Welcome to the family of God at Grace Church Aurora!
When you are with us, we trust that you will experience a refreshing, wonderful time worshipping our Savior and that you will sense our genuine love and open arms toward you.
We're happy that you've stopped by! Our vision is to glorify God by lovingly making disciples who worship and obediently serve Him. We hope you will find that there is a place for you at Grace Church Aurora!
For more information about our regular ministries, click here.
Directions — Map
Grace Church Aurora
19001 E. Jefferson Dr.
Aurora, CO 80013
We're on the corner of E. Jefferson Dr & S. Biscay St.
You'll find us on the hill, one block east and one block south of S. Tower Rd. and E. Hampden Ave.
Regular Sunday Schedule
9:15 a.m. Coffee
9:30 a.m. Sunday School and Adult Bible Fellowships
10:40 a.m. Worship Service
Whether you've attended church your whole life, or have never stepped foot into a church, Grace Church Aurora is a safe place to bring your doubts, questions, and curiosity - regardless of your beliefs or background. We invite you to take a look around and see some of the opportunities we offer for people at any age or stage of life. When you experience our Grace Church Aurora family, you'll find:
- A casual atmosphere - come as you are
- Friendly people who’ll help you find your way around
- Contemporary music
- Messages relevant to your daily life
- Children’s ministries for every age group
- Adult Bible Fellowships
The purpose of Grace Church Aurora is to glorify God by lovingly making disciples who worship and obediently serve Him. In our efforts to meet this purpose, we utilize the Win-Build-Send model of ministry.
Are We Denominational?
Grace Church Aurora is a Bible church, a name many churches have adopted because they emphasize teaching the Bible. Bible churches are not a denomination and are usually independent of each other. Except for the emphasis on the Bible, these churches may be very different. Our particular church consists of people from different religious and denominational backgrounds. Anyone who is investigating the Christian faith or who sincerely believes in Jesus Christ as Savior and wants to live for Him, whatever his or her background, is welcome.
What Do We Believe?
We believe in the great historic doctrines of the Christian faith — the authority and inerrancy of the Bible, the Trinity, salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, His death in our place for our sins, His resurrection, the work of the Holy Spirit in helping each believer live the Christian life, the priesthood of each believer, and the importance of discipleship. You can also read our Statement of Faith for greater detail. God is doing tremendous things among us here at Grace. In response to His love and His Word, we are committed to these four priorities: Growing in our love for God, Growing in our love for our family, Growing in our love for the family of God (fellow believers), and Growing in our love for the people who need to know Christ personally. That is what we are all about as a church and why we care about you!
The purpose of Grace Church Aurora is to glorify God by lovingly making disciples who worship and obediently serve Him. In our efforts to meet this purpose, we utilize the Win-Build-Send model of ministry.
WIN - Initiating relationships and sharing Christ with those who need to trust Him as Savior
BUILD - Training and discipling new and growing believers to walk with God and to serve Him, His Church, and the community
SEND - Mobilizing trained believers for ministry within and beyond the local church
Grace Church Aurora is a growing church seeking to worship God and to impact our city and our world by winning people to Jesus Christ, building disciples in spiritual maturity and sending believers to serve at home and abroad.
PHILOSOPHY OF MINISTRY
Grace Church Aurora
The purpose of Grace Church Aurora is to glorify God by lovingly making disciples who worship and obediently serve Him.
1. Definition of the Goal: A Mature Disciple
A disciple is one who has trusted in Christ as Savior and is striving to follow Him in obedience in every area of life as evidenced by practicing the basic Christian disciplines and by exercising his or her spiritual giftedness.
2. Role of Church Leadership to Effectively Develop Disciples
2.1 General Leadership Philosophy
2.1.1 All elders, deacons, pastoral staff, ministry leaders, and small group leaders must be growing disciples committed to the church's philosophy of ministry, recognized as such by the elders or ministry leaders after due consideration and evaluation of godly character, giftedness, ability, proven experience, training, and desire to serve.
2.1.2 All leaders of key church ministries will take part in on-going training and accountability to constantly improve the gifts and the ministry God has entrusted to each of them.
2.1.3 We are committed to the principle of multiplication of ourselves by disciple-making – evangelizing, edification, training, and delegating ministry to others who are faithful (2 Tim. 2:2).
2.1.4 Elders are to be obeyed and are men to whom the local fellowship must submit (Heb. 13:17, 1 Pet. 5:5). Conversely, the elders are not to "lord it over" the congregation in their leadership.
