Who we are
Network of churches “Riječ Života” (“Word of Life”) is a religious congregation in the Republic of Croatia, that began its activity in Zagreb in 1993, and today includes 15 Christian centres and mission stations around Croatia. It is a church of reformation heritage which acknowledges the Bible as the supreme authority. Its founder and pastor is Damir Šićko Alić.
Our sermons consist of joyful and powerful praising with songs, dynamic preaching and prayer, and serving people, all of which have changed lives of many. No one is surprised that healings, deliverances and different miracles happen on a regular basis because these are the signs with which God accompanies honest and uncompromising preaching of His Word.
The church is financed from members and visitors’ offerings, and recently the church has signed a contract with the government of the Republic of Croatia based on the Act on the legal position of religious organizations, through which the church was granted to conduct religious education, marry with the results of civil marriage, build religious objects and overall carry out activities in public institutions (hospitals, jails, the military, etc.). Moreover, church activities are partly to be financed from the state budget.
Within the local church, we have organized children and youth ministries, friendship teams and evangelism. God is always bringing new people who want to know God and His Word, the Bible. In the church, there is a strong wish to socialize and serve the Lord. During the war (Croatian war of Independence), we have started being active on the humanitarian field and have been this way ever since: through distributing clothes and food. The church is continually helping people to get rid of addictions to cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, and to continue living, delivered from any of these addictions. We also help build healthy family relations. Through advice and prayer, we help people in all kinds of situations.
We declare the Word of the Lord through preaching, publishing books and magazine, audio and video records, TV-show “Word of Life”, personal testimonies, organized evangelizing activities and planting new churches. Jesus told us to go and make disciples of all nations and to teach them to obey everything He has commanded. This is exactly what we are trying to do through our church activities and Bible school. Our results up to now are not to be credited to human power and strength, but to God’s leading and helping us. We believe that the work has only begun and that many tasks and fruits lie ahead.
1. Declare God’s Word, the Bible.
2. Establish a strong local church.
3. Teach people through church activities.
4. Start a Bible school, at the right time.
5. Encourage and send equipped people on to missionary work, where we see the Holy Spirit leading us.
1. The Bible
We believe that the Bible is inspired by God and revealed to mankind. It is the supreme authority considering all matters of faith and moral. God’s Word is a direct revelation of God’s will to all people for all times. (Matthew 4:4, II Timothy 3:15-17, Hebrews 4:12-13, I Peter 2:2, II Peter 1:20-21, 3:2)
2. One God of triune nature
We believe that the only true God has revealed Himself to people as the everlasting and self-sufficient/self-revealed “I Am” and as one God in three persons – The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 6:4, Isaiah 43:10-11, 48:6, Mark 12:29, Matthew 28:19, Ephesians 4:4-6)
3. Godly nature of Jesus Christ
Lord Jesus is the everlasting Son of God – the other person of God who has always been in unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit. He was incarnated through Virgin Mary and took the form of man, revealing Himself to mankind as “the God-man”. He was without sin and holy. People crucified Him, He died on the cross and was buried by His disciples. He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, and God the Father made Him exalted. Jesus will return to the earth. He is the perfect intercessor between God the Father and people because in Him there is perfect fullness of both godly and human nature. (Colossians 1:15-19, Philippians 2:5-8, I Timothy 2:5-6, John 1:1-3, 14, 18)
4. Creation of man in God’s image, first sin and Jesus as the only redeemer
We believe that man was created a good and impeccable creature because God said: “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.” However, man willingly committed sin, due to which redemption through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, became the only hope for humanity. (Genesis 1:26-31, 3:1-7, Romans 5:12-21)
5. Salvation by grace
Through faith, receiving the Holy Spirit as a pledge (an evidence) of salvation
We believe that the grace of God, thanks to which we receive salvation, has revealed itself to people. Man receives salvation through preaching and receiving the Word of God, repenting before God and through faith in Jesus Christ. A saved person receives the Holy Spirit and experiences restoration which the Holy Spirit gives to those who are born again. A person receives justification and becomes an heir of God, getting hope of eternal life. (Luke 23:47, Romans 10:13-15, Titus 2:11, 3:5-7)
Man receives salvation when he confesses Jesus as his Lord and Saviour with his own mouth, believing in his heart that God has risen Him from the dead (Romans 10:9-10, John 3:16-17). Every Christian gets an internal testimony of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16). Looking at the righteous and holy lives of other Christians, people around them receive an external testimony.
