Grace Reformed Church
of the Lord Jesus


Our beliefs are summarized in our name:

Grace  +

The first word in our name is "grace." "Grace" is a word used often in the Bible. It means "undeserved favor." We believe that the process whereby God saves any person is one that is totally undeserved. In fact, the Bible teaches that all people are sinners and deserve nothing from God but judgment and punishment for their sins. Take for instance the following Bible passages: Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 1:18, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteous of men."

Yet, despite the fact that no one is deserving of anything good from God, God is rich in mercy and grace. And because of His own good pleasure, He has chosen to save a people for Himself. His means of saving sinners is through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross. This is stated in such passages as Ephesians 1:3-4, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world," and Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

The way that any person becomes one of God's people, is by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 16:31 says, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved." Yet it is important to realize that even the ability to believe is given to a person by the grace of God. No one can believe in Christ by his own power. God must draw us to Himself and give us the faith to believe. This is plainly stated in Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."

That salvation is by grace means that it is a free gift. God never saves a person because of anything in that person. In fact, as we have seen above, there is nothing in any person which God is happy with. Even our best works done as unbelievers are like "filthy rags" in God's sight. Therefore, for anyone to be saved, it is the work of God's grace from start to finish. God chooses His people; God provides the means of saving them by giving the Lord Jesus Christ to die for them; He draws them to Himself; He makes their dead souls alive; and then He gives to them the faith whereby they believe on the Lord Jesus. This is summed up in Ephesians 2:4-5, "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were in dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)." And since God alone is responsible for the whole process of salvation from start to finish, then He alone deserves all the glory for both planning and accomplishing our salvation.

Reformed  +

The second word in our name is "Reformed." This means that we hold to the basic tenets which were popularized during the great Protestant Reformation which occurred in the late sixteenth century. These tenets also come straight from the Bible.

In fact, one of the major truths that came to us from the Reformation is that the Bible alone is our only reliable guide for matters of faith and practice. Before the Reformation, many in the Church thought that the teachings of the church of the pope had equal authority with the Bible. But we believe, based upon the teaching of the Bible itself, that all men are sinful and fallible and that only the Word of God, as it is contained in the Holy Bible, is inerrant and infallible. The Scripture itself confirms these things in such passages as 2 Peter 1:20-21, "knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spiriy." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 "All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." Once a person has become settled on the issue of the infallibility of the Bible, every other belief is automatically settled. For, from that point, if one really believes the Bible is the Word of God, then he must accept the teachings of the Bible, whether he likes them or not.

Another fundamental teaching that came to the forefront during the Reformation was that salvation is all by the grace of God and only through Jesus Christ. Slavation cannot be by man's good works or by a combination of good works and faith in Jesus. Sinful people cannot do anything that is pleasing to God. Therefore, to attempt to add anything to the perfect saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ is only to take away from it. We must believe that Christ and Christ alone is the Savior of sinners.

This truth is expressed repeatedly in the Bible. Take for instance Acts 4:12. Referring to the Lord Jesus, Peter says "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Jesus Himself said (John 14:6), "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." All who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will be eternally saved and go to heaven to be with God forever. But those who do not believe will go to eternal punishment in hell. Thus we read in John 3:36, "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe in the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

There is one more teaching which particularly characterized the Reformation which we would like to explain, and we will do so under the last part of our name.

Church of the Lord Jesus  +

Of the utmost importance for any true Christian is an understanding of who Jesus was and is. The Bible is very clear in its teaching that God exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Yet these three persons are one God.

The Bible also says that the Lord Jesus, in particular, is the Head of the Chuch. No man or any group of men can rightfully claim this. We read in Ephesians 5:23, "For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body." And why is this great honor given to Him? It is because of who He is and what He has done for the church. It is vital that we understand that while Jesus was a man, He was not only a man. The reason why the Bible refers to Him as "the Lord Jesus" is that He is God. The Bible teaches that He is the eternal Son of God who humbled Himself and became a man. He was born of the virgin Mary and lived perfect sinless life. Scripture tells the story of this incomprehensible humility of the Lord Jesus in Philippians 2:5-11, "Let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross. Therefore, God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." As the God-Man, Jesus went willingly to the cross to pay the penalty for all the sins of all His people. Nothing can be added to that perfect work. We read in Hebrews 9:11-12, "But Christ came as the High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption."

Finally, the fact that the Bible refers to Him as the Lord Jesus means that He is over all things. One of the great Reformation teachings is that God is sovereign over all things. That God is sovereign means that He has the highest authority. Because God is the one who created all things, He alone has the right to direct all things as He pleases. Ephesians 1:11 says that God "works all things according to the counsel of His will." Psalm 135:6 says, "Whatever the LORD pleases He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and all the deep places." God is in control. Nothing happens, good or bad, without His allowing it to happen. And this teaching is designed to be a source of great comfort for all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. For the fact that God controls all things means that He can and does work them all together in such a ways as to be for the ultimate good of His children. And so we find this very thing stated in Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

Here we have stated but a few of our beliefs at Grace Reformed Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you would like further information or have a question about our belief on a particular issue, please feel free to ask our pastor, Paul Ferrie.

 
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