Reaching Jacksonville with the life-giving message of Jesus

River Reach Baptist Church Doctrinal Statement

Section 1 – The Bible

  1. We believe that God communicates with man (John 1:1). He communicates through Creation (Psalm 19:1-6; Romans 1:18-20) leaving man without an excuse for his sin. His primary specific means of communication is through the 66 books of the Bible (2 Peter 1:20-21).
  2. Inspiration: We believe that the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, has been given to man by God Himself and that every word is perfect, eternal and without the slightest error in the original writings (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Psalm 119:89, 138:2; Proverbs 30:5).
    1. We believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). God the Holy Spirit supernaturally influenced human writers to produce exactly His message to mankind (2 Peter 1:21).
  • Inerrancy: We believe that verbal, plenary inspiration demands inerrancy (John 10:34-35). God supernaturally ensured that every word written in Scripture was the truth. The Bible is true in everything it says including scientific data, historical fact, the plan of salvation (John 17:17).
  1. Preservation: God promised to preserve His Word down to the very letter and stroke of the letter (Matthew 5:17-18; 24:35). God has providentially preserved His Word in the multiplicity of biblical manuscripts. Not one word has been lost through copying or human error (Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33).
  2. Sufficiency: We believe that the Bible is the sole authority for faith and practice (Mark 7:1-13; Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:17; Hebrews 4:12). No modern philosophy or psychology is necessary to live pleasing to God (2 Peter 1:3).

Section 2 – God

  1. We believe that Scriptures reveals God as three distinct persons existing in perfect unity.
    1. Jesus Christ is God (John 1:1, 14; 1:18; 20:28; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:20; Colossians 2:9).
    2. God is one (Deuteronomy 4:35, 39; 6:4; Isaiah 44:6; John 17:3).
    3. Jesus Christ is distinct from the Father (Psalm 2:7; Matthew 27:46; John 5:35, 37; Galatians 4:4).
    4. All three persons are God (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2).
    5. We believe that these three have precisely the same nature, attributes, and perfections (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 2:9; Leviticus 19:2 compare Hebrews 7:26 and Ephesians 4:30).
    6. We believe that there exists a voluntary, willing, loving submission between the persons of the Godhead–the Son to the Father (John 14:31, 15:10, 17:23-26) and the Holy Spirit to the Father and the Son (John 14:26, 16:13,14).
  2. Attributes: We believe that God the Father is holy (Leviticus 19:2; Isaiah 6:3), eternal (Genesis 1:1; Psalm 90:2; Genesis 21:33), omnipotent (Job 42:2; Jeremiah 32:17; Romans 1:20), sovereign (Psalm 103:19; Proverbs 21:1; Daniel 4:35), jealous (Exodus 20:5), lovingly loyal (Psalm 136), loving (John 3:16; Romans 5:8), and more! All three members of the Godhead share these characteristics.
  • The Father: The Father sent the Son for the redemption of the world to provide the way of salvation from the penalty of sin (John 3:16-17).
  1. The Son: We believe that Jesus Christ is eternal (John 1:1; Micah 5:2), fully God (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1, 20:28; Acts 20:28; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8), became also fully man through the virgin birth (Galatians 4:4; Isaiah 7:14 Compare Matthew 1:23; 1 John 1:1, 4:2-3), has two natures which exist together perfectly in one person – He is perfectly God and perfectly man (Colossians 2:9; 1 John 2:22, 4:2; Isaiah 9:6; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 4:15, 9:14).
  2. The Holy Spirit: We believe that the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 3:16).
    1. He is more than simply a force or power.
    2. He possess a personality (mind/intelligence (John 14:26), emotion (Ephesians 4:30), will/volition (1 Corinthians 12:11)).
    3. He engages in actions similar to people: striving with people (Genesis 6:3), reproving people (John 16:8), teaching (Luke 12:12), speaking to a person (Acts 8:29-30), and interceding with a person on behalf of another person (Romans 8:26-27).

Section 3 – Man

  1. We believe that God directly created men in his image making him the premier and most important creation of God (Genesis 1:26; 2:7, 18-22; Matthew 19:4; Colossians 3:10; James 3:9).
    1. Man is to be the master of the earth (Genesis 1:28).
    2. We deny evolution and any philosophy that attempts to account for the creation of man and the universe apart from a direct supernatural act of God in six literal consecutive 24 hour days.
  2. We believe that the first man Adam chose to sin (disobey God’s revealed will) against God and plunged the entire human race into rebellion and opposition to God that resulted in physical and spiritual death (Romans 5:12).
    1. All people are born into this world with a sinful nature and are now sinners by birth and by choice, positively inclined to evil. (Psalm 51:5, 58:3; Ephesians 2:3; Romans 3:23; 8:7)
    2. Man, apart from salvation, can do nothing pleasing to God or meriting His favor. (Isaiah 64:6; Romans 5:6; 8:8)
    3. Sin incurs the just and deserved condemnation of God to certain eternal punishment in hell without defense, excuse, or strength for one to save himself. (John 3:18; 3:36; James 2:11; Romans 3:19; 1:20; 5:6; 8:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 19:20 compare 20:10, 15; 21:8; Matthew 18:14; 2 Samuel 12:23)
  • We believe that God commands all men everywhere to admit their sinful, guilty, helpless condition to God (repentance) and to trust Jesus Christ and His shed blood as their only hope of salvation. (Acts 17:30; Luke 13:3, 5; Galatians 3:22; Acts 3:19)

