A. The Holy Scriptures
We teach the Holy Bible containing the 66 books of the “Old” and “New” Testaments is the Word of God, the only Revelation of Divine Truth, and was verbally inspired by God the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:6-13). Verbally inspired means the writing of Scripture occurred through a process of dual authorship where the Holy Spirit superintended the human authors as they composed God’s Word (2 Peter 1:20, 21). As a result, the Word of God is completely without error in all that it says and serves as the final rule and authority in all matters of life and godliness (Psalms 19:7-11; John 17:17; Romans 3:2; 15:4; Ephesians 5:26; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12).
We teach there is one living and true God who is infinite, all knowing, and perfect in all His attributes, and who is eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The members of the triune God are co-equal in power and glory, one in essence, and identical in nature, attributes, and perfection. Each member of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are equally deserving of worship and obedience.
Genesis 1:1; Deuteronomy. 6:4; Isaiah 45:5-7; Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; John 1:1-4; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:1-2.
God the Father
We teach that God the Father is the first person of the Trinity who orders and governs all things according to His own purposes and will. As the absolute Ruler of the universe, God the Father is sovereign in His plan of creation, providence, and redemption. As Creator He is Father to all humanity but He is spiritual Father only to believers.
Ps. 66:5-7; 103:19; Matt. 5:45; Luke 1:50-54; Rom. 8:14; 11:36; 1 Cor. 8:6; 2 Cor. 6:18
God the Son
We teach the Lord Jesus Christ is the divine Word whose existence is eternal, and who is the second member of the Trinity (John 1:1-4; 10:30). We believe that Jesus Christ, following the will of the Father, created all things and currently sustains the universe through His own power (Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 1:2).
We teach that during the Incarnation Jesus Christ became God incarnate, being born of a virgin named Mary whereby He surrendered only the use of His divine privileges but nothing of His divine essence, either in degree or kind.
Isa. 7:14; 9:6; Matt. 1:18-23; Luke 1:30-35; 2 Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:5-8
We teach that the Lord Jesus Christ made eternal salvation possible by His sacrificial, substitutionary death on the cross where He satisfied the holy demands of God’s justice against sin.
John 10: 14-15; 14:6; Rom 3:24-25; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; 1 Pet. 2:24
We teach that after three days the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead in full bodily resurrection, after which He ascended into Heaven where He is at the right hand of the Father making intercession for the Church as High Priest and Advocate before God.
Matt. 16:21; 28:6; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:9-11; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 4:16; 7:25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1
We teach in the imminent return of the Lord Jesus Christ where He will rapture the Church prior to the establishment of His Millennial Kingdom. After the Tribulation the Lord will return to the Earth with the church to establish His Millennial Kingdom on the Earth.
John 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Titus 2:13-14; Rev 19:11-19
God the Holy Spirit
We teach that the Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity who is a divine Person who possesses all the attributes of deity, including intellect, emotions, will, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, and truth.
Psa. 139:7-10; Isa. 40:13-14; John 16:13; Rom. 15:13; 1 Cor. 12:11; Eph. 4:30.
We teach the work of the Holy Spirit is to bring glory to Jesus Christ through the regeneration and spiritual baptism of unbelievers into the body of Christ and to transform the church into the image of Christ through the process of sanctification. Sanctification is a process that describes the indwelling, instructing, sealing, and of empowering believers for faithfulness and evangelism. John 14: 16-17; Rom. 8:9; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 1:13-16; Phil. 1:16; 2 Tim. 1:12; Jude 24-25.
We teach that the Holy Spirit administers spiritual gifts to the church that glorify Christ by implementing His work of redeeming the lost and building up believers.
John 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; 2 Cor. 3:18
We teach that there were two kinds of gifts given to the early church: miraculous gifts of divine revelation and healing, given temporarily during the apostolic era for the purpose of confirming the authenticity of the apostles’ message (Heb. 2:3-4; 2 Cor. 12:12); and ministering gifts, given throughout church history to equip believers for edifying one another and reaching the lost.
We teach that God created humanity in His image and likeness for His glory, and that Adam and Eve were created free of sin. We believe the image of God means that all people are created with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, self-determination, and a moral responsibility to God.
