We are an elder-led congregation focused on the care and teaching of believers using expository teaching through the Bible.
Free Grace is a summary of our primary belief about how one is saved and how Christians can have the experience of a successful, fruitful, and joyful life as a disciple of Christ. This is simply that one is saved only by faith in Jesus Christ alone - nothing or no one else. Nothing a person can do other than believing in Jesus Christ for eternal life will result in their justification salvation. Repentance from sin, a certain prayer, "coming forward" or similar outward efforts do not assistant in or cause salvation. Just as we are saved by grace, we believe the Christian life is lived by grace, also. In Jesus Christ is life. eternal life and the abundance of that life which God wants us to experience now.
Coupled with the above, we also believe that all Christians will be held accountable for and judged for their works as Christians (sanctification). This is not to be confused with justification and will occur at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This judgment will have no bearing or effect on the salvation of the person, only the reward and position in the kingdom of God.
A. THE BIBLE
The entire Bible in its original writings is inerrant, verbally inspired by God, and of plenary authority - 2 Timothy 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:21.
1. Inerrant - There are no errors of any kind in the original writings. 2. Verbally Inspired - Inspiration extends to the very words which the writers used in the original writings. 3. Plenary - Inspiration is full (i.e. All scripture is inspired, or written under the authority of God).
B. THE GODHEAD
There is one God, eternally existing in three Persons commonly known as the Trinity - 2 Corinthians 13:14; 2 Peter 1:21. The three Persons are:
1. God the Father - 1 Corinthians 8:4-6. 2. God the Son, Jesus Christ - John 1:1, 14; 10:30-33. 3. God the Holy Spirit - Acts 5:3,4
Satan is a being who is the open and declared enemy of God and man.
1. He is the tempter - Genesis 3:1-14; Matthew 4:1-11. 2. He disguises himself as an angel of light - 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. 3. He was judged and triumphed over at the cross - John 16:8-11; Colossians 2:15; Hebrews 2:14. 4. He will be cast into the Lake of Fire forever - Revelation 20:2,10.
D. ETERNAL DESTINY
Man has a choice to spend eternity in heaven or in the Lake of Fire - Matthew 25:41-46; Revelation 20:11-15.
1. Man's Problem. Because Adam sinned, sin was passed down to all men. Sin will result in physical death, and potentially eternal death - Romans 5:12, 6:23. 1. All are dead in trespasses and sins - Ephesians 2:1-3. 2. All have sinned and are unable to save themselves - Romans 3:9-18; 23; 7:18. 3. No one can work for or earn their salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5.
2. God's Solution. By God's grace, God the Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth for the purpose of dying for man's sin - Romans 2:4; Galatians 4:4; Philippians 2:5-8. The basis for salvation is totally dependent upon the work of Jesus Christ on the cross - John 19:30; Hebrews 10:10. Jesus shed His blood to pay the price for man"s sin - Romans 3:24-28; 5:8,9; 2 Corinthians 5:21.
Definition: God's Grace - Unmerited favor....God"s love and free gift toward man even though he does not deserve it.
3. Man's Response. The means through which an individual receives God"s gift of eternal life (justification-salvation) is faith. God gives eternal life to all who believe on Jesus Christ for it. Jesus Christ alone is worthy of our faith, trust, or belief because of who He is and what He has done. Jesus is God who took on flesh and lived a sinlessly perfect life. He died on the cross to make the complete payment for our sins (He had no sin) and then rose from the dead for our justification. He alone is uniquely qualified to offer eternal life to anyone who believes on Him for it, rather than believing or trusting their own works of righteousness- John 3:16; John 6:47; Romans 4: 24, 25; Ephesians 2: 8, 9.
4. Eternal Security. Once a person trusts in Jesus Christ as one"s personal Savior, he is sealed by the Holy Spirit so he cannot lose/forfeit his/her salvation. - Romans 8:38-39; Ephesians 1:13-14; Romans11:6.
E. THE BELIEVER'S WALK
The believer should strive to glorify God and to please God in his daily life. God desires a Christian to live a godly life - Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:31.
Definition: Sanctification - "Set apart" unto God from evil resulting in a godly lifestyle.
1. Positional Sanctification - God sees the Christian as set apart through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit - 1 Corinthians 1:2,30; 2 Thessalonians 2:13. The Holy Spirit does this work when He identifies the believer with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ - Romans 6:1-5; Colossians 2:12.
2. Experiential Sanctification - (Godly living) - Everyday conduct which is befitting a person who is set apart unto God. Leviticus 20:7; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8. 1. Since the old self was crucified... Romans 6 1. the believer should not serve sin - v. 6. 2. the believer is freed from sin and not a slave of sin - vv. 7,19. 3. THEREFORE, the believer should reckon himself dead to sin - v. 11.
