Doctrinal Statement

THE STATEMENT OF FAITH OF GRACE BIBLE CHURCH

SECTION A. THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.

We believe the Holy Scriptures, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God, His only special revelation to man, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible and God-breathed (John 16:12-13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18).

SECTION B: THE TRUE GOD.

THE TRINITY: We believe there is one and only one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, co-equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. Among the attributes of the Triune God: He is infinite, immutable, all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere present, inexpressibly glorious in holiness. He is worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:21-22; 64:8; Psalm 90:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Chronicles 29:11-12; Romans 11:33-36; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17; Jeremiah 32:27; Matthew 19:26; Psalm 147:5; 1 John 3:20; Psalm 139:7-10; Psalm 29:2; Deuteronomy 6:5; Revelation 4:11).

1. GOD THE FATHER. We believe in God the Father, an infinite Spirit, the Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth, and the Recipient of all our prayers (John 1:18; Colossians 1:15; 1 Corinthians 2:11-12; Matthew 6:6-13; Philippians 4:6).

2. GOD THE SON.

a. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (John 1:1-2,14; Luke 1:26-35).

b. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our eternal redemption through the shedding of His blood in death on the cross as our representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice, and that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Romans 3:24-25; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2:24; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

c. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of representative, intercessor, and advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 9:24; 7:25; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2).

3. GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.

a. We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, equal with God the Father and God the Son, and of the same nature, who convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment; that He is the supernatural Agent in the regeneration Who baptizes all believers into the body of Christ and indwells and seals them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 1:13-14).

b. We believe that He is the divine Teacher who guides believers into all truth; and that it is the privilege and duty of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit (John 16:13; 1 John 2:20,27; Ephesians 5:18).

SECTION C. THE SATAN (THE DEVIL).

We believe in the reality and personality of Satan (the Devil), who is the author of sin, and the cause of the fall; that he was created by God as an angel, but through pride and rebellion became the declared enemy of his Creator and man, the accuser of the brethren, the unholy god of this age, the ruler of all the powers of darkness; that he is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Matthew 4:1-11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:7-12; 20:10).  

SECTION D. THE CREATION AND FALL OF MAN.

1. We believe the Biblical account of the creation of the physical universe, angels, and man; that this account is neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate, creative acts of God in six solar days without any evolutionary process; that man was created by a direct work of God and not from previously existing forms of life; and that all men are descended from the historical Adam and Eve, the first parents of the entire human race (Genesis 1;2; Colossians 1:16-17; John 1:3).

2. We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God under the law of his Maker, but, by voluntary transgression, Adam fell from his innocent state and all men sinned in him. The consequences of this act are that all men are totally depraved, are partakers of Adam’s fallen nature, are sinners by nature and by conduct and, therefore, are under just condemnation without defense or excuse and are, of themselves, utterly unable to remedy their lost condition (Genesis 1:26-27; 3:1-6; Romans 1:18,32; 3:10-23; 5:12,19; Ephesians 2:1-3,12).

SECTION E. THE GRACE OF GOD.

1. We believe that salvation is the gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose precious blood was shed on Calvary for the forgiveness of our sins. Once a person is saved, he is a new creation in Christ Jesus: This new birth is instantaneous and not a process (Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

2. We believe that justification is that judicial act of God whereby He declares the believer righteous upon the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ, and that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s shed blood (Romans 3:24; 4:5; 5:1,9; Galatians 2:16; Philippians 3:9).

3. We believe that sanctification is the divine setting-apart of the believer unto God, accomplished in a threefold manner: first, an eternal act of God, based upon redemption in Christ, establishing the believer in a position of holiness at the moment he trusts the Savior; second, a continuing process in the saint as the Holy Spirit applies the Word of God to the life; and, third, the final accomplishment of this process at the Lord’s return (Hebrews 10:10-14; John 17:17; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4; 5:23-24; 1 John 3:2; Jude 24-25).

4. We believe that every saved person possesses two natures, with provision made for victory of the new nature over the old nature through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and that all claims to the eradication of the old nature in this life are unscriptural (Romans 6:13; 8:12-13; Galatians 5:16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:10; 1 Peter 1:14-16; 1 John 3:5-9).

5. We believe that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever (John 6:37-40; 10:27-29; Romans 8:38-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 1 Peter 1:5).

6. We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word; however, Scripture clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Romans 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).

SECTION F. THE CHURCH.

1. We believe that the Church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up entirely of born-again people of this present age. The Lord Jesus Christ, Who is glorified in Heaven, is its Head, and the Holy Spirit on earth is the active agent of the God-Head, Who seeks to bring about within the church obedience to the Word of God and the Will of God. This one body unites believers to each other, and all to Christ, and its chief purpose of existence is to glorify God through the evangelization of the world and the building up of its members into maturity and Christ-likeness (Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8; Acts 2; 15:14; Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 12:12-18; Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23,27; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 4:11-16).

2. We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 20:17,28-32; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11).

