What We Believe

Doctrinal Statement

 

Our doctrinal statement represents our convictions regarding the theological truths of the Bible and also serves as the basis for teaching at Grace Bible Church.

GRACE BIBLE CHURCH OF CASCADE DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

Preface: In keeping with the commitment of the elders of Grace Bible Church (GBC), the following are the primary doctrinal truths that are the heart of the ministry at GBC.

The Scriptures

We believe and teach accordingly that the Bible is the inspired, written revelation of God to man. Inspired, in that the Holy Spirit “moved” men in such a way that through their individual personalities and different styles of writing that they faithfully, accurately, and completely recorded in the original manuscripts all that God intended. We believe that this divine inspiration extends equally and fully to all the sixty-six books of the Bible— historical, poetical, doctrinal, practical and prophetical. Therefore we believe that the whole Bible in the original manuscripts is without error. (II Tim 3:16; I Cor 2:7-14; II Pet 1:20, 21; I Tim 5:18; II Pet 3:16; Lk 24:27, 44; Matt 5:18; Jn 10:35)

We believe and teach accordingly that the scarlet thread of the redemption in Jesus Christ goes from Genesis through the Bible to and including Revelation. The focus of Scripture is Jesus Christ, His person, work, and advents. Scripture is not properly understood unless it leads to Him. (Gen 3:15; Rev 22:20, 21; Jn 5:39; Gal 3:24; Lk 24:27, 44; Acts 17: 2-3, 18:28, 28:23; Rom 15:4; Heb 1:1-3)

We believe and teach accordingly that the Scriptures are the only infallible standard of faith and practice by which the life of the church, families and individual members are to be governed. (Jn 6:12-13, 17:17; Acts 20:32; Rom 15:4; I Cor 2:13, 10:11; II Tim 3:15-17; II Pet 1:20-21, 3:15-16; Heb 4:12)

The Godhead

We believe and teach accordingly that there is but one living, eternal, and true God. He is one essence, but eternally existing in three persons—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—each having precisely the same nature, attributes and perfections. Each is worthy of the same worship, obedience and confidence. (Deut 6:4; Isa 48:16; Matt 3:16-17, 28:19; Mk 12:29-30; Ps 139:7-8; Jn 1:1, 1:14, 5:23, 10:30; Acts 5:3-4, 17:24, 17:29; I Cor 8:6; II Cor 13:14; Titus 2:13; Heb 1:1-3)

A. God, The Father

The Father, the first person of the trinity, sovereignly governs all creation and history by His wise and holy providence in accordance with His own purpose and grace. He demonstrates His fatherly love for all who become His children through Jesus Christ by caring for them, providing their needs, and disciplining. (Gen 1, 45:5-8; I Chron 29:11; Ps 103:19; Isa 46:11; Acts 2:22-24; Eph 1:11,3:11; Rev 4:11; Jn 1:12-13, 14:23-24; Rom 8:35-39; Matt 6:31-33; Heb 12:5-17)

B. God, The Son

Jesus Christ, the second person of the trinity, is God the Son. Christ is God incarnate, the Immanuel (God with us). He is the God-Man who is both fully human and fully divine yet wholly without sin. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. (Jn 1:1, 1:14; Matt 1:23; Micah 5:2; Phil 2:5-8; Col 2:9; Jn 14:9-10; I Jn 5:20; Heb 4:15; I Pet 2:22; Isa 7:14; Matt 1:20, 1:23-25)

His voluntary and substitutionary death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, satisfied the wrath of God caused by sin and is the means of reconciliation between God and man. The redemption that this sacrifice accomplished is realized in the lives of those, who by grace, place their faith in Him. (Jn 3:16; Rom 3:24-25, 10:9; Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6; Jn 1:12-13)

He ascended into heaven and is now seated in exaltation at the right hand of the Father. He is the head of His body, The Church; our Advocate; High Priest/Intercessor; Mediator between God and man and the One through whom God will judge all mankind. He will come for His own (the Church) when He returns to earth in power and great glory with His Church and His heavenly host to establish His Kingdom reign. (Acts 1:9, 2:31-36, 5:30-31; Eph 1:20-21; Phil 2:9-11; Eph 1:22-23, 5:23-24; I Jn 2:1; Heb 4:14-16, 7:25, 9:24; I Tim 2:5; Jn 5:22-23, 14:1-3; I Thess 4:13-18; Rev 19:11-16, Rev 20)

