We believe that the 39 books, known as the Old Testament, and the 27 books, known as the New Testament, make the full revelation from God to man in what we call “The Bible”. This Book is also known as “The Word of God”, “The Word” and “The Scriptures”. We believe that the Holy Spirit moved upon holy men to write the Bible so that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired by God and free from all error, as no other writings have been or ever will be. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21)
We believe the Bible is the final written revelation from God to man, that it is complete and that God is no longer ‘adding’ to the Bible as evidenced these days in ‘extra-Biblical utterances’. (Proverbs 30:5-6; Revelation 22:18) We further believe the Bible to be the supreme and final authority for our lives in all matters of belief and conduct. (Joshua 1:8; 2 Timothy 3:17)
We do not believe that the perfection of the Bible was limited to only the “original manuscripts” as they were first recorded by the human authors. We believe that God has preserved His Word for all time. (Psalm 12:6-7; Mark 13:31; Luke 16:17; 1 Peter 1:25) We believe that the King James Version (first published in 1611) is the preserved Word of God in English, having been translated from the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus. Consequently, the King James Bible is the only English Bible version that we use for all doctrine, teaching, and preaching.
The True God
We believe the Bible teaches that there is only one God, who is eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, forming the ‘Trinity’ and comprising what is known as the ‘Godhead’. Each One has the very same eternal nature and deity forming one God, yet eternally existing as three separate Persons. We believe that God can do anything He chooses to do (omnipotence); that He knows everything He chooses to know (omniscience); and that He is everywhere He chooses to be (omnipresence). (Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-3; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:14 and Psalm 139:7)
God is the Creator of all things (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-3), and that all things consist (and therefore exist) by His power (Colossians 1:17).
We believe God has never sinned (Numbers 23:19; Hebrew 4:15; 1 John 3:9), He is perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4), He does everything without error (Mark 7:37) and He has an eternal plan for all His creative works. (Isaiah 55:9; Romans 8:28; Revelation 4:11)
We believe in the personality and divinity of God the Father (Galatians 1:1). We believe that He is fully God along with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Albeit, He has the attributes of a father, namely love (John 3:16), provision (Philippians 4:19), protection (Isaiah 41:10), teaching (Psalm 32:8), and discipline (Proverbs 3:11-12). We believe He bids us enter into close intimate fellowship with Himself (Galatians 4:6) and encourages us to pray to Him always. (1 Thessalonians 5:17: Philippians 4:6-7)
We believe in the personality and divinity of Jesus Christ (the Son) as the second Person of the Godhead. We believe that He is both fully God and fully man (John 10:33), being miraculously born of a virgin named Mary (Matthew 1:23). We believe that He lived a perfect life, totally free from sin (John 8:46; Hebrews 4:15); that He died on the cross making a vicarious blood atonement and paying the penalty of the world’s sin (1 John 2:2); and that He was buried and rose again bodily on the third day according to the Old Testament Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
We believe He is in heaven (though at the same time present in each believer`s heart through the power of the Holy Spirit) and will one day come again in bodily form to the earth. (Romans 8:34 and Acts 1:11)
We believe in the personality and divinity of the Holy Spirit as the third Person of the Godhead. We believe that He is fully God (Acts 5:3-4). We believe that He is vital in the salvation process (John 16:8) and comes into the heart to permanently indwell the new believer. Thus, we believe He ‘seals’ the believer unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). We believe that, as we yield control of our lives to Him, He comforts us (John 16:7), teaches us truth (John 14:26), leads us in the will of God, fills and empowers us for this service (Acts 4:8) and protects us from evil. As we “walk in the Spirit”, He enables us to not “fulfill the lust of the flesh”. (Galatians 5:16)
We believe in the Genesis account of creation, and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God’s own image and after His own likeness; that man’s creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary change of species, or development through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms; that all animal and vegetable life was made directly by God, and that God’s established law for them was that they should bring forth only “after their kind”. (Genesis 1:1, 11, 24, 26-27; 2:21-23; Exodus 20:11; Nehemiah 9:6; Jeremiah 10:12; John 1:3; Acts 4:24; 17:23-26; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 11:3; Revelation 10:6)
We believe the Bible teaches that man was created in the image of God, that he sinned (through disobedience) and incurred the penalty, which included not only physical death but also spiritual death (separation from God). We believe that all humans born since then have been born with a sinful nature, and in the case of those who reach an age of moral responsibility, become sinners in thought and deed by choice. (Genesis 1:26; 3:6; and Romans 5:12; 7:9)
We believe the Bible teaches the reality and personality of Satan, and that he was originally created by God (Ezekiel 28:15). We believe him to be our enemy (Ephesians 6:12), and that his power was broken when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, and that one day he will be cast into the Lake of Fire. (Isaiah 14:12-15; John 16:11; and Revelation 20:10)
We believe the Bible teaches that there is currently a place called ‘hell’ where all unsaved people go when they die. We believe this is a terrible place of separation from God, where there are actual torments. We also believe there is no ‘second chance’ for salvation after a person dies. We believe that one day, everyone in hell will be judged according to their works in this life, and cast into the “Lake of Fire” for all eternity. (Mark 9:43-44; Luke 16:23; and Revelation 20:13-14)
We believe the Bible teaches that mankind can and must be ‘saved’ in order to have eternal life with God after death, as opposed to eternal separation from God after death. We believe that salvation is a free gift, offered by God to mankind. (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9)
We believe that Jesus Christ (God in the flesh) came to earth for the express purpose of shedding His blood and dying for our sins on a cross, literally paying what we owe in hell. We believe that He physically died, was buried and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3). God now offers salvation as a free gift (paid for by Jesus Christ) to the entire world as individuals.
