Why Are We A Baptist Church?
Why are there so many different churches? Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Catholic, Episcopalian, Community, and many others? These names are not randomly chosen—they all stand for certain doctrines, beliefs, practices, and philosophies. Why did we choose Baptist? What should you choose?
Your decision will be based upon your purpose in attending a church. Are you looking for a church that fits in with your life-style, or are you looking for a church that tells you the truth, even if that means that some things need to change in your life? Are you really searching for the truth, or are you just searching for a good time?
Hopefully, you will make that decision based upon the truth. Where do you find the truth? In the Bible. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (Holy Bible, John 17:17, KJV). “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Holy Bible, Romans 10:17, KJV).
One of the theme verses of our church is, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Holy Bible, Acts 17:11, KJV). If we are noble Christians, then we will be reading our Bibles daily, to make sure that we are being told the truth. Have you been reading the Bible daily?
The name “Baptist” was first given to a man in the New Testament. “In those days came John THE BAPTIST, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” (Holy Bible, Matthew 3:1-3, KJV).
We see several important principles about that first Baptist.
#1—The Baptist is seen preaching.
God also tells us, “PREACH THE WORD; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (Holy Bible, 2 Timothy 4:2-4, KJV).
What are you looking for in a church? Do you really want to hear the truth from the Bible? As a Baptist Church, we strive to obey the Lord in this matter, and make preaching an important part of our services. These verses tell us that there will come a time when preaching will be “out of season” (not popular) with people; and that, because of their lusts, they will turn to other teachers who will satisfy their itching ears (meaning that they will tell them what their ears want to hear).
#2—The Baptist is seen in the wilderness.
Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Holy Bible, Mark 16:15, KJV). Much of Jesus’ preaching and teaching was done outside of the walls of the Temple or of a Synagogue. “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed” (Holy Bible, Mark 6:34-35, KJV).
As a Baptist Church, we strive to follow this example, as well. Along with the ministry inside of the Church building, we preach the gospel and teaching in open air ministries, and from house-to-house. “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house” (Holy Bible, Acts 20:20, KJV). “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Holy Bible, Luke 14:23, KJV). “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and HOW SHALL THEY HEAR WITHOUT A PREACHER? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Holy Bible, Romans 10:13-15, KJV).
#3—The Baptist is seen calling people to repentance.
This was also the first word out of Jesus’ mouth when He began His public ministry upon earth. “From that time JESUS began to PREACH, and to say, REPENT: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Holy Bible, Matthew 4:17, KJV). When Jesus had risen from the grave, He instructed His disciples, “Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that REPENTANCE and remission of sins should be PREACHED in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Holy Bible, Luke 24:46-47, KJV).
As a Baptist Church, we strive to obey that command and preach the message of repentance and faith. Repentance is not you cleaning up your own life (that is self-reformation, and that does not save). True repentance is having the DESIRE to TURN FROM YOUR SIN to the Lord Jesus Christ, and asking Him to cleanse you and transform your life by His power. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (Holy Bible, John 1:12, KJV). Jesus said, “I tell you, Nay: but, EXCEPT YE REPENT, ye shall all likewise PERISH” (Holy Bible, Luke 13:3, KJV). Do have the desire to turn from your sin, and ask the Lord Jesus Christ to save you, and to cleanse you, and to transform your life?
#4—The Baptist is seen preparing people for the Lord’s coming.
#5—The Baptist is seen baptizing believers.
God’s first command after a person gets saved, is to be baptized. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, BAPTIZING THEM in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Holy Bible, Matthew 28:18-20, KJV).
Baptism is only for people who have repented of their sin, and asked the Lord Jesus to save them. “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; WHAT DOTH HINDER ME TO BE BAPTIZED? And Philip said, IF THOU BELIEVEST WITH ALL THINE HEART, THOU MAYEST. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him” (Holy Bible, Acts 8:35-38, KJV). The word “baptism” means “to immerse, to cover,” meaning that Biblical baptism is to be placed down under the water, and then to be brought back up again. Baptism is a picture of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Holy Bible, Romans 6:3-5, KJV).
As a Baptist Church, we strive to obey this command of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to baptize people who have repented of their sin and placed their faith in Him.
These are a few Biblical principles about the first Baptist mentioned in the Bible.