What We Believe
- The Bible
- Jesus Christ
- The Holy Spirit
- Human Destiny
- The Church
- The Angels and Satan
We are committed to the teachings of the Christian faith as found in the Bible. The purpose of this document is not to express everything we teach from the Scriptures, but to clarify matters that distinguish Graham Church as a body.
1. The Bible
The sole basis of our belief is the Bible, composed of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament. We believe that Scripture in its entirety originated with God, and that it was given through the instrumentality of chosen men. Scripture, thus at one and the same time, speaks with the authority of God and reflects the backgrounds, styles, and vocabularies of the human authors. We hold that the Scriptures are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts, and God has protected the transmission of His Word through history so that we have a completely reliable guide. When correctly interpreted the Scriptures are trustworthy and fully truthful in all that they affirm. They are the unique, full and final authority on all matters of faith and practice and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God.
There is one living, true, and holy God, eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and these three are one God. God created man and the universe as described in Genesis 1-2, and not through evolutionary change.
3. Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, and is in very nature God and man, yet without sin. The Lord Jesus died for the sins of all men on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice, thus satisfying divine justice and accomplishing salvation for all who trust in Him alone. He rose from the dead in the same body, though glorified, in which He lived and died. He ascended into heaven where He intercedes for His people as High Priest and Advocate and rules as Lord of all creation. His return will be personal, premillennial, and imminent.
4. The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity who was sent into the world by the Father and the Son to apply to mankind the saving work of Christ. He enlightens the minds of sinners, awakens in them a recognition of their need of a Savior and regenerates them. At the point of salvation, He permanently indwells every believer to become the source of assurance, strength and wisdom, and uniquely endows each believer with gifts for the building up of the body.
The Holy Spirit enables the believer to understand and apply the truth of Scripture. He makes it possible for a Christian to lead a life of Christ-like character and to bear spiritual fruit to the glory of God as the Spirit’s power is appropriated by faith. While the sign gifts ceased with the death of the original Apostles, God through His Spirit still answers the prayer of faith according to His own will for the sick and afflicted.
God created man (male and female) in His own image in order to bring honor and glory to God and enjoy Him forever. But, through rebellion against the Creator, man fell from a sinless state into a condition of sin, death, and alienation from God. Thus, he is unable to please God. The entire human race is born into this state of sin and death, sinful by nature and by choice, and, apart from grace, incapable of returning to God. Because of this we all are in need of God’s saving grace.
Salvation is wholly a work of God’s free grace, not the result, in whole or in part, of human works or goodness, and must be personally appropriated by repentance and faith. In order to be saved, a person must turn from his sin and receive and accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, believing He is God, and trusting alone in what Christ has done upon the cross. This faith is the work of God which results in fruit, obedience, and good works in the life of the believer. This is the core of the Christian faith, the Gospel. A person who denies this could not be considered a Christian.
A Christian is justified (declared righteous) at salvation when the righteousness of Christ is applied to him. A Christian is sanctified (set apart to God) by the Holy Spirit positionally at salvation, practically as the believer grows in grace, and finally at Christ’s return or the believer’s death.
Salvation grants eternal life, and once a person is truly saved, he/she is kept by the power of Christ and is always secure in their redemption. Assurance is that personal knowledge of salvation that comes from faith and an obedient life.
7. Human Destiny
Death seals the eternal destiny of each person. For all mankind, there will be a resurrection of the body and a judgment of each individual. Unbelievers will be separated from God into eternal condemnation in hell for their own rejection of God. Believers will be received into eternal communion with God in heaven. Believers alive at Christ’s return will be caught up to meet the Lord and will be with the Lord forever.
8. The Church
Graham Church is a spiritual fellowship, created by the Spirit and the Word of God, with the risen Christ as its Lord. There is one true church universal, comprised of all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and distinct from Israel. The Scripture commands believers to gather together as a local congregation to devote themselves to worship, prayer, teaching of the Word, observance of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, fellowship, service to the body through the development and use of gifts, and outreach to the world. The supreme authority of the church is Christ. The local church has the right of self-government, free from any external authority or interference.
Two ordinances have been committed to the local church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper, also called communion, Christian baptism by immersion is the solemn and beautiful testimony of a believer showing forth his faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Savior, and his union with Him in death to sin and resurrection to a new life. We believe biblical baptism is best represented by immersion and this will be the practice of Graham church. Baptism is a sign of fellowship and identification with the visible Body of Christ.
The Lord’s Supper is the commemoration and proclamation of His death until He comes, and should be always preceded by solemn self examination. The elements of the Lord’s Supper are only representative of the flesh and blood of Christ. The Lord’s Supper is nevertheless an actual communion with the risen Christ who is present in a unique way, fellowshipping with His people.
9. The Angels and Satan
Angels are created beings, and therefore are not to be worshiped. Although they are a higher order of creation than man, they are created to serve God and to worship Him.
Satan is a created angel. He incurred the judgment of God by rebelling against his Creator, by taking numerous angels with him in his fall, and by introducing sin into the human race by his temptation of Eve. Satan is the open and declared enemy of God and man; the prince of this world, who has been defeated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and he shall be eternally punished in the lake of fire.
“Sola Scriptura” – Scripture Alone
“Sola Gratia” – Grace Alone
“Sola Fide” – Faith Alone
“Solus Christus” – Christ Alone
“Soli Deo Gloria” – To the Glory of God Alone