What to Expect

What to Expect

What to Expect

A. The Bible

We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the verbally inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will, and the final authority for life and faith for all men. Thus we believe that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible, and inspired Word of God. (Mat 5:18; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:20-21)

B. God

We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God is Spirit, eternal, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, immutable, sovereign, holy, just, righteous, faithful, merciful, loving, good, and actively at work in the world and lives of men today. ( Gen 17:1; Deut 6:4; Ps 86:5, 93:1-2; 97:2, 139:1-4; Mal 3:6; John 1:1-3; John 4:24; Rom 9:14-18; 2 Cor 13:14; Phil 2:13; 1 Tim 1:17; 1 John 4:8; Rev 4:8; Rev 19:11)

C. Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ is God the Son, eternally existing, who lived on earth as a real individual in history. He is true God and true man. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. He was tempted in every way, but yet was without sin. He died on the cross for the sins of all mankind. He rose bodily from the grave on the third day, ascended into heaven, where at the right hand of God the Father, He is now our High Priest and Advocate. He is the One Mediator between God and man and the head of the church universal and this local body. (Lk 1:35; Jn 1:1,14,18; Acts 1:11; Rom 3:24-26; Rom 5:1; Rom 9:24; 1 Cor 12:27; 1 Cor 15:3-4; Eph 5:23; Heb 4:14-15; Heb 12:2; 1 John 2:1-2)

D. The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is God the Holy Spirit, a person of the Trinity fully possessing all the attributes of God. His ministry is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and during this age to convict men, regenerate the believing sinner, indwell, guide, instruct, and empower the believer for godly living and for service. Every believer is baptized by, sealed with, filled with, and given gifts by the Holy Spirit at salvation, although one may quench the Holy Spirit by disobedience subsequent to salvation. The Holy Spirit continues to fill us in relation to our obedience to God, empowers us towards wise living, gives us the ability to understand God’s Word, serves as a constant reminder that we are the children of God, prays for us in our weakness, and gives us guidance to live in holiness. We believe the Holy Spirit sovereignly gives gifts to the church and has ceased giving some spiritual gifts such as healings and tongues. We believe that the Holy Spirit does not give gifts to men that enable them to receive revelations which supersede or equal the written Word of God. However, we do believe that the Holy Spirit enables believers to discover God’s individual will and direction for each person’s life. (Jn 3:8; Jn 14:16; Jn 15:26; Jn 16:7-15; Acts 2:3-8; Rom 8:26-27; 1 Cor 12:4-11, 1 Cor 13:8; Eph 4:30; Eph 5:17-18; 1 Thes 5:19; 2 Pet 1:20-21)

E. Man

We believe that man was created in the image of God with the spiritual purpose and ability to glorify God. Man possesses a body, soul, and spirit. Every man will exist eternally, either in everlasting life or in eternal punishment. Believing the entire Bible to be the infallible and inerrant Word of God, we believe the account of the creation and fall of Adam and Eve recorded in Genesis to be literally true. All men were “in Adam” when he sinned. Therefore, sin is imputed to all men and every man is born with a sin nature. Man is totally depraved, that is, he is incapable of any work which will release him from the bondage or penalty of sin. Left to himself, man will never seek after God. However, despite his fallen nature, man’s worth is not to be taken lightly for it was for fallen sinful men that Jesus Christ gave His own life. Only through salvation may man participate in the divine nature and escape corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (Gen 1:26; Gen 3:1-24; Rom 3:10-12, 23; 5:8, 12; Eph 2:12; 1 Thes 5:23; 2 Pet 1:4; Rev 20:12-15)

F. Sin

We believe that sin, which originated with Satan, entered into the human race through Adam. The penalty of sin is physical and spiritual death. Every man who has ever lived, except Jesus Christ, has personally committed sin. There are several types of sin including: a transgression or violation of God’s law; iniquity, that is, an act which is inherently evil; failing to do what is right; missing the mark; acting in accordance with self will rather than the will of God; rebellion against God; unbelief, or a denial of the truth of God. The only cure for sin is salvation through Jesus Christ. (Jn 14:6; Rom 3:23-24; Rom 5:12; Rom 6:23; Rom 10:9-10)

G. Angels and Satan

We believe that God created an innumerable company of sinless, spiritual beings known as angels. Many of them kept their holy estate and are before the throne of God, from whence they are sent forth as ministering spirits to those who are heirs of salvation. We believe that Satan is a real and personal being, a fallen angel, who is void of truth. He is the god of this world who has blinded the eyes of those who do not believe in Jesus Christ, and that he is in constant warfare against Christians and all that is true. (Lk 15:10; Jn 8:44; Acts 26:18; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 6:11-12; Heb 1:14; 1 Pet 5:8; Rev 7:11-12)

