Statement of Faith

1.   The Word of God

We believe that the Bible is the Word of God. We believe that the Bible is fully and completely inspired and without error in the original manuscripts and in its complete form. We believe that God has inspired the words preserved in the Scriptures, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments. The Bible is true in all that it intends to say and does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact. The Bible has the supreme and final authority in all matters of faith and conduct. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is utterly authoritative, and without error in the original writings, complete in its revelation of his will for salvation, sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do, and final in its authority over every domain of knowledge to which it speaks. In matters not specifically addressed in the Bible, what is true and right is assessed by criteria consistent with the teachings of Scripture.

II Timothy 3:16; If Peter 1:20, 21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31, 32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32

 

2.   The Triune God

We believe in one God, eternally existing in three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This one true and living God is infinitely perfect both in his love and in his holiness. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration. Immortal and eternal, he perfectly and exhaustively knows the end from the beginning, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about his eternal good purposes to redeem a people for himself and restore his fallen creation, to the praise of his glorious grace.

Genesis 1:1-26; John 1:1-3; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19, 20; Ephesians 4:5-7

 

3.   God the Father

We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, wisdom, power, goodness and love. We believe that He infallibly foreknows all that shall come to pass, that He sovereignly rules over all things, that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who are called to Him through Jesus Christ.

Luke 10:21,22; Matthew 23:9; John 3:16; 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:1,2; 2:5,61 Peter 1:3;
Revelation 1:6

 

4.   God the Son, Jesus Christ

We believe in Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, the Word became flesh, fully God and fully human, one Person in two natures. The man Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel, was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and was born of the virgin Mary. He perfectly obeyed his heavenly Father, was tempted but lived a sinless life, performed miraculous signs, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven. We believe that Jesus makes perpetual intercession for His people, and that He will personally and visibly return to earth to judge the living and the dead and to make all things new.  Jesus Christ was the full and final sacrifice for all the sins of mankind through the ages.  Jesus Christ’s death on the cross acts as the expiation and propitiation of sin in our lives, granting us the righteousness necessary to enter the presence of God.

Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1; 20:28; Romans 9:5; 8:46; 1 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21-23; John 20:30,31; Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6-8 & 6:9,10; Hebrews 7:25; 1 Timothy 3:16, Col, 1:15-20, Revelation 20: 12, 13 & 21:5

 

5.  God the Holy Spirit

We believe that salvation is secured by Jesus Christ, and is applied to his people by the Holy Spirit. Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ, and is present with and in believers as the Helper. He convicts the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.  By his powerful and mysterious work he regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith, baptizing them into union with the Lord Jesus. The Spirit enables believers to be renewed, sanctified, and adopted into God's family, and seals them until the day of redemption; they participate in the divine nature and receive his sovereignly distributed gifts.

John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26, 27, 16:9-14; Titus 3:5, Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 3:16, 6:19; 12-14 Galatians 5:22-26

 

6.  The Nature of Humanity

We believe God created both male and female in His own image for fellowship with Him; that man sinned against God and thereby incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death, which is separation from God; that as a consequence, all human beings are born with a sinful nature, and are therefore under righteous, divine condemnation. This depravity is radical and pervasive. It extends to his mind, his will, his central desires, and his emotions. Unregenerate man lives under the dominion of sin and Satan. He is at enmity with God, hostile toward God, and hateful of God. Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ.

Both men and women are made in the image of God. Both men and women have dominion over the earth (all God's creation). In Christ, men and women have the same equal standing and direct access to God. Though equal, men and women have different roles in life, the family, and in the church.

 

6a Gender Distinctions in Marriage

Men and women were made to complement each other in a covenant before God to establish a one-flesh union that is the only normative pattern of sexual relations for men and women, such that marriage ultimately serves as a type of the union modeled between Christ and his church and that marriage exists to promote the raising of Godly offspring. In God's wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways. God ordains that they assume distinctive roles that reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church, the husband exercising headship in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife reflects Christ's relationship to the Father by submitting, as Jesus did in all things.

Genesis 1:26, 2:17, 3:19 & 5:2; Malachi 2:15; Romans 1:18-32 & 3:9-19, 23; Ephesians 5:18-33; Colossians 3:18-25; 1 Timothy 2:13, 14; 1 Peter 3:1-6

 

6b Gender Distinctions in the Church

Men and women were made to complement each other in the ministry of the church. Both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of God. The senior leadership role within the church is given to qualified men and is grounded in creation, fall, and redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments.

Genesis 1:26; 2:17, 3, 5:2; Romans 1:18-32, 39-19, 23; 1 Timothy 2:13, 14

 

7   The Gospel of Salvation

We believe the Gospel is the good news of the virgin birth, sinless life, sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was a once for all, in our place and on our behalf as a substitute, and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins.  All who have been given salvation and respond with repentance, forsaking sin, and placing their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are renewed, delivered and saved from condemnation and receive eternal life in the presence of God.  Jesus Christ's death on the cross was the fulfillment of the Scriptures, was the full and final sacrifice for all the sins of mankind through the ages which saves us from the wrath of God and reconciles us to God.  Jesus’ birth, life, death, burial and resurrection were witnessed and transmitted to us by the Apostles.  

