charis: kar'-us definition: grace
Community of Grace is part of the Charis Fellowship of Churches that is committed to Biblical Truth, Biblical Relationship, and Biblical Mission.
1. We seek to understand the intent of each biblical writer by using grammatical, historical, and contextual principles of interpretation,66 focused on Christ, led by the Holy Spirit,67 and oriented by grace. We accept the absolute authority of the Bible rather than that of creeds, traditions, or leaders.68
2. We commit to an ongoing study, understanding and application of God’s unchanging truth in our constantly changing world, whether personal, social or cultural.69
3. We affirm that true believers put their trust in Jesus Christ and are kept forever in the saving grace of God through His promises and His power.70 Every believer has been eternally justified,71 blessed with all spiritual blessings,72 and set free from all condemnation.73
4. We affirm that the Holy Spirit’s works of baptizing,74 sealing75 and indwelling76 occur simultaneously with regeneration and are the possession of every true believer. The Holy Spirit gives each believer a unique combination of spiritual gifts for the purpose of serving God and people.77
5. We affirm that Jesus Christ gave ordinances to the church: Baptism testifies to the reality of our salvation and identifies us as disciples of the Triune God. We therefore encourage the practice of triune immersion.78 Communion testifies to our justification, sanctification and glorification, which are accomplished through Jesus Christ. We therefore encourage the practice of these symbols: the bread and cup, the washing of feet and the sharing of a meal.79
6. We encourage the practice of additional biblical symbolic actions, such as anointing with oil and prayer for the sick,80 laying on of hands for ministry,81 etc.
7. We affirm that the Church began on a particular day of Pentecost when our ascended Lord sent His Spirit to the waiting disciples.82 The present Church age will come to an end when our Lord comes in the air to remove His Church from the earth83 and fulfill His promises to Israel.84 The second coming of Christ is the personal, physical, and visible return from heaven of Christ to earth85 with His Church,86 to establish His thousand-year reign87 before instituting His eternal kingdom.88
1. We affirm that the Triune God serves as the perfect and ultimate model for human relationships.89 As a result, each person has equal value yet different roles, which are expressed in loving unity.90
2. We affirm that differences in gifts and ministries are a manifestation of the multifaceted grace of God.91 As a result, we encourage all believers to use their gifts in ways that promote the unity, growth and ministry of the local church.92
3. We affirm our obligation to love and respect one another, and to practice the ‘one another’ exhortations. As a result, we commit to work together and to resolve our differences, for the good of individuals, churches and communities.93
4. We affirm the responsibility of local churches to govern their own affairs94 while urging those churches to live and serve in community and interdependency with other churches.95
5. We affirm that the mandate and urgency to fulfill the Great Commission leads us to seek ways to cooperate with one another, and with likeminded Christians on the local, regional and global levels.96
1. We affirm that God’s plan for this age is best summarized in Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations.97 This includes the evangelistic call to reconciliation with God by means of the completed work of Christ and the lifelong pursuit of obedience to God by means of the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit.98
2. We affirm that God’s plan for this age includes the recognition, training and releasing of spiritually qualified and appropriately trained leaders.99 While the specific gifts, abilities and responsibilities of leaders may vary, all leaders must serve as servants of God,100 shepherds of God’s people101 and stewards of God’s resources.102
3. We affirm that God’s plan for this age is most fully expressed through establishing healthy churches. Although practices may vary between cultures, healthy local churches are comprised of believers in Christ who assume a mutual commitment to worship, learning, service, prayer and witness.103
4. We affirm that God’s plan for this age includes our responsibility to express the compassion of Christ through proclaiming the Gospel in words while loving in deeds.104 We are committed to finding creative and practical ways to address the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of a fallen humanity. 105
66 Matthew 5:18; Luke 24:25-27 67 1Corinthians 2:14 68 1Corinthians 4:6 69 Acts 17:11; 2Timothy 2:15; 1Chronicles 12:32 70 John 10:28.29; 1Peter 1:3-5 71 Romans 3:24; Romans 4:25 72 Ephesians 1:3 73 Romans 8:1 74 1Corinthians 12:13 75 Ephesians 1:13 76 Romans 8:11 77 Romans 12:6; 1Corinthians 12:7.11 78 Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:36- 38; Acts 10:47 79 1Corinthians 11:20.23-26; Luke 22:14-20; John 13:14; Jude 12 80 James 5:13-16 81 1Timothy 4:14 82 Acts 2:1; Acts 2:37-47 83 1Thessalonians 4:16.17; John 14:3 84 Zechariah 12; Romans 11:26-29 85 Acts 1:11; Zechariah 14:4 86 Revelation 19:11-16 ; Colossians 3:4 87 Revelation 20:4 88 1Corinthians 15:24.25 89 John 17:20.21 90 Ephesians 4:1-6 91 1Peter 4:10 92 Romans 12:3-8; 1Corinthians 12:12-27 93 The New Testament has over twenty ‘one another’ references. Compare James 5:16; Galatians 5:13 et al. 94 1Cor 5:12.13 95 1Corinthians 11:16 96 Compare Acts 18:24-28; Romans 15:24-29 97 Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 1:5 98 Romans 10:13-17; 1Corinthians 15:3-4; 2Corinthians 5:18-20; Galatians 5:16 99 Acts 13:2.3 100 1Timothy 4:6 101 Acts 20:28; 1Peter 5:2 102 1Corinthians 4:1 103 Acts 2:41-47; Acts 14:21-28 104 1John 3:16-18 105 Acts 10:38; Titus 3:8; James 2:1-9
Have a question about what we believe at Community of Grace? Get in touch with a person on our lead team directly by clicking the button below.