Here at Grace on the Hill Community Church we believe:
The doctrine and theology of Grace on the Hill Community Church is founded upon the Holy Scriptures as found in the Old and New Testament.
There is only one true God: Father, Son, and Spirit. All other gods or variations of religious systems are not God.
– Deuteronomy 10:17
- All religions do not lead to the one true God. God is not known by different names and worshiped in different ways by other religions.
God The Father
- God exists as Triune Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Three-in-One.
- God is creator, redeemer, and sustainer of all of His creation.
- As creator, God spoke into existence all that is. All three members of the Trinity were present at the creation event.
– Genesis 1:1-2
-John 1:1-5, 14
- As creator, God has the authority, power, and right to establish all systems or nature and laws as it pertains to what is good and what is evil.
- God dwells outside of the bounds of time and space, and therefore is not limited to either.
-2 Peter 3:8
- God is all present and all knowing. Just because God is all knowing does not mean that God predestined all things. Foreknowledge is not the same as predetermination.
– Hebrews 4:13
-Psalm 139: 1-18
-1 Kings 8:39
- God is sovereign and as such does not rely on anything or require anything from anyone.
- God can be known, yet not fully known. God can be understood, yet not fully understood by his creation.
- God is love
-1 John 4:8
-1 John 4:16
- God is Holy, and thus worthy of our praise.
– Revelation 4:8
-1 Samuel 2:2
-1 Timothy 1:17
Jesus The Son
- Jesus, the second member of the Holy Trinity, is the sole source of salvation. There is no other means of salvation apart from Jesus Christ.
- The pre-existent Jesus stepped away from heaven and was born of a virgin according to Scriptures and dwelled amongst his creation. This event is known as the incarnation.
– Luke 2:6-7
-John 1:1, 14
- Jesus lived a sinless life performing various miracles, signs, and wonders during his earthly ministry.
– 2 Corinthians 5:21
- To see Jesus and read of Jesus is to see and know of the Father.
– John 14:8
- When his earthly ministry was complete, prior to his crucifixion, Jesus went to Jerusalem where he was handed over into the hands of the Roman Empire.
-Matthew 27: 1-2
- He was rejected by his own, betrayed by his disciples, was sentenced, crucified and died for the sins of humanity.
- On the third day Jesus rose again, conquering death, and the grave.
- He was seen by his disciples and many others after His resurrection.
– Luke 24:15
- He ascended back to His rightful place at the right hand of the Father in Heaven.
- Jesus is in Heaven interceding on behalf of his followers when they are accused by Satan.
– Romans 8:34
- One day Jesus will return and call his church home to be with Him.
– Hebrews 9:28
The Holy Spirit
- The Holy Spirit, our Paraclete (The Helper), was sent by the Father on Pentecost to empower believers and establish Christ’s Church
- Just as the Holy Spirit filled and empowered the disciples and believers on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit fills and empowers all believers who ask the Father by faith.
- The Spirit empowers the believer with gifts for the purpose of equipping, training and releasing believers into ministry. When a believer is empowered with the Spirit, spiritual gifts will begin to be released through them, enabling them to minister to the body of Christ.
-1 Corinthians (Chapters 12, 13, 14)
- The role of the Holy Spirit is to convict people of sin and to remind people as to the teachings of Jesus. The Spirit guides and directs the followers of Jesus, helping them to understand Scripture and grow in their faith.
- The Spirit also endows believers with the Fruit of the Spirit as evidence of the indwelling presence of Jesus in the life of the believer. Their lives become a reflection of the presence, grace, and character of Jesus.
- The Holy Spirit helps believers pray when they don’t know how to pray.
– Romans 8
- Scripture is the divine Word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit and given to humanity as a means of inspiration, instruction, correction, guidance, and understanding of God.
-2 Timothy 3:16-17
-2 Peter 1:21
- Scripture exists in the form of the 66 books of the Old and New Testament. There are no additional texts to be held with the same authority as the Old and New Testament.
