Real Life Ministries has grown because God has added to our numbers (Acts 2:47). We have tried to glorify Christ in all we do. Our church has sought to be unified on salvation beliefs while permitting differing opinions on non-salvation beliefs. This Church has people with many different backgrounds, but we are a family. Jesus said that the world would know that we are His because we love one another and because we are one (John 13:35; John 17:21-22). Therefore, these Statements of Faith are our non-negotiable statements of belief.
The following doctrines are essential for salvation:
RLM Doctrinal Statement: GOD
We believe God is self-existent, and by nature He is eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, and everywhere. God has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are in agreement and unified with each other role in the Godhead. We believe these three are co-equal and are one God.
Supportive Scripture: Genesis 1:1, 26-27; 3:22; Deuteronomy 6:4; Job 38, 39, & 40; Psalm 90:2, 139:1-4, 7-10; Isaiah 40:13-17,45:18; Matthew 19:26, 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; I Peter 1:2 John 1:1, Colossians 1:15ff
RLM Doctrinal Statement: FATHER
We believe that God the Father holds all the attributes of God while exercising a unique role in the Godhead. He is the father of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and yet still one with both as God. God the Father adopts believers in Jesus Christ into a relationship with Him as their Father (see Salvation).
Supportive Scripture: John 15:1-4; Deuteronomy 32:6; Isaiah 9:6, 63:16; John 20:17; Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 4:6.
RLM Doctrinal Statement: JESUS
We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He is God. He is coequal with the Father and Holy Spirit, present and participating in creation. Jesus took on human flesh in the fullness of time so that He could live a sinless life and offer Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the cross. He was raised from the dead, after three days, victorious over the power of sin and death. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead and to make all things new.
Supportive Scripture: Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22-23; John 1:1-5; 8:58; 14:10-30; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 1:3-4; I Corinthians 15:3-4; Colossians 1:15-23; I Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 4:14-15; Revelation 1:8. RLM Doctrinal Statement: HOLY SPIRIT
We believe the Holy Spirit is coequal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make all people aware of their sin and their need for Jesus Christ. His purpose in our time is to bring glory to Jesus and to intercede with God the Father on our behalf. He dwells in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He gives gifts to believers providing them with power to grow in Christlikeness, to understand spiritual truth, and to serve the mission of the church.
Supportive Scripture: Genesis 1:1-2; Psalm 51:10-12; John 14:16-17, 16:7-13, 17; Acts 1:8; Romans 5:5; I Corinthians 2:12; 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 1:13, 5:18; 2 Peter 1:19-21. RLM Doctrinal Statement: SALVATION
We believe that all have sinned (willful disobedience to God). We believe that the wages of sin is death and eternal separation from God. Salvation is a free gift of God. Jesus Christ's death and his resurrection is the only sufficient payment for our sins. It's only by grace through faith that one can receive this free gift. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their life. This is evidenced by repentance, confession, baptism by immersion, and a life submitted to Christ. We believe a baby or a young child cannot understand sin or the need for Christ and are under God's grace until an age of accountability determined by God (2 Samuel 12:23; Matthew 18:2-3; 19:13-15).
Supportive Scripture: John 1:12, 14:6; Romans 5:1, 6:23; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, Romans 10:9-13, Acts 2:38-40.
The following doctrines are essential for unity:
RLM Doctrinal Statement: MANKIND
People are made in the image of God, male and female He created them, to be in relationship with Him, to become like Him in character, and to bring Him glory. We believe we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Sin separates people from God, thus affecting all areas of life, resulting in suffering and hopelessness apart from Jesus Christ.
Supportive Scripture: Genesis 1:27; Genesis 3; Psalms 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 3:23.
RLM Doctrinal Statement: COMPLIMENTARIANISM (Gender roles in the Church and Home)
We believe men and women are absolutely equal in essence, dignity and value but are distinct by divine design. We believe God created two distinct, yet complementary genders for our good, His glory, and to reflect His nature and character to the world. As part of God’s created order, men and women are to have different yet complementary roles and responsibilities in the home and church.
