The Baptist Name
Memory Verse: Ephesians 4:4-6
Prayer: That we as Baptists should live a life that will be in harmony with our great divine name.
Key Verses: Jn. 1:6-13,33; Acts 11:26; Matt. 3:1-8, 28:18-20; Jn. 15:18-25; Eph. 4:4-6;
1Cor. 11:19-21; 1Jn. 2:10; Mark 11:30-33.
There are many religious organizations in the world today, cults, denominations both Protestant and Catholic, all claiming to be the successor of the church that Jesus founded (Matt. 16:18). Many claim to be the true church on the basis of certain names that they have put on themselves. Names that have no bearing in relation to the false doctrines that they teach. A name alone cannot make a false church into one of which Jesus Christ is the founder and head. Then there are all the false theories of what makes up a church: the church-branch theory; the church-army theory; the universal church theory (visible and invisible) - all with the conflicting views of Arminianism and Calvinism, Catholics, Baptists, Campbellites and Pedobaptists. Satan is behind all these many unscriptural systems of religions and churches that are counterfeits of Christianity. Some religious names may sound and look good but there is only one name that meets all the criteria of a church of the Lord Jesus Christ - BAPTIST.
The name “Baptist,” as the name “Christian” (Acts 11:26), was not given to the church by Christ or any writer of the N.T. We accept the name Baptist as the early saints eventually accepted the name Christian. There is nothing about the name Baptist for which to be ashamed. It is drenched with blood - the blood shed because of faithfulness to God’s Word. It’s history carries us back to those called “Anabaptists.”
From The Trail of Blood by Dr. J. M. Carroll, “It was in the year 251 that Baptist Churches declared non-fellowship with the irregular churches. They refused to accept Baptism administered in infancy or for salvation and thus came the oldest nickname, Ana-Baptists, which means re-baptizers.”
Real Baptists have a precious heritage in their name. We love the name and what it signifies. Either the pagans or Jews gave the disciples at Antioch the name “Christian.” In like manner, down through history, names of derision or names of their principal leaders have been given to those saints whose beginning was from John the Baptist and Jesus Christ - Montanists, Novationists, Donatists, Paulicians, Arnoldists, Albigenses, Waldenses and Ana-Baptists. Even in this day, Baptists put many descriptive terms in front of their name to explain their particular denominational affiliation or doctrinal emphasis: fundamental, sovereign grace, landmark, independent, Southern, Northern, free will, primitive, regular, and perhaps 57 other titles.
Beyond question, Christ built only one church and that church is what we would call today a Baptist church. The testing of the various denominations in the light of history will lead us to the inevitable conclusion that the churches known today as Baptist are the only ones that could possibly claim to be or actually be descendants of the church that Jesus built. All of the recent Protestant organizations and other sects and schisms are clearly eliminated from any claim as being the church Christ built, for history marks their beginning far this side of the time of Christ. To name just a few:
· Lutherans - followers of Martin Luther around 1520-1530.
· Presbyterian - due to John Calvin (Romanist) trying to reform the Roman church in 1536.
· The Episcopal church - started in England in 1534 when Henry the Eighth broke with Rome.
· The Congregational Church - Robert Brown in 1580 changed the form of church government of the Episcopal church.
· Methodist -sprang from the church of England in 1739 as the result of the work of Charles and John Wesley.
· Campbellism - about 1827 started by Alexander Campbell who taught that water baptism washed away sins.
· Holy Rollerism - many groups since 1900 that are basically of the heresy of sinless perfection.
But - Baptists have no human founder this side of Jesus Christ. Enemies of Baptists have tried their utmost to attribute the origin of Baptists to some person around 1500, but it can not be done honestly. Of course the full history of the true Baptist churches cannot and will not be written because our enemies in the past have destroyed all of our records, except the word of God itself, the King James Bible.
The Baptist name and church came from God. John was the name given the forerunner of Jesus at his birth (Lu. 1:60; Mk. 1:2; Jn. 1:6,7). He was called “The Baptist” because of his mission. God called him “The Baptist” before he started preaching (Matt. 3:1). God gave him the name and God sent him to preach and baptize (Jn. 1:33). God also sent him to baptize only those who were made disciples (saved) before their baptism (Jn. 4:1).
The name Baptist is the only name in the New Testament that stands for a baptized Disciple, (Matt.23:8; Jn. 4:1).
· All who have believed on the name of Jesus as their Saviour and Lord are God’s children (Jn. 1:12; Gal. 3:26).
· All the elect are called sheep (Jn. 10:27).
· All the blood-washed are called saints (Heb. 10:10, 13:12).
These and other titles apply to unbaptized believers. But only after baptism can a saved person be a member of the Lord’s Church. Baptists are the only church that maintains that baptism should be administered by immersion and be administered to believers only.
The only New Testament Name, that conforms to the Great Commission is the name Baptist. John made disciples and then baptized them. Jesus made disciples and had the twelve baptize them (Jn. 4:1; Matt. 28:18-20). When Jesus was going away, He commanded His churches to make and baptize disciples until He comes again. The name Baptist is the only name that is a constant reminder of the commission given by the Lord Jesus to His churches until the end of time. All other religious bodies baptize babies or baptize sinners to save them or baptize in some other unscriptural manner.
The name Baptist is a Differentiating name. It marks us out from all other sects and isms. God said His people are a peculiar people (Tit. 2:14). It distinguishes those who baptize saved people from those who baptize unsaved people. It distinguishes those who reject infant baptism from those who follow Rome and receive it. The name Baptist is a distinguishing name, that heretical Baptist sects, such as Hardshell Baptists or freewill Baptists, etc., have to use a prefix of some kind in front of their names to mark them as “sick” Baptists, who are following a stranger.
The name Baptist is a Divisive name (Lu. 12:51; Act 28:22). The Lord Jesus foretold the night of His betrayal and crucifixion, that His people would be a despised and a rejected people (Jn. 15:18-25, 16:1,2; Lu. 21:17). Everything that makes for unity among Baptists makes for division between Baptists and all other people. Baptist churches are never united unless they are separated from everybody else. We cannot unionize or join up with Satan’s synagogues. The Baptist name meant separation from the world in the first man who wore it.
There are seven ones to make one:
1. One body - a local church
2. One Spirit - the Holy Spirit
3. One hope - the finished work of Jesus Christ
4. One Lord - the Lord Jesus Christ
5. One faith - Jude 3, no new truth
6. One baptism - one kind, meeting the 4 requirements of God’s Word
7. One God and Father - the heavenly Father, no universal fatherhood of God.
The name Baptist is an Exclusive name. Baptists have no fellowship for lots of folks and lots of things. They are not inclusive but exclusive (Rev. 22:15; 1Cor. 11:19-21). The name Baptist stands for cleanness of life, purity of doctrine, and separation from the world. Heresies crop up among Baptists but the true Baptists always come out from among them, and if the church will stand true, the worldly, the heretics and the apostates will leave us (1Jn. 2:19). The very name Baptist stands for separation. Nineteen hundred years of teaching and persecution by all other sects has served to accentuate their exclusiveness. You cannot make Baptists like anybody else. May we stand true to our wonderful name and bring glory to God through our Baptist church.