Baptist Distinctives Part 5 “Individual Soul Liberty”

Southern Baptists Great Commission Baptists believe what we have written in the Baptist Faith & Message but 7 “distinctives” are helpful to summarize what makes Baptists different:

Biblical authority, Autonomy of the local church, Priesthood of all believers, Two ordinances (believer’s baptism and the Lord’s Supper), Individual soul liberty, Separation of Church and State, and Two offices of the church (pastor and deacon)

#5 Individual Soul Liberty

Every believer has to give account of himself, and himself alone, before God. There is no prescription of which days to observe, how to worship, which foods to eat or not eat, or what is the proper way to honor God. Each Christian is bound by their own conscience before God to do what is right based on his word (cf. 2Tim 3:16-17) within the context of a local church.

One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honour of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honour of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honour of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Why do you pass judgement on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God; for it is written,

“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”

So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

-Rom 14:5-12

About John Harris

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
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