2.1.5 Leaders are to set the pace for others to follow by being godly examples (Heb. 13:7)
2.2.1 The elders' role is to devote themselves to the ministry of the Word, to prayer, to the shepherding of the flock and to overseeing the ministry of the flock of Grace Church Aurora.
2.2.2 The elders will seek to minimize their role as policy makers and to maximize the number of persons doing ministry; thus, the elders will transfer responsibility and authority, whenever possible, to ministry leaders, to task forces, and to discipleship structures, providing resources whenever possible.
2.2.3 In matters of disciplined restoration, the elders will ensure that persistently sinful individuals will be admonished primarily within their closed fellowship group, that restoration is maintained as the objective of such a process, and that each step of the process will be followed accurately before advancement to the next step is allowed.
The deacon's role is to assist the elders in their shepherding and overseeing ministries by assuming ministry responsibilities or tasks delegated to them by the elders and to be models in the disciple-making process.
2.4 Pastoral Staff
2.4.1 The role of all pastoral staff is to exercise their spiritual giftedness, especially the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher, in equipping or "coaching" believers for their works of ministry through modeling, preaching, teaching, and exhorting (Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Pet. 4:10); the senior pastor is usually a generalist while additional pastoral staff are usually specialists.
2.4.2 The role of the senior pastor is not that of chief executive officer of the church, a role collectively entrusted to the elders.
2.5 Ministry Leaders
2.5.1 Leaders are to model personal growth through discipleship, to grow in ministry skills, and to equip believers for ministry.
2.5.2 Leaders of adult, youth, and children's ministries will not be recruited to leadership positions and then "abandoned". We will confirm their preparedness through apprenticeship, observing a trained leader and practicing while being observed.
3. Role of the Congregation to Effectively Develop Disciples
3.1 The believer's role is to press on towards maturity (Heb. 5:12-6:1) and to make disciples (Matt. 28:19-20), setting a godly example for believers by maintaining one's spiritual health as well as that of his or her family, praying personally for the needs of believers (Eph. 6:18), practicing the priesthood of the believer (1 Pet. 2:5), using his or her spiritual gift(s), and empowered by and in dependence upon the Holy Spirit, directly ministering to Christians and unbelievers as a believer-priest.
3.2 Spiritual Giftedness
3.2.1 We recognize servant gifts as being equally important as leadership gifts in building a healthy, disciple-making church.
3.2.2 Each believer is expected to prayerfully work at discerning whether his giftedness is primarily in serving or in leading.
3.2.3 Each believer is expected to minister consistently with his or her type of giftedness to further the work of Christ.
3.3 Priesthood of the Believer
We are committed to the priesthood of all believers (i.e. no distinction between "clergy" and "laity" exists), but maintain a distinction between the equality and authority of all believers and the authority of church leaders. All believers are positionally equal before God and are responsible to offer to God the sacrifices of praise, of their bodies, of good works, and of sharing; but hierarchically, God has ordained elders to govern the church under the headship of Christ.
3.4 A regular attender is to be involved in Celebration, in Congregation, in a Cell group and to use his giftedness in some ministry.
3.5 The primary means of building intimate relationships and of meeting individual needs of the flock will be through cell groups..
4. Purpose and Use of Structures to Effectively Develop Disciples
4.1 General Program Philosophy
4.1.1 We will evaluate every ministry of our church, not by its importance as an on-going program of the church, but by its effectiveness in producing maturing disciples (changing lives), and we will modify or discontinue each ministry whose efforts ineffectively work towards our goal of developing disciples.
4.1.2 The primary method of disciple-making is the small group.
4.1.3 We will promote the belief that the church's most important identity and ministry takes place while it is decentralized (i.e. when believers minister individually in their homes, in places of employment, in neighborhoods, in small groups rather than when everyone gathers together at the same time in one location).
4.1.4 We will budget for growth in disciple-making and not for maintenance.
4.2 Evangelism (Win)
4.2.1 Evangelism (including one's efforts to build relationships with the lost before the Good News is shared) is the starting point and indispensable catalyst to all disciple-making.
4.2.2 We will utilize two kinds of evangelism, spontaneous and planned:
1) Spontaneous evangelism is to be done by all Christians and includes consistent Christian living and seizing impromptu opportunities to share Christ;
2) Planned Evangelism or Velcro Ministries involves equipping and deploying believers towards a targeted group or event that lasts long enough to build relational bridges between an outsider and people/programs in our church (e.g. a softball league).
