RIVER OF LIFE
GET INTO THE FLOW
WHAT WE BELIEVE
STATEMENT OF FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS
The Scriptures, both the Old and the New Testament, are verbally inspired by God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct (II Tim. 3:15-17; I Thes. 2:13; II Pet. 1:21).
The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God and as such, shares in the divinity and deity of God (Matt. 1:23; John 5:22, 23; II John 3; Heb. 1:1-13).
Man was created for good and upright; for God said, "Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness" (Gen. 1:26). The first man, Adam, through disobedience, fell from the grace of God and thus entered into the world of sin and death. Adam's transgression incurred not only physical death for man but also spiritual death, which is eternal separation from God (Gen. 2:17; 3:6-24). Man's propensity to sin because of his sinful nature necessitates salvation from the power of sin and a Savior to provide that salvation (Rom. 5:12-21).
Man's only hope of redemption and salvation from the power of sin is through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12; Rom. 5:8-13; 10:9; James 1:21; Eph. 2:8).
Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11) and the Great Shepherd (Heb. 13:20). There is only one spiritual shepherd referred to in the New Testament, and Jesus is that One (John 10:16).
The Church is the body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Holy Spirit with divine appointments for the fulfillment for the Great Commission. Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the general assembly and the Church of the firstborn, which was written in heaven (Eph. 1:22, 23; 2:22; Heb. 12:23).
Since God's purpose concerning man is to seek and save tat which is lost, to be worshipped by man and to build a body of believers in the image of His Son, the responsibility of the Church is:
a. To be an agency of God for evangelizing the world (Acts 1:8; Matt. 28:19, 20;
Mk. 16:15, 16).
b. To be a corporate body in which man may worship God (II Cor. 12:13).
c. To be a channel of God's purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Eph. 4:11-16; I Cor. 12:28; 14:12).
a. Baptism in Water
The ordinance of baptism by immersion in water is commanded in Scripture. Al who repent of their sins and believe in Christ as Savior and Lord are to be baptized. This is a declaration to the world that they identify with Christ in His death and have been raised with Him in newness of life (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 10:47, 48; Rom. 6:4).
b. The Lord's Supper or Holy Communion
The Lord's Supper, consisting of the elements - bread and the cup of the fruit of the vine - is the symbol expressing our sharing the divine nature of our Lord (II Peter 1:4); a memorial of His suffering and death (I Cor. 11:26); a prophecy of His Second Coming (I Cor. 11:26); and is enjoined on all believers until He comes!
The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is evidenced by the initial physical sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives utterance (Acts 2:4). With the baptism in the Holy Spirit comes the endearment of power for life and service, the bestowment of the gifts or enablement's of the Holy Spirit and their uses in the ministry of the body of Christ (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4, 8; I Cor. 12:1-31). This experience is distinct from and subsequent to the experience of the new birth (Acts 8:12-17; 10:44-46; 11:14, 15; 15:7-9).
Divine healing was provided for in the Old Testament Ex. 15:23-26; Psa. 103:1-3; Isa. 53:4, 5) and is an integral part of the Gospel (Matt. 8:16, 17; Acts 5:16; James 5:14-16).
The Second Coming of Christ includes catching away of the Church (I Thes. 4:16, 17), followed by the actual, visible return of Christ with his saints (the Church) to reign with Him on earth for 1,000 years (Zech. 14:5; Matt. 24:27, 30; Rev. 1:7; 19:11-14; 20:1-6). This millennial reign will bring the salvation of the nation of Israel (Ezek. 39:28, 29; Zeph. 3:19, 20; Rom. 11:26, 27) and the establishment of universal peace (Isa. 11:6-9; Psa. 72:3-8; Mic. 4:3, 4).
There will be a final judgment in which the wicked dead will be raised and judged according to their works. Whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life will be consigned, together with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, to everlasting punishment in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone , which is the second death (Matt. 25:46; Mark 9:43-48; Rev. 19:20; 20:11-15; 21:8).
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for "new heavens and and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. (II Peter 3:13 and Rev. 21:22).