Grace Baptist Church

              304 Knotts Street, PO Box 217, New Virginia, IA 50210               
10:30 a.m. Sunday Worship

 

Doctrines and Beliefs

We invite all questions, doubts, and concerns...

All are welcome!


Doctrinal Statement
Containing 10 Articles of Faith 

I. The Triune God

We confess and believe that there is but one true and living God. (Deut. 4:35, 39; 6:4; Ps. 86:10; 1 Cor. 8:4, 6; Eph. 4:6; 1 Tim. 2:5) We believe that God is the source of all things (Neh. 9:6; Rom. 11:36; 1 Cor. 8:6; 11:12b) and that He created, from nothing, all that is (Gen. 1:1; Ps. 95:4-5; 102:25; John 1:10) and that, as the creator, He is transcendent, He stands outside of both time and space and is, in nature, separate and distinct from His creation. (1 Kings 8:27, 30; 2 Kings 19:15; 2 Chr. 2:6; Ps. 90:2; Eccl. 11:5; Isa. 40:22; 55:8-9; 57:15; 66:1-2a; Jer. 23:24b)


We confess and believe God was never created or came into being, but that he has always existed from eternity past and will continue to exist for all eternity. (Gen. 1:1; Ex. 3:14; Ps. 90:2; 102:12, 25-27; Is. 43:13; John 1:3; Rev. 4:8) We believe that the nature of God is spiritual not corporeal. (1 Kings 8:10-13, 27; Is. 57:15; John 4:24) We believe that this transcendent God is omnipresent, that is imminently present simultaneously at all points of time and space, (2 Chr. 16:9; Job 34:22; Psalm 33:13; 56:8; 139:5-12, 16, 18b; Heb. 4:13; Jer. 23:24; Amos 9:2-4) and that He is omniscient, understanding all that ever was, aware of all that is, and knowing all that is to come. (1 Kings 8:39b, Psalm 44:21; 94:11; 139:2, 4, 16b-18a; Is. 66:18; Rom. 11:33) We believe that God is also omnipotent, that there never was, nor ever can be, any person, force, or thing of greater power than Him in anyway. (Ex. 8:10; 15:11; Deut. 3:24; 33:26; 2 Sam. 7:22; Ps. 86:8, 10; Jer. 10:6-7; John 10:29; Rev. 1:8)


We confess and believe that God has revealed Himself to be a Trinity of personhoods, yet in unity, substance, and essence only one God. And so we do not say that there are three gods, but only one God. And yet we do not say that God is one person who acts in three different personalities or modes, or that He reveals Himself in three different facades. We hold that God is one God who exists, simultaneously and eternally, as three persons, all three of whom are distinct and co-eternal persons of one indivisible Divine essence. (Matt. 28:19; Luke 10:16; John 1:1-18; 5:21-23; 8:19; 17:11; 2 Cor. 13:14; Phil. 2:6; 1 John 2:23; 2 John 1:19) We believe that no member of the Trinity is any less or any more divine than any other member of the Trinity.


We confess and believe that God has reveled himself to be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that each person of the Trinity shares the common attributes of being divine, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, transcendent, creator of all, just, merciful, feeling, loving, patient, judging, holy, good, strong, defending, and much more.

 

II. God the Father

We confess and believe that God the Father is the first member of the Holy Trinity, superior in position to God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, yet equal in Godhead. (John 14:28) We believe that God the Father, in conjunction with the entire Trinity, made the whole universe and all that therein is, seen and unseen, (Jer. 10:16) out of nothing, in six literal days, as the Scriptures say. (Genesis 1:1-31) We believe that God the Father, in conjunction with the entire Trinity, made a covenant with all mankind and later to the Nation of Israel and gave to them the Law and sent to them the word of the Prophets. We believe that God the Father sent God the Son into the world born of the Virgin Mary to redeem fallen man, and that God the Father, in union with God the Son, bestowed God the Holy Spirit upon believers in Christ. (John 7:39; 14:16-17; 15:26; Romans 8:26)

 

