We, Baptists, are known as people of the Book. What book is it? It is the Word of God, the Bible.
What a wonderful nickname we have! By God’s grace, we have lived, and will continue to live, up to our nickname. Southern Baptists have been proactive in preaching the gospel and holding to the inerrancy of Scripture, as well as reactive in meeting needs in the community by reflecting the love and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. The People of the Book resource was created to help people understand what Southern Baptists believe and why we act.
- Why was this booklet written? Since March 2017, I have served as the Asian Ministries consultant. I have observed a number of pastors from other denominations join SBC churches through planting or succeeding a previous minister. While there are great resources in regard to SBC doctrines and policies, some new pastors come without sufficient understanding of them. In other cases, members of SBC churches sometimes do not know what SBC churches believe and do. I wanted to provide a guide that would be accessible to both church leaders and members alike. I wrote this guide in hopes that readers would understand the biblical basis for SBC beliefs and ministries, by leading them to Scripture and its basic doctrines.
- Who is the reader? Anyone from SBC churches or brothers and sisters in other denominations who desire to know more about SBC beliefs and practices would benefit from this book. Individuals looking for materials to equip their church members might use this book as Sunday School or Bible study material. Churches with different language groups can translate this guide into their languages to equip and educate their saints as well. Since this book was derived primarily from the Bible itself, anyone wishing to grow in his or her knowledge of Scripture can also benefit from this book.
- What is this book about? People of the Book is divided into three major subjects: what we believe, who we are and what we do. What we believe provides answers to who God is and what the Bible is. Understanding who God is serves as the cornerstone of our beliefs. Without understanding the triune God from Scripture, all Bible study learning could be based on weak theology. In addition, the authority of Scripture should be the standard for interpreting and implementing Scripture. Inerrancy and the irresistible nature of Scripture form the foundation of how we take and treat Scripture. The second section is who we are. As a continuation from knowing who God is, we are to know who we are. The book outlines the basic flow of our identities as sinner, saved, secured and servant. Lastly, based on what we believe and who we are, readers will get to learn what we do. Doing is the natural outworking of believing who God is and identifying who we are. We are to explore missions as God has called us to do and consider how churches can cooperate for His glory.
This book teaches the basic doctrines of who God is, who we are and what we do. This seven-week study will guide people to understand the greatness of God, the grace-filled identity of who we are, and the Great Commission that God has called us to. It is easy to gather information, but wisdom calls us to act on what we learn. Whether you have been in SBC world for decades or just a few months, this small booklet will help you understand not only Baptist beliefs but ultimately the most wonderful and powerful Creator – the Lord Jesus Christ.
by Sammy Joo / Senior Consultant / Baptist State Convention of North Carolina
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