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Basics of the Faith

Scripture

We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the inspired, infallible, and inerrant word of God. We believe that the Holy Spirit superintended the prophets and apostles when he had them write God's revelation of Himself to the church. We believe that the Scriptures are the only infallible standard by which the entirety of our lives is governed.

God

We believe that there is one true and living God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He is one God in three Persons. We believe that He is the same God in the Old and New Testament. We believe that all three Persons of the Godhead are equal in power and glory. 

Man

We believe that man was created in God's image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. We believe that man was given a will to exercise choices. We believe that when Adam and Eve fell in the Garden, that guilt and tendency to sin began being passed down from generation to generation, so that in Adam we all sinned and are now thoroughly sinful in our minds, hearts, and wills. We believe that men are spiritually dead apart from the regenerating work of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit--meaning we will not seek out God unless He seeks us out first.

Jesus

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the eternal Son of God, added a human nature to His Divine Person in order to be the only Mediator between God and Man. As the God-Man, Jesus obeyed the Law of God perfectly on behalf of His people and took the judgment they deserved on the cross, because of their disobedience. Jesus died in the place of His people, as a substitute for them. His death was a real sacrifice and is effective for salvation for all those who look away from anything they can do to be right with God and rather believe in what Jesus did to make people right with God. The benefits of Christ's death are applied to people when they believe in/put their faith in Him.

Salvation

We believe that salvation is by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ. While we are called to walk in the good works prepared by God in eternity past for us to do as God's Word says, we do not believe that men and women are saved by these Spirit-wrought works. We believe that good works are the necessary fruit of the faith that unites us to Jesus and by which we are saved.  

Justification

We believe that through the work of Jesus our sins have been forgiven. Additonally, Christ's righteousness (i.e. His perfect record of obedience during His life on earth) is imputed (i.e. accounted, credited, etc.) to those who believe. Just as our sins were imputed to Him, so His righteousness is imputed to us. It is what many people call the "great exchange". This is what is called in Scripture "justification."

Sanctification

We believe that all who are justified will also be sanctified. Sanctification is a biblical term that means, "to be made holy." As we are accepted in God's sight as righteous because of the work of Jesus, we are also renewed in our hearts so that we will live our lives in accordance to God's word. We learn to love the ways of the Lord as He sanctifies us by His Word and Spirit.  This is not to say Christians will not struggle with sin, and sometimes fall into sin in dramatic form, but there will always be repentance and a desire to live lives of gratitude to God for all He's done for us through the person and work of Jesus.  All who look to Jesus as Savior will also look to Him as Lord.

The Church and Covenant Theology

We believe that the Church, as the body of Christ, is made up of all who have saving faith in Him, together with their children. We believe that God enters into a covenant of amazing grace with believers and their children, which many people call the “Covenant of Grace".  Covenant does not equal a saving relationship with God, but rather is a bond by which God promises salvation to those who fulfill the condition of the covenant. This condition is faith in Jesus Christ, which is itself a gift from God and not something that we naturally have the ability to produce.  Jesus is the One who keeps the legal demands of the covenant for His people. As they are united to Him through faith, all the benefits of the covenant become theirs including eternal life, adoption into God's family, being made a co-heir to all things with Jesus, the lengthy list of amazing promises that Paul tells us about in Romans 8, and on and on.  

The Sacraments

Grace Community Presbyterian observes two sacraments, baptism and the Lord's Supper.  The sign of the covenant in Old Testament times was circumcision, but the sign of the covenant has given way to baptism in New Testament times.  We do not believe that you are “converted,” “saved,” “regenerated,” or “redeemed” by water baptism.  We believe that it is commanded by Jesus to be a sign and seal of the covenant.  We believe that you must be baptized by the Holy Spirit, which is another way of saying you must be “converted,” “saved,” “regenerated,” or “redeemed” through faith in Jesus.

We believe that Christ is spiritually present in the right partaking of the Lord’s Supper. In order for someone to partake correctly, you must be able to examine your heart, recognize your need for the saving blood of Jesus, and exercise faith in Him. We do not believe that the bread and cup literally become the body and blood of Christ. We believe that they represent the body and the blood of Jesus, and that He is spiritually present in the right partaking of the Lord's Supper.

In short, we believe that the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper are the visible Word of God in that they preach to our eyes using signs we can understand to communicate the spiritual truths of God's Word.  We believe the sacraments are means of grace in that God uses baptism and the Lord's Supper to point us to Jesus, draw us closer to Him, etc.

The Last Things

We believe that there will be a day of judgment, in which all men will stand before the throne of God and will have to give an account of everything done in the body. We believe in a bodily resurrection of both believers and unbelievers. On the last day, when Jesus returns, all those who have died prior to this coming will be raised up and will either go to heaven or hell for all eternity. All those who have trusted in Christ will go to be with Him in glory forever. All those who have not trusted in Him will perish eternally. This knowledge of an eternal judgment should spur us on to evangelism and telling as many people as will listen that salvation is found in Jesus.