Gen. 1:26; 2:7, 15-25; James 3:9.
We teach that when God created mankind, He created them male and female. As such He created them with different functions so that they complement each other in their relationship to one another and in the family. God instituted monogamous marriage between men and women as the foundation of the family. Marriage is the lifelong covenant union between a man and woman.
Gen. 2:24; Matt. 19:4-6; John 4:16-18; Rom. 1:18-32; 1 Cor. 5:11; 6:9-11; 6:18-20; 7:1-3, 8-9; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-7; 1 Tim. 1:9-11.
Humanity’s Sinful Nature
We teach that in Adam and Eve’s sin of disobedience, humanity lost its innocence, incurred the penalty of spiritual and physical death, became subject to the wrath of God, and became inherently corrupt and utterly incapable of choosing or doing that which is acceptable to God apart from divine grace. With no power to recover itself, humanity is hopelessly lost. Salvation is therefore wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Gen. 2:16-17; 3:1-19; John 3:36; Rom. 3:23; 6:23; 1 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 2:1-3; 1 Tim. 2:13-14; 1 John 1:8.
We teach that all people descend from Adam and Eve and therefore all people inherit a sinful nature, with the only exception being Jesus Christ. As a result all humanity is guilty of sin by nature.
Ps. 14:1-3; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 3:9-18, 23; 5:10-12; Eph. 2:3.
We teach that sinful humanity is reconciled to God by the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ who voluntarily died as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of all who place their faith in Him. We believe that Christ’s atoning work was confirmed through His bodily resurrection and that His substitutionary sacrifice on the cross is the only means of being justified and reconciled to God. John. 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 3:24-26; 4:5; 5:8; 1 Cor. 15:1-6, 17; Eph. 2:11; Col. 1:21-22; 1 Pet. 1:18-21.
We teach that salvation is not a result of human works or achievement but granted by God through an act of grace alone. We believe that the Holy Spirit regenerates unbelievers and enables them to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ by faith alone. We believe evidence of salvation consists of a life of obedient righteousness and a continual pursuit of holy living through the demonstration of the fruit of the Spirit and a love for God.
Jn. 1:11-13, 3:3; Rom. 8:28-29; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 5:16-25.
We teach that election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those to whom He would impart spiritual life (regeneration), save (justification), and transform in the example of Jesus (sanctification) (Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 1:4-11; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 2:10; 1 Pet. 1:1-2). Sovereign election does not contradict the responsibility of unbelievers to repent and believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord (Ezek. 18:23, 32; 33:11; John 3:18-19, 36; 5:40; Rom. 9:22-23; 2 Thess. 2:10-12; Rev. 22:17). Nevertheless, since sovereign grace includes the calling of sinners to salvation as well as the gift of receiving salvation, all whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith, and all who come in faith the Father will receive (John 6:37-40, 44; Acts 13:48; James 4:8).
We teach that justification is an act of God (Rom. 8:33) by which He declares a person, upon their repentance (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 11:18; Rom. 2:4; 2 Cor. 7:10; Isa. 55:6-7) and confession that Jesus is Lord (Rom. 10:9-10; 1 Cor. 12:3; 2 Cor. 4:5; Phil. 2:11), righteous. The righteousness God bestows is apart from any virtue they have or act they’ve done (Rom. 3:20; 4:6) and involves the imputation of the believer’s sins to Christ (Col. 2:14; 1 Pet. 2:24) and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to believers (1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21). This is the means by which God is enabled to “be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26).
We teach that every believer is sanctified (set apart) to God by justification and is therefore declared to be holy and forgiven. We teach that there is also, by the work of the Holy Spirit and obedience to the Word of God, a process of sanctification by which every believer grows in holy living and spiritual maturity that reflects the example of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(John 17:17, 19; Rom. 6:1-22; 2 Cor. 3:18; 1 Thess. 4:3-4; 5:23).
