What We Believe | Graceway Baptist Church, Milton, Ontario, Canada

1. The Scriptures

At Graceway, we believe that the Bible, consisting of sixty-six books in the Old and New Testaments, is God’s Holy Word. It was inspired by the Holy Spirit, without error in the original manuscripts, and uniquely preserved for us by the Holy Spirit. It is the final authority for our beliefs and actions, and is sufficient for our salvation and growth in godliness; therefore, we reject all claims of extra-Biblical revelation. (Heb. 4:12; 2 Pet. 1:3, 19-21; 2 Tim. 3:16,17; Titus 1:2; Rev. 22:18-19)


2. Triune God

We believe that there is only one living and true God. He is all-powerful, holy, and loving. He is eternally self-existent in three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. While He is one in essence and equal in every divine perfection, each person of the Godhead is distinct in role and responsibility. (Ex. 20:3; Deut. 6:4; Matt. 3:13-17; Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 John 4:8; Rev. 4:8)

 

3. Jesus Christ

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who became a man, without ceasing to be God. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of a virgin, and lived a sinless life. He died a substitutionary death upon a cross for all who will believe. He was buried, bodily arose from the dead on the third day, was seen by men, and ascended into Heaven. Today, He is at God the Father’s right hand, interceding for those who believe. We await His imminent return to the earth. (Matt. 1:18-20; John 1:1-2,14; Phil. 2:5-11; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Rom. 3:21-26; 5:9; Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:2; Matt. 28:1-10; Acts 1:9; Heb. 7:25-28; 1 Thess. 4:14-17, 5:9; 1 Cor. 15:51-53)


4. The Holy Spirit

We believe that God the Holy Spirit is co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit restrains evil in the world, convicts and regenerates sinners, indwells and guides believers, enabling their spiritual growth and empowering them with spiritual gifts to build up the church. He gave some temporary gifts, such as tongues, prophecy, and power to heal, as signs to confirm the birth and early growth of the church. Since the Bible is now complete, such sign gifts are not needed for our salvation and growth in godliness. (2 Thess. 2:7; John 3:6, 16:7-11; Rom. 8:1-13; Eph. 4:30, 5:18; 1 Cor. 12:1-13:13; 1 Pt. 4:10)


5. Satan

We believe that God created Satan as a perfect angel. But Satan chose to rebel against God and took with him many other angels. God is in control, yet has allowed these fallen angels to oppose Him on Earth within limits. While God has defeated Satan, both he and his followers will be ultimately punished in the Lake of Fire. (Isa. 14:12-15; Eze. 28:14-17; Job 1:6-2:7; Rev. 12:9-10, 20:1-3, 7-10; 1 Thess. 3:5; 1 Pt 5:8; Mat. 4:1-11; Eph. 6:12)


6. Creation and the Fall of Humanity

We believe that God created a perfect world out of nothing, in six, literal, twenty-four-hour days. He created man innocent, but man chose to disobey Him. As a result, sin and its effects came upon all creation. The entire human race became sinners deserving of physical and spiritual death, including eternal punishment in a literal hell, and everyone will be held accountable to God for their sin. (Gen. 1:1-3:24; Neh. 9:6; Ps. 33:6-9; John 1:3; Heb. 11:3; Col. 1:16-17; Ex. 20:11, 31:17; Rom. 5:18-19; Rom. 3:23; Eph. 2:1-3; Mat. 25:41; Luk. 16:22-28; Rev. 20:11-15)

 

7. Salvation

We believe that salvation is freely available to all by God’s grace through faith. It is given to those who confess their sinfulness before God, trust Jesus Christ’s death on their behalf, and turn from sin to God. God’s gift of salvation to the believer consists of forgiveness and new spiritual life. Because God declares him righteous, he is no longer subject to the punishment for sin in Hell and is eternally secure. A believer will, by the empowering of the Holy Spirit, resist the power of sin in his life. The believer will grow in Christlikeness and be ultimately saved from the presence of sin in Heaven. (Acts 16:31; John 1:12, 3:5-7,16; Eph. 2:1-9; Rom 3:23-26; Rom. 5:12-21; Eph. 2:1-9; I Tim. 2:4, 4:10; John 10:27-30; Rom. 8:30-39; Eph. 4:22-28; I Pet. 1:23; 2 Cor. 5:21; 2 Pet. 3:18; Matt. 25:34)


8. The Church

We believe that the church is a unified spiritual body, consisting of all true believers, with Jesus Christ as its head. We understand the church to be distinct from Israel, having begun with the coming of the Holy Spirit soon after Jesus ascended to Heaven, and will continue until Jesus returns.

