and foremost, Grace Independent Bible Baptist Church is an historic,
traditional Baptist church; that is, we hold to a set of doctrinal
practices that have been at the heart of Bible Believing Baptist
the church age. The following acrostic gives a basic summary of
those beliefs and practices. While it is not comprehensive, it will
give you a good understanding of Who We Are as Baptists. Please just
place your cursor on the Bible verse reference to read the Scripture
reference. To see a more
in-depth profile of our doctrinal beliefs, keep reading below. A list of our church's staff missionaries and evangelist follows.
IBLICAL AUTHORITY – Mark 1:2-8, Matt. 3:1-17, II Tim. 3:16-17, Acts 20:27, Isa. 8:20, I John 5:9-11. The
Bible is the final authority in all matters of belief and practice
because the Bible is inspired by God and bears the absolute authority
of God Himself. Whatever the Bible affirms, Baptists accept as true. No
human opinion or decree of any church group can override the Bible.
Even creeds and confessions of faith, which attempt to articulate the
theology of Scripture, do not carry Scripture's inherent authority. Others only partially preach the Bible. Acts 20:27 the Baptist Way!
UTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH – I Cor. 5:1-13, I Cor. 6:1-7. The local church is an independent body accountable to the Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the church. All human authority for governing the local church resides within the local church itself. Thus the church is autonomous, or self-governing. No religious hierarchy outside the local church may dictate a church's beliefs or practices. Christ is the Head, the Holy Spirit our Administrator, and the Bible our only Rule Book. the church is not subject to outside authority or influence. It is Independent of man and mankind's organizations, Dependent upon Christ.
RIESTHOOD OF ALL BELIEVERS – I Pet. 2:9-10, Heb. 4:16. Every born-again believer has direct access to the throne of God. Therefore, since every child of God shares in the priesthood of the believers, all have the same right as ordained ministers to communicate with God, interpret Scripture, and minister in Christ's name. This is first and foremost a matter of responsibility and servanthood, not privilege and license.
WO ORDINANCES (Not Sacraments) – Acts 2:41-42, Rom. 6:4-5, I Cor. 11:23-30. We practice only believer's baptism by immersion, which is the only acceptable mode for baptism because it alone preserves the picture of saving truth. No other form pictures the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:1-5). We believe that the Lord's Supper is a symbolic ordinance, picturing Christ's body broken for our sins and His blood shed for our redemption. It is not a saving ordinance, but helps us remember His death, and inspires us while looking forward to His coming. It is to be observed by regenerate, obedient believers. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper – Both for Saved.
NDIVIDUAL SOUL LIBERTY – Rom. 14:12, II Cor. 5:1-10, John 8:36, Acts 5:29, I Cor. 8:9-13, John 14:15. Every individual has the liberty to believe, right or wrong, as his/her own conscience dictates. While we seek to persuade men to choose the right, a person must not be forced to into compliance, realizing that it is not always the larger group who holds the truth when, in fact, our heritage as Baptists has demonstrated the worth of every individual believer. "He that complies against his will, Is of his own opinion still. . ." (Samuel Butler)
EPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE – Matt. 22:21, John 18:36. God established both the church and the civil government, and He gave each its own distinct sphere of operation. The government's purposes are outlined in Romans 13:1-7 and the church's purposes in Matthew 28:19-20. Neither should control the other, nor should there be an alliance between the two. Christians in a free society can properly influence government toward righteousness, which is not the same as a group of churches controlling the government. Our only Business is Souls – II Tim. 4:2, Mark 16:15-16, Matt. 28:18-20, Acts 1:8.
WO LOCAL CHURCH OFFICES – I Tim. 3:1-13. The Bible mandates only two offices in the church--pastor and deacon. The three terms, "pastor," "elder," and "bishop," or "overseer," all refer to the same office. The two offices of pastor and deacon exist within the local church, not as a hierarchy outside or over the local church.
AVED MEMBERSHIP – John 3:3-7, Eph. 1:1, II Cor. 5:17, Gal. 6:15, Rom. 8:9. Local church membership is restricted to individuals who give a believable testimony of personal faith in Christ and have publicly identified themselves with Him in believer's baptism. When the members of a local church are believers, a oneness in Christ exists, and the members can endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Statement of Faith
I. OF THE SCRIPTURES
1. We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men supernaturally inspired, which as originally written does not contain and convey the Word of God, but IS the very Word of God; that it has truth without any admixture of error for its matter; and therefore, is, and shall remain to the end of the age, the only complete and final revelation of the will of God to man; the true center of Christian union and the supreme standard of which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.2. By "Inspiration" we mean that the books of the Bible were written by holy men of old, as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, in such a definite way that their writings were supernaturally and verbally inspired and free from error, as no other writings have ever been or ever will be inspired.
