STATEMENT OF FAITH AND FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS

 

This statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the God-breathed and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Reality Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Pastoral Staff is Reality Church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.

 

The following is our general statement of our faith – the core beliefs of our membership.

 

  1. Of the Scriptures

 

We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired; that is truth without any error; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried. We believe that the Scriptures are to be interpreted according to the normal literal, historical-grammatical understanding, comparing scripture to scripture while paying specific attention to context. We are blessed to have an abundance of faithfully and conservatively translated versions at our disposal from which to make God’s Word clear to this and succeeding generations.

 

  1. By “The Holy Bible” we mean that collection of sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation, which as originally written, does not only contain and convey the Word of God, but IS the very Word of God.

 

  1. By “Inspiration” we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired, not only in thoughts, but down to and including the very words, and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.

 

Psalm 19:7-11; 119:89, 105, 130, 160; Proverbs 30:5-6; Isaiah 8:20; Luke 16:31; 24:25-27, 44-45; John 5:39, 45-47; 12:48; 17:17; Acts 1:16; 28:25; Romans 3:4; 15:4; Ephesians 6:17; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:23; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Revelation 22:19

 

  1. Of The True God, and the Trinity of God

 

We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true triune God, and infinite, intelligent Spirit, the creator and supreme ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.

 

Genesis 17:1; Exodus 20:2-3; Psalm 83:18; 90:2; 147:5; Jeremiah 10:10; Matthew 28:19; Mark 12:30; John 4:24; 10:30; 15:26; 17:5; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 11:23; 1 Corinthians 12:10-11; 8:6; 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 2:18; 4:6; Philippians 2:5-6; 1 Timothy 1:17; 1John 5:7; Revelation 4:11

 

  1. Of God the Father

 

We believe in the ever-living God who is a Spirit and the Father of our spirits; infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being and perfections; the Lord Almighty, most just in all His ways, most glorious in holiness, unsearchable in wisdom and plenteous in mercy, full of love and compassion, and abundant in goodness and truth.

 

We believe that God is utterly and entirely sovereign and that what God purposes, He accomplishes. (Job 42:2; Isa. 55:11; Dan. 4:25) He sovereignly and of His own free will chooses His own Bride, the Church. We believe that God chooses His own adoptive children and predetermines their destination – conformity to the image of Christ (John 6:37-40; 6:44-45; 15:16, 19; 17:6; Acts 2:39; 13:48; Romans 1:6; 8:28-30; 9:7-33; 11:7-8; 1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:1-2; James 1:18; 1 Peter 1:2, 20; 2 Peter 1:10; Jude 1:4; Rev. 13:8).   We believe that man is also responsible for his individual choices, and that these deep doctrines are not contradictory, but are resolved in the mind and purposes of God (Ps. 40:5; Dan. 4:25).

 

Exodus:15:11; Psalm 147:5; 83:18; Isaiah 6:3; Jeremiah 10:10; John 4:24; Romans 1:20; Hebrews 3:4; 1 Peter 1:15-16; Revelation 4:6-8; Exodus 15:18; Psalm 99:1; Daniel 4:34-35; Isaiah 40:21-26; 45:9-10; Acts 13:48; Romans 9; 14:11; Acts 7:49; Revelation 11:15; 19:16

 

  1. Of God The Son

 

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that he might reveal God and redeem men. We believe that He accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead. We believe that He ascended to Heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where as our High Priest and Lord of the Church, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor and Advocate.

 

Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4; 4-5; Phil. 2:5-8; Acts 2:18-36; Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Pet. 2:24; Eph. 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:3-5; Acts 1:9-10; Heb. 9:24; 7:25; Rom 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2

 

  1. Of God The Holy Spirit

 

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that He was active in the creation; that in His relation to the unbelieving world He restrains the evil one until God’s purpose is fulfilled; that He convicts of sin, of judgment and of righteousness; that He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony; that He is the agent of the New Birth; that He seals, empowers, guides, teaches, gifts, sanctifies and helps the believer.

 

Genesis 1:13; Matthew 3:11; 28-19; Mark 1:8; Luke 1:35; 3:16; 24-49; John 1:33; 3:5-6; 14:16-17; 26; 15:26-27; 16:8-11, 13; Acts 5:30-32; 11:16; Romans8:14, 16, 26-27; Ephesians 1:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:7, 13; Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 1:2

 

  1. Of The Virgin Birth

 

We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by God the Holy Spirit in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of a woman, and that He is fully the Son of God, and God, the Son.

 

Genesis 3:15; Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Mark 1:1; Luke 1:35; John 1:14; Galatians 4:4; 1 Corinthians 15:47, 1 John 5:20

 

 

  1. Of The Creation

 

We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that man’s creation is not a matter of evolutionary change of species, or development through eons of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly and God’s established law was that they should bring forth only “after their kind.”

