Grace Central Coast Declaration of Faith

What we believe and how we live go together. The following is more than our Statement of Faith. It is our Declaration of Faith.

The Scriptures

We believe the Bible, consisting of 39 Old Testament books and 27 New Testament books, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of God’s plan of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, and the divine and final authority for Christian practice and life. The Bible is to be joyfully and carefully read, studied, applied, obeyed, and proclaimed by individuals and when the church gathers together.

(Deuteronomy 18:18-20; Psalm 1, 33:6, 119:72, 97, 103; Isaiah 40:8; 55:10-11; 66:1-2; Jeremiah 1:9-10, Matthew 4:3-4; Luke 24:25-27, 44-45; John 5:38, 14:26, 17:1; Acts 20:32; 1Corinthians 15:57-58; Ephesians 4:14-15; 1 Timothy 3:13-16; 2 Timothy 1:13-14, 2:15, 3:14-16, 4:2; Titus 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:1, 4:12; James 1:22-25; 1 Peter 1: 24-25, 2:2; 2 Peter 1:16-21; 1 John 1:1-4)


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The Triune God

We believe in one Holy and loving God, infinitely perfect and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who know, love and glorify one another. God, by His Word, created all things out of nothing and continually sustains all things. He created all things for the praise of His glory and created humankind for a love relationship with Himself. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, self-sufficient, unchanging and sovereign in His reign and rule over all things.

(Genesis 1:31, 2,18:14; Lev. 19:2; Deuteronomy 32:4; Job 12:23, 34:14-15, 36:26, 37:16; Psalm 8, 11, 18:30, 22:28, 33:11, 33:6, 50:10-12, 71:22, 90:2, 90:4, 99:9, 102:25-27,103:19, 104, 115:3,119:1, 135:6, 139; Proverbs 16:33; Isaiah 6:4, 40:25, 28-29, 43:6-7, 46:9-11; Daniel 4:35; Zephaniah 3:17-18; Malachi 3:6, Matthew 3:16-17, 5:48, 6:26, 10:29-30, 28:19; John 1:1-3, 3:35, 14:6, 24, 17:24; Acts 4:24,17:24-25; Romans 5:8, 8:28, 11:33-36; Ephesians 1:11-12, 2:10, 3:20-21; Hebrews 1:3, 4:13, 11:3, 13:8; James 1:17;1 Peter 1:1-2; 1 John 4:8-10; Revelation 1:8, 4:8, 11, 15:4)


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God the Father

God the Father is the Author of creation and redemption. His plans and purposes are sure and cannot be thwarted and He works all things together for good to those who love Him. In His incomprehensible grace, He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, for humankind’s redemption.

(Matthew 7:11, 11:25-27, John 4:34, 5:19-47, 6:38, 7:28-29, 8:16-19, 42, 14:28, 31; Acts 17:24-29; Romans 1:21-23, 8:32; 1 Corinthians 4:7, 15:28; Ephesians 1:3-4,7, 10-12,13-14, 2:10-11, 3:14, 4:6; Philippians 2:11; 1 Timothy 4:4-5; James 1:17, 1 Peter 1:3)

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Jesus Christ

We believe in Jesus Christ, the eternal, sinless Son of God, fully God and fully man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. He died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins, arose bodily from the dead, and ascended into heaven, where He is now our advocate and intercessor. He will one day come again to judge all humanity, reconcile all things to Himself, renew all creation, and consummate His everlasting kingdom. Forgiveness and a right relationship with God is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. He is the head of His body, the Church, to be worshipped, adored, loved and obeyed by all.

(Luke 24:39; John 1:1-3, 14 17:3, 8; I Corinthians 15:20-26; Galatians 4:4-5; Ephesians 4:14-15; Philippians 2:5-9; Colossians 1:15-17; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 Peter 3:17; 1 John 4:9-10)

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The Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit, who convicts and gives spiritual life to sinners (regeneration) leading to belief in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit continually indwells, empowers, instructs, and guides believers for Godly living and service. The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to all believers for the glorification of God, the building up of the local church, and the bearing of spiritual fruit.