H. Salvation

Salvation from the penalty and power of sin is obtainable exclusively through Jesus Christ. Salvation is bound up in the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ, that is His death, burial, and resurrection, which paid the penalty for our sins. The shed blood of Jesus Christ was necessary for the forgiveness of our sin. Salvation is a free gift of God and can never be earned by any amount of good works. Man is saved by grace alone through faith in Jesus Christ. Saving faith must include an understanding of who Jesus is and what He has done for us, belief of these facts, and trust in the person and work of Christ. This saving faith naturally includes repentance, which is “godly sorrow” for having offended God. Salvation of the believer is eternally secure. (Jn 1:12; 3:16; 10:27-29; Rom 6:23; 1Cor 15:3-4; 2 Cor 7:10; Eph 1:7; 2:8-9; Heb 9:22)

I. The Second Coming

We believe in the literal return of Jesus Christ to the earth as He promised. We believe that this will occur prior to the millennium. We also believe that the church universal will be raptured, that is, to be caught up together and meet the Lord in the air, and that this may happen at any moment. We believe in the bodily resurrection of believers who have died to join with those who are alive to meet Christ. We believe that subsequent to the rapture, the earth will be gripped in seven years of intense tribulation after which Christ and His forces will return to earth, take dominion, and rule on earth for a thousand years. The Eternal Kingdom will be established in heaven subsequent to the Great White Throne judgment in which all unbelievers will be judged. Satan and all his forces will be defeated and cast into the Lake of Fire. (Dan 9:24-27; Zech 14:4-11; Matt 24:15-22; 1 Cor 15:12-15, 20-24; 1 Thes 1:9-10; 4:13-18; Rev 20:1-15)

J. Eternity

We believe that the souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation do, at death, immediately pass into His presence, and there remain in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the body at His coming for the church, when soul and body shall be reunited to be with Him forever in glory; but the souls of unbelievers shall remain after death in conscious misery until the final judgment of the Great White Throne at the close of the millennium, when soul and body shall be reunited and cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting separation from the presence of the Lord. (Dan 12:2; Lk 16:19-26; 23:43; 2 Cor 5:8; Phil 1:23; 2 Thes 1:7-9; Rev 20:11-15)

K. Institutions Ordained by God

We believe that there are certain institutions ordained by God. These include marriage, family, the church, and human government.

1. Marriage & Family

From our inception, these have been the beliefs of Grace Bible Church regarding family, marriage, and sexuality. The family was God’s first and most fundamental institution. Beginning with the first family, God gives families the ability and responsibility to bear and raise children. God’s pattern for families is for a man and woman to be united in a monogamous marriage for life to raise such children as the Lord gives. Husbands are to love their wives, express gentleness to them, and give them honor. Wives are to love their husbands and to be submissive, which we do not understand to mean subservient, to their husbands. Children are to obey and honor their parents. Fathers are not to embitter their children. Parents are commanded by Scripture to bring up their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Gen 1:24, 27-28; Matt 19:4-6; Eph 5:21-6:4; Col 3:18-21; 1 Pet 3:1-7)

We believe Scripture teaches that marriage is a divine institution that was initiated and sanctioned by God for his created human beings. Marriage is a union that is reserved for one man and one woman, whereby the two become one flesh. (Genesis 2:22-24, Mark 10:6-9). We hold that there are only two gender distinctions, male and female, and that one's gender is that which God biologically designed. An individual’s gender is evident at birth and attempts to change that gender should not be undertaken. Furthermore, we believe that any form of sexual immorality, including but not limited to adultery, homosexuality, polygamy, bestiality, incest, pedophilia, cohabitation, and lust is sinful and offensive to God. These sins are specifically condemned in the Bible. (Leviticus 18:6-23, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-20, 1 Timothy 1:8-11). These sins can be forgiven through the redemptive power of the cross, which is available to all people, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:9, John 3:16). People practicing any of these sins can be forgiven, become new creations in Christ, and have power to turn away from sin. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

2. The Church

We believe that Jesus Christ is the Head of the church universal and this local body. The church universal is the body of true believers throughout the earth. No single human organization comprises the church universal. This is a local church and is not subject to any higher human authority, but we remain the willing bondslaves and servants of Jesus Christ. A local church is to be governed by elders and deacons and both groups are to be directly accountable to the body of believers as they are also accountable to Jesus Christ. (1 Cor 12:12-14, 27; Eph 1:22-23; 5:25-27; 1 Pet 5:1-5)

3. Human Government

We believe that human government’s purpose is to bear the sword against evil, to punish the doer of evil and to reward the doer of good. The church is not to control human government, but to act as an encouragement to human government to establish laws which uphold righteous standards and execute the laws with justice. Human government should allow and protect the freedom to worship God and to carry one’s faith into action, including the training of one’s children and public expressions of one’s faith. Human government should not take the place of the church or the family in the roles designated by God. Christians should pray for our rulers, honor them, and obey them except when to do so would cause us to sin against God. (Acts 4:2, 19-20; 5:29; Rom 13:1-7; 1 Tim 2:1-3; 1 Pet 2:13-17)