We teach that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and are secure in Christ forever (John 5:24; 6:37-40; 10:27-30; Rom. 5:9-10; 8:1, 31-39; 1 Cor. 1:4-8; Eph. 4:30; Heb. 7:25; 13:5; 1 Pet. 1:5; Jude 24). It is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, also clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living and carnality (Rom. 6:15-22; 13:13-14; Gal. 5:13, 25-26; Titus 2:11-14).
E. The Church
We teach that all people who place their faith in Christ alone receive forgiveness of sins and are immediately baptized by the Holy Spirit into the spiritual body called the church. We believe that the formation of the church occurred on the Day of Pentecost and that the church is a spiritual body distinct from Israel.
Acts 2: 1-21; 41-42; Rom. 11; 1 Cor. 10:32; 12:13; Eph. 1:20-23; Col. 1:18.
We teach the local church exists when Christians in a specific geographical area gather together on a regular basis for the worship of Jesus Christ through the ministry of the Word of God, the observance of Communion, and the care of pastor/teachers whom the Bible identifies as Elders. We believe in the autonomy of the local church that establishes the right for self-governance, which is free from any interference from external organizations, or individuals.
We teach the Lord Jesus Christ established water baptism and the Lord’s Supper as the only ordinances of the church. Baptism is a one time event in a Christian’s life that symbolizes the union a believer has in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and as a recipient of Christ’s completed redemptive work.
Matt. 28:19; Rom. 6:1-5; 1 Cor. 11:26.
We teach that the Lord’s Supper, also called Communion, is done to commemorate the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ where His body was given and His blood shed for the forgiveness of sin. By partaking in the Lord’s Supper a believer identifies he/she has communion with Christ.
We teach holy angels are created spirit beings that exist to serve God, worship God, and to minister to the church (Heb. 1:6-7). The Bible identifies angels, archangels, cherubim, and seraphim all as heavenly beings that serve God in different ways according to His will.
Satan and Demons
We teach that Satan is a fallen angel who rebelled against God, and who works to tempt, accuse believers, and enslave the human race in false religion. We believe Satan and his effort to thwart God’s plan of salvation for humanity was defeated by Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, and that he will be eternally punished in the lake of fire at the end of the age.
Gen. 3:15; Isa. 14:12-17; Ezek. 28:11-19; Matt. 25:41; Col. 2:15; Jude 1:6; Rev. 20:10.
We teach demons are former holy angels who were cast out of Heaven when they followed Satan in his rebellion and who, with Satan, will be cast into the Lake of Fire at the end of the age.
H. Future Events
We teach the church age began on the day of Pentecost and will conclude at the rapture when believers are drawn up to meet Christ in the air.
John 14:1-3; Acts 2:1-21, 38-47; 1 Cor. 15: 50-57; 1 Thess. 3:13-18.
We teach that before the Millennial Period, God will begin a series of judgments on the world referred to as the Tribulation. During the period of Tribulation and church will participate in the Marriage Feast of the Lamb where the Lord will reward the church for faithful service and endurance.
Dan. 9:27, 12:1; Matt. 24:15-31; 25:31-46; Luke 12:35-38; 1 Thess. 2:7-12; Rev. 19:7-10.
We teach after the time of Tribulation is over the Lord will return to the earth with the glorified church to begin the Millennial Kingdom where Christ will reign over a literal and physical Kingdom.
Ezek. 37:21-28; Dan. 7:17-22; Matt. 25:31; Acts 1:10-11; Rev. 19:11-14; 20:1-7.
The Final Judgment and Eternal State
We teach that after the Millennial Reign of Christ there will be a bodily resurrection of unbelievers where they will be judged before the Great White Throne of God and thrown into the Lake of Fire where they will experience conscious punishment for eternity. God will then recreate the Heavens and the Earth where He will dwell with His people for eternity.
John 5:24-29; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; Titus 2:13-14; Rev 20:11-15.
Final Authority for Matters of Belief and Conduct
The Doctrinal Statement does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs or teaching. The Bible itself, as the inspired and infallible Word of God speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct of mankind, and is the sole and final source of all that we believe. For purposes of Grace Bible Fellowship’s Doctrinal Statement, By-Laws, and Policies, the Board of Elders constitute the final interpretive authority on the Bible’s meaning and application.