Springs of Grace Bible Church exists to the praise of God’s glory. We believe the following non-negotiable pillars are essential to being such a church.
This is only one way of summarizing what Scripture teaches. It is not intended to be a complete expression of our faith or an authoritative document.
I. A high view of God and the centrality of Christ.
A. We believe God is great and holy and sovereign. Therefore, it is important for preachers and people in word, emphasis, and practice not to take God off His throne and turn Him into a servant subject to man’s decisions. In Isaiah the Lord says, “I am the high and exalted One who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy. I dwell on a high and holy place and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit” (Is. 57:15). We seek not God’s blessing on our plan but we seek God. We must not question His hand. “Our God is in the heavens and He does whatever He pleases” (Ps. 115:3). What He does is always just, right, holy, and good because that’s who He is.
B. We believe that God’s passion is for the fame of His name and that the glory of His name is most awesomely revealed through His Son redeeming a people unto Himself. As the only begotten Son, He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed miracles and teachings, died a substitutionary atoning death, was resurrected bodily, ascended into heaven, is in perpetual intercession for His people, and will personally and visibly return to earth. Christ is the central figure in the purpose of God, the central figure in the history of man, and the central figure in the worship of the Church.
II. A dependence on the Holy Spirit.
A. We believe salvation was planned by the Father, purchased by the Son, and applied by the Holy Spirit (John 3:5-7). The Holy Spirit is a divine, eternal person possessing all the attributes of the Godhead equally (Matt. 28:19; Acts 5:3,4).
B. We believe that the Holy Spirit came from the Father as promised by Christ (John 14:16,17; 15:26). His work is indispensable to completing and building the body of Christ and accomplishing the ministry of the church. His work is to convict of sin (John 16:7-9), guide us to an understanding of the Truth of God’s Word (John 16:13), administer gifts to the church, and, most importantly, to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:14). Therefore, we believe that we are dependent on the Holy Spirit in every way for everything. “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Romans 8:9).
III. A high view of Scripture.
A. We believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant, plenary, sufficient Word of God. ”All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Tim. 3:16a). As such, we believe in the absolute authority and sufficiency of Scripture in every area of the Christian’s life. “[All scripture] is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16b). We believe that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt. 4:4).
B. We believe it is not enough to hold to a high view of Scripture in profession only. It is our ambition to practice and demonstrate the sufficiency and superiority of Scripture in the life of the church and its people. Therefore we will not refute it, ascribe error to it, reduce it to a small portion of what we do as a church, embrace new revelations, or suggest certain portions can’t be implemented today (like church discipline). Instead, we are committed to preaching all of it – hard passages, convicting passages, and even controversial passages. We are committed to prioritizing it – not programs, entertainment, psychology, or any other substitute. We are committed to a high view of Scripture not out of personal preference or clever invention. Rather, we are committed to a high view of God’s Word because God is committed to a high view of His Word, “You have magnified Your word above all Your name” (Psalm 138:2). We believe it is absolutely essential to have a high view of God’s Word — to teach it, treasure it, defend it, obey it, and love it.
IV. A biblical view of man.
A. We believe man is inherently evil, not good. “There is none righteous, no not one. There is none who understands. There is none who seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they have become useless. There is none who does good. There is not even one” (Romans 3:10-12). We believe as our Lord said, “There is only one good and that is God.” When men do good, it is only the result of common grace. Men are not as bad as they could be, but neither are they as good as they must be to be right with God. Therefore, life-changing salvation is an absolute necessity. “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).
B. We believe man was created by God in God’s image, yet because of the fall is now sinful, depraved, and corrupt. He is a sinner by nature and by choice. Ephesians 2:1 tells us that before being made alive to God man is “dead in trespasses and sin.” Man is totally wicked and totally incapable of saving himself. Therefore, nobody is good enough or smart enough to come to God on his own. The grace of God is the only source, and hope, of salvation for sinful man, and the atoning work of Christ the only source and hope for justification and righteousness. Therefore, we are bound to preach, teach, share, and live the Word of God faithfully and prayerfully, recognizing that all spiritual life and growth must be produced by God Himself (1 Corinthians 3:6).
V. A biblical view of salvation.
A. We believe 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away and all things have become new.” We believe there is no such thing as true saving faith without repentance, obedience, submission to Christ, and perseverance. These are not the means to earn salvation – they are the evidence of biblical salvation.
