What We Believe
Grace Community Christian Fellowship Doctrinal Statement
Concerning The Bible (Bibliography)
GRACE teaches that God has had from the beginning a desire to reveal Himself to, and have a relationship with, man. Just as God initially chose to speak to man audibly (and even manifest Himself physically), He also chose to speak to man through the written Word. The Bible is the written Word of God and in it, He has revealed Himself. The sixty-six books of the Bible represent a work by One Divine Author through many human authors. The Bible is complete in its present form and reveals all facts required to know and understand creation, history, salvation, and events yet to come. No new Scripture has been given by God since the writing of the Book of Revelation. The books of the Bible are inerrant, infallible and authoritative in as much as they are an accurate representation of the original manuscripts. All of the Bible is inspired by God. The Word of God is to be obeyed and recognized as the Lord’s commandment just as if it were heard audibly. The Scriptures give us source by which we gain wisdom. Though sometimes difficult to comprehend, from Genesis to Revelation, the Word of God was meant to be read, understood and followed by the believer in Jesus Christ. Although the unbeliever cannot comprehend the Word of God, in as such it seems foolish, the Holy Spirit is that One that was promised to help guide believers in all Truth. God’s Word is Truth. The believer is required carefully study and then handle the Word of accurately; always being ready to give an account of the hope that is within us and evaluating our every thought by its standard. (Genesis 2:16, 3:8; 16:7-14; Psalm; 119:160; Luke 24:27; John 10:35; 16:12-13; Romans 15:4; 1st Corinthians 2:12-16; 14:37; 2nd Timothy 2:15; 3:15-16; 1st Peter 1:13; 3:15; 2nd Peter 1:20-21; 1:23; Revelation 1:1,3; 22:18-19).
Concerning The Godhead (Theology Proper)
GRACE teaches there is but One indivisible, uncreated and eternal God. There is no other true god but God. The God of Scripture is the only God of reality. Although one in His substance, He exists triune in His subsistence. The Person of God exists, as revealed in the New Testament, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father, who is the first person of the Trinity, is revealed through the Son, Jesus Christ. The second person of the Trinity is the Son, Jesus Christ. The third person of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit. The oneness of God and the threeness of God is not Biblically contradictory. Each Person of the Trinity is Deity. The Trinity is a mystery that we will never be able to fully understand. Each Person of the Trinity was involved in the creation of the world, creation of man, baptism of Christ and death of Jesus Christ. He is uncompounded, incomplex, and unique. Attributes of God are applied to each person of the Trinity. Some of these attributes are; God is infinite and free from the succession of time. God is unchanging in His essence and unchangeable in His being. The kingdom over which He reigns is everlasting through all generations. Man cannot come to a knowledge of God independent of God. There is nothing hidden from God. I believe that God has proven His love for me in that while I yet a sinner, He sent His Son to die for my sins and we can never be separated from the Fathers hand. (Genesis 1:2, 26; 2:7; 21:33; Exodus 20:2-3; Deuteronomy 6:4; 1st Kings 8:27; Job 26:13; 33:4; Psalm 90:2; 102:25, 27; 145:3, 13; Isaiah 6:8; 43:1,7,21; 45:5-7; 46:9-11; Jeremiah 10:2-5, 8-9; Malachi 3:6; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; John 1:2, 18; 3:17; 4:24; 14:8; 17:3; Acts 17:24, 28; Romans 5:8, 37-39; 11:33; 1st Corinthians 2:10-14; 8:6; 2nd Corinthians 11:13; Ephesians 1:11-12; 2:18; 3:5; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 4:13; 9:14; 13:5; 1st Timothy 1:17; 3:16; 6:15-16; 1st Peter 1:5; James 1:17; 1st John 3:20; Revelation 1:8,17).
