Grace Baptist Church
109 N. Main St., PO Box 12, Cedarville, OH 45314
937.766.2391 | www.gracecedarville.org
ARTICLE IV: ARTICLES OF FAITH
We believe that the Holy Bible as originally written was verbally inspired and the product of Holy Spirit-controlled men, and therefore is truth without admixture of error for its matter. We believe that it is the true basis for Christian union and the only infallible rule for all human conduct, creeds, and opinions. We believe that there are translations, which are legitimate and acceptable for use in our services and ministry. 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21; Matt. 24:35.
The True God
We believe that there is only one living and true God, infinite, holy, sovereign, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, and eternal. He is the Creator and Sustainer of this world. In the unity of the Godhead there are three personal distinctions, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one in substance and equal in every divine perfection. Exodus 20:2-3; 1 Cor. 8:6; 1 John 5:7.
The Son of God
We believe in the absolute deity of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ; that He was human and divine; that He was very God, existing from all eternity co-equal with the Father and the Spirit; that He never ceased to be God for one instant and that His humiliation did not consist in laying aside His deity; that as man He was miraculously begotten of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. John 1:1-2; 1 John 5:20; Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:26-38.
The Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, equal with the Father and Son; that He convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgment, bears witness to the truth, is the Agent of the New Birth and that He seals, guides, teaches, witnesses to, sanctifies, and empowers the believer, indwelling every true child of God. We believe His role in facilitating the sign gifts ended with the completion of the New Testament. 2 Cor. 13:14; John 14:16-17; Romans 8:14-17.
We believe in the distinct personality of Satan; that he is the god of this age, author of all the powers of darkness and sin, and is destined for eternal damnation in the lake of fire. Matt. 4:1-3; 2 Cor. 4:4; Rev. 20:10.
We believe that God created the heavens and the earth, including all life, "each after its own kind" by direct act and not by the process of evolution. Genesis 1:2; Colossians 1:16-17; John 1:3.
The Fall of Man
We believe that man, in the person of the first Adam, was created in innocence but by voluntary transgression fell into sin, thus plunging the whole race into condemnation and death, so that now all mankind is born in sin and shapen in iniquity and become practical sinners with the first expression of personal choice, not by constraint but by choice and so are without excuse before God. Genesis 3; Romans 5:10-19.
We believe that the only escape from the condemnation of sin is through the atoning and reconciling work of Jesus Christ, the Sinless One, Who could not sin; that He voluntarily took upon Himself a human body and nature, and by His suffering, death and resurrection fully satisfied the justice of God for the sin of man; that the blessings of salvation are bestowed on the grounds of grace alone to all who put their trust in Him. John 3:1-7; Acts 16:30-33; Romans 10:9-13; Romans 3:25-26. We believe that faith, itself a gift of God, in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only condition of salvation, that no works, however good, make that salvation more secure. Acts 16:31; Titus 3:5-7; Romans 3:28.
The Local Church
We believe that a local church is a congregation of regenerated and immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the Gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in it by His word; that its officers are pastors and deacons; that it has the absolute right of self-government directed by the Holy Spirit, and it is answerable only to Christ, and that in all matters of membership, polity, government, discipline, and benevolence, the will of the local church is final. Acts 2:41-42; l Cor. 11:2; Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:11; 5:23-24; 2 Timothy 3:17; Colossians 1:18.
We believe that there are two church ordinances: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water and is properly called "believer’s baptism." It sets forth in a beautiful and solemn way our faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, with its effects in our lives of death to sin and resurrection to a new life. The Lord’s Supper is by the invitation and command of the Lord Himself in commemoration of our Lord’s death until He comes. It is for obedient believers only and must always be preceded by careful self-examination. 1 Cor. 11:23-30; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 22:14-20; Acts 2:41; 8:35-39.
We believe that all who take Christ as Savior are born from above and are eternally secure in Christ. John 10:28-29; Romans 8:35-39.
It is the responsibility of believers to maintain the purity of the Church in both doctrine and conduct. We believe that defilement demands discipline. 1 Cor. 5; 2 Cor. 6:14; Philippians 1:6.
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked; that only those who through faith are justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and set apart by the Spirit of God, are truly righteous in His sight; while all such who continue in unrepentance and unbelief are in His sight wicked and under the curse; and that this distinction holds among men both in and after death, in the everlasting joy of the saved and the everlasting, conscious suffering of the lost. Malachi 3:18; Romans 6:17-23; Matt. 25:34-41; Luke 6:25; John 8:21.
We believe in the bodily, personal, premillennial return of Jesus Christ; that He will come before the seven-year tribulation period to catch away His Church, coming only into the air, and that He will come with His Church at the close of the tribulation to judge the living nations and to set up His Kingdom. 1Thes. 4:13-18; Matt. 25:31-36.
