Baptists Believe...

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by javalady, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. javalady

    javalady
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    This is for anyone who wants to know what Bible-believing Baptists believe. I am not going to take the extreme "left" approach (a few on this board represent) nor an extreme "right" approach (again the same).
    One quick sweep over the Baptist Board shows that many wearing the title "Baptist" differ from one another. Some hold to the "King James Bible Only" position. Others declare political activism, social justice and equal rights should claim much of our attention. These are some of the extreme beliefs on either side I respectfully refuse to deal with here; and ask that those of you who post here try to, also. There are plenty of other topics that give opportunity to argue these issues out.
    What I hope to present & begin is an offering to those new to Baptist churches:
    **What defines a Baptist?**
    1. A Baptist Christian is one who holds to the Bible as the inerrant, all-sufficient, authoritative Word of God. While creeds, confessions, books by godly men & women, etc. may be respected & referred to, only the Bible (in it's 66 books) is the Word of God. We do not acknowledge the decrees of popes & kings. There are no "current words from the Lord". All our emotions, all our beliefs must come under the guidance and direction of the Holy Bible.
    2. Baptists embrace the Triune God of the Bible as the only true God. He is the Creator of all things; the One who provided salvation; the One who holds the universes in His hand. This one true God: Father, Son (Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit are 3 Persons, yet 1 God. We deny that we worship 3 gods (as Jews & Jehovah Witnesses claim). We deny that there are many gods (as Mormons, pagans, and New Agers claim).
    3. We believe the miraculous of the Bible was truly that. Jesus Christ really was (is) God who became a Man; born of a virgin. Jesus really did turn water into wine; and He really did rise from the dead after 3 days. There truly are angelic beings who worship before the throne of God day & night; and are somehow given to Christians for protection & help.
    4. Baptists believe the only Savior from sin is the Lord Jesus Christ. He fulfilled Old Testament law, fulfilled the prophecies of the Messiah, and became God the Father's perfect atonement for our sins. His death on the cross satisfied all of God's demands for sin--"It is finished!" means just that. Jesus doesn't have to die again & again (as in the Catholic mass), nor did Satan finish the work as Scapegoat (as the 7th day Adventists claim). Christ's life & death are the complete atonement for our sins. His literal, physical resurrection overcame death & the devil; and insures our resurrection at the Last Day also.
    5. Baptist believers cling to the promise that by God's rich grace we are freely saved through faith--faith that He gives to us! We cannot earn our salvation by faith + works (as all other religions claim), no we are joyfully adopted into God's family by His righteous work on our behalf, and His redeeming us by His blood.
    Once we have been born again, Baptists thankfully acknowledge that we can never "lose" or "forfeit" the gift of ETERNAL salvation which God has given us through Christ. "Once saved, always saved" is a modern way of saying what the Puritans once did: True believers persevere, and do not fall back into perdition.
    6. Baptists believe that the ordinance of water baptism is by immersion, for the believer only. The word "baptism" means "immersion" and is best clearly understood from the Bible as exactly that. We do not baptize infants (Catholic, Reformed, Presbyertian, Methodist & Lutheran...), nor for the dead (Mormon...). The Bible is clear: water baptism by new believers is commanded by Christ & is a joyful recognition that one has been "born again" by God's Spirit...it is a recognition that we've died to sin & our old lives & now rise to live with Christ.
    7. Baptists rejoice to enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit--the 3rd Person of the Trinity!--within their lives: guiding, enlightening them to the Scripture, enabling them to overcome sin & temptation, and live & witness in a way that glorifies God. Every believer has been baptized into the Holy Spirit--every believer has the power & authority to live victoriously for Christ.
    8. Baptists live in the light that, as surely as we must delightedly worship & enjoy our God, so we must spread the Good News of His great salvation! Baptists are missionary minded--whether that mission is to the downtown area to the poor, or across the seas to those who've never heard. Baptists realize there is only One Way, One Truth, One Life--through Jesus Christ! We cannot tolerate other religions as "equally useful or important" because we realize God has only One Truth.
    9. Baptist Christians hold to the belief in the priesthood of the believer: that all Christians can & should read their Bibles, understand it & be established in the Word of God. That all believers have a ministry in God's Church; and should avail themselves to that ministry. That we have no pope: Christ is Head of His Church!
    10. Baptists look forward to the 2nd Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; and purify themselves until He comes. We may differ on the "how", but we all eagerly await His coming, and look to be found in faith & actively serving Him till He comes.
    There are a beginning 10 points of what Baptists Believe. This is not exhaustive. Some of my sisters & brothers may want to highlight points I made or add others. But I pray that--for all of you seeking to know what it means to be a Baptist--you'll see a presentation of Scriptural truth & be drawn to the Savior Himself, as well as some of His people.
    Respectfully,
    javalady

