This year our theme at Northwoods Baptist Church is “Walking Together.” It is based on Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Some churches have difficulty maintaining any unity because they have not determined the common beliefs that bind them together.
Jesus prayed that His followers would have unity in John 17:21, “That they all may be one.” Some would then promote that unity should be our primary goal at any cost. However, according to the Lord, true unity must first be built upon the truth. Before He prayed for unity, He asked the Father to “sanctify them” – to set them apart – “through thy truth.”
So what is truth, anyway? What are the truths that bind us, set us apart from others, and make us who we are as a church community? The answer is in the same prayer the Lord had for His disciples. John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
That is the foundational principle for all that we believe and do at Northwoods Baptist Church – that God’s Word is the truth. The Bible is our governing authority. As Bible believers, we of course hold to the various “fundamentals” of the Christian faith such as the inspiration of Scripture, the virgin birth of Christ, and His literal resurrection from the grave. Most Christian denominations believe in these truths.
What sets us apart as a Baptist church are those Bible beliefs known as the “Baptist Distinctives.” Historically, what makes a church Baptist is not their denomination, but their doctrine. It is a name that identifies us with a unique set of beliefs, not with a denominational organization.
These distinctive beliefs have been arranged as an acrostic with the word “Baptists.” They are as follows:
B Bible Authority
A Autonomy of the Local Church
P Priesthood of Every Believer
T Two Ordinances: Believer’s Baptism & the Lord’s Supper
I Individual Soul Liberty
S Saved, Baptized Church Membership
T Two Offices: Pastor & Deacon
S Separation of Church & State
Of course we are first and foremost believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. But we are also believers in the Word of God – the Bible. That faith in the authority of God’s Word has led us to hold these truths, and these truths are what make us Baptists.
If you consider yourself a believer in the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ, please come visit us, and see if God is leading you to “Walk Together” with us here at Northwoods Baptist Church!