WHAT WE BELIEVE

Our Statement of What We Believe – Important Note About Our Beliefs
In Essential Beliefs – we believe that there should be unity. Ephesians 4:4-6
In Non-Essential Beliefs – we believe there should be liberty. Romans 14:1,4,12
In All Our Beliefs – we believe that we must maintain love toward each other. I Corinthians 13:2
 
Theological Principles of Faith
 
Article 1: We believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. We believe that Jesus Christ, out of love for the world, died on the cross as atonement for our sins and to make possible the new life promised in Scripture. We believe that Jesus Christ was resurrected (rose from the dead), ascended into heaven, and offers the gift of eternal life for all who will believe in Him. We believe that Jesus Christ is the Word of the Father, of one substance with the Father, and yet took human form (after being conceived by the Holy Spirit) and was born through the Virgin, Mary. We believe that Jesus Christ is, in the words of John 1: “The Word made flesh.” And we affirm, along with the Apostle Paul, in II Corinthians 5:19 that “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself.”
 
Article 2: We believe that there is one true God, of everlasting and infinite power, goodness, and wisdom. We believe that God is the creator and sustainer of the entire Universe. Moreover, we believe within the unity of the God there are three persons of one substance, power, and will, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. That is to say, we affirm the traditional Trinitarian formula normative to the ecumenical church since the early Christian centuries, most notably that of the Nicene and Apostle’s Creeds, that the Oneness of God is revealed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
 
Article 3: We believe that God’s paramount characteristics (the trunk of the tree, if you will) are love, mercy, justice, and grace. God loves us just as we are, yet also calls each of us into growth and greater Christian living. While God does demand accountability for the way we live our lives, ultimately this is always framed within the context of “prodigal son like” mercy and forgiveness.
 
Article 4: We believe that God’s presence can be felt and known through many vehicles, such as other persons, the Word, and the Church, but primarily through the work of the Holy Spirit, who serves as our comforter, our guide, and our counselor.
 
Article 5: We believe that the Bible, inspired by God and recorded by humans, is the guide and final authority for our lives. The Bible contains all that we need to know regarding salvation. The Bible is to be received through the Holy Spirit as the true rule and guide for faith and practice. The books of the Bible, which we regard as cannon, are the sixty-six books of the Bible common to all Protestant versions.
 
Article 6: (The human condition) Here we concur with Christian tradition which states that: “humanity has been born with a sinful disposition, an inherent bias towards acts of sinning.” God’s grace has provided a means to overcome this; as we turn to Christ he provides a new disposition, the new heart as promised in Scripture (see Ezekiel 11:19-20). In the most basic sense, the human condition (historically called original sin) refers to the fact that we all stand and admit that we need God’s forgiveness and empowering grace. It involves admitting that we need God’s power to change our lives and hearts away from being self-centered towards serving and loving God and others.
 
Article 7: We believe that forgiveness of sin is offered to us by God, and that as Christians we need to confess our faith in Christ as Savior and Lord, accepting Christ as the master of our lives, and the Holy Spirit as our guide through life. There is nothing, however, one can do to earn salvation, because it is a gift from God. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9) The “love” offering that Christ made of his life, upon the cross, is the perfect and only sacrifice necessary for us to be forgiven in God’s eyes. All we need to do is accept the gift.
 
Article 8: We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ is the body of believers, men, women, and children in which the Word of God is preached and shared, sacraments administered, and the building up of one another in Christian love and charity takes place. We believe the church has a two-fold purpose. One, to nurture the believer (in-reach); to be a body which loves and accepts one another and calls each other into Christian growth and Christian living. Two, the church exists to reach out to the unbeliever, inviting them into a trans-forming relationship with Christ. In this regard then, the church exists to be light of the world, the “salt” of the earth, to be a leavening influence in terms of social service and social justice.
 
