Recently I was doing a Bible Study on Jude with some girlfriends. It was a Jackie Hill Perry study on the book of Jude. It caught my attention right off the bat.
Mainly vs. 3 caught my attention, “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.”
That phrase “contend for the faith” really stuck with me. Jude isn’t talking about having enough Faith to get you through a hard time or even having enough Faith to witness to a family member. Jude is talking about defending the whole body of doctrine handed down to the apostles. That’s a lot! It caused me to pause and think, can I defend each part of the Faith? What do we believe about the Trinity? Or the Holy Spirit or the church? Church, there is coming a time when we, as believers, need to be able to defend the Faith – if it isn’t already here. I think about how society continually tries to water down the gospel. We have all heard remarks like, “Jesus wasn’t really God; he was a good teacher.” Or, “There are many ways to get to heaven; Jesus isn’t the only way.” As time progresses, these comments get more and more acceptable. How do we respond to these comments? That is why it is vital to understand the doctrine of our Faith. We must understand it and be able to speak to these comments accurately and biblically.
So, I have decided to journey through Southern Baptist Doctrine in my blog and explain what we believe and why. I’ll take each topic one at a time
The first doctrine a believer must believe is that the word of God is accurate and trustworthy. All other Christian doctrine hinges on this foundational truth. In the 1950s and ’60s, virtually all Christians believed the Bible to be inspired and preserved – in other words, sacred. Most thought that God had given His Word to be obeyed. Unfortunately, this belief is much less common today. Most don’t even know what the Bible says, let alone believe it to be true.
There is harmony in the Bible. Approximately 40 people wrote the entire Bible over 1,500 years. Many authors were not even alive when parts of the Bible were being written. Consistent messages from authors over different periods strongly point to a heavenly origin. Despite this, the Bible carries a united, constant message.
Archaeology supports Biblical stories. Although it contains history, over the centuries, science has proven these facts correct. For example, an obelisk (stone column) was found in 1846, proving King Jehu was a historical figure of 2 Kings 9-10.
The Bible is Prophecy Fulfilled. Predictions that came to pass distinguish the Bible from other religious books. Isaiah foretold that the Jews would one day return to Israel after being dispersed worldwide, 700 years before Christ. This is one of many examples of Old Testament prophets’ predictions being fulfilled.
The Bible is Inspired and why it matters. God did not give men basic ideas and left them up to develop these theories, known as the dynamic theory. Another extreme is the dictation theory, which sees human authors as passive instruments of the Holy Spirit, simply taking divine dictation. Basil Manly Jr. summarized the inspiration of God this way. “The Bible as a whole is the Word of God so that every part of the Scripture there is both infallible truth and divine authority.” Southern Baptist Faith and Message states that we believe in the verbal plenary theory of the Bible’s inspiration. This means the Bible’s inspiration is verbal –the very words and plenary – full. Meaning every word is inspired by God, and every word is fully inspired. The Holy Spirit breathed His word through human authors chosen explicitly for this task. God used their characters, writing skills, and individual experiences to accomplish His perfect will. He uses us for different works that He has prepared in advance. He knows our makeup from the beginning to the end and chooses each of us for a specific purpose in His kingdom.