Statement of Core Beliefs
Authority of the Bible
We believe the Bible is the inspired revelation of God to humanity. This Word of God is unique, true and authoritative. It is understandable, trustworthy and relevant to people today. The Bible is the basis for what we believe and practice in matters of faith and conduct. There are no other writings like these scriptures in informing us of God’s will for our lives. Scripture should be interpreted according to its context, purpose and authorial intent with humility and obedience to God.
In the beginning, the eternally existent God created everything. He is all-powerful in sustaining the universe and every part of nature. He deeply loves his creation and works within history to bring about his desires for all things. There is nothing he does not know and there is nowhere that he is not. He is God alone, perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom and measureless in power.
We believe all people are created in the image of God, designed for fellowship with God, and given responsibility to care for creation by God. Yet, there is a real and personal enemy of God, Satan, who actively seeks to turn people’s hearts and minds away from God. The path that Satan and his demonic forces offer leads people to choose self-destructive and ruinous behaviors. Ultimately, people’s rejection of God and his love results in eternal punishment. We are all, in varying degrees, influenced by Satan and, as a result, are sinful people in need of Divine rescue.
Because of God’s great love for humanity, he offers rescue from sin through Jesus Christ. We believe that Jesus is the Son of God – fully divine and fully human – who came to earth from heaven, flawlessly revealed God to us and taught us how God intended for us to live. We believe that though he was crucified as an atoning sacrifice, God raised him from the dead. Though his sacrificial death and resurrection, God offers people forgiveness of sins and transformed lives. Everyone who lives out faith in Christ freely receives eternal life and experiences life transforming power. This is not given as a result of human effort or accomplishment but as an expression of God’s mercy and grace. Jesus ascended into heaven where he rules as Lord over all. He continues to intercede for his people until which time that he will personally and visibly return to the world to judge the living and the dead at restoration of all things.
To change lives from sin to godliness, Jesus promised to send a helper, the Holy Spirit. We believe the Holy Spirit is the divine person who dwells within every baptized believer. In addition to infusing the power to be holy and faithful, the Spirit provides instruction, guidance, wisdom and comfort to the believer.
Over three millennia ago, God first called out a group of people to experience a special relationship with him. This community of believers was challenged to live faithfully to God’s will, revealed in a pact made between God and his people. Believers today comprise the church and continue to seek to please God by living up to his moral, ethical and relational standards. Living in proximity to one another Christians encourage and support each other while offering God’s compassion and grace to the world around them. The church is God’s special community designed to be a light to people everywhere who live in darkness. To enable the church to accomplish his purposes, God equips people with skills and abilities for the building up of the body of Christ and for the serving of the surrounding community.
Since the church began, Christians have been meeting at various times and places to worship God together. Very early in history, Sunday – the day of Jesus’ resurrection – became the primary day for Christian worship. Likewise, Southwinds meets together on Sunday for the Christian assembly. Each week the service is filled with readings and teachings from the scriptures, prayers, singing and the Lord’s Supper. We welcome guests to come experience the greatness of God through our worship to him. Additionally, we encourage Christians to gather at other times and places to praise God and seek his favor.
Helping People Follow Jesus
God has commissioned us to make disciples of all peoples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything Jesus has commanded us. At Southwinds, this is summarized by the statement “Helping People Follow Jesus,” the goalof our ministry efforts and church life.