Our theological roots are grounded in a tradition that desires unity in the Church (John 17:20-23). With that in mind, there are a few foundational thoughts to our theology:
Rupertus Meldenius, seventeenth-century Lutheran theologian, wrote, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.” There will always be peripheral beliefs upon which Biblically rooted and committed Christ followers disagree, and we welcome dialogue on many issues related to Christian doctrine. However, we recognize the importance of having a framework around which we grow in maturity and relate to one another as a community of believers, and we hold the following essentials to be at the core of who we are and what we believe: “Christ is at the center of all things, including our theology.” (Colossians 1.15+) We believe that Jesus is to be the subject of the Church in all that we do. It is our desire to focus on Christ as we live as His followers directed by the following core beliefs.
The following are the core beliefs of South River Park Church.
• The Bible is the expressed Word of God and is our final authority in all matters of faith and practice. (II Timothy 3.16; Psalm 119.89-91; II Peter 1.20-21)
• God, all-loving Creator of the Heavens and the earth, eternally exists in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is beyond human language’s ability to perfectly define. While descriptive, our language is not complete in describing the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God. (Genesis 1.1,26; John 1.1-2; 4.24; Romans 1.19-20; Ephesians 4.5-6)
• Jesus is the eternal and second person of the Trinity. Though fully Divine, He became fully human. He was born of the virgin Mary and lived a sinless life. He was crucified for crimes He didn’t commit, and through His resurrection, freed all people from the power of sin and death. He will return again at the end of time. All who respond to the work and teachings of Jesus by a personal belief that issues forth in personal obedience to Jesus and His teachings will live forever with Him. (Matthew 1.18-25; John 1.1; 12.44-45; Romans 9.5; Hebrews 4.15; Ephesians 5.2; I Thessalonians 4.16-17)
• Salvation, a free gift from God, is God’s desire for all of humanity to be in right relationship with Him. In turning from a self-centered life and turning to God and accepting the work Christ accomplished in His death and resurrection, one receives new and eternal life. (John 3.16-17; 14.6; Ephesians 2.8-10; I Timothy 2.4; I John 2.2)
• The Holy Spirit is the eternal and third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit continually draws men and women closer to God. Being marked by the Holy Spirit as children of God, believers are encouraged, transformed to be like Christ, convicted of sin and empowered to serve others. It is through the Holy Spirit that we are empowered to live godly lives that honor Christ. (John 14.16-17; 16.5-15; Romans 8.9-11; I Corinthians 12.1-31; Galatians 5.22-23)
• Unity is essential to the body of believers, the Church. Though there are many expressions of the Church in our world, there is only one universal Church, made up of all who have received Jesus Christ as Lord. The Church exists to be the body of Christ in the world today. (Romans 12.4-5; Ephesians 2.19-22; 4.11-16)
South River Park Church began as a Sunday School class in 1946, moving to this building in 1948.