What We Believe

Our Purpose

Southgate Baptist Church exists to bring glory to God. We do this by encouraging and equipping people to become faithful followers of Jesus Christ.

Our Beliefs

GOD

There is one living and true God, the creator of the universe. He is revealed in the trinity as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, who are equal in every divine perfection.

God the Father is the supreme ruler of the universe. He providentially directs the affairs of history according to the purposes of His grace.

God the Son is the Savior of the world. Born of the virgin Mary, He declared His deity among men, died on the cross as the only sacrifice for sin, physically rose from the grave, and ascended back to the Father. He is at the right hand of the Father, interceding for believers until He returns to rapture them from the world.

God the Holy Spirit is the manifest presence of deity. He convicts us of sin, teaches spiritual truths according to the written Word, permanently indwells believers, and speaks to every believer at acceptance of salvation the ability to render effective spiritual service.

THE SCRIPTURES

THE SCRIPTURES are God’s inerrant revelation, complete in the Old and New Testaments, written by divinely inspired men as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. Those men wrote not in words of human wisdom but in words taught by the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures provide the standard for the believer’s faith and practice, reveal the principles by which God will judge all, and express the true basis of Christian fellowship.

CREATION

The World – God created all things for His own pleasure and glory, as revealed in the biblical account of creation.
Angels – God created an countless host of spirit beings called angels. Holy angels worship God and execute His will; while fallen angels serve Satan, seeking to hinder God’s purposes.
Man – God created man in His own image. As the crowning work of creation, every person is of dignity and worth and merits the respect of all other persons.

SATAN

SATAN is a being rather than a personification of evil, and he with his demons oppose all that is true and Godly by blinding the world to the gospel, tempting saints to do evil, and warring against the Son of God.

SIN

Although man was created in the image of God, he fell into sin and that image was marred. In his unregenerate state, he is void of spiritual life, is under the influence of the devil, and lacks any power to save himself. The sin nature has been transmitted to every member of the human race, with the exception of Jesus Christ alone. Because of the sin nature, man possesses no divine life and is essentially and unchangeably depraved apart from divine grace.

SALVATION

SALVATION is the gracious work of God in which He delivers undeserving sinners from sin and its results. In justification, He declares righteous all who put faith in Christ as Savior, giving them freedom from condemnation, peace with God, and full assurance of future glorification in eternity.
The Way – Salvation is based solely on the grace of God apart from works. Anyone who will practice repentance toward God and puts their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.
Provision – Christ died for the sins of the whole world. Through His blood, we are reconciled to God. All sinners can be saved by this gracious provision.

GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY

GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY and man’s freedom are two inseparable factors in the salvation experience. The two Biblical truths in no way contradict each other, but are complementary in the great salvation so freely provided. God, in His sovereignty, purposed, planned, and executed salvation in eternity while man’s freedom enables him to make a personal choice in time, either to receive this salvation and be reconciled, or to reject it and face eternal punishment in hell.

SANCTIFICATION

All believers are set apart unto God when they are made new in Christ. They should grow in grace by allowing the Holy Spirit to apply God’s Word to their lives, conforming them to Biblical truths of righteousness and making them partakers of the holiness of God.

SECURITY

All believers are eternally secure in Jesus Christ. They are born again, made new creations in Christ, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, enabling their perseverance in good works. A special providence watches over them, and they are kept by the power of God.

CHURCH

A New Testament church is a local group of baptized believers in Jesus Christ who are united by covenant in belief of what God has revealed and in obedience to what He has commanded.

Administration – We acknowledge Jesus as our only Head, and the Holy Bible as our only rule of faith and practice, governing ourselves by democratic principles under the guidance of our pastors.

Continuation – Established by Jesus during His personal ministry on earth, true churches have continued to the present and will continue until Jesus returns.

Ordinances – The ordinances are baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer as a confession of his faith in Jesus Christ and is prerequisite to church membership and participation in the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is the sacred sharing of the bread of communion and the cup of blessing by the assembled church as a memorial to the crucified body and shed blood of Jesus Christ. Both ordinances must be administered by the authority of a New Testament church.

Officers – Pastors and deacons are the permanent officers divinely ordained in a New Testament church. Each church may select men of her choice to fill those offices under the leading of the Holy Spirit according to divinely given qualifications. Pastors (elders, bishops) are authorized to oversee and teach the churches under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Each church is responsible to follow them as they follow Christ and to provide a livelihood for them that allows them to fulfill their ministries. Pastors are equal in the service of God. Deacons (ministers, servants) are servants of the churches and assistants to the pastors, specifically in charitable ministries. Each church may select her own deacons according to her needs, and no church is bound by the act of another church in that selection.

Ministry – Our mission is spreading the good news by preaching the gospel, baptizing those who believe, and helping them grow by instruction and discipleship.

Fellowship – We are free to associate with true churches in furthering the faith but are responsible to keep ourselves from those who hold doctrines or practices contrary to Holy Scripture. In association with other churches, each church is equal and is the sole judge of the measure and method of their cooperation. In all matters of policy and practice, the will of each church is final.

CIVIL AUTHORITY

Human government was instituted by God to protect the innocent and punish the guilty. It is separate from the church, though both church and state exercise complementary ministries for the benefit of society.

Christians should submit to the authority of the government under which they live, obeying all laws which do not contradict the laws of God, respecting officers of government, paying taxes, rendering military service, and praying for the welfare of the nation and its leaders. They should vote, hold office, and exercise influence to direct the nation after the principles of Holy Scripture.
Civil authority is not to interfere in matters of conscience or disturb the institutions of religion, but it should preserve for every citizen the free exercise of his religious convictions.
Churches should receive no subsidy from the government, but they should be exempt from taxation on property and money used for the common good through worship, education, or benevolence.

THE RETURN

Our risen Lord will return personally in bodily form to receive His redeemed unto Himself. His return is imminent.
Resurrections – After Jesus returns, all of the dead will be raised bodily, each in his own order: the righteous dead in “the resurrection of life” and the wicked dead in “the resurrection of damnation”.
Judgement – Before eternity, God will judge everyone to bestow rewards or to deliver to punishment.
Heaven is the eternal home of the redeemed who, in their glorified bodies, will live in the presence of God forever in ultimate blessing.
Hell is the place of eternal punishment and suffering for the devil, his angels, and the unredeemed.