The purpose of GBF is to make fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ, in Sexsmith and around the world. We believe this occurs as we live life together, loving our God, loving one another and living His Word.
The Kingdom of God is His eternal possession, and is present in part but not fullness in the world today. By God’s decree, under His direction, and empowered by His grace, the universal Church is responsible for the care and expansion of that Kingdom. Every local church, denomination, and ministry organization is a part of that Kingdom and carries some responsibility in the work of the Kingdom. As a part of that Body of Christ, Grace Bible Fellowship Church desires to understand and fulfill its particular calling in the work of the Kingdom. GBF will seek to live out our calling to be a New Community in Christ, reflecting the fullness of His vision for the Kingdom of God “on earth as it is in heaven.” We will do this by putting aside the prevailing values of our time and replacing them with the radical demands of the gospel of God’s grace.
Our Calling: In Essentials Unity; In Non-Essentials Charity; In All Things Jesus Christ
The calling and spirit of GBF is summed up well in this famous motto of Rupertus Meldenius. We both define our call and express our aspirations for this 21st Century through this early quote.
In Essentials Unity
• Essential Truths: We are called to embody and proclaim the essential truths of Christianity as articulated in the Word of God, expressed through the centuries in the great creeds of the church and defined for us in our Statement of Faith. We continue in the tradition of our Evangelical Free Church of Canada forefathers who said; “Where stands it written?” These truths have led us to Jesus Christ who said “he is truth” and that the “truth would set us free.”
• Spiritual Unity -This calling is to a spirit of unity in Jesus Christ, with an affirmation of the priesthood and ministry of all believers, congregational government in the local church where He is Head, meaningful involvement within our fellowship of churches, and cooperation with all who share our call to these essential truths.
In Non-Essentials Charity
• Generosity of Spirit: We are called to a generosity of spirit that frees us to embrace a wide variety of Christian brothers and sisters — “simply believers” — some with whom we will not agree in matters that are outside our Statement of Faith. Our spirit is one of warm welcome to all believers who share our commitment to our Statement of Faith and who seek to follow Jesus’ command to love God and love our neighbour as ourselves.
• Kingdom Minded: This generous spirit encourages us to joyfully work with those outside our own denomination, those of “like precious faith” who endeavour to expand the kingdom of heaven.
In All Things Jesus Christ
• The Great Command and Great Commission: We are called to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who is the Lord God. Through His grace and through His Spirit we seek to fulfill His command to love our neighbour by loving each and every person, especially the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed. We seek to fulfill His great commission by making followers of Him from all people groups.
• Godly Living: From the practice and teachings of Jesus, from the present ministry of the Holy Spirit working within us, and from the pietistic model of our forefathers, has grown a spirit that hungers for a closer relationship with Jesus Christ that will transform our hearts, our heads, our hands, and will reveal itself in a Christ-inspired value system and a holy lifestyle.
Statement of Faith
The Evangelical Free Church of Canada is an association of autonomous churches united in a common commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again to allow us to enter into a restored relationship with him and receive eternal life. The following are the essential beliefs associated with this gospel.
God’s gospel originates in and expresses the wondrous perfections of the eternal, triune God.
1. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.
God’s gospel is authoritatively revealed in the Scriptures.
2. We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.
God’s gospel alone addresses our deepest need.
3. We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.
God’s gospel is made known supremely in the Person of Jesus Christ.
4. We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus—Israel's promised Messiah—was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate.
God’s gospel is accomplished through the work of Christ.
5. We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation.
God’s gospel is applied by the power of the Holy Spirit.
6. We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.
God’s gospel is now embodied in the new community called the church.
7. We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God's grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.
God’s gospel compels us to Christ-like living and witness to the world.
8. We believe that God's justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.
God's gospel will be brought to fulfillment by the Lord Himself at the end of this age.
9. We believe in the personal, bodily and glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ with His holy angels when He will bring His kingdom to fulfillment and exercise His role as Judge of all. This coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission.
God's gospel requires a response that has eternal consequences.
10. We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen.