Christ’s Church of Tucson Beliefs
Doctrines of Grace
The doctrines of grace are five points of doctrine that emphasize the sovereign grace of God in the salvation of every redeemed soul. They are commonly remembered by the use of the acronym T.U.L.I.P. Properly understood, these doctrines teach that salvation is totally of God and that apart from God no one would ever have their sins forgiven. Although man must respond in faith to the command to believe upon Jesus in order to have his sins forgiven, his desire to express such faith is so dependent upon the work of God, that man cannot take any credit for his salvation. God receives all the glory for the salvation of man. The acronym T.U.L.I.P. is understood as follows:
T. Total depravity or total inability.
Man’s plight is his total depravity or inability which prohibits man from doing anything that is pleasing to God. Total depravity does not mean absolute depravity. Absolute depravity would mean man is as bad as he can be and can do nothing virtuous. Total depravity means man is as bad off as he can be; his condition could not be worse. He is as helpless to save himself as he can be. Man’s sin condition is the worse problem he will ever have. Man is beyond self-help, man can do nothing to please God. No matter how virtuous man may appear to be, he still has a remnant of himself that he is concerned with. It is this concern with self that puts man at war with God. Man’s total depravity has left him totally unable to express saving faith in Christ. (more)
U. Unconditional Election or unmerited favor.
God’s choice is not conditioned upon any action on man’s part. God’s choice is the result of God’s good favor that man has done nothing to merit. (more)
L. Limited or particular atonement.
Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross was a propitiatory sacrifice (Romans 3:25). This means that His death fully and completely satisfied the wrath of God against sin. We believe and teach that Christ’s death satisfied the wrath of God against every sin committed by a limited or particular group of people. We believe this particular group of people includes, and is limited to, all those whom God, by the kind intention of His will, chose before the foundations of the heaven and earth to be His children (Ephesians 1:4–6). (more)
I. Irresistible or effectual grace.
This doctrine recognizes that apart from an initial out pouring of the grace of God, no human being will ever express saving faith in God. This view also recognizes that all who receive this grace will respond positively to this grace and put saving faith in Christ. This initial grace of God is never resisted and it is 100% effectual. (John 6:37; 44,45; 65; Acts 16:14; Rom 8:28–30). (more)
P. Perseverance of the saints.
This doctrine teaches that all whom God has chosen, will express saving faith in Christ and they will persevere in that faith throughout their earthly life right into eternity with the triune Godhead. See Isaiah 46:8–11; Romans 8:29–39; John 6:37–40; 10:27–29 Philippians 1:6; 2 Timothy 1:12; Jude 24–25. (more)
The Five Solas
The solas of the Christian faith are five statements of faith that became solidified in five Latin phrases as a result of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. We believe the truths expressed in these statements of faith have always been essential to true salvation since the time of Christ. However, the indispensable nature of these statements was lost during the period known as the Dark Ages. The Protestant Reformation was led by great men of the faith; such as Martin Luther and John Calvin. These men, and the Christians they led, recognized that the church of their day had drastically drifted from some of the most essential teachings of the Christian faith. We praise God that He used the Reformation to fully restore these statements to a position of prominence within the Christian faith today and solidify the current expression of them.
Sola Scriptura: Scripture alone. The Bible alone is our highest authority.
When we speak of the Scriptures, we are referring to the 66 books of the Bible which alone are inspired by God and profitable for our Christian lives (2 Timothy 3:16–17; 2 Peter 1:20–21). The Scriptures are the only authority we recognize when it comes to matters of our faith and how we daily live out Christian lives. There are other sources of knowledge that may be helpful, but only as they are made to submit to the truths found within the pages of Scripture.
Sola Fide: Faith alone. We are only saved by faith alone in Jesus Christ.
We recognize that no man can be made right with God through human effort nor can any man grow in respect to his salvation through human effort. A right standing with God and subsequent growth in accordance to that standing is only possible through faith alone in Christ alone. (Romans 3:10–22; 5:1 Galatians 2:16; 3:1–5).
Sola Gratia: Grace alone. We are saved by the grace of God alone.
We are saved from the just penalty of our sin by the grace of God alone. We have done nothing nor can do anything to merit being saved through faith alone in Christ alone. The immeasurable gift of salvation is only ours because of the grace of God.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Sola Christus: Christ alone. Jesus Christ alone is our Lord, Savior and King.
The greatest and most complete revelation that God has given of Himself is through His Son Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1–3). We recognize that it is only through faith in Christ that one may gain entrance into heaven (John 14:6) and it is only through faith in His name that one may be saved (Acts 4:12).
Sola Deo Gloria: To the glory of God alone. We live for the glory of God alone.
We live for the glory of God alone. We believe that man’s creative purpose is to give God glory by making Him known (Psalm 145:8–10).
It is the privilege and responsibility of the church to make known the manifold wisdom of God to the rulers and authorities in heavenly realms (Ephesians 3:10) The church is a pillar and support of God’s truth (1 Timothy 3:15). God has chosen us to be a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession so that we may proclaim the excellencies of God who has called us out of the darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 1:9).
All that we do on this earth is to be done to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). The heavenly beings exist to give God glory (Revelation 4:1–11; 5:13–14). As those who have been purchased with the blood of God (Revelation 5:10,) we too should exist to give God glory. It is only then that we will fulfill our creative purpose and feel a genuine sense of true worth.