What does Baptist mean?

We believe that anyone who puts their faith in Jesus Christ is a Christian, a brother or sister or sister in Christ. We also firmly believe that every Christian, as part of the family of God ought to be loved as a brother or sister. With that understanding, there are some things that we understand from Scripture that uniquely identifies us as Baptists. In order to explain what Baptists believe, a pastor in the 1960’s came up with a simple acrostic using the word B-A-P-T-I-S-T to sum up what we believe.

Biblical Authority

We believe that the Bible is the ultimate authority for what we believe and how we live. In other words, the Bible is completely sufficient to guide us in all areas of our Christian life. Because of that, we believe that there is no need for any extra Biblical messages from God to guide us, such as visions or unknown tongues.

(John 17:17; Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:21)

Autonomy of the Local Church

We believe that each church should be governed by itself. Each church family is free to elect its own pastor and deacons, manage itself, and live within the guidelines that the Bible teaches.

(Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 3:15; Acts 20:19-30)

Priesthood of Believers

We believe that every believer has equal and instant access to God. It means that we don’t need another person or church authority to go through in order to fellowship with God, or for God to fellowship with us. We can go directly to God with our prayer requests, and He can make His will known directly to us.

(1 Timothy 2:5, 6; Hebrews 4:14-16)

Two Offices Within the Church

We believe that there are only two offices that the Bible mentions for churches: they are the Pastor and Deacon.

The Pastor is the “under shepherd” of the church. He’s responsible for the care of the church family, to lead them in following Jesus, the Great Shepherd. In the New Testament, this office is also called “Bishop” and “Elder.”

The Deacon is a servant of the church. His responsibility is to assist the Pastor in serving the church family.  Deacons are elected by the church family, not for the purpose of ruling over the church or the pastor, but to help in the work and needs of the church.

(Acts 6:1-7; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:6-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4)

Individual Soul Liberty

We believe that each person is free to choose their own eternal destiny. Because of this freedom, each person is also responsible for their choice, and will one day answer to God for their choice. Each person must choose for themselves to put their faith in Jesus.

(Romans 10:17; Romans 14:1-8, 12-23)

Security of the Believer

We believe that salvation is a gift from God that cannot be taken away. When a person is saved, he is always saved. Nothing can separate him from the eternal life that was given to him by Jesus, and he can live in complete assurance that Heaven is his future home.

(John 10:27, 28; 1 Peter 1:3-5)

Two Ordinances

We believe that the Bible teaches us to observe two ordinances as a church family: Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. Neither of these is necessary for salvation. Each of these is a symbolic picture that reminds us of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection that gave us that salvation.

(Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:38-43; Acts 8:36-38; Rom. 6:1-6; 1 Cor. 11:23-24)

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