Our Purpose & History
The purpose of Grace Covenant Church is to equip God's people to delight in His glory and declare that glory to the nations.
We are committed to building up the Body in love and sound doctrine.
The Beginnings of Grace Covenant Church
Grace Covenant Church of Weatherford held its first corporate worship service on Sunday, Feb 15th, 2015. We continue to actively seek those whom the Lord will lead to join us in seeking to establish a work in Weatherford that would be permeated with a desire to equip people to delight in His glory and declare that glory to the nations.
Our prayer is that the Lord continues to mold us into a community of believers growing in love for one another, being equipped by His Word, and finding our joy and satisfaction in Him.
We praise God for His faithfulness and goodness. We know these things are only by His grace - and for His glory alone.
It is our sincere desire to be used of Him to reach our community as well as send forth His people to the unreached peoples of the world. May His name and renown be the desire of our hearts until all those for whom He died are drawn into His fold for His everlasting glory.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Our Theological Identity
The most important question you can ask regarding a church is, "What does the church believe and teach?" The fact that you are reading this article is a good indication that you, too, believe this to be an essential issue.
While this article may not answer every question you have about Grace Covenant Church, we do want to assist guests and inquirers in learning more about us.
We are convinced that the church must not be so broadly open that it fails to make vitally important distinctions that the Bible itself makes. At the same time, however, we do not insist that every person share the same precise set of theological convictions on every matter. In other words, there are negotiables and non-negotiables when it comes to doctrinal distinctives. To be more specific, Grace Covenant Church is and will be characterized accurately with the following terms:
We are evangelical.
To say that we are evangelical means that we take our stand with those who believe in what are called "the fundamentals" of the Christian faith: the existence of the triune God, the complete humanity and deity of Jesus Christ, the virgin conception of Christ and His incarnation as the eternal Son of God, the utter sinfulness of all humanity, the substitutionary death of Christ as the only way of salvation, the physical resurrection of Christ, His sure return, salvation by God's grace through faith in Christ alone, and the infallibility and divine authority of the Bible as a faithful and true guide to what we are to believe and how we are to live.
We joyfully affirm our unity with those from every tradition and denomination that hold these fundamentals, including those true believers in Christ who are members of denominations or churches with which we might have certain theological or doctrinal disagreements in other areas.
We are evangelistic.
This means we take seriously the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20: "Go and make disciples of all nations." Without compromising the sovereignty of God, we affirm the responsibility of each person to repent and believe on Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We further affirm our responsibility to extend the message of the Gospel as a call to salvation to everyone who hears its message. To this end, we call all, without distinction, to drink freely of the Water of Life and to live eternally in the presence of their Creator.
This privilege and responsibility is realized not only in our immediate context, but also in the mandate from our Lord to declare His glory to the nations. Therefore, we seek to provide regular opportunities for the community of believers at Grace Covenant Church to go on mission to other parts of the world.
We are Reformed.
The word "Reformed" can be defined simply in two ways: (1) It is a reference to our historical link to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century and describes us as heirs of the tradition that comes from Luther, Calvin, Knox, Zwingli, and other Reformers of the Church. (2) The word "Reformed" is used most commonly to refer to certain theological distinctives that have marked Reformation believers, particularly those who embrace what have come to be referred to as "the doctrines of grace."
These distinctives can be summarized by our glad affirmation of the responsibility of every person to repent and believe, and that it is God who, by His sovereign electing grace, draws men and women, otherwise dead in sin, to faith in His Son. By this faith alone are God's people justified.
Reformed distinctives include the sovereignty of God in His creation, providence and election of believers apart from any merit of their own; the irresistible grace of God provided for and preceding the faith of the individual; the sufficiency of God's grace apart from which every person is dead in sin and wholly defiled in all his/her faculties of soul and body; the efficacy of Christ's death for all those who believe in Him by grace; the safe-guarding of all those for whom Christ died for eternal life.
We desire and seek to hold to our Reformed convictions humbly, recognizing the sincerity and earnestness of godly men and women who hold to other positions.
We are committed to doctrinal soundness.
This is primarily expressed by means of a doctrinal statement that we believe is a good and accurate summary of the Bible's teaching. We certainly recognize that our expression of biblical truth is not flawless, yet we believe it to be a carefully worded summary of the Bible's content. We believe it is important to note that every church has a doctrinal confession or statement, even though some may claim they have "no confession but Christ" or "no creed but the Bible." Every church summarizes its convictions in some form in order to distinguish its members from those who are not believers or those who do not embrace their church's distinctives.
We further recognize that knowledge alone leads invariably to pride. It is our sincere desire to affirm truth in genuine Christian love. We believe that truth properly applied will issue forth in the affections of the heart being stirred to obedience, thus yielding a life that glorifies God. Such a God-glorifying life is the very purpose for our existence.
