Southland Community Churches Christian beliefs and doctrine are substantially described in its Statement of Faith. The Statement of Faith is Southland Community Churches attempt to summarize core principles of the Bible as non-negotiable tenets of faith, but it is the Bible itself that is the final authority for Southland Community Churches Christian beliefs and doctrine, and that governs every ministry and every policy of Southland Community Churches Statement of Faith is located in Southland Community Churches of Bylaws, but this is a general overview of the Statement of Faith, subject to the full Statement of Faith in the Bylaws, which in turn is subject to the Word of God as spoken through the Holy Scriptures.
The written words of the Holy Scriptures are divinely inspired and authoritative, and are the only writings containing the words of God Himself. The original manuscripts of the Scriptures are inerrant. The Scriptures are clearly understandable by all persons who will read them with a willingness to follow them, seeking proper understanding from the Lord. The Scriptures contain everything God intended to be known for salvation, and are profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness so the man of God may be adequate and equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 1:2-3, 19:7-8, 119:11, 105; John 17:17; Romans 15:4, 16:25-26; Isaiah 40:8; 2 Peter 1:21.
There is only one God, creator of the heavens and the earth, and eternally existing in the three persons of the Trinity including God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. God is love, and demonstrated his love by sending His only begotten Son Jesus into the world to die for man’s sin, while we were yet sinners. Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. 1 John 4:7-10, 5:7; Romans 5:8, 8:38-39; Genesis 1:1; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Jeremiah 10:10, 32:17; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 1:8; Deuteronomy 10:14; John 17:21-22; Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19.
Jesus the Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary to live among men on the earth, where He performed miracles and later died on the cross for man’s sin. Jesus was both fully God and fully man, and was without any sin. According to the Scriptures, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after His death on the cross, appeared in a glorified body to His disciples and many witnesses, ascended into heaven to take His exalted place at the right hand of God the Father, and will return again in power and glory. Through the shedding of His blood in His substitutionary death on the cross and His resurrection three days later, Jesus atoned for man’s sin once and for all, and is the one Mediator between God and man by which man can be reconciled to God. Hebrews 1:1-2, 4:14-15, 5:9, 7:24-27, 12:2; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Colossians 1:15-20, 2:9; Galatians 4:4-5; Isaiah 7:14; Acts 1:9-11, 2:23-24, 9:20; Matthew 1:18, 25, 16:16-17, 26:63-64, 27:33-37, 59-60, 28:6; John 1:1-5, 14, 29, 2:19-22, 11:25-27, 20:14-18; Luke 1:35, 22:70, 24:45-47.
The Holy Spirit is the fully divine Spirit of God that inspired men to record the Scriptures, convicts men of sin, calls men to Jesus Christ for redemption, comforts believers, and enables understanding of truth and the meaning of the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit enables every believer to live a Spirit-filled and Spirit-empowered life. Furthermore, all the gifts of the Holy Spirit are in operation in the church today through the lives of believers. John 14:16-17, 26, 15:26, 16:7-11, 13-15; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16, 3:16; Joel 2:28-29; Titus 3:5-6; Galatians 4:6, 5:25; Mark 13:11; Acts 1:5, 8, 2:1-4, 38-39, 4:31, 9:31, 10:44-45, 15:8, 16:6; Romans 5:5, 8:11, 16, 26-27; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7.
Man was created by God, male and female, in God’s own image and innocent of any sin. God placed the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, and gave man freedom of the choice to sin. The fall of man occurred when Satan tempted man and man sinned against God. Because of the fall, man is subject to sin and death, and needs the grace of God to bring man back into fellowship with God. God considered man to be His highest creation because He created man in His own image, and later sent His Son Jesus to die for the redemption of man from sin and the effects of the fall of man.
Salvation and redemption from the power and penalty of sin and death is offered to all who by faith alone confess their sin and believe in their heart that Jesus is the risen Lord and Savior. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and resurrection from the dead after three days atoned for sin and is the only way to be reconciled to God, as Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to God the Father but by Him. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 3:12, 22-24, 5:8, 6:23, 8:1-4, 10:9-10; 1 John 1:8-9, 4:9-10, 15, 5:1; John 1:12, 3:16, 14:6, 17:3, 20:31; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, 6:2; Revelation 3:20; 1 Peter 1:18-21, 3:18a; Colossians 1:13-14; Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-9; Galatians 2:16; Psalm 32:5; Acts 4:12, 16:30-31; Titus 3:5.
A person who has experienced salvation is “born again” and is united with Christ in His death and resurrection, having crucified the old sinful self by appropriating Christ’s death on the cross, and having been delivered from bondage to sin. At the moment of salvation, the believer stands in a right relationship with God, and is adopted as a member of God’s family. As a result of salvation, the new believer has been spiritually transformed and begins walking in the Light of Truth as a child of God, and begins becoming more and more free from sin in obedience to the Lord, being guided by the Holy Scriptures with a desire to practice righteousness—in other words, righteous Christian living. As an example of practiced righteous Christian living, the Scriptures teach that the marriage covenant is reserved only for one man with one woman, and limit the expression of human sexuality to such a marital relationship only. Additionally, the Scriptures teach that any conflicts between believers are to be resolved only within the Church according to biblical guidance. And furthermore, the believer living in righteousness has a special love of one another as God’s love is perfected in the believer, who increasingly bears the fruit of the Spirit including love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, and demonstrates faith through good works. John 3:1-8; 1 Corinthians 6:1-11, 19-20, 9:24-27, 13:1-13; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 John 1:7, 2:3, 15-17, 3:3-10, 4:12, 19, 5:3-4; 1 Peter 1:14-16, 2:24; 2 Peter 3:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8; Titus 2:11-14; Ephesians 4:22-24; Galatians 5:22-23; Romans 6:11-14, 12:2; John 15:12; Matthew 19:4-6.
The Church is the fellowship of God in Christ and the family of all believers who have accepted the free gift of salvation and profess the Lordship of Christ in their lives. The Church engages in worship to God and the singing of psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to the praise of His glory. The Church nurtures believers, admonishing and teaching every believer with all wisdom in order to present every man mature and complete in Christ, equipping believers for the work of service to the building up of the body of Christ, and attaining to the unity of faith in Christ. As instructed by Jesus at the end of His ministry on earth, the Church brings His teachings to all nations, teaching them and baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Colossians 1:24-28, 3:12-17; Ephesians 2:19-22, 3:10; Hebrews 10:24-25; Matthew 28:19-20; John 17:20-23.
God has appointed a day when He will judge the world. On that day, God will demonstrate His mercy by eternal salvation in Heaven for all who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, and His justice by eternal damnation in Hell for those who have rejected God’s free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:52-57; 2 Corinthians 5:1, 10; 1 Peter 1:3-4; 2 Peter 3:7, 10; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; 2 Timothy 4:8; Joel 2:30-32; Revelation 20:11-15, 22:1-5; Acts 1:11, 17:30-31; Matthew 16:27, 24:27, 36, 44, 25:31-34, 41; John 14:1-3; Luke 13:28, 17:34-35, 21:27-28; Hebrews 9:27.