"We are united in the essentials of the faith and extend liberty in the non-essentials while remaining charitable in all things"
It has been said, "If you don't believe in something, then you'll fall for anything!" and that is especially true when it comes to a person's religious beliefs.
Grace Community Church, as a particular church of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) denomination, affirms and upholds the Constitution of the EPC, which contains the Westminster Standards - The Westminster Confession of Faith along with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms - and the Book of Order. Therefore, we embrace systematically what is known as Reformed Theology.
In addition to our being a confessing church, we are also a connectional church. As Presbyterians, we hold ourselves accountable to one another in matters of faith and practice. Therefore, we submit ourselves to the biblical authority of Elders (both Ruling and Teaching) in our local church, the Presbytery of the West and the General Assembly of the EPC. We also embrace The Essentials of the Faith, which entitles us to be viewed as "orthodox" in our Christian beliefs. These beliefs are as follows:
All Scripture is self-attesting and being Truth, requires our unreserved submission in all life. The infallible Word of God, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is a complete and unified witness to God's redemptive acts culminating in the incarnation of the living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible, uniquely and fully inspired by the Holy Spirit, is the supreme and final authority on all matters on which it speaks.
On this sure foundation we affirm these additional Essentials of our faith:
1. We believe in one God, the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of all things, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. To Him be all honor, glory and praise forever!
2. Jesus Christ, the living Word, became flesh through His miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit and His virgin birth. He who is true God became true man united in one Person forever. He died on the cross, a sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. On the thrid day He arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father where He now serves as our great High Priest and Mediator.
3. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and to apply the saving work of Christ to our hearts. He convicts us of sin and draws us to the Savior. Indwelling our hearts, He gives new life to us, empowers and imparts gifts to us for service. He instructs and guides us into all truth, and seals us for the day of redemption.
4. Being estranged from God and condemned by our sinfulness, our salvation is wholly dependent upon the work of God's free grace. God credits His righteousness to those who put their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, thereby justifying them in His sight. Only those who are born of the Holy Spirit and receive Jesus Christ become children of God and heirs of eternal life.
5. The true Church is composed of all persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit are united together in the Body of Christ.The Church finds her visible, yet imperfect, expression in local congregations where the Word of God is preached in its purity and the sacraments are administered in their integrity, where scriptural discipline is practiced, and where loving fellowship is maintained. For her perfecting, she awaits the return of her Lord.
6. Jesus Christ will come again to the earth - personally, visibly, and bodily - to judge the living and the dead, and to consummate history and the eternal plan of God. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:20).
7. The Lord Jesus Christ commands all believers to proclaim the Gospel throughout the world and to make disciples of all nations. Obedience to the Great Commission requires total commitment to "Him who loved us and gave Himself for us." He calls us to a life of self-denying love and service. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10).
These Essentials are set forth in greater detail in the Westminster Confession of Faith.