C. God, The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, the third person of the trinity executes God’s divine will in relation to the world of men. His activities include creation, the incarnation, the Scriptures, and salvation. He is the supernatural and sovereign agent in conviction of sin; effecting regeneration; indwelling; sealing; illuminating and enlightening God’s truth; comforting; empowering; bestowing spiritual gifts; transforming believers into Christlikeness and in it all He glorifies Christ. (Gen 1:2; Matt 1:18, 1:20; II Pet 1:20-21; Jn 16:7-11, 3:3-8; I Cor 12:13; Titus 3:5; Rom 8:9; I Cor 6:19-20; Eph 1:13-14; Jn 6:13; I Cor 2:6-16; Jn 14:16; Acts 9:31; I Cor 12:7, 12:11; Eph 3:20; II Cor 3:18; Gal 5:16; Eph 5:18-21; Jn 16:14)

Man

We believe and teach accordingly that man was created in the image and likeness of God. He was created body, soul and spirit; with the soul consisting of intellect (capacity to think), will (capacity to act, do, behave in accordance with thought process), and sensibilities (to feel emotions). He was created free from sin, but with moral responsibility. (Gen 1:26-28; 2:15-25; I Cor 11:7; James 3:9; I Thess 5:23; Heb 4:12; Prov 23:7; Col 3:2; Gen 4:7; Phil 4:7; Gen 2:16-17)

We believe and teach accordingly that God’s purpose in creating man was fellowship with Himself, to rule the earth as God’s vice regent, willingly love and obey God, and in and above all to glorify God.(Gen 1:26-31, 2:15-25; Col 1:16; Isa 43:7; Rev 4:11)

We believe and teach accordingly that Adam, through knowing disobedience to the revealed will of God, sinned, therefore, incurring the consequence of physical and spiritual death. All the descendants of Adam are born as children of wrath, dead in their sin, and possess this same sin nature as Adam. Though created in the image of God, sin has so marred mankind that the sinner is totally unable and incapable of choosing or doing anything which is acceptable to God. (Gen 2:16-17, 3:1-19, 6:5; Isa 64:6; Jer 17:9; Jn 3:36; Rom 3:10-12, 3:23, 5:12-21, 6:23; Eph 2:1-3; James 2:10; I Jn 5:19)

We believe and teach accordingly that there is absolutely nothing that man can do (apart from the grace of God through the person and work of Christ) to seek salvation or secure salvation for themselves. (Isa 53:6, 64:6; Jn 1:12-13, 3:3-8, 14:6, 20:31; Acts 4:12; Eph 2:8-9; Titus 2:13, 3:5-6)

Salvation

A. Through Christ

We believe and teach accordingly that no degree of reformation, including sincere efforts, good resolutions, etc.—no matter how drastic in nature; no attainments in morality, no matter how great; no culture however civilized; no feeling, however ecstatic; no baptism or other ordinance whenever or wherever administered; no membership in a church; no submission to the rules and regulations of any church, nor all the churches that have existed since the days of the Apostles; nor any other human merits or works can help the sinner to take even one step in securing salvation It is God’s gift to us— costing us nothing—and Christ everything. Salvation is wholly of God, by His grace, through the finished work of Jesus Christ. (Jn 1:12-13, 14:6; Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6; Rom 6:23, 10:9; I Pet 1:18-19)

We believe and teach accordingly that the new birth occurs only when by the Holy Spirit, a sinner hears and understands the gospel; is convicted of his sinfulness, of who Christ is, what He has done, and that sinner’s need for Him. Then by God’s grace, the repentant sinner receives Christ through believing and becomes a child of God, baptized into the body of Christ. This is a supernatural, instantaneous work of the Spirit and is not conditioned upon verbal prayer(s), water baptism, or any other acts. (Jn 16:7-11, 3:3-8, 5:24; Titus 3:5-6; Jn 1:12-13; I Cor 12:13; Eph 2:8-9; Jn 14:6)

B. The Extent

We believe and teach accordingly that in accordance with God’s will, His provision of the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ is to be offered to all. (Ezek 33:11; Jn 3:16, 4:42 6:29; I Tim 2:3-4; II Pet 3:9)

We believe and teach accordingly that although offered to all, salvation is only experienced and possessed by the one who exercises faith in Jesus Christ by grace. The child of God is then justified, sanctified, adopted, sealed, etc.; becomes a partaker of the divine nature, in possession of every spiritual blessing; and absolutely complete in Jesus Christ. (Jn 1:12-13, 3:3-8, 3:19-21, 3:36, 5:24; Rom 3:20, 3:26, 4:3-5, 5:1, 8:1; I Cor 1:2, 1:30, 6:11; Gal 4:5-7; Eph 1:13-14; II Cor 5:17; II pet 1:3-8; Col 2:9-10)

