Statement of Faith of Grace Church Family

We believe that sound doctrine is extremely important to our pursuit of relationship with God because it is
primarily through the teaching of the bible that we come to understand who God is, what He has done, and who
we are. This Statement of Faith sets out the core beliefs we hold as a church.


God
We believe there is a God, and that there is in fact only one true God. However we believe that the one true God
is made up of three separate persons, namely God the Father, Jesus the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Those three
persons are usually referred to in Christianity as the Trinity. We believe that the three persons of the Trinity are
all equally God (one is not more God than the others), and that although they are all separate persons, they all
share the same attributes and nature. We believe that the Trinity exist in a perfect relationship of love, lacking in
nothing. We believe that God is good, that God is love, and that God is perfect in every way imaginable.


Revelation
We believe that God has revealed His existence to all people throughout history through His creation, but that
God has also revealed Himself in history in specific ways at certain points in time, including through the birth and
life of Jesus. We believe that the 66 books and letters comprised within the bible also reveal the person of Jesus,
the words of the bible in their original form, although written by humans, having been inspired by the Holy Spirit
and as such being authoritative and without error as originally written. However, whilst we believe God reveals
Himself in creation, the historic person of Jesus, and through the bible, we also believe it is only through God the
Holy Spirit working in a person’s life that a person can enter in to a saving relationship with God.


Creation
We believe that the entire universe (including heaven and earth) has been created by God, and that He made
them simply by speaking them in to existence. As such we believe that God is the great designer of all things, but
we also believe that He sustains all things and has been actively at work in the universe throughout the whole of
history (He didn’t just make everything and then leave us to our own devices). However, we believe that
ultimately at the end of human history God will recreate heaven and earth.


Mankind
We believe that everything that has life has been created by God, including each and every human being ever to
have existed. We believe that mankind, both man and woman, are created from conception in the image of God,
to reflect some of His divine attributes. However, mankind is not divine in nature.


The Fall
We believe that God created the world to be perfect, but that Satan tempted mankind through deception to
doubt God's word. We believe that Eve was first deceived but that Adam (having been witness to Eve's deception
and having failed in his role as man) also then participated in original sin in Eden. We believe because of this
original sin all mankind have become sinners by nature and choice, and that all of creation has become subject
to the curse of death.


Jesus
We believe that Jesus took on a human body to be born into human history, adding humanity to His divine nature
to become both fully man and fully God. We believe that Jesus was born of a virgin woman called Mary, having
been miraculously conceived by her through the work of God the Holy Spirit - we believe there was no sexual
activity involved in the conception and that she was a virgin at the time Jesus was born. We believe that whilst
living on earth in human form, Jesus chose not to continually exercise His own divine powers as God, but relied
instead on the power of the Holy Spirit to live a sinless life, as an example to all who would ultimately chose to
believe in and follow Him.


Covenant
We believe that God is faithful and keeps His promises. We believe throughout history God has made a number
of covenant promises which reveal His loving grace and mercy to people who deserve condemnation.


Salvation
We believe that Jesus was unjustly tortured, crucified and killed by humans and was then buried in a tomb, but
came back to life on the third day, appearing in physical form to many witnesses. We believe that Jesus voluntarily
chose to suffer and die in that way in order to pay the penalty for the sins of those who would believe
in Him and follow Him. We believe that by Jesus dying in substitution this way He satisfied the wrath (righteous
anger) of God towards those people, and that they are therefore completely forgiven for their sins, and justified
before God (in other words there is not even a record of their wrong doing). We also believe that because of
Jesus death, burial and resurrection those who chose to believe in Him and follow Him, are given righteousness
which enables the Holy Spirit to live within them.


Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person, not a force. We believe that the Holy Spirit is at work in the world
today, leading people to repentance from sin, and dwelling within believers from their conversion to regenerate
them with a new nature, to bring about sanctification, to guide them, and to equip them for ministry.


Spiritual Gifts
We believe that the Holy Spirit bestows supernatural gifts upon believers, but that such gifts are not essential
signs of the Holy Spirit being at work in someone's life, and nor do such gifts prove the indwelling of the Holy
Spirit.


Church
We believe that the universal church is comprised of all God's people at all times who have confessed Jesus Christ
as Lord. We believe the church is commissioned by Jesus to go and make disciples of all nations, through the
power of the Holy Spirit. We believe that the church is to minister the sacraments of believer's baptism and
communion to those who profess faith in Jesus. At local level we believe that churches (including ours) should be
led by suitably qualified leaders, consisting of oversight leaders (Elders) who take responsibility for ensuring that
sound doctrine is taught and maintained within the church, and functional leaders (Deacons) who take
responsibility for the day to day running of the church and its ministries. We believe that all areas of ministry are
equally open to men and women, except the role of Elder which is for certain men who have been called to guide
the spiritual direction of church family and to protect it from false teaching.


Kingdom
We believe that God is the eternal king who rules over an everlasting kingdom. We believe that as a result of the
fall, sin has separated mankind from God, bringing death in to the world. We believe that the curse of death is
only overcome by grace through faith in Jesus. We believe that there is an ongoing spiritual battle on the earth
between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness, and that Jesus, having overcome death by His own
death, burial, and resurrection, will return to earth to decisively defeat the kingdom of darkness. At that time the
dead will be raised to life and all mankind will face judgement, to eternal salvation or to condemnation. Whilst
we await the return of Christ we believe God's kingdom is on the move in the earth, and that His church is called
to shine as a light in the darkness, seeking to advance God's kingdom by the work of the Holy Spirit to the glory
of God.


Worship
We believe that mankind has been created to worship God and to enjoy Him forever, and that all people will live
their lives in some form of worship, whether worship to God or the worship of created things. We believe the
church is called to worship God in spirit and in truth, and that worship extends to every area of life, including
what we do with our time, money, and energy. We believe that our corporate worship as a church should be
focused upon God and that honest worship attracts the presence of God.


Gender & Sexuality
We believe that men and women are completely equal in value and dignity, having been created together to rule
over the rest of creation. However we also believe that men and women have in some respects been created to
have complimentary roles rather than identical roles. We believe that God created man and woman as separate
sexes so that marriage between one man and one woman could reflect the relational nature of the Trinity.
Although we believe that God loves all people, and we welcome people of all sexual orientations to our church,
we do believe that any form of sexual relationship out with the context of a heterosexual marriage is prohibited
by the bible. We appreciate that this is a really difficult issue for many people, and acknowledge that all people
fall short of God’s standards, irrespective of their sexual orientation or relationship status.