"...according to the [S]criptures...."

Bert Craft

Many years ago, Jesus said of the church in Sardis,
"thou hast a name that thou livest, and art
(Rev. 3:1).   Jesus looked at this assembly
and saw something that man could not see.   In
man's eyes, this church had a good reputation, yet
under the divine scrutiny of Christ, we see that their
reputation was without reality.   The Word of God
proclaims that the last days will be characterized by
those who have "a form of godliness, but denying the
power thereof"
(2 Tim. 3:5); those who "profess
that they know God; but in works they deny
(Tit. 1:16).   Our world today is filled with
many professors, but only a few possessors.   So it is
true among those who call themselves "Independent
  There are many who profess the name,
but there are only a few who possess the nature of a
true, scriptural Independent Baptist.   As we
consider the topic, "Wanted: True Independent
New Testament Baptists,"
let us be mindful that the
opinion we have of ourselves, or the reputation we
have in the minds of others, does not determine
what we are.   In fact, I know many who are wearing
the name "Independent Baptist" who ought to be
honest with themselves and others and take the
name off their signs and letterhead.   They do not
believe and practice what "Independent Baptists"
have stood for and practiced throughout history.
Though there have been some irregularities
amongst Baptists, scripturally true, Independent
Baptists believe that...

I. The Bible--Authorized Version (KJV
   1611)--Is Preserved, Sole Authority

Since Christ started His church in the first century,
Baptists have never questioned the authenticity or
authority of the Word of God.   The Baptists have
never changed the Scriptures to conform to their
beliefs.   Rather, they have submitted to the
Scriptures and have organized and governed their
churches under the authority of the Word of God.

The first Baptist--John the Baptist--came into the
country around Jordan preaching the preserved
Word of God.   "As it is written in the book of the

words of Esaias the prophet..."   John believed that
God had preserved the inspired words of Isaiah the
prophet given nearly 700 years earlier.   Therefore,
John preached with authority, power, and
confidence.   Jesus, during His ministry, often
quoted Moses who had penned divine revelation
about 1500 years before Christ.   Obviously, Christ
understood divine sovereignty in the preservation of
the Word of God.   If John the Baptist and Jesus
Christ did not question the veracity and authenticity
of God's Word, why can we not believe God in our
day that He has sovereignly preserved His Word for
us?   The preserved Word of God in English is the
King James Bible (1611).   The King James Version
was translated from the Textus Receptus
manuscripts.   All of the other manuscripts have
been altered and perverted so that the translations
which do not align with the Textus Receptus are in
actuality perversions of the Word of God.

True Independent Baptists "are not as many,
which corrupt the [W]ord of God"
(2 Cor. 2:17);
instead, they reject the perversions and wholly
accept the Authorized Version of 1611 as the
preserved, sole authority for all faith and practice.
True Independent N.T. Baptists also strictly believe

II. Alien Immersion Is To Be Rejected

Alien immersion is defined as a baptism that does
not meet scriptural qualifications.   There are four
essentials to scriptural baptism:

1) Scriptural Candidate--a believer in Jesus Christ
 (Acts 2:41; Acts 8:36-38)
2) Scriptural Mode--immersion in water (Mat. 3:16;
 Acts 8:38-39)
3) Scriptural Administrator--a N.T. Baptist church
 (in doctrine and not name only) that has been given
 authority from a church of like faith and practice
 (Mat. 28:18-20; Acts 16:5)
4) Scriptural Motive--to identify with Christ and to
 join a N.T. church (Rom. 6:3-4; Acts 2:41; 1 Cor.

If any of these qualifications are not met, the
baptism is not valid or scriptural; thus, it is
considered alien immersion.   Many so-called
"Independent Baptists" of today never concern
themselves with how or where their church
members were baptized.   They accept "baptisms"
from Methodist churches, Charismatic or
Pentecostal churches, Interdenominational
churches, Bible churches, and many others.   They
fail to see that baptism requires authority (Mark
11:28-33), and that these churches do not have
proper, scriptural authority.   True Independent
Baptists were given the name "Anabaptists"
centuries ago because they rebaptized those who
came to them from unscriptural churches.   The only
baptism acceptable to God is one that meets these
scriptural qualifications.   There are still
Independent Baptists wanted that believe in the...

III. Perpetuity of Jesus' Church and
     His Authority

According to Matthew 16:18, Jesus promised
regarding His church that "the gates of hell shall
not prevail against it."
  Paul wrote in Ephesians
3:21, "Unto [H]im be glory in the church by Christ
Jesus throughout all ages, world without end."

Since Jesus Christ started the first church in
Jerusalem, there has never been a time when
scriptural N.T. churches have not existed.   Many
so-called "Independent Baptists" today oppose this
doctrine because they cannot prove it.   Since when
did we ever start accepting the Word of God only if
we can prove it?   Faith is taking God at His Word
and acting upon it.

Historically, Baptists have been persecuted so that
history regarding their perpetuity has been
destroyed.   However, I do not base my convictions
or doctrine on history but on what God has spoken.
The real problem why so many detest this doctrine
is the matter of authority.   If perpetuity is true, then
many so-called "Independent Baptists" have
unscriptural churches and no authority to baptize.
For many to admit this doctrine as true, they would
have to humble themselves and face the fact that

they have been wrong, which could bring
embarrassment upon them.   Furthermore, they
would have to submit to baptism from a scriptural
church and reorganize the assemblies that they
pastor.   You must be right on this matter, for the
Scriptures state in 2 Timothy 2:5, "if a man also
strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except
he strive lawfully."
  Rewards at the Judgment Seat
of Christ will be lost if our labors are not done
scripturally under the authority of a true church.

