We believe that Jesus Christ is the unique son of God, Who died for our sins as a substitutionary sacrifice and physically rose from the grave three days later. All who trust Christ as their personal Savior are redeemed and are members of the worldwide body of Christ. We affirm that this salvation is received exclusively through faith in Jesus Christ and is found in no other person, name, or system. We affirm that this gift is offered to all people and that no works are required prior to receiving it and no works are required to maintain this gift.
John. 1:1–14, John. 3:16; Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 12:12–13; Ephesians 2:8–10; Colossians 1:14–20.
We welcome all who hold to this belief as brothers and sisters in the Lord, and invite them to become part of our fellowship. A complete doctrinal statement begins below. We believe that the Bible unequivocally teaches the following doctrines, although we recognize that in some cases sincere and intelligent Christians hold different views. In order for unity to prevail within Grace Church (Acts 4:32; Philippians 1:27, 2:1–2), we require that anyone in positions of leadership and teaching must personally hold to the following precepts. Even if you personally disagree with some aspects of them, however, you are still welcome to be a part of our fellowship.
Section 1: The Bible
We believe that the Bible—the sixty-six books that comprise the two Testaments —is the written word of God, our final and infallible authority in faith and life. We believe that the very words of the original texts, and not merely the general concepts or ideas, were inspired by God and thus are free from error—both historically and conceptually true in every detail.
Psalm 19:7–11; 2 Timothy 3:16–17; 2 Peter 1:20–21
2: The Trinity
We believe in one God Who exists eternally in three Persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit; these Persons are coequal, each fully possessing the divine nature.
Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; Acts 5:3–4; 2 Corinthians 13:14
3: The Creation
We believe that Genesis 1–11 is factually true and not mythical. Consequently, we believe that the universe is the product of God’s creation out of nothing.
Job 38:1–7; John 1:1–3; Colossians 1:15–17; Hebrews 11:3
4: Human Life
We believe that man was created in the image of God. Even though this image was marred by the introduction of sin, the image remains intact and man continues to be an image-bearer. We believe human life begins at conception, although it is dependent and undeveloped. Throughout the stages of its development and deterioration, all human life is eternally sacred in the eyes of God
Genesis 1:26–28, 9:6; Psalm 139:13–16; Luke 1:39–44
5: The Fall of Man
We believe that the first human male willfully sinned and consequently experienced immediate relational separation from God (i.e. spiritual death), which led to his physical death. As a result, all people are born under the domination of indwelling sin, which leads to personal sin. Apart from Jesus Christ, all will spend eternity separated from God.
Genesis 2:17, 3:6; Romans 3:23, 5:12; Ephesians 2:1–3; Revelation 20:11–15
6: Jesus Christ—His Person
We believe that God the Son became human in the Person of Jesus Christ; was conceived by the Holy Spirit within the womb of Mary, a virgin; and is fully God and fully man.
Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:26–38; John 1:14; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 4:15
7: Jesus Christ—His Work
We believe that Jesus Christ died for the world’s sin as our substitutionary sacrifice. His sacrifice was acceptable before God on the basis of His own sinlessness. Only those who believe in Him are declared righteous and eternally acceptable before God.
Isaiah 53:4-5; Mark 10:45; Romans 3:24-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 1:19-20; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; 1 Peter 2:24, 3:18; 1 John 2:2
8: Jesus Christ—His Resurrection
We believe that Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, whereas our High Priest, He is interceding for us and directing the church.
John 20:24–27; Acts 1:9–11; Romans 1:4; Ephesians 1:19–21; Philippians 2:9–11; Colossians 1:19; Hebrews 4:14
9: Everlasting Life & Spiritual Birth
We believe everlasting life starts when a believer’s relationship with God begins. Anyone who trusts Jesus Christ as his personal Savior immediately receives the gift of everlasting life. This spiritual birth is by the Holy Spirit, Who immediately and permanently indwells the believer and baptizes him into the body of Christ as a child of God. One’s spiritual birth, also known as regeneration, is received through faith in Christ alone. In the same way that physical birth is a one-time irreversible event, spiritual birth cannot be undone and leads to everlasting life. Therefore, the believer can experience full assurance of a relationship with God. John 1:12, 3:1–16, 17:3; Galatians 4:8–9; Ephesians 2:8–9; Romans 3:28, 8:9, 8:38–39; John 14:16–17; 1 Corinthians 12:13, 15:3–8; 1 Peter 1:22–23; 1 John 5:12–13
10: The Nature of Salvation
We believe that the believer experiences three distinct phases of salvation:
The Initial Phase: This phase (commonly referred to as “justification”) saves the believer from the penalty of sin that leads to eternal death and hell. This phase occurs at the moment the individual places his or her faith in Jesus Christ.
The Ongoing Phase: This phase (commonly referred to as “sanctification”) saves the believer from the ongoing power of sin. This phase occurs as the believer abides in Christ and yields to the Spirit’s leading.
The Final Phase: This phase (commonly referred to as “glorification”) will save the believer from the presence of sin. This phase will occur when the believer transitions from this life into the Lord’s presence in a glorified state.
John 3:16, 5:24, 15:1–8, 17:3; Romans 6:1–14, 8:11–13, 12:1; 1 Corinthians 3:11–15, 15:51–58; Galatians 5:4–6; Ephesians 2:10
11: Divine Sovereignty & Man’s Free Will
We believe that any attempt to reconcile these concepts requires a precise understanding of each.
Acts 16:31; Romans 8:28–30; Ephesians 1:4–5; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2
Divine Sovereignty: We understand that sovereignty is defined as God’s supreme authority and power whereby He exercises this attribute to accomplish His good purposes for His glory and for the good of His people.
