Statement of Faith
We accept the Bible, including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, as the written Word of God. The Bible is the only essential and infallible record of God's self-disclosure. It leads us to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Being given by God the Scriptures are both fully and verbally inspired by God. Therefore, as originally given, the Bible is free of error in all it teaches. Each book is to be interpreted according to its context and purpose and in reverent obedience to the Lord who speaks through it in living power. All believers are exhorted to study the Scriptures and diligently apply them to their lives. The Scriptures are the authoritative and normative rule and guide of all Christian life, practice, and doctrine. They are totally sufficient and must not be added to, superseded, or changed by later tradition, extra-biblical revelation, or worldly wisdom. Every doctrinal formulation, whether of creed, confession, or theology must be put to the test of the full counsel of God in Holy Scripture.
God Is Triune
There is one God: infinite, eternal, almighty, and perfect in holiness, truth, and love. In the unity of the godhead there are three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, co-existent, co-equal, co-eternal. The Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Holy Spirit, yet each is truly Deity. One God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - is the foundation of Christian faith and life.
God the Father
God the Father is the Creator of heaven and earth. By his word and for his glory, he freely and supernaturally created the world of nothing. Through the same Word he daily sustains all his creatures. He rules over all and is the only Sovereign. His plans and purposes cannot be thwarted. He is faithful to every promise, works all things together for good to those who love him, and in his unfathomable grace gave his Son Jesus Christ for mankind's redemption. He made man for fellowship with himself, and intended that all creation should live to the praise of his glory.
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the eternal Word made flesh, supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. He was perfect in his natures, teaching and obedience. He is fully God and fully man. He was always with God and is God. Through him all things came into being and were created. He was before all things and in him all things hold together by the word of his power. He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation and in him dwells the fullness of the godhead bodily. He is the only Savior for the sins of the world, having shed his blood and died a vicarious death on Calvary's cross. By his death in our place, he revealed the divine love and upheld divine justice, removing our guilt and reconciling us to God. Having redeemed us from sin, the third day he rose bodily from the grave, victorious over death and the powers of darkness and for a period of forty days appeared to over five hundred witnesses, performing many convincing proofs of his resurrection. He ascended into heaven where, at God's right hand, he intercedes for his people and rules as Lord over all. He is the Head of his body, the Church, and should be adored, loved, served, and obeyed by all.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. Through the proclamation of the gospel he persuades men to repent of their sins and confess Jesus as Lord. By the same Spirit a person is led to trust in divine mercy. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Jesus Christ in faith, brings about the new birth, and dwells within the regenerate. The Holy Spirit has come to glorify the Son who in turn came to glorify the Father. He will lead the Church into a right understanding and rich application of the truth of God’s Word. He is to be respected, honored, and worshipped as God the Third Person of the Trinity.
God made man - male and female - in his own image, as the crown of creation, that man might have fellowship with him. Tempted by Satan, man rebelled against God. Being estranged from his Maker, yet responsible to him, he became subject to divine wrath, inwardly depraved and, apart from a special work of grace, utterly incapable of returning to God. This depravity is radical and pervasive. It extends to his mind, will and affections. Unregenerate man lives under the dominion of sin and Satan. He is at enmity with God, hostile toward God, and hateful of God. Fallen, sinful people, whatever their character or attainments, are lost and without hope apart from salvation in Christ.
Jesus Christ is the gospel. The good news is revealed in his birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. Christ's crucifixion is the heart of the gospel, his resurrection is the power of the gospel, and his ascension is the glory of the gospel. Christ’s death is a substitutionary and propitiatory sacrifice to God for our sins. It satisfies the demands of God’s holy justice and appeases his holy wrath. It also demonstrates his mysterious love and reveals his amazing grace. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between God and man. There is no other name by which men must be saved. At the heart of all sound doctrine is the cross of Jesus Christ and the infinite privilege that redeemed sinners have of glorifying God because of what he has accomplished. Therefore, we want all that takes place in our hearts, churches and ministries to proceed from and be related to the cross.