B. We believe our Lord’s words in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven but he who does the will of My father which is in heaven.” We are not swayed by man’s profession but look for the fruit that evidences the divine nature within man. It is not perfection but direction. The evidence of a regenerate heart, according to the Scripture, is a personal hatred for sin, a personal love for God, and the longing to obey. Psalm 42:1 says, “As the deer pants for the water brook, so my soul longs for Thee, O God.” At salvation, righteousness becomes your love and sin becomes your burden. For the ungodly it is just the opposite. Sin is their love and righteousness is a burden. We believe the new covenant Christ instituted is a covenant of obedience (1 Peter 1:2), and that coming to Christ is entering by grace into a covenant with God that you will obey and follow Him. He covenants to forgive us when we fail to obey, based on the mediated sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross. There is no such thing as a biblical salvation that does not produce an ever-increasing life of obedience.
C. We believe missions must exist because worship doesn’t. Jesus charged all His followers to take the gospel into the entire world (Matthew 28:18-20) spreading the fame of His name. We believe that the conversion of the lost is very much on the heart of God and as we love Him it must be on our hearts as well. Every believer should be concerned for the salvation of those around them and those whom God might save from every tribe and tongue and people for His own glory. Thus there are only three kinds of people in regards to world missions: goers, senders or disobedient.
D. We believe the gospel’s work in the heart always produces a love for the poor and a longing to stand between the oppressed and the oppressor, as well as a love for the orphans, widows, and strangers among us. Jonathan Edwards commenting on Luke 6:20-26 expresses our understanding of the Bible when he writes, “Where have we any command in the Bible laid down in stronger terms and in a more peremptory (beyond doubt, irrefutable, incontrovertible) and urgent manner than the command of giving to the poor?”
VI. A biblical view of the church.
A. We are not trying to be a unique church. We are not trying to be something different or new. Rather, we desire to be just another true and biblical church in the long line of true churches that have always been but of which today there are too few.
B. We believe that the church is made up of those who have genuinely been saved and that the universal church makes up the bride of Christ of which the local body is a visible symbol. As such, the church should strive to be pure. Every believer must strive for, and pursue after, holiness. 2 Corinthians 7:1 says, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” We live in a day in which the world is constantly redrawing the lines. We cannot give ourselves to the lusts of the world and remain what God has called us to be – a pure church.
C. We believe the church should be marked by godly leaders. You cannot read the Scriptures honestly and ignore the necessity of having godly leadership and still expect to have God’s blessing. We believe that Christ is the head of the church (Col. 1:18). As the head of the church, He wants to rule His church through holy people. Unholy people get in the way. The primary ingredient in church leadership is holiness. The qualifications laid out in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 are not primarily about skill but about character. Developing holy leadership takes time and effort (40 years for Moses; at least that for Joshua; David watched sheep and then spent years hiding in caves from Saul). It takes great investments to raise up men of God. We are committed to being a church, by the grace of God, that willingly expends its resources to this end.
D. We believe the Scriptures teach a church is to be led by a plurality of godly men called elders (1 Thessalonians 5:13-14; Hebrews 13:7,17) and that the church is to submit to those over them in the Lord for they watch over their souls.
E. We believe that the church is a body and as such must exist in mutual accountability to one another in accord with Scripture. We believe that it is essential for the body’s health that each member be pursuing the use of his/her gift(s) for the serving of one another and that such gifts are used to glorify God and not men.
VII. A commitment to the preaching and teaching of sound doctrine.
A. We believe the church is to be “the pillar and support of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15).” It is a dangerous thing to be vague about doctrine (1 Timothy 1:3,10; 3:16; 4:6,13,16). Therefore, we are committed to preaching and teaching the doctrines of Scripture. It is entirely possible to have right doctrine without right living, but it is entirely impossible to sustain right living with wrong doctrine. We must strive to believe right about God if we ever hope to live right before God.
B. We believe sound doctrine is the unifying anchor of the church. It is what we stand upon and strive for (Philippians 1:27; Jude 3).
C. We believe that the preaching of the Word of God is the God appointed means for saving and maturing the saints. As such it must be central to every ministry of the church. (1 Cor. 1:21; 1 Tim. 4:16; Eph. 4:11-13).
VIII. A commitment to develop godly families.
A. We believe that parents must be committed to the spiritual nurturing of their children and must aim to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
B. We believe that children must be trained to honor their parents and the Lord in attitudes as well as in actions. We are praying that God will raise up a generation of children who have both zeal and truth; who are not only obedient but passionately in love with God having supremacy in all things.
C. We are committed to developing spiritual husbands who make their priority to selflessly lay down their lives for their wives and love them as Christ loves the church.
D. We are committed to encouraging women to love their husbands and children, to be gentle and submissive to their husbands, and to be passionately devoted to Christ. Further, we believe it is essential that the husband and wife fulfill their biblical roles of leadership and submission as unto the Lord because of the testimony and glory it brings our Lord as it pictures His relationship with His bride, the church.