RCS Statement of Faith
The Remnant Church of Sarasota’s Statement of Faith summarizes our beliefs as a church. The following pages contain a summary of our beliefs, along with some explanatory comments and Scriptural support to help clarify these teachings.
The sole basis of our belief is the Bible, composed of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. We believe that men who were inspired by God wrote the Bible. They were “moved by the Holy Spirit” to write the very words of Scripture. We believe that the Bible in its entirety originated with God, and that it was given through the instrumentality of chosen men. In addition, we believe that God has supernaturally selected the books of the Bible and preserved the Bible throughout the years. Thus, the Bible speaks with the authority of God, but also reflects the backgrounds, styles, and vocabularies of the human writers. We believe the Bible is divinely inspired, true in all God attended to affirm, and wholly trustworthy as the authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
The Bible is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of God’s instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth — without any mixture of error — for its matter. It reveals the principles by which God judges us; and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. Because God cannot lie, the Bible is completely reliable, so we must let it judge us instead of us judging it.
Ex. 24:4; Deut. 4:1-2; 17:19; Josh. 8:34; Psalm 19:7-10; 119:11, 89, 105, 140; Isa. 34:16; 40:8; Jer. 15:16; 36; Matt. 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16 ff.; 17:11; Rom. 15:4; 16:25-26; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; Heb. 1:1-2; 4:12; 1 Peter 1:25; 2 Peter 1:19-21
THE GODHEAD (THE TRINITY)
There is one and only one living and true God. He is an intelligent, spiritual, and personal Being, the Creator, Redeemer, Preserver, and Ruler of the universe. God is infinite in holiness and all other perfections. There is one true God, who exists eternally in three persons– Father, Son, and Holy Spirit– with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being. Each person of the Godhead is fully and equally God, possesses all of the divine nature and attributes, and is totally worthy of our highest love, reverence, obedience and service.
A. GOD THE FATHER
God, as Father, reigns with providential care over His universe, His creatures, and the flow of the stream of human history according to the purposes of His grace. He is the Creator of all things visible and invisible. He is the eternal, unchanging, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise, all-loving, completely just and perfectly holy, sovereign Ruler and Sustainer of the universe. He is the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the Father of all true believers. He is fatherly in His attitude toward all men.
Gen. 1:1; 2:7; Ex. 3:14; 6:2-3; 15:11 ff.; 20:1 ff.; Lev. 22:2; Deut. 6:4; 32:6; 1 Chron. 29:10; Psalm 19:1-3; Isa. 43:3, 15; 64:8; Jer. 10:10; 17:13; Matt. 6:9 ff.; 7:11; 23:9; 28:19; Mark 1:9-11; John 4:24; 5:26; 14:6-13; 17:1-8; Acts 1:7; Rom. 8:14-15; 1 Cor. 8:6; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 4:6; Col. 1:15; 1 Tim. 1:17; Heb. 11:6; 12:9; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 John 5:7
B. GOD THE SON
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord of all, fully God and fully man. He is the eternal son of the Father made flesh by the Holy Spirit through the Virgin Mary. Jesus perfectly revealed and did the will of God, taking upon Himself the demands and necessities of human nature and identifying Himself completely with mankind, yet without sin. Fully God, He became human to reveal God to man, to fulfill prophecy, and to become the only Savior of the lost world. In becoming man, Jesus did not cease in any way to be God so that He is fully God and fully man, inseparably united in one person forever. He lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father and voluntarily atoned for the sins of all by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone. He was raised from the dead with a glorified body and appeared to His disciples as the person who was with them before His crucifixion. His crucifixion and resurrection form the only basis for redemption from the guilt, penalty, and power of sin. His death was the substitutionary, all-sufficient, atoning sacrifice for all the sins of all men of all time. He ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father, where He, the only mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for His own and remains the believer’s great High Priest. On a day the Father has determined, Jesus will return in power and glory, personally and visibly, to conclude human history and consummate God’s eternal plan by executing judgment and ushering in His Millennial Kingdom reign to be followed by the eternal state.
