Primitive Baptists Believe
In order to help you develop an understanding of the
basic doctrine of the Old Line Primitive Baptist,
here are some basic & fundamental points presented
in the form of Questions and Answers.
1. What is the basic difference between Primitive
Baptists and other religious societies?
The basic difference is that Primitive Baptists
believe in salvation by grace. There are really
only two positions that a person can occupy on
this matter. One is that salvation is by grace,
and the other is that salvation is by works. It
cannot be a combination of the two. A person may
say that he believes in salvation by grace, but
if he sets forth any act of man's will, such as
repentance, faith, baptism, or hearing the
gospel, as a condition for obtaining it, then
this position must be put on the works side.
Primitive Baptists believe that salvation is of
the Lord, that it is by His grace, and that
nothing needs to be added to it.
2. What do Primitive Baptists believe about the fall
That Adam willfully transgressed the law of God
and therefore plunged himself and his posterity
into a state of guilt and corruption (Rom. 5 :
12-19) .That now man in his natural state is
dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2: 1) and is
unable to recover himself by an act of his own
"free-will" (John 1: 13; John 6: 44; Rom. 3:
10-20; Rom.9: 16).
3. How do Primitive Baptists support their view of
They believe that Ephesians chapter one plainly
teaches that before the foundation of the world,
God, according to His own sovereign pleasure,
elected a people to eternal salvation and made
all of the arrangements necessary for them to
live with Him in glory.
4. What is their position on predestination?
They believe that God has predestinated a great
number to be conformed to the image of His Son
(Rom.8: 28-30) .While some object to this
doctrine because they say it is unfair,
Primitive Baptists rejoice in it, for they see
that had it not been for predestination, the
whole human family would have been lost forever.
Predestination is not the thing that condemns a
man, or puts him in a ruined condition, but the
very thing that gets him out of such a state.
Predestination concerns not "what" but "whom."
It is the great purpose of God to lift a people
up from sin and corruption and make them like
Jesus Christ. That's glorious!
5. Did not Jesus die for the whole human race?
No, the Scriptures will not support that idea.
Jesus said He came into the world to do the will
of His Father, and that will was that He should
save all who were given Him (the elect) even
before the world began (John 6: 37-39). Jesus
came to save HIS PEOPLE from their sins, and He
did it (Matt. 1: 21; Rom. 8: 33, 34). He died
for His sheep, not for goats (John 10: 15). He
died for sons, for the sanctified, for the
brethren, for the church, and for the children
(Heb. 2: 9-15). He saw the travail of His soul
and was satisfied (Isa. 53: 10-12) .
6. Do Primitive Baptists deny that Christ died for
the world ?
No, they believe that the world for which He
died was the world of His elect. The world of
souls for which He died do not have their
trespasses imputed to them and therefore cannot
be condemned (ll Cor. 5: 18-19).
7. How do you know that all of the elect will
respond to the call of the Spirit ?
All of the called are justified, so all who were
called were called effectually (Rom. 8: 30).
Jesus said all that the Father giveth me SHALL
come (John 6: 37).
8. Do you not then teach that some might want
salvation but could not have it because they are not
one of the elect?
No, the man who wants salvation already HAS it.
The man who hungers and thirsts (desires it)
after righteousness is a blessed character
(Matt. 5: 2-6). The alien sinner doesn't want
salvation, he doesn't fear God, and he doesn't
love God; therefore we conclude that the man who
wants salvation, fears God and loves God is a
subject of grace (Rom. 3: 11, 18; I John 4: 10)
9. Why then do you preach, if you are already sure
that all of the elect are going to be saved in
For the comfort and instruction of the Lord's
people (Isa. 40: 1-2, 9; Eph.4: 11-16).
10. Don't you believe that the preaching of the
gospel is God's ordained means of bringing eternal
salvation to the sinner?
No, only by the direct operation of the Holy
Spirit can eternal life be brought to the dead
sinner (John 3 : 6-8) .The gospel brings life
and immortality to light, but doesn't produce
life (llTim.1: 10).
11. How then do you explain I Corinthians 1 :21 and
passages like it?
The text says, "For after that in the wisdom of
God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased
God by the foolishness of preaching to save them
that believe." Please notice, that the one saved
by the gospel is a believer, one who believes in
God, one who has already been born again ; he is
not an alien sinner .
