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  • Writer's pictureW. Austin Gardner

Baptist Distinctives 3 a

  • Here are somethings that are distinguishing characteristics of the people that call themselves Baptist

  • Bible is the only rule of faith and practice

  • Autonomy of the local church

  • Priesthood of the believer

  • Two Ordinances

  • Individual Soul Liberty

  • Saved, Baptized Church Membership

  • Two Offices

  • Separation of Church and StateHow do ordinances and sacraments differ?

  1. As Baptists we practice what are called ordinances

  2. The Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox as well as protestant, reformed groups use the term sacraments. They usually practice and believe in seven

  3. baptism

  4. confirmation

  5. communion/Eucharist

  6. confession

  7. marriage

  8. holy orders

  9. vii.anointing the sick

  10. In the Roman Catholic tradition, these sacraments are considered necessary for salvation.

  11. Of course a Baptist believes in salvation by grace alone through faith alone Ephesians 2:8-9

  12. Definition: An ordinance is an authoritative rule, law, decree, or command. In Christianity it is a symbolic act or ceremony, commanded (thus ordained) by Christ. It is to be distinguished from a sacrament, which is a visible sign that imparts grace or symbolizes the impartation of grace. The difference is very significant. We practice the immersion of the believer in water and observe the Lord’s Supper because we have been commanded to do so by Christ. Such ceremonies do not confer or secure additional grace. The ordinances do not aid in one’s salvation.

  13. Both baptism and communion were specifically ordained and commanded by Jesus Christ. These activities were practiced by the apostles and were universally used in the early church. Because baptism and communion are the only two rituals that were used by Jesus, the apostles, and early church they are what we consider ordinances. Neither provides salvation or saving faith.

  14. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper Are Symbols

  15. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are interrelated. Baptists believe that the Lord’s Supper should be taken only by those who have been born again and baptized.

  16. Baptists believe that Jesus gave two ordinances to be carried out by a church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

  17. Baptism is the first ordinance

  18. We baptize because the Lord Jesus commands believers to be baptized and to baptize others. The New Testament pattern is belief followed by baptism. All believers should be baptized. Matthew 28:19-20

  19. We baptize by immersion because the meaning of the word baptize is to immerse

  20. We baptize by immersion because of the symbolism the Scripture shows Romans 6:4-5

  21. We baptize by immersion because of the practice of the early church which was obviously immersion Matthew 3:6, 16, Mark 1:10, John 3:23, Acts 8:38-39

  22. A very clear picture is seen in Acts 8:26-40

  23. If God had wanted us to sprinkle He could have easily used the word sprinkling

  24. We do not practice infant baptism because we do not see it in the New Testament

  25. The reason some practice infant baptism is as a continuation of the Old Testament rite of circumcision, which initiated a believer’s son into the covenant community. Some traditions (e.g., Lutheran, Roman Catholic) believe infant baptism washes away original sin, but other traditions (Reformed, Presbyterian) see infant baptism as more of an initiation. Most Baptists see a significant difference between Old Testament rituals and New Testament ordinances. Baptism is not the continuation of the rite of circumcision.

  26. Who is a proper candidate for baptism?

  27. A believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, one who has accepted by faith the death, burial, and resurrection of the Jesus as the means of washing away his sins.

  28. Why do we not baptize infants?

  29. They can’t believe

  30. No New Testament record of it ever happening

  31. While it is true that whole households believed and were baptized in the book of Acts, there is no indication that such baptisms included infants.

  32. One must believe before being baptized, and since infants cannot believe, they should not be baptized.

  33. Baptism is the public expression of a person's faith in Jesus Christ. It is designed for believers as a one-time action that takes place following belief in Jesus.

  34. Why should I be baptized

  35. To obey my Lord’s Command. Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 10:48, Acts 2:41

  36. To Present a Picture. Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27 II Corinthians 5:17

  37. To give a testimony of what God has done in my life

  38. To show that I am willing to follow and obey Jesus

  39. How necessary is baptism?

  40. It is not at all necessary for salvation.

  41. It is a commandment of Christ; therefore, it is necessary for obedient Christianity.

  42. It is also necessary for membership in a Baptist church. Baptists are convinced that baptism was part of the membership procedure in the New Testament church.

  43. Sometimes people ask if they must be baptized again if they were baptized in a different church.

  44. The answer is normally no.

  45. If they have been immersed in water after salvation and understood the Biblical teaching regarding the ordinance, most Baptist churches do not require re-baptism.

  46. If one has been sprinkled as an infant, one has not been baptized in a biblical manner.

  47. Such a person needs to be baptized for the first time, not re-baptized.

  48. Baptists obviously believe that baptism is pretty important. It’s not necessary for salvation, but it is a necessary step of obedience and the initiation into the church.

  49. Discussion questions

  50. What does water baptism picture?

  51. Who should be baptized in water? Who should not be?

  52. What does water baptism do for a person? Why is a person only baptized in water once? If you have not been baptized, why not?

  53. How would you explain water baptism to a brand new believer who has just received Christ as Savior but who does not know anything about baptism

  54. Why don’t Baptists baptize infants?

  55. Why do Baptists insist that baptism is by immersion?

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