What We Believe
Statement of Faith
The Bible is God's Word, written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Scripture is inerrant, sufficient, and authoritative in all matters of faith. Jesus Christ is the focus and fulfillment of all Scripture.
There is only One God who eternally exists as a Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe that each Person of the Triune God is eternally coexistent, shares the same divine attributes, and is worthy of the same worship. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. However, the Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit. The Son is not the Father or the Holy Spirit. And, the Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son.
God the Son became a man in the Person of Jesus Christ. Born of the Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, Jesus is fully human and fully God. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, died by crucifixion for our sins, was buried, and was raised bodily from the dead on the third day. After appearing to many, Jesus ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father, where He intercedes for the redeemed. Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead.
Humanity was created in the image of God. The first humans, Adam and Eve, sinned by disobeying a clear command of God, thus introducing sin and death into the human condition and human experience. Since this original sin, every human being - except for Jesus Christ - is born in rebellion to God, and is a sinner by nature and by choice. God will judge everyone who has ever lived. Every human being - except for Jesus Christ - deserves to be found guilty of sin and condemned to hell.
By God's grace, there is a way to be saved from God's judgment and condemnation. God sent Jesus to die for the sins of the world so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. By dying on the cross, Jesus took our place, receiving the full wrath of God that we deserve for our sins (this is called propitiation). By putting our faith in Jesus Christ, God punishes Jesus in our place (this is called substitutionary atonement), declares us to be righteous (this is called justification), and makes us new, giving us a new heart (this is called regeneration). From the moment of our justification and regeneration, we increasingly grow to be more like Jesus Christ (this is called progressive sanctification). God will raise the redeemed from the dead, fully restored to the image of God (this is called glorification). It is impossible to lose your salvation (this is called eternal security).
No one seeks after God to be saved. Therefore, our salvation is entirely a work of God's grace. It is not our own doing. It is the gift of God. God initiates our salvation, giving us the faith we need to believe in the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ. God chose us for this salvation before the foundation of the world (this is called predestination). At the same time, we affirm that we make real decisions and exercise an autonomous will of our own.
All who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into the universal Church, which is ordered by God into local churches. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church, exercising His authority by the active ministry of the Holy Spirit and the application of the Scriptures. As Head of the Church, Jesus established two ordinances: Believer's Baptism and the Lord's Supper. Neither ordinance is a means of salvation, but both symbolically testify to the Gospel. The core curriculum of the church includes: teaching the truth, sharing material resources within the church, enjoying meals with one another, praying and worshipping together, as well as local and global missions.
God created angels to serve and worship Him. Certain angels, under the leadership of Satan, rebelled against God but were defeated and cast out of heaven, becoming demons. God reigns sovereign over the devil and his demons and He has provided all the necessary tools and weapons for believers to stand against them. Every demon will be judged and condemned to hell at the Final Judgment.
We believe that Jesus Christ will return to reign as King forever. Every person who has ever lived will be bodily resurrected and judged. The unsaved will be found guilty and condemned to everlasting conscious punishment. The saved will live forever with God in a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
As has been helpful throughout the history of Southshore, the Elders occasionally affirm an existing statement or write a formal theological statement on a particular doctrine or issue, to provide clarity and direction for the church.
The sixty-six books of the Protestant Bible constitute the inerrant Word of God. These Scriptures were written by authors who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Thus, all Scripture is breathed out by God and is sufficient for all matters of faith and practice. The Bible is our supreme authority, for by it Jesus Christ exercises His Headship over the Church. Therefore, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we are devoted to reading, understanding, implementing, and teaching the Scriptures as the very Words of God.
We affirm the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. Read the detailed statement HERE.
Biblical Manhood & Womanhood
God created humanity in two genders, male and female, and each gender equally bears God's image. As such, men and women are equal in value, nature, and personhood. Men and women share equally in the responsibility of benevolent dominion over the animal kingdom and the created order. Men and women also share equally in Jesus Christ and in salvation through the Gospel. At the same time, the gender distinction between men and women is a part of God's design for humanity. Adam was created to exercise leadership and Eve was created as a helper fit for him. This man-woman distinction has implications for the functional role of men and women in the home and in the church.
We affirm the Danvers Statement. Read the detailed statement HERE.
Biblical Understanding of Gender & Sexuality
God created humanity in two genders, male and female. A person's gender corresponds to his or her natural biological makeup, meaning that an individual born with a male body is a boy/man and an individual born with a female body is a girl/woman. These gender classifications are not fluid or interchangeable. We do recognize, however, that there are instances when an individual is born with a mixture of both male and female biological features, in which cases much wisdom, discernment, and grace are required.
God also created human beings to be sexual creatures. God's design for sex is the union of one man and one woman in the covenant of marriage. All other sexual expressions are outside of God's will for humanity.
While we believe this statement on gender and sexuality to be true, we desire to underscore our confidence that Christ Jesus has come into the world to save sinners and that, through His death and resurrection, the forgiveness of sins and eternal life are available to all who repent of their sins and trust in Christ alone to be their Saviour and Lord. Thus, no one is beyond the reach of our loving God.
We affirm the Nashville Statement. Read the detailed statement HERE.
Jesus commanded all who believe in Him to be baptized in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism does not save a person or erase original sin. This can only be done by grace through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Once a person has been saved by grace through faith, baptism is an act of obedience and is, itself, a symbol of one's union with Jesus in death (going under the water) and resurrection (coming out of the water).
Baptism has ancient biblical roots that go back to Noah and Moses. Just as Noah was baptized through the flood of God's judgment, so also those who are baptized into Christ will come through God's Final Judgment. Just as Israel was baptized through the Red Sea as they came out of slavery in Egypt, so also those who are baptized into Christ have been freed from slavery to sin.
Jesus is the substance of all the fullness of the Old Covenant, including all holy times. Therefore, the practical observance of weekly Sabbaths, new moons, annual feasts, Sabbath years, and Jubilee years is no longer binding on New Covenant believers (Romans 14:5-12; Galatians 4:8-12; Colossians 2:16-17).
Read the detailed statement Read the detailed statement HERE.