two rivers church

doctrinal statement

The Godhead

We believe the God of the Bible is the one and only God who is eternally and equally displayed in three persons-The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These persons are equal in nature, power, and glory, sharing the same attributes and perfections. (Deut. 6:4; 2 Cor. 13:13)

Why this is important: Many religions claim to follow the one true God, or believe in multiple gods and/or multiple paths to the afterlife. The God of the Bible says that He is the one true God, and that no one will receive eternal life after death but by him. We must have an accurate understanding of who God is, or we can never truly receive the gift of salvation from spiritual death. We also must understand God and how his Trinitarian nature should affect our lives in family and ministry through following his hierarchal structure. Just as God the Father has authority over the Son, and Christ submits to the Father, husbands are called to have authority over their wives, and wives are called to submit to their husbands. This hierarchy allows for perfect unity and love within the Trinity and the marriage relationship (Eph 5:22-33).

The person and work of Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ is God's son, yet equal in all attributes and power. He became fully man and remained fully God, being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:35; Gal 4:4.). He was tempted in every way and yet remained perfect (Heb 4:15). This perfection allowed him to be the ideal sacrifice and die in our stead (2 Cor. 5:21). His death provided redemption for all those who believe in what he did (Rom 3:24; Eph 1:7; 1 Pet 1:3-5). His literal and physical resurrection from the dead provides justification for our sins. Christ then ascended to heaven and is now seated at the right hand of the Father being our intercessor, representative, and advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Heb 7:25; Rom 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).

Why this is important: Christ demonstrates perfect love. We need to understand the character and nature of Jesus in order to know how to serve our families and the Church in a healthy and Biblical way. John 15:13.

The person and work of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is fully God displayed in spirit form.(Gen 1:2; Is 61:1; Acts 5:3-4) He is eternal and was there at the beginning of creation. The Holy Spirit is our counselor, convicter, comforter and sanctifier.(Acts 9:21; John 14:26; John 16:8-11; Rom 15:16) Without Him no one can complete a righteous act.(Rom 3:10; Gal 5:22-23) Through Him believers receive baptism and he does a work in them passing them from spiritual death to life. (Acts 2:17-41; John 3:3,5; 2 Cor 3:6) He is our seal of redemption until the day Christ comes again. (Eph 4:30)

Why this is important: God's word teaches that there is no one righteous no not one. The Holy Spirit is the one that does the work in us to create righteousness and righteous acts. We are fully depraved humans and unless we understand that it is the Holy Spirit that does the work of sanctification in us we will be consumed with pride. When we rely on the Holy Spirit for the strength to do all things then we will realize that we are nothing. This spirit of humility will allow us to live the lives God calls us to live. Since the Holy Spirit is our seal for redemption we don't have to fear death or destruction for the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us. This great promise allows believers to live a life of freedom, yet never taking advantage of the grace that God has given us.

The Bible

We believe that the Holy Bible, both Old and New Testament, is the verbally inspired words of God, and recorded by man under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is our final authority in faith and life because they are inerrant in their original writings and infallible. (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 2:20-21; John 16:12-13)

Why this is important: The Holy Bible is God's word and teaches us who he is and his plan of salvation for mankind. Without knowing his word we first won't understand how it is we obtain salvation. Second we will never know how it is that we are called to live as believers in Christ. We are called to emulate who God is and we will never know that unless we dive into his word to seek a complete understanding of him. When we process through the word of God we must take things literally, not as myths or legends, but as the infallible word of God and then we are able to begin the journey of understanding the salvation plan and how we reflect Christ in our lives.

Humanity

We believe that God created humanity, both male and female, in his image and likeness. Adam and Eve walked with God in the Garden of Eden, but were cut off from God when Adam disobeyed his commands. Sin entered the world through the one man and now infects all of humanity, rendering us utterly depraved and unable to redeem our fallen state. (Gen 1:26-27; Rom 3:22-23, 5:12; Eph 2:1-3, 12

Why this is important: As sinful man we have lust for control and power. Understanding that there is no one righteous no not one and that we are utterly depraved, points us to Christ and Christ alone. For sin entered the world through one man, salvation entered into the world through the one man, Christ. We have no control and play no part in our salvation and are unable to redeem ourselves. When we recognize that, we are able to fully grasp the blessedness of God's gift of salvation. We can also have hope that if we played no part in our salvation then we can do nothing to lose that salvation. This fact is what gives us hope till the coming of Christ.

