What We Believe
At The River of WNY we believe:
That true ministry comes from His (Agape) love, without which we have no right to claim ourselves a Christian. That ministry should be directed by the Holy Spirit, therefore: we remain flexible and yielded to the Holy Spirit to direct our ministry.
That the Bible is God’s Holy Word, verbally and fully inspired and that it is the supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
That there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
In God the Father, perfect in holiness, infinite in wisdom, measureless in power. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that:
He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Christ.
In Jesus Christ, the divine, eternal and only begotten Son of God. We believe that in His earthly life He was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin and lived a sinless life.
In His vicarious and atoning death for the sins of the world. We believe in His bodily resurrection from the dead, His ascension to the right hand of the Father to make intercession for the saints, and in His personal, visible return to the world in power and glory.
In the Holy Spirit, in His personality and deity, that He was sent forth from the Father. We believe that He is come to indwell, sanctify, instruct and comfort the saints.
That all men are, by nature, sinners, destitute of all power to save themselves. We believe, therefore, that the only means of salvation of sinful men is through the grace of Jesus Christ.
That all Christians are ordained by the Holy Spirit to spread the Gospel of Christ. Therefore: It is the primary duty of all Christians to serve as evangelists, and to minister to others according to the gifts they have received of the Holy Spirit.
That the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest gift of God the Father and His Holy Spirit, and should be the primary message of the Christian church, taking precedence over all differences, whether they be theological, denominational, ideological, or physical in nature.
At The River of WNY, we believe the Bible to be our sole, all-encompassing guide and rule for both faith and practice. Therefore, all branches of The River of WNY adhere to and believe the following tenets…
The Bible is the inspired Word of God. The Scriptures are the divine revelations given from God and received by Man, and as such, are the only such revelations that are inspired and infallible. The Bible is the supreme authority in all matters of faith and morals. The Word of God is the direct revelation of the will of God for all men and for all time. The Scriptures were plenary-verbally inspired, that is the Holy Spirit breathed upon men the very words and thoughts He wanted in conjunction with the writers personalities, traits and emotions. The Holy Spirit guarded and preserved each thought, phrase and word from any error, omission or inaccuracy.
II Timothy 3:16-17
II Peter 3:2
THE ONE TRUE GOD
Our God is revealed in Scriptures as the eternal Godhead, the Trinity, who has shown Himself as one God, existing in three persons – The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. The Godhead is distinguishable but indivisible in essence; co-eternal, co-existent, co-equal in nature, attributes, power and glory. God is one undivided and invisible essence, yet with three eternal distinctions: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
THE DEITY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
The Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, the 2nd member of the Godhead, who pre-existed with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Through the Incarnation and Virgin Birth, Jesus took upon Himself the form of Man, thus revealing Himself as the God-Man. Jesus Christ was sinless, perfect, crucified, buried, resurrected, ascended, glorified and He will come again to earth a second time. He is the perfect Mediator between God and Man because in the person of Christ is the fully divine and the fully human. Of the same substance with the Father as to His divinity, yet of the same substance with us as to His humanity. Perfect in deity, perfect in humanity.
I Timothy 2:5-6
John 1:1-3, 14-18
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND HIS BAPTISM
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Godhead. He is co-equal, co-eternal and co-existent with the Father and with the Son. His ministry upon the earth is to convict and covert man as well as be the great paraclete (comforter, counselor, helper, intercessor, advocate, strengthener and standby) to the Church. The baptism of the Holy Spirit and Fire is a gift from God as promised by the Lord Jesus to all believers and is received subsequent to and in addition to the New Birth. The initial evidence of speaking with other tongues, as well as other manifestations described in Acts 2, accompanies this experience. Whereas there is one initial baptism, there are many subsequent infillings of the Spirit. The purpose of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is so that we, the believers, may have power to be witnesses.
THE REDEMPTION OF MAN
Man is a created being and was made in the likeness and image of God (both male and female). But, through Adam’s transgression and fall, sin came into the world and passed upon all men. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was manifested to undo the work of the devil and gave His life and shed His blood to redeem and restore man back to God. Salvation is the free gift of God to Man, separate from works and the Law, and is made operative by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, producing works acceptable to God. This salvation experience occurs when an individual confesses with his mouth that Jesus is Lord and believes in his heart that God has raised Him from the dead.
I John 3:8
ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH
The Lord Jesus Christ, Head of the Church, established two ordinances for the Church to follow: Water Baptism and Communion. Baptism in water, by full immersion, is a direct commandment of our Lord. While it is not necessary for salvation, it is for all believers. This ordinance is an outward sign of an inward work. It symbolizes a believer’s identification with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection.
The ordinance of Communion is also a commandment of the Lord Jesus that must be received consistently until His return. Only believers can come to the Table of the Lord, which consists of the bread and the cup. The bread speaks of His body, which was broken for us. The cup speaks of His blood that was shed for us. Both elements are witnesses of the New Covenant believers now enjoy while prophetically declaring His soon return.
I Peter 3:21
I Corinthians 11:17-30
FURTHER WORKS OF REDEMPTION
The death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ not only secured the eternal redemption from sin, but also redemption from sickness and disease and redemption from poverty and lack. Divine Healing has been provided for by the Atonement. It is for the physical ills of the human body and is wrought by the power of God through various methods and means detailed within the Word. Divine Prosperity has also been provided by the Atonement. True prosperity not only has to do with financial provision but a prospering of the soul as well. It is wrought by the power of God through the principle of tithes and offerings, sowing and reaping and numerous stewardship truths found throughout the Word.
I Peter 2:24
I John 2
II Corinthians 8:9
The Bible teaches that without holiness no man can see the Lord. We believe in the Doctrine of Sanctification as a definite, yet progressive work of grace, commencing at the time of regeneration and continuing until the consummation of salvation at Christ’s return.
I Thessalonians 5:23
II Corinthians 3:18
I Corinthians 1:30
THE END OF ALL THINGS
Jesus promised to return for His church. Scriptures tell us that when Jesus returns the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we, which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. Immediately after this catching away of the saints, the Tribulation period, spoken of in Revelation, will begin. Following the Tribulation, Jesus shall visibly return to earth, accompanied by the saints, to set up His Kingdom upon the earth. He shall reign with His saints on the earth for a thousand years, during which time Satan will be bound in the bottomless pit. After this 1,000-year period, Satan will be loosed for a short time, ending in his eternal torment in the lake of fire while the Great White Throne Judgment occurs for those who never received the Lord in their earthly lifetime. Then the new heavens and the new earth will be revealed and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
I Thessalonians 4:16-17
I Corinthians 15:51, 52
HELL AND ETERNAL RETRIBUTION
The one who physically dies in his sins without accepting Christ is hopelessly and eternally lost in the Lake of Fire and therefore has no further opportunity of hearing the Gospel or repenting. The Lake of Fire is literal. The terms “eternal” and “everlasting” used in describing the duration of the punishment of the damned in the Lake of Fire, carry the same thought and meaning of endless existence as used in denoting the duration of joy and ecstasy of saints in the presence of God.