At Southern Hills, we believe that the Bible, not creeds or confessions, should be the basis of our doctrine, faith and practice. However, we do hold certain fundamental Christian truths and Baptist distinctives in common. We affirm the latest version of the Baptist Faith and Message of the Southern Baptist Convention as our most complete doctrinal statement. On the beliefs listed below, we are unified and uncompromising. Here is a brief synopsis of what we believe and practice at Southern Hills.
Our Christian Beliefs
- We believe that the Bible is inspired by God without any mixture of error. It is inerrant and infallible in all it affirms.
- We believe that there is only one true and living God over the universe. We believe that God exists eternally in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- We believe that God created this world and everything in it. He is, therefore, the rightful ruler of the world and has the right to demand obedience from every human being.
- We believe that mankind was created in a right relationship with God, but rebelled against Him and fell into sin. God established a law that revealed His character. Each of us have violated that law and stands guilty before God. Because of our sin, all people face death and the judgment of God.
- We believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin and was God in a human body. He lived a sinless life and offered himself to pay for our sins on the Cross. He rose again and was exalted to the right hand of God the Father.
- We believe that salvation is a gift of God’s grace and comes to us through faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that salvation by grace through faith in Christ is the only hope of salvation for all mankind.
- We believe that each person must respond to the gracious call of God by repenting of sin and trusting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
- We believe in the duty of the church and every individual to live in obedience to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). We are to make disciples of all nations through evangelism and through teaching people to obey every command of Christ.
- We believe in the eternal security of believers; that those who are truly saved do not lose that salvation.
- We believe that Jesus Christ will return one day to judge the world. Those who have received God’s grace through faith will be received into heaven and any who have not will be sent to a real and eternal hell.
Our Baptist Distinctives
- We believe that Jesus Christ is the rightful head of the church. Because of this, we do not recognize the authority of our denomination or any creed over the local church. We must attempt in all we do to practice the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
- We believe that it is the congregation that discerns the will of God. We elect leaders, respect their authority and follow their leadership, but ultimately it is the church and not any individual or group that discerns the will of God and sets the direction of the church.
- We believe that it is important that individual Christians commit themselves to church membership and submit to the proper authority of the church. We maintain a church membership roll and only those who are members may be involved in church leadership. Each member must have trusted Christ as Savior and Lord and been baptized biblically.
- We believe that baptism is an essential act of obedience to Christ. A biblical baptism follows salvation and is only done by immersion (not sprinkling or pouring). Biblical baptism does not save us, but is a symbol of the salvation we have received by grace through faith. People who wish to become members will be required to submit to biblical baptism.
- We believe in and practice two ordinances: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They are observances of the death and resurrection of Christ and are important practices. But they do not save or grant forgiveness. They symbolize salvation, but do not save.