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On Being Presbyterian

Presbyterian is not a word most of us are familiar with but being presbyterian has characteritics that make it distinctive.  We celebrate all churches in the Woodlands that adhere to the historic Christian faith and are grateful to be part of God's work in this place.  Though many of those churches share our beliefs, Grace Presbyterian Church a distinctively reformed expression of the church. Here are some ideas to help clarify what that means for us:

God is at Work for His Glory
Our great hope is to be a God-centered church, captivated by God’s final pursuit–His glory and his kingdom. Ironically, in pursuing His glory our greatest joy is found. As a result, our confidence is not in ourselves, but in His work. God is always going ahead, behind and alongside of his people. The Church is first and foremost His great work. Our calling is to participate in what He is already doing.

God’s Truth
The Bible is more than a guidebook; it is a living authority, shaping our preaching and teaching and making application to everyday life. It is through the Scripture that God changes the hearts of the unconvinced and matures those already in Christ. Therefore, the Bible—not pragmatism, personalities, marketing techniques or programs—drives and develops ministry.

Likewise, the Bible shapes our theological identity. We use creeds and confessions not to replace Scripture, but to link us to the rich, biblical heritage of our Reformation roots.  The people of Grace Presbyterian Church are encouraged to think about and study God’s truth as it is revealed in the Scripture using books, confessions, creeds and other resources as tools for deeper, clearer understanding.

Gospel Freedom
The Gospel’s message of grace—that sinners are forgiven and restored by God through the work of Jesus Christ—is not only that which brings us into relationship with God, but also that which grows us to maturity. Grace frees us from the dual temptations of despair in failure and self-centered pride in success. As Pastor Tim Keller states, “The Gospel is that you are more sinful and fl awed than you ever dared believe, yet you can be more accepted and loved than you ever dared hope at the same time because Jesus Christ lived and died in your place. Salvation is of the Lord.” In other words, the engine of the Christian life is the “Gospel of Grace,” transforming all whom it touches. This Gospel Freedom is our central message, and the driving force behind our evangelism, growth, and service.

True and Vibrant Worship
Worship is at the core of our humanity. We were created to “glorify God and to enjoy Him forever (Westminster Confession of Faith)." Our tendency, however, is to look elsewhere for our joy and happiness. Christian worship exists to turn us away from the trivial and artificial objects of worship which have captivated our hearts and return us to the person of true worship—The Living God.

The Church—its People and Community
The Christian faith is not something lived out in isolation but in the context of the Church. Grace Presbyterian Church is both an organization of people and a living organism or community called the body of Christ. For this reason, we value the People of the Church—her men, women and children. Each of God’s people are uniquely blessed and called to exercise their gifts for the common good of the Church. Our service to others is not based on a guilt-motivation, but comes from the “overflow” of knowing Christ and his ministry to us. We seek to help our membership identify and utilize their gifts so that all believers are “equipped” to do the work of ministry.

The City and its Culture
Christ came to establish not simply a church, but a Kingdom. Too often the church has failed to distinguish the Church from the Kingdom. While the Church is within the Kingdom of God and God’s primary extending agent of the Kingdom, the Kingdom encompasses a broader vision of ministry encompassing the totality of the city and its culture. This Kingdom work is not to be against the city, nor is it to condone, but seeks to transform both city and culture. As “Kingdom Saints” we believe that it is our responsibility to winsomely and realistically engage, The Woodlands—its beauty and ugliness—all for the glory of Christ.

Openness and Warmth
This means we are committed to emulating Jesus in our manner as well as his Word. The church is for every kind of person from every kind of background. The church is meant to be an authentic and loving community for all who are interested. Therefore, everything we do must be done with humility, sensitivity and a listening ear to those who are not yet a part of us. This is why Grace Presbyterian Church is available and accessible to all. It is also why we participate in local, national, and international missions.

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