- Followers of Jesus are to live by the authoritative standard of Scripture.
- Scripture is a living Word and as such does not cease to be relevant or authoritative over time.
-1 Peter 1:24-25
- Any religious teachings or doctrine that are not supported by Scripture or are contradictory to Scripture are unacceptable to the church and are false teachings.
– Galatians 5:9-10
-2 Peter 2:1-2
- The various translations offered in English are acceptable means of studying Scripture, however, Scripture exists in its purest form in the original languages in which it was written.
- All persons are created Imago Dei, in the image of God and as such are of utmost value to God and His church.
- Life begins at conception; therefore, abortion is not compatible with scripture. Regardless of disability or age, life is a sacred gift of God. Therefore, God alone determines and appoints when a person’s life ends.
- While every person is created in the image of God, not every person is a child of God. That privilege is reserved for those who place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation.
- Discrimination against anyone with regard to gender, ethnicity, education, socioeconomic status is not acceptable according to the command of Jesus to love one’s neighbor as oneself.
– Galatians 3:28
-Mark 12: 30-31
- God created male and female. The first male was Adam, and the first female was Eve. They were created by God and instructed to steward over God’s creation and to multiply. While Adam was created first in the creation account and Eve second, they both are of equal value in the eyes of God and share equally in the responsibilities and duties assigned by God, yet they are distinctly male and female.
– Genesis 2:23-24
- God created man to be with woman to live in a monogamous covenant of marriage. If a person is not married, they are to live celibately and not engage in physical relations outside of the bond of marriage.
– Hebrews 13:4
- The practice of homosexuality and cohabitation outside of marriage is not compatible with Scripture or the will of God.
– 1 Corinthians 6:9
– 1 Corinthians 6:18)
– Colossians 3:5
- God does not err; therefore, any attempt to change or modify one’s appearance or physical structure to live as the opposite gender is not compatible with Scripture or the will of God. Males are to live as males and females are to live as females.
–1 Corinthians 6: 19-20
- The ultimate desire of God for humanity is to be in a relationship with each person through the sacrificial act of Jesus Christ and God’s offer of salvation. To that end, people are to love God, love their neighbors and serve God in any and every way they can throughout their lives.
- All persons without regard of their past sins are redeemable by God. There are no persons who are beyond salvation as long as they are living.
– 1 Peter 3:18
-1 John 2:1-2
- A person is saved by grace through faith alone and not by works. There are no works that are sufficient enough to merit salvation. Therefore, we are totally reliant upon the grace of God for salvation.
- All people have sinned and are in need of saving. Salvation is available to anyone and everyone who would receive it through faith in Jesus Christ. No one has sins so great that God can’t forgive.
- The wages of sin is death. As a sinner all people deserve death, but God makes a way for salvation through Jesus Christ. The sacrifice of Jesus was enough to merit salvation for anyone who would receive it.
-1 John 1:9
- There is no other religion or god that has the power or authority to offer eternal life except Jesus Christ not only as creator, but as redeemer. He paid the price for salvation by dying on the cross and shedding his blood for our sins.
- Grace as it pertains to salvation.
Prevenient Grace – the grace of God available to all persons. It is experienced throughout life up to the moment of justification. It is the working of God in and around a person’s life leading him or her to the point of accepting Jesus Christ.
Justifying Grace – the grace of God a person experiences the moment he or she makes a commitment to Jesus Christ. In that moment that person is justified and his or her sins are washed away. He or she now stands whole before the Lord, not based on their own merits, but on the merits of Jesus. His or her name is now written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and he or she becomes a Child of God.
Sanctifying Grace – the grace of God that a person experiences throughout the rest of their lives as they grow in faith and the knowledge of the Lord. It is the grace that allows a person to grow and develop Spiritual Fruit. This is a process that one will undertake throughout the rest of his or her life. It is the pursuit of total holiness whereby a person becomes like Jesus.
