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  A confession of our faith

Useful Links

"The Role of Confessions in Baptist Faith"

- Tom J. Nettles

An article explaining the history and usefulness of confessions in Baptist history and tradition.


"The Abstarct of Principles."

- Tom J. Nettles

In this Vimeo lecture, Dr Tom Nettles explores the historical context and theological content of the Abstracts .


"The Abstarct of Principles" PDF


A printable booklet of the Abstracts complete with proof texts. Simply print double-sided, fold together, and staple.

Other Confessions

The Second London Baptist Confession - 1689


A "baptized" version of the 1646 Westminster Confession, this statment of faith, held by many Reformed Baptist Churches, highlights our connection with the historic Reformed faith.


The Westinster Standards - 1646


The Westminster Confession and Catechisms serve as a concise summary of the historic Reformed faith. Though we disagree with Westminster's statements on church polity and baptism, we recognize our indebtedness to this "Queen of Confessions." 


The First London Baptist Confession - 1644/46


Prepared by seven Particular Baptist churches in London to demonstrate their Christian orthodoxy in light of persecution.


The Baptist Faith and Message - 2000


The official confession of faith of the Southern Baptist Convention. All churches who associate with the Convention must agree to it's articles.


The Belgic Confession - 1561


One of the first statements prepared as a defense of the Reformed faith. Written by Guido de Brès during the Spanish Inquistion. 


The Canons of Dort - 1619


Prepared by an international synod of Reformed churches in the early 17th century to answer common objections to the Reformed Faith. 

The Abstract of Principles

The Abstract of Principles

I. The Scriptures.


The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God, and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience.


2 Timothy 3:15-17; Isaiah 8:20; Luke 16:29, 31; Ephesians 2:20; Romans 1:19-21; Romans 2:14,15; Psalms 19:1-3; Hebrews 1:1; Proverbs 22:19-21; Romans 15:4; 2 Peter 1:19,20 


II. God.


There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of himself, all perfections, and being infinite in them all; and to Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence and obedience.


Deuteronomy 6:4; Jeremiah 10:10; Isaiah 48:12; Exodus 3:14; 1 Timothy 1:17; Malachi 3:6; 1 Kings 8:27; Jeremiah 23:23; Psalms 90:2; Isaiah 6:3; Psalms 115:3; Isaiah 46:10; Proverbs 16:4; Romans 11:36; Exodus 34:6-7; Nehemiah 9:32-33; Psalms 5:5-6;  Exodus 34:7; Nahum 1:2-3; Psalms 148:13; Romans 11:34-36; Daniel 4:25, 34-35; Hebrews 4:13; Revelation 5:12-14 


III. The Trinity.


God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit each with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being.


Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Exodus 3:14; John 1:1-3; John 14:11; 1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:14,18; John 15:26; Galatians 4:6 


IV. Providence.


God from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not to destroy the free will and responsibility of intelligent creatures.


Hebrews 1:3; Job 38:11; Isaiah 46:10-11; Psalms 135:6; Matthew 10:29-31; Ephesians 1:11; Acts 2:23; Proverbs 16:33; Romans 11:32-34; 2 Kings 19:28; Psalms 76; 1 John 2:16; Matthew 17:12; James 1:14; Deuteronomy 30:19 


V. Election.


Election is God's eternal choice of some persons unto everlasting life — not because of foreseen merit in them, but of his mere mercy in Christ — in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified.


Matthew 25:34; Ephesians 1:4-6, 11; Romans 9:13, 16, 22-23; Jude 4; Romans 8:30; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Ephesians 2:5, 12


VI. The Fall of Man.


God originally created man in His own image, and free from sin; but, through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby his posterity inherit a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, [and as soon as they are capable of moral action, become actual transgressors].


Genesis 2:16-17; Genesis 3:12-13; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12; Titus 1:15; Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah

17:9; Romans 3:10-19; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 49; Psalms 51:5; Ephesians 2:3; Romans 6:20 Romans 5:12; Hebrews 2:14, 15; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Romans 8:7; Colossians 1:21; James 1:14-15; Matthew 15:19


VII. The Mediator.


Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed mediator between God and man. Having taken upon Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the Law, suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended to His Father, at whose hand He ever liveth to make intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church, and Sovereign of the Universe.


Isaiah 42:1; 1 Peter 1:19-20; Acts 3:22; Hebrews 5:5, 6; Psalms 2:6; Hebrews 1:1-3; Acts 17:31;

Isaiah 53:10; John 17:6; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 10:14; Romans 3:25-26; John 17:2; Hebrews 9:15


VIII. Regeneration.


Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickeneth the dead in trespasses and sins enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God's free and special grace alone.


