We believe God created all things and only God has existed eternally. All things were created for His glory and are sustained by His power. (Gen 1:1-25; John 1:3; Col 1:16-17)
We believe humanity was created in the image of God to reflect and mediate God’s authority over all of creation in perfect relationship with God.
We believe humanity now lives in rebellion against God, separated from fellowship with Him and no longer accurately representing Him. Adam and Eve, the first historical humans, failed in their task to represent God and chose instead to rebel against Him by eating the forbidden fruit. As a consequence of Adam’s original sin, every person inherits a corrupt nature, from which all personal acts of sin proceed. Apart from God’s gracious intervention, the penalty for sin is death and judgment. (Gen. 1:26-27; Gen 3:17-19; Rom. 3:10-23; Eph. 2:1-3; Heb 9:27; 1 John 3:8)
GOD THE FATHER
We believe there is only one true God who has eternally existed as three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are one in essence, equal in power and glory, having the same attributes and perfections. God is eternal, having neither beginning nor end. God is infinitely powerful, all-knowing, and free to do whatever He desires. At the same time, God is perfectly good, wise, loving, and righteous. (Deut 6:4; Matt 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14)
We believe in God the Father, almighty maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. We believe the Father is the sovereign ruler and judge over all things, infinite in his being and perfection. He loves and cares for all aspects of His creation. He is the reconciler of all who come to him through faith in his Son, Jesus Christ. He is infinitely holy and yet abounding in grace, all-powerful and yet compassionate, perfectly just and yet patiently merciful. (Genesis 1:1; Exodus 34:6-7; Matthew 5:45; 6:25-33; John 1:12, 18; Romans 8:14-17; First Corinthians 15:24-28; Galatians 4:5; Hebrews 12:5-9)
GOD THE SON
We believe in God the Son, Jesus Christ, who is fully God and fully man. He has existed from eternity past, without beginning, having the same essence as the Father. In fulfillment of the Scriptures, Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, living as a perfect, sinless man, while retaining full deity. Christ entered our world as a man to manifest God to men and to bring about our salvation. (Luke 2:40; John 1:1-2; Phil. 2:5-8)
We believe that Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice (1 Pet 3:18). We believe that our redemption and salvation is guaranteed to us by his physical resurrection from the dead. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ is now in heaven, exalted to the right hand of God, where he fulfills the ministry of intercession and advocacy as his people’s High Priest. (Rom 3:24-26; 4:25; Heb 7:23-25)
GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe in God the Spirit, an eternal divine person who has existed from eternity past, of one essence with the Father and the Son. In the present age the Spirit regenerates believers in Christ, baptizes them into the church, the body of Christ, indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, and bestows spiritual gifts upon each one. As the indwelling one, he is the believer’s source of all power and all acceptable worship and service. (John 3:8; 14:16; 15:26,27; 16:7-15; 1 Cor 12:4-13; 6:19; 13:8; Gal 5:22-23; Ephesians 4:30; 5:18)
We believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God. God communicated His exact intention, in wholly compatible wording, through human authors that were moved by the Holy Spirit. As such, the Bible is inerrant and infallible in its original manuscripts, true in all that it affirms. Of these sixty-six books, we have reliable copies that are our final and sufficient authority for faith and life. The Bible is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises. (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
SALVATION ONLY THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST
We believe the new birth of the believer comes only through faith in Christ, by the power of the Spirit, and not according to any measure of human works, such as baptism, prayer, or faithful service. Faith is granted to the unregenerate sinner as an unmerited gift of God. At the time a person exercises faith in Christ, he or she is indwelt with the Holy Spirit and given new life in an event called regeneration. Regeneration is entirely a work of God and cannot be produced through human effort, no matter how intense or emotional (John 1:12; 3:6-8; 3:16-18; Rom. 1:16-17; Gal. 3:22; Eph. 2:8-9)
PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
We believe that all who exercise genuine faith in Christ will persevere in their faith and ultimately be saved. God, who cannot fail, will in the end present every one of his children faultless before the presence of his glory and conformed to the image of his Son, as he has promised. (John 5:24; 10:28-29; 13:1; 14:16-17; 17:11; Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 6:19; Phil. 1:6; Heb. 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2; 5:13; Jude 24)
THE CHRISTIAN WALK
We believe God commands Christians to love Him supremely and to love others sacrificially. We are citizens of heaven living in the world but no longer of the world and are new creations in Christ who are called to live markedly distinct and holy lives. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, in obedience to the Word of God, along with the practice of spiritual disciplines, and participation in the fellowship of the Church, the believer is enabled by God to live in conformity to the will of the Father, to become more like our Lord Jesus Christ, and to manifest the fruit of the Spirit. We believe that Christians are ambassadors of Christ, God’s image-bearers in a fallen world, and are called to walk in the good works God has prepared for us. It is our responsibility to proclaim the gospel, to make disciples among the nations, and to glorify God in all that we do. (Acts 1:8; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 3:10-17, 10:31; 2 Cor. 5:20; 7:1; Gal. 5:16; Eph. 2:10; 5:15-21; Philippians 4:8-9; 2 Thess. 1:11-12; Titus 2:11-14; Hebrews 12:1-2, 14; James 1:27; 1 Peter 4:11; 1 John 3:1-10).