4.2.3 A plan of prayer must underlie all of our efforts as a foundation to reach the lost for Christ.
4.2.4 Church programs must not be so involvement intensive as to preclude believers from building relationships with the lost.
4.2.5 We will first evangelize within the network of relationships of our families, neighbors, co-workers, and social circles.
4.2.6 We will work to provide multiple levels of entry for attracting unbelievers to Jesus Christ and to the church.
4.2.7 Secondly, we will evangelize Aurora based upon demographic study and an assessment of our ability to meet needs.
4.3 Christian Education (Build)
4.3.1 We will develop sequential growth for disciples by offering varying sized ministries at multiple commitment levels.
22.214.171.124 Celebration (Worship). The church, based upon its collective unity in Christ, gathers in large groups of more than seventy primarily for the purpose of worship, encouragement, and celebration of all that God is and has done, while being contemplative of its cost and of its meaning for our lives.
126.96.36.199.1 While making all of our ministries warm and accepting of newcomers, the primary function of our worship services will be to proclaim God's Word and to facilitate a life-style of true worship -- a genuine and active response to God's revelation whereby we declare His worth -- both individually and corporately.
188.8.131.52.2 Since the primary purpose of our gathering for worship is celebrative, we will work to ensure that the "outsider" feels comfortable and welcomed and that the committed disciple feels challenged and encouraged.
184.108.40.206.3 Participation rather than observation is encouraged in the worship service.
220.127.116.11 (Mini-) Congregations (S.S. or ABF's). The church gathers in moderate-sized groups of approximately seventeen to seventy, for the purpose of pro-active outreach and assimilation as well as a ministry of fellowship and teaching; these open groups will be segmented (as in life-cycle groups) to better meet personal needs and to effectively target and assimilate outsiders.
18.104.22.168 Cells (Small Groups) The church gathers in small groups of approximately seven to seventeen for the purpose of facilitating increased intimacy as an environment for increased accountability (helping a fellow believer to keep one's commitments to God) so that basic Christian habits may be increasingly developed.
22.214.171.124.1 Covenant Group We will facilitate the initial discipleship of a new believer through a group usually running thirteen (13) to twenty-six (26) weeks.
126.96.36.199.2 Basic Accountability Group (Care Group) We will facilitate the further discipleship of a growing believer through a group usually running in duration from six (6) to nine (9) and up to twenty-four (24) months, grounding each believer in the basic habits of spiritual life (prayer, Bible study, witnessing, fellowship, obedience, and continued growth).
188.8.131.52.3 On-going Accountability Group We will facilitate the advanced discipleship of a more mature believer through a closed group of very committed believers designed for stimulating consistent growth over an indefinite time period.
4.3.2 Task Groups We will gather in other small groups for the primary purpose of accomplishing a task rather than developing intimacy and growth (e.g. ushers, choir, task force, etc.).
4.3.3 Support Groups We may gather in additional small groups for the purpose of addressing a specific need (e.g. self-image, divorce recovery, drug abuse, incest, financial difficulty, etc.)
4.4 Leadership Development (Send)
4.4.1 To develop leadership skills, we will intentionally provide modeling and opportunities for ministry by placing individuals in an apprenticeship role with trained leaders.
4.4.2 Leadership Community We will develop and multiply knowledgeable and trained small group leaders in an on-going small group for leadership training, vision-casting, planning, bi-directional communication, and mutual encouragement.