Article 9: We believe the sacraments are the visible and outward signs of God’s invisible and inward grace. They are means by which God works to bless, enrich, nourish, challenge, and change the hearts and lives of those who participate in them. There are only two sacraments that are ordained by Christ in the Gospel: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is a sign and profession of one’s acceptance of Christ’s power and rule in their lives, as well as the washing away of sins, and hence represents the new birth made possible through Christ. We believe in baptizing both infants and adults as was modeled in the early Church and by the apostle Paul. We believe that the Lord’s Supper is a meal open to any and all who are seeking a relationship with Christ. We believe God freely gives from God’s table. The Lord’s Supper is a time to remember what Christ has done for us, as well as serving as a reminder for each of us to live out the life that Christ lived. It is a means in which God strengthens us, nourishes our soul, and allows us to receive God’s grace. All are welcome at Christ’s table.
Presbyterian USA Church
 
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Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel, whom alone we worship and serve.
 
God comes to us in free and undeserved favor in the person of Jesus Christ who lived, died, and rose for us that we might belong to God and serve Christ in the world. Following Jesus, Presbyterians are engaged in the world and in seeking thoughtful solutions to the challenges of our time.
 
Presbyterians affirm that God comes to us with grace and love in the person of Jesus Christ, who lived, died, and rose for us so that we might have eternal and abundant life in him. As Christ’s disciples, called to ministry in his name, we seek to continue his mission of teaching the truth, feeding the hungry, healing the broken, and welcoming strangers. God sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, giving us the energy, intelligence, imagination, and love to be Christ’s faithful disciples in the world.
 
More than two million people call the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) their spiritual home. Worshiping in 10,000 Presbyterian congregations throughout the United States, they engage the communities in which they live and serve with God’s love.

Mission and Vision

The Mission of Grace, through the efforts of its church family is: 
United in Christ we engage ourselves and our community in God’s Work! Reaching Up! Reaching Out!
 
Called by God, our Vision is to engage our congregation and community by fulfilling relevant needs and enriching lives. Building relationships in Christ allows us to actively participate in His work in this world joyfully and compassionately.
 
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
MATTHEW 28:19 NIV
 
 

Grace Values

The Work, Words,
and Life of Christ
 
Jesus is at the center of everything we do. The very nature of who we are as Christ followers and what we do comes from what has already been done by Jesus through his death, burial, and resurrection. If Jesus said it, we believe it. If Jesus did it, we try to do it as well. We believe that through Christ all things are possible.
Living and Leading
by the Bible
 
The Bible is God’s voice speaking to us, so at every level honoring and obeying God’s word is essential to the church. We do believe we should take an educated look at Scriptures examining their social and historical context. How did God’s Word speak to people in that time and space and how does it continue to speak to us in our time and space. We do believe God is still speaking!
Demonstrating Dependence on God
 
Nothing can be done apart from God. Grace is dependent on Him and needs His Spirit’s empowerment to accomplish His purposes. Prayer — both personal and corporate — is one way the church can demonstrate its dependence on God.
Inviting All People
 
Grace accepts others because Christ accepted us, even when we didn’t deserve it. We strive to be welcoming, friendly, and accepting of others — as Christ is to us. This Value, however, is not an end in and of itself. It leads to the development of a community that is one in Christ.
 
Growing in Community
 
Growth is a natural sign of a healthy life. Small Groups and Bible Studies are Grace’s main discipleship processes for Growing in Community. Within these groups, the goal is to see the Core Four (Truth, Fellowship, Communion, and Prayer) evident in individuals’ lives. This will naturally happen as discipleship occurs weekly in homes throughout Corpus Christi, Texas.
 
Investing God’s Resources
 
At Grace we understand that God owns everything. And God has called us to be good stewards of His resources. Therefore we invest our time, our talents, and our money in things that matter to God. We practice and encourage debt free living and generous giving out of our desire to be wise stewards of God’s resources.

 

 
Serving With Excellence
 
All of Grace is expected to serve each other with excellence, from pastors to lay people, nursery workers to greeters, global partners to missionaries. God deserves our best; Grace strives for excellence in all it does, as working for God and not for man. Grace is committed to excellence by creating a culture of constant change.
 
Impacting the World
 
Grace is reaching the world through many avenues. Perhaps the most obvious is through international ministries and missions, where the church physically goes somewhere and serves. From the CROP WALK to the Christmas Gifts for needy families, to Socks for Souls, to Church Without Walls, our church strives to help and love our neighbors in need!