OUR VALUES

GOD

There is only one, true God eternally existing in three distinct personalities: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are one God, having the same nature, attributes, and perfections, and are therefore worthy of the same worship and obedience. God is loving and faithful. He is the Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of the universe.


(Genesis 1:1,26-27; Deuteronomy 6:4; I Timothy 2:5; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14)

Jesus Christ

We believe in the divine nature of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin named Mary. Jesus was both fully man and fully God. He walked our earth, suffered at the hands of men, was crucified, died, and was buried as a sacrifice for the sins of all men and women everywhere. His purpose was to restore our relationship to God which was broken by sin (disobedience). (Luke 1:27, 31:35; John 3:16; Romans 5:10; Ephesians 5:2) Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven in full victory over Satan and sin. He now intercedes to God the Father for the body of believers.


(Luke 1:27, 31:35; John 3:16; Romans 5:10; Ephesians 5:2 Matthew 28:5-9; Luke 24:4-7)

HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son. He is present in the world to convict people of their sin and make them aware of their need for the Savior—Jesus Christ. People are regenerated (born again) by the Holy Spirit, and He lives in believers to manifest the character of Christ. He provides believers with power for holy living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance for life. His presence is what makes The River unique. His absence is what makes church and religion boring and lifeless. He also gives Christians spiritual gifts, so they might serve the church and the world in a manner that surpasses their own natural abilities and limitations. The victorious Christian life must be lived under His daily control.


  (Romans 8:9; Galatians 4:6; Genesis 1:2; John 14:16-17; 16:7-13; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 12:3-11; II Corinthians 3:17-18; Galatians 5:22-25; Ephesians 1:13)

PEOPLE

People are created in the image of God and are designed to reflect His character. People are the supreme object of God's creation and love. Through willful transgression and disobedience, people have fallen from their originally created state of righteousness, peace, and joy into a state of separation from God. Being separated from the source of life, love, and joy has resulted in bondage and death. People are unable to deliver themselves from their sinful condition, but are totally dependent upon the power of God as presented in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


(Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6; 59:1-2; Romans 3:23; 5:12-21)

Salvation

Because people are unable to save themselves from their sinful condition, salvation is altogether the work of God. Neither good works nor self-improvement can make up for our sin. Salvation is the free gift of God. However, like any gift it must be received. This gift is received by faith, or by believing and trusting in Jesus Christ who died as our substitute that we might live. Through repentance from sin and faith toward God, we turn from our self-ruled life to trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior.


  (Romans 10:9-10; John 1:12; 14:6; Romans 5:6-21; 6:23; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5)

BAPTISM

  We believe that baptism is a way of showing others that you have entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ. It symbolizes what took place in your heart at the time of salvation:


• We have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

• We share in His death and resurrection, illustrated by going under the water (dead to your old life), then rising again (new life). 

• We are symbolically washed clean and our sins are forgiven by His death on the cross. Because Jesus instructed us to be baptized, baptism is an act of obedience and it demonstrates submission to God. We immerse in water at River of Praise because we believe Scripture shows that Jesus modeled that for us as the way to publicly acknowledge our faith in Him.

HEALING

We must understand from the beginning is that it is God’s will for us to be healed. 


In Luke 19:10, Jesus said, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost." Interestingly, the word "save" is taken from the Greek root word "sozo," which means “to make whole—spirit, soul and body.” In other words, physical healing is like salvation for our body. In addition to believing that God is doing a good work in our spirit and soul, we can also trust Him to do a good work in our body. There are several Biblical reasons for believing that healing is for all, and not just the “lucky few” that are currently experiencing divine healing. God shows no partiality. Though this doctrine contradicts the idea that God is partial to some for no reason except his own sovereign pleasure, it is nevertheless here in the scripture that God shows no partiality, or as the King James version puts it – "God is no respecter of persons." If God planned healing for some but slow painful death by chronic sickness for others, He would be a respecter of persons – he would be showing partiality. But this was not his plan for anybody. If it happens, it is not God’s fault. God has made promises to heal. Let us get hold of them and help others to do so.  


(Acts 10:34I Peter 2:24; 3rd John 2; Psalm 103:3; Matthew 8:17; Luke 13:10-17)

THE CHURCH

  The church is composed of all who have experienced, through faith in Christ, the new birth into the family of God. All true believers are then members of the universal church, the body of Christ. Since the New Testament exhorts believers to gather for purposes like worship, prayer, fellowship, sharing the Lord's Supper, teaching of the Word and evangelism, the local church is an indispensable part of God's plan for His people and the world. The work of Parachurch groups is appreciated, but the local church is God's chosen instrument for both the nurture of Christians and world evangelism. (Parachurch organizations are vehicles by which Christians work collaboratively both outside of and across their denominations to engage with the world in social welfare and evangelism.) We believe in the spiritual unity of all true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and in cooperating with one another for the causes of evangelism, social action and missions. 


  (Matthew 16:16-18; Romans 12:5; I Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4-6; 9-16)

ETERNAL DESTINY

God created people to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. Eternal separation from God is Hell. Eternal fellowship and union with God is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.


(John 3:16; Matthew 25:31-46; 19:29; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:11-15)

JESUS IS COMING BACK

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming back again as He promised, for His Bride without spot or wrinkle. The time of His return is unknown, but may be at any moment. This is the glorious hope of all God’s children.


(John 14:1-3; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; James 5:7-8; Revelation 22:12,20)