Man's Response to the Gospel
Man’s response to the gospel is rooted and grounded in the free and unconditional election of God for his own pleasure and glory. It is also true that the message of the gospel is only effectual to those who genuinely repent of their sins and, by God's grace, put saving faith in Christ. This gospel of grace is to be sincerely preached to all men in all nations. Biblical repentance is characterized by a changed life, and saving faith is evidenced by kingdom service or works. While neither repentance nor works save, unless a person is willing to deny himself, pick up his cross, and follow Christ, he cannot become his disciple.
Man's Inheritance Through the Gospel
Salvation, the free gift of God, is provided by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. Anyone turning from sin in repentance and looking to Christ and his substitutionary death receives the gift of eternal life and is declared righteous by God as a free gift. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to him. He is justified and fully accepted by God. Through Christ's atonement for sin an individual is reconciled to God as Father and becomes his child. The believer is forgiven the debt of his sin and, via the miracle of regeneration, liberated from the law of sin and death into the freedom of God's Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is the active agent in our sanctification and seeks to produce his fruit in us as our minds are renewed and we are conformed to the image of Christ. Though indwelling sin remains a reality, as we are led by the Spirit, we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, freely keeping his commandments and endeavoring to so live in the world that all people may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven. All believers are exhorted to persevere in the faith knowing they will have to give an account to God for their every thought, word and deed. The spiritual disciplines, especially Bible study, prayer, worship and confession, are a vital means of grace in this regard. Nevertheless, the believer’s ultimate confidence to persevere is based in the sure promise of God to preserve his people until the end which is most certain.
Empowered by the Spirit
In addition to effecting regeneration and sanctification, the Holy Spirit also empowers believers for Christian witness and service. While all genuine believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at conversion, the New Testament indicates the importance of an ongoing, empowering work of the Spirit subsequent to conversion as well. Being indwelt by the Spirit and being filled with the Spirit are theologically distinct experiences. The Holy Spirit desires to fill each believer continually with increased power for Christian life and witness, and imparts his supernatural gifts for the edification of the Body and for various works of ministry in the world. All the gifts of the Holy Spirit at work in the church of the first-century are available today, are vital for the mission of the church, and are to be earnestly desired and practiced.
God by his Word and Spirit creates the Church, calling sinful men out of the whole human race into the fellowship of Christ's Body. By the same Word and Spirit, he guides and preserves that new redeemed humanity. The Church is not a religious institution or denomination. Rather, the Church universal is made up of those who have become genuine followers of Jesus Christ and have personally appropriated the gospel. The Church exists to worship and glorify God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It also exists to serve him by faithfully doing his will in the earth. This involves a commitment to see the gospel preached and churches planted in all the world for a testimony. The ultimate mission of the Church is the making of disciples through the preaching of the gospel. When God transforms human nature, this then becomes the chief means of society's transformation. Upon conversion, newly redeemed men and women are added to a local church in which they devote themselves to teaching, fellowship, the Lord’s Supper and prayer.
All members of the Church universal are to be a vital and committed part of a local church. In this context they are called to walk out the New Covenant as the people of God and demonstrate the reality of the kingdom of God. The ascended Christ has given gift ministries to the church (including apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) for the equipping of Christ's body that it might mature and grow. Through the gift ministries all members of the Church are to be nurtured and equipped for the work of ministry. Women play a vital role in the life of the church but in keeping with God’s created design, they are not permitted “to teach or to have authority over a man” (1 Tim. 2:12). Leadership in the church is male. In the context of the local church, God's people receive pastoral care and leadership and the opportunity to employ their God-given gifts in his service in relation to one another and to the world.
Sacraments of the Church
Water baptism is only intended for the individual who has received the saving benefits of Christ’s atoning work and become his disciple. Therefore, in obedience to Christ's command and as a testimony to God, the Church, oneself and the world, a believer should be immersed in water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Water baptism is a visual demonstration of a person's union with Christ in the likeness of his death and resurrection. It signifies that his former way of life has been put to death and vividly depicts a person’s release from the mastery of sin.
