Jesus Christ is at the center of everything. We believe that Jesus is the only one who can reconcile us to God. The Old Testament of the Bible is the narrative of God bringing this plan of reconciliation to a personal climax, namely, Jesus. Jesus is fully God, and fully man - born as a baby in a manger (Christmas), lived a sinless and exemplary life that gave proof of Who He is (the gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), died on the cross in our place, and rose again to prove His victory (Easter) and make us righteous before God for those who believe in Him (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21). We believe that Jesus Christ is coming back again as He promised in John 14, when He was talking with His disciples - “1 Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
We believe in one eternal God who is the Creator of all things. He exists in three Persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus, the Christ) and God the Holy Spirit. Its a developed theme throughout scripture (from Genesis throughout) , though you won’t find the word, “trinity” in there. God sometimes uses the word, “Us” when He is doing something (like creating mankind - Genesis 1:26), and Jesus spoke of the relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as recorded in the book of John. And the God of the Bible is the only God, true in all aspects of His being, and omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), and omnipresent (present in all places). These themes run throughout scripture, as well, from beginning to end - God is the Author of it all…
We believe that the Bible is God’s infallible, inerrant Word, given to men through the supernatural inspiration of the Holy Spirit, written down as one continuous record of God’s engagement with mankind in all history, by multiple authors over great distances of time, culture, and geography. It is accurate, authoritative, and applicable to our everyday lives. We believe that the Bible, God’s Word, is exactly what it says it is, “…For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” The Bible is alive because its Author is alive; the Bible is active because its Author is active. It is powerful because its Author is all powerful, and it is personal, because its Author is personal!
We believe that sin has separated each of us from God and His purpose for our lives. Sin is a word that in Hebrew means, “missing the mark.” Its an archery term, adopted by God to talk of how He sees sin in us. Sin is us missing the mark of who God created us to be, namely, His people. This isn’t just being a few clicks off bullseye - the Bible calls our sin a full-on rebellion against God. God created us in perfection, but Adam and Eve, the first people, created by God, chose to follow their own way instead of God’s target for them, and so sin entered the world. From perfection to fallen, missing the mark, rebelling against God. Sometimes, we say that without Christ, we are “lost” - its an appropriate term. We’ve lost our way in a big way, and on our own, we can’t find our way back to perfection. And so, sin isn’t just bad, it is deadly, and it is eternally deadly - we can wander forever without Him. The Bible tells us that, “The wages of sin is death…”. In the words of Jesus, there is a place called Hell that is prepared for the Devil and his angels, and when we don’t give our lives to God, our destiny is to live forever apart from Him in this place built to punish and contain evil forever. We don’t need a little cleaning up to come to God, we need a Savior who will take our death and give us life!
We believe that in order to receive forgiveness and a new life with God, we must come to Jesus - repent of our sins, believe in Jesus as Lord, and commit to His will for our lives (Acts 2; Romans 10). We believe that God moves in our hearts at the hearing of His Word, prompting faith (Romans 10:17). “Repent” doesn’t primarliy mean saying we are sorry - it means turning away from sin, and letting Him live in us. That’s the gift of this reconciliation - God dwells not just with us, but in us. It can seem mystical in conversation, but for those who have placed their faith in Christ, we understand this on a daily, operational level. It is so much more than a transaction - our reconciliation is a gift God gives us, a grace and mercy. John 3:16 tells us it is because of His love that He sent Jesus, and 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us that God put all of man’s sin on Jesus, Who never sinned, so that in payment of our forever death penalty, we can become “the righteousness of God” - another way of thinking about this “righteousness of God” comes from the Greek language, we become divinely justified in the sight of God.
THE CHURCH - God’s gathering on earth…
We believe in the power and significance of the Church and the necessity of believers to meet regularly together. In the section on reconciliation, we said that the concept of God dwelling with us and in us can seem mystical in conversation, but for those who have placed their faith in Christ, we understand this on a daily, operational level - individually, as people of faith, and collectively, as the Church. The Church proclaims this reality as a collective of believers in Christ, living out this reality of God’s durable presence in the lives of His followers, for the purpose of helping others come to a saving faith in Christ. That is the Church’s mission as a collective - glorifying God by pursuing the mission of reconciliation, the ministry of reconciliation. Jesus said He built the Church (ekklesia in Greek, “the called out ones”) on Himself as a Rock - a foundation - that the gates of hell would not prevail against. The relationship between the Church and Christ is described as a marriage - the Church is often called, “The Bride of Christ.” You can read more about that in Ephesians 5, but the reference is contained throughout the gospels and the book of Revelation, as well - Jesus the Christ is intimately involved in the life of the Church!
GOT QUESTIONS? Let’s talk…
Have a question about what we believe at American River Community Church? These kinds of questions are often best answered in conversation, so lets get that started - where does the Old Testament fit, what about prophecy, is there only one truth, what about ________? All are good questions, so ask away! Get in touch with a person on our lead team directly by clicking the button below.