Salvation

We believe that salvation from sin and death is a free gift from God obtained not by good works but by faith alone in the salvific work of Jesus Christ' bloodshed on the cross. (Eph 2:8-10; John 1:12; Eph 1:71 Pet. 1:18-19

Why this is important: God freely gives salvation to all those who believe in what he did for us. This amazing love, grace and mercy should radically change the way we think and live. We deserve punishment for all eternity, but God calls his believers his children and we are adopted into his family. The fact that we are given such love should cause us to show that love to those around us and spur us on to teach the truth to those who do not know it. When we allow the knowledge of God's grace to change our living then we are able to be the scent of Christ to all those who believe.

Perseverance of Believers

We believe that all those who have put their faith and trust in Christ are sealed by the Holy Spirit and kept by his power until the coming of salvation. Because we had no part in obtaining our salvation we also have no part in keeping that salvation. There is no one more powerful that God and he will not lose any of the sheep given to him. Having this security is not a means to live the same sinful life we were saved from though, but we are called to leave our lives of sin.(John 10:28; John 17:12; 1 Pet 1:5; 2 Cor 1:21-22; Jude 24; Rom 6:1-2; Rom 13:14)

Why this is important: Our amazing God has taken the time to pave the way for salvation, and not only did he do that but he assures us that we will never lose that salvation. This is something that should bring us so much joy and hope! We don't have to live worrying from day to day whether or not we are going to lose that salvation because of some sinful act. We also don't have to get lost in bitter arguments that determine the fate of others. When we realize that it is God that does the saving and God that keeps his sheep then we are freed from a judgmental attitude and an elitist attitude that tells us we have lived a more worthy of salvation life than someone else. Pure joy comes when we have complete and utter reliance on God and not ourselves.

The Ministry and Spiritual gifts

We believe that God soveirgnly and generously give spiritual gifts to his believers. It is there believer's delight and calling to develop their spiritual gifts so that they can all the more glorify God. Baptism of the Holy Spirit happens at the time of conversion and places the believer into the body of Christ. The spiritual gifts are not essential for salvation and are not a sign of faith or a means to distinguish whether or not a believer is filled with the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 12:7, 11, 13; Eph. 4:7-8) We believe that God hears all prayers in faith and answers them in accordance with his will. (John 15:7; 1 John 5:14-15) It is the believer's privilege and responsibility to minister in accordance to the gifts that God has graciously given them. (Rom. 12:1-8; 1 Cor. 13; 1 Pet. 4:10-11)

Why this is important: Being a believer in Christ mean that you are now a part of his body in a community of believers. This is something that is a great privilege and we should not take it lightly. He calls us to build each other up according to the gifts we have received and this is such a blessed calling. We are allowed to glorify God through the Holy Spirit and no believer should put that off or so deny God's calling and will for their life. When we use our gifts the body will be mutually edified and the church will be lead by Christ who is the head.

The Church

We believe that the church is the exposed body and bride of Christ. This is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons. (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:25-27; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; 2 Cor. 11:2) We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught in the New Testament. (Acts 14:27; 18:22; 20:17; 1 Tim. 3:1-3; Titus 1:5-11) We believe in the autonomy of the local churches free from any external authority or control. (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Rom. 16:1, 4; 1 Cor. 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; 1 Pet. 5:1-4) We recognize the believer's baptism and Lords supper as a privileged expression of faith and remembrance of what Christ has done for us. (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:8; 1Cor 11:23-26).

Why this is important: We are living in a time where so many people are willing to throw out the church as a local gathering because of the mistakes of man throughout the years. We must first all accept that man is fallible and that our faith and trust can't be in them, but Christ first, and if our faith is in Christ then we will obey his word which clearly says in Hebrews 10:25 "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching." These gatherings are modeled in Scripture as local autonomist churches. Without these local gatherings we are not following Christ example by corporately emboldening each other and partaking in the Lords supper with other believers or being baptized in the presence of others. Yes we are the temple of God, but the temple was not made up on one brick. Let us not be swayed by an emergent culture that would dispose of the local church with claims that the Bible teaches something different.

The Second Coming of Christ

We believe in the "blessed hope" the personal, imminent second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to gather His redeemed ones. (1 Thess. 4:13-18; Zech. 14:4-11; Rev. 19:11-16; 20:1-6; 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9; Rev. 3:10)

Why this is important: Christ is coming and the battle has already been won. This is something that should bring us such great hope everyday! Since we do not know the time of his second coming we should wait expectantly and diligently be about our Father's business until then.