When a person has a genuine encounter with God, they are never the same. They experience a new birth and a new life. They begin a process of personal, fundamental transformation. As their relationship with God develops they discover that they are new people—his masterpieces—ever growing in grace.
"Make every effort to respond to God’s promises." 2 Peter 1:5
"Don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says." James 1:22
[Jesus speaking] "If you love me, obey my commandments." John 14:15
At Grace Bible Church, we respond to God as we hear his Word sung and and preached, and our hearts are encouraged, challenged, or convicted. As we're prompted by God's Holy Spirit, we respond as if we are standing before him and no one else is around. We may pray in our hearts as the worship leader prays, we may say amen, we may raise our hands.
As we continue our worship beyond the worship service hour, we practice the presence of Jesus in our everyday lives. We remain in ongoing prayer with our Lord and seek his direction, blessing, and empowerment. And we experience forgiveness, healing, and hope in Christ.
As we continue to grow, we make intentional improvements in our roles as child, sibling, spouse, parent, pet owner, neighbor, citizen, employee, boss, etc. We work at forgiving others, asking forgiveness and making amends, and restoring broken relationships.
At GBC, we've depicted the growth we typically experience as Christians in a model, which is more fully described in the next steps process. Key among these steps of obedience to Christ's commands is what the church calls ordinances:
Representing our new birth in Christ, new believers are baptized and join a local congregation of the worldwide church
Representing our new life in Christ, and our adoption into God's family, we regularly celebrate communion, or the Lord's Supper. At GBC we do this as a family together at the first worship service of each month.
We believe that according to Scripture, these ordinances are ways that we demonstrate our obedience to the Lord once we have been saved by him. We hold that our salvation is fully dependent on God, through our faith in Christ, and not by the good things that we do.