There are many churches labelled, “Baptist.” A person should try to discover one that is Biblical. So, What is a Baptist Church?
Simply put, a Baptist Church is a local group of people who firmly believe and practice the following things as presented in the Bible:
- Baptists Believe the Bible is Complete. We accept every word of it completely – from cover to cover. God claims: “Every word of God is pure.” Proverbs 30:5. We believe the King James Bible reflects the most accurate translation as the preserved Word of God in English.
- Baptists Preach and Teach only the Bible – not books about the Bible, nor do we teach extra prayers, or teach our own church doctrines, but only the truths found clearly in the Bible. “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 might be perfect.” 2 Timothy 3:16,17 We base every belief and every aspect of Christianity only on the Bible – to the exclusion of all traditions, no matter how good they may be.
- Baptists Believe the Gospel is the good news that Jesus Christ died on the cross for all sins of all time, was buried, and then rose again just as He promised three days later for the salvation of His followers from hell! “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel… that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.
- Baptists Believe all people are born sinful and separated from God, and must be born again from the heart by simple and obedient faith in the Gospel! “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. Jesus commands, “Ye must be born again.” John 3:7
- Baptists Believe a person who is saved (born again) by God’s grace is eternally secure in His care – you cannot lose your salvation once you receive it. Jesus said in John 10:28, “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”
- Baptists Believe in a literal heaven, and a literal hell, and reject the idea of purgatory, nirvana or any other place that is contrary to the word of God. Jesus promised His followers a place in God’s heaven, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3. Jesus also will say to the damned, “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” Matthew 25:41
- Baptists Believe if a person rejects Jesus Christ, and trusts instead in their religion, or their good efforts, that person will not earn heaven, but end up in hell. “And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition… Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” Mark 7:9,13 “He that believeth on him (Jesus) is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already.” John 3:18
- Baptists Believe when a person is saved from sin and hell, they are to be baptized in water by full immersion, not by sprinkling nor by pouring – baptism is to be completely immersed in water as a testimony of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection for them. “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized (immersed): and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” Acts 2:4. After getting baptized you should join a Baptist church!
- Baptists Believe Baptism is nothing more than our obedience to God’s word. It does not save a soul, or bring any spiritual blessing or grace upon the participant – only what Jesus did on the cross has any special and eternal effect on a believer. “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7
- Baptists Believe Jesus Christ is coming again very soon, and this time to be King of all kings, and Lord of all Lords! “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Matthew 25:13 “And he shall reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:5
- Baptists Reject experiences (miraculous or otherwise) when contrary to God’s word. “And (the devil) deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do” Revelation 13:14 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.” Revelation 20:10. “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:13,14
- Baptists Worship God as a Trinity – three equal Persons, and yet one God – the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” 1 John 5:7
- Baptists Reject the worship of any other being, whether Mary, or of saints, or of religious objects since their worship is completely contrary to the word of God. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5
- Baptists Believe every born again believer is equal in the sight of God because of the power of Christ’s salvation, and that each believer has direct access to God because of Jesus Christ. There is therefore no need for priests or any other religious hierarchy. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God … Let us (ALL) therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16.
- Baptists Believe the Christian life is one of complete obedience to the commands of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them (obeys them), he it is that loveth me.” John 14:21.
Finally, it has always been Bible believers who have banded together to preach and teach all the Bible, to live the Bible’s commands without fear of man or king, and to encourage each other. The groups who believed the above list, were labelled “Baptists” during the great persecutions of the Dark Ages because they required people who had been baptized as babies to get re-baptized once they repented and were truly born again the Bible way.
For More Information about the history and beliefs of Baptists, please feel free to check out the following links:
The Trail of Blood: Following the Christians down through the centuries; or The History of Baptist Churches From the Time of Christ, Their Founder, to the Present Day, by J. M. Carroll