SECTION 1 - THE SCRIPTURES
We believe that the canonical scriptures comprising the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, fully inspired, and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, who guided the human authors even in the employment of the words they used, maintaining their individual personalities, while preserving them from all error and all omission. We believe that the Bible is the supreme and infallible authority for faith and practice (2 Tim.3:16, 17; 2 Pet.1:20, 21; Mt.5:18).
SECTION 2 - THE TRUE GOD
We believe there is one living and true God (Deut.6:4), eternally existing in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.8:6; Gen.1:2; John 1:1, 2), equal in every divine attribute (John 10:30; Mt.28:19), and exercising distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence, and redemption (Acts 5:30-32; Heb.9:14; 1 Pet.1:2).
We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit (John 4:24), who is omnipresent (Jer.23:23, 24), omniscient (Heb.4:13), omnipotent (Mt.19:26), immutable (Mal.3:6); perfect in holiness (Isa.6:3), righteousness (Psa.14:17), love (1 Jn.4:8), goodness, mercy, and truth (Psa.100:5). He concerns Himself in the affairs of men (Rom.8:28-30), hears and answers prayers (Jn.15:7), and saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ (Jn.3:16).
We believe in God the Son, eternally existing with the Father (Jn.1:1, 2), and in His incarnation as the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father (Jn.1:14), conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary (Mt.1:20-23), true God (Jn.8:58; Mt.16:16), and true man (Phil.2:8; Rom.8:3).
We believe in His sinless life (Heb.4:15; 9:14), His substitutionary atoning death (1 Pet.2:24; 2 Cor.5:21), His bodily resurrection (1 Cor.5:20; Rom.1:4), and His ascension into heaven (Heb.1:3; Acts 1:9). We believe in His personal visible return to earth (Jn.14:3; Acts 1:11) to establish His earthly millennial kingdom (Rev.20:4; Lk.1:32, 33).
SECTION 3 - CREATION
We believe in the Scriptural account of creation as found in Genesis, and that the universe and man were created in six, literal, twenty-four hour days (Ex.20:11) by a direct act of God, apart from any process of evolution (Gen.1, 2; 2 Cor.1:16, 17).
SECTION 4 - MAN
We believe that man was created in a state of perfect innocency in the image and likeness of God (Gen.1:26, 27; James 3:9), and that left to the freedom of his own will, man fell from the state wherein he was created (Gen.3:6-8), the result being physical and spiritual death, which is eternal separation from God (Rom.5:12; 1 Cor.15:21), and that this fallen nature and its consequences are transmitted to the entire race by natural generation (1 Cor.15:22; Job 14:14; Psa.51:5). Man is a tripartite being consisting of body, soul, and spirit (1 Thess.5:23; Heb.4:12).
SECTION 5 - SIN
We believe that sin is any transgression against the law of God (1 Jn.3:4; 5:17), that it entered the race in the disobedience of Adam and passed upon all men (Rom.5:19) so that all men, by their fall, lost communion with God (Gen.3:8, 24), are under His wrath and curse (Eph.2:3), and are destined to reap the just wages of their sin (Rom.6:23).
SECTION 6 - JUDGMENT
We believe in the resurrection of the wicked dead at the end of the millennium, that they will be judged at the great white throne, according to their works (John 3:18, 19; Rom.1:20, 24), and that they will be therefore cast into the lake of fire (Rev.20:15). There will be no hope for any who present their own righteousness (Isa.64:6; Rom.3:10).
We believe that the unreached will be judged on the same basis as the unbeliever, the law of God having been written on their hearts (Rom.2:15) and the nature of God having been revealed through His creation, so that they are without excuse (Rom.1:20). Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12), therefore all men must hear and believe the gospel to be saved (Rom.10:13-15).
We believe in the resurrection of believers who have died and the translation of living saints at the rapture of the church (1 Thess.4:16, 17), that they will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor.5:10) according to their works, and that those whose works do not endure will suffer loss of reward (1 Cor.3:15). The issue is not salvation, for Christ paid the penalty for the believer's sins at the cross (1 Pet.2:24; Jn 3:36).
