What We Believe
We believe that the Bible is the final authority of the believer for faith and practice and should be interpreted normally, literally, grammatically, historically and contextually. We believe in the plenary and verbal inspiration of the Scriptures, whereas the Holy Spirit superintended the divinely prepared human authors of Scripture so that using their own backgrounds, personalities and styles, they composed and recorded without error God’s revelation to man in the words of the original autographs (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21).
We believe that there is one living and true God (Deut. 6:4) who is an infinite, all knowing Spirit (John 4:24), perfect in all His attributes, one in essence, eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14) – Each equal in essence thus equally deserving worship and obedience (1 Cor. 8:6; John 5:21-23; Matt. 12:31).
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, while eternally existing as God, became a man, born of a virgin having been conceived by the Holy Spirit, in order to reveal God and redeem sinful man (John 1:1-2; 3:16; Phil. 2:7). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through his substitutionary death on the cross and was raised from the dead, confirming our redemption, in the same body in which he suffered (Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; 2 Cor. 5:21).
We believe that man was created by God in His own image but fell into sin through disobedience “so that death passed upon all men, for all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23; 5:12). We believe that the only way to heaven is through Jesus and the experience of new birth (John 3:16). This salvation is the gift of God’s grace and is received by faith alone (John 3:1-7; Eph. 2:8-9).
We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the triune Godhead, permanently indwells and regenerates all believers, baptizes them into the body of Christ, and empowers them for works of service (Eph. 1:13; John 14:16; 1 Cor. 12:13). We believe that the Bible commands believers to be filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18) and that the Spirit has bestowed spiritual gifts on all believers for the purpose of glorifying God and building up the body of Christ, His church (Rom. 12:6-8; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; Eph. 4:11-13). We do not believe that any singular gift is the witness of the presence of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:27-31).
We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; the saved unto the resurrection of eternal life and the lost unto the resurrection of damnation and eternal punishment (I Corinthians 15:51-57; Revelation 20:11-15).
We believe communion and baptism are the divine sacraments of the church. Communion provides an opportunity for the believer to “proclaim the death of Christ” (1 Cor.11:17-32). Water baptism, distinguished from baptism of the Holy Spirit (see Matt. 3:11-17; 1 Cor. 12:13), is an outward step of obedience, confirming what God has done for us inwardly through the new birth (Acts 2:38-41; 6:1-4).
We believe God’s plan for human sexuality is to be expressed only within the context of marriage, that God created man and woman as unique biological persons made to complete each other. God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5-6; Mark 10:6-9; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9).
We believe that human life is sacred from conception to its natural end; and that we must have concern for the physical and spiritual needs of our fellow men (Psalm 139:13; Isaiah 49:1; Jeremiah 1:5; Matthew 22:37-39; Romans 12:20-21; Galatians 6:10).
We believe that church membership is not a Scriptural principle of requisite. However, we do invite those who (1) are born again and (2) who feel led by the Holy Spirit to fellowship and minister at Grace to unite with us in membership (Heb. 10:25). We recognize that all believers regardless of church affiliation comprise the body of Christ (Eph. 4:25).
8 Comments on “What We Believe”
Dennis Rainwater March 10, 2013 pm31 4:16 pm .
I’ve heard a lot about Grace Church and would like to know more.
I am a Christian new to the area. Currently attending my sons’ Church.
Could you please tell me more about the formal educational requirements for the pastoral positions?
I know in general, most Methodist pastors have seminary degrees, most Church od Christ choose the pastor from the congregation. Baptist? My current affiliation, Who knows?
I’ve read your convent and find it uplifting just need more information.
Mark Johnson March 12, 2013 pm31 5:44 pm .
Thank you for taking the time to write and inquire about our pastoral staff at Grace. Although we do not have formal education requirements for our pastors that is not to say that they are not trained. Basically, we look for two things in our pastors: (1) that they are trained to handle God’s Word correctly and (2) that they exhibit a calling from God that can be observed through hands-on experience and results in ministry.
Personally, I have recieved my formal education from Shasta Bible College in Redding, CA from which I earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies. I have also completed 45 units of graduate work (including Greek and Hebrew studies) at Western Seminary in Sacramento. In addition I am currently serving in my 25th year of full-time ministry – the past 14 of which has been here at Grace Fellowship.
Logan Carnell, our Associate Pastor, recieved his training in a non-accredited setting under various Biblical scholars. He is ordained through Basic Training Bible Ministries – a traveling seminary loosely based upon the model of Paul and Timothy. Logan traveled with Bible teacher and author, Gene Cunningham – teaching, serving and experiencing practical training with the church in countries like Papua New Guinea, Zambia, Myanmar, India and Pakistan. Logan has been the successful owner-operator of a local tree service in Amador County (Loggin’ Logan) for 15 years.
Christian Carter, our Minister to Youth and Families, is completing a formal curriculum of ordination consisting of Biblical and Theological studies in addition to hands-on training in ministry at Grace. He has earned his graduate degree at Stanford University and works full-time as a P.A. at Lodi Memorial Hospital. Christian has been on staff at Grace for the past several years and had previously served for two years as a medical missionary in Guatemala.
Feel free to contact me personally at the church office in you have any further questions. May the Lord bless you and guide you as you seek a church home in Amador County.
Pastor Mark Johnson
Joyce September 15, 2013 pm30 3:50 pm .
I have a friend who attended your services today. I am so happy she has tried your church as I read your “What We Believe” and agree that this is a bible believing church, dedicated to reaching lost souls and mentoring those who are new in the faith. My friend is a new believer who needs to grown in the Lord and I pray that God leads her family back to Grace Fellowship and that a relationship can be established.
Dale Holcomb February 4, 2014 pm28 5:05 pm .
Dear Sir,I haven’t found a church with real Christians.They are selfish,greedy and could care less about who you are and where you came from.I am in my late fifties and I am wondering if there is any good people on this earth.I attended a church for over a year and could see no one interested in getting to know me.It must be that I am poor.I noticed the rich and middle class talk to each other.Also,do you spy on your congregation.The large church I came from has cameras on you at all times.thank you,Dale
Mark Johnson February 18, 2014 am28 7:22 am .
Hello Dale. Thank you for inquiring about Grace. I am sorry that you have had a difficult time connecting with other Christians. Grace Fellowship is full of hopelessly flawed people seeking redemption in Jesus Christ. I too am one of those. While no church is perfect I pray you will not lose hope in pursuing friends among God’s people. You are welcome at Grace. and no…we do not spy on our people. Hope to see you some time.
Charles Canada June 8, 2014 am30 8:35 am .
What is the churches stance on gay marriage?
Mark Johnson June 9, 2014 am30 9:19 am .
Marriage, according to the Bible, is between a man and a woman (Gen 2:24-25). In light of this, we endeavor to display compassion for those struggling with same sex attraction. God loves the whole world and sent his Son to not only rescue us ultimately from our sinful condition (John 3:16) but also the struggle against sin in our experience (Heb 4:15-16). So we promote Jesus and encourage one another to live lives worthy of His great act of love (Eph 4:1).
Keith Ancar January 18, 2015 am31 9:04 am .
It has been such a blessing being part of the greater body of Christ and worshiping at Grace this past year. I am inspired by the instruction to know God through His Word and the eldership’s demonstration of this by purposefully preaching and teaching directly from the Bible without the additions of mans philosophy. It is an honor to call Grace our home church, and thank every attendee for their prayers and support as we serve on the Navajo reservation.