- Salvation is not stagnant and is not just about achieving eternal life or getting to heaven. Salvation is a life lived in pursuit of being like Jesus and loving God. It is a relationship with the Holy God that begins on earth and continues throughout all of eternity.
- It is the desire of God that all be saved. However, not all will choose to accept the gift of salvation.
-1 Timothy 2:3-6
- The gift of salvation can be rejected by the free will of humanity.
- A person can choose to follow Jesus and be saved or reject Jesus and be damned. A person may also choose to follow Jesus and at a later date choose to denounce Jesus and reject him, and in doing so, give up his or her salvation.
-2 Peter 3:17
Heaven and Hell
- There is life after this life. We were created with an everlasting soul that will go beyond this life on earth.
-1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
-2 Corinthians 5:1
- One day God will reclaim His creation and cast Satan, his demons, and those who rejected His Son into the Lake of Fire where they will spend eternity separated from God and tormented.
- Eternity is not optional. All will pass from this life and on into eternity.
- There are only two eternal destinations; Heaven or Hell.
- Heaven is the dwelling place of God.
- Jesus promised that he was going on into Heaven to prepare a place for his followers in Heaven so that they may be where he is.
- Heaven is a place of eternal bliss and peace where there is no evil or sin. Eventually, Heaven will be the dwelling place of all believers.
-1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
- There will be no end to this eternal reward.
- Hell is a place of eternal torment and suffering intended for Satan and his demons but will also be the final eternal destination for all who reject God’s offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.
- Hell is as much a reality as heaven.
- Those who do not choose to follow God are cast into Hell, not because God did not love them, but because they rejected God and chose evil.
- There will be no end to this eternal punishment.
- Ultimately God will restore His creation to its former intended state. Satan and all evil and sin will be cast away and God will establish a new heaven and a new earth where those who chose to follow God will dwell throughout eternity.
Satan or the Devil and Demons
- Satan is a created being. He was an Arch Angel until, being filled with pride, he rose up against God. He was cast out of Heaven and took 1/3 of the angels with him.
-2 Corinthians 11:14
-2 Peter 2:4
- Satan is not equal to God in any way. His power is limited by God.
- Satan is not all knowing nor is he everywhere all the time.
- Satan was given the right to reign on the earth after the Fall of Humanity. He is the source of evil and exists in opposition to God and His Church.
- Satan is a liar and a deceiver whose desire it is to separate people from God. He delights in deception and destruction.
- At the end of time, Satan and his army of demons will all be cast into the Lake of Fire for all eternity.
- Jesus Christ is the head of His church and as such runs His church under the guidance of the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit.
- The church exists in both the incarnational and institutional forms.
- The incarnation church consists of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the people of God. It is not limited by location or space, rather it exists wherever the people of God are. It is not limited by denominations or varying theological differences within orthodox Christianity.
- The institutional church is found in the various locations and denominations in which people gather and associate themselves. The institutional church can also include persons who are not committed to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This church is limited by the earthly divisions that exist within the church on earth. It will remain in a constant state of change as history unfolds.
- The church exists on earth as a visible representation of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, the purpose of the church is to properly represent God and live according to God’s will and Word.
- The ultimate mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
- All followers of Jesus Christ are called and gifted for ministry through the Holy Spirit. The church exists as a priesthood of believers. As such all believers are to be connected to a church and actively involved in the church according to his or her gifting.
-1 Peter 2:4-5
- The church consists of laity and clergy both working together to glorify God, bear fruit of the Kingdom of God, and to advance the Kingdom of God on Earth until the return of Jesus Christ.
-1 Peter 4:10
- The sacraments of baptism and The Lord’s Supper are outward and visible signs of the inward grace of God. They are the means by which one may experience the grace of God in tangible ways.
- The sacraments are not the means of salvation. One does not become a born again believer through the administering or receiving of either of the sacraments.