    [ January 29, 2002: Message edited by: javalady ]
     
  2. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
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    I am giving you a standing ovation javalady!! [​IMG] WELL PUT. It gets awful lonely on this "Baptist" board at times.
     
  3. javalady

    javalady
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    Thank you, Sir, but I'm so embarrassed Ps 104...! After I posted I washed my hair, as I washed I realized I left out TWO REALLY important points!!
    Baptists believe that all of us are born in sin..."All have sinned and come short of God's glory." We can't save ourselves & that's why we NEED a Savior! This should go right under the fact that there is only One Savior!
    Finally, at the end, where it speaks of Baptists looking for & purifying themselves for the coming of Jesus I omitted:
    Baptists believe in eternity! For those who reject Christ as Lord & Savior, they face an eternity in the eternal flames of hell. For those who embrace Christ as Lord & Savior, they look forward to eternity in heaven with the Triun Godhead, and ruling & reigning with Christ!
    So thanks for the words of encouragement, but it's a good thing everyone's not looking to ME to write a COMPLETE synopsis of the Scripture!! [​IMG]
    Thanks for your graciousness!
    In His mercy...
     
  4. Sir Ed

    Sir Ed
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    Other than the heresy in No. 6, I too am a Baptist!!
     
  5. DocCas

    DocCas
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    Amazing! SirEd believes Martin Luther was a heretic!

    Martin Luther: "Baptism is a Greek word, and may be translated immerse. I would have those who are to be baptized to be altogether dipped."
     
  6. Sir Ed

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    Thomas, immersion is always better; at least in regard to the symbolism accept of Baptism.

    Peace be with you.
     
  7. UncleRay

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    Dear Javalady,
    Thanks for your efforts.

    This has probably been beaten to death, but I've not been here that long so here goes:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Once we have been born again, Baptists thankfully acknowledge that we can never "lose" or "forfeit" the gift of ETERNAL salvation which God has given us .... "Once saved, always saved" .... True believers persevere, and do not fall back into perdition.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I just don't understand my Baptist friends. They frequently mention that someone "got saved". Now they have no concerns for that friend's salvation ever (or themselves if they are the one saved).

    1. Does this mean that a person who sincerely accepts Christ and then for what ever reason a few years later "falls away" from going to church. They start running with the bad boys and before you know it they are breaking most if not all the ten commandments. Are they still saved? Like they got a "get out of jail free" card?

    2. Sort of added to the "once saved always saved" is the "believers persevere" requirement. Now are you saying Once saved always saved only if you persevere?
    3. The persevering requirement makes salvation a continuing process doesn't it?
    4. Or do you believe that a person who accepted Christ and was "saved" and later breaks all the commandments, just never really was saved in the first place? If that is the case, doesn't that go against the whole idea of knowing if you are saved or not.

    I don't want to argue with you but I just don't understand the concept.

    As you can tell from my writing, I'm just a simple farm boy. Please give me a straight across the kitchen table sort of answer. If you could just put it in your own words, not just a quote or two or four that can be understood differently by many.

    I liked your straight forward list of beliefs.

