Friday, June 27, 2014

5. Believer’s Baptism by Immersion

Baptists believe that baptism is one of the two ordinances instituted by Jesus Christ. The other is the Lord’s Supper. When Jesus gave the Great Commission to his disciples in Matthew 28:18-20 he said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (E.S.V.) In obedience this command, Baptists baptize believers in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Baptism is meant to follow repentance and faith. When Peter spoke on the day of Pentecost he said to the people in Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Baptists also believe that baptism is to be administered by the local church.
Baptists also believed that baptism should be by immersion. The Greek word for baptism means to dip, plunge or soak. Also full immersion in water is symbolic of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection and the believer’s death to sin and rising to new life in Jesus Christ. Baptism is a step of obedience and an act of identification with Jesus Christ. Jesus identified with us sinners through his baptism. We identify with him through ours. Galatians 3:27 says, "For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." It is also a public proclamation of faith and an initiation into the Church of Christ. Believer’s baptism is a requirement for membership in Baptist churches.

Question:            Should Baptist churches accept into the membership Christians who have been baptized as believers by a mode other than immersion?

Friday, June 20, 2014

4. A Believers’ Church

Baptists believe that their churches should include as members only those who have professed faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. While they definitely encourage seekers to attend their church services, they do not receive them into the membership until they have confessed Christ in the waters of baptism. We know that we can be deceived by people who make false professions, but we do our best eliminate these deceptions. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (E.S.V.) We endeavor to raise our children to make their own personal decisions to follow Christ, but we do not consider them to be Christians until they have made their own commitments. We also recognize that there are many sincere Christians that are not Baptists.
In our churches we gather to worship God and to fellowship with one another. Our services are also teaching services where we study the Bible. Acts 2:42, 46-67 describes what the early church was like. It says, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. This is the goal for our churches.
We also fellowship with sincere Christians in other denominations and work together with them to further the cause of Christ. John 10:16 says, “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.” While we believe that the universal church is made up all Christian believers, we also believe that this invisible church should be expressed in individual, local congregations.

Question:            How should your local church be working with other churches to further the cause of Christ?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Creator God, we are here to praise Your glorious name,
For You call all the billions and billions of stars by name.
Redeemer God, we can only bow humbly at your feet,
For You alone all the powers of hell did defeat.

Heavenly Father, we kneel in worship and adoration.
Your power is vastly beyond our imagination.
Your wisdom and knowledge is so infinite and vast.
You see everything that is present, future and past.

You alone are worthy all of our worship and praise.
May we love and honour You all of the rest of our days.
Jesus, we cannot thank You enough for Your sacrifice.
For our sins, it was the only payment that would suffice.

We come as sinful creatures before the Holy One.
Yet we come in the precious name of the beloved Son.
We come boldly before the heavenly throne of grace.
We come as needy children seeking the Father’s face.


Heavenly Father, I am so weak and twisted and frail.
If my inmost thoughts were exposed I’d be worthy of jail.
You have forgiven me so many times I’ve lost count.
If my sins were piled up it would be an impressive mount.
How many times can I come before your mercy throne?
How many of my sins will the blood of Jesus atone?
I have hurt so many, many people over the years.
I can’t count how many people I’ve driven to tears.
I could say it’s because I was never really loved,
But it’s because I did not trust in my Father above.
And now once more I come before your throne of grace.
And bow before you to confess my own disgrace.
Please ease the pain that I have inflicted on others.
Please grant them a measure of your grace to discover.
Yet I know that it is against you that I have sinned.
So it is your mercy and grace that I hope to win.

Friday, June 13, 2014

3. The Priesthood of All Believers

                Baptists do not believe in a separate priesthood, but that all believers are priests. 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (ESV) Under the old covenant, the priests were the intermediaries between ordinary people and God. Ordinary people had to come to them to make sacrifices to God on their behalf.
Only the priests could enter the Holy Place. Only the high priest could enter the Most Holy Place, the symbol of the presence of God in the midst of his people. He could only enter the Most Holy Place once a year on the Day of Atonement. A curtain separated the Most Holy Place from the rest of the temple. However, with the death of Christ, everything changed. Matthew 27:50-51 says, “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.
                Jesus is now the only priest that we need. He offered up to God the eternal sacrifice of himself. No other sacrifices are needed. Hebrews 4:14-16 says, “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Because of what Jesus has done for us, every believer can approach God on his or her own. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 says, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
                Jesus, our great high priest, has made us all priests before God. Revelation 5:9-10 says, “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.’” This means not only that we do not need an intermediary between us and God, but also they we are to act as intermediaries for others. We are to pray for others and help them on their spiritual journey. This aspect of our role as priests is often neglected. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 says, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” God has given us a role to perform, a task to complete. Will we be faithful to him?

Question:            In what ways are we to ask as priests for others?

Thursday, June 12, 2014


We have been given a job like no other.
God has called each of us to be a father.
We strive to the best of our ability,
To fulfill this awesome responsibility.

Our Heavenly Father has set the example.
Love and grace and compassion are just a sample,
Of the many blessings He has given to us.
And the children He has given us in trust.

For all His gifts we thank our Father above.
Will we be faithful to follow Him in love?
Will we raise our children to love and honour God?

Will we be true while this earthly path we trod?

Friday, June 6, 2014

2. The Word of God is the Authoritative Rule of Faith and Practice

                Baptists believe that the Bible is the Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:19-21 says, “And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,  knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (E.S.V.) Because the Bible is the Word of God given to mankind it is the final authority on all matters of faith and practice.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 says, “And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” What the Bible says Baptists affirm even if it is uncomfortable. Mark Twain once said, “Most people are bothered by those passages of scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.”
In 2 Timothy 3:15-17Paul says to his son in faith, Timothy, “… from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” The Bible is all that we need to find salvation and to grow in Christ We need no other authority, no other writings. Other groups may accept tradition, church authorities and/or personal experience as having some authority, but Baptists do not.
                Baptist churches often have statements of faith in their constitutions, but they do not carry the authority of the Bible. They may occasionally recite creeds in their services, but this is simply to remind them of the long history of the Christians faith and their affinity with their Christians, past and present.

Question:            How do you respond to passages like 1 Corinthians 14:33-35 which says, “For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.”?