Doctrinal Statement

 

Concerning the Scriptures: We believe that the Holy Bible (consisting of 66 books) is the verbal (every word) and plenary (all of the words) inspired Word of God, inerrant in its original manuscripts, is a treasure of heavenly instruction (II Timothy 3:16-17) and has as it’s greatest and all encompassing Subject the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 24:27); that it has God for its Author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter (Proverbs 30:5,6); that it reveals principles by which God will judge us (Romans 2:12) and therefore is and shall remain to the end of the age, the true basis of Christian unity (Philippians 3:15), and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried (I John 4:1). Believing unreservedly in the total trustworthiness of Scripture, we believe in the literal (normal) method of interpreting the Bible in its own textual and cultural context.
Concerning the True God: We believe there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite intelligent, perfect Spirit and personal Being, the Creator, Preserver and supreme Ruler of the Universe (John 4:24), inexpressibly glorious in holiness (Exodus 15:11) and all other perfections, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love (Mark 12:30); that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons: 
The Father: We believe that God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is the Heavenly Father of all who have come to a saving knowledge of His only begotten Son (John 1:14; 20:17; Romans 4:11; I Peter 1:3-5).
The Son, Jesus Christ: We believe in the incarnation of Jesus Christ by means of the Holy Spirit and virgin birth, that in His incarnation the eternal Son of God became man, and continues to be absolute deity and true humanity in two distinct natures and one Person forever, in His sinless life and miraculous ministry on earth, His death on the cross as a substitutionary atonement for the sins of all men, His bodily resurrection from among the dead, His exaltation to the right hand of the Majesty on high as Lord, Mediator, Priest, And Advocate, and His personal, and imminent return to bring into consummation His work of reception by ultimate triumph over Satan and his hosts (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-56; 2:1-20; Hebrews 4:15; 7:26; John 3:1-2; 20:30-31; I Corinthians 15:1-28; Hebrews 4:14; 7:25; 9:24).
The Holy Spirit: We believe in the personality and Deity of the Holy Spirit, that it is by His energy that sinners are brought under conviction of sin and are drawn to Christ for salvation, that through Him men are regenerated and sanctified, that by Him the saints are indwelt with the Divine Presence, and that by His enabling God’s people are enabled to serve the Lord acceptably. We believe that He is the Divine Witness, Seal, Guarantee, Anointing, Guide, Teacher, and Administrator (John 14:26; 16:7-13; Acts 1:5, 8; 2:4; Romans 8:14-27; 15:16; I Corinthians 12:1-14-14:40; II Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; 5:18; I John 2:20, 27).
Concerning the Creation and Fall of Man: We believe that man was created by the special act of God (Gen. 2:7) and that the Genesis account is an accurate and literal account of God’s seven days of creation. We believe that man was created in a state of holiness, under the law of his Maker (Gen. 1:27), but through the temptation of Satan, he voluntarily transgressed and fell from this holy state (Gen. 3:6-24). In consequence of that sin, all mankind is now sinful by nature (Romans 5:19) and sinners by choice (Isaiah 53:6), being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil and therefore under just and eternal condemnation (Eph. 2:13). All men are without defense or excuse before God (Ezekiel 18:19-20).
Concerning the Way of Salvation: We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace (Ephesians 2:8-9), through the mediatory offices of Jesus, the Son of God (John 3:16), Who pre-existed creation (John 8:58), and Who, by the appointment of the Father, and Who, by the Holy Spirit was conceived, and born of the virgin Mary, freely took upon Him man’s nature, yet without sin (Philippians 2:6-7); honored the Divine law by His perfect obedience (Hebrews 5:8-9), and after a miraculous ministry, by His death made a full atonement of our sins (Isaiah 53:4-5). Having risen from the dead bodily, Jesus is now enthroned in heaven (Hebrews 1:8) to reign in eternal sovereignty and uniting in His wonderful person the most tender human sympathies with Divine perfections, He is every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate and all-sufficient Savior and Lord (Hebrews 7:25).
 
