Statement of Faith & Doctrine - 2014
*Click on each doctrine to see Riverbend's doctrinal explanation.
The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God and are the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith and obedience.
There is but one God, the Maker, Preserver and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself, all perfections, and being infinite in them all; and to Him all creatures owe their highest love, reverence and obedience.
God is revealed to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit--each with distinct personal attributes but without division of nature, essence or being.
God, from eternity, decrees or permits all things that come to pass, and perpetually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and all events; yet so as not in any wise to be the author of or give approval to sin, nor to destroy the responsibility of man.
Election is God's eternal choice of some persons unto ever lasting life--not because of foreseen merit in them, but of His mere mercy in Christ--in consequence of which choice they are called, justified and glorified.
God originally created man in His own image, and free from sin; but through the temptation of Satan, he transgressed the command of God and fell from his original holiness and righteousness; whereby, his posterity inherit a nature corrupt and wholly opposed to God and His law, are under condemnation, and as soon as they are capable of moral action, becoming actual transgressors.
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the divinely appointed Mediator between God and man. Having taken up Himself human nature, yet without sin, He perfectly fulfilled the law, suffered and died upon the cross for the salvation of sinners. He was buried and rose again the third day, ascended to His Father, at whose right hand He ever lives to make intercession for His people. He is the only Mediator, the Prophet, Priest and King of the Church and Sovereign of the Universe.
Regeneration is a change of heart, wrought by the Holy Spirit, who quickens the dead in trespasses and sins, enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the Word of God, and renewing their whole nature, so that they love and practice holiness. It is a work of God's free and special grace alone.
Repentance is an evangelical grace, wherein a person, by the Holy Spirit, being made sensible of the manifold evil of his sin, humbles himself for it, with godly sorrow, detestation of it, and self-abhorrence, with a purpose and endeavor to walk before God so as to please Him in all things.
Saving faith is the belief, on God's authority, of whatsoever is revealed in His Word concerning Christ; accepting and resting upon Him alone for justification and eternal life. It is wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, is accompanied by all other saving graces and leads to a life of holiness.
Justification is God's gracious and full acquittal of sinners, who believe in Christ, from all sin, through the satisfaction that Christ has made; not for anything wrought in them or done by them; but on account of the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, receiving and resting on Him and His righteousness by faith.
Those who have been regenerated are also sanctified by God's Word and Spirit dwelling in them. This sanctification is progressive through the supply of Divine strength, which all saints seek to obtain, pressing after a heavenly life in cordial obedience to all Christ's commands.
Those whom God has accepted in the Beloved, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere to the end; and though they may fall, through neglect and temptation, into sin, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, bring reproach on the Church and temporal judgments on themselves, yet they shall be renewed again unto repentance and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
The Lord Jesus is the Head of the church, which is composed of all His true disciples, and in Him is invested supremely all power for its government. According to His commandment, Christians are to associate themselves into particular societies or churches; and to each of these churches he has given needful authority for administering that order, discipline and worship which He has appointed.
Baptism is an ordinance of the Lord Jesus, required of every believer, wherein he is immersed in water in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as a sign of his fellowship with the death and resurrection of Christ, or remission of sins and of his giving himself up to God, to live and walk in newness of life. It is prerequisite to church fellowship.
The Lord's Supper is an ordinance of Jesus Christ to be administered with the elements of bread and wine and to observed by His churches till the end of the world. It is in no sense a sacrifice, but is designed to commemorate His death, to confirm the faith and other graces of Christians, and to be a bond, pledge and renewal of their communion with him and of their church fellowship.
God alone is Lord of the conscience; and He has left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in anything contrary to His Word, or not contained in it. Civil magistrates being ordained of God, subjection to all lawful things commanded by them, ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
The bodies of men after death return to dust, but their spirits return immediately to God--the righteous to rest with Him, the wicked to be reserved under darkness to judgment. At the last day, the bodies of all the dead, both just and unjust, will be raised.
God has appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world by Jesus Christ. The wicked shall go into everlasting punishment, the righteous into everlasting life.
*These statements of faith and belief represent the doctrinal statement of Riverbend Community Church. They comprise Article III of the Church By-Laws