Section 4 – Salvation

  1. We believe that God in perfect holiness hates all disobedience to His revealed will and is compelled by His justice to punish all sin with constant, eternal punishment. (Revelation 21:27; 19:20; compare 20:10, 11-15; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Matthew 25:41, 46; Mark 9:43-48).
  2. We believe that God in perfect love, came in the person of Jesus Christ to shed His blood and died as the substitute and representative for all mankind (Romans 5:8-9; 1 Peter 2:24, 3:18; Isaiah 53:4-6; 1 John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
  • We believe that Jesus Christ was raised bodily from the dead proving that He had completely and perfectly satisfied the demand of God that sin be punished (Romans 3:25, 4:25, 10:9; 1 John 2:2, 4:10; Isaiah 53:11).
  1. We reject the doctrine of limited atonement and believe that Christ’s shed blood is sufficient to totally satisfy God’s wrath for the sins of all men (1 John 2:2, 4:14; Titus 2:11; 1 Timothy 2:4,6, 4:10; John 1:29, 3:16, 4:42; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Romans 5:12-21).
  2. We believe that Jesus Christ has promised to save any persons who will repent of their sins (admit their guilty, helpless, hell-deserving condition to God) and trust Him by faith to save them. All who so trust Christ are instantly born again by the Holy Spirit and become children of God (Luke 13:3; John 1:12,13, 3:3-7,14-18,36, 6:40,47; Acts 16:31; 20:21, 10:43; Romans 10:13).
  3. We believe that salvation is wholly of God’s grace in response to our faith in Christ and has nothing whatever to do with our own “good works”, status, religion, church affiliation, or merit (Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; Matthew 7:21-23; Romans 4:5).
  • We reject such doctrines of God’s grace that eliminate the necessity of man to exercise his own will to be saved (Luke 13:3; John 1:11,12, 3:14-16, 11:26; Acts 2:37, 16:30; Romans 10:13).
  • We believe that salvation is perfectly a matter of Divine Sovereignty and also perfectly a matter of man’s responsibility and free-will. We reject any system of theology that attempts to reconcile these two truths by emphasizing one at the expense of the other (Acts 2:37 compare 2:39; 2:23; John 6:37, 6:64,65 compare 3:16; Acts 13:48 compare 13:46; Romans 11:25 compare Matthew 23:37).
  1. We believe that a person once saved is eternally secure from all fear of condemnation or punishment for sins (John 5:24, 3:18, 10:28; Romans 4:5-8; Ephesians 4:30; Philippians 1:6; Romans 6:8-10).
  2. We believe that a truly saved believer can be perfectly certain of his salvation at all points in his life since his salvation depends only upon his faith in the person and work of Christ and not to the slightest degree upon his own worth and works (1 John 5:11-13; Galatians 2:16; 3:2,3; 5:4,5; 2:21; 5:13-16; 6:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:6,14-15; 1 Corinthians 5:3-5; 11:30).
  3. We believe that all who trust Christ for salvation are commanded to make public profession of this faith by being baptized by immersion in water, that this baptism is an act of obedience after salvation and has NO saving power, and therefore only those old enough to repent, believe, and obey are proper subjects for Bible baptism (Matthew 28:18-20; 3:16; John 3:23; Acts 2:38 compare 3:19, 10:43; 8:36-39; 10:44-48; 16:30-34; 1 Corinthians 1:17; Ephesians 1:13-14).
  • We believe that evangelism is God’s means of pointing lost men to the Savior and that this activity is both commanded by God and is essential to the saving of souls in this age (Romans 1:16; 10:13-17; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Ephesians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 1:17; 9:19-22; Jude 22-23; Philippians 1:12-18; Acts 4:12; 5:42; John 14:6 compare Acts 1:8).
  • We believe that separation from sin is a clear mandate of the Bible (1 Peter 1:13-16; cf. Leviticus. 20:7; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 5:9-13; 2 Corinthians 6:1-7:1; Ephesians 5:1-13).

