What We Believe...
Southern View Chapel is an independent Bible Church that is committed to handling the Scriptures accurately through the exegetical teaching of God's Word.
We believe in the teachings of the Bible and trust in it as our single source of authority for beliefs and practices. We believe there is but one living and true God who is infinite, eternal and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, truth, and love existing in three persons: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe mankind was created in the image and likeness of God; by Adam's sin all men inherited a sinful nature, became alienated from God and are unable, in and of themselves, to remedy their lost condition. We believe salvation is a gift of God brought to the world by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who became a man, lived a sinless life, died on the cross as our substitute, taking our sins upon Himself, resurrecting from the dead and ascending to the Father. We believe the universal church is a spiritual entity composed of all born-again persons of this age of which Christ is the head.
To see more details about our beliefs, expand the different categories below.
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
We believe in the verbal and plenary inspiration of the Scriptures, consisting of 66 books which constitute the Old and New Testaments, the Word of God, inerrant in the original writings, the complete and unalterable special revelation of God, infallible and sufficient for life and godliness and our final authority. We believe in the normal, literal and consistent interpretation of the Scriptures - and a dispensational understanding of God's progressive revelation (Matthew 5:18; John 16:12,13; II Timothy 3:16,17; II Peter 1:3, 20,21).
We believe that due to the total depravity of mankind, it is necessary for God to take the initiative in salvation. Therefore, God has called out for Himself a people from before the foundation of the earth. God chooses those who will be saved, based upon His grace and mercy alone; not on the merits (or potential merits) of the individual. If the Father does not draw an individual to Christ, then that individual would never come to Him. However, all that the Father draws (or elects) will inevitably come to Him. (John 6:37,44; Romans 8:28-30; Romans 9; Ephesians 1:4-6) And yet, the sovereign choosing of the Father in no way negates the free will of the individual. (Romans 10:13) We believe salvation is a gift of God, brought to the world by grace and received by the repentant sinner through personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. (Ephesians 1:7 and 2:8- 10; John 1:12; I Peter 1:18,19).
We believe that when an unsaved person exercises faith in Christ in the manner described in the New Testament, that person passes from spiritual death into spiritual life, and from the old creation into the new. Immediately upon being saved that one is justified from all sin and is accepted, loved as Christ is loved, having his/her portion and place as linked to Him and one with Him forever. And though the saved one may have occasion to grow in the realization of personal blessings and to know a fuller measure of divine power through yielding of his/her life more fully to God, that one is, as soon as he/she is saved, in possession of every spiritual blessing and absolutely complete in Christ. (John 5:24 and 17:23: Acts 13:39; Romans 5:1; I Corinthians 3:21; Colossians 2:10; I John 4:17 and 5:11,12).
We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God's power and thus secure in Christ forever. (John 6:37-40 and 10:27-30; Romans 5-11 and 8:1-39; I Corinthians 1:4-8; I Peter 1:5).
We believe that all true saints will ultimately persevere, that is, though they may sin grievously thus incurring the displeasure of God resulting in His discipline upon their lives, they will not completely apostatize, but will be kept through faith by the power of God (Hebrews 12:5-11).
We believe the Scriptures interpreted in their natural, literal sense reveal divinely determined dispensations which define man's responsibility in successive ages. A dispensation is not a way of salvation, but a divinely ordered stewardship by which God directs man according to His purpose. These periods are marked off in Scripture by some change in God's method of dealing with mankind, or a portion of mankind, in respect of the two questions of sin and of man's responsibility. Each dispensation may be regarded as a new test of the natural man, and each ends in judgment -- marking mankind's utter failure. (John 1:17; I Corinthians 9:17; II Corinthians 3:9-18; Galatians 3:13-25; Ephesians 1:10 & 3:2-10; Colossians 1:24,25; Hebrews 7:19; Revelation 20:2-6).
We believe salvation is always by grace through faith regardless of the dispensation in which the believer may have lived. God's purpose of salvation by grace through faith alone has always been based upon the substitutionary atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the Cross (Ephesians 2:8-10; Hebrews 11:6; I Peter 1:10-12).
THE ETERNAL STATE
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all mankind, the saved to eternal life and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28,29 & 11:25,26; Revelation 20:5,6,12,13). We believe the souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord; where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when soul and body are reunited and glorified to be forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; II Corinthians 5:8; Phillippians 1:23 & 3:21; I Thessalonians 4:16,17; Revelation 20:4-6). We believe the souls of unbelievers are, at death, absent from the body and in conscious misery in Hades, until the second resurrection; when with the soul and body reunited they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment and shall be cast into the lake of fire; not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment (Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6,7: Revelation 20:11-15).
We believe there is but one living and true God who is infinite, eternal and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth. He is absolutely separate from and above the world as its Creator, yet everywhere present in the world as the upholder of all things. We further believe that God is one in essence, but eternally existent in three persons; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections and each worthy of precisely the same confidence and obedience (Genesis 1:26; Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalms 139:8; Isaiah 45:5-7; Matthew 28:19; Mark 10:18; John 4:24; Acts 17:24-29; II Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:6).
A. THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE FATHER
We believe that God the Father, as the first Person of the Trinity, orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace. As the absolute and highest Ruler in the universe He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption. He created (through the agency of Jesus Christ (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16)) the universe apart from preexisting materials and without means. He has decreed for His own glory all things that occur, continually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and events. This He does so as in no way to be the author or approver of sin nor to remove the accountability of morally intelligent creatures. He has graciously chosen from all eternity those whom He would have as His own; He saves from sin all who come to Him through Jesus Christ: and He relates Himself to His own as their Father (Psalm 103:19 and 145:8,9; I Chronicles 29:11; John 1:18; Romans 11:33; I Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 1:3-6; Hebrews 4:13; I Peter 1:17).
B. THE PERSON AND WORK OF JESUS CHRIST
We believe the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, second Person of the Trinity, of one substance, equal with the Father; became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, and lived a sinless life. He came that He might reveal God and redeem sinful people. (Luke 1:35; John 1:1,2,14) We believe the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice and that our justification is verified by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24,25; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 2:9; I Peter 1:3-5 and 2:24; I John 2:2) We believe the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of the Father where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Intercessor, and Advocate. (Acts 1:9,10; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25 and 9:24; I John 2:1-2).
C. THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is an eternal, divine Person and proceeds from the Father and the Son, being of the same essence, majesty and glory with the Father and the Son. We believe therefore, that the Holy Spirit is truly God. We believe the Holy Spirit is the Person of the Godhead who in this present age bears witness of Christ, convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; who regenerates and baptizes into the body of Christ those who believe; and who indwells and seals them until the day of redemption. (John 16:8-11; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 6:19 and 12:12-14; II Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13,14; John 15:26,27).
We believe the Holy Spirit is the Divine Teacher who guides believers through the Scriptures into all truth. It is the obligation of believers to be filled with (controlled by), and their duty to walk in, the Holy Spirit (John 16:13; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18; I John 2:20,27; I Corinthians 2:9-16).
We believe the universal church is a spiritual entity composed of all born-again persons of this age, of which Christ is the head. The church began on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) -- when the Holy Spirit was sent to indwell the believer -- and is thus distinct from the nation of Israel. We believe the local church, consists of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, associated for worship, work, and fellowship. (Ephesians 1:22,23; and 5:25,27; Acts 14:27 and 20:17; Romans 16:1-4) We teach the autonomy of the local church; free from any external authority or control with the right of self-government, and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations. (Titus 1:5) It is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the Faith. However, each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation as well as on all matters of membership, policy, discipline, benevolence, and government -- under the authority of Christ and the Scriptures (Acts 15:19-31, and 20:28; I Corinthians 5:4-7,13; I Peter 5:1-4).
We believe that to fulfill its God-ordained mission, the church has been given spiritual gifts through its members. Each believer, at the time of their conversion (according to God's Sovereign will) is given at least one such gift for the edification of the body. Each member should strive to develop and use their spiritual gift(s) in a way that will glorify God. (Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:8-13; II Timothy 1:6; I Peter 4:10-11). Since these gifts are bestowed by the Lord in order to fulfill specific purposes in God's program, we believe that when the purpose of any gift is fulfilled, that particular gift is terminated. Thus, we believe, that biblical speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, miracles, healing, gradually ceased with the ending of the Apostolic age. (I Corinthians 12:11, 13:8- 10 and 14:21,22; II Timothy 4:20; Acts 19:11-12; Hebrews 2:3,4; II Corinthians 12:12)
We believe that God heals and works miracles today, but that He does so through the prayers of His saints and not through gifted individuals.
We believe that leadership in the local church is given to the elders (overseers, pastors, shepherds) under the authority of Christ. The duties of the elders are to guide, instruct, protect and equip the Church. Deacons (servants) are to assist the elders in the ministry of the church. The deacon's position is to serve in such a capacity as to enable the elders to devote their attention to the ministry of the Word, prayer and guidance to the body. (Acts 6:1-7; I Timothy 3:1-13; Ephesians 4:11-16; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 13:17; I Peter 5:1-5)
THE PERSONALITY OF SATAN
We believe Satan is a created being, the author of sin, the tempter in the fall, the declared enemy of God and people, and the god of this age. He shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire (Job 1:6,7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:2-11 & 25:41; Revelation 20:10). Satan is assisted, in his attempts to disrupt the will of God, by demons (fallen angels). Demonic power is present in our world today and thus the believer will need to stand firm against the spiritual forces of wickedness. However, the Christian cannot be possessed by demons, nor is the believer to do offensive battle against them. God's children are called to resist and to put on the full armor of God, as their means of protection against the devil and his demons (Ephesians 6:10-18; James 4:7; I Peter 5:8,9; I John 4:4 & 5:18).
