GBC Articles of Faith

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1. There is one living and true God, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable. He is perfect in all His attributes, eternally existing in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – each equally deserving worship and obedience. God the Father orders and disposes all things according to His own purpose and grace. He is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption. He has decreed for His own glory all things that come to pass. He continually upholds, directs, and governs all creatures and events. He saves from sin all those whom He draws by His grace, and becomes Father to His own. Deuteronomy 6:4; Psalm 90:2; 115:3; Malachi 3:6; John 1:12-13; Ephesians 1:3-6, 11; James 1:17, I John 5:7-8.

2. Jesus Christ possesses all the divine excellencies. In these, He is fully man, without sin, coequal, co creator and coeternal with the Father. Our Lord Jesus Christ was virgin born. He was God incarnate, and the purpose of the incarnation was to reveal God, redeem man, and rule over God’s Kingdom. The Lord Jesus Christ accomplished redemption through the shedding of blood by His sacrificial death on the cross. His death was voluntary, substitutionary, propitiatory, and redemptive. On the basis of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the believing sinner is freed from the penalty, the power, and one day the very presence of sin. Jesus is the only Mediator between God and man, the Head of His Body the Church, and the coming universal King who will reign on the throne of David. He is the final Judge of all who fail to place their trust in Him as Lord and Saviour. Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:26-35; John 10:15; 14:19; 12:44-45; Acts 17:30-31; Romans 4:25; I Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Philippians 2:5-11; I Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 7:23-27; I Peter 1:19; 2:22-24; 3:18; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16.

3. The Holy Spirit is a divine person possessing all the attributes of God. In all the divine attributes, He is coequal with the Father and the Son. We recognize His sovereign activity in creation, incarnation, written revelation, and the work of salvation. The Holy Spirit is the supernatural and the sovereign agent in the regeneration and baptizing of all believers into the Body of Christ. He also indwells, sanctifies, and seals them unto the day of redemption. Genesis 1:2; Psalm 139:7-10; Isaiah 40:13-14; Matthew 1:18; 28:19; John 3:5-8; 14;17; 16:8-13; Romans 8:9; I Corinthians 12:11-13; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:13; Hebrews 9:14; 2 Peter 1:20-21; I John 5:7-8.

4. The Bible is God’s written revelation to man. The Bible is verbally inspired in every word, inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God breathed. The Bible is the only infallible rule of faith and practice and holds supreme authority in all things. Matthew 24:35; John 10:35; 17:17; 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 3:15-16.

5. Man was directly and immediately created by God in His image and likeness. Man was created free of sin with a rational nature, intelligence, volition, and moral responsibility to God. God created man to glorify Him, enjoy His fellowship, and live his life in the will and Word of God. As the result of Adam’s sin of disobedience to the revealed Word of God, man lost his innocence, incurred the penalty of physical and spiritual death, and became subject to the wrath of God. Apart from divine grace, man is hopelessly lost. Man’s salvation is thereby wholly of God’s grace through the redemptive work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because all men descend from Adam, a nature corrupted by Adam’s sin has been inherited by all. All men are, therefore, sinners by nature, by choice, and by divine declaration. Genesis 1:27; 3:1-19; Psalm 14:1-3; Isaiah 43:7; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:23; 6:23; I Corinthians 2:14; Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:17-19; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11.

6. Salvation is wholly of God by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works. The various elements of our salvation include:
A. Regeneration – Regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given. It is instantaneous and is accomplished solely by the power of the Holy Spirit through the instrumentality of the Word of God. Regeneration occurs when the repentant sinner, enabled by the Holy Spirit, responds in faith to the divine provision of salvation. Ephesians 1:7, 2:8-10; I Peter 1:18-23.
B. Election – Election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ those whom He would graciously regenerate, save, and sanctify. Election does not contradict the accountability of man to repent and trust Christ as Lord and Savior, but includes it. All whom the Father calls to Himself will come in faith and all who come in faith the Father will receive. Mark 13:27; Romans 8:28-33; Ephesians 1:1-11; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; I Peter 1:1-2.
C. Justification – Justification before God is an act of God by which He declares righteous those who believe in Christ. This righteousness is not gained by any virtue or work of man, but is received by the imputation of the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ to us by faith alone. Romans 3:20-22; 4:6; 8:33; 2 Corinthians 5:21.
D. Sanctification – every believer is “set apart”, sanctified unto God by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every believer is declared to be holy and identified as a saint. This identification is the state of every believer; however, there is a progressive work of the Holy Spirit by which the believer is brought progressively closer to the state of holiness. John 17:17-19; Acts 20:32; Romans 6:1-22; I Corinthians 1:2, 30; 6:11; 2 Corinthians 3:18; I Thessalonians 5:23-24.
E. Security – All the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God’s power and thus secure in Christ forever. The believer’s privilege is to rejoice in the security of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word. The Scriptures strictly forbid the use of this Christian liberty as an occasion for sinful living. John 5:24; 6:37-51; 10:27-30; Romans 8:1, 31-39, Galatians 5:13, 25-26; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; Titus 2:11-15; Hebrews 7:25; Jude 24.
F. Separation – All the saved should live in such a way as not to bring reproach upon their Saviour and Lord. Separation from all religious apostasy and worldly and sinful practices is commanded by God. All believers should be separated unto the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 12:1-2; 13:14; Galatians 5:16; I Thessalonians 2:11-12; I John 2:15-17.

7. All who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately baptized by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body – the Church, of which Jesus Christ is the Head. The supreme authority for the church is Jesus Christ, and the order, discipline, and worship are appointed through His sovereignty. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ are elders (also called Bishops and pastors and teachers) and deacons who must fulfill biblical qualifications. The purpose of the church is to glorify God by building itself up in the faith by instruction in the Word of God, by fellowship, by keeping the ordinances (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and by advancing the communication of the gospel to the world. The church is free from any external control or authority, and is responsible for disciplining sinning members of the congregation in accord with the standards of scripture. Acts 1:8; 20:28; I Corinthians 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22; 3:21; 4:13-16; Colossians 1:18; I Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5:1-5.

8. There is a “Blessed Hope” for all who have been saved by His grace. This “Blessed Hope” consists of the personal bodily and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to translate His Church from the earth, and to reward them according to their works. Following this translation of the church, the righteous judgments of God will be poured out upon the unbelieving world. These judgments are climaxed by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ in glory to the earth. He will occupy the throne of David and establish His Messianic Kingdom. At the close of this Kingdom rule, Satan and the unsaved will stand before God in judgment. They will then be committed to an eternal conscious punishment in the Lake of Fire. After this judgment, the heavenly city comes down out of heaven, which is to be the dwelling place of the saints forever. Jesus Christ, having fulfilled His redemptive mission, will then deliver the Kingdom to God the Father that the triune God may reign forever and ever. John 14:1-3; Romans 14:10-12; I Corinthians 3:11-15, 51-53; 2 Corinthians 5:10; I Thessalonians 4:13-16; Titus 2:11-13; Revelations 20:11-15.