WHAT WE BELIEVE

ABOUT THE BIBLE

We believe the Bible to be the revealed Word of God, composed of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament. We believe that the Scripture in its entirety originated with God, and that the Holy Spirit supervised the writers of the Scripture in its entirety originated with God, and that the Holy Spirit   supervised the writers of the Scriptures. Therefore, the Bible speaks with the authority of God while reflecting the backgrounds, styles and vocabularies of the human authors. We hold that the Bible is infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts. The Bible is the complete and final authority on all matters of faith and practice.

(Psalm 18:30; 19:7-11; 119:1-176; Matthew 5:18; John 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:21)

ABOUT THE TRINITY

We believe that there is one true, Holy God, who eternally exists as one essence in three distinct persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – referred to as the Trinity or the Godhead. Each possesses equally all the attributes of deity and the characteristics of personality. The work of creating and sustaining the universe, of redeeming mankind, and of judging the world, belong exclusively to the Trinity. Also the Trinity works together in the area of revelation as the Son and Holy Spirit are both involved in communicating God’s truth (John 1:18; 16:13).

(Genesis 1:26; Daniel 2:47; Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; Mark 12:29; John 6:27; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2)

GOD THE FATHER

We believe the Bible reveals that God the Father is holy, sovereign, all-powerful, all knowing, everywhere present, eternal and unchanging. The Bible also reveals that God loves, is just and good, merciful and true. His glory, power, wisdom and goodness are manifested in all creation. By His providence, God is operating throughout history to bring glory to Himself and to fulfill His redemptive purposes.

(Exodus 34:6-7; Numbers 14:18; Nehemiah 9:17; Psalm 86:5; 86:15; 103:8; 111:4; 145:8; Isaiah 44:6; Joel 2:13; Jonah 4:2; Nahum 1:3; John 4:24)

GOD THE SON

We believe that Jesus Christ is the pre-existent and eternal Son of God who became a man in order to reveal God and redeem man. Although He is of the exact same essence, we believe He is a personality distinct from the other members of the Trinity. We believe Jesus Christ was supernaturally conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. In His person, we believe that Jesus Christ combined forever full and undiminished Deity with true and perfect humanity to become the God-man. Jesus Christ lived a life of perfect obedience to God the Father and voluntarily atoned for the sins of all people by dying on the cross as their substitute, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone. He rose from the dead on the third day in bodily form and was seen by many witnesses. We believe that Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father, where He, being the only mediator between God and man, continually makes intercession for those who trust in Him for salvation. We believe that Jesus Christ will come again to earth, personally and visibly, to complete human history and fulfill the purposes of God.

(Matthew 1:21,23; John 1:1,14,18; 8:58; Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Colossians 1:15-17; 1 Timothy 1:15; 3:16; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:1-3; 1 John 2:1-2)

GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT

We believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, fully equal with God the Father and God the Son. Although He is of the exact same essence, we believe He is a personality distinct from the other members of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit, we believe, has an active ministry to the world in general, which includes the restraining of evil and bestowing God’s goodness on all mankind. We also believe that the Holy Spirit has many ministries to every believer in the body of Christ. These ministries are permanent and irrevocable for the purposes of assurance, strength and wisdom for the believer. We believe the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to each believer for the purpose of maintaining unity and building to maturity the body of Christ. We believe the Holy Spirit guides believers in understanding and applying the truth of Scripture to everyday circumstances. The Holy Spirit’s power and control are appropriated by faith, making it possible for the believer to lead a life of Christ like character and to bear fruit to the glory of God.

(Isaiah 11:2; John 16:7-13; Acts 5:3-4; Romans 8:14-16; 1 Corinthians 2:10-14; 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Galatians 5:16-18, 22-23; Ephesians 1:13-14; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; Titus 3:4-7;
Hebrews 2:3-4)

MAN

Mankind was created by the special act of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation. In the beginning, man was innocent of sin and was endowed by his Creator with freedom of choice. By his free choice, man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. Through the temptation of Satan, man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence; whereby his descendants inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin, and as soon as they are capable of moral action become transgressors and are under condemnation. Only the grace of God can bring man into His holy fellowship and enable man to fulfill the creative purpose of God. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image. Christ died for man; therefore every man possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.

