Distinctive Practices | Baptist Distinctives: Part 3

November 22, 2010 by Paul Chappell

(This is part 3 of a three-part post, highlighting a few key areas of Baptist distinction.)

What makes Baptists distinct? We already noted in part 1 that both faith and practice must come directly from Scripture, and in part 2 we saw Baptist dinstinctives regarding the church. Here we will see three specific practices that are unique to Baptists:

Priesthood of the believer

I’ll never forget watching the confessional booth in St. Peter’s Basilica where men and women went to a priest to confess their sins. Yet, according to God’s Word, only the blood of Christ can forgive sin—not confession to a person or any amount of penance (1 Peter 1:18–19). Scripture tells us that “there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

God’s Word assures believers that we have direct access to God through our relationship with Christ (1 Peter 2:5; Hebrews 4:14–16). Baptists believe and teach that the priesthood of the believer is the unspeakably precious privilege of every child of God.

Individual soul liberty

While other religions bring conversion by the sword, Baptists respect the conscience of others. Although we have been grossly persecuted through the centuries—by both Catholics and Protestants—we have never been the persecutors. We believe that each person must make a personal decision of repentance and faith in Christ (Romans 14:12).

Personal separation

Baptists believe that Christ’s ultimate sacrifice demands our complete consecration (2 Corinthians 6:14). Once again, this principle comes from the distinctive of submitting to the authority of Scripture in each area of life. We believe the Bible relates to every aspect of life—not just salvation. And we desire that our daily living would reflect the holiness of our great God (1 Peter 1:16).

In summary, this three-part post can be reorganized and summed up by the following acrostic:

Biblical authority
A
utonomy of the local church
P
riesthood of the believer
T
wo offices
I
ndividual soul liberty
S
eparation of church and state
T
wo ordinances
S
eparation, personal

I’m thankful to be a Baptist, and I’m deeply indebted to the millions who have given their lives to preach the truth of Scripture in times when truth was repressed with intense persecution.

My life verse is Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” I’m grateful for the privilege to preach the Gospel of Christ and to teach others to build their lives on the inerrant foundation of God’s Word.


1 Comment »

  1. I just wanted to let you know that the Lord used your last today’s daily in the word email to encourage me. i believe with allof my heart that I am following the Lord, but at the same time, it seems like Satan is really attacking. But small encouragements like this help. They are bright stars in a black night in which the lesser light seems to prevail. I am grateful for the greater light showing me that God is always greater, and I am grateful to know that the lesser light gets it power from the greater, showing me that God is always powerful. But, I am also grateful for the stars that are there so were are not left with the lesser light alone. So again thanks for these emails.

    Gregory Dean Irby
    gdirby@comcast.net
    540-798-9718

    Comment by Gregory Irby — December 1, 2010 @ 8:38 am

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