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.
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
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
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: 12).
Secondly, 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
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:
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: 5-7).
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:
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.