Gen. 18:1 ff.; Psalm 2:7 ff.; 110:1 ff.; Isa. 7:14; 53; Matt. 1:18-23; 3:17; 8:29; 11:27; 14:33; 16:16, 27; 17:5; 27; 28:1-6, 19; Mark 1:1; 3:11; Luke 1:35; 4:41; 22:70; 24:46; John 1:1-18, 29; 10:30, 38; 11:25-27; 12:44-50; 14:7-11; 16:15-16, 28; 17:1-5, 21-22; 20:1-20, 28; Acts 1:9; 2:22-24; 7:55-56; 9:4-5, 20; Rom. 1:3-4; 3:23-26; 5:6-21; 8:1-3, 34; 10:4; 1 Cor. 1:30; 2:2; 8:6; 15:1-8, 24-28; 2 Cor. 5:19-21; Gal. 4:4-5; Eph. 1:20; 3:11; 4:7-10; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:13-22; 2:9; 1 Thess. 4:14-18; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; 3:16; Titus 2:13-14; Heb. 1:1-3; 4:14-15; 7:14-28; 9:12-15, 24-28; 12:2; 13:8; 1 Peter 2:21-25; 3:22; 1 John 1:7-9; 3:2; 4:14-15; 5:9; 2 John 7-9; Rev. 1:13-16; 5:9-14; 12:10-11; 13:8; 19:16
C. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God. He was sent into the world by the Father and the Son on the Day of Pentecost to apply to mankind the saving work of Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells all believers, giving them the ability to spiritually grow and become increasingly like Jesus. Through illumination, He enables men to understand truth. He exalts Jesus. He is the primary agent for the conviction of sin as He enlightens the minds of sinners, reveals to them their need of a Savior, and transforms them to become more like Christ. He cultivates Christian character, comforts believers, and bestows the spiritual gifts by which they serve God through His Church. The Holy Spirit’s power and control are appropriated by faith, making it possible for the believer to lead a life of Christ-like character and to bear fruit to the glory of the Father. He seals the believer unto the day of final redemption. He directs and controls those believers who are yielded to Him, enables believers to bear spiritual fruit, and empowers believers to live a life free from sin’s dominion. The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to believers for the purpose of building up the Church in accordance with the teachings of Scripture. We believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit are as fully active today as they were in the early Church. The Holy Spirit’s presence in the Christian is the assurance of God to bring the believer into the fullness of the stature of Christ. He enlightens and empowers the believer and the Church in worship, evangelism, fellowship, discipleship, and ministry.
Gen. 1:2; Judg. 14:6; Job 26:13; Psalm 51:11; 139:7 ff.; Isa. 61:1-3; Joel 2:28-32; Matt. 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; 12:28-32; 28:19; Mark 1:10, 12; Luke 1:35; 4:1, 18-19; 11:13; 12:12; 24:49; John 4:24; 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Acts 1:8; 2:1-4, 38; 4:31; 5:3; 6:3; 7:55; 8:17, 39; 10:44; 13:2; 15:28; 16:6; 19:1-6; Rom. 8:9-11, 14-16, 26-27; 1 Cor. 2:10-14; 3:16; 12:3-11; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; 1 Thess. 5:19; 1 Tim. 3:16; 4:1; 2 Tim. 1:14; 3:16; Heb. 9:8, 14; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 John 4:13; 5:6-7; Rev. 1:10; 22:17
Man was created in the image of God by direct act of God and did not come into being as the result of random chance and evolution. Man was created to glorify God, worship and serve Him, and have fellowship with Him. In the beginning, man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice, man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Man fell through sin by disobeying God, thus incurring both physical and spiritual death, which alienated him from God. Man’s nature was thus corrupted and he is utterly lost, dead in trespasses and sins, and totally incapable by his own merit or effort of saving himself and coming back into right relationship with God. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man; therefore every man possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
Gen. 1:26-30; 2:5, 7, 18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalm 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isa. 6:5; Jer. 17:5; Matt. 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Rom. 1:19-32; 3:10-18, 23; 5:6, 12, 19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18, 29; 1 Cor. 1:21-31; 15:19, 21-22; Eph. 2:1-22; Col. 1:21-22; 3:9-11
We believe that Satan is the instigator of evil and a real spirit being, not simply the personification of evil. He is a fallen angel who, under the sovereign permission of God, has been given temporary rulership of the earth. He was utterly defeated at the cross, but the execution of his judgment has been postponed by God until after the Millennial Kingdom when he will be cast into the eternal lake of fire. In the meantime, he deceives the world and seeks to establish his counterfeit kingdom on earth to discredit and blaspheme God and to tempt, accuse, attack, and destroy believers. He can be resisted by the believer through faith and reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit.
