A misunderstanding of Reformed Theology is that it is equivilant to the Doctrines of Grace. While the Doctrines of Grace are a disitinctive of Reformed Baptist Theology, they are not the only one. Here are the 5 distinctives of a Reformed Baptist Church.
Confessional: Reformed Baptist have as their statement of faith the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, which we believe is the best summary of scripture.
Convenant Theology: Covenant theology is the Biblical framework that reveals God’s relationship with man. Covenant theology properly reveals both God’s and man’s nature, the person and work of Christ, justification by faith alone, the role obedience has in a Christian’s life, and the unfolding of God’s redemptive plan.
Five Solas: The five solas of the Reformation, distinguished the Reformers from the teachings of Rome. They are,
- Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone) is the belief that only Scripture, because it is God’s inspired Word, is our inerrant, sufficient, and final authority for the church
- Solus Christus (Christ alone) is the belief that God is pleased to save sinners through the work of Jesus Christ alone.
- Sola Fide (faith alone) is the belief that sinners receive justification by faith alone.
- Sola Gratia (grace alone) is the belief that our salvation is according to God’s grace alone apart from anything of man.
- Soli Deo Gloria (glory to God alone) is the belief that God alone receives the glory for our salvation. Our only boast is in God.
Doctrines of Grace:
- Total Depravity (Romans 3:10, 11). By virtue of Adam’s fall, we are totally corrupted, profoundly sinful, and we deserve only condemnation under God’s wrath. We are unable to do anything for our justification and we are unable to add anything towards our justification. Therefore, the only instrument in which God brings about justification is the faith that embraces Christ alone for salvation.
- Unconditional election (Romans 9:11; I Timothy 1:9). Unconditional election teaches that man's salvation comes exclusively through the will and purpose of God and not of any condition of man and not by any work done by man or foreseen by God.
- Limited Atonement (John 10:15, 26). Note: the apostles using the terms “us”, and “we”, and “our” when speaking of salvation. Limited atonement teaches that the work of Christ’s atonement is only effectual for the elect.
- Irresistible grace (John 6:37; Colossians 1:13). Irresistible grace teaches that all of those whom God has elected unto eternal life will be made willing by God’s grace to come to him in order to receive saving faith.
- Perseverance of the saints (John 6:39; Philippians 1:6). Perseverance of the saints teaches that the elect can never be lost since their salvation is by the will of the unchanging, omnipotent God. No one is able to reverse the will of God nor thwart his plans, not even the one whom the will and work benefits.
Regulative Principle of Worship: According to the Scripture, God has regulated the ways that we are to worship Him. God has graciously revealed the principles of true worship in His word, and Christians are obligated to be diligent in following these principles set down for us in the Scripture alone.
For more information please visit https://founders.org/articles/what-is-a-reformed-baptist/