Beliefs

What we believe at River of Life about Jesus, the Bible, and the Church

Our Beliefs

GOD

We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three Persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is the Creator and Sustainer of this universe and in His wisdom and Love planned the redemption of mankind and accomplished this through Jesus Christ. We believe that God the Father is perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom, and measureless in power. God showed His love for all people by sending His Son Jesus, to die for our sins so that we might have eternal life with God in heaven.


We believe in God the Father, the infinite Spirit, who concerns Himself mercifully and with justice in the affairs of mankind. He hears and answers prayer and saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.


John 3:16-17, 5:24, 2 Cor. 5:17-21; 1 John 5:14-15; 1 Thess. 5:16-18, Gen. 1; Ps 19; Deut. 6:4-6; John 1:1; 10:30; 14:26; Luke 18:27; Rom. 11:33; 1 Peter 1:16; 1 John 4:7-10; Rev. 4:8 


JESUS

We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived through the Holy

Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary and that he was both completely human and divine We believe in His sinless life, miracles and teachings; that He gave His life on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people, accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone. He rose from the dead ascending into heaven. We believe that Jesus is now at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for us, and that He will personally, visibly return to earth again.


Luke 2; 22:69; John 3:16-17; Heb. 4:14-15; 1 Peter 2:21- 25; John 14:1-3; Rom. 8:34 Matt. 1:18-25; 1 Cor. 15:3-5; 2 Cor. 5:21; Eph. 1:7; 1 John 2:1-2 


HOLY SPIRIT

We believe in the Holy Spirit, who was sent to convict the

world of sin, righteousness and judgment. We believe that the Holy Spirit lives in every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and comforter. We believe that the Holy Spirit desires to express Himself in fullness in every believer and empower the church to minister to the world through the exercise of all His gifts. He convicts, guides, teaches, rebukes, indwells, empowers, comforts, intercede, unites believers into one body, and glorifies Christ. 


Luke 1:35; 3:22; Acts 2:16-18; 4:23-31; John 3:5-8; 14:26; 16:12-15; 1 Cor. 2: 9-16; 12; Rom. 8:9-10 1 John 3:24 


HOLY SCRIPTURES

We believe that the Scripture, both Old and New

Testament, is the fully inspired Word of God and is the infallible standard for faith and practice. The Scriptures are complete and the authoritative guide for the faith and life of Christian discipleship.


Ps. 119:105; Luke 24:27, 44; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 1:1-2, 4:12, 8:5-13 Matt. 5:18; John 10:35; 17:17; 2 Peter 1:20-21 


SALVATION

We believe there is one God and Mediator between God

and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who by his substitutionary death has redeemed mankind from the power of sin, death and eternal punishment. We are saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ, and by faith alone. Those who repent receive forgiveness of sins and by the power of the Holy Spirit are born into the family of God, and, as faithful disciples, joyfully obey God’s Word.


Eph. 1:13-14; 2:8-10; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; 2 Cor. 5:21 


Creation, humans, and sin

We believe that God created the heavens and the earth and

life upon the earth, and that God is our provider in all things. We believe that He created mankind, beginning with Adam and Eve, and that beginning with their disobedience, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. (Romans 3:23) We believe that because we are sinners we are under God’s judgment, and that God forgives and transforms those who repent of their sins and confess Jesus Christ as Lord. This is referred to in John 3 as being “born again”.


Gen. 1; Eph. 2:1-10; John 1:12-13; 3:1-20 Acts 2:38 


the church and the mission

We believe in the universal church, the living spiritual body of which Christ is the head, and all born-again persons are members. 


We believe that the mission of the church is to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I (Jesus) have commanded you”. 


We believe that the church is comprised of all who put their faith in Jesus and are baptized by the Spirit into one body regardless of nation, race or class. Despite the diversity in congregations and denominations, the Holy Spirit creates unity among all people of God.


The local church (River of Life) is an association of baptized believers and adherents. Adherents are encouraged to be baptized and to join the membership.


Every member and adherent of the church is called to participate in the mission of the church as he/she is enabled by God’s grace. All have gifts given by the Holy Spirit and are called to use these gifts. The Bible lists many gifts and the Holy Spirit provides these gifts in order for the church to do the will of Christ.


Matt. 28:19-20; Col. 1:18; Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12 


the christian life

We believe that that the Holy Spirit lives in every believer

and works to transform believers into Christ likeness, and this enables believers to be witnesses for their Lord in their daily lives. The Christian lives in fellowship with God and other believers and is encouraged to join the local church at baptism. Every believer contributes to the building of the body of Christ with their material and spiritual gifts. Through grace, provided by Jesus Christ, the believer seeks to grow to maturity expressed in “the fruit of the Spirit.” Since every believers body is “the temple of the Holy Spirit” he or she refrains from those things which harm the body and the mind. As believers strive for perfection, there is the realization that we are completely dependent on God and are constantly in need of His forgiving and cleansing grace.