Concerning Justification: We believe that the great Gospel blessing which Christ (John 1:16) secures to such as believe in Him is justification (Acts 13:39), that justification includes the pardon of sin (Romans 5:9), and the promise of eternal life on the principles of righteousness (Romans 5:17); that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood (Romans 4:4-5); that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity (Romans 5:1-2).
Concerning the Freeness of Salvation: We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel (Isaiah 55:1); that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent and obedient faith (Romans 16:25-26) and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth (John 5:41) but his own inherited depravity and disbelief (John 3:19).
Concerning Grace in Regeneration: We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated or born again (John 3:3); and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life (Ephesians 5:9).
Concerning God’s Purpose of Grace: We believe that election is the eternal purpose of God according to which He graciously regenerates, sanctifies and saves sinners (II Timothy 1:8); that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of men, it is a most glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy and unchangeable (Exodus 33:18-19); that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of His free mercy (I Corinthians 4:7); that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree (II Timothy 2:10); that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the Gospel (I Thessalonians 1:4-10); that it is the foundation of Christian assurance (Romans 8:28-31); and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence (II Peter 1:10-11).
Concerning Sanctification : We believe that sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of His holiness (I Thessalonians 4:3); that it is a progressive work (Proverbs 4:18; II Corinthians 3:17-18); that it is begun in regeneration (I John 2:29); and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers throughout their earthly life, by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means, especially the Word of God, self-examination, edification of the local church, watchfulness and prayer (Philippians 2:12-13).
Concerning the Perseverance of the Saints: We believe that all real believers endure unto the end (John 8:31); that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them form superficial professors (I John 2:19); that a special Providence watches over their welfare (Romans 8:28); and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (Philippians 1:6); and that God will preserve to the uttermost those who have been born again by grace through faith (John 10:27-29; II Timothy 1:12).
Concerning a Bible-believing Church: We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers (I Corinthians 1:1-13), associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel (Acts 2:41-42); observing the ordinances of Christ (I Corinthians 11:2); governed by His laws (Matthew 28:20); meeting for worship on the first day of the week (Sunday), the day on which Jesus rose from the dead which is especially set apart for believers to assemble regularly for meeting; exercising the gifts, rights and privileges invested in them by His Word (Ephesians 4:7); and seeking to extend the Gospel to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:20); that its only Scriptural officers are Pastors (Synonymous with Elder and Overseer), and Deacons (Philippians 1:1), whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the epistles to Timothy and Titus; that it is a voluntary and independent, autonomous group of baptized believers that organically can join nothing;and it has the power and right within itself to confess its own faith in accordance with the New Testament; and it recognizes that its own self-government is its authority for carrying out the will of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 18:15-18, Acts 1:23-26). We believe that the universal (invisible) church began at Pentecost and is distinct from Israel.
Concerning Baptism and the Lord’s Supper: We believe that both Christian baptism and the Lord’s Supper are each a memorial, a symbol and a proclamation (Romans 6:3). We believe that Christian baptism is immersion in water of a believer (Acts 8:36-39); to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life; that it is a prerequisite to the privileges of membership at Grace Baptist Church. We believe that the Lord’s Supper in which the body of Christ, by the sacred use of bread and the fruit of the vine are to commemorate together the dying life of Christ (I Corinthians 11:26) preceded always by solemn self-examination (I Corinthians 11:28).
Concerning the State of the Righteous and the Wicked: We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked (Malachi 3:18); that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His sight (Romans 1:17); while all such as continue in unbelief are in His sight wicked, and under the curse (I John 5:19); and that distinction holds among men both in and after death (Proverbs 14:32); that he wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy (Matthew 25:31-46); and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven and hell, on principles of righteousness by faith.
Concerning the Resurrection: We believe that the Scriptures clearly teach that Jesus rose from the dead bodily, His grave was emptied of its contents (Matthew 28:1-8); that He appeared to the disciples after His resurrection in many convincing manifestations (Matthew 28:6); that He now exists in His glorified body at God’s right hand (I Peter 3:22); and that there will be a resurrection of the righteous and a resurrection of the wicked, separated in time (John 5:28); that the bodies of the righteous will conform to glorious spiritual body of the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:21).
Concerning Separation from False Teachers and Apostasy: We believe that to earnestly contend for the faith we must separate from all forms of heresy and ecclesiastical apostasy. We believe the Scripture teaches that with respect to false teachers we are to: 1. Test them (I John 4:1); 2. Mark them (Romans 16:17); 3. Rebuke them (Titus 1:13); 4. Have no fellowship with them (Ephesians 5:11; II Thessalonians 3:6, II John 10:11; Titus 3:10; II Corinthians 6:17).
Concerning Licensing and Ordination: We believe that the local church should license and ordain men to the Gospel ministry who have exhibited the call of God. Those so commissioned are to be granted full rights of the Gospel ministry (Acts 14:23).
Concerning Human Sexuality: We believe that God has commanded that intimate sexual activity be engaged in solely by one man with one woman, united in permanent, monogamous, heterosexual marriage for as long as they both shall live. We believe that Biblical marriage is between one man and one woman.
Concerning the Statement of Faith: This statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing statement of faith represents the teaching of the Bible and therefore is binding upon all members.