What We Teach at GBC
Note: This statement represents additional beliefs of the elders and therefore is what will be taught at GBC. However, to become a member of GBC one does not have to affirm all that this statement contains. To see what members are required to affirm, see our Statement of Faith.
Of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
We teach God created human beings, male and female, in his own image (Gen 1:26-27). Adam and Eve belonged to the created order that God himself declared to be very good. They served as God’s agents to care for, manage, and govern creation and lived in holy and devoted fellowship with their Creator (Gen 1:28-31). Men and women, equally made in the image of God, enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus and are both called to move beyond passive self-indulgence to significant private and public engagement in family, church, and civic life.
We teach Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union that establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations for men and women. Therefore marriage ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and his church. In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways. God ordains that they assume distinctive roles which reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church. The husband is to exercise headship in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ. The wife is to submit to her husband in a way that models the love of the church for her Lord (Eph 5:22-33).
We teach in the ministry of the church, both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the many ministries of the people of God. The distinctive leadership role within the church given to qualified men is grounded in creation, fall, and redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments (1 Cor 11:2-16; 1 Tim 2:8-15).
Of Human Depravity and Sovereign Grace
We teach as a result of the Fall, all of humanity is by nature utterly indisposed to and incapable of any good. Left to our own we would not, nor could not choose God (Gen 6:5; Rom 3:9-18; 8:7-8; 1 Cor 2:14). Therefore, in order for anyone to be saved, God must actively intervene and change the nature, disposition, and will of that person (Deut 30:6; Ez 36:26-27).
We teach election is the act of God by which, before the foundation of the world, He chose in Christ a specific number of people whom He graciously regenerates, saves, sanctifies, and will one day glorify (Rom 8:28-30; Eph 1:3-14; 2 Thess 2:13; 2 Tim 2:10; 1 Pet 1:1-2). God’s sovereign grace in election does not contradict or negate the responsibility of human beings to repent and trust Christ as Savior and Lord. Rather, in the mystery of God, human responsibility is compatible with divine sovereignty (Ez 33:11; John 3:18-19, 36; 5:40; Rom 9:22-23; 2 Thess 2:10-12; Rev 22:17). Nevertheless, since sovereign grace includes the means of receiving the gift of salvation as well as the gift of salvation itself, sovereign election will result in what God determines. All whom the Father calls to himself will come in faith and all who come in faith the Father will receive (John 6:35-40, 44; Acts 13:48). Thus the gospel call, entrusted to all believers in this age, is to be passionately offered to all of humanity without distinction.
We teach this unmerited favor that God grants to totally depraved sinners is not related to any initiative of their own part or to God’s anticipation of what they might do by their own will. Instead, it is solely according to the purpose of his sovereign and gracious will, to the praise of his glory (Eph 1:3-14; 2:1-10; Rom 9:11; Titus 3:3-7; 1 Peter 1:2). Further, we teach that the doctrine of election, if understood correctly, does not lead to pride or passivity in the Christian life. Rather, this doctrine fosters humility and thankfulness to God and provides comfort and encouragement to God’s people (Rom 8:28-32; Eph 2:8-9; 1 Thess 1:2-5; 2:13).
Of God’s Preservation of His Own
We teach all those whom God has regenerated will never totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace but shall certainly persevere to the end by the power of God’s sustaining Spirit (John 6:37-40; 10:28-29; Rom. 8:28-39; 1 Cor. 1:8-9; Phil. 1:6; 1 Pet 1:3-5). This in no way implies that believers are incapable of falling into sin through neglect and temptation whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces, comforts, and joys, bring reproach on the church, and temporal judgments on themselves; however, despite their many struggles they shall be renewed again unto repentance, and be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (1 John 3:9; Jude 24-25). The intercession of Christ for those God has called is efficacious unto eternity (John 17:1-12, 20-21; Heb 7:25). Concerning those who apostatize or reject the faith after having seemingly come to faith in Christ, we teach that they never were regenerate although they might have seemed to be for a season (1 John 2:19).
Of the Church
We teach God appoints a plurality of elders to govern the visible church. Elders are spiritually qualified men who shepherd, care, and oversee a specific, visible, local church (1 Tim 3:2-7; 5:17; Titus 1:5-9; Heb 13:17). By means of the local church, the Holy Spirit appoints elders to shepherd God’s people until Christ returns (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:1-4).
We also teach God appoints a plurality of deacons to serve the visible church by assisting the elders in the work of the ministry. Deacons are spiritually qualified men who have been set apart by the church for the work of service and care (Acts 6:1-6; 1 Tim 3:8-13).
We teach the Lord Jesus Christ granted to his visible church two sacraments—baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The sacrament of baptism is to be granted to those who place their trust and allegiance in Jesus Christ (Acts 2:41; 8:12; 18:8). Though the children of believers are granted the privileged covenant presence of God, they are not to receive the sacrament of baptism until they become “the offspring of Abraham” through faith in Jesus Christ, who is the true seed of Abraham (1 Cor 7:14; Gal 3:7-9, 16, 26-29). Further, baptism is to be administered (if possible) by means of immersing the professing Christian in water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Mat3:16; 28:19; Mark 1:10).
We teach the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is to be offered to all those who believe the gospel, have received the sacrament of baptism, are committed to a local church, and demonstrate their readiness and need for the table through mortification of their sins through the work of Christ (1 Cor 11:23-34).
We teach baptism is connected with the entrance of believers into the new covenant community, and the Lord’s Supper is connected with ongoing covenant renewal. Together these sacraments serve as God’s pledge to us and are a means of his sanctifying grace. They are as well, our public vows of submission to the once crucified and now resurrected Christ and, also our anticipation of his return and the consummation of all things (Rom 6:3-11; 1 Cor 10:16; 11:26).
Of Death and the Intermediate State
We teach upon physical death there is a separation of soul (i.e. the immaterial part) and body (i.e. the material part) (2 Cor 5:1-10; Phil 1:21-24). However, death involves no loss of our immaterial consciousness (Rev 6:9-11). Rather, the soul of the redeemed passes immediately into the presence of Christ (Luke 23:43; Phil 1:23). This separation of body and soul will continue until Christ returns and the final resurrection takes place and our souls and bodies will be reunited to be glorified forever with our Lord (Phil 3:21; 1 Cor 15:35-44, 50-54). Until that time, the souls of the redeemed in Christ remain in joyful fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor 5:8).
We teach the souls of the unsaved at death are kept under punishment until the final resurrection, when the soul and body will be reunited (John 5:28-29; Luke 16:19-26; Rev 20:13-15). They shall then appear before God for judgement (Rev 20:11-15) and shall be cast into eternal conscious punishment in hell, the lake of fire, cut off from the life of God forever (Dan 12:2; Mat 25:41-46; 2 Thess 1:7-10).
GBC’s What We Teach has adapted and used content from The Gospel Coalition’s Confessional Statement, Grace Community Church’sWhat We Teach document, Clifton Baptist Church’s Statement of Fatih, and Austin Stone Community Church’s Affirmation of Faith.