Statement of Beliefs
The following sets out the core beliefs which we consider to be essential to Biblical Christianity and to which the pastoral team, ministry leaders and members of the Liverpool congregation wholeheartedly subscribe.
Grace Communion International is a communion of members, congregations and ministries located in more than 100 countries and territories. Our mission is to live and share the gospel of Jesus Christ and to help members grow spiritually (Matthew 28:19-20).
Christians are exhorted to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). The Spirit of God leads the church into all truth (John 16:13). Accordingly, this Statement of Beliefs is not a closed creed. Grace Communion International constantly renews its commitment to truth and deeper understanding and seeks to respond to God's guidance in its beliefs and practices
Summary of Our Christian Faith
There is one God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
God the Father made all things through the Son, sent the Son for our salvation, and gives us the Holy Spirit.
The Son of God, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, was born of the virgin Mary, fully God and fully human, and is the perfect revelation of the Father and the perfect representative of humanity. He suffered and died on the cross for all human sin, was raised bodily on the third day, and ascended to heaven. Standing in for all humanity before the Father, Jesus Christ provides the perfect human response to God. Since he died for all, all died in him, and all will be made alive in him.
The Holy Spirit brings sinners to repentance and faith, assures believers of their forgiveness and acceptance as God’s dearly loved children, and works in them to conform them to the image of Jesus Christ.
The Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God that testifies to Jesus Christ. The Bible is fully authoritative for all matters of faith and salvation.
Salvation comes only by God’s grace and not by works, and it is experienced through faith in Jesus Christ. Christians respond to the joy of salvation when they gather in regular fellowship and live godly lives in Jesus Christ.
We look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the age to come.
Grace Communion International
Statement of Beliefs and historical documents of the Christian Church.
God, by the testimony of Scripture, is one divine Being in three eternal, co-essential, yet distinct Persons - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is the one true God, eternal, immutable, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He is Creator of heaven and earth, Sustainer of the universe, and Source of human salvation. Though transcendent, God is directly and personally involved with human beings. God is love and infinite goodness. (Mark 12:29; 1 Timothy 1:17; Ephesians 4:6; Matthew 28:19; 1 John 4:8; 5:20; Titus 2:11; John 16:27; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6)
God the Father is the first Person of the Godhead, the Unoriginate, of whom the Son is eternally begotten and from whom the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds through the Son. The Father, who made all things seen and unseen through the Son, sends the Son for our salvation and gives the Holy Spirit for our regeneration and adoption as children of God. (John 1:1, 14, 18; Romans 15:6; Colossians 1:15-16: John 3:16; 14:26; 15:26; Romans 8:14-17; Acts 17:28)
God the Son is the second Person of the Godhead, eternally begotten of the Father. He is the Word and the express image of the Father, by whom and for whom all things were created. He was sent by the Father as Jesus Christ to be God revealed in the flesh for our salvation. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, fully God and fully human, two natures in one Person. He is the Son of God and Lord of all, worthy of worship, honour and reverence. As the prophesied Saviour of humanity, he died for our sins, was raised bodily from the dead, and ascended to heaven, from where he mediates between humanity and God. He will come again in glory to reign as King of kings over all nations in the kingdom of God. (John 1:1, 10, 14; Colossians 1:15-16; Hebrews 1:3; John 3:16; Titus 2:13; Matthew 1:20; Acts 10:36; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Hebrews 1:8; Revelation 19:16)
God the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead, eternally proceeding from the Father through the Son. He is the Comforter promised by Jesus Christ, given by the Father to all believers. The Holy Spirit lives in us, unites us with the Father and the Son, and transforms us into the image of Christ through regeneration, repentance, sanctification, and continual renewal. The Holy Spirit is the Source of inspiration and prophecy throughout the Scriptures, and the Source of unity and communion in the church. He provides spiritual gifts for the work of the gospel, and is the Christian's constant Guide into all truth. (John 14:16; 15:26; Acts 2:4, 17-19, 38; Matthew 28:19; John 14:17-26, 23; 1 Peter 1:2; Titus 3:5; 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 2 Corinthians 13:14; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; Acts 20:28; John 16:13)