(Gen. 1:26-30; 2:5, 7, 18-22; 3; 9:6; Psalm 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Isa. 6:5; Jer. 17:5; Matt. 16:26; Acts 17:26-31; Rom. 1:19-32; 3:10-18, 23; 5:6, 12, 19; 6:6; 7:14-25; 8:14-18, 29; 1 Cor. 1:21-31; 15:19, 21-22; Eph. 2:1-22; Col. 1:21-22; 3:9-11)

SALVATION

The central purpose of God’s revelation in the Bible is to call all people into fellowship with Himself. Salvation involves the redemption of the whole man, and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense, salvation includes conversion, regeneration, sanctification, and glorification.

  • Conversion consists: repentance, that is, turning from sin to God; and faith, that is, the acceptance of the promises and the work of Christ.
  • Regeneration is a work of God’s grace whereby believers become new creatures in Christ Jesus. It is a change of heart wrought by the Holy Spirit through conviction of sin, to which the sinner responds in repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Sanctification is the experience, beginning in regeneration, by which the believer is set apart to God’s purposes, and is enabled to progress toward maturity through the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Growth in grace should continue throughout the Christian life.
  • Glorification is the culmination of salvation and is the final blessed and abiding state of the redeemed.

(Gen. 3:15; Ex. 3:14-17; 6:2-8; Matt. 1:21; 4:17; 16:21-26; 27:22 to 28:6; Luke 1:68-69; 2:28-32; John 1:11-14, 29; 3:3-21, 36; 5:24; 10:9, 28-29; 15:1-16; 17:17; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:11; 16:30-31; 17:30-31; 20:32; Rom. 1:16-18; 2:4; 3:23-25; 4:3 ff.; 5:8-10; 6:1-23; 8:1-18, 29-39; 10:9-10, 13; 13:11-14; 1 Cor. 1:18, 30; 6:19-20; 15:10; 2 Cor. 5:17-20; Gal. 2:20; 3:13; 5:22-25; 6:15; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-22; 4:11-16; Phil. 2:12-13; Col. 1:9-22; 3:1 ff.; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Tim. 1:12; Titus 2:11-14; Heb. 2:1-3; 5:8-9; 9:24-28; 11:1 to 12:8, 14; James 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:2-23; 1 John 1:6 to 2:11; Rev. 3:20; 21:1 to 22:5)

THE CHURCH

As a result of a union with Jesus Christ, all believers become members of His body, the Church. The Church began on the day of Pentecost and will continue its distinct purpose until the return of Christ. We believe that the church exists in both a universal aspect as the body of Christ, and in a local sense in individual assemblies of believers. The Scriptures command the local church to gather on a regular basis and to be devoted to teaching of the Word, worship, prayer, fellowship, evangelism, serving the body through the development and use of talents and gifts, and observance of two ordinances. These two ordinances are believers’ baptism, which we practice by immersion, and the Lord’s Supper, which we believe to be a remembrance and proclamation of Christ’s death and is open to all believers not having any unconfessed sin. We believe the local church is to be under the watchful care of elders and other supportive leadership. Its members are to work together in love and unity, intent on the one ultimate purpose of glorifying God.

(Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:1-4; Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 11:23-28; 12:13; Ephesians 4:4-7; Colossians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Hebrews 13:17; 10:25)

SPIRITUAL GIFTS

Spiritual gifts are bestowed on the body. All spiritual gifts are for the building up of the whole body, not for the enjoyment or the enrichment of the individual members possessing them. No one person has all the gifts, nor is any one of the gifts bestowed on all persons. Consequently, the individual members of the church need each other. Spiritual gifts are for service in the body, they are not signs of spirituality, nor are certain gifts necessary signs of the work of the Holy Spirit. Although not equally conspicuous, all gifts are important. The Holy Spirit apportions the various gifts to whom and as He wills. No gift may be demanded of God to give, and no person may impart a spiritual gift to another person — spiritual gifts are the prerogative of Christ.