As with water baptism, the Lord’s Supper is to be observed only by those who have become genuine followers of Christ. This ordinance symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of his blood on our behalf, and is to be observed repeatedly throughout the Christian life as a sign of continued participation in the atoning benefits of Christ’s death. As we partake of the Lord’s Supper with an attitude of faith and self-examination, we remember and proclaim the death of Christ, receive spiritual nourishment for our souls, and signify our unity with other members of Christ’s body.
The Consummation of all things includes the visible, personal and glorious return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the translation of those alive in Christ, the judgment of the just and the unjust, and the fulfillment of Christ's kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth. In the Consummation, Satan with his hosts and all those outside Christ are finally separated from the benevolent presence of God, enduring eternal punishment, but the righteous, in glorious bodies, shall live and reign with him forever. Married to Christ as his Bride, the Church will be in the presence of God forever, serving him and giving him unending praise and glory. Then shall the eager expectation of creation be fulfilled and the whole earth shall proclaim the glory of God who makes all things new.
Copyright © 1998, 2001 Sovereign Grace Churches
Our Core Values
1. Supremacy of God in all things
- We believe all things are from Him, through Him, to Him. He is our joy and life is for His glory.
- We believe He is infinitely worthy and good and greater and more satisfying than any and all things that exist.
- We believe God is relevant to all things.
- We affirm God and His glory is the chief end to all other means. He is our ultimate and total goal.
2. Gospel Centered Living
- We understand Jesus Christ, his person and work of fulfilling all righteousness, his substitutionary death, his victorious resurrection and his current and future reign as the central point of the bible and of all history.
- We believe the gospel is to function for our justification, our sanctification our life and mission together.
- We pursue Christ and His good news as our paradigm and power for all things.
- We affirm Christ and His work as the greatest and most complete revelation of the person and worth of God.
- We affirm that it is in and through and because of the Gospel that God is most glorified and we are most satisfied in Him.
3. The Ministry of The Holy Spirit
- We assert God the Holy Spirit is our life giver, the illuminator of scripture, the one who empowers us for all of the Christian life.
- We fellowship with Him, pursue His ministry and rely on Him as a person in all areas of life.
- We affirm and pursue the broad work of the Holy Spirit as depicted in the whole of the Old & New Testament.
- We affirm a continuationist view of the gifts of the Spirit, understanding that the New Testament speaks of the cessation of the gifts at the time of Christ’s return and not beforehand.
- We believe that all the gifts are from God for the edification of the church, the fulfillment of the mission of God and the glorification of our triune God and as such should be eagerly pursued.
4. The Sufficiency, Authority & Functional Prominence of Scripture.
- We declare the bible as the infallible, inerrant, very words of God.
- We affirm the absolute necessity of a biblical view of God, a biblical view of man, a biblical view of grace, a biblical view of the gospel and, therefore, a biblical view of life.
- We understand it to be sufficient for all of life and godliness and authoritative and normative for the Christian life.
- We affirm it as a means of salvation, justification, sanctification, life, leadership and all areas of life.
- We pursue its use for all areas of our lives and desire to so employ it as to see God’s word function prominently in all aspects of personal and church life.
5. Local Church Life
- We affirm that relationships in the context of the truth are essential to the Christian life.
- We affirm mutual interconnectedness and interdependence of the diverse members of a local body of believers under the authority of qualified biblical leadership as normative for a Christian and a Christian church.
- We deny that the life of the church is found in meetings, programs and performances but in vital relationships under the authority of biblical truth.
- We believe this is the context in which and through which God puts His glory on display.
- We believe that the leadership team equips & leads, ministers minister - that every member is a minister.
- We believe genuine relationships are to be enjoyed while pursuing gospel centered living and fulfilling the broad cultural mandate within the whole of creation.
- We deny an isolated or narrow view of life and relationships that limits godliness to a narrow set of behaviors, relationships or contexts.
6. Sovereign Grace
- We believe in the Joy of Sovereign Grace. God’s plan to accomplish all His desires in and through His Son is perfect, unstoppable, flawless and awe inspiring.
