STATEMENT OF FAITH

 

THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

We believe the Bible is God's Word as recorded in the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, being verbally and plenarily inspired (God-breathed) in the original manuscripts.  It is inerrant and authoritative in all areas it addresses and thus is our sole authority in all matters of faith and conduct. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Matt. 5:18; Joshua 1:18; Psalm 119:9, 11, 105)

 

THE GODHEAD

The Trinity  There is one triune God, eternally existing in three persons; the Father (Eph. 1:3-5), the Son (Eph. 1:11), and the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14).  Each person is identical in essence and equal in power and glory.  Al three persons simultaneously posses the divine attributes, perfections and nature in unceasing unity without confusion or splitting of the essence or persons. (Deut. 6:4; I Kings 8:27; Matt. 28:18-19; 2 Cor. 13:14; Heb. 1:8; Eph. 4:6, 2:22; John 10:30)

The Father  God the Father is infinite Spirit.  He is personal, eternal and unchangeable in His person, nature and attributes.  (Ex. 3:14; Ps. 90:2; Mal. 3:6)

The Son  We believe Jesus Christ left His eternal home in heaven to join Himself to a perfect human nature (Luke1:35), uniting God and man in one person.  He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary to reveal the Father and accomplish our redemption through His infinite sacrifice on the cross.  We believe Christ died in our place as the sinless Lamb of God, on the cross as our divine substitute for sin.  He physically arose from the dead, guaranteeing our physical resurrection.  He ascended into Heaven and there intercedes for His own.  We believe our Lord's return for His Body, the Church is imminent, preceding the seven year tribulation upon the earth, after which He will again return to establish His millennial reign. (Rom 3:24-25; Luke 2:11; I Cor. 15;3-4; 42-47; Heb. 4:14-16; 7:24-25; I Peter 2:24, 3:18; Isa. 53:5-6; Col. 1:15; Eph. 1:7; Acts 1:9-11; Zech. 14:4-11; 2 Sam. 7:12-16; I Cor. 15:51-52; I Thess. 4:13-17; Rev. 19:11-16, 20:1-6)

The Holy Spirit  We believe the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person Who was sent to convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.  He also regenerates, baptizes at the time of salvation, fills, indwells, comforts, teaches, empowers, guides, intercedes for, leads, and seals every believer in Jesus Christ.  We are not in agreement with the modern tongues or charismatic movement.  (John 16:8-11; Eph. 1:13-14, 4:30; I Cor. 12:12-13 John 14:26, 15:26; Rom. 8:9, 14-16, 26-27; I Cor. 6:19)

 

SATAN

We believe Satan is the anointed cherub who authored sin and by deception led man into sin.  He is the open and declared enemy of both God and man.  He shall be punished forever in the Lake of Fire prepared for him and his fallen angels.  (Job 1:6-7; Isa. 14:12-15; Exe. 28:11-19; Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10)

 

MAN

  • We believe the Genesis account of creation consisting of six literal 24 hour days.  Man was personally created by God, with fully developed adult bodies as we have today, out of the dust of the ground.  We reject any form of evolution.  (Genesis 1:24-28, 2:7)

  • We believe man was created in innocence in the image and likeness of God, but because of Adam's sin mankind fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God.  Therefore, mankind is totally depraved or corrupted apart from divine intervention.  (Gen. 1:26-27; Romans 3:22-23; 5:12; Psalm 14:1-3; Jer. 17:9; Isa. 64:6; Col. 1:21)

   

SALVATION

  • We believe salvation is the gift of God given to mankind by grace received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ Whose precious blood was shed on Calvary to satisfy the righteous demands of our just God. (Eph. 2:8-9; I Peter 1:18-19; I John 5:11-12; Acts 16:31)

  • We believe every believer is secure for all eternity from the moment of regeneration, guaranteed by the sealing of the Holy Spirit Himself, (Eph. 4:30; II Cor. 1:22) by the promise of Christ, (John 10:27-30) and by the clear teaching of God's Word.  (Rom. 8:1, 38-39; John 3:18, 36; Jude 24)

  • We believe it is the privilege of Christians to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation.  Scripture, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an excuse for sin.  (Rom. 6:1-12, 14:7-8; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15; I Peter 2:15-16)

  

SANCTIFICATION

  •  We believe Christian living begins by believing on Christ as Savior.  We believe that every human being is ultimately responsible to God in all matters of faith.  Each believer is also to some degree responsible to the pastor and the church leaders over them.  As well as to other members of the body of Christ.  (John 3:7, 18, 36, 10:10; Revelation 20:15; I Peter 5:1-5; Romans 13)

