We teach that the sixty-six books of the Bible are God's written revelation for all of mankind. These books were written by human authors under the perfect guidance of the Holy Spirit, so that the Bible is the very Word of God-supernaturally inspired in every word and absolutely free from error in the original documents. God's Word is the final authority in all that it says. Therefore, it must be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.
THE TRIUNE GOD
We teach that the one true God eternally exists as three distinct persons-the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three persons of the Trinity are fully equal in divine nature, and they fulfill different yet complementary roles. The triune God is perfect, beautiful, and glorious in all of His attributes. These attributes include, but are not limited to: holiness, sovereignty, power, justice, wisdom, truth, faithfulness, mercy, goodness, and love. Because of God's infinite worth, nothing should be honored or treasured more than God Himself.
We teach that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God and the promised Savior of mankind. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, and lived a perfect life free from sin and guilt. As the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross, and His death provided the all-sufficient atonement for sin. Jesus was bodily resurrected on the third day, He ascended into heaven, and now reigns over all things as the righteous Judge, the head of the church, and the supreme Lord.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We teach that the Holy Spirit is the great Sanctifier and Helper of the church. The Holy Spirit regenerates sinful people, unites them with Christ, and seals them forever into God's family. He comforts, assures, instructs, and empowers Christians for godly living and fruitful service. The Holy Spirit inspired the Scriptures, brings unity to the church, and gives spiritual gifts to the members of Christ's body. Through His abiding presence, believers experience the enduring hope, peace, and joy that God gives to all of His children.
We teach that all people have sinned against God, and therefore all stand under His just condemnation without defense or excuse. While this judgment will ultimately result in everlasting, conscious separation from God's blessed presence, salvation is possible because of Jesus Christ's redemptive work on the cross. Through His substitutionary atonement, Jesus paid the divine penalty for sin so that people might have their sins forgiven and be restored to a right relationship with their Creator.
Salvation is freely given when individuals, through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, receive the gift of faith, repent of their sins, and believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Believers are immediately made spiritually alive and receive the gift of eternal life. They are forever adopted into God's family, and as such, display evidence of God's sanctifying work throughout their lives.
Baptism through immersion is a symbolic declaration of the gospel and shows personal faith identity with Christ. First Southern holds baptismal services throughout the year as an opportunity for believers to follow Jesus' example and outwardly display their faith. Although baptism does not contribute to salvation in any way, it is a beautiful picture of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection.
We teach that the church consists of all people who have a genuine faith in Jesus Christ. As members of Christ's body, those in the church should regularly: devote themselves to the teaching, study, and application of God's Word; seek the Lord in earnest prayer; experience the power of authentic, life-changing fellowship; and engage their community and the world with God's truth through acts of compassion and witness. The church also practices two ordinances instituted by Christ: baptism and the Lord's Supper. In all these things, the church pursues its ultimate purpose-to exalt Christ by spreading His glory and proclaiming His gospel.
We teach that all of human history is moving toward one climactic event: the certain return and final revelation of Jesus Christ. At Christ's return all those opposed to God will be subject to His wrath, but the redeemed will receive eternal rewards and enter into an everlasting state of glory with Christ. God will end redemptive history by creating a new heaven and a new earth. There His people will finally experience unhindered worship of Him and enjoy everlasting fellowship with Christ and with one another. This certain hope should fill believers with great confidence and joy as they anticipate their blessed and eternal future.