What We Believe

 

Regarding what we believe – we’ve differentiated between basic, essential beliefs that we would largely hold in common with all Christians - and distinctive convictions that we hold to which characterize where we’re coming from and what you’re most likely to hear taught.

In 1869, the venerable theologian A. A. Hodge, son of his famous father, the Princeton Professor Charles Hodge wrote this: “In all churches a distinction is made between the terms upon which private members are admitted to membership, and the terms upon which office-bearers are admitted to their sacred trusts of teaching and ruling. A church has no right to make anything a condition of membership which Christ has not made a condition of salvation. The church is Christ’s fold.” (“Commentary on the Confession of Faith” pg. 21)

That’s our perspective. “What we Believe” is a concise statement of basic Christian truths that we expect all who join GTCC to affirm and embrace. The “Teaching Positions” are provided as an open disclosures of where we’re coming from.

Revelation: We believe that God has made Himself known to all people through creation and conscience. We believe that God has more fully revealed Himself through special revelatory means, the sum of which is now contained in the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments which are divinely inspired, without error and entirely trustworthy. The Scriptures are our supreme authority in all matters of faith, judgment and conduct. (Rom. 1:18-25, 32; 2:14-15; Ps. 19:1-11; Rom. 1:1-3; Heb. 1:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:14-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Num. 23:19; Jn. 10:35; Matt. 5:17-20; Mk. 13:31; Acts 20:32)

Trinity: We believe that the Lord our God is the one and only living, true God eternally existing in three person, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, of one substance, each co-eternal and co-equal simultaneously and fully in their nature, perfections and attributes, and performing distinct but complimentary and harmonious functions in creation, redemption and providence. (Gen. 1:1, 26; Deut. 6:4; Is. 43:10, 45:5; Matt. 28:19-20; Jn. 1:1-3; 17:3-5; 2 Cor. 13:14; Eph. 4:5-6; Acts 5:3-4)

Jesus Christ: We believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. We believe in His virgin birth, His sinless life, His divine miracles, His vicarious and substitutionary atoning death, His bodily resurrection, His ascension, His mediatorial work and His future, visible, personal return to earth in power and glory. (Is. 53:4-6; Luke 1:26-35; John 1:1, 14; 8:58; 10:30; 14:6; Acts 1:9-11; 2:31-33; Rom. 6:9-10 1 Cor. 15:3-8; 2 Cor. 5:21; Col. 1:15-17; 2:9; Heb. 1:1-10; 4:14; 7:25-27; 1 Pet. 2:22)

Creation: We believe that God created the universe and everything in it, out of nothing, by the Word of His power. We believe the God directly created Adam and Eve; that they were the historical parents of the entire human race and that they were created male and female equally in God’s image for His glory. (Gen. 1:1, 27, 31; 2:7, 21-22; 9:6; Ps. 19:1-6; 24:1-2; Heb. 11:3; Jam. 3:9)

Salvation: We believe that fallen men and women, though retaining the dignity of the image of God are nevertheless sinners by nature and by choice and are thereby separated from God and under His condemnation and wrath. We believe that Jesus Christ is the only Savior and that all who put their faith in Him, repenting of their sins will be justified, set free from sins dominion and given eternal life. (Gen. 9:6; Ps. 51:4-5; 58:3; Jn. 3:16, 36; 14:6; 8:34-36; Eph. 2:1-3; Jam. 3:9; Acts 4:12)

Sanctification: We believe that the indwelling Holy Spirit bears fruit in the lives of all believers and empowers them for godly living. We also believe that Christians remain sinners and stand daily in need of the gospel. Sanctification is a progressive, cooperative and transforming work whereby the believer is conformed more and more into the image of Jesus Christ. In union with Him, the influence of sin is progressively weakened and the power of grace is progressively strengthened, though the battle with the world, flesh and devil is relentless in this life. (Rom. 8:9-11, 13; 1 Cor. 6:19; 2 Cor. 3:18; Gal. 5: 22-23; Phil. 2:12-13; 3:12-14; Col. 3:10; Heb. 12:5-11, 13:20-21; 2 Pet. 1:5-11, 3:18)

The Church: We believe in the universal church composed of all the redeemed in every age who are saved by grace through the substitutionary work of Jesus Christ. We also believe in local churches, whose membership, under the headship of Jesus Christ consists of believers – those who have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, adopted into the family of God, and gifted for the common good of the body. We believe that local churches are autonomous and independent yet voluntarily in association and cooperation with other local churches as they deem appropriate and useful. We view active participation in a local church not just beneficial, but essential for spiritual growth and usefulness. (Matt. 16:18; Acts 20:28; Rom. 3:21-26; 12:4-6; 1 Cor. 12:7; Eph.2:20-22; Col. 4:16; 1 Tim. 3:15; Rev. 2 and 3)

Last Things: We believe in the personal, visible, bodily and imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the eternal reign of his kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, the endless suffering of the wicked and the eternal joy and blessedness of believers on the new earth with new heavens. (Matt. 25:31-46; Lk. 12:47-48; Jn. 5:24-29; 14:1-3; 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 2 Tim. 4:1; Tit. 2:13; Rev. 20:11-22:21)