  • We believe that all Christians should so live as not to bring reproach of dishonor upon their Savior and Lord, but rather to glorify God in all things.  Separation from all religious apostasy, all secret societies, all sinful pleasures and associations is commanded by God.  (Rom. 12:12, 14:13; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11; II Cor. 6:14-17, 7:1; James 1;27; I Cor. 10:31)

  • We believe it is the obligation of each Christian to witness by life and by word concerning Christ and the truth of the Holy Scriptures and to assume responsibility for the propagation of the gospel to all mankind. (Mark 16:15; Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; II Cor. 5:20)

  • We believe Christians are to live in accordance with the laws of the state provided the laws do not conflict with the Word of God.  It is also their responsibility to pray for the authorities over them.  Should they not agree with a law, they are to go through the proper channels to change it or agree to suffer the penalties of the state for their stand of faith.  (Rom 13; Dan. 3:6)

 

THE CHURCH

We believe the universal church known as the body of Christ, is comprised of believers baptized (placed) by the Holy Spirit into Christ, and thus into His Body.  This group is made up of all believers from Pentecost, when the Spirit was given, to the rapture, when the present ministry of the Spirit will be changed.  (I Cor. 12:13; Rom. 12:5; Gal. 3:27-28; Acts 2:4 with 11:15-16)

 

We believe the local church is a limited manifestation of the entire Body of Christ in time and space.  Specifically, the local church is a self-governing group of born again, baptized believers organized together to meet regularly, having two offices (pastor/elder and deacon), for the equipping of the saints for their ministry, for provoking one another to love and good works, for exhortation, for the exercise of spiritual gifts, the observance of the ordinances (believer's baptism and the Lord's table), and for the worldwide proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We recognize Christ as the Lord and Head of the church.  We believe the modern ecumenical movement is unscriptural.  (I Cor. 11:18: Eph. 4:11-12; Heb. 10:24-25; I Pet. 4:10-11)

  

THE FAMILY

We believe the family was the first institution established by God.  Marriage is for one man and one woman to be united for life.  Thus all polygamy, homosexuality, and sex outside the bonds of marriage is sin.  (Rom. 1:26-28; Heb. 13:4; Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 19:5-6)

 

We believe the bonds of marriage are only permitted to be broken by 1) death (Rom. 7:2-3); 2) whoredom [a willful pattern of sexual immorality] (Matt. 19:3-9); and 3) desertion by an unbelieving spouse (I Cor. 7:12-15).  Divorce is not an option to marital problems, is not glorifying to God, and is sinful, when committed outside the biblical exceptions.  When dealing with divorce and remarriage great care needs to be taken.  Items to be considered include the time of the divorce (before or after salvation), the present attitude of the individual towards divorce, and the fact of confession, repentance, and forgiveness.  In this permissive society we feel a strong stand on divorce like any other sin must be cared for by confession and repentance.  Divorced persons may serve in any area of the church, excluding the offices of pastor/elder and deacon.

 

The abortion of millions of babies each year is nothing short of murder, is condemned by Scripture and is condemned by this church.  (Ex. 21:22-25; Psalm 139)

 

THE ETERNAL STATE

We believe heaven and hell are literal places and at the Great White Throne Judgment, death and hell will be cast into the Lake of Fire along with all whose names are not written in the Book of Life. (Matt. 25;46; Luke 16;23; John 14:2-3; Rev. 20:12-15)

 

We believe that at the moment of physical death, the redeemed are immediately in the presence of the Lord where they remain in conscious bliss with a glorified body. (Luke 23:43, Phil. 3:21; I Thess. 4:16-17; I Cor. 14:52-53; Rev. 20:4-6; II Cor. 5:8)

 

We believe the souls of unbelievers (non-Christians) remain in conscious misery after death until the second resurrection, at which time they shall appear before the Great White Throne Judgment and be cast into the Lake of Fire to suffer everlasting conscious punishment. (Luke 16:19-26; II Thess. 1:7-9; Rev. 20:5-15)

 

We believe in the pre-tribulational, pre-millenial, dispensational interpretation of theology as opposed to covenant theology.

 

THE ORDINANCES

Baptism:  We believe the Scriptures teach that Christian baptism is by immersion of a believer in water to solemnly show forth in a beautiful symbol personal faith in, and union with the crucified, buried and risen Savior, with its effect in personal death to sin and resurrection to a new life.  Baptism is a prerequisite to the privileges of church membership. (Acts 2:41; Rom. 6:3-5)

 

Lord's Supper:  We believe the Lord's Supper is a memorial to Jesus Christ which pronounces publicly His death and present ministry to Christians until He returns, and should always be preceded by solemn self-examination.  The elements used are to be unleavened bread picturing His sinless body, and unfermented juice picturing His sinless blood. (I Cor. 11:23-38; I John 1:1-14)

Grace Baptist Church - 2801 17th St, Emmetsburg, IA 50536 - 712.852.3933