Baptism is an act of obedience and submission to the command of Christ. It is also a wonderful way of showing the world we identify with Christ. Through the act of baptism, we join in and identify with Christ's death, burial and resurrection. The Bible states that we should first "make disciples" and then baptize them, Riverwood follows this order; a person should repent and then be baptized. It is for this reason we do not baptize infants. At Riverwood, we encourage children to wait to be baptized until they can develop a deeper understanding of what it means to publicly proclaim their faith.
The word "baptism" comes from the Greek which means "to dip in and under water." Baptism by immersion depicts our position with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection . Click here to be considered for Baptism.
Regarding Baby or Child Dedication
At Riverwood we dedicate babies or children, we do not baptize them. Dedication means that the parents will be totally committed to their own spiritual growth as well as raising their child in a healthy Christian environment. Dedication does not mean that the child is a Christian, for (s)he is too young to place faith in Christ.
The Bible states that we should first "make disciples" and then baptize, Riverwood follows this order; a person should repent and then be baptized. An infant does not have that understanding so we encourage children to wait to be baptized until they can develop a deeper understanding of what it means to publicly proclaim their faith. Click here to register to dedicate your child.
The Bible is fully inspired by God. We understand that both the Old and the New Testaments were without error in their original writings and are trustworthy as our supreme and final authority for matters of faith and life.
We believe in one God who is the holy and loving creator of all things seen and unseen. God exists eternally in three distinct and equal persons; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Regarding Jesus Christ
Jesus is wholly God and wholly man. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, was born of the Virgin Mary, and lived a perfect sinless life. He died on the cross as the atonement for the sins of us all. He bodily rose from the dead and ascended into heaven where he is now our High Priest, Advocate, and King. It is through Jesus alone that we may find forgiveness and restoration with God.
Regarding the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is sent from God to live in all who believe in Jesus. He teaches, comforts, and empowers us; giving each follower of Jesus diverse gifts for serving in the church and serving others in the world. We believe that it is through the Holy Spirit that we grow in faith, developing a holy life and Jesus-like character.
Each person is created with dignity and value in the image of God. Through sin we have lost our spiritual life and are separated from fellowship with our Creator. This separation has been transmitted to the entire human race and affects our relationships with God and each other.
A perfect act of redemption was performed with the finished work of Jesus’ death on the cross. Through the grace (free gift) of God we are rescued from the eternal consequences of sin and our broken relationship with God is restored. We receive the free gift of forgiveness and are spiritually reborn by placing faith in Jesus alone. We believe that the relationship that one enters into with God upon salvation is eternally secure.
Regarding the Church
We believe that all those, anywhere in the world, who have put their faith in Jesus Christ are members of the Church and are united together in the Body of Christ. This Church is universal and global in nature and extent while expressed in the local gatherings of believers. We believe the local church exists for the purpose of worship, teaching, community, and to serve and reach others by bringing them the hope and love of Jesus. The Church is the Body of Christ, made up of empowered believers to be part of the mission of God on earth.
The Lord Jesus Christ gave two ordinances to the church: water baptism (by immersion) and the Lord’s Supper (communion). Though these ordinances are not a means of salvation, they are a means of testimony and practice by the church for the church age.
Regarding Future Things
We believe in the personal return of Jesus Christ. He will judge the nations and restore all things to God’s original intent. We believe in a literal Heaven and Hell, and in the bodily resurrection of all; the believer will be raised to everlasting life with the Lord and the unbeliever will be raised to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment apart from the presence of the Lord.
Click here to view a copy of A Pastoral White Paper on Biblical Marriage