Elders’ Affirmations Concerning Salvation

Elders’ Affirmations Concerning Salvation


We elders of Westside Baptist Church, Great Falls, Montana, affirm the following convictions about the doctrine of salvation. We minister the word and evangelize according to these biblical truths. We also raise up elders in agreement with these convictions. We hold these along with the affirmations of the Baptist Faith & Message (2000).

These convictions are from a modern English edition of a doctrinal statement with two names. It is called the “Second London Baptist Confession” (1689) and the “Philadelphia/Charleston Baptist Confession”(1742). It was the confession of every church of the 293 “delegates” who organized the Southern Baptist Convention in 1844.


Chapter 3: Of God’s Decree

1 God has decreed all things that occur,1 and this he has done in himself, from all eternity, by the perfectly wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably.2 Yet he has done this in such a way that God is neither the author of sin, nor does he share with anyone in sinning,3 nor does this violate the will of the creature, nor is the free working or contingency of second causes taken away but rather established.4 In all this, God’s wisdom is displayed in directing all things, as is his power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree.5

(1) Dan 4:34-35; Rom 8:28; 11:36; Eph 1:11 (2) Pro 19:21; Isa 14:24-27; 46:10-11; Psa 115:3; 135:6; Rom 9:19 (3) Gen 18:25; Jas 1:13; 1Jo 1:5 (4) Gen 50:20; 2Sa 24:1; Isa 10:5-7; Mat 17:12; Joh 19:11; Act 2:23; 4:27-28 (5) Num 23:19; Eph 1:3-5

2 Although God knows everything which may or can come to pass under all imaginable conditions,1 yet he has not decreed anything because he foresaw it in the future, or because it would come to pass [anyway] under certain conditions.2

(1)  1Sa 23:11-12; Mat 11:21,23; Act 15:18 (2) Isa 40:13-14; Rom 9:11-18; 11:34; 1Co 2:16

3 By God’s decree, and for the demonstration of his glory, certain human beings and angels are predestined (or foreordained) to eternal life through Jesus Christ, to the praise of his glorious grace.1 Others are left to continue in their sin to their just condemnation, to the praise of his glorious justice.2

(1) Mt 25:34; 1Ti 5:21 (2) Jn 12:37-40; Rom 9:6-24; 1Pe 2:8-10; Jude 4

4 Those angels and human beings who are predestined and foreordained to eternal life, are specifically and irreversibly designated, and their number is so certain and definite that it cannot be either increased or diminished.1

(1) Mat 22:1-14; Joh 13:18; Rom 11:5-6; 1Co 7:20-22; 2Ti 2:19

5 God chose those human beings who are predestined to life before the foundation of the world, in accordance with his eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of his will. God chose them in Christ for eternal glory, solely out of his free grace and love,1without anything in the creature as a condition or cause moving him to choose them.2

(1) Rom 8:30; Eph 1:4-6,9; 2Ti 1:9 (2) Rom 9:11-16; 11:5-6

6 As God has appointed the elect to glory, so he has by the eternal and completely free purpose of his will foreordained all the means.1 Therefore those who are elected (being fallen in Adam) are redeemed by Christ,2effectually called to faith in Christ by his Spirit working in due season, justified, adopted, sanctified,3 and kept by his power through faith to salvation.4 None but the elect are redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved.5

(1) Eph 1:4; 2:10; 2Th 2:13; 1Pe 1:2 (2) 1Th 5:9-10; Tit 2:14 (3) Rom 8:30; Eph 1:5; 2Th 2:13 (4) 1Pe 1:5 (5) Joh 6:64-65; 8:47; 10:26; 17:9; Rom 8:28; 1Jo 2:19

7 The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care,1 so that those who are heeding the will of God revealed in his Word, and who are obeying it, may be assured of their eternal election from the certainty of their effectual calling.2 So shall this doctrine promote the praise, reverence, and admiration of God,3 and encourage humility4 and diligence,5 and bring much comfort6 to all who sincerely obey the Gospel.

(1) Deu 29:29; Rom 9:20; 11:33 (2) 1Th 1:4-5; 2Pe 1:10 (3) Eph 1:6; Rom 11:33 (4) Rom 11:5,6,20; Col 3:12 (5) 2Pe 1:10 (6) Luk 10:20

Chapter 6: Of the Fall of Man, Of Sin, And of the Punishment Thereof

3 By God’s appointment, they [Adam and Eve] were the root, standing in the place of the whole human race. The guilt of this sin was imputed to, and their corrupted nature passed on to all their posterity by ordinary birth. Their descendants are therefore conceived in sin, and are by nature children of wrath, the servants of sin, the subjects of death and all other miseries—spiritual, temporal, and eternal—unless the Lord Jesus sets them free.1

(1) Gen 5:12ff, 1Co 15:20-22; Psa 51:4-5; 58:3; Eph 2:1-3; Gen 8:21; Pro 22:15; Job 14:4; 15:14

4 All actual transgressions proceed from this original corruption.1 By it we are completely incapacitated and disabled, antagonistic to all good and entirely biased towards evil.2

(1) Mt 7:17-20; 12:33-35; 15:18-20 (2) Mt 7:17-18; 12:33-35; Lk 6:43-45; Jn 3:3,5; 6:37,39,40,44,45,65; Rm 3:10-12; 5:6; 7:18; 8:7-8; 1Co 2:14

Chapter 8: Of Christ the Mediator

5 The Lord Jesus has fully satisfied the justice of God1 by his perfect obedience and his once-for-all sacrifice2 which he offered up to God through the eternal Spirit.3 He has procured reconciliation,4 and has purchased an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of heaven5 for all those whom the Father has given to him.6