- We rejoice with Him and the hosts of heaven in His undeserved sovereign grace displayed in redeeming unworthy lost sinners like us.
- We rest in God’s unfathomable wisdom and infinite glory in ordaining every aspect of history for his sovereign and worthy purposes. We trust him for what we don’t understand knowing the wisdom of his choices will be shown in time.
- We celebrate the historic sola’s of the reformation: Sola Scriptura, Sola Christus, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Soli Deo Gloria (Scripture Alone, Christ Alone, Grace Alone, Faith Alone for God’s Glory Alone.)
- We agree that humbly believing and pursuing these truths will produce a vibrant New Testament church by God’s grace.
7. Mission Focused Living
- We pursue a lifestyle of living to demonstrate and declare the glory of God in Christ to all people because this is a fundamental aspect of God’s nature, plan and purpose.
- We affirm that a right approach to mission springs from a gospel-motivated grace-empowered joy-filled engagement with our neighbors and the culture.
- We believe the preeminent goal in our outreach is for people to encounter the life-giving truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, his substitutional atonement and life-giving resurrection for the purpose of reconciliation with God, the forgiveness of sins and life under His Kingly rule.
- We pursue a multi-faceted, relationship based, church-wide ministry of outreach to the spiritual and physical needs of our communities.
- We pursue a church-wide culture of mission with the equippers equipping, the ministers ministering.
- We believe in a deep and broad cultural engagement.
- We pursue a love for and involvement with our communities, not isolation from nor abandonment of the culture.
- We exist to be a church-planting church.
8. Part of a Family of Churches, Sovereign Grace Churches
- We affirm the self-regulating responsibilities of the local church under the Headship of Christ and the authority of scripture while recognizing our inseparable relationship with the broader body of Christ, and in particular, Sovereign Grace Churces.
- We recognize our need for church interdependency, vital connectivity, cooperative elderships and apostolic leadership, counsel and care.
- We pursue significant voluntary relationship with this family of churches and their leaders, tied together by doctrine and genuine relationship, defined by our Book of Church Order and our joint Statement of faith, under the care and oversight of its elders and apostolic leaders.
- We embrace the privilege of participating in the extra-local mission of Sovereign Grace Churches and the mutual benefit that comes from vibrant membership in this family of churches.
Wholeheartedly Loving God and One Another by Worshiping, Witnessing and Walking in the Good News of Jesus Christ for All of Life.
- A church built on Christ where folks are most excited about one thing - the good news of Jesus Christ - Him crucified, risen, reigning and returning.
- A church for God where the heartfelt worship and enjoyment of God pervades every aspect of who we are and what we do.
- A church family where members from diverse backgrounds feel welcome, included, loved and connected to each other and to a vital, growing relationship with Christ.
- A church body that reflects Christ in all contexts of life, in marriages, families, friendships, at work, school, in the community and in the culture.
- A church for the future where our children are growing up with a genuine passion for God, his church and his kingdom purposes in the world.
- A church on a mission that is reaching thousands in the greater Merrimack Valley and significantly interacting with our culture for Christ and His kingdom.
- A church for the great commission that is joyfully sending out and supporting numerous church plants throughout New England and beyond.
We believe God has called us to pursue this mission in order that we might realize this vision for God’s glory. We are a church being transformed by the good news of the gospel and its implications for our lives here on earth and for eternity.
Our mission can be illustrated as a temple or church building for God composed of three levels, the foundation - the good news of Jesus Christ for all of life, the main building - living as Christ’s disciples, worshiping by, walking in and witnessing to the good news of Christ, and the pinnacle, wholeheartedly loving God and one another.
GRAPHIC COMING SOON
What is Worship?
Worship is a contraction from the Old English word “worth-ship”. That is, worship is assigning worth to someone or something. Worship is something we all do in one way or another. We all, as beings created in the image of God, assign worth to everything. Ultimately, the question is, “What is most worthy?” and therefore “what do we desire most?”
