GRN's Affirmations & Denials
Article I – Legalism is a Real Problem
- We affirm that legalism is a dangerous problem that the church must always address.
- We deny that legalism is the primary enemy of the gospel to the exclusion of spiritual bondage, moral rebellion and a love for sin.
Article II – The Gospel and Total Depravity
- We affirm that unregenerate man, being totally depraved, is unable to obey or please God unto salvation.
- We deny that the believer, being regenerated by the Holy Spirit, remains unable to obey and please God, by grace and in Christ.
Article III – The Gospel Includes Sanctification
- We affirm that the gospel provides salvation for the whole man, including man’s need for both imputed and imparted righteousness.
- We deny that the gospel provides freedom from the guilt of sin in justification without deliverance from the power of sin in regeneration and liberation from the practice of sin in sanctification.
Article IV – Union with Christ and Sanctification
- We affirm that both justification and sanctification are distinct, necessary, inseparable and simultaneous graces of union with Christ though faith.
- We deny that sanctification flows directly from justification, or that the transformative elements of salvation are mere consequences of the forensic elements.
Article V – Gratitude and Motivation
- We affirm that gratitude for justification is a powerful motivation for growth in holiness.
- We deny that gratitude for justification is the only valid motivation for holiness, making all other motivations illegitimate or legalistic.
Article VI-Good Works not Merit
- We affirm that believers are not under the Law as a covenant of works, where the believer is required to merit his or her own righteousness before God.
- We deny that Christ has freed the Christian from the moral Law as the standard of Christian living.
Article VII – Adoption and Sanctification
- We affirm that through the finished work of Christ believers are adopted by God as sons and now relate to God as their loving heavenly Father.
- We deny that our adoption precludes God’s fatherly displeasure when His children rebel, or that God’s Fatherly love prevents Him from disciplining Christians who stray from the path of righteousness.
Article VIII – Effort and Sanctification
- We affirm that God-glorifying, Christ-centered, Holy Spirit-empowered effort to put off sin and put on righteousness is necessary for Christian growth in grace.
- We deny that all practical effort in sanctification is moralistic, legalistic or that the only effort required for growth is that Christians remember, revisit, and rediscover their justification.
Article IX – Faith and Sanctification
- We affirm that growth in the Christian life comes through faith, which believes and acts on the promises of God in the Scriptures.
- We deny that faith is wholly passive in sanctification or separated from good works in the same sense that justification is by faith alone.
Article X – Preaching the Imperatives
- We affirm that faithful preaching of the Law for use in the Christian life must always be done in the context of God’s provision through the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit.
- We deny that preaching the Scripture’s indicatives without the imperatives is a healthy model for Christian ministry because such preaching fails to conform to the pattern seen in Scripture and is dangerous to the life and ministry of the church.
Article XI – Sanctification and Assurance
- We affirm that Christians gain assurance of salvation by cherishing the promise of the gospel and by the fruit of the Spirit’s work in the believer’s life.
- We deny that assurance gained through growth in godliness amounts to a performance-based religion or necessitates an unwholesome spiritual pride.
Article XII – Sanctification and Victory
- We affirm that Christians can and should experience victories over sin, however limited and partial, and that these victories bring glory to God and bear testimony to the power of His grace.
- We deny that rejoicing in victories over sin amounts to spiritual pride or performance religion, although Christians may and sometimes do sin in this way.