Our Beliefs

Statements of Beliefs

These statements of belief briefly articulate historic and orthodox Christian doctrine.  They are what guide our preaching, teaching, praying, counseling, and discipling.  Anyone seeking membership at Grace City must agree with these belief statements.

WE BELIEVE:

Only in one God

There is only one and true God, Creator of heaven and earth, who exists eternally in three distinct persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

(Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-6; Isaiah 46:9-10; John 17:3; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; 1 Timothy 2:5; Genesis 1:26; Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 110:1; Matthew 3:13-17; Matthew 28:17-20; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6).

The Bible is God’s ultimate Word

Written by men under the direct inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Old and New Testaments are true in content, supreme in authority and complete in sufficiency.  Nothing can be added to it, or taken away from it.

(Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Deuteronomy 4:2).

The greatest problem is sin

All of humanity, except for Christ, is sinful by birth and action.  It is our sin that merits the ultimate consequence of our sin: God’s wrath, judgement, and our ultimate condemnation to physical and spiritual death.

(Genesis 6:5; Psalm 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:23, 5:8, 5:12-21, 7:18; Ephesians 2:1-3; Genesis 2:15-17, 3:19; Romans 5:12, 6:23; James 1:14-15)

The greatest solution to our greatest problem is Jesus

Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, was born of a virgin and is both fully God and fully human.  This means only Jesus Christ was able to die as the sacrificial substitute to pay the penalty for sin.  Proving that Jesus was not only willing to pay for sin, but able to pay for sin, Jesus Christ physically rose from the dead conquering sin and death.  Therefore, only by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone can one repent from sin and be reconciled to God and experience true life and joy. This is the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ.

(Matthew 1:20; Luke 2:52; John 1:1-4, John 1:14; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-3; John 1:29, 10:1-18; Romans 5:8; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 1:4; 1 Peter 3:18; John 3:18, 14:6; Acts 4:12; Romans 3:21-26; 1 Timothy 2:5-6).

We have a great Helper

As we live this life on earth, the Holy Spirit is given to us to continually point us to Jesus and the gospel.  He does this by convicting us of sin, affirming us of our adoption by God, filling us with love for God and others, sanctifying us from sin, giving gifts for the church’s edification and perseverance, and pointing us to our ultimate hope in Christ.

(John 14:26 John 15:26 John 16:7-15; Romans 5:5 Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Romans 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; Eph. 4:11, 12)

God’s people are the church

The church is not a building, event, or institution — it is God’s family, made up of all those who have trusted in Jesus, had their sins forgiven and have been made new by the power of the Holy Spirit.

(Matthew 16:15-19; Acts 2:41-42, 47; 5:11-14; 6:3-6; 14:23,27; 15:1-30; 16:5; 20:17-32; I Corinthians 3:16; 7:17; 9:13-14; 12:1-31; Colossians 1:18; I Timothy 3:1-15; 4:14; Titus 1:5-9;I Peter 5:1-4; Revelation 2-3; 21:2-3)

We have a great Hope

While we live in the world, we do not derive our hope from this world.  After his resurrection and ascension to heaven, Jesus promised to return for his people.  With longing and hopeful expectation, we look forward to the day when Christ returns to establish his eternal kingdom in the new heaven and new earth, to eliminate sin, to feast with his bride, and to wipe every tear from every eye.

(John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Hebrews 9:28; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 1:7; Revelation 21:1-4)

Doctrinal Distinctives  

Doctrinal distinctives are different than the Statement of Beliefs.  While the Statement of Beliefs express universal and primary beliefs for all Christian churches, the doctrinal distinctives are important yet secondary matters that we hold biblically true.  It is not necessary to completely agree with these distinctives to become a covenant member, however, it is important to understand that we preach, teach, and counsel in accordance with these beliefs.

 

  • The gifts of the Holy Spirit:  According to 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, since the perfect (Jesus) has not appeared yet, the spiritual gifts continue and are necessary for the edification and perseverance of the church.  However, how we practice the more extraordinary gifts (i.e. tongues, prophecy) may be different from your past church experiences.  (For a more detailed explanation you may refer to parts 20 and 21 of the “Sinners & Saints” sermon series.)
  • The baptism of the Holy Spirit:  As we understand Scripture, we believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not a second and distinct experience.  We believe that a person is baptized and indwelt by the Holy Spirit at his or her conversion.  We see the biblical instances of second and distinct experiences as descriptive (exceptional) rather than prescriptive (normative).  At the same time, we do not discount someone’s prior experience in another church or setting. (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13-14;  Romans 8:9)
  • The complementary role of men and women: We see in Scripture a clear biblical distinction between gender roles and functions, particularly as it relates to leadership in the home and the church.  We believe the husband is the head of his wife and that men are to serve as pastors/elders fulfilling the role of oversight and congregational teaching. Rather than compete with each other, men and women are to complete each other as they honor God and follow His created order and design. (Ephesians 5:21–33;  1 Timothy 2:11-14; Genesis 2:18-24; 1 Corinthians 11:3)
  • God’s sovereignty and election: We are saved not by our will, or by the will of others, but solely by the will of God.  This means we contribute nothing to our salvation, which includes making a decision for Christ.  We believe that our “yes” to Christ is because God said “yes” to us first (sovereign election).  We are amazed that God would choose any one at all.  We are even more amazed that God loves unfaithful, unrepentant people and makes a way back to Himself through Christ. Therefore, our “yes” to Christ comes from the solitary work of a gracious and loving God to regenerate and convert our hearts. (John 1:12, 13; John 15:16; Romans 8:29, 30; Romans 9:11,15-18; Ephesians 1:3-5)