If individuals will realize that they are spiritually lost because of their sin, admit their sinfulness before God, repent and ask His forgiveness, taking Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour, they will be saved. Nominal belief is not enough. There must be a wholehearted committing of oneself as a sinner to Jesus Christ as the One-and-Only Saviour. (John 3:16; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-10; and 2 Peter 3:9)
We believe the Bible teaches that every saved person may know that he is saved (1 John 2:5; 4:13). We believe that every born-again person is secure in Jesus Christ for all time and eternity and will not lose their salvation (1 Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25). We believe that each born-again person is secure in Jesus, based on the promise of Christ. (John 10:28)
Assurance of one’s salvation comes through a careful study of the scriptural evidence of salvation that can be found in a saved person’s life. (2 Corinthians 13:5)
We believe the Bible teaches there is a place called ‘Heaven’ where God resides, including all the departed saints of God. No unsaved person may enter into it. We believe this place to be one of perfection, joy, and happiness. (John 3:13; and Revelation 19:1; 21:1-27)
The Local Church
We believe that Jesus Christ started His church (Matthew 16:18). The word ‘church’ means a ‘called-out assembly’. Therefore, we believe that the church is local (i.e. in a city) and not universal (i.e. worldwide).
We believe that the local church is a ‘visible expression’ of Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12:27), having leadership (pastors (also called ‘elders’ and ‘bishops’) and deacons) (Philippians 1:1), membership (Acts 2:41; 5:13), doctrine (Acts 2:42), ordinances (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper) (1 Corinthians 11:2), the main purpose (Mark 16:15), and regular meetings (Acts 20:7).
We believe that, in Christ, all believers are spiritually ‘connected’ to each other and have the right to call each other ‘brother’ or ‘sister’. (Philemon 1:16; Romans 16:1)
We believe there are only two (2) ordinances belonging to the local church, that being Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We do not believe these to be ‘sacraments’, which (according to certain religious groups) impart spiritual salvation-type merit to the recipient, thereby helping them to obtain eternal life. We believe they are only symbols, yet done in obedience to Christ by faith, and that they picture our salvation and closeness to Christ. We believe these ordinances were given to the local church only and not to non-church or para-church groups. (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 11:2; 23-34)
The word ‘baptism’ is a transliteration of a Greek word ‘baptizo’ meaning to immerse or submerge completely in a liquid. Also understood was the evidence of a change of some sort afterward. (‘Baptizo’ does not mean to ‘sprinkle water on top’, as that is the Greek word ‘rantizo’.)
We believe that baptism is meant for people who have experienced salvation (Acts 2:38). It is therefore not for babies or for lost persons. There is no Biblical example of a baby being baptized, nor is there an example of any lost person being intentionally baptized.
We believe it is the command of Christ for all believers to be publicly baptized by a local church. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:41; 8:36-37)
We believe the Lord’s Supper (also called the Lord’s ‘Table’ and ‘Communion’) is a picture of Christ’s death and our relationship with Him. We are to do it in the “remembrance” of Him (1 Corinthians 11:24-25).
1 Corinthians 11:23-34 indicates the Lord’s Supper is for the local church and it is only for the saved people who are in a right relationship with Jesus Christ through confession of personal sin and obedience to His will. The unsaved (the “unworthy”) and Christians who are not right with God are not to partake. Christians are instructed to “judge” their own personal sin (i.e. admitting, confessing to Jesus and forsaking it) (1 Corinthians 11:31).