We are covenantal.
To say we are covenantal means we believe that the unifying principle in the Scriptures is the glory of God's grace in the one covenant of grace that God made with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and finally, and most importantly, in Jesus Christ. The covenant is God's pledge to His people of a relationship of loving loyalty throughout eternity.
To speak of the unity of the covenants means that there is, and always has been, only one way to salvation in both the Old and New Testaments-that is, by God's grace alone through faith alone. This covenantal understanding of the Bible is in distinction from any system of organizing the Scriptures that would attribute differing ways of salvation to a succession of historical biblical eras.
We seek to be centered on God's glory.
We believe that God's glory consists of the overwhelming and overflowing beauty that stems from the sum total of all His attributes (e.g., His love, wrath, mercy, justice, etc.) working together in perfect harmony.
We believe that we exist to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. This belief is inevitably expressed through praise. We praise what we enjoy because our delight is incomplete until it is expressed in worship.
We are elder-led.
This concept refers to our form of governance. We believe that the most clear biblical pattern is for churches to be governed by elders who lead jointly by what we refer to as a Council of Elders.
We seek biblical balance.
We affirm these distinctives as important in the sense of being profitable and health-producing for Christians to believe. We are further convinced that as one comes to appreciate these beliefs, he/she will grow to love and honor the Lord Jesus Christ more fully and understand more richly what it means to live by His grace.
Acceptance of all these distinctives, however, is not required for membership in Grace Covenant Church. One can join and be a participating member of the church without holding to any but the evangelical distinctives mentioned in the first section of this article (i.e. "We are evangelical"). Elders and deacons, however, must hold to all these distinctives.
It is our absolute and unwavering conviction that to be strong in truth without being gentle in manner is unbiblical. It is also our profound conviction that to be gentle in manner while not adhering to scriptural truth is also unbiblical. By God's grace, we desire to be both as we press on in the Lord's glorious design for Grace Covenant Church to be used "to equip His people to delight in His glory and declare that glory to the nations!"
I. The Nature of God:
God is glorious (Exodus 15:11; Psalm 145:5). God's glory consists in the overwhelming and overflowing beauty that stems from the sum total of all His attributes working together in perfect harmony. God is perfect in His holiness (Exodus 15:11; Isaiah 6:3; 1 Peter 1:16). He is perfect in His justice (Psalm 99:4; Luke 19:7-8; Hebrews 6:10). He is perfect in His wisdom (Romans 11:33; 1 Corinthians 2:7; Ephesians 3:10). He is perfect in His power (Isaiah 44:24; Job 9:12; Jeremiah 32:17). He is perfect in His grace and mercy (Ephesians 1:6-7; 2:4, 7-9; Romans 3:24). He is perfect in His love (1 John 4:7-8; Romans 5:18; John 3:16).
II. The Purpose of God:
God is not only glorious, but He also loves His glory with infinite intensity (Isaiah 48:9-11) and therein lies our understanding of the foundation of His righteousness (Romans 9:14-15; Exodus 33:18-19). For God to truly be righteous, He must necessarily love what is best. Therefore, His ultimate loyalty must be to the maintenance and manifestation of His own glory. In other words, all that God does, He does for His own name's sake (Isaiah 48:11; Ezekiel 36:20-23). God created humanity for His glory (Isaiah 43:7, 21). God redeems sinners for the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:5-6, 12, 14; Romans 3:26; 15:7). God empowers Christians to live for His glory, both individually (1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 4:11) and corporately (Ephesians 3:10). God's ultimate purpose for His people is that they might see and enjoy His glory forever (John 17:24). His ultimate purpose for history is that "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Habakkuk 2:14, cf., Numbers 14:21). God's unswerving love for His own glory, however, does not mean that He is unconcerned about the welfare of humanity. Indeed, God's mercy and grace toward undeserving sinners is the apex of the display of His glory (Romans 9:22-23). The greatest possible good for humanity is to see God face to face, just as He is (1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 John 3:2) and to behold the beauty of the Lord (Psalm 27:4). In fact, God's absolute faithfulness to His own glory manifests itself in His absolute faithfulness to His covenant promises. In this sense, we may say that it is God's glory that is at stake in the keeping of His word. Thus, it becomes the ultimate ground of the believer's assurance (Psalm 143:1, 11; Daniel 9:14-19).