The kingdom of God in the broadest sense is God's supreme sovereignty. God's reign is now manifest in the church and in the life of each believer who is submissive to his will. The kingdom of God will be fully manifest over the whole world after the return of Jesus Christ when all things will become subject to it. (Psalms 2:6-9; 93:1-2; Luke 17:20-21; Daniel 2:44; Mark 1:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 11:15; 21:3, 22-27; 22:1-5)
God created humanity male and female in the image and likeness of God. God blessed them, telling them to multiply and fill the earth. In love, the Lord gave humans power as stewards to subdue the earth and rule its creatures. In Genesis, humanity is the crown of creation; Adam is the first human. Typified by Adam who sinned, humanity lives in rebellion against its Creator, thus spreading sin and death in the world. Despite human sinfulness, humanity continues in and is defined by God's image. Thus all humans, collectively and individually, deserve love, honour, and respect. The eternally perfect image of God is the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the last Adam. God creates through Jesus Christ the new humanity over which sin and death have no power. In Christ, humanity will bear perfectly the image of God. (Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8:3-8; Romans 5:12-21; Colossians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 15:47-49; 1 John 3:2)
The Holy Scriptures are the inspired Word of God, the faithful witness to the gospel, and the true and accurate record of God's revelation to humanity. As such, the Holy Scriptures are infallible and are foundational to the church in all matters of doctrine and godly living. (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; John 17:17)
The church, the Body of Christ, consists of all who have faith in Jesus Christ and in whom the Holy Spirit abides. The church is commissioned to preach the gospel, to teach all that Christ commanded, to baptize, and to nurture the flock. In fulfilling its mission, the church is directed by the Holy Scriptures, led by the Holy Spirit, and looks continually to Jesus Christ, its living Head. (1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:9; Matthew 28:19-20; Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22)
The Christian is any person who trusts in Jesus Christ. The Christian experiences a new birth through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit and is placed through adoption into a right relationship with God and fellow humans by God's grace. The Christian's life is characterized by the fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 10:9-13; Galatians 2:20; John 3:5-7; Mark 8:34; John 1:12-13; 3:16-17; Romans 5:1; Romans 8:9, 14-15; John 13:35; Galatians 5:22-23)
Angels are created ministering spirits, endowed with free will. The holy angels serve God as messengers and agents, are appointed to attend to those who will obtain salvation, and will accompany Christ at his return. The disobedient angels are called demons, evil spirits, and unclean spirits. (Hebrews 1:14; Revelation 1:1; 22:6; Matthew 25:31; 2 Peter 2:4; Mark 1:23; Matthew 10:1)
Satan is a fallen angel who heads the evil forces in the spirit realm. The Bible refers to him with such terms as the devil, adversary, evil one, murderer, liar, thief, tempter, accuser of the brethren, prince of demons, and god of this world. He is in constant rebellion against God. Through his influence, Satan generates discord, deception, and disobedience among human beings. In Christ, Satan is already defeated, and his dominion and influence as god of this world will cease at Christ's return. (Luke 10:18; Revelation 12:9; 1 Peter 5:8; John 8:44; Job 1:6-12; Zechariah 3:1-2; Revelation 12:10; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 20:1-3; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8)
The gospel is the good news of salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the message that Christ died for our sins, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, that he appeared to his disciples, and that he ascended to God's right hand. It is the good news that through the saving work of Jesus Christ we may enter the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 15:1-5; Acts 5:31; Luke 24:46-48; John 3:16; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 1:14-15; Acts 8:12; 28:30-31)
Christian conduct is characterized by trust in and loving allegiance to our Saviour, who loved us and gave himself for us. Trust in Jesus Christ is expressed by belief in the gospel and by works of love. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ transforms the hearts of believers, producing in them love, joy, peace, faithfulness, meekness, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, righteousness, and truth. (1 John 3:23-24; 4:20-21; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Galatians 5:6, 22-23; Ephesians 5:9)