    Thanks,
    Garce and peace,
    Uncle Ray
     
  8. UncleRay

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    Javalady are you out there??
    Uncle Ray
     
  9. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Give her a little time, Uncle Ray. She's a preacher's wife which is a duty that requires being on call 24 hours, maintaining a good appearance at all times, always setting the example, and just generally being everything to everybody. She'll get back to you. [​IMG]

    - Clint
     
  10. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    I can't speak for Javalady, but I do believe in eternal security, once saved is saved once. I believe God will call the fallen home once they get past a certain point. I don't treat it as a 'get out of jail free card', just eternal securtity.

    Case in point, I won't know for certain until I get there myself, but I believe Elvis Presley is in heaven.
     
  11. javalady

    javalady
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    Hi Uncle Ray,
    Sorry to take awhile to get back to you. As Clint pointed out, my husband is a pastor (plus I teach our children at home)...so my "plate" gets pretty full sometimes!
    I understand your confusion about perseverance and "once saved, always saved."
    There are many who claim to be Christians but have not truly been born from above (John 3:3). They can talk Christian slang, go to church, some even do many good and kind things; but there has been no change of heart.
    2 Cor. 5:7 says that when someone is in Christ, they are brand new creations. The old has passed away (not temporarily removed--but passed away), all things become new.
    A promise from the Old Testament that God gave (in Ezek. 36:25-28 & Jer. 31:31-34) about the New Covenant we have in Jesus Christ, says when He would bring this New Covenant in, He would change our hearts, give us His Spirit, and enable us to walk in His ways. In other words: God would make us new people! We are transformed from children of the devil to children of God.
    There's no transformation back from children of God to children of the devil--just warnings in the Bible to those claiming Christ; to make sure of their salvation. Some find being with Christians so pleasant they think they are too--Peter was telling us to make sure we've truly experienced new life in Jesus.
    2 Peter 2, Jude, 1 Tim. 6 and other places warn us against those who say they are Christians, but are not truly born again. They are referred to as "apostates"--never having truly known the truth, they never will. They bring in false teaching to the Church, lure people away with ungodly living and ideas, and are "wolves in sheep's clothing" as it were. When these people "fall away" they show they never really belonged to Christ.
    Yes there are real Christians who fall into sin--that's why so much of the New Testament is written to warn Christians about different kinds of evils. But God is faithful to complete the good work of salvation He began in us at the new birth (Phil. 1:6). He makes sure His children persevere.
    Just as a loving father disciplines unruly kids, the heavenly Father disciplines us when we err (Hebrews 12). It doesn't mean we've lost our salvation; in fact, because He disciplines us shows we really are His children!
    We have a God who shows His care for us in that He sent His Son to save us, while we were still sinners (Rom. 5). The truth of this passage tells us of His enduring love, which will not be defeated. In Hebrews the Bible says Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith. This assures us that our faith is dependent on His grace, and not our "faithfulness".
    The joy of our salvation is totally on the Lord Jesus Christ, not on our works that we do. Our "good works" are merely a reflection of our love for Him--motivated out of a grateful heart for His mercy.
    Hope this helps!
     
  12. UncleRay

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    Dear Javalady,

    Thanks again for the thoughtful reply. I've some questions but need to think about it a bit first.

    Clint says you are a preacher's wife and thus

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Clint Kritzer

    on call 24 hours, maintaining a good appearance at all times.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Seems when I was a Methodist the preacher's wife's duties seemed to be fairly straightforward with a bit of subtle good judgement thrown in.

    Minimum was she taught children in Sunday School and played the organ.

    The subtle part:

    -She should be attractive enough that members are happy to say she is their Pastor's wife. And yet not more attractive than any other woman in the church so that no woman feels insecure. Certainly not so attractive the men are noticing.

    -House was always to be clean and orderly. Yet not so spotless that any member of church could stop by for a chat and coffee any time of day. "Oh, pastor won't be home for two hours. I guess I can just wait here and we can chat.You weren't doing anything were you?"