 

Genesis 1:1, 11, 24, 26-27; 2:21-23; Exodus 20:11; Nehemiah 9:6; Jeremiah 10:12; John 1:3; Acts 4:24; 17:23-26; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3; Rev. 10-6.

 

  1. Of the Devil, or Satan

 

We believe that Satan was once holy and enjoyed heavenly honors; but, through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of angels; that he is now the malignant prince of the power of the air, and the unholy god of this world.   We hold him to be man’s great tempter, the enemy of God, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power behind the present apostasy, the lord of the antichrist and of all the powers of darkness – destined to final defeat at the hands of God’s own Son, and to the judgment of eternal justice in hell, a place prepared for him and his angels.

 

Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14-17; Matthew 4:1-3; 13-25; 25:41; 27:39; Mark 12:21-22; Luke 22:3-4; John 14:30; Ephesians 2:2; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 1 Thessalonians 3:5; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-11; 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Peter 2:4; 1 John 2:22; 3:8; 4:3; 2 John 7; Jude 6; Revelation 12:7-10; 13:13-14; 19:11, 16, 20; 20:1-3, 10

 

  1. Of The Fall Of Man

 

We believe that man was created in innocence, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless state, in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but of choice; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse. Man is totally depraved, in and of himself, and is utterly unable to remedy his lost condition.

 

Genesis 3:1-6, 24; Ezekiel 18:19-20; Romans 1:18, 20, 28, 32; 3:10-19; 5:12, 19; Galatians 3:22; Ephesians 2:1, 3; 4:17-19

 

  1. Of The Atonement For Sin

 

We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace; through the mediatorial office of the Son of God, who by appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the divine law by His personal obedience, and by His death made a full and vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner’s place, the Just dying for the unjust, Christ, the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that, having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in heaven and seated at the right hand of the Father.

 

Isaiah 53:4-7, 11-12; Matthew 18:11; John 3:16; 10:18; Acts 15:11; Romans 3:24-25; Galatians 1:4; Ephesians 2:8; Philippians 2:7-8; Hebrews 2:14; 7:25; 9:12-15; 12:2

 

  1. Of Grace in The New Creation

 

We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that through the new birth a sinner is made a new creation in Christ Jesus; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life, the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension, not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the entering of the Holy Spirit with his power performing the new birth.

 

Luke 5:27; John 1:12-13; 3:3, 6-7; Acts 2:41; Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:17, 19; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 2:1, 8-9; 5:9; Colossians 2:13; 1 John 5:1

 

  1. Of The Freeness Of Salvation

 

We believe in God’s electing grace; that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a humble repentant and obedient faith, and nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.

 

Isaiah 55:1; Matthew 11:28; John 3:15-18, 36; 5:40; 6:37; Acts 2:38; Romans 8:29-30; 10:13; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Ephesians 2:4-5; Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 1:15; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 1:2; Revelation 22:17

 

  1. Of Repentance And Faith

 

Repentance is the genuine change of heart and mind that results in the recognition of man’s helpless state and inability to save himself, which causes a turning from self-salvation toward God for His salvation. Faith is the acceptance of Jesus Christ and commitment of the entire personality to Him as Lord and Savior.

 

Matthew 4:17; John 3:36; 5:24; Romans 8:1-18; 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-22; Hebrews 11:1-12:8;

 

  1. Of Justification

 

We believe that justification is a divine act whereby an infinitely Holy God judicially declares a believing sinner to be righteous and acceptable before Him because Christ has borne the sinner’s sin on the cross and has become “to us…righteousness” (1 Cor. 1:30; Romans 3:24). Justification springs from the fountain of God’s grace (Titus 3:4-5). It is operative as the result of the redemptive and propitiatory sacrifice of Christ, who has settled all the claims of the law (Romans 3:24-25; Romans 5:9). Justification is on the basis of faith and not by human merit or works (Romans 3:28-30; Romans 4:5; Romans 5:1; Galatians 2:16). In this marvelous operation of God the infinitely holy Judge judicially declares righteous the one who believes in Jesus (Romans 8:31-34). A justified believer emerges from God’s great courtroom with a consciousness that another, his Substitute, has borne his guilt and that he stands without accusation before God (Romans 8:1, 33-34). Justification declares one to be justified whom God sees as perfected once and forever in His beloved Son.

 

Isaiah 53:11; Habakkuk 2:4; Zechariah 13:1; Acts 13:39; Romans 1:17; 4:1; 5:1-9; 8:1; Galatians 3:11; Titus 3:5-7; Hebrews 10:38

 

  1. Of The Church

 

We believe that the true, universal church is composed of all who have been saved through faith in Jesus Christ. This universal or “invisible” church is currently being built and will be assembled together as one Body of Christ Himself (Heb. 12:22-24). We believe that only such as are member of the true, universal church, which is the Bride of Christ, are eligible for membership in the local church.

