Baptists Descended from New Testament Churches
Jesus Christ laid the foundation for the New Testament church. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit came down upon the first believers to help and empower this infant local church.
As Christians in local church at Jerusalem began to multiply so did persecution. They were soon forced to flee to other parts of the world to escape persecution. God used this to spread the gospel and establish local churches throughout the world.
When the Constantine began the state church in 313 A.D., which was the foundation for the Catholic church, Christians who were determined to remain loyal to the Bible alone were forced to begin meeting secretly. For hundreds of years many of the secret churches, known by numerous names, remained true to the Bible. They became known as Anabaptists and eventually as Baptists.
Baptist are Separatists not Protestants
During the Reformation Luther and others protested against the Catholic church. They wanted to reform it to bring it back closer to the Bible’s teaching in doctrine and practice. Thus they became known as Protestants.
Baptist did not protest against Catholic church error, they separated from it. Thus, Baptists are not Protestants but Separatists. Baptists did not begin in the Reformation but descended from persecuted churches dating back to the first Century as mentioned above.
Baptist Believe and Practice These 10 Bible Teachings
- The BIBLE was given to man by inspiration of God. Because it is God’s Word, it must be our supreme and ultimate rule for doctrine and practice. Any time we have a question concerning doctrine or practice we must find the answer in the Bible and follow its guidance (2Tim 3:16; 2Pe 1:20-21; Heb 4:12; Ac 17:11; Ps 119:105).
- SALVATION is a gift received by grace, through personal faith in Christ’s substitutional atonement for every man’s sin (1Peter 3:18). Without this salvation, God must condemn all men to an eternity in a literal hell (Revelation 21:8). Salvation, having truly been received, cannot be lost (John 5:24).
- Salvation then baptism must precede MEMBERSHIP. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone and baptism must be by immersion following salvation (Ephesians 2:1-10; Acts 2:41).
- Every local church is to be AUTONOMOUS (self-governing and self-propagating). Christ alone is the head of every local church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23). No human authority has the right to control the belief and preaching of a local church. Each local church has the authority to scripturally discipline members that refuse to confess sin (Matthew 18:15-19). It has the authority to send forth missionaries (Acts 13:1-3). It has the authority to receive the tithes and offerings of God’s people for the furtherance of God’s work (1Co 16:1-2; Ro 15:25-26; Mal 3:8-10; 2Co 9:6-7; 1Co 9:13-14).
- Christ left two non-sacramental ORDINANCES for local churches: believers’ baptism as a symbol of the death and resurrection of Christ; and the partaking of unleavened bread and grape juice as symbols of Christ’s death, better known as the Lord’s Supper. Jesus gave believers in the local church the ordinance of baptism (Matthew 28:19) and the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper (1Corinthians 11:23-26), and commanded that they be observed.
- New Testament church teachings are EVANGELISTIC and NON-CHARISMATIC. Evangelism is a central theme of the Bible (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8). Baptists are not Charismatic in that they do not emphasize gifts, experience, and emotion. Nor do Baptists approve of Contemporary Christian Music which is norm among Charismatic churches.
- Every genuine Christian is a PRIEST before God (1Peter 2:5, 9). As a priest, every Christian may commune directly with God in prayer (Hebrews 4:14-16); and he is urged to intercede for others (Ephesians 6:18). He can pray anywhere and confess sin without human help (1John 1:9). He may read the Bible and receive instruction and knowledge directly from it (John 14:26).
- Every genuine Christian has SOUL LIBERTY. Soul Liberty is the belief that every individual, whether a believer or an unbeliever, has the liberty to choose what he wants to believe. No one has the right to force his belief on another. However, only the Bible is true and those who choose contrary to the Bible will be held accountable by God (Philippians 2:12-13; Romans 14:12).
- God has appointed the offices of PASTOR and DEACON for the leadership of the local church. The pastor is to be the head of the church, under Christ (Ephesians 4:7-12; 1Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5; Acts 14:23). The deacon is a servant of the pastor to help minister to the physical needs of the church (Acts 6:1-6; 1Timothy 3:8-13). The lives and testimonies of the pastor and deacon must be in accord with the qualifications outlined in Scripture.
- The New Testament church must practise both ecclesiastical and personal SEPARATION.
- Ecclesiastical separation is the separation of church and state. In other words, the church cannot receive power or authority from the government. Likewise, the government does not have the right to control the beliefs and practices of the local church (Matthew 22:21; Romans 13:3-4). Ecclesiastical separation also forbids the local church to cooperate in any way with churches, who condone, endorse, or tolerate sinful practices, or doctrines contrary to the clear teaching of Scripture. This includes ecumenical meetings and the modern charismatic activities (Romans 16:17; 2Corinthians 6:14- 18; 2Thessalonians 3:6, 13-14).
- Personal separation means that members of the church must strive to abstain from all sinful practices (1Thessalonians 5:22; 2Timothy 2:22).
We are Independent Baptists
Over the years differences of opinion among Baptist churches have caused splits. Conservatives go one way and the more liberal go another way. Thus, many kinds of Baptist churches exist today. Northside Baptist Church is an independent Baptist church. That means, we are not part of any denominational body. No church organization governs or supports our church. We are self-governing and self-supporting. We depend totally on voluntary offerings of church attendees for our financial obligations.