What We Believe
The following is a summary of what we believe. A copy of our full constitution is available upon request.
We believe the Bible to be the verbally inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings and the supreme and final authority in doctrine and practice (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21; John 17:17; Matthew 5:18).
We believe in one God existing in three equal persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – who have the same nature and attributes but who are distinct in office and activity (Matthew 28:19; II Corinthians 13:14). We believe the Triune God is creator of all things.
THE PERSON AND WORK OF GOD THE FATHER
We believe that God is, in His nature, among other things, completely holy, all-powerful, all-knowing, omnipresent, eternal, just and loving. He is totally sovereign in all that has or shall come to pass. As such, He is the author of election, through which He chooses a people for Himself. He was the begetter and sender of His only Son, Jesus Christ. As the Father of the elect, He is also the provider and disciplinarian (Acts 17:29; Romans 11:25-29; I John 1:5; Matthew 3:17; Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 1:3-6; John 3:16; Matthew 6:30-32; Psalm 139:1-18).
THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became a man without ceasing to be God. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary in order that He might reveal God to man and redeem sinful man. We believe that He accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that our redemption and salvation is guaranteed by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (John 1:1, 14, 18; Luke 1:35; Romans 3:24-26, 4:25).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is now in Heaven, exalted at the right hand of God, where, as High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of intercession and advocacy for His people (Hebrews 1:3, 3:1, 7:23-25; I John 2:1-2).
THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that God, the Holy Spirit, is that person of the Trinity who restrains evil in the world and convicts men of sin. He also regenerates those who receive Christ as Savior, baptizing them at the moment of salvation into the Church (the Body of Christ), indwells them permanently, seals them unto the day of redemption, bestows on them spiritual gifts and empowers those yielded to Him. It is the Spirit’s ministry to lead, instruct, and fill (or control) believers as they are yielded to Him and are steadfast in the study of Scripture and in prayer (John 16:7-11, 3:8, 14:16-17; I Corinthians 12:4-11, 13; Ephesians 4:30, 5:18).
ANGELS AND SATAN
We believe that angels are spiritual beings who were created in a sinless state and that they occupied different orders and ranks. They presently exist in both fallen and unfallen states; the former includes Satan and his angels (Hebrews 1:13-14; II Peter 2:4; Revelation 7:12).
We believe that Satan, by his own choice the enemy of God, is the originator of sin. We believe he led our first parents into sin and now rules as the god of this world. Satan was judged at the cross and ultimately will be cast into the Lake of Fire for eternity (Isaiah 14:12 14; Genesis 3:1-19; Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 20:10).
CREATION AND THE FALL
We believe that all things in Heaven and on earth were created by God and exist by His power and for His glory (Genesis 1:1; Colossians 1:16-17).
We believe that man was created innocent and in the image and likeness of God, but that he sinned, bringing both physical and spiritual death to himself and to his posterity. We believe that man has inherited a sinful nature, is alienated from God, is incapable of redeeming himself, and is in need of salvation (Genesis 1:27, 2:17, 3:19; Romans 3:10-12, 5:12, 17-19)
We believe that every man is lost in sin apart from Christ and in need of a Savior. We believe that salvation is a gift of God and is received by man only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. We believe that man is justified by grace through faith alone, apart from works (Acts 13:38-39; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 3:23-34).
We believe that all born again believers are kept secure in Christ forever (Romans 8:1, 38-39; John 10:27-30).
We believe that sanctification, which is a setting apart of an individual unto God, is positional, progressive, and ultimate:
Positionally, it is already complete, since the believer is in Christ and is set apart unto God as Christ is set apart unto God. Since the believer retains his sinful nature, however, there is need for progressive sanctification (or spiritual growth) whereby the Christian matures in grace by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ultimately, the child of God will be sanctified when he is taken to be with Christ and becomes like Him (John 17:17; II Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 5:25-27; I Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 10:10, 14; I John 3:2-3).
