Pastor Geoff Stevens
Teaching Pastor -Geoff Stevens. Geoff is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M), and has an undergrad degree in physics. He has been in ministry for over 20 years, been a professor at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, and loves to teach God’s word. Geoff’s and his better half, Isabel (school psychologist) have a bunch of wonderful children, which keep them very busy. Geoff is also a fly fishing guide.
JOHN 3:16 - "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."
1. A Family of Grace
We cannot earn God's acceptance. He accepts us now and forever through faith in Jesus Christ. The church should not focus on guilt to motivate its members, but encourage them to live good lives from a motivation of love and thankfulness toward the Lord. Once we recognize what God has done for us, we can be real, authentic and gracious to others, knowing that we are all at different points in our spiritual journey.
2. Safest place on earth
Grace Bible Church is a place that welcomes all and where rest and healing are available for those who need it. It is a place where the highest goal is to love one another and be willing to shoulder each other’s burdens. We seek to be a church that respects where people are, and does not judge and condemn people for having problems. You are safe to be who you are, free from criticism and competition.
3. A Christian Self-image
We can have a positive self-image, not because of who we are in ourselves, but because of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Our desire is that all people are freed from sin’s grip and begin to live the abundant life God desires for us. This can happen as we grow in understanding God’s love and concern for us.
4. Balanced Christianity
To have a rich, meaningful, purposeful life, we must be sold out to God. When we seek God with all of our heart we live in His presence and experience great blessing. So in order to seek Him with our whole heart, we need a balanced Christian experience. This includes meaningful worship, life-related biblical teaching, purposeful prayer, significant relationships with other Christians based in truth, hospitality to those in need, and serving others according to our gifts, abilities, and interests.
5. Relevant Biblical Worship
We have an authoritative reliable spiritual guide in the Bible, the Word of God. In it are the keys to life and godliness, so it must be conveyed in the most sinner-friendly-relevant-way possible in order to effect change that lasts a lifetime. We should be able to understand Christ and the Christian message because it should be communicated in a contemporary manner we can identify with and understand. Worship should be done in a genuine way which lifts up Christ and is attractive to the unchurched. We will seek to have an innovative worship experience (variety, arts, music, movies, drama, etc.) so that it is fresh and not redundant.
6. Reaching the Entire Community
The church will continue to grow until everyone in the community comes to know Christ. God’s desire is to build a family for eternity, and it is His will for everyone in our community to be a part of His family. Therefore, the church exists to build believers to effectively reach the community and then the world. Acts of service and words of truth will be our means by which we demonstrate that we are not takers from the community, but givers.
7. Authentic Community
We can do many things successfully in life alone, but growing spiritually is not one of them. Growth happens in our lives through meaningful relationships found in small groups. It is there that we know and be known, love and be loved, serve and be served, and celebrate and be celebrated. We can learn to trust those who love us and find accountability, acceptance and encouragement to make it through the daily grind as well as live for eternity.
8. Every Christian Is a Minister
We, along with every other Christian, possess natural talents and spiritual gifts. As we release these talents and gifts for God to use, we will find more significance and purpose in our lives. As we commit to Bible study and service we will grow in our area of ministry to others. Yearly the leadership will evaluate how many people we move into ministry.
9. Family Values
The family is God’s unit of blessing for the world. We emphasize growing strong healthy balanced families. Simplicity is desired in our schedules so as to not take away from much needed family time. The church does not exist for the family, but the family for the church. We seek to under gird the children’s and youth ministries by teaching parents how to raise the next godly generation.
10. Fun, Upbeat, Joyful and Humorous
Life is short and Christians have much to be excited about. God wants us to enjoy life, and live it to the fullest! There are great spiritual blessings that are available to us in the here and now. By knowing God and not taking ourselves too seriously we can be joyful even among life’s discouragements.
