What to expect


Our Sunday gathering is designed to retell the story of the gospel in every service. We accomplish this through biblical principles such as prayer, singing, preaching and teaching the Bible, and remembering Christ through communion.  We welcome anyone and everyone to attend.

Our community values family, so during our Sunday gathering we provide an engaging and inspiring time of singing, teaching, crafts, and activities for children up to 6th grade.  

Doctrine


We believe in one God, eternally existing in three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who know, love, and glorify one another. This one true and living God is infinitely perfect both in his love and in his holiness. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration. Immortal and eternal, he perfectly and exhaustively knows the end from the beginning, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about his eternal good purposes to redeem a people for himself and restore his fallen creation, to the praise of his glorious grace. (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; John 10:30; 2 Corinthians 13:14)

God has graciously disclosed his existence and power in the created order, and has supremely revealed himself to fallen human beings in the person of his Son, the incarnate Word. Moreover, this God is a speaking God who by his Spirit has graciously disclosed himself in human words: we believe that God has inspired the words preserved in the Scriptures, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, which are both record and means of his saving work in the world, telling the story of Jesus Christ throughout, from Genesis to Revelation. (John 1:1, 14, Luke 24:27)

We believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible, authoritative, and the inerrant Word of God. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is utterly authoritative and without error in the original writings, complete in its revelation of his will for salvation, sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do, and final in its authority over every domain of knowledge to which it speaks. We confess that both our finitude and our sinfulness preclude the possibility of knowing Godʼs truth exhaustively, but we affirm that, enlightened by the Spirit of God, we can know Godʼs revealed truth truly. The Bible is to be believed, as Godʼs instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed, as Godʼs command, in all that it requires; and trusted, as Godʼs pledge, in all that it promises. As Godʼs people hear, believe, and do the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the gospel. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12, 13; John 20:31)

We believe that God created human beings, male and female, in his own image. Adam and Eve belonged to the created order that God himself declared to be very good, serving as Godʼs agents to care for, manage, and govern creation, living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker. Men and women, equally made in the image of God, enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus and are both called to move beyond passive self-indulgence to significant private and public engagement in family, church, and civic life. Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union that establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations for men and women, such that marriage ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and his church. In Godʼs wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways. God ordains that they assume distinctive roles which reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church, the husband exercising headship in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submitting to her husband in a way that models the love of the church for her Lord. In the ministry of the church, both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of God. The distinctive leadership role of elder within the church given to qualified men is grounded in creation, fall, and redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments. (Genesis 1:26, 27; Ephesians 5:22-33)

We believe that Adam, made in the image of God, distorted that image and forfeited his original blessedness—for himself and all his progeny—by falling into sin through Satanʼs temptation. As a result, all human beings are alienated from God, corrupted and broken in every aspect of their being (e.g., physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually) and condemned finally and irrevocably to an eternal death—apart from Godʼs own gracious intervention. The supreme need of all human beings is to be reconciled to the God under whose just and holy wrath we stand; the only hope of all human beings is the undeserved love of this same God, who alone can rescue us and restore us to himself. (Romans 3:22, 23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1–3, 12; Romans 1:18; Jeremiah 2:13)

We believe that from all eternity God determined in grace to save a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation, and to this end foreknew them and chose them. We believe that God justifies and sanctifies those who by grace have faith in Jesus, and that he will one day glorify them—all to the praise of his glorious grace. In love God commands and implores all people to repent and believe, having set his saving love on those he has chosen and having ordained Christ to be their Redeemer. (Ephesians 1:3-10; Revelation 5:9-10, 7:9-10; Mark 1:15) 

We believe that the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ— Godʼs very wisdom. Utter folly to the world, even though it is the power of God to those who are being saved, this good news is supremely about Jesus Christ, centering on the cross and resurrection: the gospel is not proclaimed if Christ is not proclaimed, and the authentic Christ has not been proclaimed if his death and resurrection are not central (the message is “Christ died for our sins . . . [and] was raised”). This good news is biblical (his death and resurrection are according to the Scriptures), theological and salvific (Christ died for our sins, to reconcile us to God), historical (if the saving events did not happen, our faith is worthless, we are still in our sins, and we are to be pitied more than all others), apostolic (the message was entrusted to and transmitted by the apostles, who were witnesses of these saving events), and intensely personal (where it is received, believed, and held firmly, individual persons are saved) and initiated by God according to his doing through his grace and mercy(Titus 3:5-7; Romans 1:16-17, 1 Corinthians 15)

