Shepherd's Fold Baptist Church

Where the River of Living Water  Freely Flows

Baptist Distinctives

(What makes a Baptist a Baptist?)

Biblical Authority

Baptists have historically believed that the 66 books of the Bible are verbally inspired of God, that they are inerrant and that the Bible is the final authority for all issues of life and practice.

 

Autonomy of the Local Church

Baptists have historically held to the Apostolic teaching of the church as established in the book of Acts and the epistles of the New Testament. Each local assembly of believers is self governing and independently accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ for their beliefs and practices. Each local assembly of believers is governed by congregational decision as they seek the will of God, not by a hierarchical system of clergy.

 

Priesthood of the Believer

Baptists have historically believed in the Bible doctrine of the priesthood of every believer. They believe the believer has one Mediator between man and God, the “man Christ Jesus.” The believer has direct access to the “throne of grace.” Because all believers serve as priests before God, they are obligated to be sanctified and consecrated in their “work of the ministry.”

 

Two Offices

Baptists maintain the Apostolic teaching that there are only two Biblical offices ordained of God for local churches. Those offices are the Pastor and Deacons. These offices have detailed Scriptural qualifications and specific job descriptions.

 

Individual Soul Liberty

Baptists have historically held that all people (believers and unbelievers alike) have been given by God the individual freedom to choose whatever belief system or manner of worship they deem to be Scriptural. In the same sense they understand that each person will be individually held accountable by God for the correctness of their belief system and worship either at the Judgment Seat of Christ (for believers) or the Great White Throne (for unbelievers).

 

Separated Lifestyle

Baptists have historically believed in the Scriptural command to live their lives separate from worldly practices and amusements and have refused to be identified with or cooperate with those who deny the historical faith of the Word of God even though those people may profess to be Christians.

 

Two Ordinances

Baptists have historically believed that the only two ordinances for the Church are the Lord’s Supper and Believer’s Baptism. They believe that neither of these ordinances confer any grace to the participants. They do not believe there is any sacramental merit in theses ordinances. The believer is positionally “complete in Christ” the moment he believes and nothing needs to be added to what Christ has done.