WHY A BAPTIST?
Why a Baptist? Is there anything particular about the name? Yes! Names identify. You know someone by their name. You know how someone is or how an organization is by their name. The Baptist name is for a reason. Just as people, places, and organizations are characterized by a name so are the Baptist. Baptists are characterized by certain distinctives (BIBLE principles), that they have stood for, lived for, and even died for in the past. They are beliefs in which Baptist believe are taught in the SCRIPTURE. It is not some name that was just thought up and decided to tag along to name a group of people. No, it was given to those who followed the BIBLE distinctives (principles). People mocked and persecuted such a group of believers that held so strong to BIBLE doctrine. Yes, Baptist is indeed important, there is a need. For Baptist signify the BIBLICAL principles that the LORD JESUS used as the Church was started and as it went on. Thus was given us this great heritage of a name, Baptist.
B- Bible Sole Authority
A-Autonomy of the Local Church
P-Priesthood of Every Believer
I-Immersion by Water
S-Salvation by Grace through Faith
S-Separation of Church and State
B- BIBLE is the Soul Authority.
- There is not a more important and crucial fundamental (meaning what you must have) then the Sole Authority of SCRIPTURE.
- My only rule of faith and practice is the BIBLE Historic Baptists believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Old and New Testaments.
- They believe the whole BIBLE is Revealed from GOD and IT is infallible, inerrant, and is the very WORDS of GOD HIMSELF written to man.
- Verbal Inspiration-The HOLY SPIRIT guided and controlled the men that GOD used to write the BIBLE. The very words were GOD'S WORDS. “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:20-21)
- Plenary Inspiration- The entire BIBLE is The WORD. Everything in it is HIS WORDS. Every part is equally inspired. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3:16-17)
- Infallible- Meaning without error. Every rule and guideline given to us is correct. To add anything to it would make an attack on The Sufficiency of SCRIPTURE. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (I Peter1:23)
- Inerrancy- GOD has kept the BOOK from any error. Every statement in the BIBLE can be trusted in its entirety. “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” (I Peter 1:24-25)
A- Autonomy of the Local Church
- The Local Church is independent
- The Local Church settled their own problems- Acts 6 shows the Church elected their own deacons
- The Local Church sent out missionaries- Acts 13:1-3
P- Priesthood of every believer
- Each believer may go before the LORD freely as his own representative. Hebrews 4:16, and 10:1 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” (I Timothy 2:5)
- Each believer is a "holy priesthood" “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 2:5)
- Each believer has sole liberty. This means each believer is responsible only to GOD and will answer to GOD on how they obey HIS WORD. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12)
T- Two Ordinances
- The LORD Supper- Taught as a memorial of CHRIST'S death (broken body and shed blood) and of HIS second Coming- I Corinthians11:23-34. In no way is this Salvation but is a picture of what makes Salvation possible. SCRIPTURE teaches us that one must be saved and a part of like believing local church to partake in the LORD'S Supper.
- Believers' Baptism- Taught in SCRIPTURE as a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of CHRIST- Romans 6:1-6. Taught also that this identifies one with CHIRST. Upon receiving CHRIST one was Baptized. Never at any time does the BIBLE teach infant or unconverted Baptism. Baptism also identifies one with the Church and the doctrine of the Church. It is a requirement upon becoming a member of the local Church- Acts 2:41-42.
I- Immersion by water
- The word means "to plunge, dip, or submerge," always referring to covering of water.
- CHRIST, the Ethiopian eunuch, and John's Baptisms all took place where there was enough water to submerge.
S- Salvation by Grace Through Faith
- Salvation is plus nothing and minus nothing. The conditions are Repentance and faith in JESUS CHRIST. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
- Salvation is by grace alone! There are some who will say we believe salvation is by faith in CHRIST. However, they also believe that the faith must be mixed with works. Salvation is not only by faith in CHRIST, but it is by HIS grace alone. We do nothing to earn salvation.
T- Two Offices
- Pastor (also called bishop or elder)-I Timothy 3:1-7
- Deacon- Acts 6, I Timothy 3:8-13
S- Separation from Church and State
- Spiritual authority is the Scriptures. Since the BIBLE is our Sole Authority then the State cannot be a spiritual authority over the affairs of the Church or the spiritual lives of believers. Peter and John made this clear in Acts 4:18-20
- There is a limitation. The state is limited and we must give unto the LORD what is HIS- Mathew 22:21