What Baptists Believe

B.A.P.T.I.S.T.S.

Biblical Authority – We believe that the Bible is the final authority in all matters of belief and practice and further, that the Bible is the inspired, holy, inerrant and preserved Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Peter 1:20, 21)

Autonomy of the Local Church – We believe that the local church is an independent body accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ who is the head of the church. All human authority for governing the local church resides within the local church itself; thus, the church is autonomous, or self-governing. (Colossians 1:18, 2 Corinthians 8:1-6, 19, 23)

Priesthood of the Believer – “Priest” is defined as “one authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and God.” We believe that every believer can boldly go to the throne of God and no other human mediator is required. We all have equal access to God. (1 Peter 2:5,9, Revelation 5:9,10)

Two Ordinances – The local church should practice two ordinances; (1) baptism of believers by immersion in water, identifying with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection and, (2) the Lord’s Supper, commemorating His death for our sins. (Matthew 28:19, 20, 1 Corinthians 11:23-32)

Individual Soul Liberty – Every individual, whether a believer or an unbeliever, has the liberty to choose their beliefs in the religious realm. No one should be forced to assent to any belief against their will. This liberty, however, does not exempt the individual from responsibility to the Word of God or from accountability to God Himself. (Romans 14:5, 12, 2 Corinthians 4:2 and Titus 1:9)

Saved, Baptized Church Membership – Local church membership is restricted to individuals who have professed the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior and have publicly identified themselves with Him in Believer’s Baptism. (Acts 2:41-47, 1 Corinthians 12:12, 2 Corinthians 6:14, Ephesians 4:3)

Two Offices – The Bible mandates only two offices in the local church; pastor and deacon. These two offices exist within the local church and not as a hierarchy outside the local church. (1 Timothy 3:1-13, Acts 20:17-38, Phillipians 1:1)

Separation of Church and State – We believe that God established both the church and civil government and He gave each its own distinct sphere of operation. The government’s purposes are outlined in Romans 13:1-7 and the church’s purposes in Matthew 28:18 and 20. Neither should control the other nor should there be an alliance between the two. Christians in a free society can influence the government toward righteousness, which is not the same as a denomination or group of churches controlling the government. (Matthew 22:15-22, Act 15:17-29)

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