An Invitation to the Worldwide Body of Christ
Those who have been called by God's grace and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and trust Him as their Lord and Savior to redeem them from their sin are members of the worldwide Body of Christ. We welcome them as our brothers and sisters in the Lord, and we invite everyone to examine with us the claims of Christ and the truths of the gospel.
John 1:12-13; John 3:16; John 6:40; John 20:31; Acts 4:12; I Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 2:8-9
Doctrines Essential For Working Together at Grace
For unity and continuity within the local church, it is essential that all who hold positions of leadership or teaching must personally endorse these doctrines. If you disagree with some aspect of these doctrines, you are still welcome as part of our fellowship.
We believe that the Bible, consisting of all the books of the Old and New Testaments, is the written Word of God, our final and infallible authority in faith and life, inerrant* in the original autographs.
Psalm 19:7-11; II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21
* We use the word inerrant as defined in the http://www.bible-researcher.com/chicago1.html.
We believe in one God, eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who together share in the work of creation and salvation.
Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 44:6; Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-3; II Corinthians 13:14; I Peter 1:1-2
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He has sovereign dominion over His creation, that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of humanity, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ.
Exodus 34:6-7; Leviticus 11:44; Psalm 34:15; Psalm 90:1-2; Psalm 139:16-18; Matthew 23:9; John 4:24; Ephesians 1:1-11; I Peter 1:3
We believe in God the Son, who became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and is fully God and fully man.
Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:1-3, 14; John 8:58; Colossians 2:9-10; Hebrews 1:8; Hebrews 2:14-18; I Timothy 2:5
We believe in Christ's virgin birth, sinless life, crucifixion, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, and present life for us as High Priest, Intercessor, and Advocate.
John 20:25-27; Acts 1:9-11; Romans 1:4; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:11-12; 1 John 2:1
We believe in the personal, bodily, and visible return of Jesus Christ to establish His Kingdom in the new heaven and the new earth over which He will reign forever in righteousness and peace.
Isaiah 9:6-7; Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 25:31; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 21-22
We believe in God the Holy Spirit, who came to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and to regenerate, sanctify, and empower all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide.
John 14:16-17, 26; 15:26; 16:7-14; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 12:3;12:13; Galatians 5:22-26; I Peter 1:1-2
Humanity and Salvation
We believe that man was created in the image of God, but that he sinned and consequently experienced physical death and spiritual death. As a result, all people are born with a sinful nature and are eternally lost apart from the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross and the work of God's grace in drawing them to faith in Christ.
Genesis 1:26-27; 2:17; 3:6; John 6:44; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12-14; Ephesians 2:1-3
We believe that Jesus Christ died for our sin as a substitutionary sacrifice, and that all who believe in Him are declared righteous on the basis of His shed blood. This salvation is not a result of any human effort or merit.
Mark 10:45; Romans 3:21-26; Romans 5:8-10; II Corinthians 5:14-15; II Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7; I Peter 3:18
We believe that all who by God's grace put their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are born again by the Holy Spirit, who baptizes them into the Body of Christ as children of God. While all Christians still have a sinful nature, God is in the process of transforming believers into the likeness of His Son by the indwelling of His Spirit.
John 1:12-13; John 3:1-16; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:13; II Corinthians 3:17-18; Galatians 3:26-27; Galatians 5:16; Philippians 1:6; I John 1:8-10
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all people for judgment. Believers will be judged but will be saved on the basis of Christ's righteousness to enjoy eternal life with God. Unbelievers will be judged and sentenced to eternal punishment apart from God.
Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29; Romans 2:1-8; I Corinthians 15:50-52; I Thessalonians 4:16; Hebrews 9:27-28; Revelation 20:12-15
We believe the Church consists of all who were chosen before the foundation of the world and who, in the course of time, put their faith in Jesus Christ. The purpose of the Church is to give God the worship and praise He deserves, to build up every believer to spiritual maturity, and to make disciples of every nation, through word and deed serving as ambassadors for Christ. Jesus Christ is the head of the church, his body, and he provides and gifts leaders for the equipping of his body for works of service.
Matthew 5:13-16; Matthew 28:18-20; II Corinthians 5:18-20; Ephesians 1:3-6; Ephesians 4:11-16; Colossians 1:18; I Peter 2:9-10
We believe that the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to every believer to be used for building up the Body of Christ. Therefore, all believers are ministers for Christ by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual gifts are to be exercised according to biblical guidelines.
Romans 12:4-8; I Corinthians 12:1-11; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Ephesians 4:11-13
We believe in the existence of Satan who attempts to defeat Christians through deception, temptation, and accusation. By the power of God believers can resist Satan's schemes by applying biblical truth in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Genesis 3:1-7; Job 1:6-12; John 8:44; Ephesians 6:10-20; I Peter 5:8-9; I John 4:4, I John 5:18
We believe all Christians should order their lives according to biblical priorities, among which are these:
- Cultivating their personal fellowship with God through Christian practices such as Bible reading and reflection, prayer, and obedience.
- Expressing love to fellow believers by the commitment of time, effort, ability, and resources.
- Loving and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with non-believers in both word and deed.
Psalm 1:1-3; John 15:1-17; John 17:15-23; Galatians 6:10; Philippians 4:4-9; Titus 2:1-10; I Peter 3:15-16
We believe Christ has commissioned His Church to observe the baptism of believers and the Lord's Supper until He returns.
Matthew 28:19; Luke 22:14-20; Acts 2:37-38; Romans 6:1-4
Doctrines on Which We Agree to Disagree
There are some doctrines on which two Christians may agree to disagree, even though they are in the same local church and part of the same leadership team. Some examples of such non-essential doctrines are modes of baptism, dating of the events in Genesis, order of events associated with the Lord's return, degree of separation from worldly practices. When teaching in any such area, it should be made clear that these doctrines are not essential for salvation or leadership in the church. We may state the case for our position, but we should point out that, in many cases, sincere and intelligent Christians hold different positions.
Romans 14:1-15:7; II Timothy 2:23-24; Titus 3:9