What We Believe
What We Believe
Grace is a church focused on helping people from all walks of life connect with God through a personal, life-changing relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ. We believe God’s amazing grace provides FAITH to trust in God, FREEDOM from guilt and sin, and FUEL to live a life that pleases God.
WE BELIEVE the Bible is the written word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error in the original manuscripts. The Bible is the revelation of God’s truth and is infallible and authoritative in all matters of faith and practice.
WE BELIEVE in the Holy Trinity. There is one God, who exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
WE BELIEVE that all are sinners and totally unable to save themselves from God’s displeasure, except by His mercy.
WE BELIEVE God has shown His mercy by sending Jesus Christ to save sinners by His grace alone, not based on any human works.
WE BELIEVE Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who through His perfect life, sacrificial death, and resurrection atoned for and conquered the sin of all who will trust in Him, alone, for salvation.
WE BELIEVE God is gracious and faithful to His people according to His covenant promises.
WE BELIEVE the Holy Spirit indwells God’s people and gives them the desire, ability, and wisdom to trust Christ and follow Him.
WE BELIEVE Jesus will return, bodily and visibly, to judge all humanity from all ages and to receive His people to Himself.
WE BELIEVE all aspects of our lives are to be lived to the glory of God under the Lordship of Jesus Christ for the purpose of sharing His love with others.
Our Vision, Values, Mission and Goals
We envision a church with God’s unlimited grace inspiring all generations and peoples to follow Christ in glorifying worship, gospel dependence, gracious humility, and global discipleship, so that we may join in the song of Revelation 5, impacting Peoria and the world.
Worshipping God and ministering to one another in worship by:
- Shaping our gathered and personal worship according to the gospel’s priorities
- Centering our worship on the Lord Jesus Christ
- Welcoming and strengthening God’s people in worship
Living in Biblical grace, truth, and prayer by:
- Seeking to live for Christ in every moment and sphere of life
- Submitting to the authority of God’s Word in the decisions of life
- Praying without ceasing
Exhibiting humility, compassion, and restoration by:
- Being humble, broken people helping fellow broken people in an environment of trust
- Relating to one another out of the grace we’ve been shown in the gospel through humility, authenticity, confession, and forgiveness
- Restoring one another in love
Being a disciple-maker in all of life and everywhere on earth by:
- Making multiplying disciples within the church for Christ’s service in all of life.
- Selflessly reaching out to all people throughout the Peoria area with the gospel by direct and cooperative efforts
- Extending gospel outreach through global missions for the salvation of many
Love God. Love others. Make disciples.
We will glorify God by …
- Building a missional church that attracts, engages, and values the contributions of all ages, backgrounds, and races.
- Loving all generations and helping them reach, love, and nurture upcoming generations.
- Broadly sharing the message of His grace.
How Can I Know God's Love?
If you're wondering what it means to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ, we hope you'll read through the text below. If you'd like to talk with a pastor, click the blue button at the bottom of the page.
Our relational problems with God began when our human nature was corrupted by our first parents’ sin (Romans 5:12). Since Adam and Eve, every human knows what it means to fail loved ones, hurt others, and abandon one’s own ideals. All of us know shame and remorse. We were made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27). When we sin we are going against our original nature, and something deep inside of us winces. The guilt we feel is an echo of the pain our heart registers any time sin distances us from the relationship we were designed to have with our God.
Jesus came as the perfect bearer of God’s image. Though he was divine, Jesus took on human qualities (Philippians 2:6-11). He was like us in every way except one: he was without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Christ’s holiness does two things for us. First, it shows us how to live for God. If a life were full of love and empty of selfishness, then it would look like Jesus’ life (1 John 3:16). But what if such conduct and fellowship elude us? Then we need the second provision of Jesus’ holiness. That provision moves beyond showing us how to live for God and actually enables us to live with God by satisfying his standards.
Since the Son of God had no sin, his willingness to suffer on a cross and accept the penalty we deserve is far beyond any recompense that humanity could provide. God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice as a substitute for our punishment (1 Peter 2:24). He paid the debt to justice we could not pay (Psalm 47:7-9). His suffering atones for (covers) our wrongs (1 John 4:10). His death rescues us from the hell we deserve.
Christ’s sacrifice satisfies divine justice (Romans 3:20-26). My spiritual status becomes just-as-if-I-had-never-sinned (Isaiah 1:18). Theologians refer to God’s declaration of this new holy status as “justification.” Justification results from an amazing exchange that took place on the cross of Christ. He took our sin on himself and consequently provided us with his righteous status (2 Corinthians 5:21). He became like us (sinful), so that we could become like him (holy).
But how do we make sure that the provisions of Christ apply to us? The answer lies in knowing that God provides what he requires. God does not require us to earn his pardon. He does not tell us to do some great spiritual task or to feel especially deep remorse to compensate for our sin. Instead, the good news is that God provides his pardon by grace alone (Romans 3:23-24). He gives his love to us rather than requiring us to gain it. His love is an unconditional gift. The Bible says, “We love because he loved us” (1 John 4:19). God takes the initiative to demonstrate his unconditional love.
Faith in Christ
This grace applies to all who believe in Jesus. God does not say that he will save those who climb mountains or clean up their addictions or relieve poverty or reach some designated level of goodness. He saves those who simply believe in Jesus as their Savior (John 3:16). Faith in Christ alone—a forsaking of the self (personal goodness or performance) as the basis of divine approval—is the effect God works in our hearts as he uses all our desperations and disappointments to bring us to complete dependence on him. When we have no basis of hope but Jesus, we turn from everything else to him. That is one reason Paul says that even the faith we have is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Saving faith cannot be something we conjure by our efforts. If God did not make our hearts beat for him, then we would be spiritually dead (Ezekiel 36:26).
Rest in Christ
As we open our hearts to the reality of God’s unconditional love, we discover a sweet and satisfying peace in all our circumstances (Romans 5:1-2). Rather than worrying endlessly about satisfying God’s expectations or placating his anger, we find unending divine acceptance and assurance that he is working all things for our eternal good (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 2:17-19). We rest in the grace that covers our sin, overcomes our failings, and grants us the righteousness of Christ. God loves us as much as he loves Jesus. For all who have grieved their guilt, regretted their failures, and feared their future, this love is wonderful comfort in which to rest.
Excerpted from What is the Gospel? by Bryan Chapell, The Gospel Coalition Booklets, edited by D.A. Carson and Timothy Keller Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011
Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)
The foundation of our beliefs and the only infallible authority for glorifying and enjoying God is the Bible, which is the Word of God and is made up of the Old and New Testaments. The Westminster Standards, which consist of the Confession of Faith, Larger Catechism, and Shorter Catechism, are a comprehensive statement of what we believe the Bible teaches and have been subscribed to by the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) as a faithful expression of Biblical truth. As Bible-believing Presbyterians, we have a representative form of government, where leaders (elders, in the Bible called presbyters, and deacons) are elected by the people, and we have a commitment to work together in mission with other churches sharing our faith commitments.
If you'd like to learn more about the differences between the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. (PCUSA), click here to read an interview Pastor Bryan gave in October of 2015.