God is the creator, ruler and sustainer of the universe. He is both infinite and personal. He exists in three persons as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; three distinct beings but one God.
As the crown of God’s creation, we are each created in His image, to be like him and in relationship with him. Although we have tremendous potential for good, we are marred by disobedience toward God, called “sin.” Sin keeps us from having the type of relationship that God intended to have with us. In fact, because of sin, we stand condemned to death. We are incapable of removing that sin on our own, and restoring a right relationship with God.
Jesus Christ is God’s Son, who although being divine, was born into this world of a virgin, as one like us. He lived a sinless life and offered Himself as a perfect sacrifice through death on a cross, to pay the penalty for our sin. This sacrifice restores a right relationship with God for those who put their faith in Him. Three days after dying, He rose from the dead to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended back to heaven where He serves as mediator between God and us. He will return again to earth to reign forever as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Salvation is a gift God offers to us to be forgiven of our sin, but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can we be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment we repent of our sin and receive Jesus Christ into our life by faith.
We are each created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. The place of eternal separation from God is called Hell. The place of eternal union with God is called Heaven.
The Bible is God’s word to us. He inspired human authors through the Holy Spirit to write His supreme truth. Each writer wrote from his own background, using his unique vocabulary and style. The Bible contains all that we need to know to have a living relationship with God. It is written without error in all that it teaches and is the final authority on all that it addresses.
The Christian Life and the Holy Spirit
The necessary sign of true repentance and salvation is that we become more like Jesus in every area of life. The Holy Spirit enters our lives when we believe, and gives us the power to change, as well as the gifts of wisdom, power and assurance of salvation. In addition, the Spirit gives us other personal gifts and abilities to extend Christ’s reign here on earth. We yield to the Spirit’s control as an expression of our gratitude to God.
All those who profess their faith in Jesus Christ are members of His body, the Church, with Him as the head. Membership in the church stretches across boundaries of race, gender and time. As the body of Christ, the Church is involved in: reaching spiritually lost people, worshipping God, instructing followers of Christ in the Bible and the Christian life, caring for one another, helping believers discover and deploy their God given gifts. Among those gifts is the gift of leadership, which is given to elders who govern the Church.
The Five Solas
Scripture Alone – “Sola Scriptura” – The Bible is the only inspired and authoritative Word of God and is accessible, understandable, and self-interpreting. This doctrine is opposed to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church that Scripture can only be authentically interpreted through the Holy Apostolic tradition by the Pope, Councils, and bishops.
Christ Alone –“Solus Christus” – Christ is the exclusive mediator between God and man. Neither Mary, the saints, nor priests (other than Christ Himself) can act as mediator in bringing salvation. This doctrine is contrasted with the Catholic doctrines of the intercession of the saints, the function of priests, and the concept of purgatory in which souls are detained and helped by the intercessions of the faithful.
Grace Alone –“Sola Gratia” – Salvation comes by grace only, not through any merit on the part of the sinner. Thus salvation is an unearned gift. This doctrine is a response to the Catholic doctrine of merit or good works.
Faith Alone – “Sola Fide” – Justification (that is becoming right before God) comes through faith only. Saving faith will always be accompanied by good works done as an expression of gratitude to God. This doctrine can be summarized with the formula – Faith yields justification and good works – in contrast to the Roman Catholic formula – Faith and good works yield justification.
Glory to God Alone- “Soli Deo Gloria” – All the glory is due to God alone, since He did all the work – not only the atonement of Jesus on the cross, but even granting the faith which allows people to be saved by Christ’s atonement. Therefore, every aspect of the believer’s life is lived under the sovereignty of God and lived to the glory of God.
Rejoice Community Church Policy on Disabilities
An estimated one in five North Americans has a disability, demonstrating that disabilities are a natural part of life and can be acquired at any time. Whether physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory, many of the worst barriers faced by people with an impairment result from attitudes and environments that we create and could change, rather from the functional limitation itself. Such attitudes and environments exclude people from church.
We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to participate, contribute, and belong to our community. We also believe that people with disabilities positively affect and enhance human diversity and community life. Therefore, in keeping with biblical teachings, with our theological beliefs, and with decisions of our denomination regarding people with disabilities, we, affirm the following
- In this congregation, we value people with disabilities as created in the image of God, as partners to the covenant, and as co-laborers in the kingdom of God.
- We consider all people — with disabilities and without — to have gifts from the Holy Spirit, and we encourage everyone to enrich congregational life by practicing their faith and using their gifts in ministries of discipleship, leadership, and mission.
- We will endeavor to integrate people with disabilities into all ministries and activities of the church. This includes worship, education, small groups, outreach, activities, etc.
- We will seek to name, understand, and attend to the special spiritual, physical, and psychological needs of those of us affected by disabilities, including caregivers, and will offer training to respond appropriately to disability issues and to raise awareness in our congregation.
- We agree to comply with applicable laws about reasonable accommodation. We seek to remove all barriers to participation with ample discussion by all parties concerned in order to accomplish this goal in an open and reasonable way.