- Jesus Christ
- What does ‘KJV’ mean?
- What does ‘independent’ mean?
- What does ‘fundamental’ mean?
- What does ‘walking with God’ mean?
- Are Baptists Christians?
- Are Baptists very strict?
- What should I expect at a typical Baptist service?
- Are only Baptists allowed to join a Baptist church?
- Is every Baptist church the same?
- What Baptist church does this website represent?
Salvation is only through Jesus Christ. Although, the name ‘Baptist’ implies that baptism is essential to some process of the Baptist faith, Baptists do not believe that baptism has any part of a person’s salvation. Salvation is by the grace of God, through Jesus Christ, and our faith in what Jesus did on the cross—dying for our sins. For more information about this, click here.
Baptists believe that Jesus Christ is the core and foundation of all they believe (1 Cor 3:13). They understand that there exists many religions of all sorts, but what makes Baptists a Baptist is their belief that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). It is their belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God that binds them together (Mat 16:16). Jesus’ life, ministry, death, resurrection, and now intercession for all mankind is the essence of their faith. Take Jesus out, and there would be no faith, no Baptists.
Baptists believe that the scriptures are the final authority for all faith and practice. Many like to be referred to as the ‘people of the Book’, because the Bible gives time proven principles of living for every area of life, including marriage, child rearing, family, relationships, finances, and spiritual living. The Bible is the ultimate source of practical and proven methods for joy and life.
KJV stands for the King James Version of the Bible. Many Baptists believe that many, if not all, of the newer modern versions have been altered in various ways that cause subtle and destructive changes to core doctrines of the Bible. Many Baptists believe that the KJV is 100% accurate and that it is a myth that other modern translations are easier to read or to understand.
Many Baptist churches are independent of any particular denomination, or collection of Baptist churches under a denomination board or director. They are local, autonomous, answerable to Jesus first, and the members second. This is the case because they believe it difficult for a denomination to have the individual member’s best interest at heart—whereas, an independent pastor is freed from the constraints of a denomination and is free to pursue the Holy Spirit’s guidance in pastoring the people God has called him to minister to.
Fundamental or Fundamentalism in Baptist churches refers to the foundational beliefs of the movement. These beliefs are essentially:
- Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven (John 14:6).
- Baptism is a step of obedience to God and is a picture of what Jesus has already done (Acts 8:36-37).
- There are only TWO ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Mat 28:19,1 Cor 11:23-30).
- There are only TWO offices: Pastor and deacon (1 Tim 3). The Biblical terms ‘Bishop’ and ‘Elder’ are in effect the same office as that of the Pastor.
- Individual soul liberty. That everyone must answer to God for his or her beliefs and not to a pastor, deacon, church, denomination, or ruling council (Rom 14:12).
- That the scriptures are the final authority for all faith and practice—not the pastor, deacon, church, or denomination (2 Tim 3:16-17).
- The deity of Christ. In other words, that Jesus is as much God and part of God as God the Father and The Holy Spirit. This is known as the Trinity, or the belief that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit comprise a single God (John 1:1-14).
- The blood atonement. Baptists believe that Jesus had to shed His blood for our sins and His vicarious death provides the only way to heaven (Heb 9).
- The virgin birth. Baptists hold that Jesus’ birth was supernatural and that Mary conceived by the Holy Ghost before she knew any man (Mat 1:20).
- The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptists hold that Jesus rose from the dead, appeared to men, ascended into Heaven, and now sits at the right hand of God the Father (1 Cor 15:13-20, Acts 2:33).
- The imminent return of Jesus Christ. Called the ‘Rapture’ by many, Baptists believe that Jesus Christ will come to claim His own, at any moment, before many of the events listed in Revelation occur (Mat 24:27-31).
- That the mission of the church and individual Christian is threefold: First, to walk with God (Micah 6:8), secondly, to magnify God (Ps 34:3), and thirdly, to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone and everyone (Mar 16:15).
For Baptists, this is the heart of their faith. Baptists believe that God created mankind to have fellowship with Him. It is, therefore, part of the purpose of every individual to develop a dynamic, intricate, and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. To Baptists, the relationship is everything. They do not believe that Christianity is a list or rules of what you can and cannot do, but rather a means to develop a close relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (Micah 6:8). This is done through many avenues, namely, reading the Bible, praying, praising, worshiping, and telling others of the Gospel.
Baptists believe that it is important that every person, every individual discover the richness and incredible purity of a close relationship with God.
Baptists believe that God meant for a person’s earthly happiness to be fulfilled through God given relationships (Eph 6). They believe that life is not about things, possessions, or money, but about relationships (Prov 15:17). Baptists are a big proponent of healthy marriages, raising loving children, and in getting along with everyone around them—including their enemies (Luk 6:27).
Baptists believe a person’s joy comes through relationships rather than purpose. In fact, it is the relationships that give meaning to their service, their ministries, and their zeal.
Baptists were given their name by the Catholic Church. Originally called, ‘Anabaptists’ by Catholics—which means ‘re-baptizers’—the ‘ana’ was dropped in favor of the shorter version. Yet Baptists do not believe that baptism is essential to a person’s salvation. Instead, Baptists believe that baptism is something you do in obedience to God.
In other words, salvation is something God does for us, while baptism is something we do for God. It is viewed like a wedding ring. The ring doesn’t make a person married, but it tells everyone around them that he married. The ring is the married person’s public profession of his love to a particular person. It is similar to a pledge of allegiance. Baptism is seen the same way by Baptists.
