STATEMENT OF FAITH
In matters of doctrine and belief, the Church strives for three things: in essential matters, unity; in nonessentials, liberty; in all things, love.
SECTION I: ESSENTIALS WE BELIEVE
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He is eternal and exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and one God.
Scripture References: Genesis 1:1, 26-27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; I Peter 1:2
II. God the Father:
We believe that God the Father holds all the attributes of God while exercising a unique role in the Trinity. The Godhead is in agreement with the role of each: God as Father, Son as sacrifice, and Spirit as power. He is the father of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and yet still one with both as God. The Father adopts believers into relationship with him as their Father.
Scripture References: Luke 1:35; Matthew 3:17; Romans 8:15-17; John 15:1&2; Hebrews 12:7-11
III. Jesus Christ the Son:
Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is co-equal with the Father as God. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to claim His own and take them to Heaven.
Scripture References: Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22-23; John 1:1-5; 8:58; 14:6; 14:10-30; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 1:3-4; I Corinthians 15:3-4; I Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 4:14-15; Revelations. 1:8
IV. The Holy Spirit:
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truths, and guidance in doing what is right. As Christians we seek to live under His control daily.
Scripture References: John 14:16-17, 16:7-13, 17; Acts 1:8; Romans 5:5; I Corinthians 2:12; 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13, 5:18
V. The Bible:
The Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural direction of the Holy Spirit. It is living and active and relevant for today. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture or error. The Bible is infallible, inerrant, and absolute truth. When it speaks, we listen and obey.
Scripture References: Psalms 12:6, 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 1:13, 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21
God created man, male and female, in His image and likeness. God created man to be in relationship with Him and with each other, to do good works, to be on mission, and to reflect God’s glory. Followers of Jesus Christ are His ambassadors
Scripture References: Genesis 1:27; Psalms 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 3:23; Genesis 3
VII. Heaven and Hell:
Men will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is eternal death in Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life in Heaven. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
Scripture References: John 3:16, 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 6:23, 8:17-18; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9; Revelation 20:15
Salvation is necessary for man, because of our sin, which separates us from God. Salvation is God’s free gift to us, but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ and God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ as Lord of his life. This is evidenced by repentance, confession, baptism by immersion, and a life committed to His service.
Baptism is an act of obedience in following Jesus for those who have believed the message of the gospel, repented, and confessed Christ as Lord and Savior. We are baptized to follow the example set by Christ, because Christ and the apostles commanded it, and because it shows we are believers. Baptism has a great deal of spiritual significance because it is a picture of death and resurrection. Baptism literally means “to be immersed” and we fulfill our role in obeying Christ through the physical act of baptism in water by immersion. God’s role is a spiritual baptism.
At Riverbend, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism before we baptize them. A baby/toddler cannot understand sin or the need for Christ. It must be their decision, and their decision must be accompanied by faith and repentance.
Scripture References: Matthew 28:18-21; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:37-38, 8:35-39, 18:8; Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12.
X. The Church:
God’s definition of the word “church” (Greek: Ecclesia) is the called-out ones. The church is one body that works together. We believe that the church exists throughout the world and is witnessed and experienced in local autonomous gatherings of believers. The purpose of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
Scripture References: Matthew 28:18-19; Romans 12:4-5; Acts 2:42-47
XI. Every Believer is on Mission:
The Bible teaches that every Christian is called to “full-time” Christian service, regardless of his or her vocation. We practice the truth that every believer is a minister by encouraging every member to find a place of service and ministry.
Every believer has direct access to God through Bible reading/study, prayer, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Every Christian is to be a disciplemaker, developing relational environments in which they share their faith with those who don’t know Christ.
XII. Marriage, Gender and Sexuality:
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female, in His image. (Gen. 1:26-27)
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen. 2:18-25) We believe that God has established marriage as a lifelong, exclusive relationship between one man and one woman, and that all intimate sexual activity outside the marriage relationship, whether heterosexual, homosexual, or otherwise, is immoral and therefore sin. (Gen. 2:24-25; Exodus 20:14, 17, 22:19; Lev. 18:22-23, 20:13, 15-16; Matt. 19:4-6, 9; Rom. 1:18-31; I Cor. 6:9-10, 15-20; I Tim. 1:8-11; Jude 7)
We believe that neither the federal government, the state, the church, nor any other individual possess the authority or jurisdiction to set or alter Scripture’s definition of marriage. Therefore, unions or partnerships that do not conform to the Biblical definition of marriage are not acknowledged by Riverbend Community Church as marriage.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual behavior, transgenderism, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matt. 15:18-20; 1 Cor. 6:9-10)
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 6:9-11, 1 John 1:9-10)
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31)