6. The Holy Spirit and baptism with the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is the third person of God. He is of the same being, same eternity and the same state as the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit was sent to earth to make people aware of sin and encourage them to turn away from it. He comforts, gives advice, helps, intercedes and strengthens God’s Church (Greek: paraclete). Jesus promised that every Christian will receive a gift after the new birth – baptism with the Holy Spirit. The gift of speaking in other tongues is described in Acts 2, alongside other manifestations of the Holy Spirit. This is what new born Christians experience and it is different from the new birth (Acts 10:44-46, 11:14-16. 15:7-9)
After the baptism with the Holy Spirit, believers get filled with the Holy Spirit repeatedly. The purpose of this is receiving the strength to testify about Jesus (Matthew 3:11, John 14:16-17, Acts1:8, 2, I Corinthians 12)
7. Religious rites – baptism with water and the Holy Communion
Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the Church, has established two Christian rites which should be performed by the Church – baptism with water and the Holy Communion. Baptism by complete immersion into water is a direct order from our Lord. Even though it is not a condition for receiving salvation, God has given it to every believer as an eternal sign or a conformation of the internal change. Baptism with water symbolizes believer’s identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
The Lord has also commanded his disciples to perform the rite of the Holy Communion while He does not return to earth. Only believers can participate in this rite, which consists of bread and wine. Bread symbolizes the body of Christ which was broken for us, while wine testifies of the blood which was poured out for our redemption. Both substances testify of the New covenant, which the Father has established with Christians and which will take effect until Jesus’ return. (Matthew 28:19, Acts 10:47-48, Romans 6:4, Hebrews 10:22, I Peter 3:21, Luke 22:14-20, I Corinthians 11:17-30)
The Bible teaches us that without holiness no one can see the Lord. We believe in God’s teaching of consecration as complete but progressive activity of God’s mercy, which He performs in believers until Jesus returns. (I Thessalonians 5:23, II Corinthians 3:18, Philippians 3:12-14, I Corinthians 1:30)
9. The Church and its mission
We believe that the Church is the body of Christ, God’s dwelling through the Holy Spirit. It does godly tasks to fulfil its great calling. Every Christian born in the Spirit is a member of the Church of new born believers, whose names are written in the heavens (Ephesians 1:22-23, 2:22, Hebrews 12:23).
We believe in God’s calling in the lives of the believers and different services that God gives to the Church with a double purpose. The first is to build the body of Christ and spread the kingdom of God in this world. (Mark 16:15-20, Ephesians 4:11-13)
10. The return of Jesus Christ and the end of this world
Jesus promised to come for His Church. The Scripture says that, when He returns, the dead in Christ will rise first, and after them those who will be alive on earth at that moment. Then all will be taken to meet Him. Jesus will return to earth in a visible form with all his saints and establish His kingdom. The Lord and His saints will rule the earth for a thousand years. During that period, the devil will be bound and thrown into the Abyss. When the period ends, the devil will be released for a short time, and after that thrown into the lake of fire, where he will remain forever in eternal torment. People who have not received Christ as their Lord and Saviour during their life on earth will have to appear in front of the great white throne of God’s judgement, where God will judge them. Then the New heaven and the New earth shall appear and last forever. (I Thessalonians 4:16-17, I Corinthians 15:51-52, Revelation 20,21)
11. Hell and eternal condemnation
People who have not received Christ during their lives on earth are hopelessly and forever lost after their physical death, condemned to torment in the lake of fire, in which they will not have the opportunity to hear the Good News or repent for their sins. The lake of fire is a real place. Expressions “eternity” and “forever”, used to describe the everlasting punishment of the unsaved souls in the lake of fire, also have a sense of infiniteness. The same sense is consisted in the descriptions of joy and enjoyment of the saints in God’s presence. (Hebrews 9:27, Matthew 25:31-46, Mark 9:43-48, 16:15-16)