Baptists will not baptize an individual, child, or otherwise until they come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ—then, and only then, would they baptize a person (Acts 8:36-38). This is why the Catholics at one time called them the ‘re-baptizers’, because many of the Baptist converts were once baptized by the Catholic church as infants.
Baptists baptize by full immersion since the word ‘baptism’ means ‘a burial’. They believe it to be a picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As such, they believe true baptism is only done through immersion (Rom 6:3-5).
Baptists assume a true marriage to be between a man and a woman. To that end, Baptists hold marriage is the most sacred and basic of societal units. They believe the strength of a society’s marriages is the greatest cause and indicator of societal health. In addition, marriage is viewed as a microcosm of our relationship with Jesus Christ. They believe that God meant for a marriage to help us understand, to some degree, God’s vast and intricate love for us.
Healthy marriages, therefore, are important to Baptists.
As already stated elsewhere, life is not about things. Life is relationships. Foremost of those relationships is the one we hold with Jesus Christ. Baptists believe every person was created for a purpose, that God has a plan and will for every individual. No one is less important than another, and no one can be thought of as unnecessary. Every single person is vital to God and to each of us (1 Cor 12).
Baptists believe Heaven to be a real place existing either in this reality or another reality. It is where God resides. It is where those who have trusted Jesus as their Saviour will go when they die. The belief in the absolute reality of this place is much of the motivation for Baptists. Click here to find out how you can go to Heaven.
Baptists believe Hell to be a real place existing outside of God—an eternal separation between soul and God. Baptists do not believe in a purgatory. Hell, they believe, was created originally for Satan and his devils as a place of incredible torment (Mat 25:41). Baptists believe that God never intended nor desired for a single person to go to Hell (2 Pet 3:9). They believe sin caused a separation between God and man, and that Jesus’ death on the cross is the only bridge to cross from death to life. This bridge, however, is accessible by anyone at anytime (2 Cor 6:2). Baptists believe a loving God went to supernatural lengths—by sending His Son to die—to provide everyone an opportunity to escape the fires of Hell and spend eternity in Heaven. Click here to discover how you can escape Hell too.
Yes. The term ‘Baptist’ is a name given to them hundreds of years ago. The term ‘Christian’ is also a name given to Believers in the ancient city of Antioch (Acts 11:26). Their lives so reflected the teaching of Jesus Christ that others began calling them ‘Christian’. Today, the term ‘Christian’ is loosely used to depict anyone who claims to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Baptists consider themselves Christian first and Baptist second.
Every Baptist Church will vary in this respect. But in general, Baptists believe in holy living (1 Pet 1:16). At the same time, they believe in individual soul-liberty. They believe that as your relationship with God develops and becomes closer, your living habits will change as a natural course of events. They argue that your desires, ambitions, goals, and purpose change as you begin to enjoy a close walk with a living God. They believe that during this change, the outward begins to reflect the inward and is something you will neither fear nor regret, but embrace. However, outward changes without the inward changes are often destructive and misleading (Mat 23:27). These changes are different for each individual, and the journey needs to be taken a step at a time. Most Baptists take joy, not in what they can or cannot do, but in doing it for their Saviour. Again, it is the relationship that matters most.
This will vary from church to church, but in general, expect a Baptist service to revolve around the sermon. Worship, Baptists believe, is an individual duty that cannot be directed or dictated. Worship does go on in Baptist churches, but it emanates from each individual in different and unique ways. Therefore, the sermon becomes the focal point. Also known as preaching, or the preaching of the Word of God, Baptists feel that power for Christian living, including love, joy, and peace is gained through an adherence to the Scriptures (1 Cor 1:18, Gal 5:16-26).
A typical Baptist service has a focal point and follows a pattern set forth by Ezra in the Old Testament (Neh 8).
- A gathering of people together in a public place—usually the church building (Neh 8:1).
- A bringing forth of the Scriptures (Neh 8:1).
- A reading of the Scriptures (Neh 8:2-3).
- A sermon explaining the Scriptures (Neh 8:8).
- A rejoicing in the Scriptures (Neh 8:9-12).
Praises, songs, and hymns are sung a various points of the service. And a typical Baptist Church is a place of laughter and joy. Someone once described it as a family reunion, a refuge for the people of God from the weariness of the world. Baptists hold that a church service ought to have something of a family atmosphere and not a place of sadness or mourning.
Baptists do not look at your background as qualification for church membership. They typically look at two things:
- If you have a testimony of trusting Jesus as your Saviour.
- If you have been scripturally baptized by immersion after Salvation.
These are the only qualifications for church membership in most Baptist churches.
Attending a Baptist church is easier still. As one Baptist preacher put it, “Do you believe in God? Do you believe in the Bible? Yes? Then you qualify!” For most Baptists, it is not where you are that is important, but where you are going. It puts everyone on equal footing.
No. Because of the individual soul liberty held by most Baptists, there is a wide variety of Baptist churches and styles of services. More often than not, the personality of any particular Baptist church will take on the personality and vision of the senior pastor. If you don’t like one particular Baptist church, the odds are there is another that will be suited to you.
This website is a collaboration of two brothers living in different parts of the United States attending two different Baptist Churches. In general, this website represents Independent Baptist Churches, but not all or any particular one. This website is designed to provide quality Baptist content from a variety of sources for the general public—content, that until recently, was only typically available to those already within certain Baptist circles. They believe the richness of the content needs to be better disseminated to help and enrich the lives of a much wider group of people not familiar with what Baptist Churches can offer.