We believe that, moved by love and in obedience to his Father, the eternal Son became human: the Word became flesh, fully God and fully human being, one Person in two natures. The man Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel, was conceived through the miraculous agency of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the virgin Mary. He perfectly obeyed his heavenly Father, lived a sinless life, performed miraculous signs, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven. As the mediatorial King, he is seated at the right hand of God the Father, and is our High Priest and righteous Advocate. We believe that by his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus Christ acted as our representative and substitute. He did this so that in him we might become the righteousness of God: on the cross he canceled sin, propitiated God, and, by bearing the full penalty of our sins, reconciled to God all those who believe. By his resurrection Christ Jesus was vindicated by his Father, broke the power of death and defeated Satan who once had power over it, and brought everlasting life to all his people; by his ascension he has been forever exalted as Lord and has prepared a place for us to be with him. We believe that salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved. Because God chose the lowly things of this world, the despised things, the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, no human being can ever boast before him—Christ Jesus has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. (John 1:1–2, 14; Luke 1:35; Romans 3:24; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3–5; Acts 1:9, 10; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1–2; 1 Peter 4:5; Romans 14:9; 2 Timothy 4:1)

We believe that Christ, by his obedience and death, fully discharged the debt of all those who are justified. By his sacrifice, he bore in our stead the punishment due us for our sins, making a proper, real, and full satisfaction to Godʼs justice on our behalf. By his perfect obedience he satisfied the just demands of God on our behalf, since by faith alone that perfect obedience is credited to all who trust in Christ alone for their acceptance with God. Inasmuch as Christ was given by the Father for us, and his obedience and punishment were accepted in place of our own, freely and not for anything in us, this justification is solely of free grace, in order that both the exact justice and the rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners. We believe that a zeal for personal and public obedience flows from this free justification. (Ephesians 2:8–10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18–19; 1 John 1:9)

We believe that this salvation, attested in all Scripture and secured by Jesus Christ, is applied to his people by the Holy Spirit. Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ, and, as our Advocate and Helper, is present with and in believers. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and by his powerful and mysterious work regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith, baptizing them into union with the Lord Jesus, such that they are justified before God by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. By the Spiritʼs agency, believers are renewed, sanctified, and adopted into Godʼs family; they participate in the divine nature and receive his sovereignly distributed gifts. The Holy Spirit is himself the down payment of the promised inheritance in whom we are sealed, and in this age indwells, guides, instructs, equips, revives, and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service. (John 16:8–11; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 12:12–14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30, 5:18)

The local church is a community of regenerated believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord. In obedience to Scripture they organize(both gathered and scattered) under qualified leadership, gather regularly for preaching and worship, observe the biblical sacraments of baptism and communion, are unified by the Spirit, are disciplined for holiness, and scatter to fulfill the great commandment and the great commission as missionaries to the world for Godʼs glory and their joy. (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 5:25–27; 1 Corinthians 12:12–14; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Acts 14:27; 18:22; 20:17; 1 Timothy 3:1–3; Titus 1:5–11; Acts 13:1–4; 15:19–31; 20:28; Romans 16:1,4; 1 Corinthians 3:9, 16; 1 Corinthians 5:4– 7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1–4; )

We believe that baptism and the Lordʼs Supper are ordained by the Lord Jesus himself. The former is connected with entrance into the new covenant community, the latter with ongoing covenant renewal. Together they are simultaneously Godʼs pledge to us, divinely ordained means of grace, our public vows of submission to the once crucified and now resurrected Christ, and anticipations of his return and of the consummation of all things. (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 2:41, 42; Acts 18:8; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26)

We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels, when he will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be consummated. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust—the unjust to judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell, as our Lord himself taught, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness. On that day the church will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering and triumph of Christ, all sin purged and its wretched effects forever banished. God will be all in all and his people will be enthralled by the immediacy of his ineffable holiness, and everything will be to the praise of his glorious grace. (John 5:28-29; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; Revelation 21:1-4)

We believe in one God, eternally existing in three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who know, love, and glorify one another. This one true and living God is infinitely perfect both in his love and in his holiness. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration. Immortal and eternal, he perfectly and exhaustively knows the end from the beginning, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about his eternal good purposes to redeem a people for himself and restore his fallen creation, to the praise of his glorious grace. (Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; John 10:30; 2 Corinthians 13:14)

