We believe that there is one true, perfect God. God eternally exists as one God in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Bible also clearly teaches that there is only one God (not three Gods). We understand these three persons to share the exact one and only divine nature. The term often used to describe this is “Trinity”. We believe that in the beginning, God created the universe out of nothing (“ex nihilo”) and by His power He sustains the Universe and all that is in it. God is sovereign over all His creation and has been working out His plan since its beginning.
We believe Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin, Mary. He lived a perfect, sinless life on earth and was obedient to God the Father. He voluntarily paid the price for the sins of all people by dying on the cross as our substitute. After His death, He was raised to life with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. Jesus then ascended into heaven and is now at the right hand of God where He is the only mediator between God and man. Jesus makes intercession for His own. He will one day personally and visibly come again to earth to consummate history and judge the world.
Scriptural References: Matthew 1:22,23; Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 53; John 1:1-5; Romans 1:3,4;
Once we enter into a personal relationship with God, through faith in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to permanently reside (indwell) within each believer. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and is thus fully and eternally God. The role of the Holy Spirit is helping us understand the Bible, convicting us of wrong and sin, giving us confidence in God, and enabling us to help others. Even though the Holy Spirit immediately came to live within (indwell) us when we placed our faith in Christ, we must also seek to be filled by the Spirit on a daily basis. This requires us to submit our will to God’s and to be available to be used by God. He gives us spiritual gift(s) to enable us to serve Him effectively. In essence, the Holy Spirit exists to lead us to Christ, help us accept Christ, and to live a Christ-like life.
Scriptural References: John 14:16-17; John 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 1 Corinthians 3:16;
We believe that the Bible is God’s Word to us. The Bible was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is in essence, God’s manual for our lives. The Bible is the mechanism by which the revelation of God to man has been recorded. It is our primary source for Christian beliefs. The Bible is comprised of 66 books of the Old and New Testament. It speaks with the authority of God, but is not God. We believe the Bible is completely trustworthy (truth without any mixture of error) and is inerrant in the original manuscripts. The Bible must be the final authority on all matters of faith and practice.
We believe that salvation is the major theme of God’s revelation in the Bible. In the Bible, we discover that throughout history man has been made right with God on the basis of faith. In the Old Testament, this faith looked forward to the coming of Christ, who would provide the ultimate payment for sin. Because of His great love for us, God provided forgiveness and eternal life through his Son, Jesus. When a person places their faith in Jesus Christ as the forgiver of their sins, they receive salvation as a free gift. This is the most important decision we will ever make in our life.
Scriptural References: John 2:25; John 3:16; Matthew 25:32-46; 1 John 5:11-13; Hebrews 9:15;
Revelation 20:15; Genesis 3:15; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12; John 14:6;
Romans 5:1; Titus 3:4-5; Galatians 3:26; 1 Peter 1:3, Romans 3:10-12
Because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security.
Scriptural References: John 10:29; 2 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 10:10,14; 1 Peter 1:3-5
The result of accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is that we become a part of His body, or “the Church” universal. The Church universal is not limited by denominations, but is limited only by whether or not we have placed our faith in Jesus Christ. All Christians are a part of the “the church” in this sense of the word. However, the Bible clearly commands and teaches that believers are to gather together and form local bodies or churches. The local church is a living organism; the body of Christ. All healthy organisms grow and as such, a healthy church should grow. The local church must be founded on the truths of Scripture, but remain culturally relevant. Riverside Church will make every effort to avoid developing a culture of its own that excludes others from finding the hope in Christ Jesus.