Our Beliefs

 

Grace Communion International has members in more than 100 countries and territories. As part of the body of Christ, our mission is to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world and to help members grow spiritually.
(Matthew 28:19-20).

As a Spirit-led body of believers, the church is exhorted, "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18). The Spirit of God leads the church into all truth (John 16:13). Accordingly, this Statement of Beliefs is not a closed creed. Grace Communion International constantly renews its commitment to truth and deeper understanding and responds to God's guidance in its beliefs and practices.



 

Summary of Our Christian Faith

     

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    In one holy, loving, all-powerful, and gracious Creator God who exists in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

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    That the Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God, fully authoritative for all matters of faith and practice.

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    That Jesus Christ, born of the virgin Mary, fully God and fully human, is both Lord and Savior.

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    That Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross for human sin, that he was raised bodily on the third day, and that he ascended to heaven and that Jesus Christ will come again to judge the living and the dead and to reign over all things.

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    In the Holy Spirit, who brings sinners to repentance, who gives eternal life to believers, and who lives in them to conform them to the image of Jesus Christ.

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    That Christians should gather in regular fellowship and live lives of faith that make evident the good news that humans enter the kingdom of God by putting their trust in Jesus Christ.

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    In the spiritual unity of all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

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    That salvation comes not by works, but only by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

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    In the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.



God, by the testimony of Scripture, is one divine Being in three eternal,
co-essential, yet distinct Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is the one true God, eternal, immutable, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He is Creator of heaven and earth, Sustainer of the universe, and Source of human salvation. Though transcendent, God is directly and personally involved with human beings. God is love and infinite goodness.

Mark 12:29;  1 Timothy 1:17;  Ephesians 4:6;  Matthew 28:19;
1 John 4:8; 5:20Titus 2:11;  John 16:272 Corinthians 13:14;
1 Corinthians 8:4-6

God the Father is the first Person of the Godhead, the Unoriginate, of whom the Son is eternally begotten and from whom the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds through the Son. The Father, who made all things seen and unseen through the Son, sends the Son for our salvation and gives the Holy Spirit for our regeneration and adoption as children of God.

John 1:1;  John 1:14;  John 1:18;  Romans 15:6;  Colossians 1:15-16;
John 3:16;  John 14:26;  John 15:26;  Romans 8:14-17;  Acts 17:28

God the Son is the second Person of the Godhead, eternally begotten of the Father. He is the Word and the express image of the Father, by whom and for whom all things were created. He was sent by the Father as Jesus Christ to be God revealed in the flesh for our salvation. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, fully God and fully human, two natures in one Person. He is the Son of God and Lord of all, worthy of worship, honor and reverence. As the prophesied Savior of humanity, he died for our sins, was raised bodily from the dead, and ascended to heaven, from where he mediates between humanity and God. He will come again in glory to reign as King of kings over all nations in the kingdom of God.

John 1:1,10,14;  Colossians 1:15-16;  Hebrews 1:3;  John 3:16;  Titus 2:13; Matthew 1:20;  Acts 10:36;  1 Corinthians 15:3-4;  Hebrews 1:8;
Revelation 19:16

God the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead, eternally proceeding from the Father through the Son. He is the Comforter promised by Jesus Christ, given by the Father to all believers. The Holy Spirit lives in us, unites us with the Father and the Son, and transforms us into the image of Christ through regeneration, repentance, sanctification, and continual renewal. The Holy Spirit is the Source of inspiration and prophecy throughout the Scriptures, and the Source of unity and communion in the church. He provides spiritual gifts for the work of the gospel, and is the Christian's constant Guide into all truth.

John 14:16; 15:26;  Acts 2:4; 17-19; 38;  Matthew 28:19;
John 14:17-26; 23;  1 Peter 1:2;  Titus 3:5;  2 Peter 1:21;
1 Corinthians 12:13;  2 Corinthians 13:14;  1 Corinthians 12:1-11;
Acts 20:28;  John 16:13

The kingdom of God in the broadest sense is God's supreme sovereignty. God’s reign is now manifest in the church and in the life of each believer who is submissive to his will. The kingdom of God will be fully manifest over the whole world after the return of Jesus Christ when all things will become subject to it.

Psalms 2:6-9; 93:1-2;  Luke 17:20-21;  Daniel 2:44;  Mark 1:14-15;
1 Corinthians 15:24-28;  Revelation 11:15; 21:3; 22-27; 22:1-5

The church, the Body of Christ, consists of all who have faith in Jesus Christ and in whom the Holy Spirit abides. The church is commissioned to preach the gospel, to teach all that Christ commanded, to baptize, and to nurture the flock. In fulfilling its mission, the church is directed by the Holy Scriptures, led by the Holy Spirit, and looks continually to Jesus Christ, its living Head.

1 Corinthians 12:13;  Romans 8:9;  Matthew 28:19-20;  Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22

The Head of the church is Jesus Christ, who reveals the will of the Father to the church through the Holy Spirit. Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit instructs and empowers the church to serve the needs of congregations. The Worldwide Church of God seeks to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit in serving its congregations as it ordains elders, deacons and deaconesses and appoints ministry leaders.