The Bible sets forth no timetable as to how often a local church is to observe the Lord’s Supper, but for many years Grace Baptist Church has been in the habit of observing it once a month.
We believe the local church has been formed by Jesus Christ for the purpose of worshiping God, fellowship, the ordinances, teaching and preaching, discipline (for unruly members), and world-wide evangelism.
We believe the local church is to be self-governing and to be separate from government or denominational control. (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:41-42; and Ephesians 4:11-14)
We believe in striving to maintain and adhere to a godly standard of music, as typified in our hymnbooks. We believe godly music comprises the following:
1. Be decent and in order. The music itself should be balanced, refreshing and uplifting, and should not favour a heavy beat. Nor should any of the instruments suggest a ‘sensuous’ sound. (1 Corinthians 14:40)
2. Teach the Word of God. The purpose of Christian music in our churches is to convey a Biblical message and to promote the worship of God, instruction to Christians, or a call to sinners. The message should be a clear truth or principle from the Word of God. This may include human experience as it relates to the Word of God. There should be no doubt in the minds of the listeners that the musician is singing about the Lord, as opposed to just a ‘good friend’. (Ephesians 5:19)
3. Give glory to God. The music should have a tone of reverence and give glory to God rather than attract attention to the performer or the music. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
We believe the command to take and give the gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable, and that this Commission was given to local churches and not to para-church groups. (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, John 20:21, Acts 1:8, Romans 10:13-15)
To us, ‘missions’ has very little to do with the relief of poverty or physical sickness. Instead, it has everything to do with getting lost people saved and organized into a local church of their own so that they can take part (as a local church) in reaching the world with the gospel.
We use a ‘literal’ or a ‘face-value’ style (also called a ‘common sense’ approach) to understanding the whole Bible, and this includes the prophecy parts of the Bible.
We believe the Bible teaches that the next event on the prophetic calendar is the coming again of Jesus Christ back into the world (in the air) to take out all Christians with Him back to heaven. This is known as the ‘rapture’ of the church. Doctrinally, this is known as a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
We believe the world will then undergo 7 years known as the ‘Tribulation’. During these years a world-leader will arise whom the Bible calls the “anti-Christ” (1 John 2:18) and the “man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). (Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:21)
We believe that after the 7 years, Christ will return to earth with all the saved people in heaven to rule for 1,000 years on the earth, during which Satan will be bound. Doctrinally, this is known as the “Millennial Kingdom”. (Revelation 19:11,14; 20:1-3)
We believe that after the Millennial Kingdom period, Satan will be loosed for a short amount of time, after which Christ will put down all sin and wrong (Revelation 20:7-9). We believe that shortly after the Millennial Kingdom, Christ will judge all sinners, sending them to the Lake of Fire, where Satan will be cast, and that Christ will then bring about a new Heaven and a New Earth. (Revelation 20:10-15; 21:1)
We believe that the modern charismatic movement (and Pentecostalism) as evidenced in ‘tongues speaking’, ‘faith-healing’, ‘extra-Biblical utterances’ and spectacular displays (i.e. laughing / shaking, being ‘slain in the Spirit’) is not of God but is an invention of men or Satan or both.
We believe the ‘sign-gifts’ of the New Testament have all passed away with the death of the Apostles, and there is no longer any need for them because we have the complete Word of God. (1 Corinthians 13:10; 2 Corinthians 12:12)
We believe that the modern ecumenical movement is not of God, but is being used of Satan to promote a one-world-church, which shall come under the control of the anti-Christ during the Tribulation period. Therefore, we refuse to be a part of any group that promotes this cause, such as Promise Keepers and the Billy Graham organization. (Revelation 17:1-6; 19:1-3)
Calvinism and Arminianism
Calvinism refers to a system of theological beliefs which had its beginnings with John Calvin (A.D. 1509 – 1564). Perhaps their principal teaching would be the absolute sovereignty of God, which (to them) allows man no free-will or free-choice.
Arminianism refers to a system of theological beliefs which had its beginnings with Jacobus Arminius (A.D. 1560 – 1609). Perhaps their most famous belief is that a saved person can lose their salvation and end up in hell. As such, it means that human, sin-prone man (once saved) must continually add his continued faith and continued works to Christ’s finished work on the cross in order for him to get to heaven.
The proper study of both Calvinism and Arminianism is clearly outside the scope of this doctrinal statement, but suffice it to say that Grace Baptist Church is neither Calvinist nor Arminianist.