WHAT WE BELIEVE
We believe God is at work in us, as well as through us, to positively impact our community, region and world.
The mission of Rolling Hills Community Church is to reach the world one person at a time, as we learn to think, love, and live like Jesus, and reproduce that in the lives of others.
Love God. Love people. These words summarize what Jesus said are the two greatest commandments. We believe God is calling Rolling Hills to actively demonstrate what this kind of love looks like. Therefore, over the next 5 to 10 years, we envision God will continue to transform Rolling Hills Community Church into a place where:
- Our faith family is challenged and equipped to be authentic disciples of Jesus who make more disciples where they live, work, and play.
- New generations of leaders whose hearts are deeply connected to God, His Word, His mission, and His calling for the church are identified, developed, and deployed.
- People of all generations, especially young adults and families, find encouragement, spiritual growth, and hope.
- Our campus is a community hub that meets the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of people in the SW Portland area so that they experience God’s love in a tangible way.
IN THE ESSENTIALS…UNITY
IN THE NON-ESSENTIALS…LIBERTY
We believe these truths are clearly taught and speak to God’s redemptive plan as presented in the Bible. These are truths essential for understanding how one can become a part of His faith family and then join in unity with God’s mission for the church.
Rolling Hills Community Church holds to the following doctrinal truths:
We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, also called the Holy Trinity (Matt 28:19).
Father: John 6:27;1 Timothy 6:15-16; 1 Cor. 8:6
Son: John 10:30, 33; Hebrews 1:3
Holy Spirit: 2 Corinthians 3:17; John 15:26
PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST
We believe that by the miracle of the virgin birth the Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God in order to reveal God and to redeem man; that He died for our sins (the sins of all men) as a substitutionary sacrifice and rose bodily from the dead for our justification; and that He is now exalted at the right hand of God, Head of the Church and Lord of the individual believer, fulfilling His ministry as our Great High Priest and Advocate. We believe in the personal second coming of our Lord to set up His earthly Kingdom and to reign over redeemed Israel and all the nations of the world.
Matthew 1:18-20, Luke 24, John 1:1-14, Romans 5:6-11, Hebrews 8,1 John 2:1, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Revelation 20:4-6
We believe that Jesus Christ died, was buried and was raised from the dead after three days (I Corinthians 15:3-6). We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men. Believers are resurrected to enjoy eternal life with God. Unbelievers are resurrected to experience judgment and then eternal suffering apart from God.
John 20:1-9; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20:4-6, 12-15
THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. His ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of sin, regenerates the believer, and places him in the Church, which is the Body of Christ. We believe that He indwells, guides, instructs, comforts, gifts, and empowers the Christian for godly living and service, and that He seals and keeps the believer until the Lord comes.
John 14:15-25; John 16:5-15; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:13-14
THE FILLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
In Ephesians 5:18 Paul states an emphatic command to be filled or controlled with the Spirit. It literally means, “Being kept/filled/controlled with the Spirit.” It is a command that includes the idea of an ongoing God consciousness in ones life. Every Christian possesses the Holy Spirit in all His fullness from the moment he believes. Romans 8:9 says, “If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” At salvation the believer is baptized by means of the Spirit into the Body of Christ, indwelt by the Spirit, and sealed by the Spirit until the day of redemption.
The Greek work, pleroo (filled) gives two ideas: pressure and permeation. To be filled or controlled, “pressured,” by the Holy Spirit is to be moved along in our Christian life by God Himself—a moment by moment enterprise bent on accomplishing the will of God. Pleroo also carries the idea of permeation or total control. A person who is filled in this sense is no longer under his own control, but under the control of that which dominates him. To be filled with the Holy Spirit is not to have Him progressively added to one’s life, but to continually allow Him to control more and more of one’s life.
The filling of the Holy Spirit is accomplished when a person surrenders his will, intellect, and emotions, as well as his time, talent, and treasure to Him. In the Ephesians 5:18-6:9 passages, the results are clear: speaking to others in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs; being thankful for all things (5:19-20) and being in submission to fellow believers (5:21). Wives submit to husbands (5:22-24); husbands will love their wives with self-sacrificing service (5:25-33); children will obey their parents (6:1-3); etc.
Colossians 3:16-25 is the parallel passage to Ephesians 5:18-6:9. Colossians emphasizes that the word of Christ must dwell in us richly, so that in all wisdom we will be teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Being filled and controlled is the result of having the word of God infused into our total beings just as Colossians suggests. The Holy Spirit wishes to speak the Lord’s words as they are found in the Scriptures. So then we study and allow His words to permeate our lives, and as we consciously allow Him to control us, we are filled by the Holy Spirit.
We believe that the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are inspired by God, are inerrant in all of their parts in the original writings, and are the Christian’s final authority in faith and conduct.
