Our Statement of Faith
The Bible: We believe that the Bible, composed of both the Old and New Testaments, is God’s Word to man Isa 40:8, I Cor 2:13 that it originated with God 2 Pet 1:21, and was completely without error in its original form 2 Tim 3:16, . Because of this, the Bible alone is the authoritative standard for what we believe and how we are to live Jn 17:17.
God: We believe in the one, true creator God Gen 1:1 who is revealed in the Bible. God eternally exists Ps 90:2 in three distinct persons Matt 28:19 the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; yet, each one of them is equal in nature and shares the same divine character Deut 6:4. In their activity and work, the Father plans and supervises Jn 3:16; the Son carries out the Father’s plans Eph 2:13 and connects man to God. The Holy Spirit reveals 2 Pet 1:21, breathes 2 Tim 3:16, and illuminates Jn 16:12God’s Word to man, and is the divine assistant to Jesus the Son Jn 14:16.
Angels: We believe that even before the creation of the world Job 38:6-7, God created Col 1:16a great company of spirit beings called angels for his worship Heb 1:4 and service. However, because of a rebellion among the angels, some are now fallen Jude 1:6; they oppose God and all who belong to Him. Those who did not rebel are known as “elect” angels 1 Tim 5:21.
Man: We believe that God created mankind “in his own image” Gen 1:26-28 for the purpose of demonstrating His greatness and majesty. Man is, therefore, dependent on God and Rom 14:12 accountable to Him . Man was created with an invisible soul and spirit Heb 4:12, contained in a physical body. Adam could have remained morally upright Gen 2:15-16, but by deliberate disobedience brought sin and death into the world Rom 5:12.
Sin: We believe that sin is rebellion and rejection of God’s authority, and is best understood as criminal trespass against God Col 2:14. Sin began among the angels with the rebellion of Satan Ezek 28:12-14. Later, by the disobedience of the first man, Adam, sin and death passed on to the whole human race Rom 5:12. Because of this, all men are born separated from God Eph 2:13 and equally guilty before him Rom 3:23. Man, by himself, is unable to change his fallen condition Jer 17:9.
God the Son, Jesus the Messiah
His Person: We believe that Jesus is God’s son Jn 3:16, who has always existed Jn 1:1 and is the creator of all things Heb 1:2-3. He entered humanityas a sinless man 2 Cor 5:21 by his birth to a virgin, Matt 1:18-25 and yet continued to be God; He is the God-Man Phil 2:16, the Messiah Jn 1:41, the descendant of David Matt 22:42, the promised King of Israel Jn 1:49, and the savior of the world Lk 2:11.
His Work: Jesus lived a sinless life 2 Cor 5:21 and thus had no sins of his own to die for. As a qualified substitute, He voluntarily made atonement for the sins of the world by dying a substitutionary death Isa 53:4-6, Jn 1:29. In this He satisfied God’s justice 1 Jn 2:2 and provided salvation for all who trust in Him alone Eph 2:8-9. After three days He rose from the dead Lk 24:46 in the same body (though now glorified) in which He lived and died. He ascended bodily into heaven Acts 1:9 and sat down at the right hand of God the Father Heb 1:3. There, as the only mediator 1 Tim 2:5 between God and man, He is the great high priest Heb 8:1 of all believers.
His Return: Jesus promised that He would return to gather His people to Himself Jn 14:1-3, to judge the unbelieving world Rev 20:11-15 and to establish His eternal kingdom forever upon the earth Acts 1:11, Rom 8:18-23. We, therefore, believe in the personal, bodily, visible, and pre-millennial return of the Lord Jesus. At that time He will also restore Israel to her own land and bring the whole world to the knowledge of God Jer 23:5-8.
God the Holy Spirit: We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person (not an impersonal force) of the triune God. His mission is to reveal and glorify Jesus Jn 15:26, and to convict and draw sinners to him Jn 16:7-11. He imparts new life to believers Jn 3:5 and indwells them from the moment of spiritual birth Rom 8:9-11. He also “baptizes” believers into the Body of Christ I Cor 12:13 (God’s “ekklesia” or gathered people) and “seals” them as Christ’s own Eph 4:30. The Holy Spirit’s work in believers is to teach, to equip, to encourage, to empower, and to direct them. Rom 8:2; Acts 1:8; Eph 6:13; I Cor 2:1-4
Salvation: We believe that God is not willing that anyone should perish (remain spiritually dead) and invites all men to be saved (be “born again” to “eternal life”) 2 Pet 3:9. God made this possible by sending Jesus to die for the sins of the entire world 1 Jn 2:2. Because of this men are no longer separated from God because of their sins, but only because of their need of life and righteousness through the name of Jesus 1 Jn 5:11-12. This salvation was provided totally by the death of Jesus. It is the gift of God to men by his grace and received by one’s personal faith in Jesus (apart from any merit or work of man), and brings peace with God. Eph 2:8-9; Rom 5:1-2
Salvation refers not only to God’s gift of eternal life, but secondly, to the process of spiritual growth or life-change which God intends for every believer 2 Pet 3:18. To this end, God provides everything the believer needs for “life and godliness.” or “holiness” 2 Pet 1:3.
Salvation refers, thirdly, to the believer’s ultimate destiny with Jesus in a glorified, resurrection body (“when we see Him, we shall be like Him”) 1 Pet 1:5.
Election: God, in eternity past, because of his love and foreknowledge of all whom he knew would respond to his universal invitation to receive Jesus, provided for them a way to share in His eternal destiny Eph 1:4, 11. God’s “election”, therefore, does not determine who shall be saved, but only to the destiny of those who believe in him. Rom 8:29
Eternity: We believe the clear Biblical teaching of a literal heaven for the saved and a literal hell for the unsaved Luke 16:19-31, Acts 1:11, Phil 1:23. We also believe in the bodily resurrection of both--believer’s to eternal blessing with the Lord, and unbelievers to eternal separation from God Acts 24:15, Rev 20:15.