God's grace is the free, unmerited favour God has chosen to bestow on his entire creation. In its broadest sense, God's grace is expressed in every act of his self-disclosure. By grace, humanity and the entire cosmos have been redeemed from sin and death through Jesus Christ, and by grace, humans are empowered to know and love God and Jesus Christ and enter the joy of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God. (Colossians 1:20; 1 John 2:1-2; Romans 8:19-21; 3:24; 5:2, 15-17, 21; John 1:12; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:7)
Sin is lawlessness, that is, a state or condition of rebellion against God. From the time sin entered the human race through Adam and Eve, humanity has been under its yoke - a yoke that can only be removed by God's grace through Jesus Christ. The sinful condition of humanity is manifested in the tendency to choose self and self-interests over God and God's will. Sin causes alienation from God, and suffering and death. Because all humans are sinners, all humans need the salvation God offers through his Son. (1 John 3:4; Romans 5:12; 7:24-25; Mark 7:21-23; Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 6:23; 3:23-24)
Faith in God is a gift of God, rooted in his incarnate Son and enlightened by his eternal Word through the witness of the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures. Faith in God prepares and enables our minds and emotions to understand and receive God's gracious gift of salvation. It empowers us to participate in spiritual fellowship and committed allegiance to God our Father through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is the author and perfecter of our faith, and it is through faith and not by works that we are saved by grace. (Ephesians 2:8; Acts 15:9; 14:27; Romans 12:3; John 1:1, 4; Acts 3:16; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:1; Romans 5:1-2; 1:17; 3:21-28; 11:6; Ephesians 3:12; 1 Corinthians 2:5; Hebrews 12:2)
Salvation is the restoration of human fellowship with God and the deliverance of the entire creation from the bondage of sin and death. God gives salvation, not only for the present life, but for eternity, to every person who accepts Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. This is the gift of God, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, not earned by personal merit or good works. (Ephesians 2:4-10; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Romans 8:21-23; 6:18, 22-23)
The Bible affirms that all whose faith remains in Jesus Christ will be saved, and that nothing "can snatch them out of his hand." The Bible emphasizes the infinite faithfulness of the Lord, the total sufficiency of Jesus Christ for our salvation, the dynamic love of God for all peoples, and the gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe. Having such assurance of salvation, believers are urged to remain firm in the faith and to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (John 10:27-29; 2 Corinthians 1:20-22; 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Corinthians 15:2; Hebrews 6:4-6; John 3:16; Romans 1:16; Hebrews 4:14; 2 Peter 3:18)
The Christian Sabbath is life in Jesus Christ, in whom every believer finds true rest. The weekly seventh-day Sabbath, which was enjoined upon Israel in the Ten Commandments, was a shadow that prefigured the true Reality to whom it pointed - our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (Hebrews 4:3, 8-10; Matthew 11:28-30; Exodus 20:8-11; Colossians 2:16-17)
Repentance toward a gracious God is a change of mind and attitude, prompted by the Holy Spirit and grounded in the Word of God. It includes an awareness of personal sinfulness and accompanies a new life sanctified through faith in Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:38; Romans 2:4; 10:17; Romans 12:2)
Justification is God's gracious act in and through Jesus Christ to pronounce and establish a believer as righteous in his sight. Thus, humanity experiences through faith in Jesus Christ divine forgiveness and peace with its Saviour and Lord. (Romans 3:21-31; 4:1-8; 5:1, 9; Galatians 2:16)
Sanctification is God's gracious act of accounting and imparting the righteousness and holiness of Jesus Christ to the believer. It is experienced through faith in Jesus Christ and accomplished through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 6:11; 1 John 1:8-9; Romans 6:22; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Galatians 5:22-23)
Worship is the divinely created response to the glory of God. It is motivated by divine love and springs from God's revelation of himself in communion with his creation. In worship, believers commune with God the Father through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. Worship involves humbly and joyfully giving God priority in all things and is expressed in such actions and attitudes as prayer, praise, celebration, generosity, acts of mercy, and repentance. (John 4:23; 1 John 4:19; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Peter 2:9-10; Ephesians 5:18-20; Colossians 3:16-17; Romans 5:8-11; 12:1; Hebrews 12:28; 13:15-16)