(1) Rom 3:25-26; Heb 2:17; 1Jo 2:2; 4:10 (2) Rom 5:19 Eph 5:2 (3) Heb 9:14,16; 10:10,14 (4) 2Co 5:18-19; Col 1:20-23 (5) Heb 9:15; Rev 5:9-10 (6) Joh 17:2

8 To all those for whom Christ has obtained eternal redemption, he certainly and effectually applies and communicates this redemption,1 making intercession for them.2 He unites them to himself by his Spirit,3 he reveals to them the mystery of salvation in and by the Word,4 he persuades them to believe and obey5 controlling their hearts by his Word and Spirit,6 and he overcomes all their enemies by his almighty power and wisdom7 using methods and ways which are perfectly consistent with his wonderful and unsearchable providence.8 All this is by free and absolute grace, without any foreseen condition in them to obtain it.9

(1) Joh 6:37,39; 10:15-16; 17:9 (2) 1Jo 2:1-2; Rom 8:34 (3) Rom 8:1-2 (4) Joh 15:13,15; 17:6; Eph 1:7-9 (5) 1Jo 5:20 (6) Joh 14:6; Heb 12:2; Rom 8:9,14; 2Co 4:13; Rom 15:18-19; Joh 17:17 (7) Psa 110:1; 1Co 15:25-26; Col 2:15 (8) Eph 1:9-11 (9) 1Jo 3:8; Eph 1:8

Chapter 9: Of Free Will

1 God has provided the human will by nature with liberty and power to act upon choice; it is neither forced, nor determined by any intrinsic necessity to do good or evil.1

(1) Mat 17:12; Jas 1:14; Deu 30:19

2 In his state of innocence, Adam had freedom and power to will and to do what was good and well-pleasing to God;1 but he was unstable so that he might fall from this condition.2

(1) Ecc 7:29 (2) Gen 3:6

3 The human race through the fall into a state of sin, has completely lost all ability of will to perform any spiritual good accompanying salvation. In our natural state we are altogether opposed to spiritual good and dead in sin; we are not able, by our own strength, to convert ourselves, or even to prepare ourselves for conversion.1

(1) Rom 6:16,20; Joh 8:31-34; Eph 2:1; 2Co 3:14; 4:3-4; Joh 3:3; Rom 7:18; 8:7; 1Co 2:14; Mat 7:17-18; 12:33-37; Luk 6:43-45; Joh 6:44; Jer 13:23; Joh 3:3,5; 5:40, 6:37,39,40,44,45,65; Act 7:51; Rom 3:10-12; Jas 1:18; Rom 9:16-18; Joh 1:12-13; Act 11:18; Phi 1:29; Eph 2:8-9

4 When God converts sinners and transfers them into the state of grace, he frees them from their natural bondage to sin, and by his grace alone he enables them freely to will and to do what is spiritually good.1 Nevertheless, because of their remaining corruption, they do not perfectly nor exclusively will what is good, but also will what is evil.2

(1) Col 1:13; Joh 8:36; Phi 2:13 (2) Rom 7:14-25; Gal 5:17

Chapter 10: Of Effectual Calling

1 Those whom God1 has predestined to life,2 he is pleased (in his appointed and accepted time)3 to effectually call4 by his Word5 and Spirit.6He calls them out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ.7 He enlightens their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God.8 He takes away their heart of stone, and gives to them a heart of flesh.9 He renews their wills, and by his almighty power causes them to do what is good.10 He effectually draws them to Jesus Christ,11 yet in such a way that they come completely freely, for they are made willing by his grace.12

(1) Rm 8:28-29 (2) Rm 8:29-30; 9:22-24; 1Co 1:26-28; 2Th 2:13-14; 2Ti 1:9 (3) Joh 3:8; Eph 1:11 (4) Mt 22:14; 1Cor 1:23-24; Rm 1:6; 8:28; Jude 1:1; Psa 29; Joh 5:25; Rm 4:17 (5) 2Th 2:14; 1Pe 1:23-25; Jas 1:17-25; 1Jo 5:1-5; Rm 1:16-17; 10:14; Heb 4:12 (6) Joh 3:3,5-6,8; 2Co 3:3,6 (7) Rm 8:2; 1Co 1:9; Eph 2:1-6; 2Ti 1:9-10 (8) Act 26:18; 1Co 2:10,12; Eph 1:17-18 (9) Eze 36:26 (10) Deu 30:6; Eze 36:27;  (11) Joh 6:44-45; Eph 1:19; Phi 2:13 (12) Psa 110:3; Joh 6:37; Rm 6:16-18

2 This effectual call is of God’s free and special grace alone, not on account of anything at all foreseen in us. It is not made because of any power or action in us,1 for we are altogether passive in it, we are dead in sins and trespasses until we are made alive and renewed by the Holy Spirit.2 By this [regeneration] we are enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it, this power being none other than that which raised up Christ from the dead.3

(1) 2Ti 1:9; Tit 3:4-5; Eph 2:4-5,8-9; Rom 9:11 (2) 1Co 2:14; Rom 8:7; Eph 2:5 (3) Joh 6:37; Eze 36:27; Joh 5:25; Eph 1:19-24.

4 Those who are not elected, even though they may be called by the ministry of the Word and may experience some common operations of the Spirit,1 cannot be saved because they are not effectually drawn by the Father, therefore they will not and cannot truly come to Christ. Much less can those who do not profess the Christian religion be saved,2 no matter how diligently they order their lives according to the light of nature and the teachings of the religion they profess.3

(1) Mat 13:20-21; 22:14; Heb 6:4-5; Mat 7:22 (2) Joh 6:44-45,64-66; 8:24 (3) Act 4:12; Joh 4:22; 17:3