12. Why is it that Primitive Baptists do not send
First, they believe that since preaching is not
designed to make people ready for a home in
Heaven, it is not necessary to send men across
the seas in order to "save souls." The Lord put
gifts in the church, and these are listed in
Ephesians 4: 11; there is no mention of a
missionary. Furthermore, the gifts that the Lord
did put in the church were not put there for the
purpose of saving souls but "for the perfecting
of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for
the edifying of the body of Christ" (Eph. 4:
they believe that gospel ministers should go
where they are directed by the Spirit and not by
a mission board (Acts 20: 22-23). Primitive
Baptists believe that if the Lord impresses one
of His servants to go to a foreign land to
preach the gospel, he ought to go at once and
not wait for someone to pay his way.
13. Why is it that Primitive Baptists do not have
This ties in very closely
with the previous question. The Lord put gifts
in the church, and so the church has no more
right to appoint someone to teach than they do
to call a man to preach. We believe that
"pastors and teachers" are one office. Children
ought to be brought up in the nurture and
admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6: 4), but this is
the responsibility of the parents in the home.
The church cannot possibly do for a child in one
hour a week what his parents should have been
doing all week long. The Sunday School is
another of man's inventions which is generally
used as a "soul-saving" agency But it must be
emphasized that Jesus the Saviour is the only
soul winner and that man never has been able to
do that work (Heb. 8 :11). Furthermore, we are
taught that women are to keep silence in the
churches (1 Cor. 14: 34), and this is ignored in
most Sunday Schools and Bible Schools. The
church should be taught by the pastor, who is to
be a God-called man and who must be apt to teach
even before being recognized by the church as an
elder (1 Tim. 3: 2).
14. Why are your ministers called Elder?
The term "Elder" is a scriptural one (1 Tim. 5:
17), but the title "Reverend" used by many today
is a name belonging only to God (Psa. 111: 9).
15. Are Primitive Baptists Protestants ?
No, the true church of
Jesus Christ was established before the
religious institutions of men bearing the name
"Christian" came into being and has been
somewhere in the world since that time. The true
church was in existence long before the
Protestant Reformation, so it cannot really be
called a Protestant Church.
16. Why is it that Primitive Baptists do not build
hospitals, orphanages, and other charitable
It is not that they are unconcerned about caring
for those who have need, because they feel to
have a duty in that regard. But the church is a
spiritual body and not a charitable institution.
The church is a home for God's people where the
gospel of Christ is proclaimed, His ordinances
are observed and discipline is maintained. It is
the duty of every member of the church to visit
the fatherless and widows in their affliction
(James 1: 27), and prayer should be offered for
the sick (James 5: 14-16) ; but it is the chief
aim of the church to render a spiritual service
that is pleasing to God ( John 4: 24).
17. Do you believe in tithing?
No, this was a requirement put on the Israelites
under the old law service but is not binding
today. If we bring over part of the old Jewish
service into the church, we might as well bring
it all. God's people in this dispensation ought
to give, but the principle set forth is that
"God loveth a cheerful giver" (II Cor. 9: 7).
18. Do Primitive Baptist ministers receive a
No, they devote their time and substance to the
service of God out of love, and as the Lord
blesses their labors among His people, those
among whom the minister has labored contribute
willingly to his needs (ICor. 9: 9-14).
19. Is it true that Primitive Baptists wash feet?
Yes, Jesus said we ought to wash each other's
feet, and Primitive Baptists do so. "Ye call me
Master and Lord: and ye say well ; for so I am.
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed
your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's
feet." (John 3: 13-14).
20. Do Primitive Baptists actually believe they are
the only ones going to Heaven?
Absolutely not; in fact they allow for a larger
number being in Heaven than most religious
societies. Ideas like this have been started by
the enemies of the church and not by her
friends. Jesus is the firstborn among MANY
brethren. There will be a people in Heaven out
of every nation on earth (Rev. 5: 9-12). No one
will be there because of what he believed, but
many will be there in spite of it. One's
doctrinal views or church affiliation has
nothing to do with his destiny.
21. Can you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you
In response to this question we would ask
another; does any man have access to the Lamb's
Book of Life? Of course there is but one
Answer:. No man knows the names which are
recorded there, so we must say with Paul, "In
hope of eternal life" (Titus 1: 2) .We are
confident that the God Who cannot lie is going
to save those He loved before the world began,
and we have the sweet hope of being in the
number. When Jesus said one of His disciples
would deny Him and was a devil from the
beginning, they all asked, "Lord, is it I?" We
must acknowledge that if some can be deceived,
thinking they are a child of God but are not, we
could be in that number. A humble expression of
hope in the mercy of God is far more befitting
the little child of grace than a presumptuous
boast that he knows he is secure.