God has graciously disclosed his existence and power in the created order, and has supremely revealed himself to fallen human beings in the person of his Son, the incarnate Word. Moreover, this God is a speaking God who by his Spirit has graciously disclosed himself in human words: we believe that God has inspired the words preserved in the Scriptures, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, which are both record and means of his saving work in the world, telling the story of Jesus Christ throughout, from Genesis to Revelation. (John 1:1, 14, Luke 24:27)

We believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible, authoritative, and the inerrant Word of God. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is utterly authoritative and without error in the original writings, complete in its revelation of his will for salvation, sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do, and final in its authority over every domain of knowledge to which it speaks. We confess that both our finitude and our sinfulness preclude the possibility of knowing Godʼs truth exhaustively, but we affirm that, enlightened by the Spirit of God, we can know Godʼs revealed truth truly. The Bible is to be believed, as Godʼs instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed, as Godʼs command, in all that it requires; and trusted, as Godʼs pledge, in all that it promises. As Godʼs people hear, believe, and do the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the gospel. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12, 13; John 20:31)

We believe that God created human beings, male and female, in his own image. Adam and Eve belonged to the created order that God himself declared to be very good, serving as Godʼs agents to care for, manage, and govern creation, living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker. Men and women, equally made in the image of God, enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus and are both called to move beyond passive self-indulgence to significant private and public engagement in family, church, and civic life. Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union that establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations for men and women, such that marriage ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and his church. In Godʼs wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways. God ordains that they assume distinctive roles which reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church, the husband exercising headship in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submitting to her husband in a way that models the love of the church for her Lord. In the ministry of the church, both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of God. The distinctive leadership role of elder within the church given to qualified men is grounded in creation, fall, and redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments. (Genesis 1:26, 27; Ephesians 5:22-33)

We believe that Adam, made in the image of God, distorted that image and forfeited his original blessedness—for himself and all his progeny—by falling into sin through Satanʼs temptation. As a result, all human beings are alienated from God, corrupted and broken in every aspect of their being (e.g., physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually) and condemned finally and irrevocably to an eternal death—apart from Godʼs own gracious intervention. The supreme need of all human beings is to be reconciled to the God under whose just and holy wrath we stand; the only hope of all human beings is the undeserved love of this same God, who alone can rescue us and restore us to himself. (Romans 3:22, 23; 5:12; Ephesians 2:1–3, 12; Romans 1:18; Jeremiah 2:13)

We believe that from all eternity God determined in grace to save a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation, and to this end foreknew them and chose them. We believe that God justifies and sanctifies those who by grace have faith in Jesus, and that he will one day glorify them—all to the praise of his glorious grace. In love God commands and implores all people to repent and believe, having set his saving love on those he has chosen and having ordained Christ to be their Redeemer. (Ephesians 1:3-10; Revelation 5:9-10, 7:9-10; Mark 1:15) 

We believe that the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ— Godʼs very wisdom. Utter folly to the world, even though it is the power of God to those who are being saved, this good news is supremely about Jesus Christ, centering on the cross and resurrection: the gospel is not proclaimed if Christ is not proclaimed, and the authentic Christ has not been proclaimed if his death and resurrection are not central (the message is “Christ died for our sins . . . [and] was raised”). This good news is biblical (his death and resurrection are according to the Scriptures), theological and salvific (Christ died for our sins, to reconcile us to God), historical (if the saving events did not happen, our faith is worthless, we are still in our sins, and we are to be pitied more than all others), apostolic (the message was entrusted to and transmitted by the apostles, who were witnesses of these saving events), and intensely personal (where it is received, believed, and held firmly, individual persons are saved) and initiated by God according to his doing through his grace and mercy(Titus 3:5-7; Romans 1:16-17, 1 Corinthians 15)

