Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dear Readers,

It was brought to my attention by a dear lady who was perusing through our website that my blog was way out of date. She is right. Blogging is just not something that I think of very often. But her friendly comments reminded me that there are possibly some folks out there who are not members who may be interested in what is going on at GCBC. ( Did I say GCBC.?) Well that is the first bit of news that needs to be updated.

Let me start with this.

About two months ago, the membership of GCBC voted to change the name of the church to GRBC (Grace Reformed Baptist Church) Allow me to bring you up to date.

Four years ago, when this church was started, we chose to be called a non-denominational “reformed” church.

There is a long explanation as to how we arrived at the name Grace Community Bible Church that is not necessary to explain here, but it really does not fit who we are today.

Our doctrinal position is very similar to many of the bible churches but their entire order of worship is considerably different than ours.

Brother Jeff and I met earlier in the year to prayerfully discuss this matter and came to the agreement that the name Grace Community Bible Church, (GCBC) could easily be misleading to those who are seeking a true “bible church” and be equally misleading to those seeking a church in the reformed Baptist family. Therefore, we submitted this matter to the congregation for consideration and agreement.

Even with a “bible church” name, we referred to ourselves a Reformed Baptist Church. Our Confession Faith is the same confession that we have held since the organization of the church. (The 1689 London Confession of Faith) It is the same confession used by just about all Baptist Churches that call themselves reformed. Our order of worship is patterned after the biblical “regulative principle of worship.” We have “reformed” printed on our worship Bulletin and we are charter members, along with 6 other Texas churches in the forming of the “Texas Area Reformed Baptist Association.”

The only thing about GCBC not “reformed” was our name. Our name, unfortunately gave the outward impression that we were something that we were not.

In the light of this we proposed to the congregation that we consider an amendment to our by-laws and change the name of our church to a name that is more suitable to whom we are.

The congregation met in the month of April and following a discussion voted unanimously to change the name to “Grace Reformed Baptist Church.”

In a brief effort to explain what Reformed Baptists believe, and why they believe it, I submit to you, an except from an article written by Jim Savastio,
Pastor Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville

“When we say that we are “Reformed” we are saying that we embrace, as biblical, that system of theology known as the “doctrines of grace”: doctrinal truths that set forth the total depravity of man, the unconditional nature of God’s grace in election, the particular nature of the atonement of Christ (that is that Christ shed His blood specifically for the same people that the Father elects and draws and that the Spirit regenerates), the irresistibility of the effectual call, and the perseverance and preservation of the saints.

But the Reformed Faith touches on far more than these basic truths regarding God’s glory in salvation. The Reformed Faith is concerned with God’s glory in the church, as well as in society, in the family, and in a life of holiness.

The Reformed Faith promotes and teaches a high and God-centered view of worship. The Reformed Faith embraces a high view of God’s law and of His church.

In this “Reformed” tradition are the great names of Church history. John Knox, John Bunyan (author of Pilgrim’s Progress), John Newton (author of “Amazing Grace”), the famous Bible commentator Matthew Henry, the great evangelist George Whitefield, the great American theologian
Jonathan Edwards, John Calvin, Adoniram Judson, William Carey, C.H. Spurgeon, A.W. Pink and a host of others all held tenaciously to the Reformed Faith.
We must underscore, however, that we hold to these truths not because great men of church history held to them, but because Jesus and the apostles so clearly taught them.

Out of this theological understanding came the great Reformed confessions and creeds—the Synod of Dort, The Savoy Declaration, The Westminster Confession of Faith, and The Heidelberg Catechism. The Confession of Faith held to by Reformed Baptist churches (London Baptist Confession of 1689) is deeply rooted in these historic Reformed Documents (in most places it is an exact word for word copy from the Westminster and the Savoy). For these historical and theological reasons we lay hold of the title “Reformed.” End of excerpt.

To read Pastor Savastio’s entire article go to the link on our website: “What is a reformed Baptist?” By the way, we also have a new website. For more information about GRBC please go to (grbcbonham.org)

If you are a seeker of Christ centered biblical truth in worship, preaching and teaching please join us in worship On the Lord’s Day beginning at 10:30AM. Take a look at the link on our website called “What to expect”

Humbly submitted,
Brother Dale Sterzer, pastor/elder

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