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Scripture is clear that God desires us to grow into maturity in Christ—to have Christ formed within us.
But how does that take place? Where do we begin? Fortunately, the Bible reveals the core characteristics of a developing disciple.
We have discovered thirty-three core competencies or essential elements that are the foundation of a maturing disciple of Jesus Christ.
We have divided these elements into three categories:
“Biblical Beliefs” which are the foundation of, “What I Believe”
“Divine Disciplines” which reveal “How I Behave”
and “Marks of Maturity” which are descriptions of “Who I Am Becoming.”
It is the intent of the leadership of Grace to focus upon each of the thirty-three elements during our weekend celebrations at least once throughout a calendar year.
“What I Believe”
1. The Holy Trinity: Father – Son – Holy Spirit
I believe the God of the Bible is the one and only true God: One in essence, three in person: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 43:10-11; Matthew 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:2
2. The Authority & Reliability of the Bible
I believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God and is the reliable authentic standard that equips me for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
3. The Glory and Fall of Humanity
I believe all people are created in God’s image to know and worship God. However, all have sinned, fallen short of God’s glory and are in need of a Savior.
Genesis 1:26-27; Romans 3:23-24
4. The Assurance of Salvation by Grace Alone
I believe a person comes into a right relationship with God only by God’s grace, through one’s faith in Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 John 5:13
5. The Church: The Body of Christ
I believe the Church is the Body of Christ called out to accomplish God’s purposes on earth today.
Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 4:15-16
6. Our Identity and Growth in Christ
I believe I am a new person because of my position as a child of God and I am growing into the likeness of Jesus.
John 1:12; Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 5:17
7. The Lordship of Christ
I believe, as the Lord of my life, Jesus requires full surrender and devotion.
Luke 9:23-24; Romans 12:2; Colossians 3:17
8. The Sovereignty and Providence of God
I believe God is active and personally involved in my daily life.
Psalm 103:19; Matthew 6:25-34; 1 Peter 5:7
9. Living Out Our Faith in Good Works
I believe I am to demonstrate my faith in Christ through good works that God has prepared for me.
Ephesians 2:10; James 2:17
10. Stewardship of God’s Blessings
I believe that everything I am and everything I own belongs to God and I am a steward of His blessings.
Psalm 24:1; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; 1 Peter 4:10
11. Eternity and The Final Judgment
I believe there is a heaven and a hell and that Jesus Christ is the righteous judge who will return to establish His eternal kingdom.
Matthew 25:46; John 14:1-4;
“How I Behave”
1. Public and Private Worship
I am created for God’s pleasure and it is my privilege to worship God for who He is and praise Him for all that He has done for me.
2. Prayer and Fasting
I pray to God to develop my relationship with Him, to present my requests before Him and to find direction for my daily life.
3. Bible Study
I read and study the Bible to grow in my relationship with God and to receive essential truth for my daily life.
Psalm 119:18-19, 105; John 17:17; Hebrews 4:12
4. Gift-Oriented Service
I make use of the spiritual gifts I have been entrusted with to accomplish God’s purposes.
Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
Since I am part of the Body of Christ, I fellowship with other Christians to accomplish God’s purposes.
Acts 2:44-47; 1 Corinthians 12:27
6. Sharing My Time, Talent, and Treasure
I share my time, talent, and treasures to accomplish God’s purposes in the world.
Colossians 3:17; Romans 12:6-11; Matthew 25:14-30
7. Faith Sharing
I share my faith in Christ to fulfill God’s purposes.
Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:19-20;
8. Holiness of Heart and Life
I live a life of holiness by the power of God’s Spirit to fulfill God’s purposes.
1 Peter 1:15-16
9. Belonging to a Small Covenant Community
I am accountable to a small covenant community of faith where my growth in Christ is affirmed and challenged.
Luke 6:13; Acts 2:42-47
I extend compassion to those in need in response to God’s compassion for me.
Psalm 82:3-4; Luke 10:36-37
11. The Celebration of the Holy Sacraments
I embrace and celebrate the holy sacraments ordained by Christ of baptism and The Lord’s Supper.
Matthew 3:13-15; Romans 6:3; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Marks of Maturity
“Who I Am Becoming”
I unconditionally love others and offer forgiveness as Christ has forgiven me.
Matthew 6:12; John 13:34; Romans 15:7
I have an inner joy and deep gratitude as a recipient of God's love and grace.
John 15:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:16; Colossians 2:7
I have inner peace and contentment as a result of my right relationship with God, others, and myself.
John 14:27; Philippians 4:6-7; 1Timothy 6:6-11
I am patient with others.
Proverbs 14:29; Romans 15:5; Colossians 3:12
I choose to do the right things in my relationships with others
Romans 15:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; James 3:13
I am faithful to fulfill God’s will for my life.
Proverbs 3:3-4; 3 John 3
I am thoughtful, considerate and calm in dealing with others.
Philippians 4:5; 1 Timothy 6:11
I have the power, through Christ, to control myself.
1 Corinthians 10:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:6; Titus 2:12
In a spirit of humility, I chose to live by and extend to others the abundant grace of God that I have received.
Ephesians 2:8; 1 Timothy 1:14; James 4:6
I chose to walk in truth and integrity as a follower of Christ.
Psalm 25:21; Proverbs 20:7; 1 John 3:18-19; 3 John 3-4
I can cope with the hardships of life and death because of the hope I have in Jesus Christ.
Psalm 31:24, 39:7; Hebrews 6:17-20