Eternal Security: We believe that all who have with their total persons come to reliance upon the work of Christ for their salvation will never lose this relationship Rom 8:28; Jn 1:12; I Jn 5:11-12a. The believer is the recipient of “eternal life” and is therefore, saved forever Jn 5:24-30. He is “kept by the power of God” to an “incorruptible inheritance” which is “reserved in heaven” and cannot “fade away” 1 Pet 1:3-5. This does not mean, however, that a believer is free to continue to practice sin with impunity; as beloved children, all believers are subject to God’s parental discipline whenever he deems it necessary Heb 12:4-11.
Universal Church: We believe the church is a spiritual organism composed of born-again Jews and gentiles, united together into the “body of Christ” of which He is the head Eph 2:11-22. The church is distinct from Israel as it was a mystery revealed after the ascension of Jesus. This universal body of God’s people was God’s objective from the very beginning to bring the blessing of Abraham to “all the families of the earth” and to show the wisdom of God to the watching angels. Eph 3:3-17; Col 1:24-26
Local Church: This great body of believers takes the visible form of local assemblies of believers meeting together for worship, spiritual edification through the Scriptures, prayer, and mutual encouragement Col 2:1-5. We believe the local assembly should be self-governing and self-supporting without interference from other local assemblies or other outside groups or individuals Gal 5:1; Phil 2:12-16. We believe in separation of church and State, but not the separation of God and State.
Symbols ordained by Jesus for his Church: We believe there are two ordinances, those being water baptism by immersion, and the Lord’s Supper. Water baptism is for believer’s only and signifies the believer’s identification with Jesus. Rom 6:1-5. The Lord’s Supper, taken from the Jewish Passover, is the commemoration of the Lord’s death until He returns and a reminder of our continual fellowship with him 1 Cor 11:23-28.
The Christian Life: Just as sinful people are saved by grace, through faith in God’s son, regenerated people are to live by that same grace through faith. A saved person will strive to glorify God in all things because of love Eph 5:1. The Christian life involves a warfare on three fronts: 1) the flesh – the desire to please self alone Jas 5:1; 2) the world – the ideas of unsaved men Jas 4:4; and 3) the devil – the enemy and accuser of Christians. He leads an army of fallen angels called demons; every believer is subject to their attack but can be victorious by resisting them through Jesus Christ Jas 4:7 by putting on the whole armor of God Heb 6:10-18.
Responsibilities of the Christian: While we believe that no one is saved by their deeds, all are saved for the purpose of doing good deeds, and that Biblical faith always produces good works Jas 1. We believe that the “work” of the Christian life encompasses the whole life and involves growth “in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior” in application to every area of the believer’s life (personal, marriage, family, friends employment, citizenship, etc.) 2 pet 3 :18.
The great purpose of the believer on earth is to Glorify God. Just as God is “holy” (special, unique, different) believers are called by God to be holy—to flee evil and purse good 1 Tim 6:11, fighting to maintain our faithfulness to Him 2 Cor 10:3-6; to live apart from “ungodliness and worldly desires” 1 Pet 1:3 and to “live sensibly, righteously, and godly in the present age” Tit 2:12. Every believer is called to serve God and to love and serve others, and to live out their faith in a manner worthy of Him Eph 4.
At the same time, we recognize that God’s call to a holy, separated, godly life is a lifelong process which cannot be reduced to a rigid behaviorial formula or a legislated code of conduct. Christian growth takes place on different “grade levels” 1 Jn 2:12-14 and there are matters of Christian “liberty” which must be taken into account 1 Cor 8. However, Believers are not to cause other believers to stumble and this may, at times mean giving up one’s personal freedom for the sake of another believer. What is right or wrong for believers when not specifically forbidden by the Word of God, are matters of conscience which must be resolved, before the Lord, by each individual believer Gal 5:13-15;Col 2:16.
Evangelism and Missions: We believe that it is the responsibility of every saved individual and local church to share the “good news” of salvation with those who are lost, both by word of mouth and by example and that it is our responsibility to support missionary endeavors by prayer and giving and sending out our own as the Lord leads 1 Cor 5:18-20.
Last Things: We believe in the literal, physical, premillenial return of Jesus Christ to the earth Jn 14:1-3; Acts 1:11 to initiate and rule from Jerusalem over an earthly kingdom for a thousand years and then eternity Rev 20-21:. This physical kingdom will be established following the “70th week” as revealed in the Book of Daniel Dan 9:20-27; Matt 24:15. We believe that the Church will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air prior to the pouring out of God’s wrath 1 Thess 4:13.
Israel: We believe that God has sovereignly chosen the Jewish people as the nation through which to reveal himself, his eternal glory, and his salvation Gen 13-14-17. Although Israel sinned by rejecting the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and is presently under national blindness, God has a remnant according to his grace Rom 11:1-32. While we believe that God’s Church is distinct from Israel and that God is working through the Church today, this does not mean that God has cast Israel aside. Because of God’s eternal covenants with the Jewish people, we believe they are unique among the nations. Their preservation and continuity to this present day is an outstanding and inexplicable miracle of world history. Grace Bible Fellowship endorses Israel’s prophetic and geopolitical right to the land of Palestine and views their return to the land as a beginning of the fulfillment of God’s promise to restore the Jews to their land. God’s promises to Israel of future blessing will be fulfilled at the Messiah’s second coming Ezek 37. We look forward with anticipation to that future day of national redemption which God promised because it is part of our heritage too Gal 3:29. We are opposed to all forms of anti-semitism and anti-zionism.