Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn. We live in a time of doctrinal confusion.  We also live in a time of doctrinal apathy.  One the one hand, confusion leads people away from God.  On the other hand, apathy opens the door for spiritual deception.  Our goal is to preach and teach the great, historic doctrines of the faith, expose false teachers, and “search the scriptures” for our final answers.  We do this without apology, and we do this on purpose.

 

The Holy Scriptures. We believe that the Bible is God’s supernaturally generated revelation to man.  It is inspired in every word, absolutely inerrant in the original documents, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice.  God has preserved His Word, but not in one particular translation.  Believers around the world have the liberty to benefit from the availability of accurate, modern translations in their own language.

 

God. We believe that there is but one living and true God, an infinite, all-knowing Spirit, perfect in all His attributes, one in excellence, eternally existing in three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each equally deserving worship and obedience.

 

  • God the Father. We believe that God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, orders all things according to His own purpose and grace.  He is the creator of all things, and, as the only absolute and omnipotent ruler in the universe, He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption.  He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass. He continually upholds, directs and governs all creatures and events.
     

  • God the Son. We believe that Jesus Christ, the second person of the Trinity, is in every way God the Son.  Virgin born, He was God incarnate, who came to reveal God and to redeem men. He accomplished our redemption through the shedding of His blood and sacrificial death on the cross.  We believe in the literal and physical resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave.  Someday He will return to gather the redeemed and establish His millennial kingdom on earth.
     

  • God the Holy Spirit. We believe that the Holy Spirit is God; a divine person possessing personality, intellect, emotions, and will.  He is coequal with the Father and the Son.  He convicts mankind of sin and righteousness, and He transforms believers into the image of Christ.  The Holy Spirit also indwells, sanctifies, comforts, instructs, empowers them for service and seals them unto the day of redemption.
     

Man. We believe that man was literally and immediately created by God without any process of evolution whatsoever.  Though originally created free of sin, man’s disobedience has brought about the penalty of spiritual and physical death.  In this state, he is utterly incapable of choosing or doing anything acceptable to God apart from divine grace.

 

Salvation. We believe that salvation is an instantaneous and supernatural work of the Holy Spirit within the human heart, apart from human works or ceremony.  God declares righteous those who, through faith in Christ, repent of their sins and confess Him as sovereign Lord.
 

  • Eternal Security.We believe that all who are genuinely redeemed (as opposed to mere profession) are kept by God’s power and are thus secure in Christ forever.  We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in an unchanging relationship.  However, truly born-again people will not use this truth as an excuse for sinful living and carnality.
     

The Church. We believe that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the church.  It is a unique spiritual organism made up of all born-again believers in the present age.  We also believe that the establishment of local churches is clearly defined in the New Testament Scriptures, and that all believers are directed to associate and serve in local assemblies.  We believe that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ and that the officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are pastors (males who are also called bishops, elders and pastor-teachers) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications.  Furthermore, we believe in the importance of discipleship, the mutual accountability of all believers to each other, and the exercise of church discipline when necessary.  The purpose of the church is to glorify God by instruction in the Word, fellowship, keeping the ordinances (baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper) and communicating the gospel to the entire world.

 

Spiritual Gifts. We believe that God, according to His own sovereign choice, gives the church spiritual gifts. First, He gives ministry gifts to men chosen for the purpose of equipping the saints. He also gives unique and special spiritual gifts (abilities and motivations) to each regenerated person. All gifts are given to carry out ministry and edify others, and not simply for the purpose of personal spiritual experiences. We believe that the early church received miraculous gifts of divine revelation, healing, and tongues (languages)–all given temporarily for the purpose of confirming the authenticity of the apostles’ message. We do not support the charismatic movement, and do not believe Scripture nor church history show that miraculous gifts were characteristic of the lives of believers in every generation.

 

Last Things (Eschatology). We believe the removal of all the saints at the rapture is the next event on God’s prophetic calendar.  It comes before and also initiates the tribulation period when the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon an unbelieving world.  These judgments will be climaxed by the return of Christ in glory to the earth.  Christ will then establish His Messianic kingdom for a thousand years on the earth.  After that time, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire, and the saved will enter the eternal state of glory with God.

What We Believe

© 2015 by Grace Baptist Church Sonora, CA

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