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Our Real Life Otis Doctrine


Real Life Otis has grown because God has added to our numbers (Acts 2:47). We try to glorify Christ in all we do. Our church has sought to be unified on salvation beliefs while permitting differing opinions on non-salvation beliefs. This Church has people with many different backgrounds, but we are a family. Jesus said that the world would know that we are His because we love one another and because we are one (John 13:35; John 17:21-22). Therefore, these Statements of Faith are our non-negotiable statements of belief.


John 17:20-22 (NIV)—My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one. Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 


1 Timothy 4:6 (NIV) — If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. (NOTE: good teaching = sound doctrine)

For us to be committed, unified, and aligned, we each have a part in ‘knowing’ what we believe about God, people, and His church. As you read through these statements be asking yourself: 


•  Do I UNDERSTAND this statement? 

•  Do I AGREE with this statement? 

•  Can I SUPPORT this statement in my words and actions? 



The following doctrines are essential for salvation: 


Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: GOD 

We believe God is self-existent, and by nature He is eternal, all-knowing, all-powerful, and everywhere. God has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are in agreement and unified with each other’s role in the Godhead. We believe these three are co-equal and are one God. 


Supportive Scripture: Genesis 1:1, 26-27; 3:22; Deuteronomy 6:4; Job 38; 39; 40; Psalm 90:2; 139:4, 7-10; Isaiah 40:13-17; 45:18; Matthew 19:26; 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2; John 1:1; Colossians 1:15. 





Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: FATHER

We believe that God the Father holds all the attributes of God while exercising a unique role in the Godhead. He is the father of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and yet still one with both as God. God the Father adopts believers in Jesus Christ into a relationship with Him as their Father (see Salvation).


Supportive Scripture: Ephesians 1:3; John 15:1-4; Isaiah 63:16, John 17:1-5; John 20:17, Romans 8:14-16, Galatians 4:6. 



Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: SON

We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He is God. He is co-equal with the Father and Holy Spirit, present and participating in creation. Jesus took on human flesh in the fullness of time so that He could live a sinless human life while empathizing with our weaknesses. He offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the cross. He was raised from the dead, after three days, victorious over the power of sin and death. He ascended to heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead and to make all things new. 


Supportive Scripture: Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:22-23; John 1:1-5; 8:58; 14:10-31; Acts 1:9-11; 2 Timothy 4:1; Romans 1:3-4; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Colossians 1:15-20; 1 Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 4:14-15; Revelation 1:8. 



Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: HOLY SPIRIT

We believe the Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make all people aware of their sin and their need for Jesus Christ. His purpose in our time is to bring glory to Jesus and the Father and to intercede with God the Father on our behalf. He dwells in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He gives gifts to believers providing them with power to be obedient in growing in Christlikeness, to understand spiritual truth, and to serve the mission of the church. He can be grieved, and His work in us can be quenched. 


Supportive Scripture: Genesis 1:1-2; John 14:16-17; 16:7-15; Acts 1:8; Romans 5:5; 8:26-27; 1 Corinthians 2:9-19; 3:16; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:22-25; Ephesians 1:13-14; 5:18; 2 Peter 1:19-21. 



Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: SALVATION

We believe that all have sinned (willful disobedience to God). We believe that the consequence of sin is death and eternal separation from God. In love and mercy God offers the free gift of salvation provided by Jesus Christ in his death, burial and resurrection. It is the only sufficient payment for our sins. It’s only by grace through faith that one can receive this free gift. Eternal life and a right standing before God begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of their life. This is evidenced by repentance, confession, and a life submitted to Christ. We believe a baby or a young child cannot understand sin or the need for Christ and are under God’s grace until an age of understanding determined by God (2 Samuel 12:23; Matthew 18:2-3; 19:13-15).


Supportive Scripture: John 1:12; 3:16, 14:6; Romans 5:1, 8; 6:23; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-9; Colossians 1:22; Titus 3:5; Romans 10:9-13; Revelation 20:10, 14-15.




The following doctrines are essential for unity: 


Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: MANKIND

We believe people are made in the image of God, male and female He created them, to be in relationship with Him, to become like Him in character, and to bring Him glory. We believe all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Sin separates people from God, thus affecting all areas of life, resulting in suffering and hopelessness apart from Jesus Christ.


Supportive Scripture: Genesis 1:27; Genesis 3; Psalms 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6; Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 3:23; Colossians 1:16.



Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: BIBLE 

We believe the Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because it is inspired by God, the Bible is infallible, inerrant, and absolute truth. It is the ultimate and final authority for Christian beliefs and living. His Word is eternal and will never pass away.


Supportive Scripture: Psalms 12:6; 19:7-10; 119:89, 105, 160; Proverbs 30:5; 2 Timothy 1:13; 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:16-21. 



 Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: COMPLIMENTARIANISM 

(Gender roles in the Church and Home)

We believe men and women are absolutely equal in essence, dignity and value, but are distinct by divine design. We believe God created two distinct, yet complementary genders for our good, His glory, and to reflect His nature and character to the world. As part of God’s created order, men and women are to have different yet complementary roles and responsibilities in the home and church. We believe that the Biblical Headship as modeled by Christ loving the church applies to the home. Husbands are to love their wives unconditionally and wives are to respect their husbands, both demonstrating Biblical submission and love and sharing equal value in God’s design (Ephesians 5).


We believe as it relates to the church, men and women are both expected to serve and lead; however, the office of Elder/Pastor is reserved for qualified men (1 Timothy 3; Titus 1) Mixed-gender teaching environments are overseen by Elders/Pastors and will be led by qualified men. Gender-specific teaching environments are taught by a leader of the same gender.


Supportive Scripture: Genesis 2:18-25; 1 Corinthians 12:4-32; Galatians 3:28-29; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; Titus 2:3-8; 1 Peter 3:1-7.



Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: THE CHURCH

We believe the church is the body and bride of Christ and also serves as the household of faith. It is a living temple where God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, dwells in each of His people. We believe that everyone that has been saved by Christ is a vital member of His church, gifted by the Holy Spirit to minister to one another for the benefit of the whole. We believe that the church is commanded to love God and others, making relationship the primary vehicle through which we share the gospel, and through which the church will grow to maturity. We believe that His church exists throughout the world and is witnessed and experienced in local gatherings of believers. We believe submission to God’s authority and the authority of the appointed Elders in the local church is essential for unity and reveals our spiritual maturity. 


Supportive Scripture: Ephesians 4:15-16; Romans 12:4-5; Ephesians 5:24-32; Galatians. 6:10; 1 Peter 2:4-5; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Acts 14:23; Matthew 16:16–18; Acts 2:42–47; Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12–27; Ephesians 1:20–23; 4:3–16; Colossians 3:14–16; Hebrews 13:17.



Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: THE ELDERSHIP MODEL OF THE CHURCH

We believe Christ is the head of the church. We believe the local Church should be governed by a plurality of male elders (who have been vetted and appointed by existing Elders) to oversee the carrying out of His will in the local assembly of believers. We believe men who aspire to a Shepherding role and have been confirmed through character and gifting by our existing Eldership must go through a vetting process before they are publicly set aside and qualified as Elders at Real Life Otis. Qualified Elders have the authority to perform ministerial services such as Weddings, Funerals, Preaching/Teaching, Baptism, Communion, Disciple-Making, and Biblical Counseling as needed. Preaching/Teaching and officiating Communion are not limited to elders.  


Supportive Scripture: Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 5:17; Ephesians 5:23-25; 1 Peter 5:1-5; 20:26-32; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 5:17, 22; Titus 1:5-9



Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: BAPTISM

We believe baptism, by immersion, was both modeled and commanded by Christ. We believe baptism is only for those who believe in Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We believe one who has repented of their sins, believed in the Lord Jesus and confessed Him as Lord and Savior should be baptized, in a timely act of obedience. Scripture teaches a life submitted to Christ is evidenced by repentance, confession and baptism by immersion. We died with Him, we were buried with and were raised with Him to walk in a new life.


Supportive Scripture: Matthew 28:18-21; Acts 2:37-38; Acts 8:35-39; Romans 6:1-4; Colossians 2:12, 20; 1 Corinthians 12:13.



Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: COMMUNION

We believe celebrating communion was both modeled and commanded by Christ. We believe communion is a  memorial, a proclamation, and representative of the new covenant in Christ Jesus as defined by Scripture: “For I  received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,  and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance  of me.’ In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me’ (1 Corinthians 11:23-25 NIV). 


It is a distinction of our church that we take communion every week. We do not believe you have to take communion every week; however, when you do partake in it, do so in a correct manner (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:25–28). 


“Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.” (1 Corinthians 11:27–28)


We do this by self-examination

•  Do I have any sins to confess? (1 John 1:9)

•  Do I have any relationships to repair? (Matthew 5:23–24)

•  Do I need to recommit my life? (Romans 12:1)


Who should take it?

