WE BELIEVE IN GOD'S GOSPEL
Our identity as Grace Abounds Church (GAC) is centered on God’s evangel, the gospel of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again to give us eternal life. To God’s glory, the gospel is the power of God for the salvation of all who believe. Our fundamental theological convictions are aspects of this gospel.
1. God’s gospel originates in and demonstrates the holy love of the eternal, triune God: We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This one God, all-knowing and all-powerful, has, in love and grace, purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to restore His fallen creation for His own glory (Gen. 1:26; Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; Eph. 1:3-10; 2:4-9).
2. God’s gospel is authoritatively announced in the Scriptures: We believe that God has spoken through the Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments. They are the verbally inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete and sufficient revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority that stands over every realm of human knowledge and endeavor. Therefore, the Bible is to be believed in all that it affirms, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises (John 10:35; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21; 3:15-16).
3. God’s gospel alone addresses our deepest human need: We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned through the temptation of Satan, corrupting that image. As a result, all humanity is alienated from God and under His wrath and can be rescued, reconciled, and restored only through God’s gracious work in Jesus Christ (Gen. 1:26; 2:7, 18-22; Ezek. 18:20; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 5:12, 19; 6:23; 1 Cor. 15:21; Eph. 2:1-3, 12).
4. God’s gospel is revealed in history supremely through the Person of Jesus Christ: We believe that Jesus Christ, Israel’s promised Messiah, is God incarnate, one Person consisting of two natures, fully human and fully divine, who was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, rose bodily from the dead, and ascended into heaven, where, at the right hand of God the Father, He is now our High Priest and Advocate (Matt. 28:5-7; Luke 1:35; 23:33-34; John 1:1-2; 8:58; 10:25-30; 1 Cor. 15:3-8; Eph. 4:8-10; Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-15; Titus 2:13; 1 Pet. 2:22).
5. God’s gospel is accomplished through the work of Christ: We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, died on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His shed blood and resurrection are the only ground for salvation, and it is through faith alone in Christ that anyone is justified before God (John 3:16; Rom. 3:20, 25; 5:9; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-9; Col. 1:20; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5).
6. God’s gospel is applied and empowered by the Holy Spirit: We believe that the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ by convicting the world, by regenerating sinners into union with Christ, and by indwelling, sealing, guiding, instructing, equipping, and empowering believers for Christ-like living and service (John 3:3-5; 16:7-15; Acts 2:1-4; 1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Cor. 1:22-23; Eph. 1:13; Titus 3:5).
7. God’s gospel is now embodied in the new community called the church: We believe that the true church is composed of all those who have been saved by God’s grace through faith and regeneration by the Holy Spirit and are thereby united together in the body of Christ of which He is the Head. This church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of members of the true church. The two biblically mandated ordinances of the church, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, visibly and tangibly express this gospel, strengthening our faith. They are to be celebrated by the church in obedience to Christ, but are not a means of salvation (Matt. 26:26-28; 28:19; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:38, 42, 46; Rom. 6:5; 1 Cor. 11:23-32; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:15; 5:23, 32; Col. 1:18; 2:19).
8. God’s gospel compels us to Christ-like living and witness to the world: We believe that God’s justifying grace in the gospel must not be separated from its sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves, acting with compassion toward the poor and needy, seeking justice for the oppressed. In fellowship with one another, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil, especially with the Word of God, prayer, and good works. In all that we do, we are to bear witness to the gospel in word and deed, making disciples among all people (Deut. 6:4-9; Matt. 22:34-40; 25:31-46; 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 4:34; Rom. 12:12; 1 Cor. 7:5; 2 Cor. 2:11; Eph. 4:26-27; 5:10-20; Phil. 4:6; Col. 3:17; 2 Tim. 3:16- 17; James 4:7; 5:16; 1 John 3:16-18; 4:4).
9. God's gospel will be brought to fulfillment by the Lord Himself at the end of this age: We believe in the personal and glorious coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with His holy angels, when He will fully establish His kingdom and exercise His role as Judge of all. This coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, requires constant expectancy and should motivate the believer to godly living, sacrificial service, and energetic mission. This is our blessed hope (Matt. 25:31; Mark 8:38; 14:62; Acts 1:6-8; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; Titus 2:13; Jude 14-15; Rev. 1:7).
10. God's gospel calls for a response which determines the eternal destiny of every person: We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel, turning to God in repentance to receive the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that in the bodily resurrection of the dead, the unbeliever will face judgment and eternal conscious punishment, while the believer will experience eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord, to the praise of His glorious grace (Matt. 3:2; Acts 2:38; Rom. 10:9-13; 2 Cor. 5:6-10; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Heb. 9:27; Rev. 20:4-15). Amen.
In subscribing to this Doctrinal Statement, we by no means set aside or undervalue any of the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. We believe the sixty-six books of both testaments to be God’s own written Word, breathed-out to us through the Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16). We deem that the knowledge of and adherence to the statements of truth outlined in our Doctrinal Statement is necessary for sound doctrine and thereby requisite for Christian fellowship.