Baptist are not Protestants because we did not come out of the Catholic church during the great reformation. Let’s read something from one of the great Baptist preachers of all time Charles Haddon Spurgeon regarding the Baptist people. (read)

I wanted to take a look tonight at what I will call Baptist distinctives. They are beliefs that have been long held by not only Baptists but others who would call themselves Bible believers or fundamental Baptists (people who believe in the fundamental doctrines of the Word of God).

As I go over this list and if you are taking notes, you can write the word Baptist across your paper and we will do an acrostic using that word.

B-A-P-T-I-S-T:

"B"

Bible as Sole Authority:

Baptists believe that the Word of God consisting of 66 books, 39 books in the Old Testament taken from the Hebrew Mazaoritic text and 27 in the New Testament taken from the Greek received text make up the complete Canon of scripture. We believe that the Word of God has been preserved for the English speaking world in the Authorized or King James version of the Bible.

Psalm 12:6-7, "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."

II Timothy 3:16-17, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

I Peter 1:23, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever."

II Peter 1:20-21, "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

"A"

Autonomy of the Local Church:

Autonomy refers to the structure of authority in the local church. Webster’s dictionary defines it as self-governing. This means that the sole authority for each individual church is what Christ commands and the scriptures themselves teach, and that no outside body or group has a right to govern an individual church but the church itself. That removes man made heirarchy’s and Dioscese’s which try to exercise domination and control over another body of believers over which they have no real authority to do so. It also means freedom from Government interference. Separation of church and state was never meant to keep the church from influencing the world but from man made governments from influencing or trying to govern the church.

"P"

Priesthood of the Believer"

The New Testament clearly states that all believers in Christ are now priests in their own right and God has opened up a new and a living way, because of Christ, for them to come directly to God’s throne with their prayers, intercession, requests, supplications, petitions etc.

I Peter 2:5 & 9, "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"

I Timothy 2:5, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;"

Hebrews 4:16, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

"T"

Two Ordinances, Baptism & Lord’s Supper:

Baptism by believers only and by immersion as a true picture of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and a public profession of the believers’ new faith in Him.

Acts 8:36-37, "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."

Romans 6:4, "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."

The Lord’s Supper which was instituted by Christ Himself and is a symbolic memorial of Christ’s broken body and shed blood. It is to be regularly practiced and observed properly.

Luke 22:19-20, "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."

I Corinthians 11:26-27, "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord."

"I"

Individual Soul Liberty:

Every individual has a right to worship as they desire. No one should ever be forced to assent to any belief against his will. Every individual, whether a believer or an unbeliever, has the liberty to choose what he believes is right in the religious realm. Individual soul liberty will settle for nothing less than free conscience and choice for all people. We have the power of influence but cannot violate a man’s free gift from God, soul liberty. Put simply, every individual is responsible to God in matters of conscience, not to the state, not to the church, not to creedal statements, not to pastors, not to seminaries, not to denominations, not even to one another. True faith is voluntary. However, we are all accountable to God.

Romans 14:10 & 12, "for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God."

Galatians 5:1, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."

"S"

Saved Church Membership:

It is clear in the scriptures that those who compose the body of Christ were born of the Holy Spirit. The first requirement to being added to the church was salvation first and then baptism.

John 3:5-7, "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."

Acts 2:41 & 47, "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

The church is not confined to a building. The church building is a place where the church comes together and meets.

Ephesians 2:22, "In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."

"T"

Two Offices: Pastor & Deacon:

Two distinct offices within the church are found in the Word of God. Various titles are used for the office of pastor such as elder, bishop, overseer, presbytery, and shepherd. The pastor is called by God for special service to a local church and is the overseer of that local assembly.

Acts 20:28, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers (episcopas, bishop), to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."

Biblical requirements are given for both pastors and deacons. (I Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9 for pastors and I Timothy 3:8-13 for deacons and their wives.