What is the Baptist Statement of Faith?
There are several Baptist Associations that have been formulated for their volunteer member churches. Each one has outlined a statement of faith. Each church, however, is to depend solely upon the Holy Bible for Faith and Practice. A Statement of Faith is just a summary. A summary of what most Baptist Associations include is found in one of our Baptist.org presentations, “Why We Are Baptists”.
- “Why We Are Baptist:…”
- Why We Are Baptists? – An In-depth Study of Our Baptist Distinctives & Heritage
- Why are we Baptists? That is a good question.
- If I were to ask you to defend your decision on being a Baptist, what would you say?
- What if I asked you to formulate in your mind right now the reason why you are a Baptist. What would you say?
Many us of have good answers to these questions, but are they the right answers? Many folk are very adamant about why they are Baptist!, but their zeal surpasses the Scriptures. Let’s face it… many Baptists are proud, and that is OK in a manner of speaking, because we have a rich heritage. But some of us take it too far… to the place of sin. I have heard folk say, I am Baptist to the bone… if you cut me… bless God, I’ll bleed Baptist! In fact, I can recall a time or two I have said that very thing myself.
The problem arises, however, when we make being Baptist a badge of honor rather than a method of identification. We must remember that first and foremost, we are Christians — blood-bought, eternally saved, Christ professing, grace given, mercy receiving, repentant sinners — who the Father in heaven has spared from the fiery pits of Hell!
The fact that we find our roots of faith in the same fertile soil as millions of others who have gone before us is a matter of God’s sovereignty–nothing more! Those who have gone before us have been bloody martyrs, powerful prophets, fiery preachers, meek grandmothers, kindly gentlemen, and on and on.
With these thoughts in mind, it is an honor to be considered a Baptist, but we must take heed lest we fall. Knowing who we are is one thing, but knowing WHAT we are is completely another.
- What are you?
- What do you believe?
- What makes you different than any other faith or religion?
- How are you different from a Methodist, a Presbyterian, an Episcopal, a Pentecostal, or a Catholic?
What makes us different from the others can be easily discussed by considering the Baptist Distinctives. These ‘distinctives’ are those beliefs and practices that establish the unique character of the New Testament faith, setting it apart as ‘distinct’ from any and all other faiths or systems of belief of religious thought. These distinctives are easily remembered using the acrostic BRAPSISS… and here is a breakdown for us to better understand:
- Bible, the only rule of faith and practice.
- Regenerate, immersed church membership.
- Autonomy and independence of the Local Church
- Priesthood of the believer
- Soul Liberty.
- Immersion of believers and the Lord’s Supper… the only two ordinances.
- Separation of Church and State
- Separation, ethical and ecclesiastical.
These distinctives in faith and practice have set those who have become known as Baptists (and their forefathers) as being distinct from all other forms of religion, including Catholics and Protestants. Our Baptist forefathers have held to the above noted distinctives since the time of Christ creating an unbroken “trail of Truth” from that day till this one.
Be sure to look for the continuation of this article to find further discussion regarding the Baptist Distinctives!