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Grace Community Church - "A Bible Teaching Ministry" | Dallas, PA

“A Bible Teaching Ministry”

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   DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

 

 

   The purpose of this doctrinal statement is to express the beliefs of the membership of

   Grace   Community   Church.     The   selected   Scripture   references   are   intended   to   be

   representative—not exhaustive—lists that prove, clarify, expand upon, and/or illustrate

   the printed statements.

 

   This doctrinal statement does not exhaust the extent of our beliefs.  The Bible itself, as the inspired and

   infallible Word of God that speaks with final authority concerning truth, morality, and the proper conduct

   of mankind, is the sole and final source of all that we believe.  For purposes of our church’s faith, doctrine,

   practice, policy, and discipline, the elders are our church’s final interpretive authority on the Bible’s  

   meaning and application.

 

   The Bible

 

   The Bible (the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments) is the inspired Word of

   God   and   is   the   final   authority   for   faith   and   practice.     The   Bible   in   the   original

   manuscripts   is   inerrant   in   all   that   it   affirms,   and   the   sincere   reader   can   properly

   understand and apply its teachings.

 

   The doctrine of inspiration teaches that the human authors of Scripture were so guided

   by the Holy Spirit that they, employing their own personalities and writing styles, wrote

   without error God's revelation to mankind in the words of the original manuscripts.  This

   inspiration extends equally and fully to all parts of the writings.  The exact meaning of

   Scripture   is   unchanged   in   any   important   respect   in   the   widely   accepted   English

   translations.  The Bible is authoritative and without error in any category of knowledge,

   including science and history, and is the supreme and final authority in all matters about

   which it speaks.

 

   The Bible is to be interpreted in a normal and literal way.   This means that history,

   grammar, context, and harmony with other Scripture should be considered as guidelines

   for interpretation.  The Holy Spirit guides the believer to apply the Bible.

 

   Psalm 19:7-11; 119:105;  Matthew 5:17-18; 22:29;  Mark 12:36;  John 5:39-40; 10:35;

   16:13-15; 17:17;  Romans 3:4; 15:4;  1 Corinthians 2:10-16; 10:11;  2 Timothy 3:16-17;

   Hebrews 4:12;  2 Peter 1:21

 

 

    God

 

   The one true God exists eternally in three distinct Persons: the Father, the Son, and the

   Holy   Spirit.     God   is   a   spirit   who   is   all-powerful,   everywhere-present,   all-knowing,

   sovereign, unchangeable, holy, just, and loving.  He is also the Creator and Sustainer of

   all things.

 

   Within the Trinity, the three Persons are equal in deity, but there is also a subordination

   of position (i.e., rank) wherein the Son submits to the Father, and the Holy Spirit submits

   to both the Father and the Son.  Each of the three Persons is worthy of precisely the

   same confidence, worship, and obedience.

 

   God specially created the universe without employing the processes of macro-evolution.

   He is separate from His creation yet vitally related to it.

 

   Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is true God and true man.  He was conceived of the Holy

   Spirit—receiving a human body and an incorrupt human nature--born of a virgin, and

   lived a sinless life.

 

   The Son is one Person with two distinct natures, divine and human.  These natures are

   never mixed, changed, or separated.  Hence, in the New Testament the characteristics

   of true deity and true humanity are evident in Jesus Christ, the God-man.

 

   Jesus Christ died a substitutionary death for sinners and arose bodily and immortally

   from the grave.  He ascended into heaven and will return bodily and visibly to the earth

   just as He left.

 

   Coming as Israel's prophesied Messiah-King, He manifested God to humanity and was

   rejected and crucified.  Because of God's love, Christ vicariously suffered on the cross

   the divine wrath and penalty which sinners deserve in order to satisfy the justice of God

   and thus to provide salvation for every human being without exception.  His shed blood

   is the basis of forgiveness and eternal life, and His resurrection is the guarantee that His

   sacrifice was acceptable to God.   The crucified body of Jesus Christ was resurrected

   and glorified and thereby became the pattern for the bodily resurrection and glorification

   of all believers.  Christ ascended into heaven, at which time He was forever exalted by

   the Father to the place of honor and authority.  He is the Head of the Church and the

   High Priest and Advocate of each believer.

 

   To  confirm   the   hope   of   the   Church,   Christ   will   resurrect   and   glorify   the   bodies   of

   deceased  and living believers (an  event called the  “Rapture").   The Rapture will be

   followed by the Tribulation—a seven-year period of great rebellion and judgment on

   earth—culminating in the Battle of Armageddon.  When Christ returns to earth in glory,

   He will bring an end to the Battle of Armageddon and establish a kingdom wherein He

   shall reign in righteousness and peace for a thousand years.  After this time, He will rule

   in the new heaven and the new earth throughout eternity.

