FROM THE BEGINNING
It is clear from Scripture that the church is of God and for people. It is His creation. Christ is its head.
When the church is following the example of Christ Jesus and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it continues the story begun in Jerusalem as told in the book of Acts.
"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." Acts 2:46-47
The Risen Refuge considers the story of the church in the book of Acts and the other New Testament writings as their primary heritage. Generation after generation derives from this record their main source of direction and renewal.
WHO WE ARE
The Risen Refuge seeks to continue the mission of first-century church, which was recovered by the early Methodists who declared they existed “to raise up a holy people.”
We are a fellowship of Christians who are committed to working in the world for the salvation of all people. We place our commitment to Christ and His church above all others.
In doctrine, our beliefs are the standard beliefs of evangelical, Arminian Protestantism, with distinctive emphasis on the scriptural teaching of entire sanctification as described by John Wesley.
In experience, we stress the reality of an inner cleansing and power that attests the doctrine of entire sanctification, both in the inward consciousness of believers and in their outward life.
Our worship is characterized by simplicity and freedom to worship in Spirit & Truth.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
We confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
By faith, we walk with Him.
We commit ourselves to know Him in His full sanctifying grace.
There is but one living and true God, the maker and preserver of all things. And in the unity of this Godhead there are three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are one in eternity, deity and purpose; everlasting, of infinite power, wisdom and goodness.
Genesis 1:1-2; Exodus 3:13-15; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-3
God was himself in Jesus Christ to reconcile people to God. Jesus of Nazareth was God in flesh, truly God and truly human. We gratefully acknowledge that He is our Savior, the one perfect mediator between God and us.
Jesus Christ is risen victorious from the dead. He ascended into heaven. There He sits as our exalted Lord at the right hand of God the Father, where He intercedes for us until all His enemies shall be brought into complete subjection. He will return to judge all people. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:35; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Luke 24:1-7; John 20:19; Romans 8:33-34
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is one with them, the eternal Godhead, equal in deity, majesty and power.
He is the effective agent in our conviction, regeneration, sanctification and glorification. He is our Lord’s ever-present self, indwelling, assuring and enabling the believer.
The Holy Spirit is poured out upon the church by the Father and the Son. He is the church’s life and witnessing power. He bestows the love of God and makes real the lordship of Jesus Christ in the believer so that both His gifts of words and service may achieve the common good and build and increase the church.
Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 8:9; Galatians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7
The church is created by God. It is the people of God. Christ Jesus is its Lord and Head. The Holy Spirit is its life and power. It is both divine and human, heavenly and earthly, ideal and imperfect. It is an organism, not an unchanging institution. It exists to fulfill the purposes of God in Christ.
It redemptively ministers to persons. Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it that it should be holy and without blemish.
The church is a fellowship of the redeemed and the redeeming, preaching the Word of God and administering the sacraments according to Christ’s instruction.
Matthew 16:15-18; Acts 2:41-47; Ephesians 3:9-10; 1 Timothy 3:14-15
The Bible is God’s written Word, uniquely inspired by the Holy Spirit. It bears unerring witness to Jesus Christ, the living Word. As attested by the early church and subsequent councils, it is the trustworthy record of God’s revelation, completely truthful in all it affirms. It has been faithfully preserved and proves itself true in human experience.
The Bible has authority over all human life. It teaches the truth about God, His creation, His people, His one and only Son and the destiny of humankind. It also teaches the way of salvation and the life of faith. Whatever is not found in the Bible nor can be proved by it is not to be required as an article of belief or as necessary to salvation.
The Old Testament is not contrary to the New. Both Testaments bear witness to God’s salvation in Christ; both speak of God’s will for His people.
The New Testament fulfills and interprets the Old Testament. It is the record of the revelation of God in Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. It is God’s final word regarding humankind, sin, salvation, the world and its destiny.
Psalm 19:7-11; John 17:17; Matthew 5:17-18; 1 John 2:2-6; Revelation 22:19
Christ offered once and for all the one perfect sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. No other satisfaction for sin is necessary; none other can atone.
A new life and a right relationship with God are made possible through the redemptive acts of God in Jesus Christ. God, by His Spirit, acts to impart new life and put people into a relationship with Himself as they repent and their faith responds to His grace.
Christians may be sustained in a growing relationship with Jesus as Savior and Lord. However, they may grieve the Holy Spirit in the relationships of life without returning to the dominion of sin. When they do, they must humbly accept the correction of the Holy Spirit, trust in the advocacy of Jesus, and mend their relationships.
Christians can sin willfully and sever their relationship with Christ. Even so by repentance before God, forgiveness is granted and the relationship with Christ restored, for not every sin is the sin against the Holy Spirit and unpardonable.
Sanctification is that saving work of God beginning with new life in Christ whereby the Holy Spirit renews His people after the likeness of God, changing them through crisis and process, from one degree of glory to another, and conforming them to the image of Christ.
As believers surrender to God in faith and die to self through full consecration, the Holy Spirit fills them with love and purifies them from sin. This sanctifying relationship with God remedies the divided mind, redirects the heart to God, and empowers believers to please and serve God in their daily lives.
Luke 24:46-48; John 3:16; Romans 8:15-17; Hebrews 10:14; Galatians 6:1
THE KINGDOM OF GOD & THE RETURN OF CHRIST
The kingdom of God is a prominent Bible theme providing Christians with both their tasks and hope. Jesus announced its presence. The kingdom is realized now as God’s reign is established in the hearts and lives of believers.
But the kingdom is also future and is related to the return of Christ when judgment will fall upon the present order. The enemies of Christ will be subdued; the reign of God will be established; and the hope of the redeemed will be fully realized.
Our eternal destiny is determined by God’s grace and our response, not by arbitrary decrees of God. For those who trust Him and obediently follow Jesus as Savior and Lord, there is a heaven of eternal glory and the blessedness of Christ’s presence.
The return of Christ is certain and may occur at any moment, although it is not given us to know the hour. At His return He will fulfill all prophecies concerning His final triumph over all evil. The believer’s response is joyous expectation, watchfulness, readiness and diligence.
Matthew 6:19-20; Mark 13:26-27; Revelation 20:11-15