2. The flesh and the Spirit are at war with each other in the Christian - Galatians 5:17. There is no good thing in the flesh - Romans 7:18 (cp. Jeremiah 17:9). 3. The Christian makes the choice to serve sin or to serve righteousness - Romans 6:12-19; 12:1,2. 4. It is essential that the Christian should sanctify himself to please God and to serve the Master - Colossians 1:9-10; 2 Timothy 2:19-21. 5. The believer needs to walk by faith to experience true holiness - Galatians 3:3; Colossians 2:6-7.
3. Ultimate Sanctification - The final perfected state of the believer will be attained only when we see Jesus Christ face to face - Romans 8:29-30; Philippians 3:20-21.
F. THE BELIEVER'S MISSION
1. To walk with God - The believer"s highest purpose is to have an intimate relationship with God - Galatians 5:16, 25. The Christian is to glorify God in all he thinks, says, and does. He is to obey the complete will of God that he should be living to the praise of His glory - 1 Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14; 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-3; 1 Peter 4:11.
Definition: To glorify God means to magnify, extol, praise, ascribe honor to Him, to acknowledge His being, attributes, and acts.
2. To proclaim to the world the message of reconciliation - 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; 10:14-16.
3. To promote the spiritual growth of fellow believers - Ephesians 4:11-16.
G. THE UNITY OF BELIEVERS
It is God's desire that each believer be diligent to "preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" - Ephesians 4:1-3. All believers are united by the seven unities found in Ephesians 4:4-6.
1. The believer needs to regard fellow believers as more important than himself - 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Philippians 2:3-5.
2. The spiritual believer needs to be willing to gently restore fellow believers caught in a sin - Galatians 6:1.
H. DISPENSATIONAL MATTERS
1. Practical Dispensationalism
Each doctrine of Scripture is enhanced when Bible teaching includes the life-related focus of the Word of God. A true understanding of dispensational theology has a very practical and personal application to a Christian's life - 1 Corinthians 8:1; 13:1-2. There are two steps in keeping a proper balance of dispensational theology. They are:
Knowledge - The understanding of the Word of God with sound doctrine - 2 Timothy 2:15 Colossians 1:9.
Wisdom - The putting into practice the knowledge that we have learned - Philippians 4:9; Colossians 1:10.
2. The Body of Christ
There is one Church, known as the Body of Christ, in existence at this present time -Ephesians 1:22,23.
All those that have been saved are members of this unique Body - 1 Corinthians 12:12,13.
Concerning "the Body of Christ, that is "the Church", It is important to note three specific things:
1. The Body of Christ is not Israel - 1 Corinthians 10:32. 2. The Body of Christ began at Pentecost - Acts 2. 3. The Body of Christ did not begin after Acts 28.
3. Spiritual Gifts
Many of the gifts listed in the New Testament were "sign gifts" for a special witness to both Jews and Gentiles of the unique power and authority of God in the introduction of the new dispensation of the Grace of God. Here are the conclusions that are drawn: 1. The spiritual gifts for today are enumerated in Romans 12:3-8 and Ephesians 4:7-12. 2. The sign gifts, being temporary in character, have ceased - 1 Corinthians 13:8-11; 2 Corinthians 12:12. They are no longer the expected norm for believers today, and they ceased even in their unique usage when God completed the revelation of His word. 3. Individual believers have gifts which differ according to the grace given to them from God - Romans 12:6.
4. Water (Ritual Baptism)
Water or ritual baptism is not an essential sacrament, though we do not find instruction in Paul"s letters regarding its place in the spiritual program of the Body-Church today, we recognize and practice what is known as "believers' baptism" by immersion in water. For a believer, baptism is a public, symbolic, identification with Christ. He died, was buried, and rose again the third day. In water baptism the believer is lowered under the water and brought back up again. It’s a public display of their association with the work of Christ: his death, burial and resurrection. Coming out of the water, we are stating publicly that when we were saved,(by entrusting ourselves to Christ alone for His finished work of redemption we received new life in Christ.) After our baptism, we look back on it as reminder to us of the "newness of life" that should characterize a child of God by faith in Christ.
However, from the word of God we recognize there is only one Scriptural baptism for the members of the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:5), namely, Spirit baptism - Romans 6:3-4; Colossians 2:11-12. which is symbolized publically by the believers immersion in water. The scriptures verify that the Apostle Paul was not sent to baptize, but to preach the Gospel - 1 Corinthians 1:17. The ceremonial baptisms of the Bible are related to God"s earthly kingdom purposes concerning the nation of Israel - Hebrews 6:1-3; 9:8-10.
