What We Teach at Grace School of the Bible
We believe that Eph. 4:1-6 sets forth the doctrinal basis necessary for fellowship in the dispensation of grace. Since, however, there are many areas of doctrine which are of specific interest to believers we have a formal, detailed statement concerning what we teach.
Part 1: God’s Revelation of Himself to Man
We teach that God has revealed His person and His will to man in various ways through the ages. He has done this through nature (Psa. 19:1, Rom. 1:18-20), through special revelation to individuals (Matt. 16:17, Gal. 1:11, 12; 2:2), and through His written Word (II Tim. 3:16). We further teach that with the completion of God’s written Word all special revelation ceased (I Cor. 13:8-10, Col. 1:25). God’s person is revealed today through nature and the written Word, and His specific will for the lives of believers is revealed exclusively through the written Word.
We teach that God the Holy Spirit verbally inspired 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament (II Tim. 3:16,17, II Pet. 1:20,21). That is, God dictated the individual words of Scripture through human authors so that the individual words they used were the words God intended them to use (Matt. 4:4; 5:17,18; 24:35, I Cor. 2:13). We further teach that these God-inspired words are absolutely infallible and are the final authority in faith and life.
We teach that in addition to inspiring His Word, God has preserved His Word through history so that we do possess today the complete infallible Word of God (Psa. 12:6,7, Isa. 30:8). This preservation has been carried out by God’s people (Ezra 7:6, Rom. 3:1,2, I Tim. 3:15). This preserved text exists today in the Masoretic text of the Old Testament and the Received Text of the New Testament. We further teach that the Authorized Version, commonly known as the King James Version, is the proper and authoritative English translation of these texts.
Part 2: The Nature of God
We teach the trinity of the Godhead. That is, one God eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:16,17, Eph. 4:4-6, I John 5:7). We further teach that this triune God is the one and only true God in the universe and that any other so-called gods are merely creations of man’s evil imagination (Ex. 20:3-5).
We teach that God the Father is a Spirit; infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in His being, power, wisdom, justice, righteousness, knowledge, truth and love (Matt. 11:25, John 4:23,24, Eph. 4:6, I Pet. 1:2). Although He loves all mankind, His salvation is reserved for those who come to Him through faith. His name is Father. He is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ and of all those who trust in Him (John 8:41,42, Rom. 8:14-16, II Cor. 1:2,3, Gal. 3:26).
We teach the absolute deity of the Lord Jesus Christ (Zech. 12:10, John 1:1,2,14; 10:30), His virgin birth (Isa. 7:14, Matt. 1:18,23), His perfect, sinless humanity, His vicarious death through the shedding of blood for the remission of sin (Col. 1:12-14), His bodily resurrection and ascension (Matt. 28:6-9, Acts 1:9, I Cor. 15:1-5), His glorification at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33-36, Phil. 2:5-11), and His present position as the one and only mediator between God and man (I Tim. 2:5).
We teach the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7,8, Acts 5:3,4) and His convicting (Rom. 8:1-4,14), regenerating (Tit. 3:5), baptizing (I Cor. 12:13), sealing (Eph. 1:13), indwelling (I Cor. 3:16), enlightening (Eph. 1:17,18), and empowering (Eph. 3:16) ministries in the world today. We further teach that the ministries of the Holy Spirit today are carried out exclusively through the instrumentality of the Word of God (Eph. 6:17).
We teach that God is the creator and sustainer of the universe (Gen. 1:1, Psa. 33:6, 36:6, Neh. 9:6). It is God’s power and might that created the universe and it is that same power and might that sustains the natural processes of the universe. We further teach that this creating and sustaining work was and is carried out through Jesus Christ (John 1:1-3, Eph. 3:9, Col. 1:15-17, Heb. 1:1-3).