We believe that, moved by love and in obedience to his Father, the eternal Son became human: the Word became flesh, fully God and fully human being, one Person in two natures. The man Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel, was conceived through the miraculous agency of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the virgin Mary. He perfectly obeyed his heavenly Father, lived a sinless life, performed miraculous signs, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven. As the mediatorial King, he is seated at the right hand of God the Father, and is our High Priest and righteous Advocate. We believe that by his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus Christ acted as our representative and substitute. He did this so that in him we might become the righteousness of God: on the cross he canceled sin, propitiated God, and, by bearing the full penalty of our sins, reconciled to God all those who believe. By his resurrection Christ Jesus was vindicated by his Father, broke the power of death and defeated Satan who once had power over it, and brought everlasting life to all his people; by his ascension he has been forever exalted as Lord and has prepared a place for us to be with him. We believe that salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved. Because God chose the lowly things of this world, the despised things, the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, no human being can ever boast before him—Christ Jesus has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. (John 1:1–2, 14; Luke 1:35; Romans 3:24; 1 Peter 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3–5; Acts 1:9, 10; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1–2; 1 Peter 4:5; Romans 14:9; 2 Timothy 4:1)

We believe that Christ, by his obedience and death, fully discharged the debt of all those who are justified. By his sacrifice, he bore in our stead the punishment due us for our sins, making a proper, real, and full satisfaction to Godʼs justice on our behalf. By his perfect obedience he satisfied the just demands of God on our behalf, since by faith alone that perfect obedience is credited to all who trust in Christ alone for their acceptance with God. Inasmuch as Christ was given by the Father for us, and his obedience and punishment were accepted in place of our own, freely and not for anything in us, this justification is solely of free grace, in order that both the exact justice and the rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners. We believe that a zeal for personal and public obedience flows from this free justification. (Ephesians 2:8–10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18–19; 1 John 1:9)

We believe that this salvation, attested in all Scripture and secured by Jesus Christ, is applied to his people by the Holy Spirit. Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ, and, as our Advocate and Helper, is present with and in believers. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and by his powerful and mysterious work regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith, baptizing them into union with the Lord Jesus, such that they are justified before God by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. By the Spiritʼs agency, believers are renewed, sanctified, and adopted into Godʼs family; they participate in the divine nature and receive his sovereignly distributed gifts. The Holy Spirit is himself the down payment of the promised inheritance in whom we are sealed, and in this age indwells, guides, instructs, equips, revives, and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service. (John 16:8–11; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 12:12–14; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13-14, 4:30, 5:18)

The local church is a community of regenerated believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord. In obedience to Scripture they organize(both gathered and scattered) under qualified leadership, gather regularly for preaching and worship, observe the biblical sacraments of baptism and communion, are unified by the Spirit, are disciplined for holiness, and scatter to fulfill the great commandment and the great commission as missionaries to the world for Godʼs glory and their joy. (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 5:25–27; 1 Corinthians 12:12–14; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Acts 14:27; 18:22; 20:17; 1 Timothy 3:1–3; Titus 1:5–11; Acts 13:1–4; 15:19–31; 20:28; Romans 16:1,4; 1 Corinthians 3:9, 16; 1 Corinthians 5:4– 7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1–4; )

We believe that baptism and the Lordʼs Supper are ordained by the Lord Jesus himself. The former is connected with entrance into the new covenant community, the latter with ongoing covenant renewal. Together they are simultaneously Godʼs pledge to us, divinely ordained means of grace, our public vows of submission to the once crucified and now resurrected Christ, and anticipations of his return and of the consummation of all things. (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 2:41, 42; Acts 18:8; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26)

We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels, when he will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom will be consummated. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust—the unjust to judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell, as our Lord himself taught, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness. On that day the church will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering and triumph of Christ, all sin purged and its wretched effects forever banished. God will be all in all and his people will be enthralled by the immediacy of his ineffable holiness, and everything will be to the praise of his glorious grace. (John 5:28-29; 1 Thes. 4:13-18; Revelation 21:1-4)

Leadership


We believe the church belongs to Christ and that He is the head of the church(Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18). Under the leadership of Jesus, we practice a shared leadership model of church government, where it is led by qualified elders who shepherd, oversee, and teach the church body; as well as qualified deacons who serve alongside to carry out practical ministerial and administrative duties in the church.

Elders


Deacons


Volunteer Leader


Reality Family


Reality is a family of churches held closely together through relationship and who share a deep commitment to the Gospel of Jesus. The first Reality started 2003 in Carpinteria, CA. Since then Reality has birthed churches in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Stockton, San Francisco, Boston, London, and are in the process of birthing a church in Honolulu.

Reality Church Stockton is part of this family of churches.
We are grateful for, and consider ourselves accountable to this family.

All our churches can be found centrally at jesusisreality.com