RULED BY GOD’S WORD
We are ruled by the living Word of God. Heaven and Earth will pass away, but the Word of the Lord will stand forever. We believe that the Bible is the Word of God—fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct. There is no substitute for it. God’s Word is absolutely trustworthy and guides all we believe and do. We love and cherish God’s Word, for it nourishes us daily and instructs us on all things necessary for salvation, life, and righteousness. Where the Bible speaks, God speaks, and where God speaks, we trust and obey.
- When we gather on Sundays, God’s Word is taught.
- When we get together in smaller groups, God’s Word is studied.
- When tragedy strikes, God’s Word comforts us.
- Where our culture is at odds with the gospel of Jesus, it is God’s Word that we stand on.
- When we are living in disobedience, God’s Word convicts.
- When we are confused, God’s Word instructs.
Genesis 1:1-31; Deuteronomy 32:46-47; Psalm 1:1-6; Psalm 19:7-14; Psalm 119:1-176; Isaiah 40:8; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:19-21
CHRIST-CENTERED IN FOCUS
We believe that Christ is at the center of everything—all of creation and all of God’s Word serve to lift high and point to Jesus Christ. It is our ambition to value Jesus and His glory above all else in everything we do. Knowing Christ is our highest goal and greatest prize. Our call in life is to love Him above all else and obey His command to go and tell other people the glorious truth of His gospel—that Jesus Christ, the righteous one, died for our sins and rose again, eternally triumphant over sin, death, and Satan. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who believe in Him. Instead, we have righteousness, salvation, and eternal life filled with everlasting joy in Christ. This gospel is good news because we have received eternal life through Jesus, and eternal life without Jesus would be hell. Because He first loved us, we love Him. We seek to make Him our first and only love, and there is coming a day when all of creation will join with us in worshiping Him as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Luke 24:13-35; John 1:1-7; Acts 4:1-37; Romans 1:16-17; Philippians 2:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Ephesians 2:20-22; Colossians 1:15-22; Colossians 3:17; Revelation 4:1-11
EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
We must be empowered by the Holy Spirit to see Jesus and obey God’s Word. The Holy Spirit conforms us to the image of Christ to display God’s wisdom and glory to the world. We cannot do anything apart from the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Only He can make a holy people. Jesus said it was better for Him to go away that He might send us a Helper. We believe it is necessary for every believer to understand the unique ways in which the Holy Spirit helps and empowers us everyday:
- To remind us of all that Jesus taught
- To bear witness to our spirit that we are God’s children
- To convict us of our sins
- To produce obedience and bear good fruit in our lives
John 14:25-26; John 15:26; John 16:5-14; Romans 8:1-17; Romans 8:26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Galatians 5:16-26
RELIANT ON PRAYER
We are absolutely reliant on prayer. Prayer is our personal and corporate communion with God that expresses and increases our trust in Him. God commands us to pray and always uses our prayers to do far more than we could ask or imagine. Jesus taught us how to pray—that while He is God, we can go to Him as a child goes to his father. We pray, not to bend His will to ours, but so that our will may bend to His. We pray to get God, not God’s things, for He is our highest goal, prize, and treasure. As a church, our prayer since the beginning has been this: “God, would you do something so great that no one could take credit for it but You.” God has answered that prayer, doing too many great things for anyone in our church to take credit for. But we are not done praying. We pray, “Lord, please don’t be done with us! Do more! Abundantly more! So that we can see You get more glory!”
Matthew 6:5-15; Romans 8:26-28; Ephesians 3:14-4:1; Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:6-7
COMMITTED TO COVENANT COMMUNITY
We are committed to covenant community with each other because Jesus covenanted with us by His blood shed on the cross. A covenant community is one that is based on a common confession and common devotion. We are a church who believes we need each other to remain faithful to Jesus until the end. We are a church who believes that we need each other to obey all that Jesus commanded. Jesus taught that our love for one another will be the first and best testimony of Him to the world. As each member of the body loves, serves, and commits to one another, we can more fully demonstrate and declare the gospel of Jesus to others. In order to go and do what Jesus has commanded us to do, we must go together and do together.
Acts 2:42-47; Acts 4:32-34; John 17:16-26; Hebrews 10:24-25; Hebrews 3:12-15; 1 Corinthians 14:26
GOSPEL-SATURATED IN DISCIPLESHIP
We make, grow, and multiply disciples of Jesus by faithfully teaching and living out His gospel. Jesus gives both the command to make disciples and the model for how to do it. The good news is that Jesus has come to provide a means of forgiveness for the stain of sin, as well as redeem and restore the brokenness caused by sin. Thus, the gospel is not simply the entryway into the Christian life—it is also the power to flourish in it. Discipleship is God’s plan for the gospel to spread to all nations through His church so that His kingdom will continue to advance until the day when “the earth [is] filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). It is the call of every believer to help fulfill the great commission. To be gospel-saturated in discipleship means that we are proactively participating in the work of redemption and restoration, helping people to be made more into the image of Jesus by showing them how the gospel addresses every aspect of brokenness caused by sin and supplies the power necessary for obedience.
Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 1:16; Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 1:24; Colossians 3:1-17
DEVOTED TO EQUIPPING THE SAINTS
We have been graciously given pastors and leaders who are devoted to preparing and equipping our whole church to participate in the mission and ministries that God has called us to. If making disciples is the primary explicit mission, then it is through equipping that our pastors and other leaders seek to prepare our people to make disciples and do whatever work of ministry God is calling them to do. The body of Christ grows together when each member is working properly, and so we are devoted to equipping the members of our church family to serve Jesus well with the gifts they have each been given. Equipping is a means for redemption as we engage in the pursuit of seeing people restored to right knowledge, affections, and actions. Therefore, from the pulpit to the classroom and to every Missional Community, we seek to equip the whole person—head, heart, and hands—“for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).
Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalm 25:4; Psalm 51:13; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 4:32; Luke 11:1; Ephesians 4:11-16; Colossians 1:28; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 13:20-21
RELENTLESS IN MISSION
We are relentless in mission to see the earth filled with the glory of God. This is the end-all reason for which God created the universe and everything in it. God, through Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit, has established His church to accomplish this mission—that each of us would know, love, and obey Him to declare and demonstrate the gospel in the surrounding communities and to the ends of the earth. Jesus has done all of the work necessary to accomplish this mission. He has promised that it will be done and that He will be with us. Therefore, until Jesus returns, everything we do is committed to this aim: to glorify God by taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to people from every tongue, tribe, and nation.
The glory of God is at the blazing center of the universe.
- Why did God make us and everything?
- Why did Jesus come to die?
- Why does Jesus command us to love and obey Him?
- Why does Jesus save sinners?
- Why does River Church exist?
- Why do people at River Church sell everything they own and move to difficult places?
Answer: For the glory of God, and the joy of all peoples.
Genesis 1:26-31; Psalm 72:19; Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 48:11; Ezekiel 20:9; Habakkuk 2:14; Matthew 22:37-39; Matthew 28:18-20; John 3:16; Acts 2:13-41; Acts 7:1-53