3. We further believe that the Word of God has been preserved without error in The King James Bible.
II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:19-21; Acts 1:16; Psalm 119:105; Luke 24:44-45; Isaiah 8:20.
II. THE TRUE GOD
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite intelligent Spirit, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness, and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love, that in the unity of the Godhead there are three Persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of redemption.
Genesis 17:1; Exodus 20:2-3; John 4:24; John 10:30; Acts 5:3-4; I Corinthians 2:10-11; I Corinthians 8:6; I Timothy 1:17; Revelation 4:11.
III. THE HOLY SPIRIT
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine person; equal with God the Father and God the Son and of the same nature; that he was active in the Creation; and in His relation to the unbelieving world. He restrains the evil one until God's purpose is fulfilled; for He convicts of sin, of judgment and of righteousness; that He bears witness to the Truth of the Gospel in preaching and testimony: that He is the agent in the new birth; that He seals, endues, guides, teaches, witnesses, sanctifies and helps the believer.
Genesis 1:2; Matthew 3:16; John 1:32; John 14:17; John 16:13; Acts 2:4; Romans 8:16; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 1:13; I John 5:7.
IV. OF THE DEVIL OR SATAN
We believe that Satan was once holy and enjoyed heavenly honors; but through pride and ambition to be as the Almighty, fell and drew after him a host of the angels, that he is now the malignant prince of power of the air, and the unholy god of this world. We hold him to be man's great tempter, the enemy of God and His Christ, the accuser of the saints, the author of all false religions, the chief power back of the present apostasy - destined, however, to final defeat at the hands of God's Son and the judgment of an eternal justice in hell, a place prepared for him and his angels.
Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:14-17; Revelation 12:9; I John 3:8; II John 1:7; Revelation 13:13-14.
V. OF THE CREATION
We believe in the Genesis account of creation and that it is to be accepted literally, and not allegorically or figuratively; that man was created directly in God's image and after His own likeness; that man's creation was not a matter of evolution or evolutionary changes of species, or developments through interminable periods of time from lower to higher forms, that all animals and vegetable life were made directly, and God's established law was that they should bring forth only 'after their kind.'
Genesis 1:1; Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:21-23; Genesis 1:11; Genesis 1:24; Exodus 20:11; Romans 1:20; Hebrews 11:3; John 1:3.
VI. OF THE FALL OF MAN
We believe that man was created in innocence under the law of his Maker, but by voluntary transgression fell from his sinless and happy state, in consequence of which, all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but by choice; and therefore under just condemnation without defense or excuse.
Genesis 3:1-6; Genesis 3:24; Romans 5:12; Romans 3:10, 19; Ephesians 2:1; Romans 1:18; Romans 1:32; Romans 1:20; Galatians 3:22.
VII. OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH
We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost in a miraculous manner; born of Mary, a virgin, as no other man was ever born or can ever be born of a woman; and He is both the Son of God, and God the Son.
Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:35; John 1:14; Galatians 4:4; I John 5:20; I Corinthians 15:47.
VIII. OF THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace, through the mediatorial officer of the Son of God, who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon Him our nature, yet without sin, honored the vicarious atonement for our sins; that His atonement consisted not in setting us an example by His death as a martyr, but was the voluntary substitution of Himself in the sinner's place, the just dying for the unjust, Christ the Lord, bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; that having risen from the dead, He is now enthroned in Heaven and uniting in His wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfection. He is every way qualified to be a suitable, compassionate and all-sufficient Saviour.
Isaiah 52:4-7; Isaiah 53:12; John 3:16; Romans 3:25; Galatians 1:14; Ephesians 2:8; Philippians 2:7-8; Hebrews 2:14; Hebrews 9:12-15; I Peter 2:24; I Peter 3:18; I John 4:10.
IX. OF GRACE IN THE NEW CREATION
We believe that in order to be saved, sinners must be born again; that the new birth is a new creation on Jesus Christ; that it is instantaneous and not a process; that in the new birth the one dead in trespasses and in sins is made a partaker of the divine nature and receives eternal life; the free gift of God; that the new creation is brought about in a manner above our comprehension; not by culture, not by character, nor by the will of man, but wholly and solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in connection with divine truth, so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the Gospel; that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance and faith and newness of life.
John 1:12-13; John 3:3; John 3:6-7; Romans 6:23; II Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13.
X. OF THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
We believe in God's electing grace; that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the Gospel; that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent and obedient faith; and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the Gospel; which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation.
11:28; John 3:15-16; John 3:36; Romans 8:29-30; Romans 10:13; Ephesians
2:4-5; I Thessalonians 1:2; I Timothy 1:15; Titus 1:1; Revelation 22:17.
XI. OF JUSTIFICATION
We believe that the great Gospel which Christ secures to such as believe in Him is justification; that justification included the pardon of sin and the gift of eternal life on principles of righteousness; that it is bestowed not in consideration of any works or righteousness which we have done; but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood, His righteousness is imputed to us.