Statement of Faith
I. A STATEMENT OF FAITH AND DISTINCTIVES OF GRACE CHURCH AURORA
Bibliology - The Doctrine of the Bible
We believe the original documents of scripture are without error in all matters upon which they touch. This includes the fields of history and science as well as spiritual, religious, and redemptive themes. (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; Matthew 5:18; John 10:35)
Theology - The Doctrine of God
We believe that there is but one living and true God, Who is infinite in being and perfection, a pure spirit, invisible, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, wise, holy, free, absolute, working all things according to the counsel of His own immutable and righteous will, for His own glory. (John 4:24; Malachi 3:6; Psalm 90:2; Jeremiah 32:17; Ephesians 1:11)
We believe that God is loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin. We believe that God is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him, just and terrible in His judgments, hating all sin, and Who will, by no means, clear the guilty. (Psalm 145:9, 16-17; Deuteronomy 4:31; 7:7-10; John 13:16; Ephesians 1:6-7; Exodus 34:6-7; 1 Samuel 2:2)
We believe in one God eternally existing in three equal persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (John 6:27; Hebrews 1:8; Acts 5:3-4; Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Matthew 28:19; Isaiah 48:16)
Christology - The Doctrine of Christ
We believe that God became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary and Who is true God and true man. (John 1:14; 11:33; 8:40; Matthew 1:18-25; 26:38; Hebrews 1:8; 2:14)
We believe in the bodily resurrection of Christ, in His Ascension into heaven, and in His present life there for us. Jesus now serves as high priest, intercessor, and advocate with the Father on our behalf. (Romans 1:4; John 20:25-27; 1 John 2:1; Hebrews 7:25; Acts 1:9-11). We believe in His personal, imminent return for His church, and His visible, premillennial second advent to this earth according to His promise. (Acts 1:11; Matthew 24-25; Revelations 19-20; Isaiah 9:6-7)
Pneumatology - The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person, possessing all the distinctively divine attributes and therefore He is God. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. He regenerates, seals, permanently indwells, and baptizes the believer into the body of Christ. He also fills those yielded to God. (1 Corinthians 2:10-11; Isaiah 40:13-14; Psalm 139:7; Titus 3:5; John 3:5-7; 7:37-39; 14:16-17; 16:8; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 1:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Romans 8:9; 26-27)
We believe the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a work of the Holy Spirit unique for the church age, by which He places each believer into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation. While the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a unique, one-time occurrence, the filling of the Holy Spirit is a repeated experience involving a believer's yieldedness to God. (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13; 4:4; 5:18-21; Colossians 2:9-10)
Anthropology - The Doctrine of Man's Creation and Fall
We believe that man was created in the image of God, and that he sinned and consequently experienced not only physical death but also spiritual death (which is separation from God). The consequences of this sin affects the entire human race. All human beings are born with a sinful nature, and apart from Jesus Christ are eternally lost. (Genesis 1:26-27; 2:17; Romans 5:12-19; Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:18; Mark 7:20-23; John 2:24-25)
Soteriology - The Doctrine of Salvation
We believe that Jesus Christ died for our sins as a substitutionary sacrifice and that all who believe in Him are declared righteous on the basis of His death and resurrection. (2 Corinthians 5:14; Mark 10:45; Romans 3:21-26; 5:8-9; 4:25; 1 Peter 3:18; Galatians 3)
We believe that whoever by faith receives Jesus Christ as his Saviour, by believing in Christ's death for his sins and His bodily resurrection, with the purpose of being saved by his belief, immediately becomes a child of God and is saved from the penalty of his sins. (John 3:16; 5:24; 6:47)
We believe that when a person is saved, all three persons of the Godhead do works in that person which are irreversible. Therefore, the believer can never be lost. This is not dependent on the believer's conduct, just as initial salvation was not dependent on the person's works. (Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 John 5:11-13; John 10:27-30)
We believe that all believers still possess a sin nature in this life, but that God has made full provision for believers to overcome this sinful nature and to live in obedience to God through identification with Christ (Romans 6:1-14), a knowledge of the Scriptures, the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the supportive relationships of the Body of Christ. We recognize that this is a process which will not be completed until we meet Jesus face to face. (Romans 5:12; 6:1-14; 8:11-17; Ephesians 2:1-10)
We believe that Christ should have control of every area of a believer's life. Every activity, thought and decision is of concern to God and His will, as revealed in Scripture, should be sought accordingly. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 10:31; Romans 14:23; Philippians 1:21)
We believe that having personal fellowship with God on a regular and consistent basis is essential for Christian growth. Confession of personal sins and obedience to God's Word produces fellowship with God. (Psalm 1; 5:3; 119; 145:2; Colossians 3:16; 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; I John 1:5-2:2)
Ecclesiology - The Doctrine of the Church
We believe that all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are immediately placed by the Holy Spirit into one united spiritual body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:12-13), the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 19:7-8), of which Christ is the head (Ephesians 1:22; 4:15; Colossians 1:18).
We believe that the formation of the church, the body of Christ, began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21; 38-47) and will be completed at the coming of Christ for His own at the rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
We believe that the church is thus a unique spiritual organism designed by Christ, made up of all born-again believers in this present age (Ephesians 2:11-3:6). The church is distinct from Israel (1 Corinthians 10:32), a mystery not revealed until this age (Ephesians 3:1-6; 5:32).
We believe that the establishment and continuity of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures (Acts 14:23, 27; 20:17, 28; Galatians 1:2; Philippians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1) and that the members of one scriptural body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1 Corinthians 11:18-20; Hebrews 10:25).