Colossians 1:18;  Ephesians 1:15-23;  John 16:13-15;  Ephesians 4:11-16

Bible prophecy reveals God and his will and purpose for humanity. In Bible prophecy, God declares that human sinfulness is forgiven through repentance and faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ. Prophecy proclaims God as Sovereign Creator and Judge of all, assures humanity of his love, mercy, and faithfulness, and motivates the believer to live a godly life in Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 46:9-11;  Luke 24:44-48;  Daniel 4:17;  Jude 14-15;  2 Peter 3:14

God’s grace is the free, unmerited favor God has chosen to bestow on his entire creation. In its broadest sense, God’s grace is expressed in every act of his self-disclosure. By grace, humanity and the entire cosmos have been redeemed from sin and death through Jesus Christ, and by grace, humans are empowered to know and love God and Jesus Christ and enter the joy of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God.

Colossians 1:20;  1 John 2:1-2;  Romans 8:19-21; 3:24; 5:2; 15-17; 21;
John 1:12;  Ephesians 2:8-9;  Titus 3:7

Faith in God is a gift of God, rooted in his incarnate Son and enlightened by his eternal Word through the witness of the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures. Faith in God prepares and enables our minds and emotions to understand and receive God’s gracious gift of salvation. It empowers us to participate in spiritual fellowship and committed allegiance to God our Father through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the author and perfecter of our faith, and it is through faith and not by works that we are saved by grace.

Ephesians 2:8;  Acts 15:9; 14:27;  Romans 12:3;  John 1:1; 4;  Acts 3:16; Romans 10:17;  Hebrews 11:1;  Romans 5:1-2; 1:17; 3:21-28; 11:6; Ephesians 3:12;  1 Corinthians 2:5;  Hebrews 12:2

The Christian Sabbath is life in Jesus Christ, in whom every believer finds true rest. The weekly seventh-day Sabbath, which was enjoined upon Israel in the Ten Commandments, was a shadow that prefigured the true Reality to whom it pointed – our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 4:3; 8-10;  Matthew 11:28-30;  Exodus 20:8-11;
Colossians 2:16-17

Worship is the divinely created response to the glory of God. It is motivated by divine love and springs from God’s revelation of himself in communion with his creation. In worship, believers commune with God the Father through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. Worship involves humbly and joyfully giving God priority in all things and is expressed in such actions and attitudes as prayer, praise, celebration, generosity, acts of mercy, and repentance.

John 4:23;  1 John 4:19;  Philippians 2:5-11;  1 Peter 2:9-10;
Ephesians 5:18-20;  Colossians 3:16-17;  Romans 5:8-11; 12:1;
Hebrews 12:28; 13:15-16

The Christian is any person who trusts in Jesus Christ. The Christian experiences a new birth through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit and is placed through adoption into a right relationship with God and fellow humans by God's grace. The Christian’s life is characterized by the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 10:9-13;  Galatians 2:20;  John 3:5-7;  Mark 8:34;
John 1:12-13; 3:16-17;  Romans 5:1; 8:9; 14-15;  John 13:35;
Galatians 5:22-23

Christian conduct is characterized by trust in and loving allegiance to our Savior, who loved us and gave himself for us. Trust in Jesus Christ is expressed by belief in the gospel and by works of love. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ transforms the hearts of believers, producing in them love, joy, peace, faithfulness, meekness, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, righteousness, and truth.

1 John 3:23-24; 4:20-21;  2 Corinthians 5:15;  Galatians 5:6; 22-23;
Ephesians 5:9

Water baptism, which signifies a believer's repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, is a participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism of the Spirit and fire refers to the regenerating and purifying work of the Holy Spirit. The Worldwide Church of God baptizes by immersion.

Matthew 28:19;  Acts 2:38;  Romans 6:4-5;  Luke 3:16;
1 Corinthians 12:13;  1 Peter 1:3-9;  Matthew 3:16

The gospel is the good news of salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the message that Christ died for our sins, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, that he appeared to his disciples, and that he ascended to God's right hand. It is the good news that through the saving work of Jesus Christ we may enter the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 15:1-5;  Acts 5:31;  Luke 24:46-48;  John 3:16;
Matthew 28:19-20;  Mark 1:14-15;  Acts 8:12; 28:30-31

The Holy Scriptures are the inspired Word of God, the faithful witness to the gospel, and the true and accurate record of God's revelation to humanity. As such, the Holy Scriptures are infallible and are foundational to the church in all matters of doctrine and godly living.

2 Timothy 3:15-17;  2 Peter 1:20-21;  John 17:17

Salvation is the restoration of human fellowship with God and the deliverance of the entire creation from the bondage of sin and death. God gives salvation, not only for the present life, but for eternity, to every person who accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. This is the gift of God, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not earned by personal merit or good works.

