Our Beliefs

Our Beliefs

Our basic beliefs are based upon the principle that The Bible is the revealed word of God and that it contains all information necessary to confirm our faith in God and for us to know how we might be able to conduct our lives and worship in a way that will be pleasing to Him (II Tim. 3: 16-17).  We strive to follow the pattern of the early church, as exemplified in the New Testament in what we teach and practice.  We look to the scriptures for instructions and examples of how we may enter into a proper relationship with God and for how we may retain that relationship throughout our lives.  We make every effort to have biblical authority for all that we teach and practice, endeavoring to avoid adding to or taking from the teaching and practices of the church that we read about in the New Testament (Rev 22:18-19).

Man’s Need for a Savior
As we study from the Bible we find that all men have sinned and disobeyed God, thus separating themselves from Him (Rom 3:23).  As a result, all of mankind needs a savior whereby we can be restored to a proper relationship with God.  The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to earth to give His life as a sacrifice so that mankind may be saved (I Jn. 4:9). To be restored to the proper relationship with God, one must

(1)  Hear and understand the gospel as preached by Jesus and His apostles (Rom 1: 1610: 17)

(2)  Believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and be willing to submit themselves to Christ (Jn. 3:16)

(3)  Repent of their past sins (Luke 13:3)

(4)  Confess that Jesus is the Lord (Acts 8:37)

(5)  Be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2:38)

(6)  Live faithfully to Him until death (Rev 2:10).

In this relationship with God man can enjoy the fellowship with fellow saints and maintain that hope for an eternal home with God (Col 1:5).

We gather as Christians each first day of the week to pray (Eph 6:18,), sing hymns (Eph 5:19Col. 3:16), study the word of God (2 Tim 2:18), partake of the Lord ’s Supper (I Cor. 11: 23-26Acts 20:7), and give of our means for the furtherance of the work of the gospel (1 Cor. 16:1-2). Our gatherings are times to worship our mighty and omnipotent God in spirit and in truth (Jn.  4:24). It is also a time of edification, where we learn more about God and His will as well as receive encouragement from other Christians who are striving to follow His truth (Heb 10:24-25).


Our church organization is also derived from Biblical authority. In the scriptures, the church is referred to as Christ’s body (Eph. 1:22-23) and encompasses every person who is a Christian. The head of the church is Christ (Eph. 1:22).  While we do not read of any other organization of the church as a whole, there are local congregations within the Lord’s Church that meet together in various places (1 Cor. 1:21 Thess. 1:1). This congregation in Lakeland is one of these local churches. Our congregation does not take direction from or rule over any other church,  for each congregation is autonomous, holding itself to the standard set forth in the Bible.

The scriptures teach us that the local church is made up of several men, called elders who shepherd and serve the congregation as overseers (Acts 20:281 Pet. 5:1-3). These elders must be men fulfilling the list of qualifications found in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 and Titus 1:3-9. Others serve as deacons (I Tim. 3: 8), evangelists and teachers. These are needed to equip the saints to work in God’s ministry. (Eph. 4: 11-12).
In I Tim. 3: 15 the church of the living God is referenced as the pillar and support of the truth.   Also in Eph. 4: 11-12 we find that certain positions were established in the church for the purpose of equipping the saints, for the work of service, and to the building up of the body of Christ.  We believe that this threefold mission of the church is the responsibility of the church and should not be passed on to some manmade organization.  
While we understand that man has many social needs that can be satisfied through sports, entertainment and other social activities, we believe that the church should limit its activities to those that we can read about in the New Testament.  We believe that the social needs of man should be satisfied by the home or other social organization.  Thus, when you attend our worship services you will not find facilities or venues for these social activities.   

You will find the congregation at Sothwest Church of Christ is simply a group of people striving to do the word of God, according to the pattern set forth in the scriptures.  Our authority for everything we do comes directly from the Bible. For we know that “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17