Doctrinal Statement of Grace Bible Church
Grace Bible Church is about people rather than programs.
Our theme is to "walk in Him" and our ministries aim to train, care for, and serve the people within the fellowship.
It is our desire to know God and to make Him known. Our prayer is that men and women from every walk of life might see our Lord clearly and vividly in all that we do, and learn the richness and joy of a life lived by His grace and power through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We welcome you to our services and the ministries of our fellowship.
Recognizing that the Bible is the very word of the Living God to man, and understanding the priority of knowing and obeying its truths, the leadership team here at Grace Bible Church is deeply committed to studying and teaching Scripture with diligence and authority.
Thus, the central ministry of Grace Bible Church is the continuous imparting of biblical truth to the people of God that they may know God and serve Him in worship and ministry.
This publication presents the elders' convictions regarding the major theological truths of the Bible, built on years of study and teaching. These are the primary doctrines of the Christian faith, and they reflect the heart of the teaching here at Grace Bible Church.
Stephen H. Converse, Pastor-Teacher
Articles of Faith
WE, THE MEMBERS OF GRACE BIBLE CHURCH, having placed our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation, and believing in the teachings and principles of the Holy Scriptures, do adopt the following as our standard for faith and practice.
A. The purpose of this church shall be to win the lost to Christ and to edify the believer.
B. We seek to attain this end through: the public worship of GOD; the preaching of the Word of GOD; the administration of the ordinance of believer's baptism by immersion to those requesting it; the administration of the ordinance of the Lord's Supper (Communion); prayer; separation unto GOD for victorious living and from the world, apostasy, and entangling alliances with unbelievers; submission unto the loving oversight and discipline of the elders of this church; personal evangelism; missionary endeavor; and Christian education.
DECLARATION OF FAITH
A. THE SCRIPTURES
We believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be verbally inspired by GOD and inerrant in the original writings, and that they are of supreme and final authority in faith and life (I Cor. 2:11; 10:11; II Tim. 1:16-17; II Pet. 1:21).
B. THE GODHEAD
We believe in one God who eternally exists as three persons — the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit — and whose attributes include love, truth, eternality, omnipotence, infallibility, omniscience, omnipresence, immutability, justice and holiness (Matt. 28:19,20; Mark 11:29; John 1:1,14; 10:10; Acts 5:1,4; II Cor. 13:14).
1. THE FATHER
We believe in GOD the Father, the only true GOD, who created all things and in whom we live and move and have our being (Matt. 28:19; John 17:3; Acts 17:28; Rev. 4:11). The Father so loved the world that He purposed in eternity to send His Son to save fallen mankind (John 1:16; Eph. 1:3-4;
I Tim. 2:3-4).
2. THE SON
We believe in Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of GOD, the Eternal Word manifested in flesh. We believe that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, and that He is true GOD and true man (Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:30; John 1:1,2,14,18; 3:16; Phil. 2:5—8).
3. THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person who is co-equal with GOD the Father and GOD the Son; that He convicts of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; that He is the agent of the new birth; and that He seals, empowers, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and comforts the believer (Matt. 28:19; John 14:15-17, 26; 16:7—11; Rom. 8:14—16, 26, 27; Eph. 1:13, 14; Heb. 9:14; I Pet. 1:2).
C. ANGELS AND SATAN
1. We believe that the angels are ministering spirits of GOD on behalf of all believers (Heb. 1:6-7, 14).
2. We believe in the personality of Satan, the archenemy of GOD and the leader of fallen angels. He deceives the world and is destined to the judgment of an eternal justice in the lake of fire. We believe that he can exercise vast power, but only so far as God allows him to do so (Job 1:12; Isa. 14:12-17; Matt. 4:2—11; 25:41; John 8:44; I Pet. 5:8-9; Rev. 12:9-10; 20:10).
We believe that man was created in the image of God and that, by voluntary transgression, fell from his sinless state, in consequence of which all men are now sinners and guilty before God and under the just condemnation of God (Gen. 1:27; 2:7; 3:1—24; Rom. 5:8,12). We believe that because of the total depravity of man, the new birth is necessary and can only he obtained through being born of the Spirit and exercising faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Gen. 2:17; John 3:3, 5, 7; Rom. 3:10—18; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6). All men, until they accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, are lost, darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, hardened in heart, and morally and spiritually dead through their trespasses and sins (Luke 19:10; Rom. 1:21; 5:12; Eph. 2:11; 4:18). We believe in the privilege of the individual soul to approach GOD directly through the Holy Spirit (John 14:6; 16:13; Acts 4:12; Eph. 1:13; I Tim. 2:5).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice, to satisfy divine justice, and that all who trust In him are justified on the ground of His shed blood and are born again by the quickening, renewing and cleansing work of the holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Sword of God. All those, who by faith receive Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, become children of God and receive eternal life (Isa. 53:5—11; John 1:12; 3:3—7,16-18, 36; Rom. 3:23, 24; 10:9-10, 17; I Cor. 15:3,4). We believe that our Lord was raised from the dead because of our justification, according to the Scriptures, and in the same body, though glorified, in which he lived and died, and that his resurrection body is the pattern of that body which, at the return of Christ, will be given to all resurrected believers (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:20; Acts 2:32; Rom. 4:25; I Cor. 15:20—23, 42—45; Phil. 3:20-21). We believe that our Lord ascended to heaven, was seated at his Father's right hand, assuring us of the perfection of his work of redemption, and that he now, as head over all things to the Church, is en gaged on behalf of the saved as Intercessor and Advocate (Eph. 1:22-23; I Tim. 2:5; Heb. 1:2-3,13; 7:25; I John 2:1). We believe that all who have received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are kept by the power of God through faith (I Pet. 1:5). However, God cannot overlook sin in his children and will, therefore, chasten and correct then in love (John 12:27-29; II Tim. 1:12; Heb. 7:25; 12:4—11; I John 1:8—10; Jude 24).