We teach that God and all that He has revealed about Himself and His will comprise a body of information known as the truth (Ex. 34:5,6, Deut. 32:4, II Cor. 1:20, I Tim. 3:15, Rev. 15:3; 16:7). All that pertains to God is truth. This truth has been revealed through the living Word, Jesus Christ (John 1:14; 14:6; 18:37, Eph. 4:21), and the written Word, the Bible (Psa. 119:43, John 17:17, II Tim. 2:15).
Part 3: The Nature and Destiny of Satan
We teach the reality and personality of Satan (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7, I Thess. 2:18, Rev. 12:9). We further teach that Satan was created as Lucifer in a perfect sinless state and, through the sin of deifying the creature, lost that position and became the originator of all sin in the universe (Ezk. 28:12-19, Isa. 14:12-17, I Tim. 3:5). In no way is God responsible for sin. Satan is entirely responsible for the entry of sin into God’s perfect creation.
We teach that Satan and all that pertains to him comprises a body of information known as the lie (John 8:44, II Thess. 2:9-11). We teach that the lie of Satan involves the deification of the creature (II Thess. 2:3,4, Rom. 1:21-25, Isa. 14:12-14) and that Satan is actively involved in propagating the lie in direct opposition to God’s message of truth.
We teach that Satan’s primary means of propagating the lie is to disguise it as the truth. This is especially true in the dispensation of grace (II Cor. 11:13-15, I Tim. 4:1-3). We further teach that Satan possesses supernatural powers and that he can and does use those powers to imitate miracles of God as a way of persuading men to believe the lie (II Thess. 2:9, Rev. 13:11-14, Matt. 7:21-23). Satan works through deception.
We teach that when Satan rebelled against God, one-third of the angels of heaven joined him in that rebellion (Rev. 12:3,4). We further teach that Satan and all the angels who rebelled with him will suffer eternal damnation and torment in the Lake of Fire (Matt. 25:41, Rev. 20:10).
Part 4: The Nature and Destiny of Man
We teach that man was created by God, in His own image, in a perfect and sinless state, apart from any form of evolution (Gen. 1:26,27). We further teach that man sinned and thereby incurred both physical and spiritual death (Gen. 2:17; 5:5, Eph. 2:1,2), and that by virtue of being a descendant of Adam all human beings are born with a sin nature and in and of themselves can do nothing to please God (Psa. 51:5, Rom. 3:9-20,23; 5:12-14,18,19).
We teach that God, in His infinite love and grace, has, through the cross work of Christ, paid for all the sins of all men (Rom. 5:6-8, I John 2:1,2) and has made provision for men to be taken out of their sinful condition and placed in a righteous position (II Cor. 5:21, Rom. 3:23-26). We further teach that God is absolutely sovereign and that in His own sovereign free will has chosen to save those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor. 1:21).
We teach that salvation in the dispensation of grace is wholly of grace through faith in the work accomplished by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:21-4:5, Acts 13:38,39, I Cor. 15:1-4, Eph. 2:8,9). We further teach that there is not one act which man can perform which will merit him salvation. Man’s only hope is to rest in the one propitiatory act of Jesus Christ. Christ alone saves.
We teach that all saved persons in the dispensation of grace have been made members of the Church, the Body of Christ, by divine baptism (I Cor. 12:13). By this spiritual baptism every member of the Body of Christ is placed into Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and glorification (Rom. 6:3,4, Col. 3:1-3, Eph. 2:5,6). We further teach that this union between Christ and the members of His body forms an entity known as the New Man which is a possessor of the righteousness of God (Eph. 2:15; 4:24, Col. 3:10).
We teach the eternal security of all that are saved. That is, once a person has believed the message of salvation they can never lose that salvation (Rom. 8:29-39, Eph. 1:13,14; 4:30, Phil. 1:6). Just as there are no works that can be done to gain salvation there are no works that can be done to keep salvation (Gal. 3:1-5). Our security is completely in our position in Christ.
