RAINIER VALLEY CHURCH BIBLICAL CONVICTIONS
There are beliefs we hold as true as a Church that we call Biblical Convictions, which supplement our Doctrinal Statement. The statements in our Doctrinal Statement unite all Christians around the world in what it means to be a true Christian. The following Biblical Convictions, however, vary among Christians, and it is not essential to accept them in order to be a Christian. Nonetheless, we hold them as important and true. Our careful study of Scripture has brought us to these conclusions, which are similar to and supported by other confessions of faith, such as the Westminster Confession of Faith.
GOD'S SOVEREIGNTY: We believe that nothing that exists is outside of God's ultimate control, especially God's work of salvation. It is very good news that salvation does not depend on our own desires or efforts, but on God's. Because of our sin, mankind is hostile to God,48 and it is by God's work alone that we come to understand the truth and are saved.49 God saves whomever He chooses to save, no matter what they have done, good or bad50—which is indeed Good News to us sinners!
ETERNAL SECURITY: We believe that once a person has been saved by God, there is nothing in heaven or earth that can separate them from the love and redemption of Christ.51 Simply put: once saved, always saved.52 We do believe that it is possible that someone might participate in Christian activities and outwardly seem to be living a Christian life, but may eventually fall away from the truth—having never truly been saved.
GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: We believe that the Holy Spirit is still active and working today in the lives of Christians all over the world. The work of the Holy Spirit includes giving gifts to believers and producing good fruit in their lives.53 Moreover, God still heals the sick.54 Miracles happen. The Spirit can and does speak directly to us, both through Scripture and even directly into our hearts.55
BAPTISM: Baptism does not save a person, but we believe that Christians should be baptized.56 We believe that baptism is for those who have already chosen to put their faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ—a public declaration of an inward decision to follow Christ. We believe that baptizing by immersion in water is a faithful representation of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.
COMMUNION: We believe that partaking in communion is a sacred observance that is intended exclusively for Christians. It is a sober remembrance of Christ's sacrifice—his broken body and shed blood, given on our behalf. While we do not believe that the physical properties of the bread and wine change during the communion ceremony, there is indeed a supernatural element to communion—it is a sacred remembrance that Christ commanded us to observe.57 Christians should be careful to observe communion with a humble heart and not approach the Lord's table with resentment or unrepented sin in their hearts.58
THE CHURCH: The Church is made of up God's redeemed people, and Christ is the head of the Church.59 All Christians are members of the universal Church, but we are also called to participate in a local body of believers.60 God calls the Church to go into the whole world, preach the Gospel, and help make disciples (followers) of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.61 The local Church devotes itself to teaching God's Word, gathering together in fellowship, remembering Christ and what He has accomplished, and to prayer until Christ returns.62
MARRIAGE: We believe that God our Creator has established marriage as a sacred covenant between one man and one woman. This biblical definition of marriage is unchangeable as it has been instituted by God from the beginning of human history, and is set forth in God's inerrant scriptures.63
48. Romans 7:14-18; Ecclesiastes 7:29; Psalm 143:2; Romans 11:32; Romans 3:23; 2 Chronicles 6:36; Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:9-12; 1 John 1:8-10; Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19; Jeremiah 17:9; Ecclesiastes 9:3; Genesis 6:5; Genesis 8:21; Psalm 51:5.