Ephesians 2:4-10;  1 Corinthians 1:9;  Romans 8:21-23; 6:18; 22-23

The Bible affirms that all whose faith remains in Jesus Christ will be saved, and that nothing "can snatch them out of his hand." The Bible emphasizes the infinite faithfulness of the Lord, the total sufficiency of Jesus Christ for our salvation, the dynamic love of God for all peoples, and the gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe. Having such assurance of salvation, believers are urged to remain firm in the faith and to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

John 10:27-29;  2 Corinthians 1:20-22;  2 Timothy 1:9;  1 Corinthians 15:2;
Hebrews 6:4-6;  John 3:16;  Romans 1:16;  Hebrews 4:14;  2 Peter 3:18

Jesus Christ, as he promised, will return to earth to judge and reign over all nations in the kingdom of God. His second coming will be visible, and in power and glory. This event inaugurates the resurrection and reward of the saints.

John 14:3;  Revelation 1:7;  Matthew 24:30;  1 Thessalonians 4:15-17;
Revelation 22:12

At the end of the age, God will gather all the living and the dead before the heavenly throne of Christ for judgment. The righteous will receive eternal glory, and the wicked will be condemned to the lake of fire. In Christ the Lord makes gracious and just provision for all, even for those who at death appear not to have believed the gospel.

Matthew 25:31-32;  Acts 24:15;  John 5:28-29;  Revelation 20:11-15;
1 Timothy 2:3-6;  2 Peter 3:9;  Acts 10:43;  John 12:32;
1 Corinthians 15:22-28

Heaven is a biblical term applied to the chosen dwelling place of God and the eternal destiny of all God’s redeemed children. To be in heaven is to remain in Christ in the presence of God, where death, mourning, crying, and pain will be no more. Heaven is characterized by everlasting joy, blessed peace, and the righteousness of God.

1 Kings 8:27-30;  Deuteronomy 26:15;  Matthew 6:9;  Acts 7:55-56;
John 14:2-3;  Revelation 21:3-4; 22:1-5;  2 Peter 3:13

The intermediate state is the condition of the dead until the resurrection of the body. Christians hold various viewpoints on the nature of the intermediate state based on their interpretation of relevant biblical passages. Some passages suggest a conscious intermediate state, and others an unconscious state. The Worldwide Church of God believes both views should be respected.

Isaiah 14:9-10;  Ezekiel 32:21;  Luke 16:19-31; 23:43;  2 Corinthians 5:1-8;
Philippians 1:21-24;  Revelation 6:9-11;  Psalms 6:5; 88:10-12; 115:17;
Ecclesiastes 3:19-21; 9:5; 10;  Isaiah 38:18;  John 11:11-14;
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

The Millennium is the time span described in the book of Revelation during which Christian martyrs reign with Jesus Christ. After the Millennium, when all enemies have been put under his feet, and all things made subject to him, Christ will deliver the kingdom to God the Father, and heaven and earth will be made new. Some Christian traditions interpret the Millennium as a literal 1000 years to precede or follow the return of Jesus, while others believe that the scriptural evidence points to a figurative interpretation: an indeterminate time span commencing with Jesus’ resurrection and concluding with his return.

Revelation 20:1-15; 21:1; 5;  Acts 3:19-21;  Revelation 11:15;
1 Corinthians 15:24-25

Hell is the separation and alienation from God chosen by incorrigible sinners. In the New Testament, hell is referred to by the terms "lake of fire," "darkness," and Gehenna (a gorge outside Jerusalem where garbage was burned). Hell is characterized by punishment, torment, anguish, weeping and gnashing of teeth, and eternal destruction. The biblical terms Sheol and Hades, often translated "hell" or "the grave," refer to the realm of the dead. The Bible teaches that unrepentant sinners will suffer the second death in the lake of fire, but it does not make absolutely clear whether this means annihilation or conscious spiritual alienation from God.

2 Thessalonians 1:8-9;  Matthew 10:28; 25:41; 46;
Revelation 20:14-15; 21:8;  Matthew 13:42;  Psalm 49:14-15

Satan is a fallen angel who heads the evil forces in the spirit realm. The Bible refers to him with such terms as the devil, adversary, evil one, murderer, liar, thief, tempter, accuser of the brethren, prince of demons, and god of this world. He is in constant rebellion against God. Through his influence, Satan generates discord, deception, and disobedience among human beings. In Christ, Satan is already defeated, and his dominion and influence as god of this world will cease at Christ’s return.

Luke 10:18;  Revelation 12:9;  1 Peter 5:8;  John 8:44;  Job 1:6-12;
Zechariah 3:1-2;  Revelation 12:10;  2 Corinthians 4:4;  Revelation 20:1-3;
Hebrews 2:14;  1 John 3:8

Sin

Sin is lawlessness, that is, a state or condition of rebellion against God. From the time sin entered the human race through Adam and Eve, humanity has been under its yoke -- a yoke that can only be removed by God's grace through Jesus Christ. The sinful condition of humanity is manifested in the tendency to choose self and self-interests over God and God's will. Sin causes alienation from God, and suffering and death. Because all humans are sinners, all humans need the salvation God offers through his Son.

1 John 3:4;  Romans 5:12; 7:24-25;  Mark 7:21-23;  Galatians 5:19-21;
Romans 6:23; 3:23-24