And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
River of the Valley is a Presbyterian church belonging to the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians (ECO). ECO is not just a denomination but truly a movement that recaptures the best of our Presbyterian and Reformed heritage to saturate our broken and hurting world with the transforming power of Jesus Christ. We stand upon the faith statements for this denomination that can be found here.
The Reformed Tradition is relentless in allowing God to define God’s self. Scripture, made known through the Holy Spirit, is God’s authoritative witness to what God has taught and done throughout human history. The following is a brief biblical statement of faith.
in the one and only God of the Christian faith, the self-revealed “I AM who I AM.” In this freedom the Lord of all willed creation into existence as “God said, ‘Let there be.’” In such a manner humans were created in God’s image, and given the freedom to be entirely oriented to their Creator. They were blessed to live with a fullness and abundance of love and life.
Yet the nature of humanity was, and still is, to misuse this gifted freedom. The result was humanity’s fall as they betrayed their Lord’s command. We exchanged our original design of selfless love for selfish love. And to this day, we hurt and break relations with all around us, including with God our Father. Yet from the beginning God continued to reach out to humanity, speaking through the Law and prophets. By this, humanity was shown both its inborn state of rebellion and its impotence to escape just judgment. However, God also promised a Messiah.
Into this fallen reality, nearly 2,000 years ago, Jesus of Nazareth was born. He revealed himself to be fully human and fully God, and on earth to call all who may believe in him to faithful repentance and discipleship. He embodied the originally intended purpose for humanity: to completely love God and others. Then he offered up his unblemished humanity to death on a Roman cross as a sacrifice for all of humanity’s sin. Yet while death laid hold of him it could not conquer him. He miraculously, by God’s omnipotence, rose from his grave as death’s victor. It is this reality of Life’s conquering of death that Jesus promises to all who follow him by faith. Our Lord’s righteousness is mysteriously imputed upon each who believe in him. This salvation from God’s just judgment is by no deed of human origin but by God’s grace alone confirmed by belief in Jesus Christ alone.
The Holy Spirit now continues the Lord’s active presence among us, just as Jesus promised before his ascension from earth to the Father. In such manner God has been self-revealed as the Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Christians now live in witness to the already, yet not fully, in-breaking of the Kingdom, and remain hopefully expectant for Jesus’ second coming to usher in the full realization of his Kingdom come.
All Scripture is the uniquely authoritative witness to the above Truth. Scripture is the very Word of God through the Holy Spirit’s living witness. The Church, the world’s community of faith, is unified in all times and places through its common discipleship to its Head Jesus Christ. Through the construction of confessions and creeds the Church displays this unity despite distance in time and/or location. Jesus’ disciples continue his ministering presence as the Spirit conforms each person to his example. A localized community of disciples, a church, is sent by Christ to continue carrying out his mission in the world: To be an epicenter of reconciliation–cultivating Jesus-followers who live his love and call him Lord and Savior.
This includes the faithful enactment of the Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist as commanded by our Lord. Baptism functions as a sign and seal that bears witness to the Lord’s election, and when of an adult also accompanies one’s response in faith to God’s election. In the Eucharist the faithful commune together with the spiritual real presence of the Lord as a sign and seal of Christ’s redemptive Passion on our behalf.