We teach that man is a triune being. That is, man is made up of a spirit, soul, and body (I Thess. 5:23, Heb. 4:12, Job 14:22). We further teach that at the death of the physical body the soul and spirit continue to exist in a state of consciousness. In the case of a saved individual, this existence is one of comfort and bliss (Luke 16:19-27, II Cor. 5:8, Phil. 1:21-23). In the case of an unsaved individual, this existence is one of torture and torment (Luke 16:19-27, Rom. 2:8,9, Rev. 14:10,11).
We teach the bodily resurrection of the saved (Job 19:25,26, Isa. 26:19, I Cor. 15:51-53, I Thess 4:15-18, Rev. 20:4) and the unsaved (John 5:28,29, Rev. 20:12-15). We further teach that the saved are resurrected to eternal reward and bliss (John 5:28,29, Phil. 1:21-23, Heb. 11:18,19) and that the unsaved are resurrected to eternal condemnation and torment (Dan. 12:2,3, Matt. 25:41-46, Rev. 20:11-15).
Part 5: Dispensational Distinctions
We teach that in order to be properly understood, and produce fruit, God’s Word must be studied from a dispensational viewpoint (II Tim. 2:15). We must realize that although God never changes (Heb. 13:8, Mal. 3:6) man does change. We further teach that it is not enough to simply preach the Word, we must preach the Word rightly divided if we are to be pleasing to God.
We teach that the key to rightly dividing the Word of Truth is to understand the erection, breaking down, and re-erection of “the middle wall of partition” (Eph. 2:11-14). In “time past” God erected a middle wall of partition around Abraham and his physical offspring through Isaac and Jacob and dealt exclusively through that group of people (Eph. 2:11,12, Gen. 12:1-3, Ex. 11:7, John 4:22). “But Now” in this present age the middle wall of partition has been broken down and God is no longer dealing with man on the basis of national distinction (I Cor. 12:13, Gal. 3:26-28, Eph. 2:11-18). The middle wall of partition will be erected again in “the ages to come” and God will fulfill His promises to Israel (Rom. 11:26-29). We further teach that the middle wall of partition was erected with the call of Abram (Gen. 12), was broken down with the raising up of the Apostle Paul (mid-Acts) and will be re-erected at the rapture of the Body of Christ (Rom. 11:25).
We teach that the church, the Body of Christ, and the dispensation of grace began in mid-Acts with the salvation and commissioning of the Apostle Paul. We teach that the Apostle Paul is the one and only man to whom the ascended Lord Jesus Christ gave the revelation of the mystery concerning the Body of Christ and the dispensation of grace (Rom. 11:13, Eph. 3:1-9, Gal. 1:11,12; 2:1-10). We further teach that until this message was revealed to and through the Apostle Paul it was never revealed to man (Rom. 16:25,26, Eph. 3:1-9, Col. 1:25-27).
We teach that God’s blessings for and dealings with the nation Israel differ from His blessings for and dealings with the Body of Christ. God’s blessings for Israel involve both physical and spiritual blessings (Gen. 15:10-18, Ezk. 36:26-28). As a result, God dealt with Israel in both a physical and spiritual way. God’s blessings for the Body of Christ involve spiritual blessings (II Cor. 4:16-18, Eph. 1:3) and thus God deals with the Body of Christ in a spiritual way. Physical blessings for the Body of Christ are always the result of the activity of these spiritual blessings (Eph. 2:10, Phil, 4:19).
We teach that the future destiny of Israel differs from the future destiny of the Body of Christ. The hope of Israel involves resurrection into a literal, visible, physical, earthly, Davidic kingdom which Jesus Christ will return to earth to rule over (Dan. 2:44,45, Zech. 14:4,9, Rev. 20:4-6). The hope of the Body of Christ involves being resurrected and raptured away to meet the Lord in the air (I Cor. 15:51-53, I Thess. 4:13-18). We further teach that the Tribulation and Millennium deal exclusively with Israel and that the rapture of the Body of Christ occurs before either of these events takes place (I Thess. 1:10; 5:9, II Thess. 2:1-3).