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What We Believe

 

 

Doctrine of Scripture (Bibliology) The Bible is the infallible/inerrant word of God, the supreme rule for faith and practice. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament came from the very mouth of God and are without error in the original autographs. Scripture is therefore the unique and supreme guide for all it affirms, including both belief and behavior. The teachings of the Bible are sufficient for salvation and sanctification. While there are questions of meaning and application over which we may agree to disagree, there is nothing for which we are responsible to God in terms of our salvation and sanctification that is not expressed in Scripture, either in precept or principle. From these convictions flow the following articles of faith.
Doctrine of God (Theology) There is one God, infinitely perfect, without change, creator of all yet not created, distinct from His creation yet everywhere present, perfectly balanced in all His attributes, omniscient over all time, wholly sovereign. He alone is the sole object of worship. God exists eternally in three persons — Father, Son, Holy Spirit — equal in essence and divine perfection, all three uncreated, executing distinct but harmonious offices.
God the Son (Christology) God the Son is fully God and fully human, without confusion or mixture, the unique and only Son. He existed before time, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, died on the cross as the sacrifice for our sins, was physically raised from the dead as prophesied, ascended into heaven, and is now exalted, sitting at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for the saints as the sole mediator. He will return to earth, and ultimately every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
God the Holy Spirit (Pneumatology) God the Spirit is sent to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He fully indwells every true believer as a guarantee of his inheritance, guides and empowers them, gifts them for ministry, interceding in accordance with the will of God, witnessing to Jesus.
Doctrine of Angels (Angelology) Angels are created, spirit beings who function as messengers and ministers of God’s will and who are either unfallen servants of God or fallen servants of Satan.
Doctrine of Sin (Hamartiology) Sin is any attitude or action contrary to the character of Holy God, His revealed Will or His Word and which always causes a separation between the sinner and Holy God.
Doctrine of Man (Anthropology) Adam and Eve were both created in the image of God, Adam from the dust of the ground and Eve from his side. They disobeyed God and died, spiritually and physically. Therefore, all people are objects of wrath, sinners by nature and by choice. They are dead in their sins and incapable of pleasing God. Without the direct intervention of God, they will live separated from God, die in their sins, and receive the condemnation that their sin deserves.
Doctrine of Salvation (Soteriology) Salvation from sin and access to God is available only through the work of Christ on the cross, given by God’s grace, mercy, and love, received solely by faith in Jesus Christ. In conversion, the believer is drawn by God to Himself, repents and turns from his sins, is redeemed, declared wholly righteous, born again, made alive in Christ as a new creature, reconciled to God, becomes a child of God, and is filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit through whom he is empowered for a life of obedience. The cross is sufficient to cover the sins of all who believe.
Doctrine of Holiness (Sanctification) God’s will for every believer is his sanctification. It is the necessary and certain fruit of salvation, yet not meritorious; it is God alone who saves. Through the work of the Spirit, saints are called and enabled to live lives of holiness, “in” but not “of” the world, fully dedicated disciples of Jesus Christ, persevering to the end. Disciples are declared to be sanctified through the work of Christ and are also called to become sanctified in the experiences of life. The disciple’s life will be characterized, among many, by battle with sin, repentance, sexual purity, gracious speech, prayer, suffering, persecution, being different from the world, living for the glory of God. Growth toward holiness brings with it assurance of salvation and a desire to share the gospel with sinners.
Doctrine of the Church (Ecclesiology) The church consists of all true disciples of Jesus Christ. All things exist under the supremacy of Christ, and therefore Christ and Christ alone is the head of the church. The local expression of the church is comprised of disciples gifted for the work of building up the body of Christ, living in unity, bound together by love. While different local expressions may have different emphases, all are commanded to make disciples, which includes both evangelism and teaching obedience to all that Jesus taught. The church is to be committed to the reading of Scripture, the exhortation to obedience, and teaching of the doctrinal truths of Scripture, as well as to all that is necessary for the edification of the body, including worship, singing, prayer, and service, all to the glory of God. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordinances to be valued and observed. They are visible signs representing spiritual truths; they do not accomplish salvation. Baptism is the washing of the believer, signifying that in conversion he has died to his old life and has been raised with Christ into a newness of life in which the power of sin is broken. The Lord’s Supper is the present proclamation of Christ’s atoning death, and looks forward to his return.
Doctrine of Last Things (Eschatology) Jesus will return — personally, visibly to all, suddenly — and all disciples living and dead will be bodily caught up to meet Him. At the final judgment, the unrepentant will be raised to the resurrection of judgment and permanent punishment in hell. Believers, while already having passed from darkness to light, will be raised to the resurrection of life, and will enjoy the everlasting, personal presence of God in His heavenly kingdom. God’s plan of creation, redemption, and glorification will be complete. This is the hope for which we long, which helps to motivate us now toward godly living, and which propels us to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with a lost and dying world.
Doctrine of Marriage Because God has ordained marriage and defined it as the covenant relationship between a man, a woman, and Himself, A Grace Place Church will only recognize marriages between a biological man and a biological woman. Further, the pastors, ministers, elders and staff of A Grace Place Church shall only participate in weddings and solemnize marriages between one man and one woman. Finally, the facilities and property of A Grace Place Church shall only host weddings between one man and one woman. God created and sanctioned marriage to bring together men and women, the complementary halves of humanity, by joining them in “one-flesh” unions. (Gen 2:18-25.) Marriage between one man and one woman for life uniquely reflects Christ’s relationship with His Church. (Eph 5:21-33.) Marriage also serves as the foundational unit of a stable society. (1 Cor 7:2.) Gender, likewise, matters. God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female, and these distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen 1:26-27.) We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matt 15:18-20; 1 Cor 6:9-10.) We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of A Grace Place Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the A Grace Place Church’s members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by A Grace Place Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; 1 Thess 5:22.)We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11.) We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31.) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of A Grace Place Church.
The Sanctity of Human Life We believe that all human life is sacred and created by God in His image. Human life is of inestimable worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural death. We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life. (Ps 139.)
Our Facility The church’s facilities were provided through God’s benevolence and by the sacrificial generosity of church members. The church desires that its facilities be used for the fellowship of the Body of Christ and to bring God glory. Although the facilities are not generally open to the public, we make our facilities available to approved non-members as a witness to our faith, in a spirit of Christian charity, and as a means of demonstrating the Gospel of Jesus Christ in practice. But facility use will not be permitted to persons or groups holding, advancing, or advocating beliefs or practices that conflict with the church’s faith or moral teachings, which are summarized in, among other places, the church’s governance and bylaws. Nor may church facilities be used for activities that contradict, or are deemed inconsistent with, the church’s faith or moral teachings. The Elder Board , or it’s official designee, is the final decision-maker concerning use of church facilities.
The Congregation The membership of this Church shall be composed of individuals who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and affirm the tenets of the Church Governance, and who offer evidence, by their confession and their conduct, that they are living in accord with their affirmations and this Constitution and Bylaws, and are actively pursuing and continuing in a vital fellowship with the Lord, Jesus Christ. The elder board of this Church shall have final authority in all matters of church governance, as set forth and described in the Bylaws.
Matters of Belief & Conduct Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct The statement of faith does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of A Grace Place Church’s faith, doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline, our board of elders/trustees are the final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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