(John 1:12-13, 3:1-8, 6:44, 65; Acts 16:14-15; Romans 9:14-16; 1 Corinthians 12:7+; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6; Ephesians 2:4-9, 3:14-19; James 1:17-18; 1 Peter 1:3, 4:18-11)

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Humankind

We believe God created humankind, male and female, in His own image, as the crown of creation. Humankind was created to glorify, love and enjoy God forever as the stewards of creation. Humankind, tempted by Satan, rebelled against God and sinned. As a result, all human beings are alienated from God and corrupted in every aspect of their being (e.g. physically, mentally, volitionally, emotionally, relationally and spiritually). All human beings are lost, blind and dead in sin, under the just judgment and wrath of God and in desperate need of the saving grace of God.

(Genesis 1:26-31; Jeremiah 17:9, Luke 19:10; John 9:39; Romans 5:8,10, 7:18; Ephesians 2:1-3, 4:18-19; Colossians 1:26)

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The Gospel

We believe Jesus Christ is the Gospel. The Good News of God’s sovereign, saving grace is revealed in His incarnation, sinless life, substitutionary death, and victorious bodily resurrection. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. Salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone. Christ’s death completely satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and wrath toward sin, while demonstrating His mysterious love and amazing grace toward sinners. The Gospel is central to our understanding, interpretation and application of all the Scriptures.

(Matthew 18:11; Mark 1:1; Luke 24:47; John 1:14, 14:6; Acts 4:10-12; Romans 1:1-4, 3:21-27, 5:6, 8,10,10:13-15; 1 Corinthians 15:3-5; 2 Corinthians 4:4, 5:21; Ephesians 2:1-10; Colossians 1:13; 15+, 1 Timothy 2:5; 2 Timothy 3:14-15; Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:3, 10:26-28;1 Peter 1:10-12; 1 John 4:10)

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Salvation

We believe salvation, also called justification, is an act of God, whereby God, in His unfathomable grace, declares righteous undeserving sinners who repent of their sins and trust the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. God calls all humankind everywhere to repent and trust the Gospel. Biblical repentance is characterized by a turning from sin and heart trust in the person and saving work of Jesus Christ. Biblical trust (saving faith) is evidenced by perseverance, obedience and good works.

(Romans 3:21-26, 5:1, 10:1-3, 9, 11:33-36; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Timothy 1:9; Hebrews 2:3, 5:11-6:1; Romans 3:21-26, 10:1-13; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 3:8-9)

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Sanctification & Glorification

We believe sanctification is the life-long work of God by which those who trust the Gospel grow in holiness and are conformed to the character of Jesus Christ. Sanctification is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. Sanctification begins at the moment of justification with the giving of spiritual life (regeneration), and continues by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit through an ever-deepening understanding of, application of, and obedience to the Gospel in every area and circumstance of our lives. Glorification is the promised completion of our sanctification at the moment we meet Jesus at our death or upon His glorious return.

(John17:17; Acts 20:32; Romans 6:1-14, 8:18-19, 29-30; 2 Corinthians 3:18, 6:18-7:1; Galatians 2:20, 3:1-3, 5:22-23; Ephesians 2:19-22, 4:1, 4:15, 6:10-18; Philippians 1:6, 27, 2:12-13, 3:13-14; Colossians 1:9-14, 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 3:13, 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, 17, 3:12-13; Titus 2:11-12; Hebrews 10:24-25, 11:6, 12:1-2, 12:23, 13:9; 1 Peter 1:1-2,14-16, 2:5, 9, 3:18; 2 Peter 3:17-18; I John 3:1-3)


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Marriage

We believe marriage is ordained by and given by God for His own glory and humanity’s good. Marriage is a picture of the eternal relationship between Christ and His Church. Marriage is the building block of the human family, human society and human flourishing. Because God created male and female, in His image, to complement one another, we believe marriage is between one man and one woman. Sexual intimacy is a gift of God to be fully enjoyed in the context and life- long commitment of marriage. Singleness is affirmed by God and ordained by God for some individuals. Those who are single in the local church are recognized as vital members of the body of Christ.