We believe the Bible consists of the Old and New Testaments and every word is the inspired Word of God. The Bible is without error in the original manuscripts and is the only and final authority for faith and practice in all matters of which it addresses. The Bible, as God’s only written revelation to mankind, is to be interpreted normally and literally in regard to all of its contents. (John 10:35; Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; I Corinthians 2:13; I Timothy 5:18; I Corinthians 2:14-16)
We believe in one God who is eternal and immutable, who exists in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (John 6:27; Hebrews 1:8; Acts 5:3,4; Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Matthew 28:19; Isaiah 48:16)
We believe that Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the promised Messiah, God the Son in human flesh; that He is totally without sin; was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary; and is both fully God and fully man. (John 1:14; Matthew 1:18-25; John 11:33; John 8:40; Hebrews 1:8, 2:14)
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Person, possessing all the distinctively divine attributes. He is God. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He regenerates, seals, and sets apart the believer to a holy life. At regeneration, He baptizes the believer into the body of Christ and comes to indwell him permanently, bestows spiritual gifts on each one for the common good of the Church and fills each one yielded to Him. (I Corinthians 2:10-11, 12:11, 13; Isaiah 40:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Romans 8:9; Ephesians 5:18)
THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE WORK OF CHRIST
We believe that Jesus Christ died for the sins of all humanity as a substitutionary sacrifice and that all who believe in Him are declared righteous on the basis of His shed blood. (2 Corinthians 5:14; Mark 10:45; Romans 3:24-26; I Peter 3:18; Romans 5:8-9)
We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ, in His ascension into heaven, and in His present life there for us. Jesus now serves as High Priest, Intercessor, and Advocate in our behalf with the Father. (Romans 1:4; John 20:25-27; I John 2:1; Hebrews 7:25; Mark 16:19; Acts 1:9-11)
We believe in the personal, bodily return of Jesus Christ in the glory of His Father to set up on earth a kingdom in which He shall reign in righteousness and peace. (Acts 1:11; Matthew 24:30; Revelation 20:4-6; Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 11:2-5)
We believe in a new heaven and new earth being established and believers dwelling with God for eternity. (Revelation 21:1-4)
We believe that the first man and woman were created in the image of God and thus man has great value in God's sight. But, man sinned and consequently experienced not only physical death but also spiritual death (which is separation from God). The consequences of this sin affect the entire human race. All human beings are born lost and separated from God and with a sinful nature. (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:17, 3:6; Romans 5:12-19; Ephesians 2:1-3; Mark 7:20-23; John 2:24-25)
We believe that all believers still possess a sinful nature in this life, but that God has made full provision for believers to resist this sinful nature and to live for God through identification with Christ, study of the Bible, prayer, and by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:12-19, 6-8; Galatians 5:16-18; Ephesians 2:1-3, 10; Colossians 2:9-12; 2 Peter 1:3; Philippians 2:12-13)
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men. Believers are resurrected to enjoy eternal life with God. Unbelievers are resurrected to experience judgment and eternal suffering, and separation from God. (I Corinthians 15:52; I Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 20:4-6, 12-15; John 5:28-29; Daniel 12:2; Revelation 20:11-15, 21:1-8)
We believe that man's redemption and reconciliation with God occurs as an act of God's grace, not of works; that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice and that all who believe in His death and resurrection are justified on the grounds of His shed blood. (Romans 3:21-24; I Corinthians 15:1-4; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12-13; Titus 3:5-7; I Peter 1:18-21)
We believe that all believers are kept eternally secure by the power of God through the new birth, the indwelling and sealing of the Holy Spirit, and the intercession of Christ. (John 10:28-30; John 14:16-17; I Peter 1:23; Ephesians 4:30; I John 2:1; Romans 8:38-39; I Corinthians 5:5; Colossians 3:3)
THE CHURCH, THE BODY OF CHRIST
We believe that the Church in its spiritual form is universal, the true body and bride of Christ. All believers from the day of Pentecost until the Church is caught up to heaven are members of the universal Church regardless of organization affiliation. We believe that as the individual Christian has a responsibility to make Christ known, so does every local church have a corporate responsibility for making Christ known.
We believe in the imminent return of Christ for the Church. All members of the body of Christ, living or dead, will at that time be caught up to be with the Lord forever. (I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I Corinthians 15:51-53; Titus 2:13)
We believe that the spiritual oversight of the local church is given to a multiplicity of leaders known as elders who share equal authority. The elders are assisted by deacons and the pastoral staff to carry out the ministry and prepare ministers (the church body) for works of service. Elders and deacons are selected according to standards expressed by the New Testament. (Acts 14:23, 20:28; Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5:1-4, Ephesians 4:11-13)
We believe that Christ ordained the observance of water baptism and the Lord's Supper until He returns. We believe that baptism is an outward testimony of a person's belief in Christ and should be administered upon confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that the Lord's Supper is a memorial of Christ's death, the elements being symbols of His body and blood. We believe that every believer of Christ has a right to partake of the elements of the Lord's Supper, but that participation should always be preceded by solemn self-examination. (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 4:4-6; Acts 1:5, 11:15-16; I Corinthians 11:24-28)
We believe that Satan is a personal being, the author of sin who provoked the fall of man. We believe that he is the great adversary of God’s person, program and people, but is a defeated foe who is destined to eternal punishment in the lake of fire. (Isaiah 14:12-15; Matthew 4:1-11; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; I Peter 5:8; Revelation 20:10)