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STATEMENT OF FAITH

From the time of the very first Christians all the way to the present, Christians have found it helpful to lay out their beliefs (commonly called doctrine) in definitive, summarizing statements. A common objection to such statements is that we need “no creed but the Bible.” But that kind of reasoning quickly becomes circular. To say we believe what the Bible says, yet not to explain in our own words what we understand the Bible to mean, is unhelpful. Therefore, to crystallize and clarify our beliefs about what Scripture actually teaches, we often need to use statements that are not from the Bible so that we can helpfully explain what we think the Bible says.

Anyone who wants to join the membership of Grace Covenant Church is required to affirm the GCC Statement of Faith, which is a revised version of the New Hampshire Confession of Faith from 1853. We’ve adopted this historic confession to connect ourselves with the church of the past in a way that roots our doctrine and practice in time-tested language and testifies to our unity with the church of previous years. This particular confession records our shared belief in the central and historic doctrines of Christianity, and particularly the doctrines of the Protestant Reformation, among which are the inspiration, inerrancy, and sufficiency of Scripture; the atonement of Christ as a substitute penalty for our sins

(penal substitutionary atonement); the sovereignty of God in salvation; the importance of believers’ baptism, and elder leadership in the context of congregational church government. Click here to download our Statement of Faith as a pdf or see below.

I Of The Scriptures

We believe that the Holy Bible was written by divinely inspired men, and is a perfect treasure of divine revelation; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, truth without any mixture of error for its matter, and the sixty six books of the Old and New Testaments as its substance; that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us; that it is sufficient for Christian practice; and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried. (Ex 24:4; Dt 4:1-2; 17:19; Josh 8:34; Ps 19:7-10; 119:11,89,105,140; Isa 34:16; 40:8; 55:10-11; Jer 15:16; 36:1-32; Matt 5:17-18; 22:29; Luke 21:33; 24:44-46; John 5:39; 16:13-15; 17:17; Acts 2:16ff.; 17:11; Rom 15:4; 16:25-26; 2Tim 3:15-17; Heb 1:1-2; 4:12; 1Pet 1:25; 2Pet 1:19-21)

II Of The True God

We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is JEHOVAH, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth, who works all things according to His will; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption. (Gen 1:1; 2:7; Ex. 3:14; Dt 6:4; Ps 115:3; Isa 6:3; 45:18; 46:9-10; Mt 28:19; John 1:14, 18; 4:24; 5:26; Rom 11:36; 1Cor 8:6; 2Cor 13:14; Eph 1:11; 4:4-6; Rev 4:8)

III Of The Fall Of Man

We believe that Man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker; but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state; the consequence being that all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint but choice; since they are by nature not only utterly void of that holiness required by God’s law, but also positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse. (Gen 1:26-30; 2:5,7,18-22; 3:1-24; 6:5; 9:6; Ps 1; 8:3-6; 32:1-5; 51:5; Eccl 7:29; Isa 6:5; Jer 17:1, 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; 1Cor 1:21-31; 15:19,21-22; Eph 2:1-22; Col 1:21-22; 3:9-11)

IV Of The Way Of Salvation

We believe that the salvation of sinners is by grace alone through faith alone, in Christ alone, to God’s glory alone; through the one Mediator, Jesus Christ, the Son of God; who, being fully God from eternity past, became fully man by the appointment of the Father, freely taking upon him our nature, yet without sin; who honored the divine law by his perfect and personal obedience, and by His death took our punishment in our place and thereby made a full atonement for our sins; that having risen bodily from the dead He is now enthroned in heaven; and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, He is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all sufficient Savior. (Isa 53:4-6,10-12; Matt 5:17; Luke 1:35; 24:38-43; John 1:1-5, 14, 18; Rom 3:21-26; 1Cor 15:20; Gal 4:4-5; Eph 1:20-21; 2:8-9; 1Tim 2:5; 2Tim 1:9; Heb 4:15; 7:23-28; 9:11-14, 15, 28; 10:11-14)

V Of Justification

We believe that the great Gospel blessing which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is Justification; that Justification includes the pardon of sin, and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer’s blood; by virtue of which faith His perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us by God; that justification brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needed for time and eternity.(Gen 15:6; Rom 1:16-17; 3:21-26; 4:3-5, 23-25; 5:6-9; 9:30-32; 10:4, 10; 11:6; 2Cor 5:21; Gal 2:16; Phil 3:9; 2Tim 1:9)

VI Of The Freeness Of Salvation

We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all as a gift from God by the gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to repent and believe; and that what prevents the salvation of any sinner is his own inherent depravity. (Gen 6:5; Mark 1:14-15; John 8:42-47; Rom 3:9-18, 24; 6:20; 8:6-8; 1Cor 2:14; Eph 2:1-3, 8-9)

VII Of Grace In Regeneration

We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again; that regeneration consists in God giving a new and holy disposition to the mind; that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel; and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, faith, and newness of life (Jer 31:31-34; Ezek 36:25-27; 37:1-14; John 3:1-7; Phil 2:12-13; Titus 3:5; 1Pet 1:3, 23; 1John 3:9; 5:18)

