H – Happiness – Ps 30:11-12 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!
O – Overcomes – Jeremiah 32:17 “O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!
P– Promises – Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswerving to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
E – Eternity – Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
To be a Baptist means to identify with a particular tradition within Christianity that has its roots in 17th-century England. The most prominent distinguishing mark of this tradition is believers’ baptism, which means that Baptists believe that baptism is only appropriate for those who have professed personal faith in Jesus Christ.
To be a Baptist: doctrinal beliefs
Baptists also adhere to a set of doctrinal beliefs that are summarized in their statement of faith. These beliefs include:
The divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Scriptures
The existence of one God in three persons
The deity and incarnation of Jesus Christ
The fallen and lost state of all people
The salvation of men and women through the perfect obedience of Jesus Christ
The immediate work of the Holy Spirit in the regeneration and sanctification of believers
The necessity of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ for salvation
The resurrection of the dead, and the final judgment of all people
To be a Baptist: practices
Baptists also hold to several distinctive practices and organizational structures. Emphasis is on the Lordship of Christ and the authority of the Scriptures.
That Jesus Christ is the ultimate authority in matters of faith and practice
The Bible is the authoritative guide for Christian belief and behaviour
The church is a fellowship of believers or a community of committed disciples
Membership in a Baptist church requires a personal confession of faith in Jesus Christ and baptism
Baptists also emphasize the priesthood of all believers. Meaning every member of the congregation has a direct relationship with Christ and shares in the ministry of the church. While pastors are recognized as leaders and equippers of the local body of believers, every member is considered equal and has a share in the ministry of the church.
Baptists also place a high value on the importance of churches working together. The local church is considered the essential unit of Baptist ecclesiology. They also believe in the importance of fellowship between churches. Forming associations and Baptist unions to facilitate cooperation and support for missionary work, the training of pastors and leaders, social services, and support for new and struggling churches.
Baptist religious freedom
Finally, Baptists place a significant emphasis on religious freedom and have historically opposed all forms of religious coercion. They affirm the rights of all people to worship freely and to hold their own religious beliefs without fear of persecution or discrimination.