We believe the triune God, by a free act and for His own glory, without the use of existing materials or secondary causes, brought into being -- immediately and instantaneously in six literal days by the word of His mouth -- the whole visible and invisible universe (Genesis 1:1-27; Exodus 20:8-11; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalms 104:25,26; Isaiah 40:21-31; John 1:1-5; Colossians 1:16,17).
THE TOTAL DEPRAVITY OF MANKIND
We believe mankind was created in the image and likeness of God; in Adam's sin the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God. Humanity is totally depraved and unable to remedy its lost condition. People in their lost condition are unable to do anything that pleases God. (Genesis 1:26,27; Romans 3:22,23 and 5:12; Ephesians 2:1-3; Romans 3:10-18 and 8:8)
We believe that water baptism is a scriptural ordinance of the church during this age. Baptism, while not a requirement for salvation, is a public testimony of the recipient that they have personally trusted Jesus Christ as Saviour, and we therefore reject infant baptism.
Baptism is the outward symbol of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is the inward work whereby each believer is inseparably joined to the body of Christ, which is His church.
We believe that immersion in water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is the only method which adequately typifies the relationship between baptism by the Spirit and by water. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41, 8:36-39, 9:18 and 18:8; Ephesians 4:5; I Peter 3:21; I Corinthians 12:13; Romans 6:3,4)
B. LORD'S SUPPER
We believe the Lord's Supper is a memorial testimony of the church, instituted by our Lord just before His betrayal, and to be observed by His children until His return as a sacred, symbolic, and scriptural means of remembering His death for our sins. (I Corinthians 11:23,24)
THE SECOND ADVENT OF CHRIST
We believe in the personal, imminent, pretribulational and premillennial coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His redeemed ones. We believe that at the end of the seven year tribulation He will return to earth with the saints in power and glory to reign for a thousand years (Zechariah 14:4-11; I Thessalonians 1:10 & 4:13-18 & 5:9; Titus 2:13; Revelation 3:10 & 19:11-16 & 20:1-6).
BIBLICAL SEPARATION AND UNITY
We believe that all the saved should live in such a manner as not to bring reproach upon their Savior and Lord; and, that separation from all religious apostasy, all worldly and sinful pleasures, practices and associations is commanded of God (II Timothy 3:1-5; Romans 12:1,2 & 14:13; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11; II Corinthians 6:14-7:1).
We seek to cooperate wherever possible with other missions, organizations and churches whose doctrine and policy are homogeneous with ours. It is the believer's responsibility to endeavor to maintain the unity of the faith while separating from apostasy and those who have deviated from biblical doctrine and behavior. Every proposed alliance must be considered in the light of our commitment to biblical separation. We will not cooperate with or endorse any movement, organization or program which is contrary to the faith whether in doctrine or practice (Matthew 18:15-17; Romans 16:17; I Corinthians 5:7-11; II Corinthians 6:14-18; Ephesians 4:1--6; II Thessalonians 3:11- 14; II Timothy 3:1-5; Titus 3:10; II John 9-11).
The following are examples of organizations or movements with which we would not cooperate:
THEOLOGICAL LIBERALISM is the movement that denies or questions doctrines of the faith (e.g., inerrancy of Scripture, the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, creation of man by God, sinfulness of the human race, the judgment of God upon unredeemed humanity, the substitutionary death of Christ) and affirms that man's highest responsibility is the social welfare of his fellowman, spawning such movements as liberation theology, syncretism, universalism, etc.
ECUMENISM is the movement which seeks the organizational unity of all Christianity and ultimately of all religions.
ECUMENICAL EVANGELISM is an endeavor which seeks to promote the gospel but, in so doing, violates Biblical principles through the creation of unequal yokes with theological liberals and/or Roman Catholics and other divergent groups.
NEO-ORTHODOXY is the movement which, while affirming the transcendence of God, the finiteness and sinfulness of man, and the necessity of supernatural divine revelation of truth; seriously departs from orthodoxy, redefines biblical terminology, accepts the views of destructive higher criticism, denies the inerrancy of the Scriptures as historic revelation, accepts religious experience as the criterion of truth, and abandons other important truths of the Christian faith.
NEO-EVANGELISM is the philosophical movement which subjects cooperation in ministry to social and spiritual need rather than biblical authority. It endeavors to infiltrate society with a respectable gospel through emphasizing toleration and theological pragmatism. It seeks to present a united voice in evangelicalism by bringing together theological liberals and conservative evangelicals in cooperative efforts and movements.
THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT is an interfaith movement emphasizing religious experiences such as the "baptism in the Holy Spirit", accompanied by speaking in tongues and miraculous sign gifts at the expense of biblical authority and sound biblical interpretation. The movement encourages ecumenism.
(Movements are representative and not to be considered exhaustive.)