The masculine gender stated within this document shall refer to both men and women.
ARTICLE I: NAME
The name of this corporation shall be Living Grace Fellowship, Inc.
ARTICLE II: PURPOSE
The specific purpose for which the corporation is initially organized is to establish and oversee places of worship, teach and preach the gospel to all people, conduct evangelistic and humanitarian outreach, license and ordain ministers of the gospel and to also engage in activities which are necessary, suitable or convenient for the accomplishment of that purpose, or which are incidental thereto or connected therewith which are consistent with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This corporation is organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3), Internal Revenue Code.
ARTICLE III: TENETS OF FAITH
The human phraseology employed in this statement is not inspired nor contended for, but the truth set forth is held to be essential to a full Gospel ministry. No claim is made that it contains all the truth in the Bible, only that it covers orthodox fundamental matters.
Statement of Biblical Authority
At the center of Christian faith and practice stands the belief that God has spoken to the world in the person and work of Jesus Christ, which is accurately and authoritatively revealed in the Christian Bible (“the Bible,” “Scripture” or “the Scriptures”). The Bible is the inspired, inerrant and sufficient Word of God and is thus the ultimate authority for life, faith, and morals. Though the various theological statements of the Church reflect succinct summaries of biblical boundaries, it is the Bible itself to which we are in ultimate submission.
Members have the responsibility and opportunity to engage Campus Elders and Church staff on areas of theological disagreement. However, membership carries with it the implicit understanding that the Central Elders shall function as the interpretive authority on biblical meaning and application for the purpose of Church doctrine, practice, policy, and discipline. Not for self-interest but for church interest and love for God and others.
Statement of Basic Belief
The following Statement of Basic Belief represents the core orthodox beliefs of the Church from a biblical and historical perspective. While Church Members are not required to fully understand or articulate all aspects of the Statement of Basic Belief, the explicit rejection of any part of it disqualifies one from membership. Revisions to the Statement of Basic Belief in order to more clearly align to Scripture shall be at the sole discretion of the Elders, with the understanding that such changes will be communicated to the Members of the Church.
The Holy Bible, and only the Bible, is the authoritative Word of God. It alone is the final authority in determining all doctrinal truths. In its original writing, it is inspired, infallible, and inerrant (2Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Proverbs 30:5; Romans 16:25-26).
There is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and co-eternal (I John 5:7; Genesis 1:26; Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19; Luke 1:35; Isaiah 9:6; Hebrews 3:7-11).
Jesus Christ is God the Son, the second person of the Trinity. On earth, Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. He is the only man ever to have lived a sinless life. He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed miracles, died on the cross for mankind and thus, atoned for our sins through the shedding of His blood. He rose from the dead on the third day according to the Scriptures, ascended to the right hand of the Father, and will return again in power and glory (John 1:1,14, 20:28; 1Timothy 3:16; Isaiah 9:6; Philippians 2:5-6; 1Timothy 2:5).
Jesus Christ was conceived by God the Father, through the Holy Spirit (the third person of the Trinity) in the virgin Mary’s womb; therefore, He is the Son of God (Matthew 1:18, 25; Luke 1:35; Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18, 23-25; Luke 1:27-35).
Man was created good and upright, but by voluntary transgression he fell; his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Gen.1:26-31, 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-21).
For anyone to know God, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential (John 6:44, 65).
We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ: His death, burial, and resurrection. Salvation is a gift from God, not a result of our good works or of any human efforts (Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 2:16, 3:8; Titus 3:5; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 16:31; Hebrews 9:22).
Repentance is the commitment to turn away from sin in every area of our lives and to follow Christ, which allows us to receive His redemption and to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit. Thus, through repentance, we receive forgiveness of sins and appropriate salvation (Acts 2:21, 3:19; 1 John 1:9).
Sanctification is the ongoing process of yielding to God’s Word and His Spirit in order to complete the development of Christ’s character in us. It is through the present ministry of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God that the Christian is enabled to live a godly life (1Thessalonians 4:3, 5:23; 2 Corinthians 3:18, 6:14-18, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, Romans 8:29, 12:1-2, Hebrews 2:11).
The Blood that Jesus Christ shed on the Cross of Calvary was sinless and is 100% sufficient to cleanse mankind of all sin. Jesus allowed Himself to be punished for both our sinfulness and our sins, enabling all those who believe to be free from the penalty of sin, which is death (1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5, 5:9; Colossians 1:20; Romans 3:10-12, 23, 5:9; John 1:29).
