What We Believe About…
God is the creator and ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These are co-equal and are one God.
Gen 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22 | Ps 90:2 | 2 Cor 13:14 | 1 Pet 1:2
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the cross. He arose from the dead after three days and demonstrated His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and is now sitting at the Father’s right hand until He returns again to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Isa 9:6 | Mt 1:22-23 | Jn 1:1-5; 14:10-11 | Acts 1:9-11 | Rom 1:3-4
1 Cor 15: 3-4 | 1 Tim 6:14-15 | Titus 2:13 | Heb 4:14-15; 12:2
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and Jesus Christ. He is present in the world to convict people of sin and of righteousness, thereby making people aware of their need for redemption in Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian to provide the power for godly living and the ability to understand spiritual truth. Mature Christians seek to live under his control daily.
Jn 14:16-18; 16:7-14 | Acts 1:8 | 1 Cor 2:10-16; 3:16 | 2 Cor 3:17 | Gal 5:25 Eph 1:13; 5:18
The Bible is God’s word to all people. In it God reveals His character and His purposes. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian belief and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error.
Ps 12:6; 119:105, 160 | Prov 30:5 | 2 Tim 1:13; 3:16 | 2 Pet 1:20-21
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. We are the supreme object of God’s creation. In our original state, we were fully alive spiritually and designed to live in fellowship with our Creator as well as have stewardship over the earth. Although we have tremendous potential for good, we are marred by attitudes of disobedience toward God and propensities to find life apart from God. Because Adam, the first man, chose to disobey God and thus brought sin and death into the world, all people now enter the world as slaves to sin, incapable of pleasing God. All have missed God’s mark of perfection, whether in thoughts, words or deeds. Because of this, all are condemned under the death penalty of sin, which is eternal separation from God in hell. Consequently, people are in need of forgiveness and eternal life.
Gen 1:26-28 | Ps 8:3-6 | Isa 53:6a; 59:2 | Rom 3:23; 6:23
Salvation means deliverance from harm. Since the Bible uses this word in many different ways and in the past, present, and future tenses, one must determine from the context the harm from which a person, group or nation is delivered. In regard to sin, the Bible specifically addresses three aspects:
- Justification – deliverance from the penalty of sin
- Sanctification – deliverance from the power of sin
- Glorification – deliverance from the presence of sin
Apart from Christ, we are condemned, in bondage to sin, and destined for hell. These harms are the result of spiritual death. In Christ, we are forgiven, have power for godly living, and are destined for heaven. These gifts are the result of spiritual (eternal) life.
For a Christian, justification is something that happened at a moment in time in the past, sanctification is something that is happening on a daily basis, and glorification is something that will happen at a moment in time in the future. While all salvation is by God’s grace, the manners by which people appropriate these aspects differ. People appropriate justification by faith in Christ alone, sanctification by obedience to the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, and glorification by physical resurrection or Rapture.
Rom 3:30, 5:1 | 1 Cor 15:12-19 | Gal 2:16; 3:8, 24 | Heb 10:14 | 2 Pet 1:5-9 | 1 John 3:2-3
The sole condition for receiving eternal life is faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ, who guarantees eternal life and resurrection to the believer. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin through his substitutionary death on the cross thereby turning away God’s wrath toward us and satisfying God’s justice. Three days later He rose bodily from the dead proving He is the resurrection and the life.
No act of obedience, preceding, during, or following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, such as commitment to obey, sorrow for sin, turning from one’s sin, baptism or submission to the Lordship of Christ, may be added to, or considered part of, faith as a condition for receiving or keeping eternal life. This saving transaction between God and the sinner is simply the giving and receiving of a free gift.
Jn 3:16-18; 6:47; 11:25 | Acts 16:31 | Rom 3:25; 4:5; 5:1
Gal 2:16 | Titus 3:5 | Eph 2:8-9 | Rev 22:17
Faith is the conviction that something is true; it is taking God at His Word. To believe in Jesus (“he who believes in Me has everlasting life”) is to be convinced that He guarantees eternal life to all who simply believe in Him. Faith always has an object, the object of the Christian’s faith being Jesus Christ. God does not give people faith to believe in Jesus, but rather draws people to Jesus by revealing truth through the Person of the Holy Spirit.