2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21
We believe the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, were created in the image of God, but that they sinned, incurring not only physical death, but also spiritual death. Through birth, spiritual death is inherited by every member of Adam’s race. We believe that humanity is subject to the power of Satan and has within themselves no possible means of recovery or salvation. Only when a person reaches an awareness of this reality are they in a position to receive the free gift of salvation.
Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:23, 5:12-21, 6:23
“Those whom He predestined, these He also called” (Romans 8:30). God’s calling consists in His effectual getting the attention of an individual and confronting him with the beauty of the gospel in such a way that he embraces the gospel in faith. It is more than merely His general call (Matthew 22:14), which He issues to all people through general and special revelation. God calls each individual whom He has chosen at a given point in that person’s life (1 Corinthians 7:22). For God’s calling to be effectual it must include some kind of transformation of the heart as one is drawn to Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit. Yet it is also clear that men and women are moral agents because they act voluntarily and are responsible to God for their actions. God never forces any human to do anything against their own will. We all have the choice to fully accept or reject Christ’s offer of forgiveness of sin. (Rom. 10:11-13; John 12:48) Therefore there is some mystery of both God’s effectual call and humanity’s use of free will, and both are at work simultaneously. (Phil. 2:12-13)
We believe that salvation is the free gift of God, neither merited nor secured in part or in whole by any virtue or work of man or woman. Salvation is received only by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom all true believers have, as present possessions, the gift of eternal life, a perfect righteousness, adoption into the family of God, deliverance and complete security from all condemnation, every spiritual resource needed for life and godliness, and the divine guarantee that they shall never perish. We believe that such a salvation can never be lost or forfeited.
John 10:28; John 17:3; Romans 8:1, 10:9-10; Ephesians 1:1-10, 2:8-9; 1 John 5:11-13
THE CHRISTIAN’S WALK
We believe God’s grace not only provides forgiveness for us but continues to transform our lives to be more and more like Jesus. Jesus summarizes this life when he stated, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” We are called with the holy calling to live not according to the desire of the flesh (the old nature within, opposed to God), but according to the Spirit of God. We believe the grace of God empowers His followers to live a life that is growing in reflecting His character of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We trust the Spirit of God to lead the child of God into paths of righteousness.
Romans 8; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 2:8-10
We believe that the true Church is composed of all who, through saving faith in Jesus Christ, have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Those who are members of the true Church are called to participation in the local church.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13, Ephesians 4:15-16; 1 Peter 2:5; Hebrews 10:25
We believe that Baptism is one of two ordinances left by Christ for the Church today. Baptism is an outward sign of the inward reality that a person has turned from man’s way to God’s way. While Baptism is not necessary for salvation, we believe it is an essential step in the process of becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. To Baptize literally means to dip or immerse; therefore, the mode of Baptism here at Rolling Hills is immersion. We understand Baptism as a beautiful public statement of one’s faith in Christ and therefore a great privilege and step of obedience to Christ.
Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 2:38-41
We believe that the Lord’s table is the second ordinance left to the Church by Jesus Christ. Partaking of Communion is a symbolic act which represents one’s present relationship and abiding fellowship with Christ. The elements specifically cause us to remember His broken body as payment for man’s sin and His blood as a picture of the New Covenant which is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Mark 14:22-25, John 6:53-65, 1 Corinthians 11:23-36
Regeneration is the transformation of heart. It is God’s act of “causing us to be born again” (1 Peter 1:3). This new birth is necessary because all people are spiritually dead in their sins (Ephesians 2:1) and unable to submit to God’s Law (Romans 8:8). Regeneration is the great promise of the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34, 32:38-41; Ezekiel 36:26ff). It is God’s act of transforming our hard and impenitent heart into a heart that is responsive to His promptings.
He gives us a new set of inclinations (Jeremiah 31:33) by which we begin to prefer to humble ourselves to His offer of mercy and submit to His gracious will – the very thing we were unable to do apart from the regenerating power of the Spirit (Romans 8:7). Regeneration is not something which is initiated by man (John 3:4, Titus 3:5), but it is God’s act through the agency of the Holy Spirit.
When a person puts his faith in Christ, God justifies him (Galatians 2:16). Justification is God’s act of forgiving our sins (Romans 4:6-8), declaring us innocent, and putting us into a right relationship with Himself so that we can now enjoy peace with Him (Romans 5:1). It is both something the believer experiences now (Romans 5:1) and something he anticipates in the age to come (Galatians 5:5). God does not justify us in response to our performing works of the Law (i.e. legalistic strivings to earn God’s favor, cf. Romans 3:20), but in response to our faith (Genesis 15:6). Justification is the judicial aspect of salvation (2 Tim 1:9). God graciously and fully pardons the sinner who trusts in Jesus for their salvation. The righteousness of Jesus is imputed to the new Jesus follower so that God views them as positionally holy and blameless.
