STATEMENT OF FAITH
Grace Bible Church
Statement of Faith
We understand that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” written by holy men as they “were moved by the Holy Spirit.” We therefore believe that the whole Bible (66 books) is without error in the recording of this divine revelation and has absolute and complete authority.
There is one God, eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
THE PERSON OF CHRIST
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 man.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe the Holy Spirit is a person, who convicts the world of sin, and who regenerates, baptizes, seals, indwells, enlightens and empowers.
MANKIND’S NATURAL CONDITION
We believe that man was created in the image of God, but that in Adam’s sin, the race fell, inherited a sinful nature, became alienated from God and is totally unable to please God in this lost condition. All men are thus, by nature, dead in trespasses and sins, and are therefore totally unable to do anything pleasing to God. Sin separates man from God.
God justifies (declares not guilty) ungodly sinners by His grace, upon the ground of the blood of Christ, through the means of faith. Complete salvation, forgiveness and justification are given as an unconditional gift of God through our faith in Christ and not by any work of our own. This gift of salvation is given to us when we only believe in the Person of Jesus Christ and His completed work on the cross.
All believers are eternally secure in Christ. Eternal life begins at the point of believing.
All saved persons have been made members of the Body of Christ by one spiritual baptism into Christ by the Spirit. By that one baptism every member of the body of Christ is identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. In light of the statement concerning one baptism in Ephesians 4:5 and the statement concerning baptism in Colossians 2:12, and Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 1:17 that “Christ sent me not to baptize but to preach the gospel,” we affirm that water baptism is not relevant in God’s Spiritual program for the Body of Christ in this present dispensation of grace.
By reason of Christ’s victory over sin and of His indwelling Spirit, all the saved may and should experience deliverance from the power of sin by obedience to Ephesians 4:23. When we live in the state of renewing the mind we have put off the old nature and we have put on the new. However, we deny that man’s nature of sin is ever eradicated during his life.
As saints and members of the true church, we are to maintain a Christ-honoring testimony, separate from all forms of worldliness and apostasy, and to demonstrate obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ and love to all men.
We believe that God created and blessed the family as the foundation of society. Marriage unites one male (man) and one female (woman) in a lifetime commitment to each other. We believe civil unions and domestic partnerships do not constitute a biblical marriage nor do we acknowledge them as such. The marriage relationship is biblically the only legitimate and accepted sexual relationship. Marriage is designed by God to be a monogamous lifelong commitment between a man and a woman. Children are a gift from God and are fully human from conception. Parents are to train their children by modeling a godly life, teaching them the Scriptures, disciplining them in love and providing them a resource of wisdom and counsel.
We believe that God has dispensed His dealing with mankind in different ways throughout history. Those who are chosen to announce these changes of dispensations are called stewards. We are currently living in the dispensation of grace, the steward of which is the Apostle Paul. This current dispensation of grace was a mystery that was hid in God from the beginning of the world until revealed to the Apostle Paul.
The church is the body of Christ and functions to carry out His work, ministry and mission while here on earth. Its power, commissioning and authority come from the ministry of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. By God’s grace the Apostle Paul received the revelation of the mystery that every individual (Jew or Gentile) can receive salvation through faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection. We look to the Pauline epistles for guidance on church conduct, doctrine and practice.
The mission and commission of the church, the body of Christ, is to build up and edify believers, proclaim the message of reconciliation and teach and preach sound doctrine given to us through the Apostle Paul according to the revelation of the mystery, with all boldness but in gentleness, in accordance with rightly dividing the word of truth. We, like Paul, must preach the entire Word of God in the light of Paul’s gospel, and strive to reach those in the regions beyond where Christ is not yet named.
The spiritual gifts necessary for the ministry of the body of Christ in Paul’s day are those enumerated in Ephesians 4:7—16, Romans 12:6—8 and 1 Corinthians 12:7—10. Of these, only the gifts of evangelists, pastors and teachers are in operation today. The gifts of ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving and showing of mercy as listed in Romans 12:7—8 may also be considered operational today. We believe that the sign gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as speaking in tongues, prophecy and the gift of healing, were temporary because they were related to God’s reaching out to the nation of Israel. These sign gifts have ceased since God has temporarily set Israel aside.
Jesus Christ was resurrected bodily from the dead, and He will raise all of the saved to everlasting glory and, at the end of the age, He will raise all of the lost to everlasting condemnation. The church, the body of Christ, will be the first to be resurrected. Then, according to Israel’s prophetic program, there will be a resurrection unto life for those who have believed outside this special dispensation of grace and finally a resurrection unto death for all unbelievers since creation.
The rapture of the Church “which is His body,” and the second coming of Christ are two distinct events, both pre-millennial and unrelated to each other. He will come first to receive the members of His body to Himself “in the air,” and later to receive His millennial kingdom on this earth, over which He will reign. Because of the distinctive nature of the body of Christ, the resurrection and rapture of the Church, which is His body, will take place before the tribulation. The tribulation (the time of Jacob’s trouble) will be a purging and a cleansing of the nation of Israel. The resurrection of believers who are not a part of the church, the body of Christ, will occur after the tribulation.
STATE OF THE UNSAVED DEAD
The Scripture in no place extends the hope of salvation to the unsaved dead, but instead reveals that they will ever continue to exist in a state of conscious suffering. The teachings of universalism, probation after death, and annihilation of the unsaved dead are opposed by us as being thoroughly unscriptural and dangerous doctrines.