What we believe

What we believe

The Illinois Baptist State Association Constitution states:


1.1. As IBSA, we adopt the Bible as the basis of all our faith and practice.

1.2. Illinois Baptists have used various confessions of faith to better explain their understanding of the Bible. As IBSA, we acknowledge the value of all these documents, especially the Philadelphia Confession of Faith (1742), the New Hampshire Confession of Faith (1833), and the Baptist Faith and Message statement of 1925, with revisions in 1963, 1998, and 2000. We encourage IBSA congregations and associations to use confessions of faith as resources to inform and edify Illinois Baptists concerning the basic tenets of our faith. These documents will thus equip us as we seek to fulfill our historic commitment to evangelism, discipleship, missions, education, godly living, and mutual cooperation in bearing a Baptist witness to the world.

1.3. The churches of IBSA have historically recognized that there are distinctive doctrines that unify us as Baptists and set us apart from other denominations. Throughout our history, doctrinal statements have been adopted that express the common, but not necessarily universally held, elements of our faith. Baptists have always cherished the belief that individuals and churches are to study the Bible and form their beliefs as the Holy Spirit leads them. In keeping with this history, IBSA affirms the following statement as a basis of our continued cooperation in sharing our message with the people of Illinois and the whole world:

1.3.1.   Confessions of faith constitute a consensus of opinion of some Baptist body for the general instruction and guidance of its people and others concerning those articles of the Christian faith which are most surely held among us.

1.3.2.   We do not regard confessions of faith as complete statements of doctrine, having any quality of finality or infallibility. Baptists should hold themselves free to revise their statements of faith as may seem to them wise and expedient at any time.

1.3.3.   Any group of Baptists has the inherent right to draw up for itself and publish to the world a confession of faith whenever the group determines it advisable to do so.

1.3.4.   The sole authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Confessions are only guides in interpretation, having no authority over the conscience.

1.3.5.   Confessions of faith are statements of religious convictions, drawn from the Scriptures, and as such are not to be used to hamper freedom of thought or investigation into other realms of life.

1.4. We affirm that the Baptist Faith and Message adopted in 1925, and revised in 1963, 1998, and 2000, represents a consensus of Baptist beliefs for general instruction and guidance. These documents may be used with confidence by local churches and associations, and contain statements of Christian convictions, drawn from the Scriptures, affirming historic Baptist beliefs including the doctrines of soul competency, the priesthood of all believers, and salvation by grace alone, through faith in Jesus Christ. Cooperating churches or other interested parties may be instructed in how they might obtain a current publication of these documents by contacting the IBSA registered offices.

Find out more through the Illinois Baptist newspaper B101 series


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