RiverCross Church is a northwest Visalia church committed to making relationships with Jesus real.

As we live for Jesus, we hold several faith priorities that drive what we do, from worshiping to serving and from studying to friendships. Feel free to ask more about these priorities—they’re pretty important to us and we’re excited about them.

God is always for us, so we live boldly. The story of God is how God has forever worked on our behalf to save, rescue, restore, and redeem relationships between God and people. We understand God to be overwhelmingly loving and loyal, to the extent that we are empowered to live boldly. Since God is on our side, our calling is to live as God’s children, doing God’s will in God’s world.

Jesus is the way, so we follow Jesus. Like most everyone else in the world, we want to live meaningful and purposeful lives, not wasting a moment on anything less. In Jesus we find all the fullness of life and we’re committed to learning about and living that kind of life together. We look forward to when more people realize that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life for them, too.

The Bible is relevant, so we use it all the time. The Bible is a divinely inspired and strikingly relevant book that reveals God to us. In studying the Bible, we discover all things necessary for life and faithfulness, even wisdom for the most current and complex issues. We value men, women, and children studying and teaching the Bible and discerning together God’s wisdom for our age.

The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to sustain us. Without the Holy Spirit, we are left to our own limited abilities. With the Holy Spirit all things are possible. We pray ardently for the guidance, direction, wisdom, and strength that the Holy Spirit provides. As the Holy Spirit lives in us as Jesus’ followers, we strive—with spiritual gifts to bolster us—to live revealing the Holy Spirit’s miraculous provision.

The Church is Jesus in the world. The people who comprise RiverCross Church are one of many communities (or churches) worldwide who are agents of Jesus in the world. In partnership with other churches, we engage and impact our world through real relationships and tangible service that matter. We love because Jesus loved. We serve because Jesus served.

RiverCross Church believes that there are more technical ways of describing our faith priorities. If you’re interested in this level of detail, please read on.

We affirm that:

God is the author of all things who created the world, holds charge over the world, and formed humanity to have dominion over that world (Genesis 1:1-28). God calls all people to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8).

People are created by God in God’s image and intended for reflecting God and giving God glory (Genesis 1:26-27). Once the first sin happened (Genesis 3:6), an infection of sin has inescapably plagued all humanity since and has created a distance from God that cannot be resolved without divine intervention (Romans 3:23).

Jesus is God’s fully human and fully divine Son who was conceived miraculously (Luke 1:34-35) and lived a holy and blameless life (1 Peter 1:18-20). He sacrificed himself on behalf of all people (2 Corinthians 5:14-15) so that through his crucifixion and resurrection restored relationships with God are now possible (Colossians 1:15-20; Romans 3:24; 6:4).

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to remain with His followers forever, admonishing and empowering them toward faithful living (John 16:5-11) and guiding them to pray fervently for Jesus’ power in the world (Romans 8:26). The Holy Spirit equips followers of Jesus Christ with a variety of spiritual gifts, enabling them to serve in Jesus’ name (1 Corinthians 12:7).

Salvation is the free gift of forgiveness from sin and a renewing relationship with God that comes through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 10:9).

The Church is the worldwide gathering of people in all ages who subscribe to following Jesus Christ, yield their lives to Jesus, and witness to Jesus, having acknowledged the grace and forgiveness that come from Jesus (Acts 1:8; 2:38-39).

Baptism is a sacrament and is a sign and seal of being incorporated into the body of Jesus Christ. In following Jesus’ example, baptism is a person’s public demonstration of having received the grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ (Luke 3:21-22). We encourage baptism to happen when the church gathers to worship God, demonstrating that the baptized believer is baptized into the faith community.

Communion is a sacrament and is a sign and seal of being in communion with Jesus Christ. Regular celebrations of communion recall the sacrifice Jesus gave on the cross of His body and blood (symbolized by bread and juice), the new life Jesus gives, and the expectation of the Jesus’ promised return (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).

The Bible is God’s inspired Word for followers of Jesus Christ, and it is authoritative throughout our lives, infallible in its application, and sufficient for followers of Jesus to mature in faith and life (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Serving in God’s world is how followers of Jesus Christ express their gratitude for Christ’s grace and love the world as Jesus called his followers. God has charged Christ-followers with the task of reconciliation: reconciling people to each other and redeeming the world (2 Corinthians 5:17-19).

Prayer is the personal way God designed for His followers to communicate regularly with Him. As we pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17) for all things (1 Timothy 2:1-4), we find reassurance in God (Psalm 122:1-8), are sustained by God (Luke 18:1). Habitual prayer is a humble act of devoted relationship, acknowledging that God is the foundation of all we are and all we do (2 Chronicles 7:14).

2 thoughts on “What We Believe

    1. karlschafer says:

      Thank you for your interest in RiverCross Church.
      RiverCross is led by the Core Team of a dozen members, and the pastor is a member of the Core Team, and our leadership form is Presbyterian, where the members of the church vote leaders into their roles of leading the church.
      Our pastor, Karl Schafer, is listed on our Contacts page (http://www.rivercrossvisalia.com/contact)
      If you would like more information, please feel free to respond.


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