These Things We Believe and Teach
Doctrinal Statement of Grace Baptist Church
1. We believe and teach that the Bible is the Word of God. It is God’s completed revelation to man. It fully instructs man concerning salvation and how to live to glorify God. The Bible consists only of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. Nothing, at any time or in any way, is to be added to or taken away from the Bible as God’s Word. Every word of the Bible is inspired by God, and it is, therefore, infallible and without error.
1 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Revelation 22:18-19; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Proverbs 30:5
2. We believe and teach that there is one true and living God who is revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is infinite, eternal, righteous, holy, and unchangeable. He is perfect in all His attributes.
As the Father, God rules sovereignly over the universe He created. He providentially directs the affairs of history according to the purposes of His grace.
As the Son, God entered human history as the promised Messiah of the Old Testament, Jesus Christ. He was born of a virgin, lived a perfectly sinless life, died on the cross as the substitutionary sacrifice for sins, rose bodily from the dead to justify believers, and ascended to the right hand of the Father where He now lives to intercede for believers. His Bride, the Church, now awaits His return in power and glory, at which time He will judge rebellious sinners and reward His redeemed saints.
As the Holy Spirit, God is the sovereign agent in regeneration. Every believer possesses the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit from the moment of salvation, and it is the duty of all those born of the Spirit to be filled with (controlled by) Him. The Holy Spirit glorifies neither Himself, nor His gifts, by conspicuous displays, but He does glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost, trans-forming believers into the image of Christ, and building up believers in the faith.
Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19; Romans 11:33; 1 Timothy 1:17; Daniel 9:13-14; Psalms 99:9; Malachi 3:6; 2 Samuel 22:31; Psalms 103:19; Ephesians 1:3-12; Philippians 2:5-8; Matthew 1:23,25; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 3:18;Matthew 28:6; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; Matthew 24:30-31; Acts 17:31; Romans 2:16; 2 Timothy 4:1,8; John 3:5-8; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18; John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
3. We believe and teach that all men are sinners and need the Savior, Jesus Christ. Man was directly and immediately created by God in His spiritual image and likeness and was free of sin. God is the creator, and man is His creation. God intended for man to glorify Him, enjoy His fellowship, and live in His will. When Adam (a literal man) disobeyed the revealed will and Word of God, sin entered into the world, and death by sin. Since that time, all men have been born with a sinful nature, and have, consequently, chosen to sin. Sin is rebellion against God and His Word. Man’s sin alienates him from God and leaves him subject to God’s eternal wrath in hell. Furthermore, man has no ability to change his own sinful nature. Apart from Christ, therefore, man is both hopeless and helpless. This is what it means to be lost.
Romans 3:23; Genesis 1-3; Psalm 100:3; Romans 5:12; 1 John 3:4; Isaiah 59:2; Romans1:18; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3; Jeremiah 13:23; Ephesians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 4:3
4. We believe and teach that Jesus died on the cross and rose again the third day to provide salvation for sinful men. It is on the basis of the shed blood of Christ, His substitutionary death at Calvary, that Holy God is able to forgive sins. It is also on this basis that God is able to apply the righteousness of Christ to men, thus making them fit for heaven. He does this for all who will trust in that sacrifice alone for their salvation. This kind of saving trust is always accompanied by repentance from sins (a changed life), and confession of Jesus as Lord (a changed allegiance). Because sinners, apart from Christ, are spiritually dead, only those who are born again see and understand and receive God’s salvation. Salvation, therefore, is entirely an act of God’s grace. There is nothing man can do to earn or merit it. It is a gift from God.
1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Hebrews 9:22; Romans 3:24-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 4:1-8; Acts 20:20-21; Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:1-3; John 3:1-16; Ephesians 2:8-9
5. We believe and teach that those who are saved are eternally secure. They are kept by the power of God. Those who are truly saved may rejoice in the assurance of their eternal salvation because of the testimony of God’s Word. However, this doctrine of eternal security can never be used as a license for carnality, because when a person claims to be saved, but returns to a life of unrepentant sinful living, it is an indication they never were truly born again.
John 5:24; John 6:37-40; John 10:27-30; Romans 8:29-39; Ephesians 4:30; 1 John 5:10-13; Jude 24; 1 John 2:3-6
6. We believe and teach that God primarily carries out His work in the world today through His true New Testament local Churches. While other organizations and individuals can be used by God to carry out His eternal purposes, He primarily does His work through believers who have associated together in local Churches desiring to obey and follow Him. Therefore, every believer should be Scripturally baptized by immersion and join in full and faithful fellowship with a local Bible believing, Bible preaching and teaching, Bible obeying Church. The fellowship among believers in a local Church is one of mutual accountability and responsibility.
Christ is the head of the Church and has ordained that His Churches be led and served by Elders and also served by Deacons. The two ordinances of the Church are baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is an act of obedience that gives public testimony of what God has done in the life of a believer. The Lord’s Supper is a memorial of Christ’s death. Neither of these two ordinances has any saving value.
While the Church is to obey all of God’s Word, its primary mission is to be a witness of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ: first in its own local setting, and ultimately throughout the earth. Missions, therefore, is simply expanding the evangelistic outreach of the local Church to geographical regions beyond its immediate horizons. The ultimate end of mission work is the formation of new local Churches which, in turn, become new outreach centers in the world.
A local Church is free to associate with other true Churches in fellowship and in furthering the faith, but is responsible to keep itself from those who hold doctrines or practices contrary to Holy Scripture.
Hebrews 10:25; Acts 20:17, 28; Galatians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; Matthew 28:19-20; Ephesians 1:16-23; Ephesians 5:23-24; Colossians 1:18; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; 1 Corinthians 11:18-29; Acts 1:8; Acts 14:23; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 2 Corinthians 11:8; Galatians 1:8-9; 1 John 2:19