The purpose of the church is summed up in the commission Christ gave His disciples just before He ascended to Heaven: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:18–20).
This last command of Christ should be our highest priority; every facet of church activity should in some way relate to this, the purpose of the church. Acts 5:42 records that the Jerusalem church was indeed fulfilling this purpose: “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” This young church was constantly engaged in making the Gospel known to the world.
At Grace Independent Baptist Church, we have emphasized this purpose in our three-point mission statement:
A heart for Christ begins with a personal relationship with Him. As we gather and participate in Christ-honoring worship services and respond to the preaching of God’s Word, this love flourishes. Mark 12:30 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”
God’s first two institutions are: The Family and The Church. The Church is a place for my family to gather with God’s family (I Chron. 29:3 “…I have set my affection to the house of my God…”) It is our desire to serve God together as a family and serve the Lord together with the Family of God.
The church is a lighthouse of the Gospel, it is also a hospital for the hurting. In Jer 8:20-22, 9:1-2a–20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. 21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt… Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?… Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men;” There is a soon harvest, a shared hurt and a safe haven that the church stands for. Some folks may think they cannot come to or wouldn’t be accepted in a church family for many different reasons. The purpose of the church is to minister to everyone.
The following paragraphs simply summarize what we believe as a church family. We believe the Bible and teach it to be perfectly true. Every belief and teaching of Grace Independent Baptist Church flows from God’s Word. For a more detailed account and description of our doctrine, feel free to request a doctrinal statement from the church office.
We believe the Bible to be the revealed Word of God, fully and verbally inspired of God. We believe the Scriptures to be the inerrant, infallible Word of God, as found within the 66 books from Genesis to Revelation. We believe God not only inspired every word, but has preserved them through the ages. We believe the King James Version is the preserved Word of God for the English-speaking people (Psalm 12:6-7; II Timothy 3:15-17; I Peter 1:23-25; II Peter 1:19-21).
We believe in one God, who is eternal, self-existent, infinite, and immutable. We believe He has one nature, one essence, and one substance, yet manifests Himself to man in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4; I Timothy 1:17; James 1:17; I John 4:4).
We believe Jesus Christ to be the one and only Saviour of mankind. We believe Jesus Christ to be eternally God and to possess all the attributes of Deity. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born, that He was God incarnate, and that the purposes of the incarnation were to reveal God, to redeem men, and to rule over God’s kingdom. We believe Jesus Christ never relinquished any attributes of His Deity, but merely veiled them. We believe He lived a perfect, sinless life, at the end of which He was offered for all mankind as a substitutionary sacrifice for man’s sin. This sacrifice was a just payment to God for the forgiveness of sin. It was activated by His death through the shedding of His blood on the Cross and was accepted by God upon His resurrection. We believe He ascended into Heaven after His resurrection to be seated at the right hand of the Father, waiting for the time of receiving His church at the Rapture, and returning seven years later to earth to rule and reign as King for 1,000 years (Psalm 2:7-9; Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, 43:11; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:25; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1, 1:3, 14, 18, 29; Romans 3:19-25; Romans 5:6-15; Philippians 2:5-11; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Timothy 2:5; I Timothy 3:16; Titus 2:10-15; Hebrews 7:26, 9:24-28; I Peter 1:19, 2:2; I John 1:3; Revelation 20:1-6).
The Holy Spirit
We believe the Holy Spirit of God is a person who has personality and all the attributes of Deity. We believe the Holy Spirit has always been involved in the affairs of mankind. However, we believe He has a special ministry which began at Pentecost and will continue until the Rapture. This ministry includes convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. The Holy Spirit was also sent to regenerate, sanctify, seal, and fill all who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:5-6; John 14:16; Acts 1:5; Acts 11:15; I Corinthians 3:16; I Corinthians 6:19-20; I Corinthians 12:13).
Sin and Salvation
We believe all men were born with an inherited sin nature received from our common ancestor, Adam. We believe that because of his nature, man is a sinner by choice, and he is totally incapable of reforming himself or ceasing from his sin by his own power. We believe the only hope of deliverance for man is a total change of mind concerning his sinful condition and inability to change it, and a turning to Jesus Christ as the only Saviour. We believe that only through the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the Cross can a man be delivered from his sin. We believe that all those who reject Jesus Christ as their Saviour are already condemned to an eternity in the Lake of Fire (Genesis 5:1-5; Acts 4:19; Acts 16:31; Romans 3:10-23; Romans 5:6-12; Romans 6:23; Romans 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6; Revelation 20:11-14).
The New Testament Church
We believe the church began with the calling out of the twelve apostles by Jesus Christ and was empowered on the day of Pentecost. We believe the local church is God’s only institution to carry out His work today. We believe the local church is composed of members who have been saved and baptized according to the command of Christ, and have voluntarily united together for the purposes of worship, fellowship, service, and the Lord’s Table. We believe all true believers will be taken up at the Rapture, just prior to the Tribulation (Matthew 16:16-18; Acts 1:15; Acts 2:41-43; Acts 11:15; Acts 20:28; I Corinthians 15: 51-58; Ephesians 1:12-14; Ephesians 5:25-30; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Timothy 3:4-15).
The Last Days
We believe in the literal interpretation of the Scriptures in their grammatical and historical context. We believe in the pre-tribulational Rapture of the church saints, followed by the seven-year Tribulation. We believe in the pre-millennial return of Christ to the earth and His literal rule of one thousand years. Following this one thousand years is the Great White Throne judgment and then the new Heaven and new earth (I Corinthians 15:51-58; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Thessalonians 5:1-9; Revelation 19-22).