Pastor Noel Jesse Heikkinen
What we believe matters.
What we believe about God matters most.
This is why churches down through history have written, fought over, and publicly confessed various “creeds,” which is a fancy word for “an authoritative, formulated statement of Christian belief.” The most famous creeds are the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed (see below). With some variations on wording, minor theological nuances, and major theological differences, these creeds have survived because they simply encapsulate our Christian faith. Many churches and denominations even read these words during their weekend services.
Most churches further distinguish themselves as a local body by adopting Statements of Faith. While great pains are often taken to develop these statements, they unfortunately often end up on the back of a bulletin no one reads or as a rarely visited, deeply buried page on a website.
The purpose of this book is to work through Riverview Church’s Mission, Vision, and Statement of Faith in a deep enough way to clearly explain what we believe, but not so long that it becomes impossible to digest. In other words, this book is an everyday person’s creed. It’s Riverview’s Credo.
While this book was written first and foremost for the people of Riverview (or “Rivites” as we like to call ourselves), our hope and prayer is that it will be a useful tool for anyone who wants to know what Christians believe. We have worked hard to be faithful to Jesus and His Bible and hope this work is a blessing to anyone who picks it up.
The Apostles Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. On the third day he arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
The Nicene Creed
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made. Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets. And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Riverview exists to proclaim the liberating power of the Gospel as we grow, serve, and go.
We believe that Jesus Christ has set us free from the eternal consequences, guilt, and power of sin. No longer enslaved to our own sinful desires,
we are set free to walk in step with the truth of the Gospel;
we no longer live for ourselves, but for the name of Jesus, for the glory of God the Father, through the power of the
we will proclaim this message of freedom until every man, woman,and child in the Greater Lansing Area has repeated
opportunities to hear and respond to Jesus;
we will plant churches throughout the state of Michigan, proclaiming the message of the Gospel from there to our
nation and world.
We believe in one God in three distinct persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – each of whom possesses all the attributes of Deity and characteristics of personality.
We believe the Bible is inspired by God, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God. It is composed of the 66 books of the Old and New Testament and was written without error in the original manuscripts. It is the highest authority over all other forms of revelation.
We believe in the Deity of Jesus, His virgin birth, sinless life, His miracles, His vicarious and atoning death as a substitute, His bodily resurrection, His ascension to the Father’s right hand, His personal return in power and glory.
We believe in the salvation of all who believe by grace alone through faith alone. God declares righteous all who put their trust in Christ alone.
We believe in the ministry of the Holy Spirit, His work to reveal Christ to the world, to convict people of their sins, and His indwelling presence in every one who believes, which enables that believer to grow in godliness in respect to his or her salvation.
We believe in the resurrection of both the lost and the saved after physical death. The believer goes immediately into the presence of the Lord and waits for his or her body to be resurrected to eternal blessing and glory with God. The unbeliever waits for his or her body to be resurrected to eternal suffering, judgment, and condemnation.
We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in Jesus Christ our Lord.
We believe that the Church
must be faithful to unchanging biblical doctrine.
must be faithful to minister in the context of a continually changing culture.
has a mission to train people who respond to the Gospel to go into the culture as missionaries with the Gospel, using the gifts and talents God gave them.
exists for the redemption of lost people.
is made up of all believers worldwide and should meet together in local churches for worship, prayer, teaching, and mission.
should be actively involved in planting new churches.
We believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which declares that
God created heaven and earth, man and woman in sinless perfection with dignity of life, in His image.
Since Adam sinned, now all are sinners by nature and choice. All human beings are born with a corrupted nature and without spiritual life, and are totally incapable of pleasing God in and of themselves.
God is not obligated to save any person, all deserve the just punishment of hell. But in His love, God chose to elect people for salvation. That election was fore-ordained before the creation.
Jesus died for all, however, forgiveness of sins is given only to those who respond in belief.
We believe that the gospel should be passionately proclaimed to all people, so that all who believe may be saved.
We believe there is no opportunity for salvation following physical death.
We believe all followers of Jesus have been assured of salvation.
We believe every followers of Jesus should be baptized by immersion as a symbol of their new birth in Christ.
We believe every follower of Jesus should participate in the Lord’s Supper as a symbol of remembrance of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection; to celebrate our unity in Christ; and to anticipate His return in victory.
We believe the worship of God is the end for which people are created and abiding joy is only found in God through this life.
We believe Jesus is coming back to judge all people.
We believe when Jesus comes back, He will set up His kingdom on earth and rule until a new heaven and new earth are created to be the final eternal home of all who have believed.