Our Beliefs

PURPOSE STATEMENT

Grace Fellowship is a local church that seeks to glorify God as a part of His Church universal. His glory is the ultimate motive behind everything we believe, teach, practice and represent. We seek to glorify HIm by loving Him and growing to know Him greater in His true essence and nature, as revealed by His Word, the Scriptures. We also seek to glorify Him by loving others, being used of Him to bring them to know Him in growing relationships and to minister them in His Name.

DOCTRINAL POSITION (WHAT WE BELIEVE)

We believe the most important element of the local church body is the same as that for the Church universal; a true, loving and faithful relationship with an allegiance to its Head, the Lord Jesus Christ. We exist only for His purposes and glory, and therefore seek to know and understand His word as our sole authority. We believe that His word is revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures, the Bible.

Our doctrinal position is an attempt to define and outline our core beliefs and understandings of the Bible. The following statements are not perfect, meant to be comprehensive or exclusive of other wordings or views. They are intended to help define direction and general beliefs for unity and common agreement. They are subject to change and interpretation as guided by the Scriptures and led by the Spirit.We believe the most important element of the local church body is the same as that for the Church universal; a true, loving and faithful relationship with an allegiance to its Head, the Lord Jesus Christ. We exist only for His purposes and glory, and therefore seek to know and understand His word as our sole authority. We believe that His word is revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures, the Bible.

SCRIPTURE

We believe that the Bible is God’s written revelation of Himself. These Holy Scriptures are perfect as originally given by and from God (“God-breathed”), and are the eternal, inspired, inerrant, infallible, verbal and plenary very Word of God for man. They are the sole authority and truth for all men for all times for all matters of faith and practice. Properly interpreted, they support or supersede all that follows.

For further explanation and understanding of our view of the Scriptures, we agree with the documents produced by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy in 1978 and 1982.  These are the Chicago Statement of Biblical Inerrancy on the meaning of inerrancy and the Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics on the principles and practices of proper interpretation.

GOD

We believe that there is but one living and true God, perfect in all His attributes, and character, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is the Creator, Sustainer, Controller, Judge and Ruler of all things and beings. He rules and reigns in absolute sovereignty for His Divine purposes and glory alone.

JESUS CHRIST

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God and God the Son, both fully God and Man, was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, crucified, dead, buried, bodily resurrected and ascended into heaven, and is now seated at God the Father’s right hand. He is literally coming again to gather His prepared church to be with Him forever, to judge the world, lost men, Satan and his demons, and to finally and completely establish His kingdom.

MAN

We believe that man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man lost his original innocence and freedom in Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed will and Word of God, incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death, became subject to the wrath of God, inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from Divine grace. Sinful in our natures, depraved and corrupt in all our parts as a result of the original sin and our natural beings, mankind is hopelessly lost apart from God’s Divine grace. The purpose, joy, and success of all men are ultimately found only in God’s plan and design, for His glory alone.

SALVATION

We believe that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His works and shed blood, and not on the basis of any human merit or works. This salvation of man from deserved, spiritual and eternal death and wrath is by God’s grace alone, through His gift of faith alone, and because of the Person and work of Jesus Christ alone. The ongoing process of sanctification and the future state of glorification are likewise provided and received by grace through faith.

DOCTRINE

We believe in the doctrinal principles and positions taught, implied and expressed in the Reformation theses of “Scripture Alone” (Sola Scriptura), “Christ Alone” (Solus Christus), “Grace Alone” (Sola Gratia), “Faith Alone” (Sola Fide), and “God’s Glory Alone” (Soli Deo Gloria), and are in agreement with the Cambridge Declaration by the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals in 1996.

CREED

We believe that our creed and specific positions on the above and many other important issues are, for the most part, well expressed and explained in the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689. It’s neither inspired nor infallible, but it embodies the basic doctrines that we believe the Bible teaches. We believe that all we do individually and corporately should be by God’s grace alone and for His glory alone.

SUMMARY

Although terms and phrases may imply very different meanings to various people, we might summarize our positions as being Bible based and Christ centered with strong beliefs in God’s Sovereignty over all things, and His grace in all things. We believe that the Church universal is in need of a modern day Reformation, and that each local church should have a confession of faith accepted by all leaders and participants. Realizing that some terms are often misunderstood or stereotyped incorrectly, we might be described as somewhat Reformed in doctrine, Baptist in practice and evangelism, and Presbyterian in discipleship and local church structure. Furthermore, all doctrinal positions are subject to review to ensure that they remain as Biblical as they can be.

MINISTRY

We believe in ministries that must relate to the scriptural purposes of the church. In general, these Biblical purposes should glorify God, help His children grow, or produce good for all people. In other words, we desire to be used of God in his particular graces for His own children and in common graces for all people. We also believe that truth takes precedence over tradition, people over programs, and spiritual success (fruit) over secular success (numbers). Therefore, all of the ministries and activities of the church should be designed, operated and reviewed for His church. You can view our Grace Vision Booklet to learn more.

CULTURAL ISSUES

The Definition and Defense of Biblical Marriage