Our Statement of Faith
1. Bible: We believe the Bible (39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament) is the complete, verbally inspired, all-sufficient Word of God; inerrant in the original writings, and all authoritative in all matters of faith and practice. A proper understanding of Scripture involves interpreting it literally/normally, in context, and inductively. (Ps. 19:7-9; Isa. 8:20; 40:8; Matt. 5:18; 24:35; Jn. 10:35; 12:48; 16:13; 17:17; Acts 20:26-27; 2Tim. 2:15; 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:3-4, 20-21; Jude 3; Rev. 22:18-19)
2. Trinity: We believe there is one God eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Persons of the Godhead are identical in essence, but have distinctive roles. God created everything in six literal days. God is sovereign over the whole of life and the purpose of all is to bring glory to Him. (cf. Gen. 1-2; Ex. 20:9-11; Deut. 6:4; Ps. 104; Dan. 4:17; 5:23; Matt. 28:19; Jn. 1:1-3; 3:16; 10:30; 14:16, 24, 26; 15:26; 16:7, 28; Rom. 11:33-36; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 1:6-7,11; 2:7; 3:21; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:3; 1 Jn. 5:7)
a) Father: We believe in God the Father: perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom, measureless in power. We rejoice that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, and that He saves from sin and eternal death all that come to Him through Jesus Christ. (Gen. 1:1; Ps. 147:5; Isa. 6:3; Mt. 5:45; Jn 3:16; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Titus 2:11-14)
b) Son: We believe in Jesus Christ: the eternal and only begotten Son of God, conceived of the Holy Spirit, of virgin birth and sinless in His life, providing atonement for the sins of the world by His death. Jesus is both fully God and fully man in one person. He is the God-Man. We believe in His bodily resurrection, His ascension, and His pre-tribulation coming in the clouds for the Church, and His subsequent pre-millennial return to the world to establish His kingdom. (Isa. 7:14; Mt. 1:23; 6:10; 23:39; Lk. 1:33-35; Jn. 1:1, 14; 10:30,33; 11:25; 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 3:19-21; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Jn. 2:2; Rev. 11:15; 19:11-16; 22:20)
c) Spirit: We believe in the Holy Spirit who came forth from God to convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. He gives new life to all who believe in Jesus Christ; and then baptizes (or places) all believers into the one true Church, which is the body of Christ. He indwells all believers permanently and seals them unto the day of redemption. He bestows spiritual gifts upon all believers and fills (controls) those who are yielding to Him. We understand from Scripture that certain gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues, were sign gifts manifested specifically during a particular period of Church history. (Jn. 3:8; 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:8; Acts 1:8; Rom. 8:9, 14, 16; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 12:7-11,13; 14:20-22; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 2 Thess. 2:13; Titus 3:5; 1 Jn. 2:20-27)
3. Angels: We believe angels are created beings. There are holy angels and evil angels (demons). Holy angels do God’s bidding and are ministering spirits on behalf of those who will inherit salvation. Evil angels are those who follow Satan in his rebellion against God. Believers wrestle with these forces of evil but cannot be possessed by them. The source of our strength is found in God alone and the spiritual resources He has provided (Mt. 25:31, 41; Eph. 6:10-20; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:14; 2 Pet. 1:3; 1 Jn. 4:4; Jude 9).
4. Mankind: We believe that mankind was created in the image of God and is the crowning work of His creation, thus giving human life special value. However, in Adam’s sin the human race fell, greatly marring the image of God. Man is thoroughly corrupted by sin and completely unable to save himself. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, making salvation possible for all who will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and resulting in their being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. (Gen. 1:26-27; 9:6; Isa. 64:6; Rom. 3:10-18, 23; 5:1, 12, 19-21; 8:29; Eph. 2:1-3; Phil. 3:9; Col. 3:10; Ti. 3:5; Ja. 3:9)
5. Salvation: We believe that salvation is a free gift of God’s grace. It cannot be earned or merited in any way. We are saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Saving faith in Christ involves believing in Him for WHO He is as Lord, as well as Savior. Saving faith inherently involves the element of repentance. A saving faith is expected to bear good fruit. A genuine saving faith will not fall fully away. All true believers have eternal security in Christ and can also have the assurance of knowing they have eternal life. (Mt. 7:21-23; Mk. 3:35; Lk. 8:11-15; Jn. 3:16-18; 5:24; 6:47; 8:24; 10:27-29; 14:6; 20:28-31; Acts 16:31; 17:30; Rom. 4:4-5; 5:1-9; 6:23; 8:31-39; Eph. 2:8-10; Phil. 3:3; 8-9; Heb. 6:4-9; 10:38-39; Ja. 2:20; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 Jn. 5:13; Jude 24)