3. We believe in the autonomy of the local church, free of any external authority or control (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Romans 16:1,4; 1 Corinthians 3:9,16; 5:4-7,13; 1 Peter 5:1-4).

ORDINANCES:

1. We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our identification with the crucified, buried and risen Savior, through Whom we died to sin and rose to a new life; that baptism is to be performed under the authority of the local church; and that it is a prerequisite to church membership (Acts 8:36-39; John 3:23; Romans 6:3-5; Matthew 3:16; Colossians 2:12; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:41-42).(See: Baptism)

2. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is the commemoration of His death until He comes, and should always be preceded by solemn self-examination (1 Corinthians 11:23-28).  (See: Communion)

MINISTRY AND SPIRITUAL GIFTS:

1. We believe members of the church should meet regularly for worship, exhortation, and fellowship (Hebrews 10:25).

2. We believe that the desire to give one’s time and material wealth to Christ is an attitude prompted by the Word and the Holy Spirit. One’s giving should be an expression of gratitude and thanksgiving to God. It is an external expression of an internal spiritual condition. Our giving should be personal, proportional as God has prospered, not grudgingly or of necessity. A Spirit-led believer will exhibit generosity, regularity, and cheerfulness in his giving, and in giving he will neither seek nor desire the acclaim of men or self. Examples of such Spirit-led giving include Abraham, who gave 10%, and the widow who gave all she had. Those who give sacrificially are commended by God (Genesis 14:18-20; Matthew 6:19-21; Luke 21:1-4; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9; 9:7; Hebrews 7:1-2; 1 John 3:11-17).

3. We believe that we should carry out the great commission of the Lord in spreading the Gospel message and making disciples of the Lord to "the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19-20).

4. We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowment of His gifts and that, today, evangelists, Pastors, and teachers are sufficient for the equipping of the saints, for the work of ministry, to the building up the body of Christ; that speaking in tongues and the working of sign-miracles gradually ceased as the New Testament Scriptures were completed and their authority became established (I Corinthians 12-14; 2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:7-12).

5. We believe that God does hear and answer the prayer offered in faith, in accord with His own will for the sick and afflicted (John 15:7; 1 John 5:14-15; James 5:13-16).

SEPARATION:

We believe that the Scriptures clearly teach non-conformity to the world for every believer; that born-again people should be separated from the world unto Christ; that it is clearly commanded by God that all believers should lives separated from all religious apostasy, worldly and sinful practices; and should be holy as He is holy (John 17:9-20; Romans 6-8; 1 Corinthians 6:11,19-20; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 6:14-17; 7:1; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 5:25-27; Colossians 1:13; 3:1-4; Titus 2:11-12,14; Hebrews 10:14; 1 Peter 1:14-16).

CIVIL GOVERNMENT:

We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interests and good order of human society, and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed, except in those things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming King of Kings (Romans 13:1-7; Acts 23:5; Matthew 22:21; Acts 5:29; 4:19-20; Daniel 3:17-18).

SECTION G. THE RAPTURE.

1. We believe in the pre-millennial return of Christ, an event which can occur at any moment, and that at that moment, the dead in Christ shall be raised in glorified bodies, the living in Christ shall be given glorified bodies without tasting death, and all of them shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air before the seven years of the tribulation (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; 1 Corinthians15:42-44, 51-54; Philippians 3:20-21).

2. We believe that the tribulation, which follows the rapture of the church, will be culminated by the revelation of Christ in power and great glory to sit upon the throne of David and to establish the millennial kingdom (Daniel 9:25-27; Matthew 24:5-31; Luke 1:30-33; Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:1-9; Acts 2:29-30; Revelation 20:1-4,6).

SECTION H. ISRAEL.

We believe in the sovereign selection of Israel as God’s eternal covenant people, that she is now dispersed because of her disobedience and rejection of Christ, that she will be regathered in the Holy Land and, after the completion of the church, will be saved as a nation at the second advent of Christ (Genesis 13:14-17; Romans 11:1-32; Ezekiel 37).

SECTION I. THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED.

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and wicked; that only such as are justified through faith in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem while all who continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse and, therefore, stand condemned before God. This distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting blessedness of the saved and the everlasting conscious suffering of the lost (Malachi 3:18; Genesis 18:23; Romans 6:17-18; Proverbs 11:31; Romans 1:17-18; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Acts 10:34-35; 1 John 2:29; Romans 6:16; Galatians 3:10; Romans 6:23; Proverbs 14:32; Luke 16:25; Matthew 25:34,41; Matthew 7:13-14).

SECTION J. THE RESURRECTION.

We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men: the saved to eternal life and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment. The souls of the redeemed at death are absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul and body are reunited to be forever glorified with the Lord. The souls of the unbelievers, after death, remain in conscious misery until the second resurrection, when with spirit, soul and body reunited they shall appear before the Great White Throne Judgment and shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting, conscious punishment (Luke 16:19-26; Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29; 11:25-26; Philippians 1:23; 3:21; 2 Corinthians 5:8,10; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 20:4-6, 12-13).


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