Water baptism, which signifies a believer's repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, is a participation in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism of the Spirit and fire refers to the regenerating and purifying work of the Holy Spirit. The Worldwide Church of God baptizes by immersion. (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:4-5; Luke 3:16; 1 Corinthians 12:13; 1 Peter 1:3-9; Matthew 3:16)
The evening before Jesus was crucified, he took bread and the cup, saying, "This is my body, which is for you... This cup is the new covenant in my blood." Whenever we celebrate the Lord's Supper, we partake of bread and the cup in remembrance of our Saviour, proclaiming his death until he comes. The Lord's Supper is a participation in the death and resurrection of our Lord, who gave his body and shed his blood so that we might be forgiven. (1 Corinthians 11:23-26; 10:16; Matthew 26:26-28)
Christian financial stewardship is the management of personal resources in a manner that reflects the love and generosity of God. It includes the responsibility of offering a portion of one's financial resources to the work of the church. Donations fund the God-given mission of the church to preach the gospel and feed the flock. Such giving reflects the believer's worship, faith, obedience, and love for God, who is the Source of salvation and Giver of all good things. (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 9:1-14; 2 Corinthians 9:6-11)
The Head of the church is Jesus Christ, who reveals the will of the Father to the church through the Holy Spirit. Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit instructs and empowers the church to serve the needs of congregations. The Worldwide Church of God seeks to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit in serving its congregations as it ordains elders, deacons and deaconesses and appoints ministry leaders. (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:15-23; John 16:13-15; Ephesians 4:11-16)
Bible prophecy reveals God and his will and purpose for humanity. In Bible prophecy, God declares that human sinfulness is forgiven through repentance and faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ. Prophecy proclaims God as Sovereign Creator and Judge of all, assures humanity of his love, mercy, and faithfulness, and motivates the believer to live a godly life in Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 46:9-11; Luke 24:44-48; Daniel 4:17; Jude 14-15; 2 Peter 3:14)
Jesus Christ, as he promised, will return to earth to judge and reign over all nations in the kingdom of God. His second coming will be visible, and in power and glory. This event inaugurates the resurrection and reward of the saints. (John 14:3; Revelation 1:7; Matthew 24:30; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; Revelation 22:12)
The inheritance of believers is salvation and eternal life in Christ as children of God in communion with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father conveys believers even now into the kingdom of his Son, and their inheritance is reserved in heaven to be bestowed fully at the second coming of Christ. The resurrected saints reign with Christ in the kingdom of God. (1 John 3:1-2; 1 John 2:25; Romans 8:16-21; Colossians 1:13; Daniel 7:27; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Revelation 5:10)
At the end of the age, God will gather all the living and the dead before the heavenly throne of Christ for judgment. The righteous will receive eternal glory, and the wicked will be condemned to the lake of fire. In Christ the Lord makes gracious and just provision for all, even for those who at death appear not to have believed the gospel. (Matthew 25:31-32; Acts 24:15; John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:11-15; 1 Timothy 2:3-6; 2 Peter 3:9; Acts 10:43; John 12:32; 1 Corinthians 15:22-28)
Hell is the separation and alienation from God chosen by incorrigible sinners. In the New Testament, hell is referred to by the terms "lake of fire," "darkness," and Gehenna (a gorge outside Jerusalem where garbage was burned). Hell is characterized by punishment, torment, anguish, weeping and gnashing of teeth, and eternal destruction. The biblical terms Sheol and Hades, often translated "hell" or "the grave," refer to the realm of the dead. The Bible teaches that unrepentant sinners will suffer the second death in the lake of fire, but it does not make absolutely clear whether this means annihilation or conscious spiritual alienation from God. (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9; Matthew 10:28; 25:41, 46; Revelation 20:14-15; 21:8; Matthew 13:42; Psalm 49:14-15)
Heaven is a biblical term applied to the chosen dwelling place of God and the eternal destiny of all God's redeemed children. To be in heaven is to remain in Christ in the presence of God, where death, mourning, crying, and pain will be no more. Heaven is characterized by everlasting joy, blessed peace, and the righteousness of God. (1 Kings 8:27-30; Deuteronomy 26:15; Matthew 6:9; Acts 7:55-56; John 14:2-3; Revelation 21:3-4; 22:1-5; 2 Peter 3:13)