VIII Of Repentance And Faith

We believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God; whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with genuine contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest and King, and relying on Him alone as the only and all sufficient Savior. (Dt 10:16; 30:6; Matt 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:14-15; John 10:38; 12:36; 14:1, 11; 20:30-31; Acts 3:26; 5:31; 11:18; 20:21; Phil 1:29; 2Tim 2:25)

IX Of God's Purpose Of Grace

We believe that Election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which He graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners; that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, this eternal purpose includes both the means and the end to which they lead; that this purpose of grace is a most glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy and unchangeable; that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy; that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree; that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the Gospel; that it is the foundation of Christian assurance; and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence. (Gen 12:1-3; Ex 19:5-8; 1Sam 8:4-7,19-22; Isa 5:1-7; Jer 31:31ff.; Matt 16:18-19; 21:28-45; 24:22,31; 25:34; Luke 1:68-79; 2:29-32; 19:41-44; 24:44-48; John 1:12-14; 3:16; 5:24; 6:44-45,65; 10:27-29; 15:16; 17:6,12,17-18; Acts 20:32; Rom 5:9-10; 8:28-39; 10:12-15; 11:5-7,26-36; 1Cor 1:1-2; 15:24-28; Eph 1:4-23; 2:1-10; 3:1-11; Col 1:12-14; 2 Thess 2:13-14; 2Tim 1:12; 2:10,19; Heb 11:39–12:2; Js 1:12; 1Pet 1:2-5,13; 2:4-10; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:19; 3:2)

X Of Sanctification

We believe that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness; that it is a progressive work; that it is begun in regeneration; and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means, - especially, the word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness and prayer. (John 17:17-19; 1Cor 1: 30-31; Phil 1:6; 2:12-13; 1Thess 5:23-24; Titus 3:5; 1Pet 1:15-16; 2Pet 1:3-11).

XI Of The Perseverance Of Saints

We believe that only those who endure to the end are real believers; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and they are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation (Mark 4:1-20; John 6:37-40; Rom 8:16-17; 1Cor 9:24-27; Heb 3:12-14; 4:8-11; 1Pet 1:5; 2Pet 1:3-11)

XII Of The Harmony Of The Law And The Gospel

We believe that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government; that it is holy, just, and good; and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts, arises entirely from their love of sin: to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to genuine obedience to the holy Law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the Means of Grace connected with the establishment of the visible church. (Ex 20:1-11; Ps 19:7-8; 119:144; Eccl 7:29; Matt 5:17-20; 22:37-40; Rom 2:14; 3:31; 8:3-4, 6-8; 13:8; Js 2:8-11)

XIII Of A Gospel Church

We believe that a visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His word; that its only scriptural officers are Elders (or Bishops or Pastors), and Deacons, whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, as well as 1Peter. (Matt 28:18-20; Acts 2:38, 41; 6:1-7; 8:12, 38; 9:18; 10:48; 14:23; 22:16; 1Cor 5:12-13; 2Cor 2:6; Gal 3:27; 1Tim 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1Pet 3:21; 5:1-4)

XIV Of Baptism And The Lord's Supper

We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effect, in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life. Because of its significance as the public display of obedient discipleship to Christ, we believe that baptism is pre-requisite to church membership. Because the Lord’s Supper is a weighty matter intended only for obedient disciples of Christ, and not wanting to participate in an unworthy manner ourselves, we believe that baptism is pre-requisite to participation in the Lord’s Supper, in which the church, by the sacred use of the bread and cup, commemorates together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by solemn self-examination. (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; 1Cor 10:16,21; 11:23-29; Col 2:12)

XV Of The Lord’s Day

We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day; and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private and public; and by preparation for that rest that remains for the people of God. (Ex 20:8-11; Matt 12:1-12; 28:1ff.; Mark 2:27-28; 16:1-7; Luke 24:1-3,33-36; John 4:21-24; 20:1,19-28; Acts 20:7; Rom 14:5-10; 1Cor 16:1-2; Col 2:16; 3:16; Rev 1:10)

XVI Of Civil Government

We believe that Civil Government is of Divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; and that civil authorities are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored, and obeyed; except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth. (Prov 8:15-16; Luke 20:22-25; Acts 4:18-20; Rom 13:1-7; 1Tim 2:1-2;1Pet 2:13-17; Rev 19:16)

XVII Of The Righteous And The Wicked

We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only those who are justified by faith in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem; while all those who continue in impenitence and unbelief are wicked in His sight, and under the curse; and this distinction holds among men both in and after death. (Ps 1; Ps 34:15-16; Nah 1:7-8; Matt 13:47-49; 25:31-46; John 8:42-47; Rom 9:22-23; 1Pet 3:12; 2Pet 2:9; Rev 9:20-21; 21:7-8; 22:14-15)

XVIII Of The World To Come

We believe that the end of the world is approaching; that at the last day Christ will descend from heaven, and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution; that a solemn separation will then take place; that the wicked will be condemned to eternal conscious punishment, and the righteous will be acquitted to endless joy in God’s presence; and that this judgment will confirm forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness. (Eccl 12:14; Matt 13:38-43, 47-49; 25:21, 31-46; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15; Rom :16; 14:10; 2Cor 5:10; Rev 20:11-15)

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