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Baptist Distinctives

These distinctives have always characterized true Bible–believers from the time of Christ until now.

  • Biblical Authority – We believe the Bible is the sole authority for faith and practice. (II Timothy 3:16,17)
  • Autonomy of the Local Church – The local church is an independent body accountable only to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Head of the church. This means they are self-governing. No religious hierarchy outside the local church may dictate a church’s beliefs or practices. (Colossians 1:18)
  • Priesthood of All Believers – Every believer today is a priest of God and may enter into His presence directly through our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ. No human mediator is needed because Christ is our Mediator. (I Peter 2:5-9, and I Timothy 2:5)
  • Two ordinances – (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper) called ordinances because they are ordered by the Lord. Not sacraments, because they do not have any saving grace in them.
    1. Baptism (Matthew 28:19,20)
      • Must have the right candidate – a believer
      • Must have the right mode – immersion
      • Must have the right formula – Father, Son , and Holy Spirit
      • Must have the right meaning – symbolic only
    2. The Lord’s Supper
      • Must have the right candidate – a believer
      • Must have the right meaning – symbolic only
  • Individual Soul Liberty – Every individual has the liberty and responsibility to believe as his own conscience dictates. No one is forced to assent to any belief against his will. This is not a license to sin, but an opportunity to do right as God’s Word directs. We must remember we will have to give an account to God one day. (Romans 14:5, and 12)
  • Saved Church Membership – Local church membership is restricted to individuals who give believable testimony of a personal faith in Christ and have publicly identified themselves with Him in believer’s baptism. (Acts 2:41-47, Acts 10:47)
  • Two Offices – There are only two Biblically mandated offices in a New Testament church: pastor and deacon. (I Tim. 3:1, and 13)
  • Separation of Church and State – God established both the church and the civil government, and He gave each its own distinct sphere of operation. Neither should control the other. (Matthew 22:15-22)