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
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).