SECTION 7 - THE HEREAFTER
We believe that the term heaven refers to a literal and distinct place and not a condition or state, that it is the abode of God (Isa.66:1) and of good angels (Matt.24:36), and that in the eternal state it will be the home of all the redeemed (Matt.5:12; 6:20; Rev.22:5).
We believe that the term hell refers to a literal place, and that it is the lake of fire, which will be the eternal abode of all the unsaved dead (Rev.20:15; 21:8).
SECTION 8 - SALVATION
We believe that salvation is a free gift of God, wholly apart from works (Eph.2:8, 9), offered on the sole basis of faith in the finished work of Christ (Acts 16:31), and includes deliverance from the guilt and penalty of sin (Rom.5:9), deliverance from the dominion of indwelling sin (Rom.6:11, 14), and future deliverance from the results of the fall (1 Cor.15:42-44).
SECTION 9 - GOD'S GRACE AND ELECTION
We believe in the grace of God, which is His unmerited favor towards fallen man, whereby, for the sake of Christ (Jn.1:14, 17), He has provided for man's redemption. God has, from all eternity, determined to extend favor towards all who exercise faith in Christ as Lord and Savior (Rom.10:13; Eph.1:4, 5).
We believe in divine election, which is the sovereign right of God (Matt.20:15; Rom.9:15, 21), whereby before the foundation of the world, in love and mercy, He chose or "called out" some to eternal life (Eph.1:4; Jn.15:16). Election is not based upon any merit or predisposition in man (Rom.9:11, 16; Eph.2:1, 5), nor upon prescience of who would accept or reject the gospel (Rom.3:10, 11; 1 Pet.1:2; Acts 2:23), but upon the good pleasure of His will (Eph.1:5, 11). In election God bestows upon the undeserving sinner the ability to positively respond to the gospel message of the Word of God (Jn.6:44, 65; Acts 13:48; Rom.10:17).
SECTION 10 - SUBSTITUTIONARY ATONEMENT
We believe that the atonement, which is the substitutionary death of Christ in the sinner's place (Rom.5:8; 1 Pet.2:24), is the sole basis for all of God's redemptive dealing with mankind (1 Tim.2:6; 1 Jn.2:2), yet provision for personal salvation is appropriated only by those who exercise personal faith in Jesus Christ (1 Tim.4:10; Jn.3:16). The atonement is therefore unlimited in its potential, but limited in its application by man's unbelief (Jn.10:15, 26).
We believe that through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, Holy God is propitiated as the demands of His righteous law are met (Rom.3:25), and man is reconciled to God (Col.1:20, 21), as that which has caused his enmity towards God is removed.
SECTION 11 - REGENERATION
We believe that regeneration is the spiritual change wrought in the heart of man, by an act of God, in which man's inherently sinful nature is changed and by which he is enabled to respond to God in faith (Rom.11:29; Eph.2:8, 9). Regeneration is the impartation of the divine nature to man by the operation of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God (Titus 3:5), and is described in Scripture as the new birth (1 Pet.1:23), a spiritual quickening (Col.2:13), and giving of a new nature (2 Pet.1:4) and a spiritual translation (Col.2:13). In regeneration the believing sinner receives a new life and a new nature.
SECTION 12 - REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that repentance is that voluntary change in the intellect (Psa.51:3), emotion (2 Cor.7:10), and will (Jer.25:5) of the sinner in which he turns from sin. Repentance is a gift of God (Rom.2:4).
We believe that faith is that voluntary working together of the intellect (Rom.10:17), emotion (Rom.10:9, 10), and will (John 1:12) of a sinner in which turns to Christ. Repentance and faith are different aspects of the same turning and wherever there is true faith, there is true repentance (Acts 20:21). This faith is a gift of God (Eph.2:8, 9; Jn.6:65) and is the mediate cause of justification, the grace of God being the direct cause (Rom.4:5).
