What is a Baptist?

C. H. Spurgeon on Baptist Perpetuity

“We believe that the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the reformation, we were reformers before Luther or Calvin were born; we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the apostles themselves. We have always existed from the very days of Christ, and our principles, sometimes veiled and forgotten, like a river which may travel underground for a little season, have always had honest and holy adherents. Persecuted alike by Romanists and Protestants of almost every sect, yet there has never existed a Government holding Baptist principles which persecuted others; nor I believe any body of Baptists ever held it to be right to put the consciences of others under the control of man. We have ever been ready to suffer, as our martyrologies will prove, but we are not ready to accept any help from the State, to prostitute the purity of the Bride of Christ to any alliance with the government, and we will never make the Church, although the Queen, the despot over the consciences of men”.

Space Coast Baptist Church is a Bible-believing, Bible-preaching Baptist church.  Having no creeds, edicts, councils, or traditions, we seek to place full emphasis on the Word of God.

We do not promote or promulgate the idea of “Baptist doctrines” but hold to Bible doctrines.  However, Bible doctrine has been distilled down into eight Bible truths that identify us as Baptist people using the letters for B-A-P-T-I-S-T-S.

Biblical Authority In all matters of faith and practice we believe that God’s Holy Word is our inspired, inerrant, and preserved instruction manual for life, marriage, godliness, and Christian conduct.  No book, such as the “Book of Mormon” or other religious writings, have equal authority to God’s wonderful Word. (See 2 Timothy 3:16; John 17:17; Acts 17:11; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20–21.)

Autonomy or self-governing power of the local church. We believe that every local church is accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ and that there is no denominational head of any local church in the Bible. (See Colossians 1:18; Acts 13–14, 20:19–30; Ephesians 1:22–23.)

Priesthood of believers. Through the merits of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the wall between sinful man and a holy God has been broken down.  Because of that, we as blood-washed believers can enter in to the presence of Almighty God without the means of a priest or a church (See Hebrews 4:14–16; 1 Timothy 2:5–6; 1 Peter 2:5–10.)

Two church officers. We believe that the term “bishop, pastor, elder” are interchangeable terms and that the Bible speaks only about pastors and deacons (See Philippians 1:1; Acts 6:1–7; 1 Timothy 3:1–13; Titus 1:6–9; 1 Peter 5:1–4.)

Individual soul liberty. Soul liberty allows a man to practice independence in his relationship to matters of faith, practice, and conscience.  This principle alone led our Baptist forefathers to never sanction of any established relationship with the State nor to control the consciences of men through coercion. (See Romans 10:9–17, 14:1–23.)

Separation of church and state. This principle states that the wall of separation that limits or prohibits the control of the state over the church, should limit government intrusion into church life, while not the obstructing the influence of the church on the state.  (See Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:29–31; Romans 13:1–4.)

Two church ordinances. As a church we practice baptism and the Lord’s Supper, not as sacraments, which “convey grace,” but ordiances, which remind us of God’s wondrous grace outpoured through His death, burial, and resurrection.  (See Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26; Acts 2:38–43, 8:36–38; Romans 6:1–6)

Saved Church Membership.  A church is a group of saved, baptized believers who voluntarily join themselves together to carry out of the Great Commission.  Although the church is public and visible, it still remains a spiritual body of believers, who have confessed Christ with their hearts and followed Him in baptism. (Psalm 74:2, Acts 2:41, I Corinthians 1:2)