New Testament Distinctives of a Baptist Church
1. The authority of the Scriptures alone for faith and practice.
We are to organize and operate our churches according to the Word of God and not by traditions or man-made creeds (2 Tim. 3: 16-17).
2. The soul liberty of a believer.
Each believer is directly accountable to God and is subject to the Word of God. No man or woman can force their beliefs on another person or church without being contrary to God’s Word (Acts 5: 29, Rom. 14: 5).
3. The Priesthood of the believer.
Each believer as a priest can draw near to God in full assurance of faith in our tasks for God, prayer, in worship, and in confession of sins (1 Pet.2:5).
4. A regenerate, baptized membership.
The word of God clearly indicates that only regenerate (saved), immersed believers should be received into the local church (Acts 2: 41, 8: 36-38).
5. The two church ordinances of baptism and Lord’s Supper.
They were ordained by Christ, observed by the churches of Acts, and organized as symbols in the Epistles (Acts 2: 41-42, 1 Cor. 11: 23-34).
6. The sovereignty of the local church.
Each church is independent and governed by the people (Acts 2: 42).
7. The separation of the church and the state.
God’s Word gives no indication of one having authority over the other, but each one’s duties or authority is given separately (Matt. 18: 15-17, Rom. 13: 1).