Gen. 3:1-5; Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; Job 1-1; 1 John 5:19; 2 Cor. 11:14; 1 Tim. 3:6; 1 Pet. 5:8-9; James 4:7; Rev. 12:9; Rev 20:1-3; Rev. 7-10.
We believe that all of us are sinners, people whose lives fall short of what God requires. We believe that the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross provides the sole basis for forgiveness of sins and salvation, which is the free gift of God’s grace. Consequently, we are saved by grace alone through faith and not by human efforts or merit. When we repent of our sins and choose to follow Jesus, we are forgiven and spiritually reborn by the Holy Spirit. A person placing his or her faith in the finished work of Christ is the only method of salvation. The central purpose of God’s revelation in the Bible is to call all people into fellowship with Him. Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer.
Gen. 3:15; Ex. 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matt. 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22 to 28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14, 29; 3:3-21, 36; 5:24; 10:9, 28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Rom. 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3 ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18, 29-39; 10:9-10, 13; 13:11-14; 1 Cor. 1:18, 30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Cor. 5:17-20; Gal. 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Phil. 2:12-13; Col. 1:9-22; 3:1 ff.; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Tim. 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Heb. 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1 to 12:8, 14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6 to 2:11; Rev. 3:20; 21:1 to 22:5
We believe that the worship of God is to proclaim His worthiness. He is worthy of all our time and talents. He is worthy of all our emotional, mental, and physical energy. He is worthy of all our adoration, love, reverence, and submission. He is worshiped in spirit and in truth, and is more concerned with the intentions of our heart than with any act of worship in itself. We believe it is misguided to think that worship only takes place when His people meet together. As a priesthood of believers with access to the Father through the Son, we all can offer spiritual sacrifices, and must do so as we go about our day-to-day lives. This is not to say everything we do is worship, but in all we do, we ought to find ways to exalt Him, honor Him, praise Him, and thank Him. God is worshiped when we deny ourselves in the service of others and when we care for those who cannot care for themselves, as well as when we encourage our brothers and sisters through songs of praise. As baptized believers, we worship filled with the Spirit and should continually rejoice and give thanks. We find our identity in Him, and Christ Jesus becomes our life. When we obey His commands, our devotion and love for God is most clearly expressed. By prayer, meditation, study, and the counsel of others, we try to comprehend His will for our lives and follow where He leads. We see His works and get lost in wonder. We immerse ourselves in His presence and allow Him, through His Spirit, to transform and renew us, to cleanse and restore us, to mold us into His image – all for His glory. He is worthy.
Jn 4:24; Mic. 6:6-8; Hos. 6:6; 1 Pet. 2:5,9-10; Eph. 5:18-20, 26-27; Gal. 2:20; 1 Jn. 4:7-20; Col. 3:16-17; Isa. 64:8; Rom. 12:1-2; Jam. 1:27; Ps. 145
We believe in the unity of all who have received Christ and the priesthood of all believers. Together. all of us form one Church– the Body– of which Christ is the Head. The local church is the tangible expression of the Body of Christ in a particular location. The purpose of the Church is to make Christ known to lost men and women, to make disciples, and to glorify God on earth. The Church exists, and the Bible commands, that believers gather together for the purpose of worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and mission. Wherever God’s people meet regularly in obedience to this command, there is the local expression of the church. Under the watchcare of elders and other supportive leadership, its members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the one ultimate purpose of glorifying Christ.
Matt. 16:15-19; 18:15-20; Acts 2:41-42, 47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 13:1-3; 14:23, 27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:28; Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:2; 3:16; 5:4-5; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:19-22; 3:8-11, 21; 5:22-32; Phil. 1:1; Col. 1:18; 1 Tim. 3:1-15; 4:14; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Rev. 2-3; 21:2-3
Spiritual gifts are bestowed on the Body. All spiritual gifts are for the building up of the whole Body, not for the enjoyment or the enrichment of the individual members possessing them. No one person has all the gifts, nor is any one of the gifts bestowed on all persons. Consequently, the individual members of the church need each other. Spiritual gifts are for service in the Body, they are not signs of spirituality, nor are certain gifts necessary signs of the work of the Holy Spirit. Although not equally conspicuous, all gifts are important. The Holy Spirit apportions the various gifts to whom and as He wills. No gift may be demanded of God to give, and no person may impart a spiritual gift to another person — spiritual gifts are the prerogative of Christ.
Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12-14; Eph. 4:7-8, 11-16; Heb. 2:3-4; 1 Peter 4:10-11
BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER
Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. Baptism is a testimony to the believer’s faith in the final resurrection of the dead. Through baptism, we seal and bear witness to our new life in Christ.
The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby believers, through partaking of the bread and the fruit of the vine, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.
Matt. 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 10:16, 21; 11:23-29; Col. 2:12
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
We believe that every Christian should live for Christ and not for himself and should, by the power of the indwelling Spirit, allow Christ to manifest His life through him to God’s glory. By ever increasing obedience to the Word of God, each believer should mature and progressively become more like Jesus. In the power of the Spirit, each believer should live a holy life, not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, exercise his spiritual gifts to build up the Body of Christ, witness for Christ, be personally involved in making disciples to fulfill the great commission, perform good works, and bear fruit to the glory of God.
Eph. 1:7,13-14; Jn. 1:12-13; Jn. 3:1-7; Jn. 14-16; 2 Cor. 5:17; Rom. 1:16, Rom. 10:9-10; Eph. 2:8-10; Rom. 8:14-17, Rom. 31-39, Jn. 10:27-29, Rom. 14-6; Acts 26:20; 1 Pet. 1:3-5
MARRIAGE AND SEXUALITY
We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning, and that is marriage sanctioned by God, which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive, covenantal union, as delineated in Scripture. Scripture defines marriage solely in terms of the union of a man and a woman.
We believe that God instructs those who have surrendered to Jesus to marry only those who have also surrendered their lives to Jesus. Followers of Jesus are not to enter into a marriage covenant if unequally yoked spiritually.
We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Furthermore, Scripture prohibits same-sex intercourse.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexual conduct, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, any use of pornography, any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex is sinful and offensive to God.
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of the church. We recognize that those who have not surrendered their lives to Jesus cannot be expected to follow His commands; but, for those who profess to follow Him, His commands require our obedience.
Gen. 1:27-28; Gen. 2:18-25; Ex. 20:14; Lev. 18:22, 20:13; Matt. 19:3-12;Mark 10:5-9; Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-20; Eph. 5:21-33; Heb. 13:4; 1 Tim. 1:10.
God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are, we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Bible, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer’s cause on earth.
Gen. 14:20; Lev. 27:30-32; Deut. 8:18; Mal. 3:8-12; Matt. 6:1-4, 19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21, 42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Rom. 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8-9; 12:15; Phil. 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19
EVANGELISM AND MISSIONS
It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of man’s spirit by the Holy Spirit means the birth of true love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. It is the duty of every believer to seek constantly to share the gospel with those who do not know Jesus Christ. Believers are to fulfill this duty by personal effort and by all other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.
Gen. 12:1-3; Ex. 19:5-6; Isa. 6:1-8; Matt. 9:37-38; 10:5-15; 13:18-30, 37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-8, 16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Rom. 10:13-15; Eph. 3:1-11; 1 Thess. 1:8; 2 Tim. 4:5; Heb. 2:1-3; 11:39 to 12:2; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Rev. 22:17
God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. According to His promise, Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly in glory to the earth; the dead will be raised; and Christ will judge all men in righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment. The righteous, in their resurrected and glorified bodies, will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.
Isa. 2:4; 11:9; Matt. 16:27; 18:8-9; 19:28; 24:27, 30, 36, 44; 25:31-46; 26:64; Mark 8:38; 9:43-48; Luke 12:40, 48; 16:19-26; 17:22-37; 21:27-28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 17:31; Rom. 14:10; 1 Cor. 4:5; 15:24-28, 35-58; 2 Cor. 5:10; Phil. 3:20-21; Col. 1:5; 3:4; 1 Thess. 4:14-18; 5:1 ff.; 2 Thess. 1:7 ff.; 2; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:27-28; James 5:8; 2 Peter 3:7 ff.; 1