(Genesis 1:28, 2:18, 24, Mark 10:6-7, Romans 11:36; 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, 7, 32-34, Ephesians 5:21-33; I Thessalonians 4:3-8; Hebrews 13:4)

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The Church

We believe God, by His Word and Spirit, creates the Church as He calls sinful humans out of the whole human race into the fellowship of His family. By that same Word and Spirit, He guides, grows and preserves His Church. The universal Church, the global body of Christ, consists of all those who trust the person and work of Jesus Christ in all times, places and locations. A believer’s membership in the universal Church is to express itself through consistent worship with, service in, commitment and accountability to a local church. We believe the local church is God’s primary vehicle for spreading the Gospel in the world. God raises up and gives a plurality of male elder-pastors to serve, lead, shepherd, and care for the local church. We recognize the proclamation of God’s Word, baptism and the Lord’s Supper as means whereby the Gospel is consistently communicated and experienced by God’s people in the local church.

(Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:41, 16:31, 20:17-34; 1 Corinthians 3:7-8; Ephesians 2:19; 1 Timothy 3:1-7,15; Hebrews 12:1, 13:7; 1 Peter 2:9-10, 4:10, 5:1-3)

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Proclamation of God’s Word

We believe the proclamation of God’s living Word occupies a central place in the life of God’s people living together in the local church. The Scriptures are God’s self-revelation climaxing in the Gospel, the person and work of Jesus Christ. We believe the accurate, passionate, continual proclamation of the Gospel is vital and effective for the salvation of unbelievers, but also the ongoing growth of believers. Through the faithful preaching and teaching of God’s Word by its elder-pastors and others, those who have not yet trusted the Gospel are welcomed and challenged to repent and trust Jesus Christ. Likewise, through the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, God’s people are nourished and equipped to proclaim and live the Gospel together with one another, the surrounding community and the nations.

(1 Peter 1:23-24; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Matthew 28:18-19; 1 Corinthians 1:23-24; 5:19-20; James 1:22; Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:14-17; Colossians 1:3-6, 21-29)

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Baptism

We believe water baptism is the command of Christ for all those who trust the Gospel. Baptism is not a saving work, but an expression of faith. Baptism is an outward sign of an inward spiritual reality, a visual picture of a believer’s union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection.

(Psalm 51:2, Matthew 4:4, 26:26-29, 28:18-20; Luke 22:19-20; John 5:39-40, 6:53-57,17:17; Acts 2:38, 8:36-39,10:44-48, 16:15, 30-33, 20:32, 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Corinthians 1:17-31, 2:1-2, 10:16-17, 11:23-26; 2 Corinthians 4:5-6; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12; 1 Timothy 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:14-16, 4:1-4; Hebrews 4:12-13; I Peter 1:22-2:10)

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The Lord’s Supper

We believe the Lord’s Supper is to be enjoyed regularly by all those who trust the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord’s Supper symbolizes the giving of Christ’s body and the shedding of Christ’s blood on our behalf. As we partake of the Lord’s Supper together by faith, we remember and proclaim Christ’s death, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls, grow in grace, are encouraged in hope, and signify our unity with other members of the family of God.

(Psalm 51:2, Matthew 4:4, 26:26-29, 28:18-20; Luke 22:19-20; John 5:39-40, 6:53-57,17:17; Acts 2:38, 8:36-39,10:44-48, 16:15, 30-33, 20:32, 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Corinthians 1:17-31, 2:1-2, 10:16-17, 11:23-26; 2 Corinthians 4:5-6; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12; 1 Timothy 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:14-16, 4:1-4; Hebrews 4:12-13; I Peter 1:22-2:10)

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The Return of Jesus Christ

We believe in the visible, personal, glorious return of Jesus Christ, which will bring about the consummation of all things. The dead will be raised and all humanity will be judged. Those who trust the Gospel of Jesus Christ will enter into joyous, everlasting life with God. Those who do not trust the Gospel will experience everlasting, conscious punishment in hell. We believe in the new heavens and the new earth, where Jesus Christ will reign forever and all creation shall proclaim the glory of God and the praise of Jesus Christ, who makes all things new.

(Psalm 16:11; Ezekiel 30:2-3, Matthew 24:36, 42, 44, 25:41, 46; John 5:24, 6:40; Acts 17:31; Romans 8:1, 19-22; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10; Philippians 3:20-21; Colossians 3:2-4-4;1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; Titus 2:11-13; 1 Peter 3:18; 2 Peter 3:3-4; Revelation 1:7, 19:1-2, 22:20)

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