    - Children best behaved. (They weren't)

    Guess that is off topic. I just hope your congregation includes you and your family in their constant prayers. He can't do it with out you.

    I'll get back soon.
    Uncle Ray
     
  13. UncleRay

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    Mr. Curtis,
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> ...once saved is saved once. I believe God will call the fallen home once they get past a certain point. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What do you mean by call the fallen home once they get past a certain point?
    Is this suppose to mean that God does not allow them to sin further? I don't think you mean they die.

    Again, what if they are out there breaking all the commandments? Still saved?

    As for Elvis, he was spotted just up the road near his old house in Tupelo. You don't think it's bi-location do you?

    Grace and peace,
    Uncle Ray
     
  14. UncleRay

    UncleRay
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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Thomas Cassidy
    Administrator
    Member # 187
    posted January 30, 2002 12:32 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Amazing! SirEd believes Martin Luther was a heretic!
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I won't argue with that. :D ;) [​IMG]
    Uncle Ray
     
  15. UncleRay

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    Dear Javalady or friends,

    I don't question the scriptures in your response, I just still don't understand. I don't believe you aimed quite at the center of my ignorance. Now it might be the theology of individual Baptists and not official doctrine but here is still my issue.

    Baptists talk of being saved and more importantly they speak of being certain that they are saved. I guess it's this "knowing" that confuses me.

    It's the business of
    if you died tonight would you know if you are going to heaven.?

    If someone is "saved" by Baptist standards are they once saved always saved?

    Is it really the case that you are "saved" only if you are "really, really saved" and Baptists don't know if they are "really saved" any better than any one else?

    I guess it's the "certainity" of "being saved once and always" that throws me. Baptist laypeople in their witnessing use this a lot. That's why I wonder.

    Grace and peace,
    Uncle Ray
     
  16. Ps104_33

    Ps104_33
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    Uncle Ray,

    Your quote:


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>1. Does this mean that a person who sincerely accepts Christ and then for what ever reason a few years later "falls away" from going to church. They start running with the bad boys and before you know it they are breaking most if not all the ten commandments. Are they still saved? Like they got a "get out of jail free" card?

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Allow me to quote my life verse, 2 Corinthians 5:21- For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him"
    I'll tell ya Uncle Ray, I try through the grace of God to live a godly life but that old nature always gets the best of me. I thank God for imputed righteousness because "in my flesh dwells no good thing". "If righteousness comes by the law then Christ is dead in vain" "All our righteousness is filthy rags" Psalm 34:6 " This poor man cried and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles".
    With me Uncle Ray, its all of Christ. Man, its a "get out of hell free card"!!
     