We believe that the one supreme authority for the church is Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline, and worship are all appointed through His sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated officers serving under Christ and over the assembly are elders and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5).
We believe that Christians are to celebrate the Lord's Supper until He returns. This celebration reminds Christians of His body, the new covenant in His blood, and proclaims the Lord's death until He comes. (2 Corinthians 11:17-30; Luke 22:14-23)
We believe that corporate and individual worship are essential parts of every believer's relationship to God. Individual obedience to God in our everyday lives is worship, as well as our verbally describing God's worth in a public worship service. (Psalm 29:1-2; Exodus 34:14; John 4:23-24; Romans 12:1)
We believe that every believer is a priest to God (1 Peter 2:4-10; Rev. 1:6) and is responsible to offer up spiritual sacrifices (1 Peter 2:5). These include the sacrifice of the body (Romans 12:1), the sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15), the sacrifice of good works (Hebrews 13:16; Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 6:10), and the sacrifice of sharing of material goods (Hebrews 13:16).
We believe that God fixes no specific amount on a believer's giving in the present age, but that giving should be sacrificial (2 Corinthians 8:2-3), generous (2 Corinthians 9:5-6), cheerful (2 Corinthians 9:7), proportional (1 Corinthians 16:1-2), and systematic (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). Believers should give to those who teach them (Galatians 6:6), and to those who have need (Ephesians 4:28), including those who cannot work (1 Timothy 5:13-16), and those who are asked not to work for the sake of the gospel (Acts 13:1-3; 1 Timothy 5:17-18). They are not to give to those who refuse to work (2 Thessalonians. 3:10).
We believe that at conversion, the Holy Spirit gives each new believer a spiritual gift which he did not possess prior to salvation. Each Christian should endeavor to discover, develop, and use his spiritual gift to serve and build up the Body. The Body functions most effectively when each member is properly exercising his gift. However, the fruit of the Spirit, not spiritual gifts, is the evidence of being filled by the Holy Spirit.
Eschatology - The Doctrine of Last Things
We believe in Christ's personal, imminent return for His church, and in His personal, bodily, visible, premillennial return in the glory of His Father to set up on earth a kingdom over which He shall reign in righteousness and peace. (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Acts. 1:11; Matthew 24:30; Rev. 20:4-6; Isaiah 9:6-7; 11:2-5).
We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men. Believers are resurrected to enjoy eternal life with God. Unbelievers are resurrected to experience judgement and then eternal suffering apart from God. (1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Revelation 20:4-6; 12-15; 21:1-8; John 5:28-29; Daniel 12:2)
II. OUR POSITION ON OTHER DOCTRINES
While all the members of Grace Church Aurora agree with this Statement of Faith, many passages exist in God's Word about which believers have differing interpretations. Often men and women, who are in Christ, sincerely, conscientiously, and sometimes passionately believe differently on various doctrinal subjects. Christians may hold different views and still be members of the same church and even members of the same leadership group. We, as individual believers at Grace, may state the case for our understanding of certain doctrines or Scriptural positions. We simply agree to disagree while granting grace and Christ-like love in the dialogue as to its meaning.
However, we also believe and teach that whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, only one true interpretation exists. This meaning is to be found as one diligently applies the normative, literal, grammatical, historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. It is for this reason that every Christian is responsible and is encouraged to study the Bible as objectively and as thoroughly as possible, seeking to ascertain carefully its true authorially-intended meaning, recognizing that proper applications are to be obeyed by believers in every Age. Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it.
This position and practice will assist in protecting the community of Grace Church Aurora from doctrinal error, from division, and from the error of relativism that is attacking and eroding the confidence of the unchurched and sometimes even of believers in the objective and absolute truth, God's revelation to man, and of one's ability to accurately understand it. (John 7:17; 16:12-15; I Cor. 2:7-15; I John 2:20)
This revision of our Statement of Faith was approved by the Elders on 2/16/99.
Grace Church Aurora
19001 E. Jefferson Dr.
Aurora, CO 80013
Grace Church Aurora is Governed by Elders and Deacons
The Bible describes a church that under the headship of Jesus Christ as administrated by Elders, assisted by Deacons. The benefits for this type of government are many. Accountability is provided within the team format; leadership is given through men with a variety of spiritual gifts; and decisions are made through the wisdom of many.
Responsibilities of an Elder:
To be an Example - “Christ-like example”
Be an example and pace-setter for others, and evidence character qualities and public reputation that every Christian should possess.