SECTION 13 - JUSTIFICATION
We believe that justification is the act of God, whereby on account of Christ, He declares the believing sinner righteous (Rom.4:5), and includes remission of the penalty for sin (Rom.8:1), restoration to divine favor (Rom.5:9) and the sinner's receiving a new standing before God.
SECTION 14 - REDEMPTION
We believe that Christ has paid the full penalty for the believer's sin (John 19:30), removed him forever from the bondage of sin and the law (Gal.3:13) and effected a full release from the power of sin (Rom.6:6). Redemption is soley through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (Col.1:14; 1 Pet.1:18, 19).
SECTION 15 - SANCTIFICATION
We believe that sanctification is the divine setting apart of the believer unto God, to belong wholly to Him and to be used for His glory (Psa.4:3). Positional sanctification takes place at the time of salvation, making the believer a saint in his standing before God (Heb.10:10), progressive sanctification is process which takes place during the believer's life (2 Pet.3:18), and ultimate sanctification takes place at the coming of the Lord (1 John 3:2), giving the believer a glorified body (Phil.3:21) and full sharing in the divine nature (2 Pet.1:4).
SECTION 16 - ETERNAL SECURITY
We believe in the eternal security of the believer, which is the assurance of eternal and permanent salvation (1 Jn.5:12, 13), and that those who are truly born again by the Spirit of God will not fall away from the love of Christ (Rom.8:35), and that of all who truly believe, none will ever be lost (John 6:39, 40; 10:28).
SECTION 17 - SPIRIT BAPTISM
We believe that Spirit baptism is the operation whereby the believer is immersed in the Holy Spirit (Luke 3:16; Acts 1:5) into the body of Christ (1 Cor.12:13), which is His church. The baptism in the Spirit at Pentecost marks the beginning of the church age (Acts 2:4; 11:15) and is the universal experience of all believers at the time of salvation (1 Cor.12:13; Eph.4:5).
It is not a sign of spirituality culminating in the "second blessing" and is to be distinguished from the filling of the Spirit (Eph.5:18), which believers are enjoined to seek. Water baptism is the beautiful emblem of this spiritual reality (Rom.6:4; Col.2:12).
SECTION 18 - ANGELS, SATAN, AND DEMONS
We believe in the personal existence of angels, that they are ministering spirits (Heb.1:14), created by God (Neh.9:6), made a little higher than man (Psalm 8:5), and that they are a company and not a race (Luke 20:34-36).
We believe in the personal existence of Satan as the tempter (Matt.4:3), the god of this age (2 Cor.4:4), and the prince of the power of the air (Eph.2:2), that he was perfectly created by God as the highest of the angels (Ezek.28:13-15), that he fell from heaven as a result of his desire to be equal with God (Isa.14:12-14), and that his ultimate doom is to be cast into the lake of fire (Isa.14:15; Rev.20:10).
We believe in the personal existence of demons, that they are fallen angels and the hosts of Satan (Matt.12:24; Eph.6:12), that they can inflict disease (Matt.9:33), control men (Matt.4:24) and disseminate false doctrine (1 Tim.4:1), and that their end is the lake of fire (Matt.25:41).
SECTION 19 - THE CHURCH WHICH IS HIS BODY
We believe that the Church which is His Body is the entire company of saints from Pentecost to the Rapture, who are united together with Christ by the baptism in the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.12:13; Acts 1:5; 2:4; 11:15).
We believe that the kingdom of God is the sphere or realm in which God is acknowledged and obeyed as sovereign, and includes both all the unfallen created beings, and all those members of the human race who have shared in the redemption which is in Jesus Christ (Luke 13:28; Heb.12:22, 23), and includes but is distinct from the Church.
We believe that the Kingdom of heaven, a phrase appearing only in Matthew's gospel, is used in three senses as referring to (1) the earthly millennial kingdom of Christ (Matt.25:1); (2) the sphere of professing Christendom (Matt.13); and (3) synonymous with the kingdom of God (Matt.4:17; Mark 1:14, 15).