  17. javalady

    javalady
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    Dear Uncle Ray,
    "Being saved" is like being born (a new way--spiritually). Yes, we believe the Bible clearly teaches we can know for certain that we are saved: once and for all, for all time, and certainly.
    The Bible speaks of "eternal life." As I pointed out earlier, it isn't temporary--it is forever.
    Romans 8 is a beautiful "song" of joy to the person who knows their sins are forgiven (not just at one point--but forever)! It says if we are in Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation. It points out that if we are children of God (born into His kingdom) then His Spirit is inside of us, witnessing to that fact, and our hearts cry out to the Father: "Abba!" (An intimate word in Aramaic for "Father!")
    Romans 8 goes on to say that if God foreknew us (which is a term which means "to love beforehand"), then He predestinated us. If He predestinated us, He also called us (to Himself to be saved), and those He calls, He justifies (makes us right before Him; taking away our sin & making it "just as if I'd never sinned"). Those He justifies--He glorifies (takes us to heaven & gives us new bodies at the resurrection)!
    There is no "if", "and" or "but" here. No exceptions like:
    If the Christian continues to go to church regularly; or
    If the Christian does "X" amount of good works each week; or
    anything based on our works. No, it is a certain thing: If He called me, He justifies me and He will glorify me! Yes & Amen!
    Ephesians 1:7 says: In whom [Jesus] we *HAVE* redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace...
    It already belongs to the ones whom Christ has pardoned!
    Now, our salvation is also a process. No we cannot "forfeit" or "lose" it; but it will transform & change us (which is part of the proving that we are saved). Gal. 5:22,23 says the fruit of the Spirit [in other words, the "proof" that God's Spirit is in us] is love, joy, peace, etc. These things are a growing garden of beauty in the person who truly loves Jesus Christ.
    So we have a point where we are born (in the Spirit). We continue to grow and mature in spiritual graces (love, joy, holiness, goodness, etc.). We grow in our understanding of the Bible, and our obedience to it.
    Does God have any "handicapped" children--people who do not mature as they ought, yet are truly His children? Yes, certainly. They are Christians who are often in churches that do not preach/teach the truth clearly. They are people who don't read their Bibles & pray regularly (and thus "feed" themselves as they need proper nourishment). They are people who are willful and rebellious--and so cripple themselves in their walk with Christ. These are the ones who are sad testimonies of Christianity--and difficult to deal with because of their own disobedience.
    1 Cor. 11 says some of these actually shorten their own lives by their disobedience!
    Uncle Ray, if you trust in the Triune God to save you through the once-for-all sacrifice of Jesus Christ, you will have the assurance of your sins forgiven, your name written in the Lamb's book of life, your life secured in His hand, and your future certain in heaven with Him & all His people.
    We do not have to be "eternally insecure"; God wants us to know He loves us with an EVERLASTING love!
    It's made such a difference for me to have that assurance. May you find that joy, is my prayer.
     
  18. CatholicConvert

    CatholicConvert
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    Man, its a "get out of hell free card"!!

    Best description of heresy I ever heard in a long time. That kind of thinking, formulated by Luther's "faith alone" theological novum, turned Germany into a moral cesspool before Luther died. He lived to see the wretched results of his little experiment in ecclessiastical rebellion and regret it deeply.

    (I'm waiting for a certain member in our church to bring me an interesting writing which he says shows that Luther recanted his heresies and was reconciled to the Holy Mother Church before dying. Another story for another thread).

    Javalady -- I have made mention of this in other places, so the others may have read this already, but I post it for you.

    Salvation is a covenant between God and man. Covenants are breakable, that is, we can enter into them and break them.

    A covenant is a living relationship between two people. Your marriage is the best example of this (note how the Scriptures use many marital terms to describe the relationship between the believer and the Lord). In the marital covenant, two people become one flesh BY THE UNION OF MIND AND BODY. A marriage is where two become one. While ideally we wish that this would happen instantaneously, the reality is that such unity is worked upon over the lifetime of the marriage.

    In like manner, we spend our lifetime becoming one with our Lord. It is the goal of the Christian to acheive a high degree of what the Orthodox Church calls "theosis" while still on this earth (Theosis = becoming like God). This is done by the unity of our will to His as our covenantal head. The lesser in the covenant always subjugates to the greater. That is why women are called to be submissive to their husbands. It is the principle of covenantal hierarchy. The man is the covenantal head.

    We as believers are called to bring our passions under control and exercise our wills to be in conformity to the Law of God as summed up by our Lord ("Love God - Love neighbor"). Every act and deed of such love we do brings us into more sanctification, for these deeds are acts of faith. This is what James meant when he said that he showed his faith by his works. Works are the icon of faith.

    But like a marriage, our relationship with God can sour. We can seek our own wills (sin) in varying degrees so that our Lord becomes estranged from us. And there are some sins which Scripture calls "sin unto death" (we call mortal sin) which absolutely SEVER the covenantal bond between us. We separate ourselves from God by severing ourselves from His will. This is covenant breaking, and if we die in such a state, we will not inherit eternal life. (Matt. 19:29; Matt. 25:34; Mark 10:17; Luke 10:25). Eternal life is an inheritance, and inheritances are only given to those children of the covenant who KEEP THE COVENANT by works of obedience.

