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WHAT BAPTISTS BELIEVE
and
Why They Believe It

by J. G. Bow, D. D.


CHAPTER VI-FAITH, JUSTIFICATION, AND SANCTIFICATION


Baptists believe "That Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God." The freeness of the blessings predicted upon these graces is set forth. "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price" (Isa. 55:1).

Also in the Saviours declaration, "Whosoever will let him take the water of life freely."

The poet expresses it-

Ho, ye needy, come, and welcome;
Gods free bounty glorify.
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings us nigh,
Without money,
Come to Jesus Christ and buy.

There is a plain and exhaustive article written by an old Baptist preacher about 1,840 years ago, which will give you just what we believe on the subject of faith and justification. A sufficient extract from this article you will find by beginning at the nineteenth verse of the third chapter of Romans and reading through the fifth chapter.

"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which stall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath where, of to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; "And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was Imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation ,worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were .yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet per-adventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adams transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. "But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one man) be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. "For if by one mans offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one mans disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered. that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."

We believe no responsible soul can be saved without a personal faith in a personal Saviour. "He that believeth not shall be damned." "He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."

We believe the soul is justified by faith in Christ; not by baptism, church connection, faith of parents, confirmation, the law, or any ordinance or ceremony.

"If there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law (Gal. 3 :21). "Therefore by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace" (Rom. 5:1-2).

Sanctification

The primary meaning of the verb which is translated, "to sanctify," is "to hallow, to purify, to consecrate." The noun derived from this verb is defined, "consecration, sanctification."

Consecration is the "act or ceremony of separating from a common to a sacred use, or of devoting and dedicating a person or thing to the service and worship of God." As we dedicate our church buildings. We set them apart for sacred uses, the service and worship of God. As the vessels of the Temple were dedicated or sanctified for special and sacred purposes, so of Gods people. "But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself" (Psalm 4:3).

Yes, we believe too, that they are made holy by being made "partakers of the divine nature." But this righteousness is imparted, not inherent. "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" (1 Cor. 1:30).

We are not sinless and perfect here in the flesh. John was not. He said, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8).

Paul was not. He said, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do" (Rom. 7:18-19).

Again he says: "But ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body" (Rom.8:23).

That which is perfect is in the future. "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away" (1 Cor. 13:10).


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