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© Reach Life Church 2018 - All Rights Reserved

OUR DOCTRINE

THE BIBLE

We believe that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God and is the central and final authority for the Christ Follower and every authentically Christian church.

By "inspired", we mean that we're convinced that the 66 books within the Christian Bible were each written by God's Spirit through human authors like the prophet Isaiah, the Hebrew king David, the disciple Matthew, and the Apostle Paul.

By "infallible" we mean that we're convinced that the Bible, and all that it says and teaches, is good, beneficial, and conducive to human flourishing for the glory of God.

By "inerrant" we mean that we're convinced that the original handwritten manuscripts of the 66 books of the Bible were free from errors and therefore the manuscript copies that derived from them are trustworthy. Through a process biblical and literary scholars call "textual criticism", we are able to ascertain what the original manuscripts contained with tremendous clarity and confidence. 

 

(2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:19-21, Hebrews 4:12)

We believe in one supreme God, the timeless and matchless Creator and Sustainer of all things. We believe that He has existed from all eternity as a complex-unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit- the Trinity. He is self-existent, personal, unimaginably powerful, incomprehensibly intelligent, and infinitely morally good.

 

(Genesis 1:26; Psalm 90:1-1-5; Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 28:19, 2 Corinthians 13:14; Revelation 4:11)

 

god

FATHER

We believe that the Father is one in substance and equal in power, glory, and eternality to the Son and the Holy Spirit. He is preeminent within the Trinity, having sent forth the Son and the Holy Spirit while remaining enthroned in Heaven and dwelling in unapproachable light.

(Matthew 28:19; John 14:28: 1 Corinthians 15:28, 1 Timothy 6:16)

We believe that the second person of the Trinity incarnated, adding humanity to Himself,  and was born of a young Jewish virgin about two thousand years ago. As a part of God’s plan to redeem and reconcile all things to Himself, Jesus died bodily on the cross and three days later was physically and gloriously resurrected from the dead. After spending forty days teaching and revealing Himself further to His disciples, He ascended to the right hand of God the Father and will one day return physically and gloriously to consummate all things.*

God the Father has delighted to make Jesus the head of the Church, the Inheritor of Creation, the Lord over His Kingdom, the Savior of all who repent and believe the Gospel, the Exemplar to whom believers observe how to truly love God and love people, and the Beloved Son of whom God has placed His eternal affection and believers their grateful love.**

*(Philippians 2:5-8; Luke 1:26-38; John 20:1-18; Acts 1:9-11)

**(Colossians 1:13-18; Titus 3:5-6; Matthew 17:5)

THE SON - JESUS CHRIST

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. It is His role to draw people to Jesus, to indwell and empower disciples to live a holy life like Christ, and to manifest the “fruit” and “gifts of the Spirit” in the life of the believer for the benefit and flourishing of the local church, for the good of the world, and for the glory of God.  

(John 15:26, 16:14; Romans 8:11-15; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 12:8-13)

the holy spirit

man

We believe that human beings have been created uniquely in the image of God Himself and are the pinnacle of God’s creative work. He has made mankind to reflect His likeness by giving him qualities like intellect, the capacity to reason,  morality, the ability to create, and the mandate to exercise dominion. His plan is for human beings to bear His image in community and to the rest of creation, enjoying life and fellowship with God and one another while living and thriving under His loving and kingly rule. However the first humans sinned against their Creator and cast all who would follow into a state of brokenness and rebellion against God’s plan and divine kingship. Now human beings are born with an inherent predisposition to sin and reject God’s lordship over their lives. Because of sin, human beings create brokenness and hardship for themselves and each other while also storing up God’s judgement as they break His law.  They are in desperate need of the forgiveness of their sins, reconciliation back to God, and the indwelling life of the Spirit that God grants through repentance and faith in His son Jesus.

(Genesis 1:26; Psalms 4:4-8; Romans 3:23; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22)

“The Gospel” is a phrase that followers of Jesus have used for the last two thousand years that means “the good news”. What is the good news? God’s own son took on human flesh and entered into time, space, and history in order to inaugurate the Creator’s eternal Kingdom on earth and bring sinners into it by forgiving them of their sin against God and reconciling them to Him through Jesus’ death on the cross and literal resurrection from the dead.

Because God is perfect, good, and righteous, He must punish all wrongdoing and sin. Because He is loving, merciful, and gracious, He is willing to actually pardon guilty sinners by placing their guilt on Jesus if they turn from their sin and put their faith in His son. This is what has been called the Great Exchange; God accepting Christ’s brutal death on the cross on behalf of the sinner and exchanging the sinner’s guilt for Christ’s perfect righteousness.  