F. THE CHURCH
We believe that the Church Universal is the Body and Bride of Christ, a divine organism of which the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head, and that it is composed of all born again believers (Matt. 16:16—18; Acts 2:47; 5:14; II Cor. 11:1-2; Eph. 1:22-23). A local church is composed of a group of believers who associate themselves together for the preaching of the Word, celebration of the ordinances, prayers, Christian service, under duly elected officers (Matt. 28:19; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:42; 4:32—37; 6:56; 14:23; 20:17). We believe in the complete independence of the local church and in the fellowship of churches of like precious faith and practice (Acts 15:1-4; I Cor. 12:12-28; Eph. 2:19—22; 4:4—7; Heb. 10:25). We believe in the absolute separation of Church and State (Matt. 22:21).
G. THE ORDINANCES
We believe in the beautifully symbolic ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper (Matt. 28:19; Luke 22:19-20).
We believe that those who receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are instructed to be baptized (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 8:36—39). We believe, further, that water baptism symbolizes the baptism of the Holy Spirit, our union and identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection (Rom. 8:3— 8); and that it is a step of obedience in the process of discipleship (Matt. 28:19,20). Immersion shall be the practice of this church.
2. THE LORD'S SUPPER
The Lord's Supper was instituted by Christ to be observed till He comes (I Cor. 11:23-26). The broken bread and the wine symbolize the Lord's broken body and shed blood, and the eating and drinking is our appropriation of His sacrifice by faith (Matt. 26:26-27). This communion commemorates His death and proclaims it to all (I Cor. 10:16; 11:24—26). Only believers should participate. Children should refrain until they understand its spiritual significance. Believers should participate only after self-examination and assurance of God's forgiveness (I Cor. 5:8; 11:28—32; I John 1:9).
H. THE FUTURE
We believe in the personal visible return of Jesus Christ. He will come for His saints to gather them unto Himself, and later, with His saints to judge the nations and to establish upon earth His messianic kingdom. We believe in the bodily resurrection of the just to eternal abode in the glory of His presence, and in the bodily resurrection of the unjust unto judgment and everlasting conscious punishment in the lake of fire (Dan. 7:13—18; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; I Cor. 15:23—25,51,52; I Thess. 4:14—18; II Thess. 1:7—10;Rev. 5:10; 20:4—6,11—15).
I. LIFE AND CONDUCT
1. SEPARATION UNTO GOD FOR VICTORIOUS LIVING
We believe that it seems good to call the attention of believers to the Scriptural teaching which requires of them separation unto God for His service and ministry (Rom. 12:1-2). Certain simple practices are commended for the experiencing and maintaining of such a life of victory, namely: (1) daily study of the Word (John 8:31-32; Acts 17:11; Rom. 15:4); (2) a consistent prayer life (Luke 18:1; John 14:13-14; 15:7; Phil. 4:6; Heb. 4:16; James 1:5-6); (3) regular assembling together with other believers (Heb. 10:25); (4) consistent witnessing to others to the end that they night be saved (Matt. 10:32; Mark 1:17; Luke 8:39; John 20:21; Acts 1:8); (5) generous, Spirit—directed giving, proportionate to God's blessing (Matt. 10:8; I Cor. 16:2; II Cor. 9:7); (6) some real part in going, praying and giving for the preaching of the gospel in all the world (Luke 24:46—48).
2. SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD, APOSTASY AND UNBELIEVERS
In view of the prevalent apostasy and worldliness among professing Christians, it seems good to call the attention of believers to the plain teaching of God's Word concerning worldly practices or entangling alliances with unbelievers as is contained in Rom. 12:2; II Cor. 6:14—7:1; I John 2:15-16. We believe that the child of God should refrain from the carnal pleasures of the world and from questionable practices which could be harmful to his influence or a stumbling block to weaker brethren. We believe that the Scriptures for bid the marriage of Christians with unbelievers (Deut. 7:3-4; I Cor. 7:39).
Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, we covenant together, God helping us, that as strangers and pilgrims we will abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul (I Pet. 2:11); that we will, by the Spirit's enablement. put away from us all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and evil speaking and be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God through Christ has forgiven us (Eph. 4:31-32); that, as we have opportunity, we will do good to all men, especially unto them who are of the house hold of faith (Gal. 6:10); that we will remember Them which have the rule over us, who speak unto us the Word of GOD (Heb. 13:7); and that we will give as GOD has prospered us (I Cor. 16:2), not grudgingly, or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver (II Cor. 9:7).
Any person who publicly confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and indicates a willingness to adhere to the Declaration of Faith and the Covenant of this church and to live in accordance with the principles of both shall be welcomed into this church. Members are encouraged to be in regular attendance at the worship services and to contribute to the material needs of the church. They shall be willing to serve the Lord as teachers, officers or workers in accordance with their strength, ability and spiritual gifts. Also, members are encouraged to have family worship and to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Doctrinal Statement of Grace Bible Church