There are six distinct doctrines that distinguish Bible believing Baptist churches from all other churches and religions in the world. Some non-denominational churches hold these doctrines, and, thus, they are Baptist in their doctrine though not in their name. We are not ashamed of the name “Baptist” and we are not ashamed of these distinct doctrines. So, we are a Baptist church and want those who “check us out” to know that we hold these doctrines. We don’t want there to be any surprises. These distinctly Bible believing Baptist doctrines are:
The sufficiency and supremacy of the Bible in all things pertaining to faith and practice.
A believer is to believe the Bible and be under its authority (Matt 22:29; Acts 17:11; Mk. 4:24; Matt. 4:4; Rev. 22:18-19; Jas. 1:22; Ecc. 8:4; Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:6). There is a major difference between believing the Bible and judging everything by it, and believing a doctrine and then going to the Bible to prove that doctrine is true. A believer is to believe the Bible regardless whether what it says contradicts his doctrine or way of life. He should adjust his life to the Bible and not adjust the Bible to his way of life. We believe that the King James Bible is the word of God and our authority.
The autonomy of the local church.
The local church is an independent organization of believers who are accountable directly to the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the body of Christ, the living organism that is his Church (Col. 1:18). Thus, he is the head of the local church (1 Pet. 5:4; 2:25). He has appointed two offices for his churches. The first office is pastor, also known as bishop or elder (Eph. 4:11; 1 Tim. 3:1; 1 Pet. 5:1-3). The second office is deacon (1 Tim. 3:8). Consequently, the local church should not be under the authority of a convention, conference, synod, presbytery, pope, or such (Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Cor. 5:12; 6:4-5).
The membership of regenerated and baptized believers.
Salvation is by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on Calvary (Eph. 2:8-9; 1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18; Rom. 10:9-10). Only saved, born-again believers are received into the membership of the local church. They may become members after they have been baptized by immersion in water (Acts 2:41-47). That’s because immersion is the only form of baptism that pictures the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 6:3-5; Acts 8:38-39). Salvation is not by water baptism (contrast Acts 2:38 with Acts 10:43-48 and Acts 8:36-38). Hence, infant baptism is rejected. Babies do not need to be baptized in order to wash away original sin, to be elected, or to be safe (Lk. 18:15-16; Rom. 4:15; 5:13; Deut. 1:39).
The priesthood of the believer.
Every believer is a priest and need not approach God through any other mediator than the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 2:5; 1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 5:10). As priests, believers have the responsibility to live a separated life unto God (2 Cor. 6:14-18; 1 Thes. 1:9; Acts 26:18).
The eternal security of the believer.
Once a person has been born again, he is secure in Christ and cannot lose his salvation (Jn. 5:24; 6:37; Rom. 8:38-39; Eph 1:13; 4:30; 1 Jn. 5:13; etc.).
The separation of church and state.
The church and state are two separate authorities ordained by God. One is not authorized by God to control the other (Acts 18:12-17; 1 Cor. 6:6-7; Acts 4:13-20; Eph. 1:22-23; Acts 12:1-4, 23; Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Tim. 2:1-4; 1 Pet. 2:17).
Conclusion: As you can see from these doctrines, a Baptist church is the only church that believes all of these. Many churches do not believe the Bible is their sole authority. They have traditions, prophets, societies and other books that establish their authority. Many churches are not autonomous; rather they are under a superior authority. Many churches have members who have not been saved. Many churches have priests that are a clergy above the laity. Many churches believe that you can lose your salvation. Some churches are state churches. Thus, a Baptist church is the only church that believes all of these doctrines that we have studied today. If you believe these doctrines, you should be in a Bible believing Baptist church, if you aren’t already.