- The sacraments, both Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, are to be under the authority of an ordained clergy person, or someone commissioned by that ordained clergy person. The laity may assist in the distribution and act of the sacrament with the blessing of the ordained clergy person. All elements must be blessed by an ordained clergy person.
- The sacraments consist of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper
- Baptism is a means of grace that follows justification. It is the proper response to becoming a follower of Jesus and it is also an obedient act to the command of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20.
- Baptism is a sign of acceptance and profession of faith as well as a sign of new birth and regeneration.
-1 Peter 3:21
- While baptism is not a means of salvation, anyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior should seek baptism as it is a command from Jesus.
- Baptism is to be done in the “name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
- Since Baptism is not a means of salvation and since Jesus did not give specific instructions as to the proper mode or modes of baptism, it shall be acceptable to baptize through sprinkling, pouring, or immersion.
- As long as a Christian person has been baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that baptism is accepted and recognized under the doctrine of Grace on the Hill Community Church.
-1 Corinthians 12:13
- The baptism of infants shall be acceptable and encouraged.
- When the infant has matured to the age of making his or her own decision and chooses to accept Jesus as their personal Savior, they can also accept and remember their baptism.
- Parents may present their infants to the congregation in the presence of the Lord for dedication, demonstrating their desire to raise their children in the Christian faith.
- Prior to baptism the prospective person or parent/guardian should be asked the following questions:
- “Do you renounce the devil, and reject the evil powers of this world?”
- “Do you repent of your sin and turn to Jesus Christ, and confess him as your Lord and Savior?”
- “Do you receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in both the Old and New Testaments?”
- “Will you keep the holy will and commandments of God and live accordingly guided by grace and empowered by the Holy Spirit?”
- “Congregation, will you receive this person into the church and promise to nurture, aid, and assist him or her as they journey through life toward sanctification?”
- The Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion
- While the elements in Communion do not contain the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ, they are representatives of the body and blood of Jesus and should be handled with the utmost respect and dignity.
-1 Corinthians 11:23-26
- The church shall practice open communion. Open communion means that anyone who is living in peace with his or her neighbor and seeking to follow the will, word, and ways of Jesus Christ, without regard to membership in the church are welcome to partake of communion.
- Communion is a time of reflection, repentance, remembrance, and renewal for the believer in Jesus.
-1 Corinthians 11:27-29
- Prior to receiving Holy Communion each person should reflect on his or her spiritual journey allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal to him or her areas of life where he or she has denied God or not lived according to God’s word.
-1 Corinthians 11:28
- If there are areas during the reflection time where the Holy Spirit has revealed unconfessed sin, repentance is in order. One is to confess the sin, and then to seek the strength to turn away from that sin and live the free life promised by Jesus.
-1 Corinthians 11:27
- As one participates in the service it is good to remember the sacrifice that Jesus paid for the gift of salvation, the sacrifice of his body that was given and the blood that was shed for the forgiveness of our sin.
-1 Corinthians 11:29
-1 Corinthians 10:16-17
- The receiving of communion is also a time for renewal. Having reflected on who we are as sinners, we repent and remember the love of God for us in spite of our sins. We can be encouraged to grow in our faith and in the love of God. We are refreshed and ready to face life once again under the lordship of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit.
- While there is no specific formula for when communion should be offered, it should be offered often in the life of the church.
- The mode of communion may vary according to the service and needs of the faith community. It is at the discretion of the clergy in charge of the service as to the mode used.
- The elements used in Communion shall be limited to bread either leavened or unleavened and grape juice. The bread and juice shall not be substituted for other items.
- The church recognizes the value of the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed as effective and concise statements of the Christian faith.
- The value of the creeds is found in the ability to memorize certain aspects of Christian faith as well as a means of proclaiming those statements as a means of confirmation and hope.
- Apostles Creed 180 A.D.
- Nicene Creed 381 A.D.