Concerning Jesus Christ (Christology)
GRACE teaches that Jesus Christ is the Second Person of the Trinity. I believe that He is truly God. He is eternal, pre-existing with the Father and Holy Spirit, and in that pre-existence, created the world and man with the Father and Holy Spirit. He is equal in power and essence with the Father and Holy Spirit. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah spoken of in the Old Testament and that He voluntarily left His rightful place at the right hand of the Father so as to be born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit. While yet Divine in His nature, He took on the nature of man. He was born, lived, died and rose again on the third day, according to the Scriptures, sacrificing Himself so that we might be made right with God. I believe Jesus Christ to have been sinless in nature and in His deeds. Because He lacked a sin nature, even though tempted by sin, He committed no sin. His demonstrated desire was to do the will of the Father. Just as the Jews sacrificed the lamb at Passover, so that God might take away their sins, Jesus willingly became the sacrificial Lamb of God so that the sins of many might be taken away. I believe that He delivered me from the domain of darkness and transferred me to His kingdom, and in Him I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. All who believe on Him have their sins removed from Gods sight. As such, the righteousness of Christ is imputed upon us just as our sins were put upon Him. After bearings God’s judgment and dying on a cross, Jesus rose bodily from the grave on the third day assuring the resurrection for those who believe in Him. After a appearing to His disciples and followers over a period of forty days, He then ascended back to the third heaven to retake His rightful place at the right hand of the Father. Jesus Christ has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Even Satan and His demons are subject to Christ. I believe that Christ is head of the Church and serves as advocate on our behalf before the Father defending us against accusations by Satan, both day and night. At the appointed time, which no man knows, Jesus Christ will return to earth and take His believers to live with Him in heaven. He is worthy of all honor, praise and glory as the Creator, Sustainer, Beginning and End of all things. (Isaiah 9:6; 43:1,7,21; 53:10; Job 1:6-12; Matthew 4:10-11; 11:2-6; 12:28; 28:6, 18; Luke 1:31-33; John 1:1, 3, 14, 18, 29; 5:27-29; 8:46; 14:19; 10:36; Romans 1:4; 3:24-26; 4:25; 6:5-10; 1st Corinthians 15:20; 2nd Corinthians 5:19, 21; Ephesians 1:22-23; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13-18; 2:9, 15; Hebrews 1:8; 1st John 1:3; 3:8; Revelation 4:11; 5:9-10; 12:7-12).
Concerning Angels (Angelology)
GRACE teaches that angels are spirit (incorporeal), created by God as sinless beings, elect created by God to serve Him. By definition, the word does not describe their essence but their office as they are messengers for God. Scriptures speaks that they are innumerable. Angels are not to be worshiped. They do not procreate. They do have great knowledge, but are not all knowing. They do not die. Satan was chief among the angels and became jealous of God (desirous of the worship God received). Pride entered into his heart and as such, he claimed he would be like the most high. In his sin, he convinced a great number of angels to follow him. God cast down Satan and his followers and as such, he is Prince of the air on this earth. He was the one who tempted Eve in the Garden and caused man to separated from God. He remains an enemy of God. Satan cannot be in more than one place at one time but has demons working for him on this earth. Satan continues to attempt to destroy the work of God, tempt mankind and attempted to undermine His work of salvation at the cross. He failed. Satan was judged by Christ’s dying on the cross and as such, at the appointed time, shall be, along with his followers and those who deny or reject Christ, be thrown into the Lake of Fire for all eternity. Until that time, he goes before the throne of God accusing the saints day and night. He seeks to counterfeit God’s truth and lead His people astray. (Genesis 3:1-7; 15; 2nd Samuel 14:20; Job 1:12, 2:6; Psalm 148:2-5; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 38:13-15; Zechariah 3:1; Matthew 24:36, 26:53; Luke 10:18, 20:36, 24:39; John 8:44, 12:31, 16:11; 2nd Corinthians 1:10-11, 4:3-4; 11:13-15; Ephesians 2:2, 6:12, 16; Colossians 1:16; 1st Timothy 3:6, 5:21; Hebrews 1:14, 2:14, 12:22; James 2:19; 1st Peter 5:18; 2nd Peter 2:4; Revelation 5:11, 12:9-10, 20:10, 22:8)