We believe divine, enabling gifts for service are bestowed by the Spirit upon all who are saved. While there is a diversity of gifts, each believer is energized by the same Spirit, and each is called to his own divinely appointed service as the Spirit may will. (Rom. 12:6; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; Eph. 4:11)
We believe rewards are promised according to the faithfulness of each believer in his service for his Lord, and that these rewards will be bestowed at the judgment seat of Christ after he comes to receive his own to himself. (1 Cor. 3:9-15; 9:18-27; 2 Cor. 5:10)
We believe the Church, the body and bride of Christ, consists of all persons in this present age who have become believers, being justified by God’s grace alone through faith in Christ alone. We believe God intends for believers to belong to and be part of a local church in order to be instructed in the faith, encouraged toward Christlikeness and to please Him through worship. The local church is to be led by qualified elders and served by qualified deacons. We believe the Lord Jesus, who is the Head of the Church, instituted the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper for believers to observe until His return. These ordinances are essential as expressions of our worship, confession, repentance and faith. They serve as a testimony to the good news of Jesus Christ in this age. (Matt. 28:19-20; Luke 22:19-20; Eph. 1:22, 23; 5:25-27; 1 Cor. 11:23-26; 12:12, 13).
FAMILY, MARRIAGE, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY
We believe God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption.
We believe God wonderfully and immutably creates each person biologically as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and likeness of God. (Gen 1:26-27.) Both men and women are equally valuable before God and each bears the image of God. Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe the term “marriage” has only one meaning: the uniting of one biological man and one biological woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen 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 Cor 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb 13:4) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe any form of sexual immorality is sinful and offensive to God, including but not limited to adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography. (Matt 15:18-20; 1 Cor 6:9-10)
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Grace Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Grace Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Grace Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this article. (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22)
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; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 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 Grace Church. Holding people to a Biblical authority does not constitute hateful or harassing behavior, if done in a proper fashion. We are committed to handling all such matters with an attitude of humility and grace.
SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE
We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Ps 139, Jeremiah 1:5)
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
We believe in the future, literal, premillennial return of our Lord Jesus Christ. At his second coming, Christ will return physically to the earth and fulfill his kingdom promises to Israel, reigning from Jerusalem for 1,000 years. At the conclusion of that age, Christ will judge all mankind, both the living and the dead. Those in Christ will be rescued from the wrath of God, which is to come upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus, while the unredeemed will be resurrected and thrown into the lake of fire with Satan and his angels. This judgment will be permanent and inescapable. (Matt 25:41; Acts 10:42, 2 Tim. 4:1, 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 14:10, 20:11-15).
After the judgment, God will establish a New Heaven and a New Earth where he will dwell among his people in perfect peace and fellowship forever and ever. The coming of Christ demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission. (1 Cor. 15:58; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Jer. 31:35-37; Matt. 19:27-28, 24:15–25:46; Acts 15:16–17; Rom. 8:19–23; 11:25–27; 1 Thess. 1:10; 4:13-18; 2 Thess. 1:8; 1 Tim. 4:1–3; 2 Tim. 3:1–5; 2 Peter 3:8-10; Rev. 20:1-21:2)
FINAL AUTHORITY FOR MATTERS OF FAITH AND CONDUCT
This statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired, inerrant, authoritative Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Grace Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our Board of Elders is Grace Church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.