Titus 1:5-9; 1 Timothy 3:1-7
To be an Overseer - “Of the Affairs of the Church”
Spiritual leaders are responsible for the overall direction of the church, even though many others execute the various specific tasks. They insure that structures are created and people are mobilized to move toward those goals. 1 Timothy 5:17; Hebrews 13:17; Acts 20:28
To be a Shepherd - “People are Loved and Cared For”
Someone who guards, feeds and cares for God’s people like a shepherd with a flock. The shepherd is responsible to equip God’s people for ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13), by guarding them from false teaching, giving them good spiritual counsel and food from God’s Word, training them, and comforting and helping them (Acts 20:27-31). The shepherd must be one who is sensitive to the needs of the people, knowledgeable in God’s Word and willing to invest the time necessary to care for individuals.
Mission Statement of the Elders
To be the Elders God desires, loving Him and pursuing His heart for Grace Church Aurora.
To accomplish this goal, we will:
Shepherd the church family, ensuring that guiding, guarding, modeling, caring, and feeding take place
Oversee well the affairs of the church
Be a model ministry team
Values that Guide the Elders' Service and Decisions
Responsibilities of a Deacon:
To assist the Elders, freeing them to devote themselves to their God-given responsibilities (Acts 6)
Senior Pastor: Larry Hoskins
Five ways to describe him:
Committed to Christ
Lover of God's Word
Passionate about his family
Believes the local church is the best hope for a hurting world
What he's really good at:
A unique speaking style that combines personal vulnerability, quick wit, and provocative insight. They all make for an intriguing environment for people from all walks of life to consider the next step in their faith journey wherever they may be.
Another interest he has:
Meets regularly with many pastors from the Denver Metroplex for mutual inspiration and equipping where they share with one another what they have learned about ministry, so together they can do an even better job of bringing the hope of Jesus to hurting and searching communities.
Larry graduated from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois with a B.A. in Christian Education, and from Dallas Theological Seminary, in Dallas, Texas with a Th.M. in Bible Exposition.
Other lessons learned in the classroom called life:
What he cherishes:
His wife, Janet, and their five children.
Office Administrator: Deb Clapper
Deb Clapper is a charter member of Grace Church Aurora who attended its first service in May 1981 and has been with us ever since. She and her husband, Dick, raised their three children here, and she joined our staff in 1992. Much of her work is behind the scenes, yet Deb is integral to the smooth and efficient operation of our ministry. Being an Office Adminstrator is not just a job to Deb, it is a ministry. We are grateful to God for her deep love for this congregation and for their ministries. If you need any information about GCA , contact Deb Clapper.
All of us are going somewhere.
Our lives are often a blur of constant motion and activities. It is not unusual in the pace of modern life to sometimes feel as though we have been lost in the shuffle, as if no one cares, as if we are all alone. At other times, we may experience great satisfaction with work or family, yet still be aware of an emptiness inside, of a desire for more out of life.
In recent years, Americans have strayed from their biblical Judeo-Christian moorings to wander on the anchorless seas of relativism, existentialism, and deism. These turbulent waters abound with sayings like: "It's okay as long as it's right for you." "If I can't experience it, then it isn't real." or "It's okay to believe in any god or religion as long as it's how you were raised."
In contrast to these perspectives, the Bible provides us with the peaceful and soothing waters of truth. It challenges us to build loving webs of relationships, to study and meet the needs of people as we are able, and to faithfully proclaim the message from God's Word: Jesus died to save sinners; anyone who trusts Him to save him from sin has eternal life — not only in the future, but as a present quality of life NOW! Eternal life includes developing and maintaining a loving, dependent, and growing relationship with God and with his forever family, the church.
We at Grace Church Aurora believe that God's Word, the Bible, provides us with the answers to life's most important questions: "Where did I come from?", "Where am I going?", and "Why am I here?". Jesus said, "I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10).
Even now, Jesus wants to take away your heavy burdens, to give you His free gift — abundant and eternal life, and to let you know the joy of living your life for His cause. As Jesus said, "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (John 17:3).
If you have questions that need to be answered, please contact us.
Grace Church Aurora
19001 E. Jefferson Dr.
Aurora, CO 80013
By clicking on this tab, you may be exploring the most important question you have ever examined, for God is genuinely interested in you and in your eternal well-being!
WHY DO I EVEN NEED TO BE SAVED?
You’ve asked a great question. Even the words “need to be saved” imply that someone is in harm's way right now. It may not even seem so, but it is true. How are we in harm's way? To answer that question, let’s start with our loving God.