Concerning Man (Anthropology)
GRACE teaches that man was created by God and has not come into existence through the process of evolution. That man was created in God’s image (Imago Dei). That man was created as mind, body and spirit. That man was created a rational and moral creature who enjoyed direct fellowship with God in the Garden of Eden. That man was created with the ability to make choices for or against God and that such a conditional possibility existed in the Garden. That man chose against God by directly disobeying His command not to eat of the Tree of Good and Evil and as such, fell into sin and caused the condition of separation from God to come into existence and be placed upon future generations as well. That sinfulness has been imposed upon mankind and that it affects his whole being (emotion, intellect and will). That all of mankind has sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and present day man is accountable for his sinful condition and is under judgement by God. That God is not against the poor and has concern for them. Man is lost but God, by His grace, has provided a way for man to be saved from God’s judgement, by believing on His Son Jesus Christ. It only through Jesus that man can be saved. That God has a sovereign right to chose who He wills to be saved. That God will see that those He has saved will be preserved. That without the redemptive act of Christ dying on the cross, mankind would be lost forever. (Genesis 1:26-30, 2:15-25, 3:1-19; Deuteronomy 15:9; Psalm 14:1-3; Proverbs 22:1-2; Isaiah 43:7; Jeremiah 17:9; Amos 5:12; John 3:16, 36; Romans 3:23, 5:12-19, 6:23, 8:33, 9:15; 1st Corinthians 2:14-15, 15:44; Ephesians 2:1-3; Philippians 1:27; Colossians 1:16; 1st Thessalonians 5:23; 1st Timothy 2:13-14; Hebrews 4:12; James 2:4-5, 10, 3:9; Revelation 4:11)
Concerning Salvation (Soteriology)
GRACE teaches that salvation is completely of God and man does not have the ability to save himself. That, apart of the work of the cross, man has no hope of salvation. That the salvation we received is solely by God’s grace and not by any act, merit or faith foreseen by God but purely by Divine favor. That man is deserving of judgement but God, by His sovereign grace, provided the means of escape. That salvation is a total work of God that no man might boast. That Christ, a sinless man, died on the cross and took upon Himself the sins of the world that through the teaching of the Gospel, man is saved. That Christ’s work on the cross was the fulfillment of the Law and the sacrifices were complete in Christ. The work of salvation begins with the regeneration of the spirit, offers the satisfaction of Divine justice, the forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God. That Christ’s righteousness was imputed upon believers and our sinfulness was imputed upon Christ at the cross. That with the gift of eternal life we receive the seal of the Spirit which assures us that those who are truly saved and who have put their faith in Christ will never be lost but will persevere in faith to the end. Those He saves are conformed to the image of His Son through the working of the Holy Spirit. (Isaiah 53:6, 10; John 1:12, 3:3-8, 16, 10:27-29; Acts 16:31; Romans 3:24; 5:8-9, 8:29-30, 38-39, 9:14-24, 10:8-13; 2nd Corinthians 5:18-19,21; Galatians 2:16; Ephesians 1:4-5; 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12-13; 2nd Thessalonians 2:13-14; Hebrews 11:6; 1st John 2:1-2).