III. God the Son and Jesus Christ

We confess and believe that God the Son is eternally begotten of God the Father and is the second member of the Holy Trinity, superior in position to God the Holy Spirit, yet equal in Godhead. (John 10:30; 17:11; Phil. 2:6) We believe that in the fullness of time God the Son entered into the world in a special way by becoming incarnate of a virgin named Mary of Nazareth through the power of God the Holy Spirit, (Luke 1:26-38) and thus, while remaining truly God, the Son, as it were, took humanity into the Godhead by eternally uniting Himself in a special way with a human body in the womb of the Virgin Mary. The Son thus becoming truly man (Matthew 4:2; Luke 2:40; John 4:6-7; Phil. 2:6-11; 1 John 4:2) in Jesus of Nazareth, remained truly God and united to the Father and the Holy Spirit. We therefore believe that the second member of the Trinity did not leave or remove Himself from the Trinity at anytime, yet we also believe that God the Son and Christ Jesus are so intimately connected after the Incarnation that to refer to both the Son and Jesus of Nazareth interchangeably is right and proper. Thus we believe that in Jesus Christ there are two natures and two wills; one divine and one human, each retaining properties particular to their nature, and yet so united together as to form one single and unified person.


We confess and believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, or Christ, promised to deliver and rule not only Israel but all mankind. (Gen. 3:15; Ps. 2:2; Matthew 1:16, 20; 11:3-6; 16:16; Luke 2:11; John 11:27) We believe that while on Earth He preformed many real and physical miracles of His own divine power, and that they are recorded truthfully in Scripture. We believe that He, with full knowledge of what was going to happen, let Himself truly be betrayed, beaten, and executed, as the Gospels record. We believe that He died, was buried, descended into the place of departed righteous souls, (Mathew 27:52-53; Romans 10:7; Eph. 4:8-10; Heb. 13:20; 1 Peter 3:19) and physically rose again in His glorified body on the third day, according to all that is written in the Holy Bible.


We believe that He has two advents with two differing purposes; His first advent was to proclaim the Kingdom of God, be rejected and thus suffer and die for the sins of all mankind, and rise again to offer redemption and forgiveness of sins to both Jews and Gentiles in His Name before His second advent. His second coming will be to judge all mankind, (Matt. 25:31-32; Rev. 20:21) bring the Kingdom in its fullness, (Rev. 20:1-6) renew all creation (Rom. 8:18-23; Rev. 21:1-4), and utterly destroy sin, death, and Satan. (Rev. 20:7–21:4) Until His second advent we believe that He has ascended into heaven and that His glorified human body sits at the right hand of God the Father.

 

IV. God the Holy Spirit

We confess and believe that that God the Holy Spirit proceeds from God the Father, and (or through) God the Son, and is the third member of the Holy Trinity, inferior in position to God the Father and God the Son, yet equal in Godhead. (John 7:39; 14:26; 15:26; 16:7) We believe that at Pentecost the Holy Spirit was given to every believer in Christ in a unique way never given to the saints of the Old Covenant. We believe that the Holy Spirit gave certain special gifts to the early church to help her formation, but that these gifts have now ceased as an ordinary and regular part of the life of the Church. Such extraordinary gifts include spontaneous utterances or abilities in different known languages (otherwise known as the Gift of Tongues,) the gift of healing given to individuals, and the gift of prophetic utterances, among others. We believe the Holy Spirit does give gifts of comfort, protection, inspiration, sanctification, illumination, restraint, aid, peace, and many more. (John 14:16; Rom. 8:26; 2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:23; 4:11; 4:30; 2 Thes. 2:13)

 

V. The Revelation of God

We confess and believe that God has revealed himself to man in the created order, (Ps. 19:1-4; Acts 14:17; 17:24-34; Rom. 1:19-20) but that this revelation, of itself, is not redemptive in its message. Man may know that there is a God and that he is accountable to him, but how to assuage sin he cannot learn from general, or natural, revelation. Therefore we believe that God has revealed His truth in a special, or supernatural, revelation to man, which collectively we call the Holy Bible.

