A question often asked by people who are thinking about coming to a particular church is this: "what type of church are you?" And right after that initial question, comes the next question of "how many classes and programs does the church have?" The general belief is that the larger church with more classes and programs is more successful than a smaller church with less classes and programs. Many people gauge church health on how many programs the churches conducts. Church programs aren’t wrong, and God can work through any bible study or topical study, but emphasis on programs is where many Grace-based churches differ. Graced-based churches will often focus on God’s Grace to the believer, teaching its members how to live in Grace and out of their union with Christ.
At Grace Christian Church, that’s the main focus throughout all aspects of ministry conducted in the church - from the pulpit to every small group. The reason for this different focus is because when believers are growing in Grace and living out of their union with Christ, specific issues will be dealt with...in God’s timing. There is no need to try to develop a specific program to address every particular issue. God deals with the issue inside a believer, Spirit to spirit.
There are also 3 additional distinctions we at Grace Christian Church seek to incorporate into our ministry:
- Believers grow in grace in God’s timing, not man’s timing. Every believer is unique and God’s maturing process is also unique. Believers are allowed to grow in grace at God’s pace.
- Believers are taught to grow in grace by faith. The error most believers make is the same error Paul addressed in Galatians 3:3 (NASB) 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Many believers are programmed to think that they mature and grow by keeping the law, or relying on self effort. This results in failure and frustration. Self effort can’t produce Godly behavior. Godly behavior only comes from manifesting the life of Christ within. All believers are in union with Christ as we see in Galatians 2:20 (NASB) 20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Believers are saved by faith, and grow in grace and are sanctified by faith. In our church, the emphasis is on how to live by faith and grow in grace.
- Believers are taught the difference between “Old Covenant Law” versus “New Covenant Grace”. Mixing Law and Grace produces schizophrenic Christians. Am I accepted by God, or am I not accepted by God? Or they will think this way: I sinned today; I am out of God’s favor. I was good today; I am back in God’s favor. At the last supper, Jesus took the wine and said that it was the blood of the “New Covenant”. After Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, all believers have entered into the new covenant. Believes are now under Grace. The old covenant of law is performance based; the new covenant is based of receiving Grace. Believers are not in an achieving system anymore, but in a receiving system. Believers need to rest and receive God’s blessings, not try to earn them. At Grace Christian Church, believers are taught to live out of our union with Christ and to live in the new Covenant of Grace which produces life and peace.
If you would like to learn more about Grace or learn how to live out of your union with Christ, you can contact us or come visit Grace Christian Church any Sunday morning. Everyone is welcome to come and experience Grace!