   

   The Holy Spirit—the Third Person of the Trinity—convicts unbelievers of their urgent

   need of God’s salvation.     He also indwells all believers, uniting them in the body of

   Christ,   empowering   them   for   worship   and   service   to   Christ,   and   sealing   them   in

   relationship with Christ.  The gifts He gives believers for service in the Church must be

   exercised in careful obedience to Scripture and in deference to God’s sovereignty in

   distributing them.   No two Christians must necessarily share any one gift in order to

   express the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives.

 

   Genesis 1:1;   Exodus 20:11;   Deuteronomy 6:4;   1 Kings 8:27;   Psalm  2:7-9; 90:2;

   139:7-12;  Isaiah 43:10-11; 44:6-8; 45:5-6, 21-22; 46:9;  Matthew 28:18-20;  John 4:24;

   6:27; 14:28-31; 15:26; 16:13-15;  Acts 5:3-4; 17:29, 31;  Romans 1:20;  2 Corinthians

   13:14;  Ephesians 1:1-23; 2:4-5;  James 1:17;  1 Peter 1:16;  Revelation 19:6

   Isaiah 7:14; 9:6;  Daniel 9:27;  Matthew 1:23; 24:15-21; 28:6, 18-20;  Mark 10:45;  Luke

   1:35; 2:52; 23:33—24:53;  John 1:1, 14; 8:58; 14:6; 20:28;  Acts 1:9-11;  Romans 5:8;  2

   Corinthians 13:14;   Galatians 4:4-5;   Ephesians 1:22-23;   Philippians 2:5-11; 3:20-21;

   Colossians   1:15-23;     1   Thessalonians   4:13—5:11;     1   Timothy   2:5-6;     Titus   2:13;

   Hebrews 1:8; 4:15; 7:25;  1 Peter 2:21-22;  1 John 2:1-2;  Revelation 6:1—22:21

   Psalm 139:7;  Matthew 28:19;  John 15:26; 16:5-15;  Acts 5:3-4; 8:29;  Romans 8:9, 26;

   12:6-8;  1 Corinthians 2:10-11; 6:19; 12:1—14:40;  2 Corinthians 13:14;  Galatians 5:22-

   23;  Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; 5:18;  Titus 3:5;  Hebrews 10:29; 1  John 2:20, 27

 

 

   Angels

 

   Angels   were   created   by  God   and  are   personal  and   powerful   spirit   beings   who   are

   distinct from human beings.  Some angels carry out the purposes of God, while others,

   who have rebelled, serve Satan who is himself a fallen angel.  The destiny of Satan and

   the wicked angels is the lake of fire.

 

   Psalm 8:4-5;  Isaiah 14:12-17;  Ezekiel 28:11-19;  Matthew 18:10; 25:41; 26:53;  Mark

   12:25;  Luke 10:18; 15:10; 16:22; 20:36;  John 12:31;  2 Corinthians 4:3-4;  Ephesians

   3:10; 6:10-18;  Colossians 1:16;  1 Timothy 3:6; 4:1; 5:21;  2 Timothy 2:26;  Hebrews

   1:14;  1 Peter 1:12; 5:8;  2 Peter 2:11;  1 John 3:8;  Jude 6;  Revelation 7:11-12; 20:10

 

 

   Man, Sin & Salvation

 

   Because of the sin of Adam (the first human being and the father of mankind), all of his

   descendants (except Jesus Christ) are sinners who stand condemned before God and

   in need of His salvation.  Moreover, it is only through personal faith in the Person and

   the work of Jesus Christ--and not by the sinner's meritorious works of any kind—that

   one can receive forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and membership in Christ's Church.

 

   Man was created in the image of God but through rebellion fell into sin.  The objective

   guilt of Adam's original transgression is inherited by all of his posterity (except Jesus

   Christ)  who  consequently  possess  a  sinful  nature  and  commit  personal  acts  of  sin.

   These factors, apart from God’s grace, result in a refusal to receive God's salvation.

   Such individuals are separated from God and hence stand in a state of condemnation

   which, unless remedied through salvation, eventuates beyond death in their conscious

   punishment.     Unbelievers   will   be   ultimately   resurrected,   judged,   and   consigned   to

   eternal torment in the lake of fire.