We believe that the Holy Bible contains 39 books within the Old Testament, those books commonly received among Jews and Protestants as canonical, and the 27 books of the New Testament as commonly recognized by all Christians. We believe that these books in their entirety are infallible, inspired, inerrant, and God-breathed, down to every word and phrase in the original language. We believe that God so superintended the writing of each book that the words and style of each author became the very Word of God. We believe that they are entirely accurate and truthful in every matter of which they speak, including matters of faith, morals, cosmology, physical and biological science, history, and geography while at the same time truthfully recalling accurately human actions and opinions which may not be true or moral such as Abraham’s engagement in polygamy. We believe that the formation of the canon of Scripture ceased with the death of the last Apostle, and that the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the Apostle John, commonly called Revelation or the Apocalypse is the last book of the entire cannon of Holy Writ. (Ex. 24:4; 31:19, 22; 2 Kings 17:13; Mark 13:31; Luke 1:1-4; John 10:35; 17:8; 20:31; Rom. 4:23-24; 15:4; Gal. 1:12; 1 Thes. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Heb. 1:1-2; 1 Pet. 1:11-12, 25; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; 3:2; 1 John 1:1, 3-5; Revelation 22:6-8)


The Apocrypha or “Deutero–Canon” may be useful for its historical context/content and some parts of it may be instructional to a degree greater than other ancient human books (such as the books of Wisdom and Sirach), but it is not the special revelation of God that the Proto-Canon is and as such it is not recognized as wholly Scriptural or canonical by this church. Although certain portions of the Apocryphal texts, such as the Song of the Three Children, may be sung in church by the congregation or the choir in the same fashion as an ancient hymn, no part of the Apocrypha should ever be read as a scripture lesson in the public worship of the Church, or ever be used solely to establish any practice of the church or in the formation of any Christian doctrine, although it can provide support in the voice of an ancient and approved witness to contested points of history in doctrinal opinion.

 

VI. The Angels, Satan, and the Antichrist

We confess and believe that God created the angels as perfect beings, (Col. 1:16) but like man, some fell when the angel commonly called Lucifer grew jealous and opposed God and led a celestial rebellion. (Luke 10:18; Rev. 12:7-9) The angels that remained true to God are messengers of Heaven (Luke 1:19; Heb1:7, 14) and some have a special duty to protect and defend the people of God. (Ps. 34:7; Ps. 91:11; Dan. 6:22; 12:1; Matt. 18:10; Acts 12:11; Heb. 1:14) Now called the Enemy, the Devil, Satan, the Dragon, or the Serpent, Lucifer was cast out and the fallen angels with him onto the earth and into a place called Hell that was prepared for them. (Isa. 14:12-15; Matt. 25:41) Along with Satan, many fallen angles, now called demons, are not yet bound to Hell as their permanent abode and go about upon the Earth to wreak evil and, if they can, to possess men. (Job 1:6-7; Matt. 4:24; Luke 11:14; 1 Pet. 5:8; Jam. 4:7) In the last days, Satan will raise up a false Christ to deceive the nations in the form of a demon possessed man commonly called the Antichrist. Although we do not deny that some institutions, people, or historical revolutions/movements may be identified as antichrists or as in the spirit of antichrist, we teach and confess that there will be a single personal Antichrist in the latter days. (Dan. 7:25; 8:25; 11:36; 2 Thess. 2:3-8; 1 Jn. 2:18; 4:3; Rev. 13:5-6)

 

VII. The Nature and Fall of Man with a Declaration on Human Sexuality

We confess and believe that God created man and the universe perfect and that men fell from grace due to the disobedience of a literal, historical couple called Adam and Eve in a real and physical place called the Garden of Eden. (Gen. 1:26-30; 2:7-10, 15—3:24) We believe that since Adam and Eve are the progenitors of all humanity, (Gen. 1:28; 2:20; 4:1) each human child is born with the natural bent toward sin, called concupiscence or total depravity, (Jer. 17:9; john 8:34; Rom. 5:6-8, 12; 6:6-7, 17-19; 2 Pet. 2:19) and an actual share in the guilt of the disobedience of our forefather Adam, called original sin. (Job. 14:4; 15:14; Ps. 51:5; 58:3; Isa. 48:8; Rom. 5:12-17; 1 Cor. 15:21; Eph. 2:3) Therefore every person is a sinner in need of redemption. (Rom. 3:23) As a consequence of sin, we have marred the Image of God and suffer pain, corruption, and death. Originally created perfect, because of our transgression the physical universe too suffers corruption and longs to be restored. (Gen. 3:17; Acts 3:21; Rom. 8:19-22; 2 Pet. 3:13)


