Our Beliefs

First Southern Baptist Church has a long history as a community of people who love God, love their city and desire to be a relevant church with an outward focus where all are welcomed.
 
We believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and buried. On the third day, He rose again from the dead. He ascended to heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He will come to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy universal church, the inerrancy of God’s inspired Word, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the obedience of baptism symbolizing a crucified, buried and risen Savior, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He exists eternally in three persons: The Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God. References: John 1:1; Genesis 1:1, 26-27; 3:22; Deuteronomy. 6:4; Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 9:6, 45:18; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2; Matthew 3:16-17

We believe that God the Father holds all the attributes of God while exercising a unique role in the Trinity. The Godhead agrees with the role of each: God as Father, Son as sacrifice, and Spirit as power. He is the father of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and yet still one with both as God. The Father adopts believers into relationship with him as their Father. References: Luke 1:35; Matthew 3:17; Romans 8:15-17; John 15:1&2; Hebrews 12:7-11

Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is co-equal with the Father as God. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to claim His own and take them to Heaven. References: Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22-23; John 1:1-5; 8:58; 14:6; 14:10-30; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 1:3-4; I Corinthians 15:3-4; I Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 4:14-15; Rev. 1:8

The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truths, and guidance in doing what is right. As Christians we seek to live under His control daily. References: John 14:16-17, 16:7-13, 17; Acts 1:8; Romans 5:5; I Corinthians 2:12; 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13, 5:18

The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural direction of the Holy Spirit. It is living and active and relevant for today. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture or error. The Bible is infallible, inerrant, and absolute truth. Where it speaks we listen and obey. References: Psalms 12:6, 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 1:13, 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21

God created man, male and female, in His image and likeness. God created man to be in relationship with Him and with each other, to do good works, to be on mission, and to reflect God’s glory. Followers of Jesus Christ are His ambassadors. References: Genesis 1:27; Psalms 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 3:23; Genesis 3

Men will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is eternal death in Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life in Heaven. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. References: John 3:16, 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 6:23, 8:17-18; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9; Revelation 20:15

Salvation is necessary for man, because of our sin, which separates us from God. Salvation is God’s free gift to us, but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ and God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ as Lord of his life. This is evidenced by repentance, confession, baptism by immersion, and a life committed to His service. All true believers continue forever. Believers that God has accepted in Christ and set apart for His work by His Spirit will never lose their salvation. Believers may sin because of neglect and temptation; however, even though they may sin, true believers are still saved by the power of God through faith in Jesus Christ. References: John 1:12, 14:6; Romans 5:1, 6:23; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; John 10:28; Romans 8:29-30; 1 John 2:9

Baptism is an act of obedience in following Jesus for those who have believed the message of the gospel, repented, and confessed Christ as Lord and Savior. We are baptized to follow the example set by Christ, because Christ and the apostles commanded it, and because it shows we are believers. Baptism has a great deal of spiritual significance because it is a picture of death and resurrection. Baptism literally means “to be immersed” and we fulfill our role in obeying Christ through the physical act of baptism in water by immersion. God’s role is a spiritual baptism. At First Southern, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them. A baby or a young child cannot understand sin or the need for Christ. It must be their decision, and their decision must be accompanied by faith and repentance. References: Matthew 28:18-21; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-38, 8:35-39, 18:8; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12.

God’s definition of the word “church” (Greek: Ecclesia) is: the called-out ones. The church is one body that works together. We believe that the church exists throughout the world and is witnessed and experienced in local autonomous gatherings of believers. The purpose of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. References: Matthew 28:18-19; Romans 12:4-5; Acts 2:42-47

The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full-time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry. Every believer has direct access to God through Bible reading/study, prayer, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Every Christian is to be a disciple developing relational environments in which they share their faith with those around them by word and by action. References: Revelation 1:6a; 1 Peter 2:9