We believe in the resurrection of the bodies of the dead; that believers who sleep in Jesus will be raised at the coming of Christ for His Church and caught up with transformed living saints to meet the Lord in the air, and that the wicked dead will be raised at the close of the Millennial Kingdom and stand in their bodies at the Great White Throne Judgment to receive their final doom. John 4:21-20; 1 Thes. 4:16; Rev. 7:9-17; 20:11-15.
Grace Baptist Church
109 N. Main St., PO Box 12, Cedarville, OH 45314
937.766.2391 | www.gracecedarville.org
GraceKids/GraceTeens Protection Policy
We want every member of Grace Baptist Church to participate in ministry in and through the church. This is key to each one’s spiritual growth in Christ and to the spiritual vitality of the local church. (Eph. 4:15-16). While our GraceKids and GraceTeens are significant ministry opportunities for many, it is also our goal to create a safe and sound learning environment for all of our children and youth.
Regarding Child Abuse
The GBC policy of child and volunteer protection includes the following six aspects:
Screening procedure for all volunteers.
Risk reducing policies.
Protection policy training and supervision.
Ongoing teacher training.
Safe learning environments.
Adequate record keeping.
1. Screening Procedure for our Volunteers
All Grace members and Grace-attending college students who work with our minors, or anticipate working with them, must complete a GraceKids/GraceTeens Volunteer Questionnaire. Upon receipt, this completed questionnaire is reviewed by the pastoral staff. A pastoral staff member will schedule an initial protection policy training interview, initiate a background check, and complete the screening process. No volunteer can begin ministry until the screening process is complete.
2. Risk Reducing Policies
Any volunteer interacting with our minors must develop sensitivity to the levels of risk. The level of risk in any form of touching is often a matter of how old the minor is. Babies and toddlers can be held, cuddled, patted, kissed with general acceptance. The same behavior with teenagers is something very different. Our policy fully accepts the goal of loving and befriending every minor we serve, but with great care. We make basic assumptions with regard to unacceptable behavior; we urge our workers to use great discretion, be risk conscious, and handle every situation carefully.
Risk rises when one adult is alone with minors.
Risk rises when a married couple works alone with minors.
Risk rises when halls or parking areas are insufficiently lighted.
Risk is reduced when there is a proper worker screening procedure.
Risk is reduced when there is proper supervision of workers.
Risk is reduced when there is a reporting procedure in place.
3. Protection Policy Training and Supervision
In addition to the initial interview training, we schedule ongoing protection policy training. During volunteer training sessions, we will routinely review the protection policy and provide any updates when necessary.
4. Ongoing Teacher Training
In an effort to improve the quality of our teaching staff, regular teacher training and enrichment seminars will take place. All volunteers are expected to attend these important developmental opportunities, where we seek to inform, instruct, and inspire so that each one can better serve our GraceKids and GraceTeens.
5. Safe Learning Environments
In addition to carefully screening and training workers, we measure and respond to risk in our classrooms and facilities, particularly assuring proper lighting, visually open classrooms, careful bathroom monitoring, and strict building security.
6. Adequate Record Keeping
We keep all records confidential and secure. We also keep classroom and activity attendance records. In the event of any investigation or litigation arising out of alleged abuse during a church-sponsored event, we will give these to the necessary authorities.
Recognizing Child Abuse
Child abuse is identified in various ways such as physically, sexually, and verbally. We encourage volunteers to be aware of injuries or symptoms that arouse suspicion.
The location of bruises: Knees, elbows, shins and the forehead are all parts of the body which can be injured during an accidental fall. However, protected or nonprotuberant parts of the body, such as the back, thighs, genitals, buttocks or face are less likely to be bruised accidentally.
Unexplained or repeated bruises: Bruises on protected body parts, particularly in unusual patterns or in the shape of bite or pinch marks should be noted.
Unexplained burns: Cigarette burns, immersion burns, rope burns and burns in the shape of common household utensils may all be potential indicators of child abuse.
Change in behavior patterns: Children who experience sexual abuse may demonstrate sudden changes in behavior such as: poor peer relationships, regressive behavior, seductive behavior, preoccupation with sexual organs. Other indicators may be sudden avoidance of certain familiar adults or places or the victim’s disclosure of the sexual abuse.
Reporting Child Abuse
When a children/youth volunteer hears from the child or observes evidence that raises a suspicion of abuse, it should immediately be reported it to the pastoral staff. If they determine a reasonable belief that abuse has occurred, the pastoral staff will then report it to the Department of Children Services, and our church lawyer. If Children Services confirms abuse, the pastoral staff will follow their recommendations. No volunteer should report abuse to the police or Children Services without first contacting pastoral staff.
Although workers are responsible to promptly report abuse, we stress that all volunteers should not treat statements of abuse lightly or carelessly. We will seriously deal with allegations of abuse. We ask any volunteer who is suspicious of abuse to only discuss the circumstance with pastoral staff. If a volunteer observes a form of behavior which is high risk, the worker should immediately report the behavior to pastoral staff.