We confess and believe that it is within man’s nature to seek a life-long mate. We call this estate Holy Matrimony. While some remain single throughout life, marriage is the natural state of man and it is a good and right thing in the eyes of God. (Gen. 1:27-28; 2:18; 9:1; Lev. 26:9; Ps. 127:3, 5; Matt. 19:4-6; Eph. 5:28-29) It was established in the Garden of Eden by God Himself, and later praised by Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul. But it was established between one man and one woman in the beginning, and Christ reaffirms this pattern as the God-ordained and only pattern. (Gen. 2:23-25; Matt. 19:4-6; Eph. 5:28-29) Therefore a man may not take to himself more than one wife at a time, nor may a women take more than one man at a time for her husband. To do otherwise is polygamy and is prohibited by the New Testament. To have more than one family at the same time within the same or different households is bigamy and is prohibited by the New Testament. To have sexual intercourse outside of the estate of marriage is fornication and is prohibited by both Old and New Testament Scripture.


We believe that a man may not have sexual relations with another man, nor a woman with another woman. To do so is called homosexuality or bisexuality both are condemned by Scripture. (Lev. 18:22; 20:13; Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9) Although to commit acts of violence against them is called vigilantism or hate crime, and is also condemned by both this church and Scripture. (Deut. 32:35; Prov. 20:22; Rom. 12:17, 19) They should be shown the love of Christ both in being truthful about their sinfulness and loving them a person formed in the Image of God.


Although men and women are created equal they have differing roles, as a result no women may be ordained to the pastorate in this church or serve as an ordained deacon within this church. This does not reflect on our view of the worth, intelligence, capability, or dignity of women, we are simply trying to follow what we believe to be God given instructions concerning order and gender in respect to ordination. (1 Cor. 11:8-12; 14:34; 1 Tim. 2:11-14; 3:2; Titus 1:6; 1 Peter 3:1-2)

 

VIII. The Redemption of Man

We confess and believe that God the Father sent His Son into the world to save mankind from hell because man could never save himself. God is perfectly righteous and just and can not ignore the punishment for sin, which is eternal death, but God is also loving and merciful so He provided a way of salvation in His Son. All those who believe that He came to redeem them by paying their punishment for sin and, by faith alone, putting their trust in Him stand justified before God. We teach and believe that Christ made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice and atonement for our sin and for that of the whole world. We teach and believe that good works are not necessary for salvation, but flow from the process of sanctification in the Christian’s life. We teach that it is only through faith in the work and promise of Christ that we receive the grace of redemption, not by any other means or efforts. (Gen. 3:15; John 1:12-13; 3:16; Acts 13:38; 16:31; Rom. 3:21-26; 9:15-16; Gal. 3:11-14, 22-24; Eph. 2:8-10; Tit. 3:5; 1 Pet. 1:18-19)


We believe once a man is redeemed he may, regrettably, fall into serious sin for extended periods of time, but any believer, once justified by the Blood of Christ may never lose his salvation. His redemption is held secure by the promise of God and the substitutionary merit of Christ’s death. (John 6:37, 39; 10:28; 15:3; 17:12; 18:9; Rom. 7; 11:29; Col. 1:22; 2 Tim. 4:8; 18; 1 The. 5:23; 1 Pet. 1:3-5)

 

IX. The Church

We confess and believe the Church to be the Body of Christ, that is all Christians of every age, living and dead. (Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12, 27; Eph. 5:23) The Church is the Bride of Christ and is made up of both Jews and Gentiles with Christ as its Head. (Col. 1:18; Eph. 1:22; 5:22-33; Rev. 19:7-9) We believe that the Church Universal is one in Christ, although the Church Visible is sadly divided by false doctrine and pride of persons.


