Baptists/Questions on Baptist Doctrines
QUESTION: There are a lot of things that I agree with on the Baptist Church. Yes, I know that Jesus was without sin and got Baptized to proclaim to the world that he was the messiah. I also know that by faith through grace we are saved. But one thing confuses me. If Jesus was without sin and got baptized, then he died on the cross to wash away our sins which is what created God's grace, why do the Apostles tell us to believe and be baptized for the repentance of our sins if we don't have any? Most of the time the bible says, believe+baptize=saved. Also, I saw how you said that baptists are not protestants. My pastor explained that we are because anything that is not a catholic is considered protestant. He never really said that we broke away from the church.
Thank you for your questions--and thank you for your patience. My previous attempts to answer were not submitted for some reason. I hope this time goes through.
Salvation--or grace--is a gift (Ephesians 2:8, 9). When somebody gives you a gift it is not yours until you accept it. The mere giving or providing of a gift does not constitute possession. It could be bought, paid for, wrapped, have your name on it and be sitting on your porch or under your Christmas tree but it is not yours until you take possession of it. Also, gifts are not given based on merit or worthiness, they are given out of love and appreciation. I can't earn or work for a gift. If I get something that I worked for it is a wage or a payment. I can't pay for a gift because it has already been paid for. If I pay for it it is a purchase not a gift. Are you following me? Christ has done all that is necessary for salvation to be ours--He paid for it with his blood, He made it available to us freely, He offers it to us. We can't work for or earn it. But this gift is not ours until we accept it, that is to believe that Christ died for us to pay for salvation. The Bible says that salvation can only be obtained through the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9). Christ shed His blood to purchase salvation for us. In order for that gift of eternal life to be ours we must accept it. Accept that the price has already been paid. That's what the word "believe" means. It's more than just a knowledge or assent. The Greek word has the idea of an "experimental belief". I may BELIEVE that an aspirin will take away my headache, but until I ingest it and allow it to do what it was made to do I'm still going to have a headache. Once we have accepted Christ's gift of salvation (John 1:12), then He places our sin in "the sea of His forgetfulness". Not that we cease from sinning--as long as we're in this flesh we'll have a sin nature--but Christ has already forgiven us because we have the promise of salvation. Hope this helps.
As to the issue of Baptists not being Protestants: Let me first say that if your Pastor disagrees with me then he is right and I am wrong. In the most broad sense yes, any church that is not Catholic is Protestant. More specifically, though, Protestants are those who "protested" against the Catholic church during the Protestant Reformation. I believe that Baptists, although they were not always called "Baptists" have existed since John the Baptist in the New Testament.
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QUESTION: I was told that Baptists were called that name because of the way they baptize people, the immersion practice and how they were the first ones to do it since the Catholics stopped. Others do believe it was because of John the Baptist. Did you know that they Catholics did use immersion originally? I think they messed up badly around that time as they thought it was easier to sprinkle. Just because it's easier does not mean that it's right.
Also, why do catholics claim to be the first church when there are clearly several churches mentioned in the bible such as Galatia?
Why do they claim to be the original owners of the bible when it was really the jews who wrote it?
There are many other errors I can point out, such as how Revelations very much describe the Roman Catholics like the woman being dressed in purple and scarlet=bishops and cardinals. But I'm going to try not to ask too many questions at once.
You are correct that Baptists have that name because of the practice of baptism by immersion. But baptists have been known by other names a well: Montanists, Paulicians, Cathari, Waldenses, Albigenses, and Anabaptists.
As to the changes in Catholic beliefs and practices, I can't speak to those.