IV. True, Scriptural Church Is Only A
      Local Church

The word "church" found in the Word of God is
always translated from the Greek word "ekklesia."
Ekklesia means "a called out group of people
assembled together."
  Jesus used the word "ekklesia"
or "church" 23 times.   In all of these instances, He
refers to a particular assembly in a particular place
except one time where he is speaking in a general
way about the church.   The Scriptures never in any
way speak of a mystical, universal, invisible church
or body of Christ.   Some "pseudo Independent
confuse the difference between the family
of God and the church of God.   They misunderstand
that we are born into the family of God (John 1:12)
and that we are water-baptized into the church of
God (1 Cor. 12:13).   The Bible term "body of
is reserved only for a local, New Testament
church.   Paul, in writing to the church at Corinth
said, "Now ye are the body of Christ, and
members in particular."
  In the body (church),
Christ is the head; in the family the Father is the
head.   The body (church) demands location; the
family can be scattered.   Baptism qualifies us for
membership in the body (church); the new birth
makes us a part of the family.   Members can be put
out of the body (church); family members can never
be put out.   The body (church) assembles regularly;
the family does not assemble at this time.   Members
of the body (church) know and care for one another
daily; members of the family know very few of the
other family members.   Jesus only started one
church in His ministry--the church at
Jerusalem--which was a local, visible, organized

assembly of baptized believers.   True N.T. Baptists
believe and practice that...

V. The Imperative Of World Missions
    Belongs To The Church

Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20 gave His church her
commission before ascending back to heaven.   The
authority was committed to His church to go into all
the world, to make disciples, to baptize, and to
instruct them in the Word of God.   There is no other
institution designated by Christ to carry out the
work of the Great Commission.   Yet some so-called
"Independent Baptists" believe that the plan of
Jesus Christ to reach the world through His church
is not enough.   Therefore, they have organized their
own man-made, man-headed, and man-glorifying
institutions--mission boards, clearinghouses,
mission societies, associations and fellowships--to
do the work that Jesus Christ gave to His church.
To do God's work in a different way than the way
He has instructed is either ignorance or arrogance
on the part of man.   There are no other institutions
more capable of carrying out the Great Commission
than the Lord's churches.

The church at Antioch in Acts 13 set the N.T.
example and proved that God's churches are
capable of fulfilling the command of our Lord.
Here we see Paul and Barnabas proving their gifts
in the church and their call being confirmed in the
church.   They were then ordained in the church,
sent out of the church, and were accountable to and
reported to the Antioch church.   Personally, I know
that a scriptural N.T. Baptist church is capable of
performing all the administrative duties, overseeing
the missionary's doctrine and practice (Since when
did Christ give authority to a mission agency to
discipline a man?), and fulfilling all the necessary
functions to place and keep a man on the field.
Scriptural, Independent Baptists should be more
zealous than any of the others because they
understand that the imperative of reaching the
world with the Gospel is their purpose for
existence.   Furthermore, true Independent Baptists
are convicted that...

VI. Salvation Is By Grace Through
     Repentance And Faith

True, New Testament Independent Baptists have
faithfully proclaimed the message that John the
Baptist preached, that Jesus Christ preached, that
Peter preached, that Paul preached, and all other
faithful brethren since then have preached and that
is, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that
your sins may be blotted out"
(Acts 3:19).   Jesus
said in Luke 24:47 "that repentance and
remission of sins should be preached in [H]is name
among all nations..."
  Salvation without
repentance is damnation!   Today, there are many
preaching a false gospel without making people
face the guilt and condemnation of their sin;
consequently, if a man is never faced with his sin
and the reality that he is lost (by his own
understanding), he can never be saved.   The
Scriptures are clear on promoting house to house
evangelism but it condemns "easy believism."
Salvation decisions without repentance give people
false hope and make them twofold the child of Hell.
"If any man preach any other gospel unto you
than that ye have received, let him be accursed"

(Gal. 1:9).   Lastly, true N.T. Independent Baptists
adhere to and hold that...

VII. The Table Of The Lord Is
      Restricted To Members Only

The church was given two ordinances by Jesus
Christ--baptism and the Lord's Supper (1 Cor.
11:2).   Jesus instituted the ordinance of the Lord's
Supper on the night before His crucifixion.   This is
His ordinance and His table; therefore, we must
invite the participants according to the Lord's
orders.   The scriptural qualifications to observe the
Lord's Supper are:
1) one must be saved (1 Cor. 10:21)
2) one must be scripturally baptized (Acts 2:41-47)
3) one must be a member of the church observing
  the Lord's Supper (1 Cor. 11:18)
4) one must have an orderly walk void of offense
toward God and man
(1 Cor. 11:27-31)

Scriptural observance of the Lord's Supper is
inseparably connected with efficient church
discipline; hence, only members of that particular
Baptist church should participate in observing the
Lord's Supper in the church which has the authority
to discipline them.   Restricting the Lord's table to
members only will bring God's blessing and avoid
the sure judgment of God (1 Cor. 11:30).

May God help you to have more than a name and
reputation, but to know the reality of being a true,
New Testament, Independent Baptist.   "For not he
that commendeth himself is approved, but whom
the Lord commendeth"
(2 Cor. 10:18).

What It Means To Be An
"Independent Baptist"

Bible KJV 1611 is preserved, sole authority
Alien immersion is not accepted
Perpetuity of Jesus' church & His authority
True, scriptural church is only local church
Imperative of missions belongs to the church
Salvation of grace by repentance and faith
Table of the Lord is restricted to members

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