Jesus’ death and resurrection is the means by which God is able to forgive sinners, transitioning all who repent of their sin and place their trust in Jesus from spiritual criminals and enemies deserving of His wrath to adopted sons and daughters who receive His life. They are brought into a growing relationship with God, given His Spirit to indwell and empower them so that they may experience and advance His Kingdom with their very lives as they become more and more like His son.

 

(Acts 3:18-19; 1 Corinthians 15:1-5; Colossians 1:13-14; Ephesians 4:4-6,11-13)

the gospel

response

One properly responds to the Gospel by first recognizing and believing that the claims of the Gospel are true.

Secondly, a person must repent of their sin and place their faith in Christ alone. Repentance means to have a change of heart, mind, and direction about one’s sin. Said another way, it means turning from doing life one’s own way and surrendering oneself to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Placing one’s faith in Christ means simply trusting Jesus and what He did on the cross to give them right-standing with the Creator.

Third, Christ commands believers who have been given eternal life through repentance and faith in Him to be baptized as an outward symbol that they have died to their old way of living, have been raised to new life in Him, and have publicly declared themselves as belonging to the Resurrected Lord.

Fourthly, a believer should become a member of a local church body where they can grow in the Gospel, share life as family with other Christians, and live “on mission” as God advances His life-giving Kingdom through the regular, everyday rhythms of their lives.

(Mark 1:15; Acts 2:28; Acts 20:21; Acts 26:18; Romans 4:18-21; Ephesians 4:11-16)

the church

We believe that the Church is to be understood as both the global and local “body of Christ”. The global church is comprised of everyone worldwide who has repented of their sin and placed their faith in Jesus. Local churches are local communities of disciples who have covenanted to God and one another to do life in the Gospel as a family in Christ.

Local churches exist to display the glory of God and comprehensive beauty of Jesus by being communities that are cultivating Gospel doctrine, Gospel culture, and Gospel multiplication.

Cultivating Gospel doctrine means proclaiming the Gospel and teaching God’s Word accurately and faithfully.

Cultivating Gospel culture means embodying the life, imperatives, and values of God’s Kingdom in the life of the local church so that disciples may grow, develop, and thrive.

Cultivating Gospel multiplication means making disciples of Jesus who are growing to maturity in Christ and likewise making other disciples of Jesus who are doing the same.

Furthermore, God has given the Church spiritually gifted leaders who are assigned with the responsibility of shepherding, teaching, equipping, and nurturing disciples to bring glory to God by making much of His son in the everyday rhythms of their lives.

(Matthew 16:18; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 20:20-28; 1 Corinthians 12:12-28; Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Timothy 3:15)

church discipline

We believe that every authentically Christian church must be committed to the humble, gentle, hopeful, Jesus-like, Christ-mandated, Scripture-based practice of Church discipline. Church discipline is the practice where a member of a local church who is in unrepentant sin or disagreeable doctrinal heresy must be lovingly, gently, and firmly confronted in the hopes that he or she will respond in repentance.  The goal of Church discipline is restoration and reconciliation, not separation and disillusionment. If repentance does not result from the confronting process laid out in Matthew 18:15-17, 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, and Galatians 6:1, the member must be formally and publicly disfellowshipped with the hope that repentance and thereby restoration and reconciliation might take place in the future.

We believe that the Scriptures clearly set forth the doctrines of eternal punishment and eternal life; eternal punishment for unrepentant sinners in a literal Hell and eternal life for all who receive forgiveness through Christ in Heaven.

(Matthew 25:34, 41, 46; Luke 19:19-31; John 14:1-3; Rev 20:11-15)

heaven & hell

the ordinances

We believe that the two ordinances of the Church commanded by Jesus are baptism by immersion (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 8:38; Rom 6:1-4; 1 Pet 3:21) and the Lord’s Supper, a commemoration of the death, resurrection, and second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 22:13-20: 1 Cor 11:23-26).

We believe that upon coming to Christ, believers will display a changed life and a growing desire to serve and please God as a result of the Holy Spirit indwelling them. They will grow in godly character and lifestyle, becoming more and more like Jesus Christ, God’s Son who perfectly reflects God the Father Himself. This process is called sanctification.

Believers should and are called by the Creator to live, as the early disciples did, a life for Christ in the world but not of the world; a life devoted unto Jesus and to set standards of living that exalt our Lord and His Church. A life of holiness and obedience to God is not optional but in fact commanded by Jesus and the apostles as a requirement for those who will enter the Kingdom of God. Growing in godly living and character is not a prerequisite to salvation but evidence of it.

(Matthew 7:21; 16:27; Romans 12:1-3; 2 Corinthians 6:17; Ephesians 5:11; Colossians 3:17; Hebrews 12:14; I John 3:7-10; Revelation 20:12).

sanctification