Jesus Christ Indwells All Believers
Christians are people who have invited the Lord Jesus Christ to come and live inside them by His Holy Spirit. They relinquish the authority of their lives over to Him thus making Jesus the Lord of their life as well as Savior. They put their trust in what Jesus accomplished for them when He died, was buried, and rose again from the dead (John 1:12; John 14:17, 23; John 15:4; Romans 8:11; Revelations 3:20).
Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Given at Pentecost, it is the promise of the Father, sent by Jesus after His Ascension, to empower the church to preach the Gospel throughout the whole earth (Joel 2:28-29; Matthew 3:11; Mark 16:17; Acts 1:5, 2:1-4, 17, 38-39, 8:14-17, 10:38, 44-47, 11:15-17, 19:1-6).
The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is manifested through a variety of spiritual gifts to build and sanctify the church, demonstrate the validity of the resurrection, and confirm the power of the Gospel. The Bible lists of these gifts are not necessarily exhaustive, and the gifts may occur in various combinations. All believers are commanded to earnestly desire the manifestation of the gifts in their lives. These gifts always operate in harmony with the Scriptures and should never be used in violation of Biblical parameters (Hebrews 2:4; Romans 1:11, 12 : 4-8; Ephesians 4:16; 2 Timothy 1:5-16, 4:14; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31, 14:1-40; 1 Peter 4:10).
The church is the Body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of Jesus’ Great Commission. Every person who is born of the Spirit is an integral part of the church as a member of the body of believers. There is a spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22, 2:19-22; Hebrews 12:23; John 17:11, 20-23).
Healing of the Sick
Healing of the sick is illustrated in the life and ministry of Jesus, and included in the commission of Jesus to His disciples. It is given as a sign which is to follow believers. It is also a part of Jesus’ work on the Cross and one of the gifts of the Spirit (Psalm 103:2-3; Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 8:16-17; Mark 16:17-18; Acts 8:6-7; James 5:14-16; 1 Corinthians 12:9, 28; Romans 11:29).
God’s Will for Provision
It is the Father’s will for believers to become whole, healthy, and successful in all areas of life. But because of the fall, many may not receive the full benefits of God’s will while on Earth. That fact, though, should never prevent all believers from seeking the full benefits of Christ’s provision in order to better serve others.
- Spiritual (John 3:3-11; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 10:9-10).
- Mental and Emotional (2 Timothy 1:7, 2:11; Philippians 4:7-8; Romans 12:2; Isaiah 26:3). 3. Physical (Isaiah 53:4-5; Matthew 8:17; 1 Peter 2:24).
- Financial (Joshua 1:8; Malachi 3:10-11; Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:6-10; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Psalm 34:10, 84:11; Philippians 4:19).
Jesus Christ was physically resurrected from the dead in a glorified body three days after His death on the cross. In addition, both the saved and the lost will be resurrected; they that are saved to the resurrection of life, and they that are lost to the resurrection of eternal damnation (Luke 24:16, 36, 39; John 2:19-21, 20:26-28, 21:4; Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:42, 44; Philippians 1:21-23, 3:21).
Heaven is the eternal dwelling place for all believers in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:3, 12, 20, 6:20, 19:21, 25:34; John 17:24; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Hebrews 11:16; 1 Peter 1:4).
After living one life on earth, the unbelievers will be judged by God and sent to Hell where they will be eternally tormented with the Devil and the Fallen Angels (Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:43-48; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 14:9-11, 20:12-15, 21:8).
Jesus Christ will physically and visibly return to earth for the second time to establish His Kingdom. This will occur at a date undisclosed by the Scriptures (Matthew 24:30, 26:63-64; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8; Revelation 1:7).
ARTICLE IV: ORDINANCES WATER BAPTISM
Following faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the new convert is commanded by the Word of God to be baptized in water in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38).
The Lord’s Supper
A unique time of communion in the presence of God when the elements of bread and grape juice (the Body and Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ) are taken in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 16:16; Acts 8:12, 36-38; 10:47-48; 1Corinthians 10:16, 11:23-25).
ARTICLE V: MEMBERSHIP
This church shall have a non-voting congregational membership. The Board of Elders may create a congregational membership program that details the requirements, rights, and responsibilities of membership, as well as the procedures for dismissal.