Grace Baptist Church is an independent, fundamental, missionary-minded group of Bible-believing Christians, striving to glorify God in every aspect of our life and ministry. Grace Baptist Church exists to worship God through preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and witnessing for Him in Sonoma and around the world. We desire that people will be saved and live for the Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe in the verbal plenary inspiration of both the Old and New Testament. The Bible, the Word of God, is the full and complete revelation of God’s will for man. It is the supreme and final authority in all matters of faith and life. The sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament are the complete and divine revelation of God to man. We interpret the Scriptures according to their normal grammatical/historical meaning. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; Hebrews 1:1-2; Jude 3; Proverbs 30:5-6)
We believe that there is only one true and living God, eternally existing in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–each coeternal in being, co-identical in nature, coequal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 28:19, 20; 2 Corinthians 13:14; John 4:24)
We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6; Luke 1:35; John 1:1-2, 14; 2 Corinthians 5:19-21; Galatians 4:4-5; Philippians 2:5-8). Jesus Christ accomplished our redemption through His death on the cross as a representative, vicarious, substitutionary sacrifice; and, that our justification is made sure by His literal, physical resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:18-36; Romans 3:24-25; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5; 2:24). We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven, and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our High Priest, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 9:24; 1 John 2:1-2). We believe in the “blessed hope,” the personal, imminent return of Christ, Who will rapture His church prior to the seven-year tribulation period. At the end of the Tribulation, Christ will personally and visibly return with His saints, to establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom which was promised to the nation of Israel (Psalm 89:3-4; Daniel 2:31-45; Zechariah 14:4-11; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Revelation 3:10; 19:11-16; 20:1-6).
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and, that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the Body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption (John 16:8-11; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 1:13-14) The Holy Spirit is the Divine Teacher who assists believers to understand and appropriate the Scriptures and that it is the privilege of all the saved to be filled with the Spirit and our duty to walk in the Spirit (Ephesians 1:17-18; 5:18; 1 John 2:20, 27). God is sovereign in the bestowal of spiritual gifts to every believer. God uniquely uses evangelists, pastors, and teachers to equip believers in the assembly in order that they can do the work of the ministry (Romans 12:3-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28; Ephesians 4:7-12). We believe that the Holy Spirit bestows at least one spiritual gift upon each believer according to His Will. The Holy Spirit no longer distributes the temporary sign gifts (e.g. miracles, healing, tongues, and interpretation of tongues) to believers because (1) The age of sign-gifts ended with the Apostles. (2 Corinthians 12:12; Ephesians 2:20). (2) They were rendered useless when the New Testament was complete (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; Revelation 22:18). (3) Their purpose was to confirm the Word of God (Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:4).
Ultimate deliverance of the body from sickness or death awaits the consummation of our salvation in the resurrection, though God frequently chooses to answer the prayers of believers for physical healing (1 Corinthians 1:22; 13:8; 14:21-22). We believe these sign-gifts ceased with the completion of the canon and the ending of the apostolic age. Therefore, the modern charismatic movement is not based upon God or His Word (1 Corinthians 12:7; Acts 2:8-11; Isaiah 28:11-12; 1 Corinthians 14:21-22).
Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in the image of God in a state of innocence. Through Adam’s sin the whole race fell, became alienated from God and inherited a sin nature. Man is under the just condemnation of death, both physical and spiritual, without defense or excuse. Man is helpless in his lost condition apart from the grace of God. (Genesis 1:25-27; Romans 1:20; 3:10, 23; 5:12, 16-18; Psalm 51:5)
We believe that salvation is the gift of God provided for all men by the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ and His shed blood. We believe salvation is wholly of God and apart from any works of righteousness by man. Salvation is exclusively through Jesus Christ and His vicarious atonement for sin. (Romans 3:24; 6:23; John 3:16; 14:6; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-9; Titus 3:5) We believe that the Holy Spirit of God convicts unbelievers of their sin, drawing them to salvation. The two ingredients for man to receive salvation are repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit regenerates, indwells, sanctifies, justifies, and seals the believer. (Acts 20:21; Luke 13:3; 2 Peter 3:9; Romans 5:1; John 3:3, 36; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Ephesians 4:30) We believe that Christians are eternally secure in Jesus Christ and salvation may never be lost. The penalty of all sins is removed at salvation. (Romans 8:1, 33-39; John 10:28-29; 1 John 5:11-13) We believe that it is the privilege of believers to rejoice in the assurance of their salvation through the testimony of God’s Word, which, however, clearly forbids the use of Christian liberty as an occasion to the flesh (Romans 13:13-14; Galatians 5:13; Titus 2:11-15).
We believe that the local church, which is the Body and the espoused Bride of Christ, is solely made up of born-again persons (1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:25-27). The establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:27; 20:17, 28-32; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-11). We believe in the autonomy of the local church free of any external authority or control (Acts 13:1-4; 15:19-31; 20:28; Romans 16:1, 4; 1 Corinthians 3:9, 16; 5:4-7, 13; 1 Peter 5:1-4). We practice only believer’s baptism by immersion, which is the only acceptable mode for baptism because 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. (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 18:18; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
We believe that Satan is a person, the author of sin and the cause of the Fall of Man. Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man, and will be eternally punished in the Lake of Fire (Job 1:6-7; Isaiah 14:12-17; Matthew 4:2-11; 25:41; Revelation 20:10).
The Second Coming
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life, and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment (Matthew 25:46; John 5:28-29; 11:25-26; Revelation 20:5-6, 12-13). The souls of the redeemed are, at death, absent from the body and present with the Lord, where in conscious bliss they await the first resurrection, when spirit, soul, and body are reunited to be glorified forever with the Lord (Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:23; 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 20:4-6). The souls of unbelievers remain, after death, in conscious punishment and torment until the second resurrection, when with spirit, soul and body reunited, they shall appear at the Great White Throne Judgment, and shall be cast into the Lake of Fire, not to be annihilated, but to suffer everlasting conscious punishment and torment (Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6-7; Revelation 20:11-15). We believe in the imminent, personal, pre-tribulational return of the Lord Jesus Christ. He will return bodily in the air to “catch away” both the dead and living in Christ. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Acts 1:11; Titus 2:13) We believe that Jesus Christ will return to earth seven years after the rapture to establish His kingdom. He will reign 1,000 years on the throne of David. (Daniel 9:24-27; Revelation 19:15-16; 20:4; Matthew 24:30)