Sanctification is God’s act of setting his people apart for His purpose (1 Corinthians 1:2, 6:11; 1 Peter 1:2). In this sense it is similar to His “calling” (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). But sanctification also refers to the process whereby God causes us to share His holiness (1 Thessalonians 5:23, Hebrews 12:10). This does not happen all at once, nor will it happen completely in this life (1 John 1:8, Philippians 2:12-13). Neither will the progress always be steady; there will be setbacks (Romans 7:21ff). Yet this progress in holiness is essential, and therefore we must “pursue the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord”(Hebrews 12:14). But we must be ever so careful how we pursue it. We must never think of sanctification as adding works of the Law (i.e. legalistic strivings) to our faith. The Christian life is a life of faith from start to finish. Our initial response was faith and our continued response must be faith (Galatians 3:2-3).
Perseverance in faith and the obedience of faith to the end of a person’s life are evidence of a person’s salvation and genuine conversion. (1 Corinthians 15:2, Hebrews 3:14, 2 Peter 1:5-11). God will see to it that His people persevere in faith (John 10: 28-30, Philippians 1:6, 1 Thessalonians 5:24, 1 Peter 1:3-5). The way in which God causes His children to endure is by giving us magnificent promises (2 Peter 1:3-4), which will be ours if we run the race, and by giving us terrible warnings of what will come if we fall away (Hebrews 10:26ff). We are commanded to have and maintain full assurance of our salvation (Hebrews 6:11, 10:22). Yet if we are tending to be arrogant about our status as though it were due to something in ourselves, we are warned to “take heed lest we fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). We are to test ourselves to see if we are in the faith ( 2 Corinthians 13:5) and to be diligent to make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10). A clear evidence that we are God’s is that we are growing in love for others (1 John 3:14, 4:7-8). God keeps His children eternally secure by giving them a lively longing for His promises and a healthy fear of His warnings. Those who make some kind of beginning in the Christian faith, but do not continue, give evidence that they never really had saving faith (Colossians 1:22, Hebrews 3:14, 1 John 2:19, 28-29).
Glorification is God’s act of “transforming the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory”(Romans 8:23, 1 Corinthians 15:51ff, Philippians 3:20-21). This is God’s final act in His process of saving us and transforming us into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29-30). It will take place at the consummation of this age when Christ appears (Philippians 3:20f). Christ is in us now as “the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27), and everyone who has this hope of glory “purifies himself just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3). So in a very real sense we are in the process of being glorified now and we are in the process of becoming like Christ. “We all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory….” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Through suffering with Christ in the present age we will be glorified with Him in the age to come (Romans 8:17). This is the climax and goal of salvation. We who are “vessels of mercy” have been prepared beforehand for glory (Romans 9:13). Nothing else could satisfy our heart’s craving for enduring joy more than to behold the glory of God. “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after…to behold the beauty of the Lord….” (Psalms 27:4).
Salvation is the free gift of God based on His grace, not our works (Ephesians 2:8-10). Once a person truly repents and turns to Jesus Christ as the only source of salvation and trusts Him as Savior and Lord, he is eternally saved (Acts 4:12, 1 John 5:11-12, Eph. 1:10-14, Rom 8:9-10).
This salvation cannot be lost because Jesus Christ will never allow anyone to be snatched out of His hand (John 10:28). However, once a person is saved he does not have license to habitually act in an ungodly manner. If a believer continues to sin, that is, habitually refuses to repent, the Lord will discipline him (Hebrews 12:5-11). In fact, God’s discipline is an indication that one is truly God’s child, a repentant response being an even stronger indication that one truly believes. The ultimate discipline, when a believer consistently refuses the grace of God, is that the Lord removes him from this life, “so that his spirit might be saved” (1 Corinthians 5:5).
God calls us His children when we believe. If one sins, it does not mean he is no longer a child, rather he is no longer an obedient child and therefore needs to be restored in fellowship. When a professing Christian continues to sin, that could be an indication that there never really was a commitment to Christ (Mark 4:3-9).
THE ETERNAL STATE
We believe that at the death of the body, the souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation pass immediately into His presence and remain there until the resurrection of the body. When Christ returns, the souls of the dead will be reunited with their resurrected bodies to be with Christ forever in glory. Those who are alive on the earth at His coming will have their bodies transformed and made fit for a new heaven and earth at that time.
We believe in literal hell, and that in hell unbelievers will be punished with everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power because they have chosen to be opposed to God (1 Corinthians 15:50-58; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:21-23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 20:11-15).
We believe that inasmuch as it is through Christ that God reconciles the world to Himself, it is the purpose of the Church, in addition to building up every member of the Body, to make Christ known to the whole world. Every member of the Body shares in this purpose. Believers are sent by Christ to communicate the good news with grace and truth, introducing the non-Christian to a knowledge of Jesus Christ. We recognize many methods of evangelism, acknowledging that it is the Holy Spirit who ultimately brings people to Christ.
Mark 16:15; John 17:18-20; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:12-15