    The best picture of this is the parable of the Prodigal Son. Notice that the son was always a son of the father, but that he, by sinning against the father, separated himself from the father. This is EXACTLY what we do when we choose sin over God's will. We sever that unity of with the Father's love and go into the far country of sin.

    Now.....suppose the boy had DIED in the far country of sin? Would he have gotten the inheritance that was awaiting him? (Yes, there was still more, all he got was the earnest money). Nope. He would have died outside the father's kingdom and would have lost all that was his by inheritance as a child of the father.

    Our covenantal relationship to God works the same way. As long as we stay "in the kingdom" by our deeds of obedience to God, we enjoy His fellowship and expect to recieve the inheritance of eternal life. But if we decide to sin by doing that which is offensive to our Father, we break that relationship with Him and we, in essence, "leave the kingdom" for the far country of sin. That is what it means to commit "mortal sin".

    There is also a beautiful picture of our Sacraments in the parable. Upon returning, the boy confesses (Sacrament of Pennance), and the fatted calf is slain for a feast (Sacrament of the Eucharist). The fatted calf in the OT was a SACRIFICIAL ANIMAL which was offered for sin and THEN WAS EATEN. Christ is now our Lamb, present on the altar for our reception after we have made good confession.

    The idea that one is "once saved -- always saved" breaks the covenantal pattern of God's salvational dealings with mankind in both OT and NT. It also comes from Luther's very poor understanding of how God deals with us. Poor old Luther. He just couldn't accept that the Father really did love him and the Sacraments really did forgive him, so he had to invent that idea of "faith alone" and "imputed righteousness" which had never, in 1500 prior years, ever been taught by the Church.

    Our salvation is a living relationship with God. We enter into union with Him, a union so deep and real that it we are called the Body of Christ. The same imagery is set forth in the description of the "one flesh" union of marriage. But just like marriage, one can leave. God never will, but we can and many do, to their own destruction.


    Cordially in Christ,


    Brother Ed
     
  19. Bro. Curtis

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by UncleRay:
    Mr. Curtis,


    What do you mean by call the fallen home once they get past a certain point?
    Is this suppose to mean that God does not allow them to sin further? I don't think you mean they die.

    Again, what if they are out there breaking all the commandments? Still saved?

    As for Elvis, he was spotted just up the road near his old house in Tupelo. You don't think it's bi-location do you?

    Grace and peace,
    Uncle Ray
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    The last part was pretty funny. :D

    Yes, I mean they die, and eternal secyrity means even if they are breaking every one of the commandments, although I don't know of a truly born-again Christian who would want to do so. If you can sin without conviction, I would doubt you'r salvation. Let's look at Elvis. In his later, sin-filled years, he was probably the most miserable man on the planet. i believe at one point in his life, he accepted Christ as his savior, & backslid his entire adulthood. To me, John 10:28 means that not even I could squirm out of Jesus' grasp.
     
  20. UncleRay

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    Dear Javalady, Mr. Curtis, & Psalm,

    Thanks for the explanations.

    Some issues with Christians result when we use different terminology to discuss similar concepts. We have been conditioned and taught that our words are correct and the other Christian's word is incorrect. And some even believe that the other Christian's word is not defined as the user says it is defined.

    :eek: We are closer to each other than we think. Baptists are a branch of the Presbyterians. <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>if God foreknew us (which is a term which means "to love beforehand"), then He predestinated us. If He predestinated us, <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> ;)

    As for my buddy PS 104
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I'll tell ya Uncle Ray, I try through the grace of God to live a godly ...This poor man cried and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles"....
    With me Uncle Ray, its all of Christ. Man, its a "get out of hell free card"!!
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Posts <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    If you keep up your good works ;) , keep asking for forgiveness, and quit picking on Christ's Holy Catholic Church you probably won't need to use your get out of hell free card.

    And then some Christians, even when we want to hug our brothers and sisters, we stand on their toes while doing it. [​IMG]

    Grace and peace,
    Uncle Ray
     

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