We believe that the Biblical Headship as modeled by Christ loving the church applies to the home. Husbands are to love their wives unconditionally and wives are to respect their husbands, both demonstrating Biblical submission and love and sharing equal value in God’s design. (Ephesians 5)
We believe as it relates to the church, men and women are both expected to serve and lead; however, the office of Elder/Pastor is reserved for qualified men (1 Tim. 3; Titus 1) Mixed-gender teaching environments are overseen by Elders/Pastors and will be led by qualified men. Gender-specific teaching environments are taught by a leader of the same gender. For more on this doctrine, read our Roles of Men and Women in Ministry Statement. (see podcast: Real Life Roles of Men and Women in Ministry
Supportive Scripture: Genesis 2:18-25; 1 Corinthians 12:4-32; Galatians 3:28-29; 1 Timothy 2:8-15, Titus 2:3-5; 1 Peter 3:1-7
RLM Doctrinal Statement: BIBLE
We believe the Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because it is inspired by God, the Bible is infallible, inerrant, and absolute truth. It is the ultimate and final authority for Christian beliefs and living.
Supportive Scripture: Psalms 12:6, 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5; 2 Timothy 1:13, 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21.
RLM Doctrinal Statement: THE CHURCH
We believe the church is the body and bride of Christ and also serves as the household of faith. It is a living temple where God dwells in each of His people. We believe that everyone that has been saved by Christ is a member of His church and called to be a connected and beneficial part of His body. We believe that the church is commanded to love God and others, thus relationship is the primary vehicle through which we share the gospel, and through which the church will grow to maturity. We believe that His church exists throughout the world, and is witnessed and experienced in local autonomous gatherings of believers that are overseen by Elders. We believe submission to God's authority and the authority of the appointed Elders in the local church is essential for unity and reveals our spiritual maturity.
Supportive Scripture: Ephesians 4:16; Romans 12:4-5; Ephesians 5:24-32; Galatians. 6:10; 1 Peter 2:4-5; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Acts 14:23; Matthew 16:16–18; Acts 2:42–47; Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12–27; Ephesians 1:20–23; 4:3–10; Colossians 3:14–15 Romans 13, Hebrews 13.
RLM Doctrinal Statement: THE ELDERSHIP MODEL OF THE CHURCH
We believe Christ is the head of the church. We believe the local Church should be governed by a plurality of male elders (who have been appointed by existing Elders) to oversee the carrying out His will in the local assembly of believers.
We believe men who have aspired to a Pastoral role, and have been confirmed through character and gifting by our existing Eldership and Pastoral staff must go through a ordination process before they are publicly set aside and ordained as Pastors at Real Life Ministries. Ordained Pastors have both the authority and the expectation to perform sacerdotal functions and ministerial services such as Weddings, Funerals, Preaching/Teaching, Baptism, Communion, Shepherding, Disciple-making, Pastoral Counseling and other ministerial services as needed.
Supportive Scripture: Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 5:17; Ephesians 5:23-25; 1 Peter 5:1-4. Acts 13:1-3, 20:26-31; 1 Timothy 3:1-7,4:14,5:17,22.
RLM Doctrinal Statement: BAPTISM
We believe baptism, by immersion, was both modeled and commanded by Christ. We believe baptism is only for those who believe in Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We believe one who has believed, confessed and repented should be baptized,in a timely act of obedience.
Supportive Scripture: Matthew 28:18-21,Acts 2:37-38,Acts 8:35-39,Romans 6:4,Colossians 2:12,1 Corinthians 12:13.
RLM Doctrinal Statement: COMMUNION
We believe celebrating communion was both modeled and commanded by Christ. We believe communion is a memorial, a proclamation, and representative of the new covenant in Christ Jesus as defined by Scripture: "For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.' In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ''This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me" (1 Corinthians 11:23-25 NIV).
It is a distinction of our church that we take communion every week. We do not believe you have to take communion every week; however, when you do partake in it, do so in a correct manner. (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:25-28) When we take it, we do so in a distinctive manner.
"Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup." (1 Corinthians 11:27-28)
We do this by self-examination.
Do I have any sins to confess? (1 John 1:9)
Do I have any relationships to repair? (Matthew 5:23-24)
Do I need to recommit my life? (Romans 12:1)
Who should take it?
Only those who believe should take communion.
We do not recommend young children, who do not understand salvation and relationship with Christ, take it.
Supportive Scripture: Matthew 26:26-28; Acts 2:42-47; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30, 10:16; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7.