Baptist Distinctives: 2 Offices & Saved, Baptized Church Membership

Well, the final two Baptist distinctives of our series are: two offices and a saved, baptized church membership.

Two Offices: pastor & deacon

The Bible mandates two offices within the local church — pastor and deacon.

There are three different words used in the New Testament for the office of pastor: elder (1 Tim. 5:19), bishop (1 Tim. 3:1), and overseer (Acts 20:28). Each of these terms when studied in their context are referring to the same office, not separate, unique offices. Deacons are first described in Acts 6 and their qualifications are listed in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.

Saved, Baptized Church Membership

To me, this is one of the defining characteristics of a New Testament church. One of the reasons why Baptist do not baptize babies or children who have not professed a personal faith in Jesus is because baptism is reserved for those who have personally placed their trust in Christ. This is part of what preserves a local congregation from errant beliefs: everyone who is a member has espoused a true relationship with God through Jesus Christ (Acts 2:41-47). Baptism has always followed conversion and was based upon a personal decision to trust Christ (Acts 2:41)

The Baptist distinctives:

  • B iblical authority
  • A utonomy of the local church
  • P riesthood of all believers
  • T wo ordinances (believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper)
  • I ndividual soul liberty
  • S eparation of Church and State
  • T wo offices of the church (pastor and deacon)
  • S aved church membership

One Response

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Joel Mosier. Joel Mosier said: RT @bethelbaptistpa: Baptist Distinctives: 2 Offices & Saved, Baptized Church Membership : […]

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