SECTION 20 - THE LOCAL CHURCH
We believe that the local New Testament church is the visable manifestation of the Body of Christ in a specific place, organized into an assembly of immersed believers, who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel, to observe the ordinances, study the Word, fulfill the Great Commission, participate in the ministry of prayer, and share in the blessings of Christian fellowship (Acts 2:41, 42).
We believe that the Great Commission was given to the local church (Matt.28:19, 20), that fulfillment of the Great Commission includes making disciples, Scripturally baptizing them, and then teaching them to observe the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27), that Scriptural missions result in the establishing of Local New Testament churches (Acts 14:23), and that the local New Testament church is the only God ordained instrument for world evangelism (Matt.16:18; 1 Tim.3:15).
We believe that the only form of church government taught in the Scriptures is an autonomous local church (1 Tim.3:15) which decides the issues based on congregational decision (Acts 14:23; 15:22), always in subservience to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Head of the body (Col.1:18). The final authority of the church in all matters of faith and practice are the Holy Scriptures (2 Tim.3:16, 17).
We believe that it is Scriptural for churches of like faith and practice to fellowship together (Gal.1:2), but that these fellowships have no ecclesiastical authority over the local church nor in any way infringe upon its independence or sovereignty.
SECTION 21 - BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER
We believe that the ordinances of the local New Testament church are baptism (Matt.28:19, 20; Acts 2:41) and the Lord's Supper (Luke 22:19; Acts 2:42; 1 Cor.11:23-26). The only Scriptural mode of baptism is that of immersion (Acts 8:39; Rom.6:4). Baptism is administered to believers only, who are candidates for church membership (Acts 2:41). The Lord's Supper is administered only to believers who are in fellowship with the Lord and who are in obedience to His commandments (1 Cor.11:27-29). It is to the local New Testament church only, that the ordinances have been given (1 Tim.3:15; 1 Cor.11:2).
SECTION 22 - CHURCH OFFICERS
We believe that the Scriptural officers for the local New Testament church are pastors and deacons (Acts 20:28; 1 Tim.3; Phil.1:1), and that the New Testament concept of the deaconate is that of service (Acts 6:1-6).
SECTION 23 - SPIRITUAL GIFTS
We believe that with the completion of the New Testament and its almost universal acceptance by the early church, the need for authenticating signs was supplanted by authenticating Scripture (1 Cor.13:8-10), hence the spiritual gifts given for authenticating the ministry of the early church ceased, the most notable and controversial among these being the gifts of healing (1 Cor.12:9) and of tongues (1 Cor.12:10).
Except for three instances in the book of Acts (2:4; 10:46; 19:6) when the Gospel was being advanced to distinct group of people and the experience of the Corinthian church, there are no instances in the New Testament of the continued use of the gift of tongues.
We believe that with the completion of the Scriptures, God ruled out the possibility of any additional revelation (Rev.22:18, 19), therefore the revelatory spiritual gifts such as apostleship (Eph.4:11) and prophecy (1 Cor.12:10) have also ceased.
We believe that while the authenticating sign gift of healing is no longer bestowed by God upon individuals to administer, God can sovereignly heal in answer to prayer and faith.
SECTION 24 - CHURCH AND STATE
We believe that the New Testament teaches an absolute separation of church and state (Matt.22:21). In civil matters, the church is to be in subjection to the governmental authorities, for these are ordained of God (Rom.13:1). However should the government require that which is in direct conflict to the teaching of the Word of God, the Christian has no choice but to obey God (Acts 5:29).
SECTION 25 - SEPARATION
We believe that the spiritual unity of all who have been born again by the Spirit of God and have been baptized into the body of Christ is a blessed and wonderful teaching of Scripture. However, the time has come when many, in what were sound fellowships, will not endure sound doctrine and have become apostate (2 Tim.4:3, 4). In such instances, the plain injunctions of the Word of God command the believer to separate from such apostasy (2 Cor.6:14; 2 Thess.3:14). The Word of God not only commands separation from apostates, but from those who bid them Godspeed (2 John 9-11; 2 Thess.3:6).