III. The Sovereignty of God:
The God of the Bible is the Creator of the whole visible and invisible universe, and He is the sovereign ruler of it. From all eternity, He freely and unchangeably, in His most holy wisdom, ordained whatsoever comes to pass. The apostle Paul states it this way: God "works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will" (Ephesians 1:11). God exercises sovereign control of all events from the events of rulers and nations (e.g., Daniel 4:25, 32, 34-35) to the least movement of a sparrow (Matthew 10:29). In particular, God's sovereignty is worked out in the salvation of sinners. To ensure that the salvation of sinners abounds to the praise of God's glory, God saves His people by grace alone apart from works, so that no one is able to boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). The sovereignty of God's grace is seen in God's unconditional election of His people for salvation out of the mass of sinful humanity (Romans 8:29; 9:6-23; Ephesians 1:4), the glorious substitutionary death of Christ which actually accomplished the salvation of His chosen people (1 Peter 3:18), the irresistible grace of God's effectual call (Romans 8:30; 1 Peter 2:9), and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:26-28; John 3:4; Titus 3:5) that enables and moves a person to respond to the gospel of Christ in saving faith. The sovereignty of God's grace is also seen in God's persevering in grace with His saints (1 Peter 1:5; Jude 1; John 10:28-30; Philippians 1:6) so that His people will, in fact, persevere to the end and be saved. The guarantee of this is their certain glorification (Romans 8:30).
IV. The Priority of the Worship of this Glorious God:
Although the priorities of the church are all crucial and intertwined (i.e., exposition, equipping, and evangelism), nevertheless, worship stands as the apex from which those priorities derive their true motivation and purpose. In other words, the ultimate end for which God created a humanity to redeem was in order that this redeemed humanity might see His glory and worship Him fully. Worship, then, is both the motive and the goal of all our deeds of love done to fellow believers (i.e., equipping/nurturing) and to unbelievers (i.e., evangelism). Beholding and being captivated by the glory of God makes us long to align ourselves with God's purposes. The goal of the body of Christ, then, is to be used to build one another up with greater capacities and desires to praise the glory of God's grace.
V. Genuine Spiritual Affections:
In the Christian life, both emotions and thinking are crucial. God is not honored by either an unfeeling, joyless, loveless intellectualism or by an unthinking, uncritical emotionalism. Instead, both emotions and thinking are needed. Believers need both minds that are gripped by the truth of God acquired through the serious and rigorous study of Scripture, and hearts that are on fire with intense emotions of love for God and His glory, awe of His majestic holiness, gratitude for His mercy, and fear of His wrath. In the final analysis, what God desires most is our hearts. But the way God reaches our hearts is through our minds. It is, therefore, through the truth of Scripture that we become transformed people through the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). This truth comes through the discipline of careful reading of the text (Ephesians 3:4) with the purpose of discerning the author's intended meaning. The work of the Holy Spirit is not to add anything to the text of Scripture, but rather to make the heart of the reader humble so that he/she will welcome and embrace the truth (1 Corinthians 2:14).
VI. The Obedience of Faith:
The attitude of the human heart that brings glory to God is that of faith. Faith is the wholehearted turning to God in the heartfelt assurance (Hebrews 11:1) that God will keep His promises to those who set their hope on Him (Romans 4:20-21) and that to seek after God will result in our eternal benefit (Hebrews 11:6). Faith glorifies God because it magnifies His power, wisdom, grace, and faithfulness to work for us the good we cannot do for ourselves. Saving faith is of such a divine quality that it inevitably produces good works to the praise of God's glorious grace (1 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:11; Galatians 5:6; James 2:14; Romans 2:13). This obedience, however, is never a work that merits or earns God's favor (Romans 3:20; 4:4), but is itself a gift from God (2 Timothy 2:25; Philippians 1:29; Ephesians 2:8-10). To this end, all the glory goes to God alone.
VII. The Purpose of the Christian Life:
The purpose for which humanity was created was to glorify God by enjoying Him forever. Because God's mercy to His people is the apex of His glory, enjoying the benefits of that mercy in faith honors and glorifies God. Therefore, joy in God is essential to honoring God. The Christian is the one who, by the grace of God, has been brought to the discovery that God is the only source of satisfying and enduring joy. Therefore, God is honored by the believer's trust in Him as the only one who can fully meet his/her needs. In the infinite wisdom of God, His glory and the joy and well-being of His people are always in harmony with one another.
VIII. Perseverance of the Savior and Preservation of the Saints:
There are two essential components to the believer's eternal security: (1) God will so work with His people in His grace that they will inevitably persevere to the end and be saved (1 Peter 1:5; Jude 1; John 10:28-30; Philippians 1:6). Therefore, no truly regenerate child of God will ever be lost (Romans 8:29-30). True believers are forever secure because God has ordained that they be ultimately glorified, and so will work to bring such to pass (Romans 8:29-30; 1 Thessalonians 5:24). (2) It is equally true, however, that no person will be saved without persevering to the end (Mark 13:13; Colossians 1:22-23; Hebrews 3:14; 12:14). Future and final perseverance is the ultimate test of genuine participation in Christ. Those who claim some kind of beginning in the Christian faith but do not continue give evidence of the absence of saving faith (1 John 2:19; Hebrews 3:14; 6:4-9).