The intermediate state is the condition of the dead until the resurrection of the body. Christians hold various viewpoints on the nature of the intermediate state based on their interpretation of relevant biblical passages. Some passages suggest a conscious intermediate state, and others an unconscious state. The Worldwide Church of God believes both views should be respected. (Isaiah 14:9-10; Ezekiel 32:21; Luke 16:19-31; 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:1-8; Philippians 1:21-24; Revelation 6:9-11; Psalms 6:5; 88:10-12; 115:17; Ecclesiastes 3:19-21; 9:5, 10; Isaiah 38:18; John 11:11-14; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)
The Millennium is the time span described in the book of Revelation during which Christian martyrs reign with Jesus Christ. After the Millennium, when all enemies have been put under his feet, and all things made subject to him, Christ will deliver the kingdom to God the Father, and heaven and earth will be made new. Some Christian traditions interpret the Millennium as a literal 1000 years to precede or follow the return of Jesus, while others believe that the scriptural evidence points to a figurative interpretation: an indeterminate time span commencing with Jesus' resurrection and concluding with his return. (Revelation 20:1-15; 21:1, 5; Acts 3:19-21; Revelation 11:15; 1 Corinthians 15:24-25)
A creed is a brief statement of faith used to enumerate important truths, to clarify doctrinal points, and to distinguish truth from error. Creeds are usually worded to be easily memorized. The word creed comes from the Latin word credo, meaning, "I believe." The Bible contains a number of creed-like passages. For example, Jews used the Shema, based on Deuteronomy 6:4-9, as a creed. Paul wrote simple creed-like statements in 1 Corinthians 8:6; 12:3; and 15:3-4. 1 Timothy 3:16 also appears as a creed, a concise statement of belief. As the early church spread, there was a practical need for a statement of faith to help believers focus on the most important doctrines of their Christian faith. The Apostles' Creed is appropriately named not because the original apostles wrote it, but because it accurately reflects the teaching of the apostles. Church fathers Tertullian, Augustine, and other leaders had slightly different versions of the Apostles' Creed, but the text of Pirminius in A.D. 750 was eventually accepted as the standard form. As the church grew, heresies also grew, and the early Christians needed to clarify the defining boundaries of the faith. In the early 300s, before the canon of the New Testament had been finalized, controversy developed over the divinity of Jesus Christ. At the request of Emperor Constantine, Christian bishops from across the Roman Empire met at the town of Nicea in 325 to discuss the matter. They wrote their consensus in the form of a creed, called the Creed of Nicea. In 381, another major council was held at Constantinople at which the Creed of Nicea was slightly revised to include a few more doctrines. The resulting Creed is called the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, or more commonly, the Nicene Creed. In the next century, church leaders met in the city of Chalcedon to discuss, among other things, questions about the divine and human natures of Jesus Christ. The result was a Definition of Faith they believed to be true to the gospel, true to apostolic teaching, and true to the Scriptures. This statement is called the Definition of Chalcedon or the Faith of Chalcedon. Regrettably, creeds can become formal, complex, abstract, and sometimes equated with Scripture. When properly used, however, they facilitate a concise basis for teaching, safeguard correct biblical doctrine, and create a focus for church fellowship. These three creeds are widely accepted among Christians as consistent with the Bible and as statements of true Christian orthodoxy, or right teaching.
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation, he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy, all-embracing and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen. (Translation based on The Book of Common Prayer, 1979)
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy all-embracing Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. (Translation based on I Believe by Alister McGrath, Downer's Grove, Il.: InterVarsity Press, 1997)
The Definition of the Union of the Divine and Human Natures in the Person of Christ (Council of Chalcedon, A.D. 451)
Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach people to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in humanness, truly God and truly human, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance (homoousios) with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his humanity; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his humanity begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer (Theotokos); one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the Fathers has handed down to us. (Translation from The Book of Common Prayer, 1979)