Who is God?
God, the only God as He reveals Himself in the Bible, is a multi-faceted person that none of us will ever fully understand. He is sovereign, spirit (as contrasted with material), loving, just, righteous, merciful, compassionate, holy, eternal, transcendent, unchangeable, infinite, absolute in perfection, immense, all-wise, truth, good, gracious, patient, self-existent (i.e. He was not created or did not have a beginning), all-knowing, all-powerful, everywhere-present, and free (i.e., He acts on His own, and always acts within the constraints of His good character, such that He will never sin).
What is love?
The word “love” is used very loosely in English. We love pizza, great weather, our favorite sports team and our spouse, but the meaning of “love” in relation to each recipient is not always the same. The original languages of the Bible have different words for “love,” but the one most used of God’s love has three aspects to it — all of which can be seen in John 3:16
- Love seeks God’s best for the person being loved. [God wanted us to have eternal life.]
- Love sacrifices self to help gain God’s best for the person being loved. [God gave His Son.]
- Love does #1 & #2 because the person loving values the person being loved. [God loved us.]
Ok, if this is true, then how can a loving God send people to hell?
To answer this question, rests in a more comprehensive reflection of who God is. Yes, God is loving, but God is also holy, righteous and just. Herein is the difficulty.
When God created the first couple, He sovereignly gave them one restriction – a restriction which was promptly disobeyed. In the Bible, this disobedience is called sin. Before they did so, God had warned them that in the day they ate of the forbidden fruit, they would surely die. Since they did not physically die “in that day,” the death God was talking about had to be of a different kind – spiritual. That is what we see in the text. Whereas before Adam and Eve enjoyed an unhampered relationship with God, immediately thereafter we see them hiding from God, refusing personal responsibility, and blaming others for their choice to disobey. In fact, although they were aware of God’s presence and could converse with Him, they were separated from that previously unhampered relationship because of their sin. Sin had violated God’s holiness and righteousness, and because God justly enacted the consequence about which He had forewarned them, death (spiritual separation from God) was imposed. Do not miss this fact: The loving God is also just – loving in His justice and just in His loving. To threaten a consequence and not impose it would be untruthful. To dismiss the consequence, would not be just. The sin of Adam impacted himself and all of his offspring; this is called “original sin.” This original sin is further compounded by the fact that each of us commits our own acts of sin. We are sinners.
The reason a loving God sends people to hell is that they have a sin problem that is unaddressed, and His justice requires that our sin be punished.
We need to be saved because we are all sinners. The Bible says in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. His glory is the standard of perfection that reflects His holy character. Further, it says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death (separation from God). Accordingly, we all stand properly condemned by a holy, righteous, and just God. We have no recourse in and of ourselves. We all deserve hell. But the story does not end there.
If we are all condemned justly, then how can anyone be saved?
You have asked another great question. The fact that we can do nothing in and of ourselves to save us from sin and its just consequences, does not mean that God can do nothing. The just God, who must punish our sin, provided a substitute payment for sin.
Romans 5:8 says that God demonstrates His love towards us in that while we were yet sinners [remember, that is our state], Christ died for us. 2 Corinthians 5:21 puts it this way, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Let’s explain that text a little further: “He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus Christ] who knew no sin [Jesus had never sinned, and thus was not deserving of death] to be sin for us [in other words, He died the death that we deserved for our own sin when He willingly died as our substitute on the cross].” Did you see it? When Christ died on the cross in our place, the justice of God that required sin to be paid for was satisfied.
Does Christ’s death for all of our sins mean, then, that everyone is saved?
No, everyone is not saved simply because Christ died for his or her sin. One has to respond in faith – personally trusting Christ’s death and resurrection from the dead for the purpose of being saved from one’s sin.
Did you notice, in the answer to the previous question, that 2 Corinthians 5:21 says that we need to be “in Him”? That little phrase is the Apostle Paul’s shorthand for one who throws himself or herself on Christ to be saved:
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise.
What is “the gospel of your salvation”?
Paul clearly defines this gospel by which we are saved in his letter to the Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
1Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2by which also you are saved, … 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. 9For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
You see, the moment you believe to be forgiven of your sin, a transaction occurs – the great exchange: your sin is placed on Christ, and His righteousness is placed on you. He paid for your sin when He died on the cross, but you appropriate Christ’s death when you believe.
Let me illustrate. If a person were to write you a check for a million dollars and handed it to you, at that moment, the million dollars is yours only in potentiality. Those funds remain in the person’s account until you appropriate them for yourself. For it to become yours, you have to turn the check over, endorse it with your signature, and then deposit the check into your account. When you do that, and the check clears, the funds are in your account.