The church exists in the form of many local assemblies, which are God’s primary program in the present age. The mission of a local church is to advance the glory of God, the spread of the gospel, and the spiritual growth of its members. A local church functions as a self-governing assembly that is accountable to God and is led by elders and deacons. It conducts its own affairs, and may cooperate with, but is not under the authority of, other churches, denominations, organizations or individuals of similar beliefs and practices.

The assembly admits members on the basis of a credible profession of faith and baptism by immersion in water as a public testimony of their salvation and commitment to Jesus. The assembly periodically observes the Lord’s Table, during which baptized believers solemnly identify with Jesus and remember His sacrifice on the cross. Members demonstrate their continued commitment through spiritual growth, evidenced by moral conduct and love for God and others, and by putting away anything that dishonours God and damages their testimony.

A member whose beliefs and actions are no longer reflective of a true believer must be removed from the membership, but only after all attempts to restore the member have failed, because the assembly can no longer affirm that person’s profession of faith. Similarly, a local church must not associate with another assembly whose beliefs and practices have deviated from the Word of God.

(Acts 2:1-47; 1 Cor.12:13; Col 1:18; Eph 1:22-23, 5:23-32; 1 Tim. 3:14-15; Mat. 28:19-20; Eph 4:11-14; Acts 20:17, 28; Tit. 1:5-9; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; Rom. 6:3-4; Acts 8:36-39; 1 Cor. 11:23-28; Mat. 26:26-29; Eph. 4:20-32; Joh. 13:35; 1 Cor 13:1-13; Psa. 1:1-3; 2 Th 3:14-15; Mat. 18:15-18; 1 Cor. 5:4-5, 13; Rom. 16:17-18; 2 Pet. 2:1-3; 2 Cor. 6:14-18; Jude 1:3-23) 


9. Gender and Sexuality

We believe that God created both sexes of mankind in God’s image. Men and women are equal in personhood, value and dignity, but they are not interchangeable; rather, they complement each other in mutually enriching ways.

Both men and women make essential contributions to their families and churches, yet God has set the husband as the head of his family, and He calls men, rather than women, to be the elders of churches; He will ultimately hold them responsible for the spiritual leadership of these institutions.

God designed gender in alignment with biological sex, both of which He assigns at conception. He designed sexual activity to be for an exclusive, consensual relationship between one man and one woman within the boundaries of marriage for life. God’s offer of salvation is to all people, regardless of their past or present relationships, or of their feelings, ideas and practices with respect to gender and sexuality.

(Gen. 1:27,31; Gal. 3:28, Acts 2:17-18; Gen. 2:18-25, 3:16-20; Col. 3:18-19, Eph. 5:22-33; 1 Cor. 14:33-35; 1 Tim. 2:8-15, 3:2-5; Tit. 1:5-6; Ps. 139:13–16; Deut. 22:5, 25-27; Exo. 20:14, Pro. 6:20-35; Mat. 5:27-28; Mat. 19:4-6; Act. 15:28-29; Rom. 1:26-28; 1 Thes. 4:1-8; 1 Cor. 6:9-11)


10. End Times

We believe that our Lord Jesus Christ could return at any time to take believers to Heaven (the “rapture”). He will then judge the works of all believers and reward them at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

God’s sovereignty over all his creation will be displayed in the judgment of the world during the great tribulation, in the millennial reign of Christ on Earth, in the ultimate defeat of Satan and his followers, and in the eternal punishment of all the wicked in the lake of fire following the great white throne judgement. Finally, God will create a new heaven and a new earth in which believers will enjoy God forever.

(John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; 1 Cor. 15:51-53; 1 John 3:2; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Matt. 24:44; Rom. 14:10; 2 Thess. 2:1-12; Dan. 9:24-27; Matt. 24:21; Rev. 4:1; 19:11-16; 20:1-22:7)