Leviticus 27:31; Malachi 3:10; Matthew 16:18; 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 6:5-6; 14:23; 15:22-23; 20:17-28; 1 Corinthians 5:11-13; 6:1-3; 11:2; 12:4, 8:14; 16:1-2; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:11; 5:23-24; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Hebrews 10:25; 12:22-24

 

  1. Of Baptism And The Lord’s Supper

 

We believe that Jesus gave the church two powerful, visible symbols to serve as consistent reminders of what He has done for us – baptism and the Lord’s Supper. While we respect all acts of spiritual obedience, we believe that the Bible clearly teaches that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, with the authority of the local church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life.

 

Celebration of the Lord’s Supper, by the sacred use of bread and the fruit of the vine are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; proceeded always by solemn self-examination.

 

We do not regard anyone’s participation in these symbols as a means of salvation.

 

Matthew 3:6; 3:16; 28:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:36-39; Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-28; Colossians 2:12

 

  1. Of Eternity

 

We believe Heaven to be a literal place where God will wipe away every tear and there will be no more death, mourning or pain. Believers will live forever blessed in God’s presence.

 

We also believe in a literal hell, which is a place of physical and spiritual torment, experienced as a result of eternal separation from God. We further believe that this is a conscious, eternal state, not simply a temporal punishment or annihilation.

 

John 3:16; 14:7; Romans 6:23; 8:17-18; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 20:15

 

  1. On Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality

 

We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.

 

We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one biological naturally born man and one biological naturally born woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.

 

We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, pedophilia, bestiality, incest, adultery, fornication, or pornography is a sinful perversion of God’s gift of sex. We believe that God rejects any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance.

 

We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Reality Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Reality Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Reality Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, or who seek membership, or who seek to receive the privilege of God-ordained marriage by any official of Reality Church or with the blessing of Reality Church agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality.

 

We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

 

We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Reality Church.

 

Gen 1:26-27; Gen 2:18-25; 1 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4; Matt 15:18-20; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22; Acts 3:19-21; 1 Cor 6:9-20; 1 Tim 1:8-11; Lev 18, 19:29, 20; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31

 

  1. Of Divorce and Remarriage

 

We believe that God’s design and desire is that one man marry one woman for one lifetime, until one of them dies. Because of sin, and, as Christ taught, the hardness of our hearts, divorce often becomes the reality – even in Christian homes. We believe that, while divorce is the result of sin (at least on one side and most usually both), divorcees are not second-class citizens in God’s kingdom, and that God can and does forgive sin. We further believe that God’s Word makes it clear that there are two biblical reasons where divorce is, indeed, permissible for the believer – in the event of adultery by their spouse (be the spouse a believer or an unbeliever) and in the event of desertion by an unbelieving spouse. In these biblically permissible divorces, we believe that God gives the implicit allowance for subsequent remarriage. We further believe that men or women who have been divorced within these permissible contexts can be legitimately considered for any office of leadership in the church.

 

Malachi 2:14-17; Matthew 19:3-12; Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7; Matthew 5:27-28

 

  1. On the Sanctity of Human Life

 

We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life.

 

Genesis 1:27; 1 Samuel 2:6; Ruth 4:13; Psalm 24:1; 127:3; 139

 

  1. Of The Grace of Giving

 

We believe that every Christian has, as a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him, an obligation to support his local church financially, that giving is one of the privileges of the Christian, that is not a legalistic drudgery, but an amazing opportunity to partner with the people of God and God himself, and a mark of a growing believer. In following the giving pattern of God, who gave no just part – but all, we bring the tithe into the common treasury of our house of worship – the place where we are spiritually fed. (Lev. 27:30; Malachi 3:10; Acts 4:34-37). Under grace we give, and do not pay, the tithe. (Hebrews 7:2, 4) While we don’t hold to simple legalistic formulations in our giving, we understand the principle of the tithe to be, not a finish line, but the starting blocks of biblical giving.   We see in God’s Word the tithe before the law, during the law, and affirmed by Christ Himself at the close of the Law. Under grace, we understand that everything we have is the affirmed by Christ Himself at the close of the Law. Under grace, we understand that everything we have is the Lord’s, and we seek to honor Him with every portion of it, a percentage through our living and percentage through our giving. We also believe in giving offerings above and beyond the tithe, as the Lord lays on individual hearts, and not by constraint.

 

Genesis 14:20; Leviticus 27:30; Proverbs 3:9-10; Malachi 3:10; Acts 4:34-37; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 8:7; 9:6-7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; Hebrews 7:2, 4; 1 John a

 

  1. Of Rightly Dividing the Word of God

 

We believe that many biblical texts are written to be prescriptive in that they instruct the believer and/or church to do or not to do certain things. These texts often prescribe the “how” as well. Other texts are descriptive in nature, in that they are not prescribing a certain activity, but simply describing it. We purpose to not confuse the two – which can lead to legalism or ministry limitation – but to approach the Bible and search out, understand, and teach its immediate and applicable context, be it prescriptive or descriptive.

 

Acts 17:11, 1 Timothy 2:15