2007-08 Doctrine Study: The Baptist Faith and Message

“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope at your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.”

Ephesians 4:4-6


The Importance of Doctrine

— Provides a foundation for our Christian life and shapes what we believe

— Provides principles for ethical choices and helps determine our actions

— Helps us withstand and counteract false teaching

— Helps us to grow toward Christian maturity

— Equips us to share the gospel

— New Hampshire Confession of Faith (1833)

— Baptist Faith and Message, E.Y. Mullins, 1925

— Baptist Faith and Message, Herschel Hobbs, 1963

— Baptist Faith and Message, (Family Revision) 1998

— Baptist Faith and Message, Adrian Rogers, 2000

The Authors

  • · Dr. Richard Land: president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
  • · Dr. Chuck Kelly: president of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
  • · Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr.: president of the Southern Baptist Seminary

Baptist Faith and Message Study

— Session 1:        The Scriptures

— Session 2:        God, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit

— Session 3:        Man, Salvation, God’s Purpose of Grace

— Session 4:        The Church, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, The Lord’s Day, The Kingdom, Last Things

— Session 5:        Evangelism and Missions, Education, Stewardship, Cooperation

— Session 6:        The Christian and the Social Order, Peace and War, Religious Order, The Family

Basil Manly, Jr.             John Dagg

M.E. Dodd                   Herschel Hobbs

James T. Draper          R.G. Lee

W.A. Criswell               John Broadus

A.T. Robertson            George W. Truett

Adrian Rogers             Jerry Vines

Billy Graham                W.T. Connor

J.M. Frost                    Timothy George

B.H. Carroll                  Baker James Cauthen

E.Y. Mullins                  Thomas Helwys

John Leland                 Louie D. Newton

“This statement served in large measure to anchor Southern Baptists to their traditional theological moorings for a generation.”

-Herschel Hobbs (Concerning the 1925 BFM)

“In reality, each new generation must reclaim the priceless doctrinal heritage.”

-The Authors

“Holding to the priesthood of all believers differences in interpretation of some doctrines will arise. But there are more basic doctrines which unite us than divide us. Throughout our history, especially in the twentieth century, Southern Baptists have followed what Bill J. Leonard calls the “Grand Compromise” in settling doctrinal problems. This was not a compromise of truth. But holding tenaciously to the basic doctrines, allowances were made for differences of interpretation of certain other ones. This system is an outgrowth of the basic doctrine of soul competency in religion.”

-Herschel Hobbs

We affirm the priesthood of all believers. Laypersons have the same right as ordained ministers to communicate with God, interpret Scripture, and minister in Christ’s name. That is why the Convention requires strong lay involvement on its boards. This doctrine is first and foremost a matter of responsibility and servanthood, not privilege and license.

-SBC Executive Committee October, 2000


The Baptist Faith and Message

The Scriptures

— God’s Revelation (Psalm 19:1)

— God for Its Author (II Timothy 3:16-17)

— Salvation for Its End (Psalm 119:105)

— Truth Without Any Mixture of Error (Psalm 19:7)


— One Living and True God (Isaiah 45:5)

— The Attributes of God (Psalm 96:3)

— The Activity of God (Psalm 19:1)

— The Trinity (Isaiah 6:8)

— Certainties About God (Revelation 11:15)

God the Father

— Providential Care (Matthew 6:26)

— Attributes of God the Father (Psalm 33:5)

God the Son

— The Eternal Son of God (John 1:3)

— The Birth of Christ (Philippians 2:7)

— The Life of Christ (Isaiah 61:1-2)

— The Death of Christ (I Peter 1:18-19)

— The Resurrection and Ascension of Christ (I Corinthians 15:7)

— The Return of Christ (John 14:3)

God the Holy Spirit

— The Holy Spirit Inspired God’s Word (II Peter 1:21)

— The Holy Spirit Ministers to People (Acts 2:38)

— The Holy Spirit Builds the church (I Peter 4:10)


— Made in God’s Image (Genesis 1:27)

— Male and Female

— Fallen from Innocence (Genesis 3:23-24)

— Restored to Fellowship with God (I Thessalonians 5:9)


— God’s Righteous Demands (Romans 3:26)

— Our Need (Ephesians 2:1)

— Christ’s Atonement (II Corinthians 5:19)

— The Only Way (Acts 4:12)

— Aspects of Salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9)

God’s Purpose of Grace

— The Gracious Purpose of God (John 6:37,44)

— The Free Agency of Man (John 3:15-16)

— Enduring to the End (Romans 8:38-39)

The Church

— The Foundation of the Church (I Corinthians 3:11)

— The Body of Christ (Colossians 1:18)

— Characteristics of the Church

— The Ministry of the Church (Mark 12:30)

— The Structure of the Church (Acts 20:28)

Baptism and the Lord’s Supper

— Baptism (Romans 6:4)

— The Lord’s Supper (Luke 22:19)

The Lord’s Day

— Regular Observance (Hebrews 10:25)

— The First Day of the Week (Acts 20:7)

— Worship and Spiritual Devotion (Mark 2:27)

The Kingdom

— The Kingdom in Scripture (Hebrews 12:28)

— The Kingdom and the Church (Matthew 6:10)

Last Things

— The Return of Christ (Luke 21:27)

— The Resurrection and the Dead (I Thessalonians 4:16)

— Eternal Destiny (John 14:2-3)

— The Final Judgment (I John 4:17)

Evangelism and Missions

— Duty and Privilege (John 14:6)

— To All Nations (Matthew 28:19-20)


— Enlightenment and Intelligence (Psalm 119:11)

— All the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge (II Timothy 2:15)

— The Liberal Support of the Churches

— Academic Freedom and Responsibility


— A Holy Trusteeship (I Corinthians 6:20)

— For the Glory of God (Matthew 6:1-4)

— The Tithe (Malachi 3:10)


— Spiritual Harmony and Voluntary Cooperation

— Cooperation for the Great Objects of the Kingdom of God

— Carrying Forward Missionary, Educational, and Benevolent Ministries

The Christian and the Social Order

— The Establishment of Righteousness (Romans 13:1-7)

— The Improvement of Society (Luke 4:18-19)

Peace and War

— Seek Peace with All Men (Romans 12:18)

— The Reign of the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)

Religious Liberty

— Lord of the Conscience (Philippians 3:20)

— A Free Church in a Free State (Matthew 5:13-16)

— Loyal Obedience  (Matthew 22:21)

The Family

— The Foundational Institution (Genesis 2:23-24)

— One Man and One Woman (Hebrews 13:4)

— A Blessing and Heritage (Proverbs 17:6)