5. The Rapture of the Church
The letters written by the Apostle Paul indicate that Christ will "catch" the church, the Body of Christ, away prior to the prophesied Great Tribulation Period. The very non-prophesied nature of the Body of Christ would seem to necessitate the Church"s completion prior to God beginning His prophetic Tribulation Period - 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
I. THE LORD'S SUPPER
The Communion of the Lord"s Supper is for the members of the Body of Christ to observe the remembrance of Jesus Christ "until He comes." - 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.
1. Life After Death. At the time of a person's physical death, a person"s spiritual soul and spirit are separated from the physical body - James 2:26a. 1. The members of the Body of Christ will go to be with the Lord in heaven - 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23. 2. The unsaved person will go to hell to await judgment at a later time - Luke 12:5; 16:19-31; Revelation 20:14.
2. Resurrections. Each person will be resurrected in God's chosen order - 1 Corinthians 15:23-26. 1. Jesus Christ was the first fruits or the first one to ever be resurrected from physical death to immortality - Luke 24:1-7; Acts 13:30-35; 1 Corinthians 15:23-26. 2. The members of the Body of Christ that have died will be resurrected at the rapture - 1 Corinthians15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:13. 3. The Old Testament saints will be resurrected before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ - Isaiah 26:17-19; Matthew 8:10,11. 4. The Great Tribulation saints will be resurrected at the end of the Tribulation period - Revelation 20:1-10. 5. All of the unsaved and any of those that have died during the Millennium will be resurrected at the completion of the Kingdom and the short season - Revelation 20:3, 11-15.
3. God's Plan for the Future. 1. The rapture of the Body of Christ - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. 2. The Great Tribulation or the "Seventy Weeks of Daniel" - Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24. 3. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ the Messiah to restore the Kingdom of Israel - Zechariah 14:1-8; Mark 13:32; Revelation 20:1-15. 4. The Kingdom or Millennial reign of Jesus Christ - Revelation 20:3-4. 5. The "short season" will follow the thousand year reign of Christ - Revelation 20:7-10. 6. The eternal state - Revelation 21,22. 1. The unsaved will be judged and cast into the Lake of Fire - Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:10-15. 2. The saved will spend eternity in several abodes: 1. The Body of Christ will abide in the heavenlies - Ephesians 2:6; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:17. 2. The Jews will spend eternity upon the new earth and in the New Jerusalem - Revelation 21. 3. The rest of the saints will spend eternity on the new earth and New Jerusalem - Hebrews 11:4-16.
K. CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that God has ordained and created all authority consisting of three basic institutions: 1) the home; 2) the church; and 3) the state. Every person is subject to these authorities, but all (including the authorities themselves) are answerable to God and governed by His Word. God has given each institution specific Biblical responsibilities and balanced those responsibilities with the understanding that no institution has the right to infringe upon the other. The home, the church, and the state are equal and sovereign in their respective Biblically assigned spheres of responsibility under God (Romans 13:1-7; Ephesians 5:22-6:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13; 1 Timothy 3:5-6; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 2:13-14,17).
L. LAWSUITS BETWEEN BELIEVERS
We believe that Christians are prohibited from bringing civil lawsuits against other Christians or the church to resolve personal disputes. We believe Grace Bible Church possesses all the resources necessary to resolve personal disputes between its members. We do believe, however that it is permissible for a Christian to seek compensation for injuries from another Christian’s insurance company as long as the claim is pursued without malice or slander (1 Corinthians 6:1-8; Ephesians 4:31-32).
M. HUMAN SEXUALITY
1. We believe that the only legitimate marriage is the joining of one man and one woman by mutual covenant. (Genesis 2:24; Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:1-3,10; Ephesians 5:22-33). 2. We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage. We believe that any form of premarital sex, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. (Genesis 2:24; 19:1-11; Leviticus 18:1-30; Matthew 5:27-28; Romans 1:24-32; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4). 3. We believe men and women are spiritually equal in position before God, but that God has ordained distinct and separate spiritual functions for men and women in the home and church. The husband is to be the head or leader of the family. (Genesis 3:16; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 3:18). Accordingly, only men are eligible for the office of Elder and for licensure and installation (ordination) by Grace Bible Church. Women may be commissioned as missionaries by the church, but are not eligible to preach in a service, to teach men, (1 Timothy 2:11-12) or to hold the office of Elder. (Galatians 3:28; 1 Timothy 2:8-15; 3:1-7; 4; 5; Titus 1:5-9).
1. We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified, unexcused taking of unborn human life. Abortion is murder. We reject any teaching that abortions of pregnancies due to rape, incest, birth defects, gender selection, birth or population control, or the mental well-being of the mother are acceptable. (Psalm 51:5-6; 139:13-16; Isaiah 44:24; 49:1,5; Jeremiah 1:5; 20:15-18; Matthew 1:23; Luke 1:41-44).