We teach and believe that the believers of the Old Testament looked forward to Christ and were redeemed by virtue of his merits and sacrifice, just as New Testament believers look back to the cross, but that they awaited Christ in Abraham's Bosom and that after His Resurrection they entered Heaven and that they now share fully in Christ. While the Church is called the New Israel and Christians are called Sons of Abraham and believers of the Old Covenant are one together with Christians in the Body of Christ and in several ways the Church is related to Israel because both are communities of God’s People under God with God given instructions and ceremonies and the community of the Elect are spread in time throughout both bodies, yet we deny that the two are institutionally one. The Christian Church began institutionally at Pentecost and is not under the Civil or Ceremonial laws of the Nation of Israel, the Moral law however remains binding on all men being a reflection of God's unchanging moral character. 


We teach and confess that each local church should be independent of state governance and national interference and that each church may determine from Scripture which form of internal ecclesiastical polity they deem biblical for an association of the faithful to facilitate communication and aid from one another as servants of the same Lord. We recognize only two God given orders to which men should be ordained: the Pastorate and the Deaconate. (Acts. 6:1-7; 13:2-3; 15:36; 1 Tim. 3:1-15; 2 Tim. 2:2; Tit 1:6-8; 1 Pet. 5:1-11)


We teach and confess that the there are only two Gospel Ordinances, or Domical Sacraments, that Christ gave to His Church. The first Sacrament is Baptism. Holy Baptism is ordained for believers in Christ to enter publicly into the Church and visibly claim the promises of God. Unto them that be baptized it is both a sign and seal promising the forgiveness of sins by the death of Christ and new life and salvation and a solemn oath and pledge showing forth their faith by immersion in water in the Name of the Holy Trinity. Baptism cannot be administered to any who know not its meaning. It is a solemn oath, symbol, pledge, and promise. (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:28; 8:12; 35-39)


The second Sacrament is Communion. Holy Communion, also called the Lord’s Supper or the Eucharist, is ordained for believers in Christ to unite together to remember and give thanks for the death of Christ by the taking of common bread and wine set aside for a sacred purpose to show forth the broken Body and shed Blood of Christ and thereby renew our faith in the New Covenant and all the benefits thereof procured by the death of Our Lord. (Matt. 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20; Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 10:16; 11:23-25) No physical transformation or carnal change occurs in the substance of the bread or the wine, however there is a real, true, superstantial presence of the Body and Blood of Christ spoken of in this symbol of our redemption and pledge of our faith when St. Paul tells us to discern the Lord's Body rightly (I Cor. 11:27-29) and that we participate in the Body and Blood of Christ when we take the Bread and the Cup of Blessing (1 Cor. 10:16-21.) We do not practice Infant Communion nor Infant Baptism for the cause that reasoning faith must be exercised to participate in the Gospel Ordinances. (Heb. 10:10-14; Heb. 13:10) We do however christen our children in Infant Dedication as an ancient and worthy service to be maintained in thanksgiving for the child and in dedication of him or her to the service of Christ. (I Cor. 7:14, Luke 2:22-24, Matt. 19:13-15)

 

X. The Four Last Things and the Last Days

We confess and believe in the four last things, namely, Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell. We believe that after Death the soul of the Christian is ushered into the presence of the Lord for the Personal Judgment to be judged individually and receive rewards or lack of rewards based on his works. The damned soul will be judged for his works and receive the punishment thereof in Hell. After the return of Christ the Final Judgment will commend those redeemed by the Lord and separate and condemn those not found written in the Book of Life. (Proverbs 24:12; Matt. 12:36; 16:27; John 5:29; Rom. 2:6; 14:12; 1 Cor. 3:13; 2 Cor. 5:10; Eph. 6:8; Rev. 2:23; 20:12)

 

We believe that Heaven is a real place, not just a state of mind, and that Hell is a real place of eternal punishment. We deny the doctrines of universal salvation, meritorious purgatory, and annihilationism as unscriptural.


We confess that in the Last Days there will be a Great Tribulation for seven years upon the earth and that at the end the dead will rise and Christ will come in glory to usher in the fullness of the Kingdom, (Rev. 20:1-6) then after Satan is finally defeated there will be a New Heavens and a New Earth for all eternity. (Is. 65:17; Is. 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 20:7-10; 21:1-4) Amen.