Bible Freedom September 25, 2013
Baptists are a people of the Book!
From Authority to Battleground
The Most debated book around!
Baptist’s don’t ‘own’ the Bible-We aren’t the only Bible freedom folks
What is Bible freedom?
“Bible Freedom is the Baptist affirmation that the Bible, under the Lordship of Christ, must be central in the life of the individual and the church and that Christians, with the best and most scholarly tools of inquiry, are both free and obligated to study and obey the Scriptures.”
Bible Freedom Means Freedom “Under” Jesus Christ
- We do not worship the Bible-We worship Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 1:1-2)
- Jesus is the norm by which we interpret Scripture.
-“The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.” (Baptist Faith and Message, 1962)
- We read the Scripture and interpret in light of Christ and his salvation.
- We need freedom to read the Bible and interpret the Scriptures so we can grow in our relationship with Christ.
- We build our foundation of faith on Christ.
Bible Freedom Means Freedom “For” the purpose of following God’s Word!
- Allow the Bible to Lead!
-How else does God speak to humanity?
-Imagine if we didn’t have the Bible!
- The Bible is the Final Authority.
-Yet human understanding of the Bible is never complete!
-We struggle as we seek to understand the Bible.
Bible Freedom Means Freedom “From” all Other Religious Authorities
- Baptists are non-creedal people.
- Baptists did develop confessions-although some did not like that either.
-Confessions-temporary, set for a specific purpose, can be changed and modified, not mean to exclude, and you don’t have to sign.
-Creeds-never changed, you must sign or pledge to them.
Bible Freedom Means Freedom “Of” Interpretation by Each Individual
- The Bible Itself shows Individuality
- The first president of the SBC, 1846, W.B. Johnson gave 5 convictions of Baptists.
-The sovereignty of God in salvation
-Supreme Authority of Scripture
-Right of each person to judge his views as truth taught by Scripture
-Democratic church government
- This takes hard work! Scholarship!
Final Thoughts: The Bible and Baptists
- Central to who we are as a people.
- It is our authority.
- We each have the right (and responsibility) to go to the Bible and read and interpret it.
Final Thoughts: Two Warnings!
- Thinking we have all the answers.
- Forcing other to interpret it the way we do.
“We are free to read the bible under Jesus Christ for obedience to God free from outside forces of our own interpretation.”