(Rom. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12-14; Eph. 4:7-8, 11-16; Heb. 2:3-4; 1 Peter 4:10-11)

BAPTISM AND THE LORD’S SUPPER

Christian baptism is the immersion of a believer in water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus. Baptism is a testimony to the believer’s faith in the final resurrection of the dead.

The Lord’s Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby believers, through eating the bread and drinking the juice together, memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate His second coming.

(Matt. 3:13-17; 26:26-30; 28:19-20; Mark 1:9-11; 14:22-26; Luke 3:21-22; 22:19-20; John 3:23; Acts 2:41-42; 8:35-39; 16:30-33; 20:7; Rom. 6:3-5; 1 Cor. 10:16, 21; 11:23-29; Col. 2:12)

UNITY

Members of New Testament churches should cooperate with one another in carrying forward the missionary, educational, and benevolent ministries for the extension of Christ’s kingdom. Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ’s people. Cooperation is desirable between church members and the various Christian churches, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the Bible.

(Ex. 17:12; 18:17 ff.; Judg. 7:21; Ezra 1:3-4; 2:68-69; 5:14-15; Neh. 4; 8:1-5; Matt. 10:5-15; 20:1-16; 22:1-10; 28:19-20; Mark 2:3; Luke 10:1 ff.; Acts 1:13-14; 2:1 ff.; 4:31-37; 13:2-3; 15:1-35; 1 Cor. 1:10-17; 3:5-15; 12; 2 Cor. 8-9; Gal. 1:6-10; Eph. 4:1-16; Phil. 1:15-18)

STEWARDSHIP

God is the source of all blessings, temporal and spiritual; all that we have and are we owe to Him. Christians have a spiritual debtorship to the whole world, a holy trusteeship in the gospel, and a binding stewardship in their possessions. They are therefore under obligation to serve Him with their time, talents, and material possessions; and should recognize all these as entrusted to them to use for the glory of God and for helping others. According to the Bible, Christians should contribute of their means cheerfully, regularly, systematically, proportionately, and liberally for the advancement of the Redeemer’s cause on earth.

(Gen. 14:20; Lev. 27:30-32; Deut. 8:18; Mal. 3:8-12; Matt. 6:1-4, 19-21; 19:21; 23:23; 25:14-29; Luke 12:16-21, 42; 16:1-13; Acts 2:44-47; 5:1-11; 17:24-25; 20:35; Rom. 6:6-22; 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 12; 16:1-4; 2 Cor. 8-9; 12:15; Phil. 4:10-19; 1 Peter 1:18-19)

EVANGELISM AND MISSIONS

It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations. The new birth of man’s spirit by the Holy Spirit means the birth of true love for others. Missionary effort on the part of all rests upon a spiritual necessity of the regenerate life, and is expressly and repeatedly commanded in the teachings of Christ. It is the duty of every believer to seek constantly to share the gospel with those who do not know Jesus Christ. Believers are to fulfill this duty by personal effort and by all other methods in harmony with the gospel of Christ.

