What is a Baptist Church?

A Baptist Church is a group of people, not just any kind of people but of those who are children of God. According to the Bible, which is the maximum authority for the Baptists, each person who has received Jesus as his Lord and personal Savior has become a child of God (John 1:12). The very same Spirit of God lives in them and gives them testimony of the fact they are already children of God (Romans 8:16, 17) and nothing can separate them from the divine love (Romans 8:38, 39). The members of a Baptist church are individuals who have repented of their sins, have been born again and have given public testimony of it, being baptized by immersion under water. God is their celestial Father and are "heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ".

A Baptist Church is a family of faith. It is a spiritual fellowship of Christians who desire to put into practice the teachings of Lord Jesus and carry out His purpose here on earth. They believe the Bible is the basis of faith and Christian life and that the only mediator between God and men is Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5).

The Holy Spirit of God lives in each Baptist believer, sharing His divine love (Roman 5:5). This fruit of the Spirit becomes the main characteristic of the church (John 15:26; Galatians 5:22, 23). The Holy Spirit also bestows gifts to each member of the family of God. Everyone one is responsible before God for their development as a vital member of Christ's body (Romans 12:1-8).

Who leads the Baptist Church? There is no one man responsible. The Baptists believe that Jesus Himself is the head of his church (Colossians 1:17, 18). The New Testament teaches us that each church has two roles, that of the pastor and that of the deacons. They are Christ's servants and of the local church (2 Corinthians 4:5). Each pastor must look after the members of his congregation the same way a shepherd takes care of his flock. Leaders should pray, preach, teach, advise and serve in such way that all members are prepared to carry out the ministry of the church to its full extent (Ephesians 4:11, 12) and serve as the "Royal Priesthood" of God (1 Peter 2:9).

The Baptist Church does not have sacraments but observes the two ordinances Jesus gave to His church: baptism and the Lord's Supper. Baptism in the New Testament is by immersion in water and only for those who have placed their faith in Jesus as their personal Savior. The Lord's Supper is an act of adoration by which Christians proclaim Christ's death until He return (Luke 22:19, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). The baptism is a public testimony of faith in Christ, participation in the Lord's Supper is a testimony that all Christian hope is based on Him and on what He did in the cross for all the sinners.

The Baptist Church feels commissioned by Jesus Himself to share the message of salvation with everyone. The message is that God loves everyone and wants them to have eternal and abundant life (John 3:16). Sin separates each person from this love (Romans 3:22, 23). Therefore Jesus came to the world and died in the cross and there He paid the complete price of salvation (Romans 5:8). Each sinner can accept the death of Jesus as payment for his sins, repent and return to God. The eternal and abundant life is a gift God offers to everyone through Christ Jesus (Roman 6:23).

Each Baptist Church is autonomous and free to cooperate with other churches in the formation of associations and/or conventions of churches. This spirit of cooperation is the key to carry the message of the salvation to the last corner of the world (Matthew 28:16-20).

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And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:32
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