•  Only those who have received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior should take communion.

•  We do not recommend young children, who do not understand salvation and relationship with Christ, take it.


Supportive Scripture: Matthew 26:26-28; Acts 2:42-47; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30; 10:16; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7.



Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: PRIESTHOOD OF EVERY BELIEVER

We believe we have been given direct access to God through Jesus Christ, the great high priest.  We believe it is God’s design for every believer to play a role in the priesthood, living out the ministry and mission of His Church. We do this by offering ourselves as living sacrifices, praising God, doing good, sharing our resources, and sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.


Supportive Scriptures: Romans 12:1-2; 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Hebrews 13:15-16.; Romans 15:16



Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: SPIRITUAL GIFTS

We believe there are a variety of gifts, given by the Holy Spirit, to be used to serve and build up the body of Christ and bring glory to God. We believe God has designed the local church like a physical body, consisting of many members, with Jesus Christ as the head. We believe we are interdependent on each other and all believers must be the part God has designed and gifted them to be, for the benefit of the Body. We believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are present today, and the Spirit of God does not work contrary to the Word of God. We believe the Holy Spirit empowers us to serve Him and others.


Supportive Scripture: Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-14; Ephesians 4:1-16; 1 Peter 4:7-11.



Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: MARRIAGE, GENDER & SEXUALITY

We believe that the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6). We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other (1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4). We believe that God has commanded that no sexual activity, of any kind, be engaged in outside of marriage.


Scripture teaches there are some who, for various reasons, do not wish to marry. We believe these brothers and sisters are wholeheartedly supported and encouraged to remain voluntarily celibate as delineated in Scripture. (Matthew 19:10-12; 1 Corinthians 7:1-8, 32-38; Isaiah 56:3-5). We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God (Matthew 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ (Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).


We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect and dignity (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31). Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Real Life Otis. 


We believe that neither the federal government, the state, nor any other individual possess the authority or jurisdiction to set or alter Scripture’s definition of marriage. We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Real Life Otis as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a Biblical role model to Real Life Otis members and the community, it is imperative that all  persons employed by Real Life Otis in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by Real  Life Otis Doctrinal Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. 


Supportive Scripture: Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:18-25; 1 Corinthians 6:18; 7:2-5; Hebrews 13:4; Matthew 15:18-20; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22; Acts 3:19-21; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31.



Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE

We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God, in His image (Genesis 1:26-28). We believe human life is of immeasurable worth, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through physical death. Therefore, we believe that life is a gift from God, and we are called to teach about the value of human life (Psalm 139).


Supportive Scripture: Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 2:7; Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:13-15. 



Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: ETERNITY

We believe people were created to live forever. People will either exist eternally separated from God by sin or exist eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation in Christ. To be eternally separated from God is eternal death in Hell. To be eternally in union with the LORD is eternal life in Heaven. We believe that Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. We that we can have the assurance of eternal life with God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 


Supportive Scripture: John 3:16; 14:17; Romans 6:23; Romans 6:23; 8:17-18; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9; Revelation 20:15.



Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: ETERNAL SECURITY

We believe a person is saved by grace as a free gift from God, through faith alone, not earned by inherent merit or works. We believe faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior is a work of God that He will bring to completion, as promised in God’s Word. 


Supportive Scripture; John 3:16; 2 Timothy 2:19; John 10:25-30; Ephesians 2:8-10; James 2:14; Ephesians 1:13-14, Philippians 1:6, Romans 8:38-39.



Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: The Return of Christ

We believe there will be a literal return of Christ and a judgment day to follow. As to the day and the hour, only God the Father knows.  


Supportive Scripture: Matthew 12:36; Matthew 24:36; John 5:22; 16:8; 2 Corinthians 5:10;  2 Peter 3:7,



Real Life Otis Doctrinal Statement: RELATIONSHIPS

We believe that God created us for relationship—relationship with God and with one another. We emphasize the greatest commandments, which are to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love others as ourselves. It is by our primary relationship with God, through Jesus, with the Holy Spirit working in us, that love and all Godly fruit is possible.  It is by our love for one another as Christians that people will know we are true disciples of Jesus Christ. We bring glory to God by living our lives in authentic, life changing relationship with Him and with one another.


Supportive Scripture: Genesis 1-3; Colossians 1:16; Deuteronomy 6:4-5; Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 22:34-40; John 15:8; John 13:34-35; 1 Corinthians 13; 1 John 1:5-7; Philippians 2:3-5.

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