(Gen. 12:1-3; Ex. 19:5-6; Isa. 6:1-8; Matt. 9:37-38; 10:5-15; 13:18-30, 37-43; 16:19; 22:9-10; 24:14; 28:18-20; Luke 10:1-18; 24:46-53; John 14:11-12; 15:7-8, 16; 17:15; 20:21; Acts 1:8; 2; 8:26-40; 10:42-48; 13:2-3; Rom. 10:13-15; Eph. 3:1-11; 1 Thess. 1:8; 2 Tim. 4:5; Heb. 2:1-3; 11:39 to 12:2; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Rev. 22:17)

THE FAMILY

We believe that God has ordained the family as the foundational institution of human society. It is composed of people related to one another by marriage, blood or adoption. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman in a committed covenant relationship for a lifetime. The threefold biblical purpose of marriage is, first, to reveal the union between Christ and His bride the church. This is accomplished, as the husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church and the wife submits herself to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. The second purpose of marriage is procreation, and it is in the context of the family that the next generation learns to love God with help and encouragement from the church. Children are a blessing and heritage from the Lord and parents are to demonstrate to their children God’s pattern for marriage. They are also to teach spiritual values to them through a consistent lifestyle and loving discipline. Children are to honor and obey their parents. Thirdly, marriage provides the setting for sexual fulfillment and protection against sexual sin. Sex is a gift from God and is sanctified only in the context of a marriage relationship.

(Deuteronomy 6:4-7; Psalm 78:4-7, 145:4; Malachi 2:14-15; 1 Corinthians 7:1-9; Ephesians 5:22-6:4)

FAITH AND PRACTICE

God’s Word is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. This church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where the Scripture is silent. Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Lord, to whom he or she is ultimately responsible.

We believe this Statement of Faith to be an accurate summary of what Scripture teaches. All members shall refrain from advocating doctrines that are not included in this Statement of Faith in such a way as to cause dissension in this local body.

GOD’S CHURCH – OUR MODEL

WHO IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH?

Christ alone is the head of the church, which is pictured as His redeemed body. He is the true source of all that the church is and does, as He guides and directs it. His glory is to be the objective of every act, function and motive of the body, both individually and corporately.

(1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 1:22,23; 5:23b)

“He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the first-born from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” (Colossians 1:18)

FROM WHERE DOES THE CHURCH RECEIVE ITS GUIDANCE?

“All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Specifically, the Bible proclaims God’s commands and reveals His character, His counsel and His purpose for the church and for every believer. It is through both the Bible and the Holy Spirit that God provides His thoughts and direction for the church.

(Psalms 119; Matthew 22:37-9; John 14:15-17; 2 Timothy 2:15)

WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF THE CHURCH’S POWER?

The Holy Spirit is the source of the Church’s power. The Holy Spirit’s role is to indwell and control believers in order to conform them to the character of Christ.

(Romans 8:10-11, 26; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 5:18)

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)

HOW IS THE CHURCH GOVERNED?

As churches were established in the faith, elders were appointed in each local body. The elders were given the ultimate responsibility for the oversight of that particular church body, and the shepherding of its members. God’s plan for leadership is revealed in Scripture.

Upon establishing the church, He gave certain individuals specific gifts “–apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.” These believers, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, initiated the Christian movement and brought local churches into existence through their teaching and preaching.

(Ephesians 4:11-13)

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with this own blood.” (Acts 20:28)

“For this reason I left you in Crete that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you.” (Titus 1:5)

(Acts 14:23; Acts 20:28-32; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; 5:17; Titus1: 5-9; I Peter 5:1-4)

As necessary, other servants (known as Ministry Coordinators at GGC) were also appointed to serve the church, particularly in undertaking those areas of need that would otherwise prohibit the elders from performing their biblical responsibilities.   (Acts 6:1-6)

In response to the biblical pattern of leadership, members of the body are taught in Scripture to lovingly support their leaders and to submit to their leadership.

(1 Corinthians 16:15,16; 1 Thessalonians 5:12,13)

These leaders, along with all members of each local body form a unique organism — a visible and functioning expression of the universal church. GGC recognizes this biblical pattern for the plurality of godly leadership, with the oversight and watchcare of elders and the supportive leadership of ministry coordinators and staff.

“And the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, `It is not desireable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. But select from among you brethren, seven men of good repute, full of the spirit and of wisdom, who we may put in charge of this task.'” (Acts 6:2-3)

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy, not grief, for this would not be profitable for you.”   (Hebrews 13:17)