John Bunyan, Roger Williams, John Gill, Charles Spurgeon, and great missionaries like David Brainerd, William Carey, John Paton, Adoniram and Ann Judson, David Livingstone, and Lottie Moon.

Reformed Baptist missionary and Bible translator William Carey baptizing his first convert on the mission field in India.

Reformed Baptists have certain Doctrines and Practices that we emphasize.

  1. WE AFFIRM THE “SOLAS” OF THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION

Sola Scriptura:  Scripture Alone. The Bible, God’s inerrant Scripture is the sole written divine revelation and alone can bind the believers conscience absolutely.

Sola Gratia:  Grace Alone. Our salvation rests solely on the work of God’s grace for us, rescuing us from God’s wrath that we deserve. 

Sola Fide: Faith Alone. Justification is by faith alone, in which Jesus righteousness is credited to us as the only possible satisfaction of God’s perfect justice.

Solus Christus: Christ Alone. By Christ’s work alone as mediator we are saved.

Solus Spiritus:  The Holy Spirit Alone. It is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit alone that brings us to Christ.  He gives us spiritual life and empowers the Church.

Soli Deo Gloria: Glory to God Alone. To God alone belongs all glory, because salvation is of God and has been accomplished by God.

2. The Centrality of Scripture: Reformed churches hold to both the inerrancy of Scripture and the sufficiency Scripture.  This means that we hold Scripture is God’s Word and it is sufficient to accomplish all that God wants to do in His Church without any other human means.  The careful teaching and preaching of Scripture, therefore, is the center of our worship.  The earliest Christians believed that the elements of public worship are limited to what Scripture commands. John 4:23 says, “True worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth” (see also Mattthew 15:9). The revealed “truth” of Scripture limits the worship of God to what is prescribed in Scripture. The Second London Baptist Confession 22.1 says: “The acceptable way of worshipping the true God, is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshipped according to the imagination and devices of men, nor the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representations, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scriptures.”  This is why our worship is simple and God centered: we take the Lord’s Supper weekly, publicly read the Scriptures in our services, pray publicly, have children in our worship, and practice the covenant renewal pattern of worship.

3. We are Confessional: Reformed churches hold to a confession of faith.  Most Reformed Baptist Churches hold to the Second London Baptist Confession of 1689.  While we affirm Sola Scriptura, we recognize our confession to be a trustworthy summary of the Scripture’s teaching.  At the end of our membership packet includes our doctrinal statements we want our membership to subscribe to: The Abstract of Principles of 1858; the Baptist Faith And Message 2000 (SBC), the Apostles’ Creed, and the Cambridge Declaration (Reformation Solas).

4. We are Biblically Organized: Reformed churches follow the New Testament pattern of having both a plurality of elders and deacons.   Our elders shepherd and protect the congregation and ministries of the church, while the deacons serve the church in various ministries. 

Reformed churches follow the New Testament’s stress on the importance of church membership.  We are joyfully held accountable to one another and serve one another. Church was never meant to be something where we march in single file, stare at the back of the heads of others in the building, and march out without relationship with those who attend. We are a family!

5. We are focused on sharing the Gospel:   Because God is sovereign, and changes hearts and lives by the Power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, we know lives can be changed by the Gospel!  Reformed Christians have always been at the front of missions work to the nations of the world.  We take mission trips, support missionaries, and seek to share the Gospel at home and abroad.

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