1 Chronicles 29:10; Psalm 29:10; Matthew 19:11–12; Romans 8:28; Colossians 1:16
Man’s Free Will: We understand that man’s free will is defined as the God-given ability to make independent choices whereby he is allowed to make choices, even choices that are contrary to God’s desire.
Deuteronomy 30:19; Joshua 24:15; Matthew 23:37; John 8:17
We Affirm: While many see a contradiction between the Biblical truths of divine sovereignty and man’s free will, we believe that God accomplishes His purposes in history in harmony with the free choices of man. We recognize that a tension exists in man’s attempt to reconcile these two truths. This perceived tension exists due to man’s finite ability to fully comprehend the workings of our infinite God.
Ecclesiastes 3:11, 8:17; Isaiah 55:8–9; Romans 11:33
12: Spiritual Gifts
We believe that the Holy Spirit gives at least one spiritual gift to every believer, to be used for building up other believers. These gifts are to be exercised according to biblical guidelines and priorities. We believe that certain spiritual gifts (commonly known as “sign gifts”) given to the early church (among them the gifts of apostleship, prophecy, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, healing and performing miracles) were temporary in nature and are not present in today’s church.
Romans 12:4–8; 1 Corinthians 12:1–11, 28–31, 13:8–10, 14:20–33; Ephesians 4:11–13; 1 Peter 4:10–11
13: The Universal Church
We believe that the church consists of all who have put their faith in Jesus Christ from the day of Pentecost until the Rapture of the church. The church has a threefold purpose: to give God the worship and praise He deserves; to build up believers to spiritual maturity; and to evangelize the world—witnessing, by our words and our lives, the truth of God’s provision for man through Jesus Christ. Matthew 5:13–16, 28:18–20; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 4:4–16; 1 Peter 2:9–10
14: The Local Church
We believe that each local church is to be nurtured and governed by a group of elders who operate under the headship of Jesus Christ. These are men called by God to a shepherding ministry and are recognized on the basis of Biblical qualifications. We believe that women serve the church in vital roles, such as shepherding and teaching other women in the body, as well as through encouragement, counsel, and prayer. Local church elders may be assisted by deacons, who must also be Biblically qualified and who perform ministries of service.
Acts 14:23, 20:17, 20:28–31; 1 Corinthians 14:34–35; 1 Timothy 2:9–12, 3:1–13; Titus 1:5–9, 2:3–5
We believe that Christ has commissioned each local church to regularly practice the baptism of believers and the Lord’s Supper.
Matthew 28:19; Luke 22:14–20; Acts 8:21–39, 16:30–34; 1 Corinthians 11:23–26
16: The Christian Life
We believe that God’s desire is for all believers to become mature disciples of Jesus Christ. This maturation occurs when the believer abides in Jesus Christ and adheres to the following biblical priorities:
The cultivation of our personal relationship with God through Bible study and prayer,
The expression of love towards fellow believers through service in the context of a local church, and
The sharing of the gospel of Jesus Christ with those outside the Church.
John 15:1–27, 17:15–23; Galatians 6:10; Ephesians 4:11–16; Colossians 3:18–24; 2 Timothy 3:16–17; Titus 2:1–14; Hebrews 10:23–25; James 2:14–26; 1 John 4:7–11
17: Sexuality and Gender
We believe that God has created two distinct, yet complementary and equally valuable, genders within the human race. He determines whether an individual is male or female according to his or her genetic make-up.
Genesis 1:26–28; Psalm 139:13–16
We believe that marriage is a covenant of companionship between one person who is a genetic male and one person who is a genetic female, which establishes a one-flesh union. Any other type of union does not comply with the Bible’s definition of marriage.
Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4–6
19: Angels, Demons, and Satan
We believe that angels are real beings created by God and sent out by Him to minister, especially to believers. We also believe in the existence of fallen angels—demons—who work to thwart God’s purposes in the world. Chief among them is Satan, who attempts to defeat believers through deception and temptation to sin. Christians can overcome Satan’s schemes by applying Biblical truth through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Job 1:6–12, 38:6–7; Isaiah 6:1–3; Ezekiel 28:12–19; John 8:44; Ephesians 6:10–18; Hebrews 1:14; 1 Peter 5:8–9; Jude 6
20: Resurrection and Judgments
We believe that all people will be physically resurrected after death. Nonbelievers will be judged by God at the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of the Millennial Kingdom and will suffer eternal separation from Him. Believers will be examined by Jesus Christ at the Judgment Seat of Christ during the Tribulation and will be rewarded according to their faithfulness. All believers will enjoy eternal fellowship with God in heaven.
John 5:24–29; 1 Corinthians 3:10–15; 2 Corinthians 5:9–10; Revelation 20:11–15
21: The End Times
We believe that the church age will end with the following sequence of events, which could begin at any moment:
The Rapture: Christ will appear and instantaneously gather all Christians to Himself.
1 Corinthians 15:51–58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18
The Tribulation: This seven-year period under the domination of the Antichrist is characterized by divine judgments.
Daniel 9:24–27; Revelation 4:1–18:24
The Return of Christ: Christ will personally and visibly return, with His church, to Earth to defeat the forces of the Antichrist and bind Satan.
Zechariah 14:1–15; Revelation 19:11–16
The Millennial Kingdom: Christ will personally reign on Earth over this one-thousand-year period of peace and righteousness. At the end of the millennium, Satan will rebel, again be defeated, and be cast into the lake of fire for eternity.
Isaiah 11:1–16; Revelation 20:1–10
The New Heavens, New Earth and New Jerusalem: Believers will eternally dwell in fellowship with God in this new creation.
Hebrews 12:22–24; Revelation 21:1–22:5