Central Statements that Define
Grace Bible Church
Grace Bible Church is a non-denominational church that exists for the ultimate purpose of glorifying God by making more and better disciples of Him.
We believe that God is glorified when His character, reputation, and love are reflected in our lives and ministry. At Grace, it is our desire to produce a group of balanced believers who exalt God, encourage one another, are equipped to live a victorious Christian life, engage in works of service, and evangelize those who need Christ.
To become an A.C.T.S. type of church noted in Acts 16:5 “So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily,” follow the four ways to become a church that A.C.T.S. noted in Acts 2:42-47; Attend worship regularly, Connect with other believers, Tell the gospel to others, and Serve in the local church.
What We Believe Really Matters
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What really matters? Our core values help us to GET FOCUSED.
We were created to be worshipers and sin has created within us a natural bent to worship things that really do not matter. As disciples, we are growing and learning together to resist these temptations to worship earthly, temporal things and, rather, focus on what really matters.
G. Campbell Morgan said, “A man’s concept of God creates his attitude toward the hour in which he lives.” Everything in our lives (actions, thoughts, feelings) is going to be determined based upon what we believe about God. We believe that God created us to give Him glory in everything we do (1 Corinthians 10:31).
We desire to live lives that focus on eternity. Jesus said in John 12:25, “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
John tells us in 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8 that we are to think about “whatever is true.” In John 18:37, during the trial of Jesus, He said, “For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
God is truth and we find the essence of what truth is in what God has revealed about Himself. In His grace, the Father has revealed Himself through the Son by His Spirit. His Son is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). He is the Truth and the Truth sets us free (John 8:32).
God’s self-disclosure to humanity is found in the Bible—God’s Word. Jesus prayed to God in John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” We search the Bible to be introduced to the Triune God and discover the Truth of the Gospel that sets us free.
The very first institution established by God was the institution of the family. He ordained that one man should be joined in marriage to one woman and that they were to become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). He desired them to have children and to fill the earth for His glory (Genesis 1:28). We desire to live lives that worship God by focusing on being the men, women, husbands, wives, children, and parents that God wants us to be and to be faithfully fulfilling our God given roles within the family (Ephesians 5:22-6:4).
Obedience is not a popular word in our culture, but joy is found in obedience. Jesus made the issue clear in the gospel of John when He said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments… Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love Him and manifest myself to him…If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (John 14:15, 21, 23).
Jesus did not leave obedience up to us alone, but He provided His Holy Spirit who leads us, guides us, teaches us, and conforms us into the image of Christ. Obedience is a joint work of the believer and the Spirit. “It is God who is at work in us, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
We value being the church more than simply being at church. We value Christian people ministering to one another with their spiritual gifts, equipping one another, building one another up, admonishing one another, holding one another accountable, and bearing each other’s burdens. We desire to worship God by living lives that display our value of authentic Christian community. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Throughout the Bible, community is a major theme. We need other people in our lives. There are over 50 “one anothers” in the Bible that admonish us to be closely involved in the lives of others in order that we might learn and imitate attitudes and behaviors that characterize God’s household—the community of believers. We value biblical, caring, and authentic relationships within the body of Christ.
Unbelievers matter to God and they should matter to us. We desire to reach unbelievers through the proclamation of the gospel at home and abroad. We seek to faithfully proclaim and live out the gospel in each of our own spheres of influence and to support the spread of the gospel around the world (Matthew 28:19-20). We value our part in spreading the kingdom of God and disseminating His marvelous gospel to every creature.
We want to be the body of Christ—the hands, feet, heart, and mouth of Jesus. We extend our lives missionally when we introduce or re-introduce our neighbors, co-workers, family and friends to the great and glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. This will happen—if we live like unbelievers matter.
John Owen said, “Those who are ‘spiritually-minded’ are born of God, and shall come to the enjoyment of him.” We desire to live lives that are “spiritually-minded.” Truth and obedience without genuine spirituality is empty, worthless, pharisaical, and most of all dangerous. We want to draw near to God with our hearts, not just our mouths (Matthew 15:8-9). We want truth and obedience to come from a heart of true Christian spirituality. God desires to be worshiped in spirit as well as in truth (John 4:24). To worship God in spirit is to worship Him from the heart.