Isaiah 53:11; Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Romans 5:1; Romans 5:9; Romans 8:1; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38; Titus 3:5-7.
XII. OF REPENTANCE AND FAITH
We believe that repentance and faith are solemn obligations, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the quickening of the Spirit of God; thereby, being deeply convicted of our guilt, danger and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ, we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession and supplication for mercy; at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and openly confessing Him as our only and all-sufficient Saviour.
Psalm 51:7; Luke 12:8; Luke 18:13; Acts 2:37-38; Acts 20:21; Romans 10:9-11; Romans 10:13.
XIII. OF THE CHURCH
We believe that a church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers associated by a covenant of faith and fellowship in the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word; that its officers of ordination are pastors or elders or deacons whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures; we believe the true mission of the church is found in the Great Commission:
FIRST - to make individual disciples
SECOND - to build up the church
THIRD - to instruct and teach as He commanded
We do not believe in the reversal of this order. We hold the Local Church has the absolute right to self government, free from interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is Scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the Gospel; that every church is the sole and only judge of the measure and methods of its cooperation; on all matters of membership, of policy, of government, of discipleship, of benevolence, the will of the Local Church is final.
Malachi 3:10; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; Acts 6:5-6; Acts 15:22; I Corinthians 16:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; Ephesians 4:11; Ephesians 5:23-24; I Peter 5:1-4; I Timothy 3:1-7; I Timothy 3:8-13.
XIV. OF BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER
We believe that Christian baptism is the immersion in water of a believer in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with the authority of the Local Church, to show forth in a solemn and beautiful emblem our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour with its effects in our death to sin and our resurrection to a new life; that is a prerequisite to the privileges of a Church relation and to the Lord's Supper; in which the members of the Church by the sacred use of bread and wine are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ; preceded always by self-examination.
Matthew 3:16; John 3:23; Acts 8:36-39; Romans 6:4-5; I Corinthians 11:23-28.
XV. OF THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
We believe that such only real believers as endure unto the end that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and that they are kept by the power of God through faith unto eternal salvation.
Matthew 13:19-21; John 10:28-29; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:21-23; I Peter 1:5; Hebrews 1:14; I John 2:19.
XVI. OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in His esteem, while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under curse, and this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting felicity of the saved and everlasting conscious suffering of the lost.
Luke 9:26; John 8:21; John 12:25; Romans 6:23; Romans 6:17-18; I Corinthians 15:22; I Peter 4:18; I John 2:29; Proverbs 11:31.
XVII. OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; that magistrates are to be prayed for; conscientiously honored and obeyed; except only in the things opposed to the will of the Lord Jesus Christ; who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the coming Prince of the kings on earth.
Matthew 22:21; Acts 23:5; Romans 13:7; Philippians 2:10-11; I Peter 2:13-14; I Peter 2:17; Titus 3:1.
XVIII. OF THE RESURRECTION AND RETURN OF CHRIST AND RELATED EVENTS
We believe in and accept the Sacred Scriptures upon these subjects at their face and full value. Of the resurrection, we believe that Christ arose bodily "the thirds day according to the Scriptures"; that He ascended "to the right hand of the thrown of God"; that He alone is our "merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God"; that "this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven"--bodily, personally and visibly; that the "dead in Christ shall rise first"; that the living saints "shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump"; "that the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His Father David"; and that "Christ shall reign a thousand years on righteousness until He hath put all enemies under His feet."
Matthew 28:6-7; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:39; John 20:27; Acts 7:9-11; I Corinthians 15:4; I Corinthians 15:52; I Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 20:6.
XIX. OF MISSIONS
We believe that the command to give the Gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable and this commission was given to the Local Churches.
Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:15; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:13-15.
XX. OF THE GRACE OF GIVING
We believe that God's method of financing His earthly work of spreading the Gospel to all nations, the cares of the churches and the support of the ministry is by tithes and offerings of His people; that is to be given to the Lord through His church or storehouse to be distributed as directed by the leadership of the Spirit as the need arises; the time to tithe is on the first day of the week; that everyone is accountable to the Lord for one-tenth of his income and that tithing was instituted long before the law was ever given and was practiced by the early church.
Leviticus 27:30; Malachi 3:10; Matthew 23:23; Acts 4:34-35, 37; I Corinthians 16:2; II Corinthians 8:7; Hebrews 7:2.
following list indicates those men and women sent out of Grace
Independent Bible Baptist Church who are part of our continuing work to
carry out the Great Commission (Isa. 6:8; Matt.
28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-47; John 20:21; Acts 1:8) and their
field or ministry. We also support nearly 50 other ministries, both
domestic and international.
Grace Independent Bible Baptist Church - Pastor Dennis Norwood
417.869.8226 - 2101 North Johnston, Springfield, MO 65803
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