A Clear Statement from Committee on Resolutions

In perusing the churches represented by the various ones being appointed to committees I am beginning to see signs of encouragement.  For example the following statements are found on the websites of some being appointed to the Committee of Resolutions.

In this first statement I have not placed emphasis on any statement.  The bold emphasis and large capital letters are placed there in the website.  Thus, the church seems to desire that one understand their belief concerning Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Baptism
We believe that the baptism taught in the New Testament is by immersion. Baptism is an act of obedience by a person who has received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Baptism does not have power to save or forgive us from sin, but the message of baptism is significant:

1) Baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior.
2) Baptism also is a picture of the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life, in Christ Jesus.

Therefore, baptism is a personal statement of your faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism doesn’t make you a believer . . . it shows that you already believe.

Who Should Be Baptized? Every person who has believed.
“Those who believed and accepted His message were baptized…” Acts 2:41
“Simon himself believed and was baptized…” Acts 8:13
“But when they believed Philip as he preached the Good News…and the name of Jesus Christ,  they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12

Jesus never asked His disciples to remember His birth. But He did instruct them to remember His death and resurrection. The Lord’s supper is a memorial meal that was instituted by our Savior the night in which He was betrayed and delivered to die for our sins on the cross. As is true of baptism, we are not saved by eating the Lord’s Supper. It is a memorial of the death of Christ, that we may always remember His sacrifice for us. When believers observe the Lord’s Supper they proclaim His death until He comes again.

Who may take the Lord’s Supper? . . . Those who have trusted Jesus as their Savior and Lord and who have been baptized in obedience to His command.

Another committee member’s website links one to the BF&M 2000.  This is encouraging as the church has linked on their website as to their beliefs concerning Baptism and the Lord’s Supper by pointing to the following statement;

Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper. (Emphasis Mine)

Another church website also links to the BF&M 2000 but has brief statements about their beliefs.  The following is found as their statement about The Church.

The members of the church are redeemed, baptized believers who have placed their faith and trust in the finished work of Christ.

This church purposely places brief statements about their beliefs.  However, when placing this link one receives the impression that this church believes and practices Baptism is an obedient act after the salvation experience.  Also, by linking to the BF&M 2000 they tacitly express to the world that Baptism is by immersion and is a prerequisite to the Lord’s Supper.

In yet another church’s website, the BF&M2000 is not spoken about as to their beliefs.  However, when one goes through the various links about the church’s belief one will find a link to Baptism & Lord’s Supper.  What is unique about this is the rendering of these two ordinances.

Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. It is a testimony to his faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Being a church ordinance, it is prerequisite to the privileges of church membership and to the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members of the church, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming. (Emphasis Mine)

One can tell, while it is not the BF&M 2000 verbatim, it certainly could have used the BF&M 2000 for its source.  What makes it unique is joining the explanation of the two ordinances into one paragraph.  When you place these two together like this it speaks volumes that this church teaches, and practices, Baptism by immersion is a prerequisite for enjoying the Lord’s Table with the rest of the saints.

Thank God for these appointments and it appears that the Resolution Committee contains a good mix and a healthy Baptist Ecclesiology.