BAPTIST DISTINCTIVES

 

The distinctives are the truths that are held by Baptists that set them apart from other religious organizations. While there may be some religious groups that hold to some of these truths, Baptists are distinctive by holding to all of them. It is the goal of Augusta Baptist Church to be as close to the teaching of what a New Testament local church should believe and practice.

Baptists believe that the Bible teaches the following:

B iblical Authority

A utonomy of the Local Church

P riesthood of all Believers

T wo Ordinances Ė Believerís Baptism and Communion

I ndividual Soul Liberty

S aved Church Membership

T wo Officers Ė Pastor and Deacon

S eparation of Church and State

 

BAPTIST DISTINCTIVES DEFINED

BIBLICAL AUTHORITY

When Baptists refer to Biblical Authority, we mean that the Bible is our sole sufficient authority for what we believe and practice. A key Bible verse is II Timothy 3:16 & 17.

 AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH

This means that each local church is sovereign in itself. Each local church is able to make its own decisions and cannot be controlled by any other organization. - I Timothy 3:15.

PRIESTHOOD OF BELIEVERS

Baptists believe that every "born-again" believer is a priest unto God. This means that each believer is able to pray directly to God through the Lord Jesus Christ who acts as our High Priest. No human intercessor or mediator is necessary. - I Peter 2:9 & I Timothy 2:5.

TWO ORDINANCES - The Bible recognizes only two biblical New Testament church ordinances: Believerís Baptism and the Lordís Table.

BELIEVERíS BAPTISM - Baptists believe that baptism is a testimony of oneís salvation. The biblical ordinance of baptism is done by immersing a believer completely under the water. A key reference is Acts 8:38-39.

LORDíS TABLE Ė Baptists believe that the communion service is to be a memorial service to help us remember our Lordís death, burial and resurrection until he comes again. - I Corinthians 11:23-26.

INDIVIDUAL SOUL LIBERTY

Baptists believe that it is wrong to force anyone to believe a certain way. Each person has the right and the responsibility to interpret the Scriptures and to worship as he or she believes. At the same, each person one day will give a personal account of themselves unto the Lord Jesus Christ. - I John 2:27.

SAVED CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

This means that before a person becomes a member of a Baptist church one should be saved and publicly have testified to this through baptism by immersion. They should demonstrate a willingness to follow the Lord and be in agreement with the teachings and standards of the local church that they seek to join. - Acts 2:41 & 47.

TWO OFFICERS - The Bible recognizes only two biblical New Testament church officers: pastor and deacon and sets the standards for them.

PASTOR Ė The New Testament has three titles for the office: pastor, elder and bishop. Acts 20:17 & 28, I Peter 5:1-4, I Timothy 3:1-7

DEACONS Ė Their responsibility is to assist the pastor. Acts 6:1-7, I Timothy 3:8-13.

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

Baptists believe that there should not be a state religion that is organized and run by the government. Believers should obey the government unless it violates their conscience or biblical convictions. The government should not interfere with the affairs of the church. Matthew 22:21.

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