We are a Christ and Bible-centered church in Ocala, Central Florida. We are Reformed in doctrine and Presbyterian in our government. We are a group of people who love the Lord because He first loved us. We believe God calls His children to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever. We are guided by the Holy Spirit in the truth of God’s Word and called to obey Him. Knowing we all fall short of the glory of God and acknowledging our need for a Savior we believe that there is salvation, restoration and forgiveness in Jesus Christ alone. We deeply desire all people to know this good news, as we minister to our members’ needs, strive to reach the people of our community, and prayerfully support those who are working throughout the world to make disciples of all nations.
Grace Presbyterian Church is a congregation within the Presbyterian Church in America (www.pcanet.org) and therefore we have a Presbyterian form of government.
We are reformed in our doctrine ...
As a reformed church, we believe the Bible to be the infallible Word of God (2 Tim 3:16), the only rule of our faith and practice. Many churches claim the Word of God to be true, yet they disagree on what it teaches. Grace Presbyterian Church also adheres to the 1647 edition of the Westminster Confession of Faith and Larger and Shorter Catechisms as an expressed statement of what we believe the Word of God teaches.
Being reformed we believe the Word of God is sufficient and we bow before it for our faith and practice. Thus, we preach and teach the Word of God, making and equipping disciples of Christ, and work hard to apply God’s Word to every area of our lives.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the King of kings which means that He rules over all. He rules over our church, the family, and the state. Yes, the governing authorities are also instruments in God’s hands and stand under His authority (Romans 13:1-4). There is not one single area of our lives where Christ’s Word does not apply, whether it be in education, commerce or the arts. Christ is King over all. (Mat. 28:18)
We are Christian ...
We are Christian because we believe in Jesus Christ. “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other Name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. “(Acts 4:12).
Along with many other orthodox Christian traditions, we affirm the ancient Christian creeds which arose out of the earliest Ecumenical Councils, namely the Apostles Creed, the Nicene Creed, the Chalcedonian Creed, and the Athanasian Creed. These creeds affirm God’s Triune nature, mankind’s sinfulness and need of salvation, the full divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ, and God’s establishment of one, holy, catholic (universal) and apostolic (scriptural) Church as Christ’s living presence here on earth.
We are Protestant ...
This means that we object (“protest”) against all forms and traditions which stand opposed to God’s plan of salvation as found in the Bible. We identify with that great church reform movement that arose in the 1500s which stood up for the truth of God’s grace against the prevailing rituals and legalism of the day. We agree with the classic Protestant sayings that summarize well what it means to trust God entirely for our salvation: Scripture Alone, Christ Alone, Faith Alone, Grace Alone, and God’s Glory Alone. As classical Protestants we stand with God’s grace and against human pride, so that believers may be certainly assured of their salvation by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, despite their great sin.
We are Presbyterian in church government ...
We believe that God has ordained in His Word a certain form of church government. (Acts 20:17-32; 1 Timothy 3; 1 Timothy 5:17ff.; 2 Timothy 4; Tit.1:5-9; Hebrews 13:17). This appointed form of government is Presbyterian, which means we are governed by a plurality of elders (Presbyters), called by the Lord, and elected by the church to serve. We have a Book of Church order to help us maintain order in His church. (www.pcaac.org/bco)
We are Biblical and confessional in our worship ...
The Westminster Confession of Faith WCF 21-1, summarizes the teaching of God’s Word clearly, and among other things, states:
“But the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by Him, and so limited by His own revealed will, that He may not be worshipped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture.”
We seek to maintain the simplicity and purity of worship as set forth by the Word and avoid any use of symbols or ceremonies in worship that are not ordained by God to be used as means of worshipping Him.
Our Worship consists of Prayer, singing the Psalms, hymns and spiritual (Biblical) songs (Colossians 3:16), the reading of God’s Holy Word, teaching, preaching, and the administration of the sacraments. The Apostolic church celebrated the Lord’s Supper almost as often as they met for worship (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:18,20,23). Currently, we administer the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday of each month. (See an example of one of our bulletins with the order of worship for Sundays.) (Hyperlink?)
Why do we regard the means of grace in high esteem?
The Westminster Larger Catechism summarizes our beliefs well when it says,
“The outward and ordinary means, by which Christ communicates to His church the benefits of His mediation, are all His ordinances, especially the Word, sacraments (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper), and prayer.”
It is through these means God lets us grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). That is why the Word of God is central in all aspects of our worship services. The sermons on Sunday, rather than sharing stories or giving someone’s latest ideas, are expositional and aim at explaining and interpreting the Bible.
Church growing movements and planning strategies for churches are just two things these days that take up the time and energy of many churches and church leaders.
The leaders at Grace want to have a balanced view of what is truly important in the church. So, we do plan each year. We plan meetings, activities, curriculum for our teaching, just to name a few.
Nevertheless, we never want planning to become more important than the importance of growing in faith daily. And we believe that spiritual growth can only take place through the ministry of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thus, we want to be a church where the worship services are a personal and corporate meeting with the living God through Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Where the Word of God is preached, and always points to Jesus, where our obedience to His Word bear fruit in our daily lives that will make a difference in other people’s lives as well.
Thus, with all we have to offer, we still want to be church where people count more than programs, and daily devotions regarded as more important than big events, and the health of the church is measured in spiritual depth and not numbers.