In the present dispensation there is only one true church, which is called the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22, 3:6; Colossians 1:18). The historical manifestation of the Body of Christ began with the Apostle Paul before he wrote his first epistle (I Thessalonians 2:14 cf. Acts 13:45; Philippians 1:5-6 cf. Acts 16; 1 Corinthians 12:13, 17 cf. Acts 18).
The ministry gifts of the Body of Christ are enumerated in Ephesians 4:4-11, Romans 12:6-8, and I Corinthians 12:1-31. Some were of the nature of ministers given to the church and some were individual enablements for spiritual services; some of these gifts were permanent in nature and some were to pass away. Since the New Testament canon was completed through the ministries of apostles and prophets, we believe these two offices have been fulfilled and no longer exist. Likewise, the sign gifts, such as tongues, miracles, and healings, which were addressed primarily to the nation Israel (1 Corinthians 14:22) have fulfilled their purpose and have passed away according to I Corinthians 13:8-11.
By reason of Christ's victory over sin and of His indwelling Spirit, all of the saved may and should experience deliverance from the power of sin by obedience to Romans 6:11. However, we deny that man's nature of sin is ever eradicated during this life (Romans 6:6-23, 8:37; 2 Corinthians 2:14, 10:2-5).
The communion of the Lord's Supper as revealed through the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 is for members of the Body of Christ to observe until He comes. There is no place in Scripture where the Lord's Supper and water baptism are linked together either as ordinances or as sacraments of Christ.
All saved persons have been made members of the Body of Christ by one Divine baptism (1 Corinthians 12:13). By that one baptism every member of the Body of Christ is identified with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4). In light of the statement concerning the one baptism in Ephesians 4:5, the statement concerning water baptism in Colossians 2:12, and Paul's statement in I Corinthians 1:17 that Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel, we conclude that water baptism is not a part of God's spiritual program for the Body of Christ in this day of Grace.
Second Coming of Christ
The rapture of the Church will be Pre-Tribulation and the Second Coming of Christ will be Pre-Millennial. He will come first to receive the Church, which is His Body, unto Himself (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Philippians 3:20-21) and then come to receive His Millennial Kingdom over which He will reign (Zechariah 14:4-9; Acts 1:10-11; Revelation 19:11-16, 20:4-6). Because of the nature of the Body of Christ, the resurrection and rapture of the Church, which is His Body, will take place before the Tribulation (Jeremiah 30:7; Matthew 24:15-31; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-7) at His appearing in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Philippians 3:20-21; Titus 2:13-14; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53). The resurrection of the other saved dead will occur after the Tribulation (Revelation 20:4-6).
State of the Dead
Nowhere does Scripture extend the hope of salvation to the unsaved dead but instead reveals that they will continue to exist in a state of conscious suffering (Luke 16:23-28; Revelation 14:11, 20:14-15; Romans 1:21-32; John 3:36; 2 Thessalonians 1:9). The teachings of Universalism, of probation after death (i.e. purgatory), of annihilation of the unsaved dead, and the unconscious state of the death, saved, or unsaved (Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8) are opposed by us as being thoroughly unscriptural and dangerous doctrines.
The mission and commission of the Church, which is His Body, is to proclaim the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:14-21) and endeavor to make all men see what is the fellowship of the Mystery (Ephesians 3:8-9). In this, we should follow the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 4:16, 11:1; Philippians 3:17; 1 Timothy 1:11-16). That distinctive message which the Apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13, 15:16) calls my gospel (Romans 2:16, 16:25) is also called the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24). We, like Paul, must preach the entire Word of God in the light of this Gospel (2 Timothy 4:2; Galatians 1:8-9) and strive to reach those in the regions beyond where Christ is not yet named (Romans 15:20; 2 Corinthians 10:16).
Marriage and Human Sexuality
We believe that marriage is a holy estate created by God. It is the exclusive, covenant relationship between one man and one woman. Though sexual intimacy within the marriage relationship between one man and one woman is approved and even celebrated in scripture, we believe that any sexual intimacy outside of this covenant relationship is sinful and prohibited. Further, we believe that God created human beings in two distinct genders: male and female. We believe any attempts to alter or change one’s gender are prohibited and sinful. (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5, 13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1:26-29; I Cor. 5:1;6:9; I Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4). Grace Bible Church, Beloit, WI, will not receive into its membership anyone who is living in violation of this Biblical standard for Marriage and Human Sexuality. Further, we believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of the church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by the church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, must abide by and agree to this Statement on Marriage and Sexuality and conduct themselves accordingly. The ministerial staff of Grace Bible Church, Beloit, WI may not officiate or participate in weddings that violate this statement. Nor will Grace Bible Church, Beloit, WI property or building be used to facilitate weddings that violate this statement.