6. Sanctification: We believe that there are two aspects of sanctification (meaning “to be set apart”). 1) Positional sanctification is complete. All believers in Christ are set apart as belonging to Jesus Christ and are positionally perfected forever. 2) Practical sanctification is an on-going process related to the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer resulting in growth and maturity in knowledge, love, and holiness. God is holy and He calls His people to separation from evil which involves both moral and doctrinal purity. God disciplines all His children to build holiness into their lives. Believers grow as they are nourished by the Word of God, submit to the Spirit, and are in fellowship with fellow believers. Positionally, we are perfectly holy, but in practice, we still have the flesh and still struggle with sin in the process of being sanctified. However, God has given us everything we need pertaining to life and godliness. This provision includes salvation from the penalty of sin and also from the power of sin. In the day of Jesus Christ, our sanctification will culminate in deliverance from the very presence of sin, when we will be like Christ. (Rom. 3-8; 7:15; 1 Cor. 1:30; 5:7-13; 2 Cor. 3:18; 6:14-18; Gal. 5:16-23; Phil. 1:6; 1 Thess. 4:3-8; Heb. 10:14, 24-25; 12:7-11; Ja. 3:17-18; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18; 1 Jn. 3:2, 7-10; Jude 3-4)
7. Church: We believe in the universal Church – a living, spiritual organism, of which Christ is the head, and of which, all regenerated people, in the church age, are members. The church age began on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 and will be completed at the Rapture. We believe that local churches are representative of the universal church. God’s plan for ministry in this age centers in the local church. A local church is an accountable company of believers in Jesus Christ, immersed on a credible confession of faith, and associated for worship, fellowship, and service. To the local church, God committed, for perpetual observance, the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Leadership in the local church consists of a plurality of Biblically-qualified, male elders. There is equality among the elders, but functionally, the pastorteacher serves as “first among equals”. There is equal value, but differing roles concerning men and women. Women are not to be in an authoritative or teaching position over men. The mission of the church is essentially related to evangelism and discipleship. While maintaining a spirit of interdependence with like minded churches, each local church, is independent and autonomous and must be free from interference by an ecclesiastical or political authority. Therefore, Church and State must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties apart from the dictation or patronage of the other. (Mt. 16:18; 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42, 47; 13:1-2; 14:23; 20:28; Eph. 1:22; 2:14; 3:20-21; 4:11; 1 Cor. 5:9-11; 11:23-29; 12:13; Gal. 3:28; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Tim. 2:11-13; 3:1-7,15; Titus 1:5-9; Heb. 10:23-25; 1 Pet.
4:7-11; Rev. 2-3).
8. Israel: We believe that Israel is God’s special chosen witness nation. It is God’s main program presented in the Old Testament. Israel failed in her mission and so God has temporarily set Israel aside. However, God will yet ultimately fulfill all of His covenant promises to Israel. As such, the church is a “parenthesis” program in which God is calling out of the nations a forever family for His name. When the church is complete, God will again resume and complete His program with Israel. At His second coming, Christ will restore the nation of Israel where she will be prominent in the kingdom, while the church glorified will reign with Christ. (Isa. 4;1-6; 43:1-12; Ezek. 39:25-29; Gen. 12:1-3; 17:7-9; Jer. 31:31-37; Joel 3:1-2; Zech. 14; Malachi 3:6; Acts 15:14-16; Rom. 11:1-2, 25-26; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 3:21)
9. Last Things: We believe, at death, the souls of believers pass immediately into Christ’s presence and remain there in conscious bliss as they await the resurrection of the body, at Christ’s coming for the church, when soul and body will be reunited. The next major event on God’s prophetic calendar is the rapture of the church. The church will then appear before the judgment seat of Christ, where each believer will be evaluated and rewarded according to the quality of their service. Following the rapture of the church, a seven-year tribulation will take place on earth. This tribulation period will conclude with the second coming of the Christ to set up His millennial kingdom. At the end of the thousand years, Satan will lead one final rebellion. Following this, comes final judgment for the lost. Soul and body of the lost will then be reunited to stand before God at the great white throne judgment and then be cast into the lake of fire – not to be annihilated, but to be separated from God forever in conscious punishment. Finally comes the eternal state, in which God will create a new heaven and a new earth, in which dwells righteousness, where the saints will live eternally. (Dan. 9:24-27; Mt. 25:46; 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:1-10; Rom 14:12; 1 Cor. 15:51-58; Phil. 1:21-23; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 5:1-3, 9-11; Heb. 12:23; 2 Pt. 3:13; 2 Jn. 8; Rev. 2-3; 14:11; 19; 20; 20:11-15; 21:1-8; 22:12)
Having being led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and being in agreement concerning the doctrinal statement of Southview Bible Church, we do now in the presence of God, angels, and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into this covenant with one another, as one body in Christ. We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love, to strive for the advancement of this church in knowledge and holiness, and to promote its prosperity and spirituality, in accordance with the teachings of the Word of God, and for the glory of God.