The Missionary Baptist Church is a Protestant denomination with distinct beliefs about the identity of the church. The denomination also places special focus on fulfilling the Great Commission through missionary efforts. Missionary Baptists teach that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ and cannot be obtained through good works, baptism or through any other method. The denomination grounds its beliefs in New Testament Scripture.
The basic beliefs of the Missionary Baptist Church are in keeping with those of orthodox Christianity. Missionary Baptist churches believe the Bible to be God's inerrant word. They teach that God is all-powerful, eternal and triune, and that in his mercy he sent Jesus to die sacrificially for the sins of the world. Missionary Baptists believe that Jesus will return triumphantly to earth during what is known as the Second Coming.
Missionary Baptist churches believe the Bible teaches that baptism should occur following a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. The churches baptize those who have repented and trusted Jesus by completely immersing them in water. The act symbolizes the death of the person's old, sinful self and their rebirth as a new creation, forgiven and redeemed by Christ. While the act of baptism does not guarantee a person salvation, it is an important symbolic act and a prerequisite for full participation in the life of the church.
Missionary Baptists' view of the church is unique to the denomination. The Missionary Baptist Association of Texas explains the denomination's belief that "Jesus Christ, during His personal ministry, established His Church, which is a local, visible assembly of scripturally baptized believers in covenant relationship, to carry out the Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ." Missionary Baptists assert that the biblical church is a local parish of baptized believers, not an abstract concept consisting of an intangible body of all Christians across time.
Missionary Baptists take seriously the Great Commission, Christ's directive to "make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." They believe authority to commission missionaries is a gift from Jesus specifically given to churches, and that this authority will last until Christ's return. Missionary Baptists rely on the leadership of the Holy Spirit to guide their churches' obedience of the Great Commission.
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