The great Westminster Catechism opens with this question: “What is the chief end of man?” In other words, “What were we made for?” And the unforgettable answer is, “To love God and to enjoy Him forever.” The spiritually minded understand that, for they both love and enjoy God more than anyone or anything else. They know that God is not someone merely to be obeyed, but to be loved and enjoyed.”
The Bible never promises an easy life that is free from trials, temptations, struggle, or pain. However, God does promise that believers have been given all of the spiritual resources they need to faithfully persevere through any trial for the glory of God. (2 Peter 1:3)
In fact, we can actually “rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5). May it be said of us, as Paul said of the Thessalonian church, “we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure” (2 Thessalonians 1:4).
God has a great and glorious plan for the things He allows us to go through. We acknowledge His responsibility of sovereignty in such matters and our responsibility of endurance in such matters. The testing of our faith produces patience to make us complete (James 1:3-4), it is for our good (Romans 8:28), and it will result in reward (James 1:12).
Endurance matters because it is by our endurance that we manifest proof of genuine salvation (Matthew 24:13; 2 Timothy 2:12) and so we seek to run with endurance the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1).
Everything that we do as worshipers must be done in dependence upon God’s power and sovereignty. We must live lives that focus on depending upon God realizing that to struggle against sin and temptation in our own strength is futile. We can only live lives of obedience that please God by depending upon the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives.
In fact, apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of people, our ministry is in vain. He does the work of regeneration in the heart of the believer (John 3:6; Titus 3:5). He indwells the believer and gives him assurance of his future inheritance (Ephesians 1:14). He fills the believer in that He influences and enables him to live an obedient and God-pleasing life (Ephesians 5:18). He brings comfort to the hearts of those who are downcast (Acts 9:31). He intercedes for believers when they do not know what to pray (Romans 8:26-27). He produces in the believer love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). He equips individual believers with gifts for service in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:11).
Therefore, we believe that our lives and our ministry must proceed with the humble awareness that the Holy Spirit is the One who produces obedience in the lives of believers. He is not only the One who saves the sinner, but He is also the One who sanctifies him. Our own pursuit of holiness, as well as any efforts to shepherd others, must be done in prayerful dependence on His power—not in our own strength.
What We Believe About Salvation
We believe that salvation is a gift of God and is given apart from any merit of man (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that none may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
This gift is received by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, repentance (Luke 24:47; 13:3; Acts 26:20), confession of Christ (John 4:29; Matthew 10:32-33; Romans 10:9), and trusting in Him alone for eternal life.
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Man is totally depraved and he cannot extricate Himself from his condition of slavery to sin and spiritual death. It is all of God who reaches down to dead, blind, and captive sinners and gives them the enablement to believe, repent, and to publicly confess His name (Ephesians 2:1-10).
We believe that once salvation is received, it cannot be lost (John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Romans 5:9-10; 8:1, 31-39; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 7:25; 13:5; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24). We believe that God’s Spirit gives assurance of salvation to the obedient believer (John 10:28, 29; 2 Timothy 2:13; 1 John 3:24).
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand” (John 10:27-29).
We believe that God declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Romans 2:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Isaiah 55:6-7) and confess Him as sovereign Lord (Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 12:3; 2 Corinthians 4:5; Philippians 2:11). He is entirely just in declaring the repentant sinner righteous because He imputes Christ’s righteous life to his account (Colossians 2:14; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Corinthians 1:30). On the cross God treated Christ as if He had lived the sinner’s life so that He could eternally treat the repentant sinner as if he had lived Christ’s righteous life (2 Corinthians 5:21).
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
We believe that genuine regeneration is demonstrated in righteous attitudes and conduct. Good works are the proper evidence and fruit of salvation (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 2:10).
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
A true believer will manifest good works as he submits more and more to the control of the Holy Spirit in his life through faithful obedience to His Word (Ephesians 5:17-21; Philippians 2:12b; Colossians 3:16; 2 Peter 1:4-10). This day by day obedience is the process of sanctification—increasingly being conformed to the image of our Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18). This sanctification process is climaxed in the believer’s glorification at Christ’s coming (Romans 8:17; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:2-3).
“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself as he is pure” (1 John 3:2-3).
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