We believe that above all other things and all creatures the Creator is supremely worthy and satisfying. Romans 11:36 (ESV) says, “For from him and through him and to him are all things.” and in John 17:24 (ESV) Jesus says, “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me...” David prays, “Your steadfast love is better than life!” Psalm 63:3 (ESV) and Jesus says in John 17:3 (ESV) “And this is eternal life, that they may know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
God’s glory is manifest throughout all creation in the mind-blowing diversity of life, in the majesty of mountains, thunderstorms, the ocean and space. His goodness is seen in the stability of creation and his care for the vastness of humanity in health, life and daily bread. God’s glory is most profoundly displayed in his excellent Son, Jesus Christ and his perfect life, substitutionary death and universe shaking resurrection from the dead.
The greatest tragedy of fallen man is that we have exchanged that which is most precious and worthy for lesser things as Romans 1 describes.
“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” (Romans 1:21-25, ESV)
The good news is that Jesus Christ has come to rescue us from the insanity of living for lesser things to live for God in all things. Our redemption in Jesus Christ includes a restoration to true worship of God in all that we do. 1 Peter 2 says:
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10, ESV)
So, at King of Grace Church we pursue worship in all of life. We worship corporately on Sundays in singing, sharing and the preaching of God’s word, and we seek to worship throughout the week in all that we do. Worship is a way of life and not just a single act. The Westminster Shorter Catechism puts it this way: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
That is what we mean by worship - glorifying and enjoying God in all of life. He is most worthy and most enjoyable. We invite you to come and “worthship” with us at King of Grace.
Walk – What is Walking?
Walking is an image the bible uses to portray am ongoing action of relating to someone or something. In Genesis 5 & 6 the patriarchs are described as “walking with God.” Later, in the New Testament, we are exhorted to “walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, Romans 8:4 ESV), and “as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,” (Colossians 2:6 et al.) Furthermore, the bible teaches us that our walk is not an individualized walk, but a walk with Jesus Christ together with the people of God. “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7 ESV)
So for us, walking is a convenient word that portrays the call of God to walk with him as a corporate people - as his church. Our walking with God together involves building relationally around the good news of Christ, growing together in Christ likeness, caring for one another according to our different needs and with our various gifts, and serving together in our church and in our community and beyond.
Please come and visit us and check out what we mean by walking with God together.
Witness –What is Witnessing?
Witnessing is the simple act of “telling it as it is”, that is, telling it as you have seen it and experienced it. As Christians we are to simply and humbly witness to the joyful reality of Jesus Christ as our all sufficient Savior from sin and all its repercussions as well as our all worthy King over all our lives and all of creation.
We believe that witnessing to Jesus Christ in our lives is a natural overflow to our experience. We all witness to something. Usually that something is what is most important to us. A proud father witnesses to his son’s achievements. An enthusiastic fan witnesses to the exploits of her sports heroes. Similarly, for the Christian, we testify to the blessings of the good news of Jesus Christ. This involves demonstrating to others the lifestyle of following Christ as well as explaining & declaring the truth behind it. Demonstration and declaration are two key elements to being effective witnesses to anything. We are instructed this way in scripture: Romans 1:16 (ESV) says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes...” and in Matthew 5:16 (ESV) Jesus says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” And Jesus also says in John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
And so, at King of Grace Church we seek to witness to the reality of Jesus Christ in how we live, how we love and what we say. We seek to do this in every arena of life in which we live that we might shine his light and see many others come to know, enjoy and worship the King and Savior who will one day soon come back to complete his reign over all of creation. In pursuing this call to witness we affirm the following points:
- We affirm that a right approach to witnessing springs from a gospel-motivated, grace-empowered, God-exulting, loving & humble engagement with our families, our friends, our community and our culture.
- We pursue a multi-faceted, relationally based, church-wide ministry of outreach.
- We pursue a church-wide culture of mission with the pastors & leaders equipping & the members ministering.
- We believe in a deep and broad community and cultural engagement.
- We pursue a genuine love for and sincere involvement with our communities, not isolation from nor abandonment of the culture.
- We exist to be a church-planting church to New England and beyond.
That is what we mean by witnessing. We invite you to come and witness with us to the wonderful news and experience of Jesus Christ, Savior and Lord.