We believe that the believer is commanded to do all to the glory of God (2 Cor.10:31). He must consciously do nothing to cause his brother in Christ to stumble or to be offended (Rom.14:21). The use of intoxicating beverages or tobacco, questionable amusements, and extremes in personal dress and conduct are but a few of the worldly practices that the believer who seeks to honor his Lord will abstain from. Personal separation is not separation from various practices, but separation unto God, which will result in separation from the world (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15).
SECTION 26 - LAST THINGS
We believe in the pretribulational Rapture of the Church (1 Thess.5:9; Rev.3:10; Titus 2:13) which will include the resurrection of dead church saints (1 Cor.15:22, 23), transformation of living saints (1 Cor.15:51, 52) and their translation to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess.4:13-18), followed by their appearance before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor.5:10; Rom.14:10).
We believe that the tribulation, which follows the Rapture of the church, is the Seventieth week of Daniel (Dan.9:24-27; Matt.24:21-28), and that it will include a national restoration of Israel in unbelief (Ezek.36:25), the rebuilding of the temple and the abomination of the desolation (Dan.9:27), Antichrist's revelation as the man of sin (2 Thess.2:4), the trumpet judgments (Rev.8, 9), the seven bowl judgments (Rev.15, 16), and the destruction of Babylon (Rev.17, 18).
We believe that immediately after the Tribulation the Lord Jesus Christ will visibly return to earth in glory (Matt.24:29-31; Rev.19:11-16) to defeat the armies of Antichrist (Rev.19:17-21), judge the Gentiles (Matt.25:32) and Israel (Ezek.20:37), and to establish a literal, earthly, Davidic millennial kingdom (Rev.20:4; 1 Cor.15:24, 25; Luke 1:32, 33), during which Satan is bound for a thousand years (Rev.20:1-3).
We believe that at the conclusion of the millennium, Satan will be loosed and shall lead a rebellion only to be crushed and cast into the lake of fire (Rev.20:7-10), the wicked dead shall be judged in unbelief (Rev.20:11-15), and shall be cast into the lake of fire, where they shall remain in conscious torment forever (Mark 9:48), and the righteous shall enter the eternal state (Rev.21), where they shall enjoy eternal fellowship with God (Rev.21:1-5).
SECTION 27 - CONTEMPORARY MORAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES
We believe any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, incest, fornication, adultery, pornography and other non-biblical sexual practices are sinful perversions of God's gift and subject to the wrath of God. We further believe that God disapproves of any attempt to alter one's gender by surgery or appearance (Gen.1:27; 19:1-25; Lev.18:22; Rom.1:26-28; 1 Cor.6:9-11; 1 Tim.1:8-10).
We deplore any action or statement that would seem to imply compatibility between Christian morality and the practice of homosexuality.
We believe the grace of God sufficient to overcome every sinful and depraved behavior, including the practice of homosexuality (1 Cor.6:9-11). Any individual who repents before God and asks for forgiveness, as found only in Christ, should be accepted and supported, providing that their Christian walk and testimony demonstrate that they have become new creatures in Christ (2 Cor.5:17).
We believe that all forms of sexual intimacy that occur outside the covenant of heterosexual marriage are sinful distortions of the holiness and beauty God intended for it. Homosexuality and same sex marriages are an abomination to God. The only legitimate biblical marriage is the joining of one man and one woman. Sex between husband and wife is a gift from God. God commands that there be no intimate interaction outside of marriage. (Gen.1:27, 31; 2:24; 19:5, 13; Lev.18:1-30; Psa.139:14-16; Rom.1:26-29; 1 Cor.5:1; 6:9; 7:1-6; Eph.5:22-23; 1 Thess.4:3-4; Heb.13:4).
This church reserves the right to refuse to perform, conduct, or otherwise solemnize the marriage of any couple seeking to be married, whom in the opinion of the pastor and deacons does not meet the Biblical qualifications for a Christian marriage (Matt.19:4-6; 2 Cor.6:14; 1 Cor.7:39).
Grace Baptist Church
2672 W Edison Pl
Citrus Springs, 34434
Phone: +1 352 489 0301 +1 352 489 0301
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