Concerning The Church (Ecclesiology)
GRACE teaches that all of the elect, who are chosen by God, at the very instant they put their faith in Jesus Christ His Son, are immediately place into the spiritual body of Christ. That this body is called the Church. That the Church is made of the nations made possible by the rejection of the Gospel of Christ by the Jews. That the Church is seen in the New Testament consisting of believers in Jesus Christ. That the Church consists of many local assemblies around the world. That Christ is the head of the Church and that the Church began on the Day of Pentecost with the coming of the Holy Spirit as promised by Christ Himself. That the Church will continue to carry out the work of Christ until the rapture, when Christ returns to take the Church to be with Him in heaven as He promised. That this event will signal the end of the Church Age. Until that time, the local assemblies are governed by Christ with pastors, deacons and elders serving Him as His officers. That the mission of the Church is to bring glory to God in all that it does and to be committed to spreading the Gospel of Christ to all parts of the world just as He commanded prior to His ascension. That until He comes, we are to accurately teach the Word, observe the ordinances (Baptism; the immersion in water in the name of the Triune God of new believers who have placed their faith in Christ and are acting in accordance to obedience and; Communion; the Lord’s Supper which commemorates the Lord’s death until He comes) and communicate the Gospel to unbelievers. (Matthew 16:18, 18:15-18, 22:15-22, 28:16-20; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 1:4-5, 2:41-42, 46-47, 6:1-6, 10:47-48, 11:15; Romans 12:4-21, 13:1-7, 15:6, 9; 1st Corinthians 11:23-29, 12:13, 14:40; Ephesians 1:22-23, 2:19-22, 3:4-6, 10, 4:11-16, 5:25-27, Colossians 1:18; 1st Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; Hebrews 10:25; 1st Peter 2:5-9, 13-17, 5:1-5; Revelation 1:6).
Additionally, that for the Church to successfully fulfill its God commanded mission to evangelize and edify, He has given certain gifts and abilities to believers in the Church that are to be exercised for the benefit of the Church. It is the responsibility of each member to discover what that ability or gift is so that the Church may properly function. Each member should exercise that gift that has been given to them without desiring the gift of another member of the body. That each believer should recognize that each gift has its purpose and the purpose is God’s. These gifts, as spoken of in the New Testament, are prophecy, service, exhortation, generosity, teaching, etc.. That there are certain other gifts that are described to us in the New Testament as the gift of miracles, gifts of healing, gifts of tongues, etc. that were for a specific purpose in the early Church as sign to authenticate the message preached and the beginning of ministry. It should be accepted that these particular gifts served their purpose and terminated at the close of the Apostolic age. That these gifts were never common or necessary to affirm baptism nor being filled with the Holy Spirit. (John 20:30-31; Acts 2:22; Romans 12:4-8; 1st Corinthians 12:4-11, 28-31, 14:21-22; 2nd Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 4:11-13; Hebrews 2:3-4).
Concerning Last Things (Eschatology)
GRACE teaches that Scripture teaches us that at death, those save by God on earth immediately enter into God’s presence in heaven. That those who are not saved immediately descend into Hades where they await for God’s final judgement when they will enter into their second death; eternal damnation and eternal separation from God by being thrown into the Lake of Fire along with Satan and all his followers. That Christ could come at any moment to take the Church home and remove the saints from this earth; both the living and the dead; and at that time, both will be caught up together and meet Him in the clouds to be forever with Him. That during the second half of The Great Tribulation (three and a half years), God will pour out His wrath upon the earth, just as Scripture describes, and at the end of that period, Christ will again return to the earth, defeat and lock up Satan and his followers, set up His Messianic Kingdom and physically reign upon the earth for one thousand years. The Old Testaments saints will at that time be raised and the living will be judged. That at the end of those one thousand years, Satan will be loosed for a short time until which time God will again judge the earth and all will be raised. That those who are unsaved, along with Satan and his followers, will be cast into the Lake of Fire to live in eternal punishment; and the saved will eternally live with God. (Deuteronomy 30:1-10; Isaiah 11:1-16, 65:17-25; Jeremiah 30:7; Ezekiel 37:21-28; Daniel 2:1, 9:27; Matthew 24:15-31, 25:31-46; Mark 9:42-48; Luke 16:22-23, 23:43; John 14:2-3; Romans 14:10-12; 1st Corinthians 3:11-15, 15:24-28, 51-53; 2nd Corinthians 5:8, 10; 1st Thessalonians 4:15-17; 2nd Thessalonians 1:9, 2:7-12; Titus 2:11-13; 2nd Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 3:10, 6:1-19, 21, 19:11, 14, 20:1-6, 11-15, 21:1-4, 22:5,11).