What We Believe
GRACE COVENANT CHURCH
We believe that every word of the Bible is God-breathed and written through human authors who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is complete truth that is applicable to our everyday lives and communicates God’s loving heart for all people.
(John 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16)
We believe in one God who has existed for all time in three persons (Trinity): the Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit. He created men and women, the Heavens and the Earth, all living things and the entire universe and continues to watch over all of it today. He is the source of all life, love, faith and truth.
(Genesis 1:1; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; Ephesians 4:4-6, 2 Corinthians 13:14)
We believe that Jesus was fully human and fully God, being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life on earth, but willingly died on a cross, the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. He was buried and rose again to demonstrate His power over sin and death. Fully alive, He ascended to heaven where He is now seated at the right hand of God the Father. One day He will return to reign as King of kings and Lord of lords!
(Luke 1:35; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 4:15; Revelation 17:14)
We believe the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. His presence causes people to become aware of their need for Jesus. He lives inside all believers to lead, guide, teach, and bring understanding and insight about the Scriptures and the ways of God on a daily basis.
(John 14:16-17; John 16:7-13; Ephesians 1:13)
We believe that the church is not merely a building, but a community of believers unified by their faith in Jesus Christ. The local church is the community of faith where every Christian participates and serves as an integral part of the body of believers. It is where worship, teaching, service and relationships come together to glorify God and make Him known throughout the world.
(Ephesians 1:22, 2:19-22, 4:11-16; John 17 :11, 20-23; Matthew 28:18-20)
Baptism & Gifts of the Holy Spirit
We believe in the baptism of (or “in”) the Holy Spirit and believe it to be a second baptism (the first being water baptism). The purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit is to enable & empower the believer for ministry and to be a witness
(Acts 1:5, 8; Acts 10:44-48)
We believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit listed in scripture are still available & active in the life of a Spirit-filled believer today. We desire to see spiritual gifts being used regularly in ministry and in our every-day lives throughout the week
(1 Corinthians 12:4-11)
We believe that people were created in God’s image and that all mankind, through rebellion and disobedience (sin), has been separated from God and the life He has planned for us. Without God we are without hope.
(Isaiah 59:2; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12)
We believe that only through the forgiveness for our sins can our relationship with God be restored so we may receive eternal life (salvation). We must believe, by faith, in who Jesus Christ is and decide to stop living for ourselves and instead serve Him (repent). We believe that salvation is based solely on Christ’s work on the cross and His grace; not on anything we have done or can do. It is a free gift of God!
(John 3:3; John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Romans 10:13; Ephesians 2:8-9)
We believe that Jesus is coming back again, though no one is able to determine when. And when He does, He will establish His kingdom here on the earth, just as He promised!
(Matthew 24:36; Matthew 26:64; Revelation 1:7-8; Revelation 22:12-13)
Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28-31; Luke 6:31.) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are not in accordance with Scripture nor the doctrines of Grace Covenant Church and therefore will not be tolerated.
We believe that God wonderfully and sovereignly creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Gen 1:26-27.) Rejection of one’s biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term “marriage” has a single meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Gen 2:18-25.) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur only between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (I Cor. 6:18; 7:2-5; Heb. 13:4.) We believe that God has commanded that no sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matt 15:18-20; I Cor. 6:9-10.). We believe that it is not a sin to be tempted but it is a sin to act upon these desires.
We believe and recognize that some heterosexual acts (forms of sexual immorality noted above) are sinful. We believe all homosexual acts are sinful according to Scripture. Therefore, we do not equate a morally committed heterosexual relationship within marriage with a committed homosexual relationship.
We believe and recognize that our gender as male or female is a gift from God. Consequently, we cannot support or affirm the resolution of tension between a person’s biological sex and experience of gender by the adoption of a psychological identity discordant with that person’s birth sex, nor support or affirm attempts to change via medical intervention one’s given biological birth sex in favor of the identity of the opposite sex or of an indeterminate identity.
We recognize that in rare cases some persons are born with both sets of sexual organs (intersex or hermaphrodites). This is another one of the implications of living in a fallen world and another reminder that our sexuality has been deeply damaged by the fall. This Statement primarily addresses those who self-select sex and/or gender
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19-21; Rom 10:9-10; 1 Cor 6:9-11.)
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Grace Covenant Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to our congregation and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Grace Covenant Church in any capacity, those who are bona-fide members of Grace Covenant Church, those who serve as volunteer ministry leaders, or any other positions at the discretion of the leadership of Grace Covenant Church, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matt 5:16; Phil 2:14-16; I Thess. 5:22.)
We believe our definition of marriage is intimately connected to other foundational matters of our faith. (Please see also our general Statement of Beliefs and our comprehensive statement on Marriage Beliefs). Therefore we regard any restrictions and definitions we apply in our churches concerning marriage to be an exercise of the freedom of religion clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Consequently, only marriages (or activities and events) which fit the definition above may be conducted on our church property or officiated by members/staff of our congregation