Commonly Asked Questions
Is the Bible trustworthy?
The Bible is a unique book
The Bible is the very words of God (II Tim. 3:16).
God used about 40 men to write the Bible (II Pe. 1:21). The Holy Spirit moved men to write God’s words; thus, it was not mans idea to write it.
God took 1600 years to write the Bible. Due to the length of time it took to be written, it was not collaborated by a committee or group of people.
The Bible is an accurate book
“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.”
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
The Bible is a preserved book
God is Love (I Jn. 4:8; Jn. 3:16))
God wants us to have his inerrant word.
God is powerful (Jer. 32:27; Gen. 18:14)
God has the ability to preserve his word. No one is powerful enough to hinder his preservation.
God is faithful (Ps. 89 esp. v1-2)
God always fulfills his promises
God has promised to preserve his word, and has kept that promise.
I Pet. 1:24-25 (a quotation of Is. 40:6-8)
“For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
A jot and a title are the smallest markings in Hebrew writings. It is like saying, a dot of an i and the crossing of a t.
The Bible is a profitable book
It tells us who God is, who we are, and our relation with him. We have a responsibility to read it and believe it to gain the answers to life (II Tim. 3:16-17).
What is an evangelical Christian?
The word “Christian” Means like Christ or a Christ follower. Originally the term was used by unbelievers of Christ to identify believers of Christ; it had a negative connotation then. Later, the term was adopted by believers because we saw that it accurately described us. In I Peter 4:16 it is used in reference to believers being persecuted because the persecutors called us Christians. In the 2nd century the name became accepted as an honor.
Here are the Biblical usages of the term Christian:
Acts 11:26 “And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
Acts 26:28 “Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.”
1 Peter 4:16 ” Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. “
Today various religions refer to themselves as Christians. So, to clearly identify us we use the term Evangelical Christian. The term Evangelical comes from the Greek word that is translated, “gospel;” thus, indicating that we are Christians by trusting in the gospel of Christ’s finished provision and not by our works. This gospel is clearly explained in I Corinthians 15:1-4, 1) “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2) By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3) For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4) And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
What is a Baptist?
Baptists arrived at these distinctives through careful study of the Bible. That is why these teachings are more precisely called the Biblical distinctives of Baptists rather than Baptist distinctives.
These teachings emerged as Baptist distinctives because individual Baptist churches have consistently and independently held to them, not because some group of Baptist leaders composed the list and then imposed the distinctives on local churches.
Church groups other than Baptists have held some of the Baptist distinctives, and one may even find churches that hold all of the distinctives but do not call themselves Baptist. Such groups are “baptistic,” but for some reason they choose not to be identified as Baptists. On the other hand, some churches naming themselves “Baptist” are not truly Baptist because they no longer hold the historic Baptist beliefs or even the fundamentals of the Christian faith.
Baptists are people of the Book above all else. And Baptists enjoy a priceless heritage of generations who have exalted God’s Son our Savior and have proclaimed God’s inspired Word.
What Are the Eight Baptist Distinctives?
These teachings may be remembered by associating them with the letters that form the word “BAPTISTS.”
The Bible is the final authority in all matters of belief and practice because the Bible is inspired by God and bears the absolute authority of God Himself. Whatever the Bible affirms, Baptists accept as true. No human opinion or decree of any church group can override the Bible. Even creeds and confessions of faith, which attempt to articulate the theology of Scripture, do not carry Scripture’s inherent authority.
2 Timothy 3:15–17; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:20, 21
of the Local Church
The local church is an independent body accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the church. All human authority for governing the local church resides within the local church itself. Thus the church is autonomous, or self-governing. No religious hierarchy outside the local church may dictate a church’s beliefs or practices. Autonomy does not mean isolation. A Baptist church may fellowship with other churches around mutual interests and in an associational tie, but a Baptist church cannot be a “member” of any other body.
Colossians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 8:1–5, 19, 23
of the Believer
“Priest” is defined as “one authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and God.” Every believer today is a priest of God and may enter into His presence in prayer directly through our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ. No other mediator is needed between God and people. As priests, we can study God’s Word, pray for others, and offer spiritual worship to God. We all have equal access to God—whether we are a preacher or not.
1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 5:9, 10
The local church should practice two ordinances: (1) baptism of believers by immersion in water, identifying the individual with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, and (2) the Lord’s Supper, or communion, commemorating His death for our sins.
Matthew 28:19, 20; 1 Corinthians 11:23–32
Every individual, whether a believer or an unbeliever, has the liberty to choose what he believes is right in the religious realm. No one should be forced to assent to any belief against his will. Baptists have always opposed religious persecution. However, this liberty does not exempt one from responsibility to the Word of God or from accountability to God Himself.
Romans 14:5, 12; 2 Corinthians 4:2; Titus 1:9
Saved, Baptized Church Membership
Local church membership is restricted to individuals who give a believable testimony of personal faith in Christ and have publicly identified themselves with Him in believer’s baptism. When the members of a local church are believers, a oneness in Christ exists, and the members can endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Acts 2:41–47; 1 Corinthians 12:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 4:3
The Bible mandates only two offices in the church–pastor and deacon. The three terms—“pastor,” “elder,” and “bishop,” or “overseer”—all refer to the same office. The two offices of pastor and deacon exist within the local church, not as a hierarchy outside or over the local church.
1 Timothy 3:1–13; Acts 20:17–38; Philippians 1:1
Separation of Church and State
God established both the church and the civil government, and He gave each its own distinct sphere of operation. The government’s purposes are outlined in Romans 13:1–7 and the church’s purposes in Matthew 28:19 and 20. Neither should control the other, nor should there be an alliance between the two. Christians in a free society can properly influence government toward righteousness, which is not the same as a denomination or group of churches controlling the government.
Matthew 22:15–22; Acts 5:17–29
*This answer has been taken from the Regular Baptist Press pamphlet on “The Baptist Distinctives”.
What is a true apostle of Christ?
5 Identifications of a true apostle of Jesus Christ from Scripture
Definition of an apostle: sent out for a mission.
Paul warns in II Corinthians 11:13 to beware of false apostles.
John records in Revelation 2:2 an example of detecting false apostles.
1. Their sender: They are sent directly by Jesus Christ (Acts 20:24, Romans 12:4-5). They are called by Jesus himself not a church, another person, or people (Romans 1:1; Galatians 1:1).
2. Their witness: They saw Christ after his resurrection (Acts 1:21-22).
3. Their sign: They may show a sign to prove apostleship (II Corinthians 12:12).
4. Their purpose: They are sent to start Christ’s church (lay down the foundation of Christ) (Ephesians 2:20, 3:5).
5. Their number: They are limited to only 12 apostles of Christ, so once the last of the 12 apostles died Christ did not send out new apostles (Revelation 21:14).
What is a true prophet?
4 Proofs of a true prophet from Scripture
1. The proof of the name:
He ONLY speaks in the name of the Lord (Jehovah) only (Deut. 18:20-22).
2. The proof by a sign:
He MAY produce a sign or a wonder (miracle) to authenticate his message (Duet. 13:1-2; Ex. 4:1-5, Elijah; Elisha)
3. The proof of fulfilment:
EVERY prophecy he makes must come true 100% (Deut. 18:22). Near prophecies validate distant prophecies.
4. The proof of consistency:
ALL that he prophecies must agree with previous revelations — with no
contradictions (Deut. 13:1-5; Isa. 8:20; Gal. 1:8).
What is God’s name?