C. The Assurance

We believe and teach accordingly that when one is truly born again, he does not need to hope, wonder, wish, want or worry about being saved. At the moment of belief he has eternal life and will have life in Christ forever. (Ps 37:28; Jn 5:24, 6:37-50, 10:27-30; Rom 5:9-10, 8:1; I Cor 1:4-8; Heb 7:25,13:5; I Pet 1:5; I Jn 5:11-13; Jude 24)

We believe and teach accordingly that our liberty in Christ is neither to be abused in the flesh nor to become license to sin (premeditated sin, carnality). (Rom 6:15-22, 13:13-14; Gal 5:13, 5:16-18, 5:25)

The Church

A. Universal

We believe and teach accordingly that all who by grace through faith receive Christ personally are immediately baptized by the Spirit into one universal spiritual body—the Church—the Bride of Christ

and of which He is the Head. (Eph 2:8-9; Jn 1:12-13; I Cor 12:12-13; II Cor 11:2; Eph 5:23-32; Rev 19:7-8; Eph 1:22-23, 4:15; Col 1:18)

B. Local

We believe and teach accordingly that the members of the one universal spiritual body are directed to associate themselves in local assemblies. (Acts 14:23, 14:27, 20:17; Gal 1:2; Phil 1:1; I Thess 1:1; I Cor 11:18-20; Heb 10:24-25)

We believe and teach accordingly that it is God’s purpose that each believer is to be a worker in the ministry. To accomplish that God has given gifted men and spiritual gifts to the church. It is essential that each believer discovers and utilizes his gift(s) for the edification of the body, the maturity of the saints and advancement of the gospel. (I Cor 15:58; Eph 4:12; Rev 22:12; Eph 4:7-12; Rom 12:5-8; I Cor 12:4-31; I Pet 4:10-11)

We believe and teach accordingly that Christ, the supreme authority has designated those who are to serve under Him and over local assemblies. They are to serve in the grace and power of the Spirit and the congregation is to submit to their leadership. (Acts 20:28; Eph 4:11; I Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; I Pet 5:1-5; I Cor 16:16; Heb 13:7, 13:17)

C. Purpose

We believe and teach accordingly that God’s purpose for the church is to glorify Him. We seek to accomplish this by trusting and obeying God’s word, equipping the saints for the work of ministry, joyful worship, and faithful service, all by relying on the Spirit’s empowering at all times. This obedience to God will manifest itself in the body building itself up in the faith; proper preaching; teaching, counseling, follow-up and discipleship using God’s word; fellowship; by keeping the ordinances; discipline; continually loving one another; caring for its own; doing good in the world; and telling the world of Christ. (Eph 3:21; Rev 4:11; Eph 5:27, 5:18; Gal 5:16-26; Eph 4:13-16; II Tim 2:2, 2:15, 3:16-17; I Tim 5:17; Matt 28:19-20; Acts 2:42; I Jn 1:3; Heb 10:24-25; Lk 22:19; I Jn 4:7-21; Matt 18-15-20; I Cor 5 & 6; I Tim 5; Gal 6:10; Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8)

D. The Ordinances

We believe and teach accordingly that two ordinances have been committed to the church: Water baptism by immersion is a testimony of our faith in the risen Christ. It is a picture of our union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life. It is the believer identifying with the person of Christ and the body of Christ (the Church). (Matt 28:19; Acts 8:36-38, 10:47-48, 2:41-42) The Lord’s Supper is a memorial to remember and proclaim the death of Christ for us until He comes. Before partaking, one should seriously examine himself and not take unworthily. (Lk 22:19-20; Acts 2:42; I Cor 10:16, 11:17-34)

E. Authority

We believe and teach accordingly as believers who should be separated unto Christ that only God is the source of all legitimate authority. All earthly authority was intended to fulfill the intentions of God. We believe and teach accordingly that all believers are to submit themselves to the authorities ordained of God (Family, Church, Governmental) unless we are asked or commanded to do something that would cause us to sin/be in direct violation of God’s Word. (Jn 15:1-5; Rom 13:14; Gal 5:16; I Thess 2:11-12; II Thess 1:11-12; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 14:6, 19:10-11; Acts 4:15-19; Rom 13:1-2; Col 1:15-19, 2:6-10)

If a Christian is asked or ordered to sin against God—to disobey explicit Scriptures—he may first appeal and if that doesn’t resolve it, obey God and trust God for the outcome. (Dan 3:6; Acts 4:13-21, 5:24-29, 6:8-8:3)

Sanctification

A. Positional

We believe and teach accordingly that every believer has been “set apart” unto God through their union in Christ. God’s word declares a believer to be holy and a saint; possessors of every spiritual blessing; possessors of everything pertaining to life and Godliness; and partakers of the divine nature—complete in Him. This is our standing, everything that we already are in Christ. (Acts 20:32; I Cor 1:2, 30, 6:11; II Thess 2:13; Eph 1:3; II Pet 1:3-4; II Cor 5:17; Col 2:10; Heb 10:14)