Since people cannot comprehend spiritual truth apart from God, revelation is necessary. Often, it starts with simple truth, such as God exists. If people accept God’s revelation, their hearts soften and they are more likely to receive further revelation. If they reject it, their hearts harden and they are less likely to receive further revelation. In other words, revelation is often progressive. Once the Holy Spirit reveals, and people believe, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God who will raise them up at the last day, they have faith in Jesus and receive eternal life.
Jn 5:24; 6:44, 47; 11:26; 16:13; 20:31 | 1 Cor 2:14 | 1 Tim 1:16 | Heb 11:1
Assurance of eternal life is certainty that people are eternally secure simply by faith in Jesus. Assurance of eternal life is based only on the promise God makes in His Word that all who believe in Jesus Christ alone possess eternal life. Good works, which can and should follow regeneration, are not necessary for people to have assurance of eternal life. A lack of assurance on the part of believers will hinder them from living as God intends. Conversely, assurance of eternal life is a powerful motivator for godly living. Assurance, however, does not give believers license to sin, as God disciplines those who are His children.
Jn 5:24; 6:35-40, 47; 10:28-29; 11:25-27 | Rom 6:1-2 | Eph 2:10 | Titus 3:8 | 1 Jn 5:9-13
The ultimate goal of the Holy Spirit’s work in the believer’s life is to produce spiritual maturity reflected in consistent, Christ-like behavior and attitudes. This lifelong work, which begins the moment believers receive eternal life, is the means by which we are delivered from the power of sin. Whereas we are delivered from the penalty of sin (justified) by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, we are delivered from the power of sin (sanctified) by grace through obedience to God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. Obedience, while not necessary for obtaining or keeping eternal life, is the essential responsibility of every Christian and is a demonstration of our love for God. However, this does not imply that the Bible teaches that all who have eternal life will obey God’s commands or persevere in good works. If believers do not yield to the ministry of the Holy Spirit in their experience, failure will result, evidenced by sinful acts or even prolonged disobedience. Whereas repentance, brokenness and/or commitment may or may not accompany faith at the moment of conversion (justification), these experiences are normative for maturing followers of Christ.
At Grace Life Church, we believe people have the freedom and responsibility to follow their own conscience in disputable matters. This means we do not have any formal rules regarding the watching of movies, responsible drinking of alcohol, dancing and the like. However, we do believe that individuals are responsible before God to honor their own individual convictions, and to be sensitive and loving toward the convictions of others, in these matters.
Lk 14:25-33 | Rom 6:12-23; 14:1-23 | 1 Cor 10:1-13 | Gal 5:16-25 | Col 1:23-29 | Heb 5:13-14
The believer is assured of eternal life and is thus eternally secure, since that life is guaranteed by the Lord Jesus Christ to all who believe in Him, and is based upon His substitutionary death, burial, and resurrection. Therefore, it is inconsistent with the gospel and with Scripture to seek to gain or keep eternal life by godly living. The Scriptures, however, do present several motivations for obedience to God’s commands.
- A powerful motivation for living the Christian life is gratitude to God for saving us by His grace.
- Believers should also be motivated by the knowledge that their heavenly Father both blesses obedience and disciplines disobedience in His children. God is not mocked. Whatever a person sows, that he also reaps.
- Finally, every Christian must stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, not to determine his eternal destiny, for that is already set, but to assess the quality of his Christian life on earth. Anticipating either reward or loss of reward at the Judgment Seat should also motivate believers to perseverance and to faithfulness to God’s revealed will. Those who endure will have the honor to reign with Christ in His kingdom. In addition, one’s capacity to glorify Jesus is forever based on how faithful he was in his stewardship in this life.
Lev 26:1-45 | Lk 19:11-26 | Rom 8:38-39; 12:1-2 | 1 Cor 3:10-17; 9:24-27 | 2 Cor 5:10, 14-15
Gal 2:20; 6:7 | Titus 2:11-14 | Heb 12:3-11 | Jas 5:8-9 | 1 John 2:28 | Rev 20:6; 22:12