John 1:12-13, 3:14-21; 5:24; 8:12; 10:26; Romans 3:21-26; 5:19; 1 John 1:9; II Corinthians 5:17, Romans 8:1;Col 1;19-22; 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:13-17; 1 Thessalonians 2;4, 1 John 5:1

 

8.   Conduct and Evidence of Salvation

We believe that a Christian should live solely for the glory of God and the well-being of his fellow man; that his conduct should be blameless before the world; that he should be a faithful and generous steward of his possessions; and that he should seek to realize for himself and others the full stature of maturity in Christ. We believe biblical salvation is characterized by godly sorrow, repentance, and embracing Christ as one's Savior, Lord, and treasure. This "re-birth" through the Spirit is evidenced by new affections for God and hatred for sin, desires to please Him and not the world, and the manifestation of good works rooted in the obedience of faith for the ultimate glory of God.

Corinthians 10:31; Romans 12:1-3; Hebrews 12:1-2, 14; John 14:15,23-24; I John 2:3-6; 1
Corinthians 9:6-9; I Corinthians 4:2; Colossians 1:9-10, Hebrews 2:10-11,12:1-2,14; 11 Peter
3:11-14; Ephesians 2:10 & 4:17-32, Titus 1:16, 2:10-15

9.   Sanctification

We believe the Holy Spirit is the indwelling active agent in our progressive sanctification; that He seeks to produce His fruit in us as our minds are renewed by His Word and we are conformed to the image of Christ; that though our battle with indwelling sin continues throughout our lives, as we are led by the Spirit, we are enabled to walk in the Spirit and so delight in God's commandments and truly endeavor to live in this world for the glory of God.

Galatians 3:1-6, 5:16-26; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2,30; II Corinthians 3:1 7-18; 4:2, 6:17-18; Romans 6:11-14, 8:29, 12:1-3; Colossians 3:5-9; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7;1 John 2:3-6, John 14:15,23-27,15:11

 

10. Perseverance

We believe all Christians are exhorted by God to persevere in their faith, knowing that they will give an account to God for their every word and deed; that the spiritual disciplines of Bible study, prayer, worship, giving, fellowship, fasting and confession of sin are provided by God as vital means of grace to assist us in our pursuit of holiness; that the believer's ultimate confidence of persevering in the faith is based solely on the grace and promise of God to keep all those who are His to the end.

Galatians 5:1-15, 6:11-18; 1 Timothy 4:15-16; James 1:12, Matthew 6:1-18, 10:22 & 24:13

 

11. The Church

We believe the church exists to worship God, nurture believers, and evangelize the lost. We believe in the universal church, a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe in the local church, consisting of a company of believers in Jesus Christ, baptized on a credible profession of faith, and associated for worship, work, evangelism, discipleship and fellowship.  We believe that in addition to weekly worship, members should be engaged in the local church by being part of small group gatherings focused on prayer, study, fellowship, discipleship, redemption and community involvement.  We believe that God has laid upon each member of the local church the primary task of giving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world through sharing the Gospel message and planting churches as visible evidence of salvation.

Ephesians 2:19-22; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 5:19-23; Acts 2:42; Hebrews 10:23-25; Matthew 16:18, Acts 8:1,11:22,15-13-21,20:28; 1 Corinthians 1:11-17,3:9-16, 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; 1 Timothy 3:15;Matthew 28:18-20

 

12. Sacraments

We believe that baptism and communion are divinely commanded acts of the church.  The Holy Spirit convicts a person of their sin and need for salvation.  Once a person has believed in their heart and openly confessed that Jesus Christ is their savior, baptism is an outward visible sign of that person’s repentant heart and willingness to submit to Christ for the rest of their lives.  Baptism is also an invitation of the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit to act as an advocate and encourager and to release our spiritual gifts.  On a regular basis the church will celebrate communion as instituted by Jesus Christ.  The act of receiving the elements of bread and wine is symbolic of the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ for our redemption and proclamation of His promise until His return.  This celebration is also a work of the Holy Spirit that provides a strengthening for the believer and reminds them of their unity with God and their fellow Christians.

Acts 2:41, 8:12, 10:47-48, 16:14-15, Colossians 2:11-12, Romans 6:1-11, Galatians 3:2,5, 24-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30. Matthew 26:26-28 & 28:18-20; Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22:17-20; John 14:26; Acts 10:47.

 

13.  Liberty

We believe that every human being has direct relationship with God, and is responsible to God alone in all matters of faith; that each church is independent and must be free from interference by any ecclesiastical or political authority; though the church is free from outside ecclesiastical interferences yet it may submit itself to the counsel, wisdom, and arbitration of outside ecclesiastical authority when necessary. Church and State, therefore, must be kept separate as having different functions, each fulfilling its duties free from dictation or patronage of the other.

I Timothy 2:5; Romans 14:7-9, 12

 

14.  The Doctrine of the Future

We believe the consummation of all things will happen in the visible and glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ to judge the just and the unjust and to fulfill His kingdom in the establishment of a new heaven and a new earth. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the eternal happiness of the righteous, and the endless, conscious suffering of the wicked in hell.

Matthew 24:44, 25:13; Mark 13:32-33; Luke 12:40; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thessalonians 1:9-
11, 4:13-17; Hebrews 9:28, James 5:8; 1 John 3:2; Revelation 20:11-15, 22:8-20

Table Of Grace Church

930 13th St SW

Naples Fl. 43117  Phone:239-273-1976

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