We believe that the universal church, the body and bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism, made up of all born again persons of this age. We believe that the church began at Pentecost and that a believer is placed into the church by the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit. We believe that the church is distinct from Israel (Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:25-27; I Corinthians 12:12-13, 10:32; Acts 2:1-4, 11:16-17).
We believe that the local church is an assembly of professed believers in Jesus Christ who are voluntarily joined together in one locality for the purpose of worship, study of the Word of God, observance of the ordinances, Christian fellowship, and prayer, thereby to be equipped for Christian service and evangelism (Acts 2:42-47; Ephesians 4:11-13).
We believe that Christ instituted the ordinances of water baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which are to be observed by believers until He returns (Matthew 28:19-20; I Corinthians 11:12-26).
We believe that by water baptism a believer is publicly identified with his Savior in His death, burial, and resurrection and that immersion is the Scriptural mode (Acts 8:36-38).
We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a remembrance of Christ’s death by which He established the new covenant, the elements being symbols of and calling to mind His broken body and shed blood. Every Christian has a right to partake of the elements of the Lord’s Supper, but participation should be preceded by solemn self-examination (I Corinthians 10: 16, 17; 11:23-24; Luke 22:17-20).
EVENTS OF THE END TIMES
- The blessed hope: We believe in the personal, return of the Lord Jesus Christ in the air to receive to Himself all those, dead or alive, who belong to Him. This event, the rapture of the church, is the blessed hope for which we should be constantly looking (John 14:1-3; I Corinthians 15:51-52; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14).
- The tribulation: For seven years at the end of this dispensation the earth will undergo a time of judgment known as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” or “the tribulation”. During this period many will turn to Christ and be slain for their faith (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:14-22; Revelation 6:1-19, 21; II Thessalonians 2:3-12).
- The second advent: The culmination of the tribulation will be the personal, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth to establish the millennial age, during which He will reign, Satan will be bound, Israel will be restored and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord (Isaiah 11:9; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Matthew 24:15-25, 46; II Timothy 3:1-5; Revelation 20:1-3).
- The eternal state: We believe that the spirits of believers in Jesus Christ in this age pass immediately into His presence at death and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His coming for the church. At that time the spirit and body shall be reunited and shall be associated with Him forever in glory. We believe that the spirits of unbelievers remain in conscious torment in Hades after death until the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the millennium. At that time the spirit and body shall be reunited and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be destroyed but to be punished with everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord (Luke 16:19-26, 23:43; II Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Revelation 20:11-15).
THE INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE
We believe the Holy Spirit is the author of all Scripture, which includes the accepted 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, therefore, we must rely on the Holy Spirit to illuminate and apply all of the Scriptures to our lives (John 14:16, 16:13; II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21).
God’s dealings with men have always been by the principle of grace through faith which has always been a common theme in the lives of saints (Hebrews 11:6). However, because of God’s progressive Revelation throughout the various ages, mankind’s responsibility toward God has increased in each age. When these Revelations in Scripture are to be interpreted and applied, the abiding principles related to God's will are to be interpreted in light of the specific details of the revealed requirements which may be binding upon one age alone. (Ephesians 3:1-10; Galatians 3:23-25).
We believe that according to the “eternal purpose” of God, salvation in the divine reckoning is always reckoned by grace, through faith, and rests upon the basis of the shed blood of Christ (I Corinthians 9:17; Ephesians 3:2, 9; Colossians 1:25; I Timothy 1:4).
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.)
MARRIAGE, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen 1:26-27.) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
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. We define this union as a lifelong commitment made between a man and a women before witnesses! (Gen 2:18-25.)
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 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. (Matt 15:18 20; 1 Cor 6:9-10.)
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Grace Bible Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Grace Bible Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Grace Bible Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (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 Bible Church.
Because God has ordained marriage and defined it as the covenant relationship between a man, a woman, and Himself, Grace Bible Church will only recognize marriages between a biological man and a biological woman. Further, the pastors and staff of Grace Bible Church shall only participate in weddings and solemnize marriages between one man and one woman. Finally, the facilities and property of Grace Bible Church shall only host weddings and activities between one man and one woman.