Distinctives of Grace Bible Fellowship:
– A high view of Scripture, not just in theory, but in all teaching, preaching and practice: GBF stands firmly on the fact of the verbal, plenary inspiration of the Scriptures. They, being the very Word of God are inherently inerrant, infallible and authoritative. We subscribe whole-heartedly to The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.
– Union, Identification, Positional truths: We consistently and pervasively teach that our union with the Son of God, our identification with Him in His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and heavenly seating, and our positioning in Him by the Holy Spirit at the moment of saving faith are necessary, vital and joyful truths and the real source of spiritual growth and service in the Lord. Reckoning, by faith, these as gracious facts about our relationship to God in Christ is the means of realizing their blessings in our spiritual walk.
– Committed to the apostolic doctrine of one city, gathered as one local church, under one head – the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace Bible Fellowship is patiently and prayerfully committed to and working for the strategic project of biblically uniting believers of like-precious faith in the Ukiah/Redwood Valley area into one local, bible-believing, regenerate congregation with one fellowship of qualified elders/under-shepherds, the only Senior Pastor being the Lord Jesus himself (1 Peter 5:1-4).
Though it seems novel to many modern Christians, it’s not. In fact, one-city-one-church-body was the universal and uniformly practiced and enforced pattern of ecclesiology (doctrine of the church) of the apostles as expressed in the NT. What is novel to the NT and the apostolic and sub-apostolic era of church history is the current practice of having many local, even competitive churches, dividing Christ and His body illicitly. This one city/one local body/church is amply demonstrated by the existence of the seven churches which correspond to the seven cities (a 1:1 relationship) addressed by the Lord Jesus in Revelation 2-3, and by Titus’ charge to appoint elders (plural) in each city (singular) (Titus 1:5).
The existence of schism in what should be the one local body of Christ gathered together in one location for worship, stains the glory of Christ, bears poor witness of the gospel to unbelievers, and tends to the increase of doctrinal departure and “pet” teachings and practices. It diminishes the Lord’s intended edification, mutual love, happiness and enjoyment of the koinonia of His saints. Schism has rendered actual church discipline mostly impotent and therefore mostly dormant, to the shame and dishonor of the Lord and sickness of His body. It is out of conformity with (disobedient to) the ecclesiology revealed in the NT both by precept and example, and is inconsistent with the universal one-city-one-church ecclesiological practices of the first few centuries of church history (apostolic and early church fathers period).
We lovingly deny the pragmatic claim that this is not a worthy project, “because it’s not practical and no one will go for it.” The claim is biblically substandard/sub-orthodox, ahistorical, and occasionally even reveals a self-serving spirit.
– Applying a consistent, normal/literal, historical grammatical interpretation to all of Scripture, and maintaining the distinction between Israel and the church follows necessarily and naturally from seeing how God gave and then fulfilled His Biblical covenants. This principle of interpretation leads then to the concept of progressive revelation, and a dispensational view of God’s dealings with mankind.
Accordingly, we teach in agreement with the normal reading of Old and New Testaments of God’s faithfulness to complete his promises to Israel, including a premillennial second coming of Jesus, the Son of Man and Son of David, to rule and reign as King in the earthly Jerusalem over all the earth for the 1,000 years promised. At the end of this millennial Kingdom of God/Kingdom of Heaven, the final Great White Throne judgment of sinning men and angels will occur, followed by the New Heavens and New Earth.
This second coming is preceded by 7 years of tribulation – Daniel’s 70th week, and the “time of Jacob’s trouble,” focused on disciplining Israel and producing a faithful remnant among her who will cry out, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Preceding this 7 years of tribulation, all Christians, living and dead, will be snatched up/raptured by the Lord, given glorified bodies, and rewarded for faithful service at the Bema.
So to glorify Christ and spread His fame, it is our responsibility to:
– Teach the Word: Clearly, faithfully teach and make known the whole counsel of God by expository teaching, verse by verse, from normal, literal, historical and grammatical interpretation.
– Focus on Body Life: Lovingly, sacrificially and truthfully exhort and care for one another, submitting ourselves, walking in the humility and love of Christ with one another, meekly serving and preferring what is best for one another, including regular attendance, prayer, mutual edification, admonition, counsel from the Word, and faithful good deeds.
– Faithfully make known to the lost the Good News, the gospel of our union and identification with, and our positioning in the Living Son of God, and the redemption and eternal life obtained by faith alone in the Person and finished work of the same Lord Jesus Christ. While this is preached from the pulpit, we believe the primary ministry of evangelism is to be the joy and duty of individual believers in their daily lives. We teach both Biblical apologetics and evangelism so that believers can be confident in their gospel ministry.
If your desire is to really know the Word of God, and walk with those being transformed by it, please join with us on our journey of faith and obedience.