1 Cor. 6:19-20; Rom. 8:9; Gal. 5:22-26; 1 Chron. 29:10-20; Num. 18:26; 1 Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 9:7 


communion

We believe in commemorating our Lord’s death by partaking of the bread, symbolizing Christ’s body broken for us, and of the cup, symbolizing Christ’s blood, shed for us. This is commonly called Communion or the Lord’s Supper. Communion is open to all believers.


Those taking communion are encouraged to examine themselves. All who understand its meaning, confess Jesus as Savior and Lord in word and life, are accountable to their congregation and are living in a right relationship with God and others are invited to participate in the Lord’s Supper.


1 Cor. 11:23-34 


baptism

We believe that baptism of believers with water, upon confession of faith, is a sign of we having been cleaned from sin, and is an act of commitment to Christ. Through baptism we identify with the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, until He comes again.


Baptism is an outward sign of what has taken place within, thus the form may vary. Baptism candidates are asked which form of baptism they desire, either immersion or pouring.


Those being baptized are encouraged to join the local church. Membership is for those baptized upon their own confession of faith.


Rom. 6:1-4; Acts 2:38-39; Matt. 28:19; Gal. 3:27; 1 Peter 3:21 


Family, marriage and the home

We believe that God intends human life to begin in families

and to be blessed through families. We believe that God intends marriage to be the uniting of one man and one woman, for life. Believers who marry should have a common Christian commitment; a believer should not marry an unbeliever.


We believe that parents have a responsibility to teach their children the truths of scripture and help lead them, with the Holy Spirits guidance, to their own faith in Jesus Christ.


We believe that divorce, and sex outside of marriage constitutes a violation of God’s intention for marriage.


Gen. 2:21-25; Exod. 20:12; 1 Cor. 6:12-20; 7:2; Mark 10:2- 16; Eph. 6:1-4; 2 Cor. 6:14; Matt. 19:4-6; 19:19; Heb. 13:4; Gen. 2:24 Prov. 22:6; Col. 3:20-21 


Oaths

We believe that we are to tell the truth and give a simple

yes or no and to avoid swearing of oaths as Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount. Christians are obligated to speak the truth at all times.


Matt. 5:33-37; Eph. 4:25 


peace

We believe that peace is the will of God, and that we are to

follow Christ in the way of peace in all areas and circumstances. We strive to be agents of reconciliation and our bond with other followers of Jesus transcends all racial, social and national barriers. We view all violence as contradictory to the new nature of Christians. In times of national conscription or war, we will teach and encourage alternate service where possible. 


Matt. 5:44; 6:14-15; 26:52-53; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; 1 Cor. 6:1-8; Heb. 12:14; Rom. 12:18 


the state

We believe that God has instituted the state. Our chief

concern and primary allegiance, however, is to Christ’s kingdom. We pray for our government, respect those in authority, pay taxes, obey all laws not in conflict with God’s Word, and witness against corruption and injustice in society.


Matt. 22:17-22; Acts 4:18-22; Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Tim. 2:1-6; 1 Peter 2:13-14 


child dedication

We believe in the dedication of our children to the Lord in

a public service, and to parents dedicating themselves to the task of Christian parenting. As well, the congregation shall commit themselves to support the parents and children in this endeavor.


Matt. 19:13-15; 1 Sam. 1:27-28 


funerals

We believe that the congregation shall take part in funerals

to honor the deceased, to comfort family and friends, and to encourage the living hope we have in Jesus. A funeral reminds us of our mortality.


Ps. 90:12; Rom. 6:23 


The Lord’s Day and Work

God has called us to work and work is honorable. However,

the Christian also needs to take time for worship, instruction in the faith and fellowship. So, following the example of the New Testament Church, we set aside one day a week for spiritual up building and limit our work on that day to work of necessity and deeds of mercy.


Gen. 2:1-3; Exod. 20:8-10; Acts 2:1; 20:7; Rom. 14:5-6; Eph. 4:28; 1 Thess. 4:11-12; Heb. 10:23-25 


Worship of God

We believe in the public worship of God, and in conducting

worship services on a regular basis. We also teach and encourage personal Worship of God.


1 Tim. 2:1-8; 4:13; Acts 2:42; Eph. 5:19; Matt. 28:19; 1 Cor. 16:2 


Christ’s Final Triumph

We believe that Christ will visibly return to earth a second

time and that all believers will be taken up with Him, to be with God forever. We believe in the final judgment of the world, in eternal life for the righteous and eternal punishment for the unsaved. We believe in the eternal judgment of Satan and his angels.


Isa. 2:1-5; 61:1-11; Matt. 25:13; 31-46; Luke 16:22-23; John 5:25-29; 1 Cor. 15:12-58; Phil. 1:21-24; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 2 Peter 3:3-13; Rev. 20:7-10 


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