Jared Smith On Various Issues

The Historic Affirmations

The Affirmations set forth in the following statements are representative views of the historic values maintained by Strict (restricted table) and Particular (restricted atonement) Baptist churches, before and up to the mid-twentieth century. Since the Second World War, most historic churches have (1) adopted the Westcott and Hort text, thereby departing from the high view of verbal inspiration; (2) adopted the teachings of Fullerism, thereby departing from the high view of Sovereign Grace; (3) adopted the philosophy of Ecumenism, thereby departing from the high view of strict communion; (4) adopted an adaptation of Presbyterianism, thereby departing from the high view of Baptist polity.

It appears many Strict Baptists have failed to understand that moving with the times does not mean churches must move from the truth. Conservative values are no less true or relevant for today simply because they were applicable to a bygone era. Rather than ‘reforming’ Strict Baptist values, churches should be seeking to apply these biblical truths to the 21st century. Thus, it is essential that churches distinguish between their traditional features of custom/culture (which should be adaptable) and their biblical features of doctrine/practice (which should be non-negotiable). The Historic Affirmations highlight the biblical features of doctrine/practice which should unite likeminded churches.

It is for this reason The Association of Historic Baptists is inviting churches of like faith and order to place their names alongside sister congregations. A Directory of likeminded churches offers three benefits: (1) Encouragement, in knowing that other churches share a love for the Historic Affirmations; (2) Fellowship, enabling each church to build bridges with other churches around the world; (3) Revival, where the smaller churches might receive help by the larger congregations.

If you subscribe to the following statements, and wish to join the AHB Directory, we are pleased to send further information upon receipt of your application.

The Authorised Version

The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are plenarily and verbally given by the inspiration of God and therefore inerrant in all their parts. God has preserved His Word through the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus. The Authorised Version is the most reliable translation of the Bible in English. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith and practice.[1]

The Doctrines of Grace

The Scriptures reveal the one true and only God, whose name is Jehovah, eternally existing in three persons—the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit—equal in nature, power and glory. In the beginning, Jehovah created man upright, capable of serving and glorifying his bountiful Creator: but being left to the freedom of his own will, he (without any inducement from God), transgressed the Law under which he was made, and thus fell to a state of guilt and condemnation. Jehovah constituted Adam as the federal head and representative of all mankind; consequently, by the fall, he brought his posterity into the same miserable circumstances with himself; the guilt of his sin being imputed, and a corrupt nature imparted to all that descend from him by natural generation—men are born under the curse of the Law, enemies to God, void of all that is good, and prone to all that is ill, having neither will nor ability to do that which is acceptable to God, or to deliver themselves from their state of wrath and condemnation. According to His everlasting and unchangeable love, and by the good pleasure of His own free and sovereign will, and to the praise of the glory of His grace, Jehovah did choose from eternity a certain number of the human race, as a peculiar people to Himself—making provision for their salvation, giving them into the hands of Christ, who became their Surety and His care. All those who were not chosen to eternal life, were appointed to eternal death. The design of Christ’s coming in the flesh was to complete the eternal salvation of the elect, and no others, and to bring them home to glory in a way of equity, to the glory of divine justice, as well as mercy; therefore He paid the most perfect obedience to the divine law, and finally, having all the sins of the elect imputed to Him, He died the accursed death of the cross, poured out His blood to expiate their innumerable and enormous transgressions, thus offering up Himself to God, one perfect and satisfactory sacrifice, for all those that were given to Him by the Father. The elect of God are alone secured the privilege of regeneration, or the new birth, which stands in the implantation of spiritual life and the graces of the Holy Ghost, which produces love to Christ and obedience to His commands; which change is not the produce of man’s free will, but the effects of the gracious and efficacious operations of God the Spirit, by whom the natural enmity of the mind to God is removed and the heart sweetly softened down, and made willing to receive Christ. Those that have been chosen by the Father, redeemed by the Son and regenerated by the Spirit shall certainly persevere in grace to glory—that all the perfections of Jehovah, all the merits of Christ, all the care and attention of the Spirit are employed in their safety—and that neither Satan, sin, nor the world, can cause them to perish; their names being written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, they shall certainly be saved, and cannot finally be deceived or fall away. While the commission of Christ to preach the Gospel to all nations is binding upon His church, yet all men are by nature so completely dead in trespasses and sins that they cannot, while in that state, know or feel anything of God in Christ, spiritually, graciously, and savingly. It is therefore required that the elect first be quickened by the Spirit before the vessel of mercy feels spiritually the guilt of sin, and is taught to know, in his own experience, the fall and ruin of man. Thus, every quickened child of God is brought, in God’s own time and way, to a saving knowledge of the truth by the effectual operation of the Spirit of God—only then will the new born babe in Christ apprehend the necessity to depend for salvation on Christ’s blood and righteousness alone. Only such persons, having been the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus, are enabled to walk in good works and manifest the fruit of the Spirit, inclusive of faith and repentance.[2]

Strict Communion

The church of Christ is a local body of baptised believers following His commands. As such, the ordinance of the Lord’s Table is restricted to baptised believers of like faith and order in good standing with the church of one’s membership. Thus, discipline is maintained in the house of God around the Communion Table.[3]

Pastor and Deacons

The Lord Jesus Christ, as Chief Shepherd, retains absolute authority over His church, by the rule of the Holy Scriptures. He has blessed His church by giving to each congregation an under-shepherd, identified by the official title of bishop, whose responsibility it is to feed and lead His people in and through the Word of God. The bishop receives assistance from a group of deacons who act as an advisory committee for both spiritual and financial matters. As the bishop regularly instructs the congregation in the Holy Scriptures, and the deacons support the ministry by example and encouragement, the members are equipped to exercise the necessary discernment in making decisions on matters relating to itself.[4]

[1] Jn 5:39; 2 Tim 3:14-17; 2 Pet 1:19,20; Ps 19.
[2] Mk 12:29; Col 2:2; 1 Tim 2:5; Js 2:19; 1 Jn 5:7; Gen 1:26; Ecc 7:29; 1 Tim 2:14; 1 Cor 15:22; Rom 5:12-21; Jn 5:40; 6:44; Jer 13:23; Jer 31:3; Jn 15:16-19; Rom 8:29,30; Eph 1:3-14; 1 Pet 1:2; Jer 6:30; Mal 1:2,3; Rom 9:11-13; Is 27:11; 1 Pet 2:8; Matt 20:28; Mk 10:45; Jn 10:11:15; Eph 5:25-27; 2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 2:24; Jn 3:3; Gal 4:15; Js 1:18; 1 Pet 1:23; Ps 110:3; Jn 1:13; Acts 13:48; Job 17:9; Jer 32:40; Jn 10:28; Phil. 1:6; Jn 14:19; Rom 8:29,30; Matt 28:18-20; Eph 2:1-3; Isa 1:6; Rom 3:10-19; 7:18; Jn 6:68; 10:9; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 6:18; Rom 8:14; Gal 5:16-25; 6:14-16.
[3] Matt 26:26-30; Jn 14:15; Acts 2:42; 1 Cor 11:24,25.
[4] Col 1:18; Acts 1:12-26; 8:1; 2 Tim 3:14-4:2; Eph 4:7-16; 1 Tim 3:1-7; 1 Tim 3:8-13; 2 Tim 4:1,2; Acts 6:1-6.