   

   True faith in Jesus Christ--not sincere efforts, confession, baptism, church membership,

   or any rite—is the sole condition for salvation.   When a  person  exercises  faith,   he

   immediately possesses the eternal life to which God ordained him before the creation of

   the universe.   The believer is being conformed by God to the image of Christ.   He is

   also commissioned to live by faith in a manner which will bring honor and glory to God.

   At death his immaterial nature passes immediately into the joyful presence of Christ

   awaiting   his   resurrection,   the   judgment   of   his   works,   and   his   participation   in   the

   everlasting rule of Christ.

   

   Genesis 1:26-27; 3:1-24;    Matthew 25:46;   Luke 16:19-31;   John 3:16-18; 5:24-29;

   Romans 3:9-18, 23; 4:5; 5:6-21; 8:28-30;   1 Corinthians 2:14; 3:11-15;  2 Corinthians

   4:4; 5:6-10;  Ephesians 1:1-14; 2:1-10;  Philippians 1:21-24;  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18;

   2 Thessalonians 1:8-9;   2 Timothy 2:12;   Titus 2:11-15;   James 2:14-26;   Revelation

   14:9-11; 20:10-15

 

 

   The Church

 

   The universal Church—being under the headship  of Christ—is  composed of all true

   believers from the Day of Pentecost to the rapture.  A person becomes a member of the

   universal Church when he is baptized into it by the Holy Spirit at the time he exercises

   saving faith in Christ.  A New Testament local church consists of a group of believers

   who meet regularly in a particular location under the leadership of godly men for the

   purpose of being discipled and making disciples of all nations in obedience to the Great

   Commission of Christ.

   

   An ordinance is a rite prescribed by Christ to be performed by the local church.  There

   are two such ordinances: believers' water baptism and the Lord's Supper.   There are

   two kinds of baptism: Spirit baptism and water baptism.  The former is accomplished by

   the Holy Spirit in the person at the moment he exercises saving faith in Jesus Christ.  It

   results immediately in regeneration and incorporation into the universal Church.   The

   latter kind of baptism is a sign of the former and therefore Christ commands it of His

   disciples.  Water baptism identifies the individual with the death, burial, and resurrection

   of Christ.  The New Testament mode of water baptism is immersion.  There is no biblical

   support for infant baptism.  The Lord's Supper is a memorial service observed regularly,

   commemorating the Lord's death until He returns.  The elements of the meal are not,

   nor do they become, the actual body and blood of Christ.   Rather, they symbolically

   represent Christ's body and blood.

   

   Church leaders have been given to the Church by Christ for the purpose of equipping

   the believers for Christian service.   The local church is to be governed by elders who

   are selected according to standards expressed by the New Testament.

 

   Matthew 16:18; 18:15-20; 28:18-20;   Acts 1:5; 2:42-47; 9:31; 14:23; 20:28;   Romans

   6:1-4; 16:5;   1 Corinthians 1:2; 11:23-26; 12:1—14:40;   Ephesians 1:22-23; 3:10-11;

   4:11-13;  Colossians 1:18;  1 Thessalonians 1:10;  1 Timothy 3:1-13; 5:17;  Titus 1:5-9;

   1 Peter 5:1-4;  Revelation 3:10-1

 

 

   Sanctity of Human Life

 

   All human life is sacred and created by God in His image.  Human life is of inestimable

   worth in all its dimensions, including pre-born babies, the aged, the physically or

   mentally challenged, and every other stage or condition from conception through natural

  death.  We are therefore called to defend, protect, and value all human life.

 

  Psalm 139

 

 

   Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality

 

   God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female.  These two

   distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God.  

   Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.

 

   The term “marriage” has only one meaning:  the uniting of one man and one woman in a

   single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture.  God intends sexual intimacy to

   occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other.  God has

   commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage

   between a man and a woman.

 

   Any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior,

  bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to

   God.

 

   In order to preserve the function and integrity of Grace Community Church as the local

   Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Grace Community Church

   members and its community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Grace

   Community Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by

   this doctrinal statement.

 

   God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking

   His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

 

   Every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity.  

   Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be

   repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Grace Community

   Church.

 

   Genesis 1:26-27; 2:18-25;  Matthew 5:16, 27-28; 15:18-20;  Mark 12:28-31;  Luke 6:31;

   Acts 3:19-21;  Romans 1:24-28; 10:9-10;  1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 18; 7:2-5;  Galatians

   6:10;  Philippians 2:14-16;  1 Thessalonians 5:22;  Hebrews 13:4;  1 John 1:9