What makes this Church so Different
When talking about a certain group or society we have to consider their
peculiarities. What sets them apart from the rest. Well, in the case of the
Baptists throughout history there are some things that you could say
they were just plumb stubborn about.
Biblical Authority, the Mark of the New Testament Church
The Bible is the final authority in all matters of belief and practice because
the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit of God and bears the total authority
of the Lord God Himself. Whatever the Bible tells us, Baptists accept as
the ultimate truth. No human edict, opinion or decree of any church group
can overrule the Bible. Not even creeds or confessions of faith that attempt
to clarify the theology of Scripture carry the Holy Scripture's inherent
2nd Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known
the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through
faith which is in Christ Jesus. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration
of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness: 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly
furnished unto all good works.
1st Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we
God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard
of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the
word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
2nd Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy
of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 1:21 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
You might ask me the question, "I notice you are quoting your scripture from
the AV King James Bible Tim. What about before the KJV was translated?" Well
let put this in perspective:
The early first century church had the Hebrew Bible
and at the later part of the century they had the completed letters of the
The second century up to the seventeenth they had what
was referred to as the Waldenessian Bible. One translated from the original
letters and text into the common Latin language.
The seventeenth century and up to today we had the
Autonomy of the Local Church, answering only to the Lord God
The local church is an independent body accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ
only. All human authority for governing the local church resides within the
local church itself. Thus the church is autonomous, or self-governing. No
religious hierarchy outside the local church may dictate a church's beliefs
or practices. Autonomy does not mean isolation. A Baptist church may fellowship
with other churches around mutual interests and in an associational tie,
but a Baptist church cannot be a "member" of any group under a ruling
counsel or main office.
Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the
church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things
he might have the preeminence.
2nd Corinthians 8:1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to
wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 8:2 How that
in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep
poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 8:3 For to their power,
I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
8:4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take
upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.8:5 And this they
did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto
us by the will of God.
2nd Corinthians 8:19 And not that only, but who was
also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is
administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your
2nd Corinthians 8:23 Whether any do enquire of Titus,
he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired
of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.
Priesthood of the Believer
The term "Priest" is defined as "one authorized to perform the sacred rites
of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and God." All
born again believers today are priests of God and may boldly enter into His
throne room in prayer directly through our Great High Priest of the order
of Melchisedec, Jesus Christ. No other advocate or mediator is needed between
God and His people. As priests, we are able to study God's Word, pray for
one another, and offer spiritual worship to God Almighty. We all have equal
access to God with no exceptions.
1st Peter 2:5 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.
1st Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal
priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth
the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous
Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou
art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast
slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and
tongue, and people, and nation; 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings
and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
The local church should practice two ordinances. The first is believers baptism
by immersion in water, identifying the individual with Christ in His death,
burial, and resurrection, and the Lord's Supper, as a form of remembrance
of His death for our sins. The Lord's supper should never be misconstrued
or perverted to say we can actually bring the Lord Jesus himself from the
right hand of the father into our presence to partake of his actual and
substantial body and blood. To even suggest this is heresy and blasphemy.
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Ghost: 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded
you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
1st Corinthians 11:23 For I have received of the Lord
that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night
in which he was betrayed took bread: 11:24 And when he had given thanks,
he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you:
this do in remembrance of me. 11:25 After the same manner also he took the
cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood:
this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 11:26 For as often
as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till
he come. 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup
of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and
drink of that cup. 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth
and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 11:30
For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 11:31
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 11:32 But when
we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned
with the world.
Individual Soul Liberty, (Free Will)
Every individual, whether a saved or lost, has the liberty to choose what
he believes is right or wrong according to their own religious beliefs and
conscience or lack thereof. No one should ever be forced to subscribe to
any belief against his free will. Historically, Baptists have always been
in opposition to religious persecution. However, this liberty never exempts
one from his or her responsibility to the Word of God or being accountable
Romans 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another:
another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his
Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account
of himself to God.