22. Why do you not preach that God loves everybody?
Because the Scriptures do not teach it. God
loves His people but does not love every man in
Adam's family (Rom. 9: 11-13).
23. Since you believe that your destiny is in the
hands of God and that you can do nothing about it,
does this not cause you a great deal of anxiety?
No, there is far greater peace and comfort in
knowing that our case is in the Lord's hands
than in thinking it is in our own (Titus 3:
24. For what purpose were the Scriptures written?
The Scriptures are written that the child of God
"may be thoroughly furnished unto all good
works." The Scriptures do not bring eternal
salvation but are able to make us "wise unto it"
(ll Tim. 3: 15-17)
25. Is not the word the means by which we are born
It is true that we are born again by the Word of
God which liveth and abideth for ever, but that
Word is not the written word, or the preached
word, but the living Word-Christ (John 1: 1, 2,
14; I Peter 1: 23-25) ."And this is the word
which by the gospel is preached unto you." The
Word and the gospel are two distinct things.
Christ and the message of Christ are not
synonymous. The gospel is the good news of what
Christ has done for His people.
26. Do Primitive Baptists believe in preaching the
gospel to sinners?
Yes, because the only people in the world
interested in the gospel of grace are poor,
needy sinners. A man must be made sensible of
his sin by the Spirit, must be born again to
receive the gospel message (Luke 5: 31, 32; I
Cor. 2: 14). The gospel is not addressed to the
dead alien sinner but to the burdened sinner
(Matt. 11: 28-30).
27. Do you call upon men to repent and believe?
the burdened sinner ought to repent and believe
the truth. The one who thus repents, believes,
and is baptized is going to be saved from the
distress he feels and from much error and
confusion (Mark 16: 16). The salvation involved
here is not that which takes a man to Heaven,
but that which saves his life here in the world
(Acts 2: 40).
28. What is meant by the expression, "the gospel or
There are two phases of the church. The
universal church or the church of the first born
is made up of all the children of God. This is
the church which Christ purchased and which He
shall finally present without spot or wrinkle
and therefore must involve more than one
assembly or body of people (Eph. 5: 25-27; Heb.
12: 23). Then the visible, gospel or militant
church was set up by Christ as a home for His
people during the days of their pilgrimage. To
enter the gospel church one must be taught by
the gospel and follow the Lord in obedience
through the waters of baptism. The gospel church
is but a little flock in each place where it is
found (Matt. 18: 17; Luke 12: 32; Rom. 16: 16;
II Cor. 1: 1) but the church which shall be
housed in heaven includes multitudes (Heb.
11:12,13; Rev. 5:9 and 7:9)
29. Do Primitive Baptists preach infants in Hell ?
No, the doctrine preached by Primitive Baptists
is the only message which leaves any hope for
infants, the feeble-minded, and the heathen,
most religious groups preach that one must hear
and understand the gospel, actively obey the
gospel, and manifestly believe on Christ, in
order to become a child of God. But the great
message of grace which is so firmly believed and
preached by Old Baptists, declares that one may
be a recipient of the mercy of God without
hearing the report of it through the gospel and
even without fully understanding what has taken
place in his heart. If infants, the feeble
minded, and the heathen must hear the gospel
preached by man and actively repent and believe
the truth, then there is no hope for them. But
since salvation is by the sovereign grace of God
through the work of His Son, we know that He
will save His own regardless of their
circumstances in life (Rom. 8 :34-39; Rom. 11
:28; II Tim. 2 :13, 16-19) .
30. Where did the Primitive
Baptists get their name?
The true church has been known by several
different names since Christ set it up during
His earthly ministry .In centuries past those
who made up the gospel church have been known as
Christians, Donatists, Waldenses, Albigenses,
Ana-Baptists, and others. Around the year 1832
there was a division in the Baptist family in
this country. Those who insisted on establishing
mission boards, Sunday Schools, and other
unscriptural societies in the church became
known as the New School or Missionary Baptists.
Those who continued to walk in the old paths
were known as Old School or Primitive Baptists.
The word primitive simply means: "Of early
times; of long ago ; first of the kind; very
simple; original." The Primitive Baptist Church
is certainly of early times, from the time of
Christ. It is the first of the kind, tracing its
identity to the church which Christ established.
It is very simple, adorned only with that beauty
which Christ gave His church. It is original,
the very church of Christ.