B. Practical

We believe and teach accordingly that a believer is a “saved sinner” that retains his sin nature that cannot be eradicated during his lifetime. Therefore, although a believer’s standing is perfect, his present state is totally dependent upon his relationship to the Lord. Because of the grace of God, a believer is enabled to be obedient to the Word of God, by the empowering of the Spirit, to live a life of increasing experiential, practical holiness in conformity to the will of God. The believer becomes more and more like his Lord. (I Jn 1:8-9; Gal 5:16-25; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:9-10; Jn 17:17; Rom 6:1-22; II Cor 3:18, 7:1; Eph 5:26-27: Col 2:6-7; I Thess 4:3-4, 5:23; Heb 12:10-11)

We believe and teach accordingly that each Christian is personally responsible and accountable to God for their choices and behavior. Sin cannot be excused by arguments concerning environment, upbringing, or circumstances. (Gen 3; Rom 1:20; 2; 6; Gal 5; Eph 2:1-10, 4:17-32; James 1:14-16; I Jn 1:9)

Spiritual Warfare

A. Satan

We believe and teach accordingly that God and his people are opposed by supernatural foes. Satan is a created angel who opposed God as he tried to exalt himself through pride. He is the author of sin and incurred God’s judgment for his attempt. He introduced sin to the human race and is presently the “god” of this planet. (Isa 14:12-17; Ezek 28:11-19; Gen 3; Job 1:7-8, 2:2; II Cor 4:4)

We believe and teach accordingly that Satan is the enemy of God and man, especially Christians, and is bent on evil and its intended ends. However, his power is limited by the sovereign purposes of God. Believers have been given the power and authority to know their enemy, to expose him, and to thwart his efforts. (Gen 3: II Cor 4:3-4, 11:13-15; Eph 6:10-12; II Thess 2:3-4; Job 1:12, 2:6; Jn 8:44; Matt 4:1-11; II Cor 2:11; I Pet 5:8-9)

We believe and teach accordingly that Satan is already judged, although that has not been executed yet. At the second coming of Christ, the devil will be bound and cast into the abyss for a thousand years. Then he will be loosed for a little season, and after that he will be “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone” where he “shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.” (Rom 16:20; Col 2:15; Matt 25:41; Rev 20:1-3, 20:7-10)

B. Demons

We believe and teach accordingly that a great company of angels chose to follow Lucifer in his rebellion toward God. Some are in chains awaiting judgment. The rest are active agents and associates of the devil in carrying out his evil purposes. They will suffer the same fate as the one they follow. (Rev 12:4; II Pet 2:4; Jude 6; II Cor 11:13-15; I Tim 4:1; Eph 6:10-12; Matt 25:41; Rev 20:10)

C. Unfallen Angels

We believe and teach accordingly that there was also a great company of angels who kept their holy estate. They are a higher order of creation than man, created to serve and worship God. Many are sent forth from the throne of God as ministering spirits to believers, many times as our aids in this supernatural opposition we face. (Dan 10:5-6, 10:10-20; Lk 2:9-10, 15:10; Eph 1:21; Heb 1:6-7, 1:14, 2:6-7; Rev 5:11, 7:11-12; Rev 22:8-9)

The Return of Christ

We believe in the personal, bodily and imminent return of Jesus. There will be a bodily resurrection from the dead – the believer to everlasting joy with God in Heaven and the unbeliever to everlasting punishment and separation from God in the Lake of Fire. The earth and heavens will be destroyed, then God will create a new heaven and earth. (Jn 14:1-3; I Thess 4:13-18; Tit 2:13; Dan 12:2; Jn 5:28-29; Rom 8:10-11, 19-23; I Cor 15:50-57; Phil 3:20-21; II Thess 1:7-10; Rev 20:4-6, 11-15); II Pet 3:10; Rev 21:1-22:5)

The Eternal State

We believe and teach accordingly that at physical death the spirits and souls of those who have trusted in Christ for salvation immediately pass into His presence and remain with Him in conscious bliss until the resurrection of the glorified body which is reunited with the believer. We shall from the moment of entering His presence dwell with Him from then on to all eternity. However, the souls and spirits of the unbelieving suffer conscious torment in the Hell which is the temporary abode of the unbelieving dead. At the Great White Throne judgment, Christ, who is the Judge of all men, will carry out judgment on all unbelievers. They will be committed to an eternal, conscious punishment in the lake of fire. (Lk 16:19-26, 23:42-43; II Cor 5:8; Phil 1:23; II Thess 1:7-9; Jude 7; Rev 20:11-15)