Section 5 – The Church

  1. The Universal Church
    1. We believe that all those who repent of their sins and trust Christ for salvation are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into the spiritual Body of Christ, the church (1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 3:6).
    2. Christ is the ultimate head and authority of the church (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; 5:23-32; Colossians 1:18).
    3. This spiritual body was formed on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21, 38-47) and will be removed from the earth by Jesus Christ prior to the Great Tribulation and consists of all persons saved from Pentecost to the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
    4. The church is distinct from the nation of Israel (1 Corinthians 10:32, and is a mystery not revealed until the New Testament age (Ephesians 3:1-6; 5:32).
  2. The Local Church
    1. We believe that the local church is a local body of baptized believers who have voluntarily joined together to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ by fulfilling all aspects of the Great Commission, observing the ordinances, and having a government as described in Article IX – Church Officers.
    2. We believe that local churches are the center of God’s program in this age and that God desires the establishment of local churches throughout the world (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Galatians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; Revelation 2-3).
    3. All believers as members of the universal church are instructed and exhorted to associate themselves in and be faithful to local churches (Acts 2:41-47; 1 Corinthians 11:18-20; Ephesians 4:11-16; Hebrews 3:13; 10:24-25).
    4. We believe that the purpose of the church is to bring glory to Christ (Ephesians 3:21) by growing in grace (Ephesians 4:13-16), by teaching and preaching the Bible (Matthew 28:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16-17), by fellowship (Acts 2:47; 1 John 1:3), by keeping the ordinances (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:38-42), and by making disciples throughout the world (Matthew 28:19).
  • Church Leadership Structure
    1. The local church is to be an independent body in submission to the will of Jesus Christ who is recognized as its Head, Savior, and Chief Shepherd. The human government of the church exists only to determine and carry out our Lord’s will. The final human authority lies with its membership, who as a body is responsible to determine and obey Christ’s will (Ephesians 5:23-29; Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 4:14-17; 6:1ff).
    2. The ultimate authority in the church is Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22, 4:15; Colossians 1:18 ), and He has delegated that authority to elders (also called bishops and pastors; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11; 1 Peter 5:1-4; 1 Timothy 3:1, 4; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Timothy 5:17-20).
    3. The New Testament reveals the office of a deacon as an aid to the pastor (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:8-13).
  1. We believe that Christ has commanded the local church to observe and administer two ordinances:
    1. Baptism (See: Salvation: XI)
    2. The Lord’s Supper – We believe the Lord’s Supper is commanded by the Lord to remind us of His broken body and shed blood to pay for our sins and to remind us of His promised return. We do not believe that the Lord’s Supper has any saving power (1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Matthew 26:26-30).

Section 6 – Future Events

  1. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the dead: both of the saved and lost (John 5:28-29).
  2. We believe that the spirits of the unsaved at death descend immediately into Hades where they are kept under punishment until the final day of judgment (Luke 16:19-31; 2 Peter 2:9), at which time their bodies shall be raised from the dead, they shall be judged according to their works, and cast into the place of final and everlasting punishment (Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8; Daniel 12:2).
  • We believe that the spirits of the saved at death go immediately to be with the Lord until the rapture of the church at which time their bodies are resurrected and made after the likeness of the resurrected body of Jesus Christ and are taken up from this earth to be continually in the presence of the Lord forever (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23, 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 51-54).
  1. We believe in a future literal 7 year period of terrible tribulation upon earth preceded by the rapture of the church and followed by the literal return of Jesus Christ to the earth to reign from Jerusalem for 1000 years, after which the present earth and heavens (the created celestial bodies) shall be totally destroyed and the final judgment will take place (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:7; Revelation 4:1; 7:14; Matthew 24:21; Daniel 9:26-27; 2 Peter 3:10-12).
  2. We believe that after the end of the millennium (Revelation 20:1-10), all the redeemed of God will enter into the eternal state with Him. God will destroy the heavens (created celestial bodies) and earth with fire (2 Peter 3:10-12) and replace it with a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1-27; 22:1-21). After this the New Jerusalem will descend from heaven and will be the dwelling place for God’s people for all eternity (Revelation 21:2). Having accomplished the redemption of God’s chosen ones, Jesus Christ will give the kingdom to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:24-28), and the triune God will reign forever (1 Corinthians 15:28).
  3. We do not believe that there is any hope for any human being to have his eternal destiny changed after his physical death (Hebrews 9:27; Luke 16:19ff).
  • We believe in the personal, bodily, pretribulational, premillennial, and imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ in the air to rapture His bride the church (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-55; John 14:1-3).

Section 7 – Satan

  1. We believe that Satan is a literal demonic spirit of great power, totally evil, and bent upon the eradication of all knowledge and worship of God from the earth. We believe that his great desire is to be worshiped and glorified as god by all creation (Matthew 4:4-11; Luke 4:1-13; John 8:44; Revelation 12:9).
  2. We believe that Satan is perfectly evil and is using every available means to deceive the world into believing “The Lie”, including religion, education, government, the media, the occult, music, vice, lies, sin, violence, miracles, prophecies, sins of all kinds and any other natural and supernatural means which violate principles of God’s Word (John 8:44; Romans 1:25; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, 4:2-4; Ephesians 6:12, 5:1-12; Matthew 24:24, 7:21-23; Deuteronomy 13:1-5).
  • We believe that Satan can be resisted by believers through the power of the Holy Spirit using the means, armor, and weapons that God in grace has provided for them (1 John 4:4, 5:18; Ephesians 6:10-18; James 4:7; Matthew 4:4-11).
  1. We believe that God will not permit an obedient believer to be tempted or oppressed by satanic forces beyond that person’s wisdom or ability to resist (1 Corinthians 10:13).
  2. We believe that God perfectly hates the devil and has commanded every person to resist the devil and to separate from all sin and fellowship with Satan-influenced activities (Ephesians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; James 4:7).