When Christ died for the sins of the world, it is as if He handed every person a check with the righteousness of Christ on it. The potentiality of being made righteous in Him is fully there, but unless you turn that check over and “endorse it” by faith in Christ’s death and resurrection, it never becomes yours unless you believe with the purpose of being saved from your sin.
I thought I had to earn my way to heaven by being good! You mean that’s not true?
Exactly. Read what the Scriptures say about how our best works cannot offset the sin that we have done; it is the undeserved grace and mercy of God that makes a provision for salvation through faith:
8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
6For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
20…by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
5He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,
2 Timothy 1:9
9[God] who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.
These verses are not to say that good works are not important to a Christian. We cannot merit forgiveness because of our works, but we were designed to do good works for which we were saved, and this brings glory to God:
10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
16“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
SO HOW CAN I BE SAVED?
If you would like to be saved from your sin and made righteous in Christ, God’s Word to you is the same as the Apostle Paul to the Philippian jailer and as the Apostle John’s words to his readers:
30And after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
1 John 5:11-13
11And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. 13These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know [not guess or wish or hope] that you have eternal life.
12But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.
If you have believed in Jesus Christ to be forgiven of your sins, you can be assured of God’s forgiveness of your sin and of being made righteous by faith. You may even want to formalize it in a personal prayer to God. These words do not save you; your faith in Christ for forgiveness does. But you can express your faith to God in something like this:
Dear Heavenly Father,
I know that I am a sinner, separated from you. I know I deserve to go to hell because of my sin, and You would be just if You did. I also have come to understand that You love me and that You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place for my sin. I do not deserve to be saved from my sin, but because of Your grace and mercy, You have made a way for me to be saved. Today, I want You to know that I am not trying to earn my way into Your good favor. I cannot do so. Instead, I am placing my faith alone in Christ alone to be saved from my sin. I believe that He died on the cross for my sin, and that He was raised from the dead. I thank You for making me righteous before You today, because I am now in Christ. Thank You for forgiving me. Thank You for making me Your child! Help me to live my life as a tribute to all You have done for me.
Can I lose my salvation?
Now that you are a child of God, you may have some doubts about your salvation. Re-read 1 John 5:11-13 above, and know that you can be assured you are saved. In fact, another verse that gives that same assurance is found below:
24“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
What if I sin again?
It is not “if” you will sin, but “when” you will sin again! God has given us His Holy Spirit who lives inside us to empower us not to sin, but there are times when we do not depend on His power, and we sin again. We do not lose our salvation, because we were made righteous positionally in Christ (Romans 8:1). But we can break our fellowship with God in much the same way that a wayward child can damage his or her relationship with a parent. They do not cease being a child when they have disobeyed, but they may have some repair work to do to make things right.
When we sin, we have to confess our sin (i.e., to say the same thing about sin that God does with the same heart that God has towards that sin):
1 John 1:9
9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Notice God is faithful to forgive us (i.e., to restore the fellowship of His child with Him). Our salvation was never in jeopardy, only the sweetness of our fellowship with Him.
HOW CAN I GROW IN MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?
- Regularly read God’s Word! – the 66 books of the Bible. Ask God to show you more about Himself, about you, about others, and about how to live out His purposes for your life.
- Pray! Talk to God. You can use the acrostic “CATS” – Confess your sin. Adore God for who He is. Thank God for what He has done. Make Supplication to God, asking Him to meet needs in others’ lives as well as your own.
- Become a part of a church family! – Regularly worship with the people of God in a church where they teach from the Bible. Look to the spiritual leaders of the church for examples, and do your best to follow their leadership. Take advantage of opportunities to be taught the Word in Sunday School and small groups. Patiently love the people there. No church is perfect. Work through relational difficulties rather than just leaving one church for another. We invite you to become a part of our church! We are excited to grow together with you!
- Serve! God has placed one or more spiritual gifts within you that He has designed to be used to build up others and to encourage them. Keep trying different ministries until you find the one through which God uses you to bless others.
- Share your faith with others! God has given you the Good News about Jesus Christ so that you, too, can share it with others. Tell your story. Invite others to join you in trusting Christ to forgive them of their sin. It is not your job to bring them to faith. Pray, and ask God to open the eyes of their heart to believe, and patiently wait on God to do His part in bringing them to faith. In the mean time, keep on loving and serving those around you!