2nd Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things
of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God
deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every
man's conscience in the sight of God.
Titus 1:9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath
been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to
convince the gainsayers.
Saved, Baptized Church Membership
Local church membership is limited to individuals who give a "believable"
testimony of personal faith in Christ and his atoning Blood and have openly
identified themselves with Him in believer's baptism before the congregation.
Only then do they become members of a baptized band of born again believers
in Christ Jesus
Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were
baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand
souls. 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and
fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 2:43 And fear came
upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 2:44
And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 2:45 And
sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man
had need. 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple,
and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness
and singleness of heart, 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the
people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
1st Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath
many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body:
so also is Christ.
2nd Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together
with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?
and what communion hath light with darkness?
Ephesians 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the
Spirit in the bond of peace.
The Bible only authorizes two offices in the church, the pastor and deacon.
The three terms (pastor, bishop, and elder, or overseer) all refer to the
same office. The two offices of pastor and deacon should only exist within
the local church, not as a chain of command ruling over the local churches.
1st Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire
the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 3:2 A bishop then must be
blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given
to hospitality, apt to teach; 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy
of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 3:4 One that ruleth
well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 3:5
(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care
of the church of God?) 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride
he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 3:7 Moreover he must have a good
report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare
of the devil. 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued,
not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 3:9 Holding the mystery
of the faith in a pure conscience. 3:10 And let these also first be proved;
then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 3:11 Even
so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and
their own houses well. 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon
well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith
which is in Christ Jesus.
Acts 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and
called the elders of the church. 20:18 And when they were come to him, he
said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after
what manner I have been with you at all seasons, 20:19 Serving the Lord with
all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell
me by the lying in wait of the Jews: 20:20 And how I kept back nothing that
was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly,
and from house to house, 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the
Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. 20:22
And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the
things that shall befall me there: 20:23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth
in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 20:24 But none
of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that
I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received
of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. 20:25 And now,
behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom
of God, shall see my face no more. 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this
day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 20:27 For I have not shunned
to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 20:28 Take heed therefore unto
yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made
you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his
own blood. 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous
wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 20:30 Also of your own
selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples
after them. 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three
years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. 20:32 And
now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which
is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which
are sanctified. 20:33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
20:34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my
necessities, and to them that were with me. 20:35 I have shewed you all things,
how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words
of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
20:36 And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them
all. 20:37 And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him,
20:38 Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should
see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship.
Phillipians 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of
Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with
the bishops and deacons:
Separation of Church and State
God established both the church and the civil government.
He gave each its own individual scope of operation. The government's purpose
is outlined in Romans 13:1 thru
7 and the church's purposes in
Matthew 28:19 and
20. Neither should control the other, and there
should never exist an alliance between the two. Christians in a free society
can properly influence government toward the path of righteousness,
which is not the same as a denomination or group of churches in control of
Matthew 22:15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel
how they might entangle him in his talk. 22:16 And they sent out unto him
their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art
true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man:
for thou regardest not the person of men. 22:17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest
thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not? 22:18 But Jesus perceived
their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me,
ye hypocrites? 22:19 Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him
a penny. 22:20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
22:21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore
unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are
God's. 22:22 When they had heard these words,
they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.
Acts 15:17 That the residue of men might seek after
the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord,
who doeth all these things. 15:18 Known unto God are all his works from the
beginning of the world. 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not
them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 15:20 But that we
write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from
fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. 15:21 For Moses of
old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues
every sabbath day. 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the
whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul
and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among
the brethren: 15:23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The
apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are
of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: 15:24 Forasmuch as we have
heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words,
subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law:
to whom we gave no such commandment: 15:25 It seemed good unto us, being
assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas
and Paul, 15:26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ. 15:27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also
tell you the same things by mouth. 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost,
and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
15:29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from
things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves,
ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
Copyright © Tim Davis Sr., 2008