At Grace Church Bellingham we believe that it is crucial to the spiritual health and public witness of our fellowship that we articulate and celebrate the glorious truths that God has graciously revealed to us in the Scriptures. These doctrinal truths bring stability to the church and equip the people of God to confront both false religions and the secularism of our society.
We believe that it is best and most biblical not to aim for how little can be believed simply to get by, or to find the lowest common denominator of doctrine around which all can gather, but to elevate the fullness of biblical truth and to teach and hold fast to the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).
At the same time, we consider that there are core truths that are central to the Christian faith. These truths are the central teaching of the Bible, the emphasis of Scripture, the touchstones of our life in Christ.
One such truth is a high view of Scripture. To have a "high view" means that we affirm the inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency of the Bible. It is God’s revealed Word. Though we use our imperfect eyes and fallen reason to process its truths, we affirm that it is our authority for life. Our only way of knowing Jesus Christ is through the revealed Word.
We also believe that the Bible has a strong emphasis on soteriology and Christology. This means that we hold strongly to salvation through faith alone, in Christ alone, by grace alone. We affirm the deity and humanity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is our redeemer and hope. Our hope is not in ourselves. Faith in this object, the Son of God, is what saves. We can accept no other view.
With a high view of Scripture, and a firm grasp of the keys elements of our salvation and Christ’s person and work, we are ready to continue to grow in our understanding. Understanding our salvation as outside of us leads us to be transparent and open to explore the meaning of Scripture, without having to be defensive over different views. We welcome a robust and healthy discussion of the Bible from the viewpoint of discovering the grace and truth of Jesus Christ. God’s Word alone is inerrant and infallible, not our interpretations of it. Thus we will always be open to correction from Scripture and will refine this statement as the Spirit teaches and guides us.
So whereas we recognize that differences of opinion and interpretation do exist among the people of this local church, and that robust, yet humble, discussion and debate on these matters is spiritually healthy, nothing contrary to this statement of faith will be publicly promoted.
It should also be understood that this statement of faith is not a requirement for people who attend Grace, as if to suggest that disagreement with any particular assertion disqualifies a person from being actively engaged in the ministries of this local body of believers. We welcome and embrace all who believe in and follow the Lord Jesus Christ, whether or not they can affirm every article of faith in this statement. The purpose of this declaration of doctrinal beliefs is to make known where Grace stands on issues of supreme importance to Christian faith and life.