Romans 8:30; Ephesians 2:1-6; Acts 26:18; Ezekiel 36:26-27; Deuteronomy 30:6; John 5:25; 2 Timothy 1:9


IX. Repentance.


Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein a person being, by the Holy Spirit, made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbleth himself for it, with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrence, with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things.


Titus 3:3-5; Zechariah 12:10; Acts 11:18; Ezekiel 36:31; 2 Corinthians 7:10-11; Psalms 119:6; Psalms 119:128


X. Faith.


Saving faith is the belief, on God's authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, and is accompanied by all other saving graces, and leads to a life of holiness.


2 Corinthians 4:13; Ephesians 2:8; Romans 10:14, 17;  Acts 20:32; Acts 24:14; Psalms 27:7-10; Psalms 119:72; 2 Timothy 1:12; John 14:14; Isaiah 66:2; Hebrews 11:13; John 1:12; Acts 16:31; Galatians 2:20; Acts 15:11


XI. Justification.


Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything wrought in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, they receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith.


Romans 3:24-26; Romans 8:30-32; Romans 4:5-8; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30-31; Romans 5:17-19; Philippians 3:8-9; Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Romans 5:17; Romans 3:28; Hebrews 10:14; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Isaiah 53:5-6; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:6-7; Ephesians 2:7


XII. Sanctification.


Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified, by God's word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all saints seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all Christ's commands.


Acts 20:32; Romans 6:5-6; John 17:17; Ephesians 3:16-19; 1 Thessalonians 5:21-23; Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:24; Colossians 1:11; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14


XIII. Perseverance of the Saints.


Those whom God hath accepted in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church, and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.


John 10:28-29; Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 2:19; 1 John 2:19; Psalms 89:31-32; 1 Corinthians 11:32; Malachi 3:6; Matthew 26:70-74; Isaiah 64:5, 9; Ephesians 4:30; Psalms 51:10, 12; Psalms 32:3-4; 2 Samuel 12:14; Luke 22:32, 61-62


XIV. The Church.


The Lord Jesus is the Head of the Church, which is composed of all his true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to his commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular societies or churches; and to each of these churches he hath given needful authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which he hath appointed. The regular officers of a Church are Bishops, or Elders, and Deacons.


Colossians 1:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:2-9; John 12:32; Matthew 18:15-20; Romans. 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; Acts 2:41-42; 2 Corinthians 9:13; 1 Corinthians 5:4-5; 1 Corinthians 5:13; 2 Corinthians 2:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-12; Acts 20:17, 28; Philippians 1:1

XV. Baptism.


Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, obligatory upon every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, of remission of sins, and of his giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is prerequisite to church fellowship, and to participation in the Lord's Supper.


Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12; Galatians 3:27; Mark 1:4; Acts 22:16; Romans 6:4; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:36, 37; Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12; Acts 18:8; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 8:38; Matthew 3:16; John 3:23


XVI. The Lord's Supper.


The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ, to be administered with the elements of bread and wine, and to be observed by his churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate his death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with him, and of their church fellowship.


Matthew 26:26-28; 1 Corinthians 11:23-28; 1 Corinthians 10:16-21


XVII. The Lord's Day.


The Lord's Day is a Christian institution for regular observance, and should be employed in exercises of worship and spiritual devotion, both public and private, [resting from worldly employments and amusements, works of necessity and mercy only excepted.]


1 Corinthians 16:1-2; Acts 20:7; Revelation 1:10


XVIII. Liberty of Conscience.


God alone is Lord of the conscience; and He hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in anything contrary to His word, or not contained in it. Civil magistrates being ordained of God, subjection in all lawful things commanded by them ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.


Galatians 3:13; Galatians 1:4; Romans 8:3; 1 Corinthians 15:54-57; Romans 8:15; Luke 1:73-75; 1 John 4:18; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:17


XIX. The Resurrection.


The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God -- the righteous to rest with Him; the wicked to be reserved under darkness to the judgment. At the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised.


Genesis 3:19; Acts 13:36; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:1, 6,8; Philippians 1:23; Hebrews 12:23; Jude 6-7; Luke 16:23-24; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; Job 19:26-27; 1 Corinthians 15:42-43; Acts 24:15; John 5:28-29; Philippians 3:21


XX. The Judgment.


God hath appointed a day, wherein he will judge the world by Jesus Christ, when every one shall receive according to his deeds; the wicked shall go into everlasting punishment; the righteous, into everlasting life.


Acts 17:31; John 5:22; Jude 6; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 12:36; Romans 14:10-12; Matthew 25:32-46; Romans 9:22-23; 2 Timothy 4:8; Mark 9:48; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10; Mark 13:35-37; Luke 12:35-40; Revelation 22:20

The Abstract of Principles




[Bracketed text has been removed from the original 1858 Abstracts]

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