Why Be A Baptist?
Chapter 14: Why Be A Baptist?
T. T. Eaton used to say that if one Christian ought to be a Baptist every Christian ought to be a Baptist. He was right about it. The Bible ought to be the only and all sufficient rule of faith for every child of God. A. T. Robertson is right in saying that given a new heart and an open Bible and everybody will be Baptists.
The last chapter in this book closes where the first one began. If it is in the Bible it is Baptist doctrine. If it is Baptist doctrine you can find it in the Bible. That is why every saved man and woman ought to be Baptists. Because Baptist doctrine is Bible doctrine and vice versa because Bible doctrine is Baptist doctrine is Godís unanswerable reason why every child of God ought to be a Baptist. But says some one: "How am I to know that Baptist doctrine is Bible doctrine?" "What saith the Scriptures?" Test every doctrine by the Book. "Nothing beyond what is written." Here is the chapter and verse proving that 50 Baptist doctrines are Bible doctrines. If it is Baptist doctrine you can find it in the Bible.
1. The Bible Alone is Our Only and All sufficient Rule of Faith and Practice. "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa. 8:20).
2. One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Matthew 28:19,20).
3. Jesus the Son of God was Very God of Very God. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1).
4. The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Godhead and as truly God as God the Father and God the Son. "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:17-18).
5. An Inerrant Bible. "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Tim. 3:13-17).
6. The Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ. "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isa. 7:14).
7. The Personality of the Devil. "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pet. 5:8).
8. The Genesis Account of Creation. "For by him all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist" (Col. 1:16-17).
9. The Fall of Man. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: . . . For as by one manís disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous" (Rom. 5:12,19).
10. The Sovereignty of God. "The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand" (Isa. 14:24).
11. Unconditional election. "(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth), It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger" (Rom. 9:11-12).
12. Free Moral Agency. "And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life" (John 5:40).
13. Baptists are Individualists. No Proxies in Religion. "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God" (Rom. 14:12).
14. Free Church in a Free State. "They say unto him, Caesarís. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesarís and unto God the things that are Godís" (Matthew 22:21).
15. Salvation by grace. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:8-10).
16. Justification by faith. "But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" (Rom. 4:5).
17. Sanctification by blood. "Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate" (Heb. 13:12).
18. Repentance before faith. "For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him" (Matthew 21:32).
19. Only the blood-washed in heaven. "And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:14).
20. Only one way to be saved. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
21. Just one gospel. "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed" (Gal. 3:8).
22. No new birth without the gospel. "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. 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" (1 Pet. 1: 23-25).
23. The new birth of the Word and the Holy Spirit. "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess. 2:13-14).
24. Eternal life a Present possession. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).
25. Children of God by faith. "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:26).
26. Salvation before baptism. "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" (Acts 10:47).
27. Once-for-all Salvation. "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:38-39).
28. Democratic church government. "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren" (Matthew 23:8).
29. Church receives members. "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations" (Rom. 14:1); "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47)
30. Church excludes members. "And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican" (Matthew 18:17).
31. First Church founded by Christ. "And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles" (Luke 6:12-13). "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues" (1 Cor. 12:28).
32. The Lordís Supper a Church ordinance. "And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lordís death till he come" (1 Cor. 11:24-26).
33. Immersion of the Saved. "And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized" (John 3:23), "And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him" (Acts 8:38). "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:4). "And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him" (Mark 1:10). "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47).
34. Baptist Baptism from Heaven. "And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost" (John 1:33). "And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him" (Luke 7:29-30).
35. Bishops and Deacons the two Church Officers. "Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons" (Phil. 1:1). "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 3:1,13).
36. An Ordained Ministry. "For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee" (Titus 1:5).
37. World-wide Missions. "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).
38. This commission was given to the churches, which will be here until Jesus comes. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen" (Matthew 28:19-20).
39. Heathen Lost Without the Gospel. "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God" (Ps. 9:17). "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:16). "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Rom. 10: 14).
40. The Lordís Day, the Day of Worship. "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come" (1 Cor. 16:2).
41. Degrees In Heaven. "If any manís work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any manís work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire" (1 Cor. 3:14-15).
42. The Final Judgment. "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:28-29).
43. The Resurrection of the Body. "And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is here: behold the place where they laid him" (Mark 16:6).
44. Resurrection of Saints. "But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christís at his coming" (2 Cor. 15:23).
45. The Second Coming of our Lord. "And, behold I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Rev. 22:12).
46. A Never-ending Heaven of Bliss. "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also" (John 14:3).
47. An Unending Hell of Fire and Brimstone. "And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name" (Rev. 14:11). "And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame" (Luke 16:24).
48. No Second Chance. "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Heb. 9:27). "And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence" (Luke 16:26).
49. No Annihilation. "And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:45-46).
50. The End of All Who Believe in Salvation by Works. "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:22-23).
The proof is abundant that if it is Baptist doctrine, you can find it in the Bible. Why ought you to be a Baptist then? You ought not to be, unless you take the Bible as your only and all sufficient rule of faith and practice. If you should be a Baptist for any other reason than that, you would be a hypocrite. Love to Christ and love for the Bible are the only reasons why anybody should be a Baptist. The mightiest preacher of the ages said: "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ let him be accursed when Jesus comes." If he has been born again he will love the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus Himself said: "If you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). You cannot keep His commandments without being a Baptist. That is why you ought to be a Baptist. Love for the Lord Jesus and love for the truth will make every born again man in the world a Baptist, if he will obey the Book. That has been tried in every country in this world today, where the Bible is read and loved and obeyed. In India and Burma and Germany and Russia and Persia and Bulgaria and Brazil and Cuba and any number of other countries around this world, before there were any Baptists in those lands, the reading of Godís Word made Baptists out of folks who were not Baptists, and they went sometimes half way around the world to get Baptist baptism. In that they are following their Lord. "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him" (Matthew 3:13). He walked sixty miles or more to get Baptist baptism. Right now in Peru, where there are no Baptists, two different groups of believers, made believers through the distribution of Bibles by the colporteurs of the British and Foreign Bible Society; right now I say these two groups of believers, widely scattered, are waiting and begging for some Baptist missionary to come and give them New Testament baptism. The New Testament was written to make men disciples and then make them Baptists. You canít obey the Book without being a Baptist: and you canít be an informed and obedient Baptist without being a Missionary Baptist. Love to Christ and loyalty to His Word will make every saved man in the world a Baptist. That is why you ought to be a Baptist.