Distinctives

Sovereign Grace is an independent fellowship of believers whose purpose is to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things by proclaiming Christ, faithfully teaching and living out the foundational principle that Christ is all in all.

Sovereign Grace is committed to the historic Christian faith that was preached by the Apostles, taught by the Church Fathers, recovered by the Protestant Reformation, and expressed in historic Evangelical orthodoxy. We believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives as it is preached with biblical faithfulness and clarity. Sovereign Grace is utterly committed to the inerrancy, authority, and sufficiency of Scripture as the Word of God.

The gospel can be summarized by five Latin phrases that emerged from the Protestant Reformation as slogans identifying the truth of salvation:

* Sola Scriptura: Scripture is our sole authority for what we are to believe and how we are to live

* Sola Fide: Salvation from sin is through faith alone in Christ Jesus

* Sola Gratia: Salvation is by grace alone and not by human merit

* Solus Christus: Salvation is found only in Christ's atoning work on the cross

* Soli Deo Gloria: We are to give glory to God alone by recognizing that all things are of Him and through Him and to Him

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Sovereign Grace holds to the historic Second London Confession of Faith (1689) in a slightly modified form. We believe that the sovereignty of God is a precious and powerful truth, more than a mere theoretical doctrine but instead a truth in which to root our lives and fellowship. Finding affinity with many branches of Protestant orthodoxy, we are an independent fellowship who claim the Bible alone as our final authority for faith and practice.

Sovereign Grace is not only Reformed but also Evangelical. We pray that God's name will be praised by every tribe, tongue, people, and nation as the gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed worldwide. We labor to bring the nations into passionate worship of the Living God so that they can discover and glorify Christ as all in all. We are committed to Spirit-empowered proclamation of the gospel here in Southwest Florida, in North America, and throughout the world.

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Worship is not centered in our feelings or biases or tastes. Worship is centered in God and His glory. Accordingly, we worship through biblical forms and historical expressions that place the glory of the Triune God in the very center of our praise. A typical worship service at Sovereign Grace Bible Chapel includes:

* prayers of confession, praise, thanksgiving and intercession

* hymns of praise and faith that tend toward the beautiful, the excellent, and the theologically profound

* observance of the Lord's Supper and baptism

* reading and preaching of the Word of God that exalts Christ as all-sufficient and that challenges and feeds souls in Him.

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The church is a covenantal body, and the most basic unit of this covenant body is the family. At Sovereign Grace we encourage husbands and fathers to embrace their covenantal responsibility as heads of their homes and to nurture their wives and children as they grow in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. We encourage wives and mothers to submit joyfully to their husbands, to be workers at home, and to nurture their children in Christ. Moreover, children are taught to love the Lord their God, to obey their parents, and to seek God's blessing upon themselves and their descendants. The local church should assist and equip parents for spiritual leadership in their homes but never replace them. Family worship is, we believe, a key to godly homes, and accordingly we strongly emphasize fathers to lead their families in daily worship in the home.

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God's Word calls pastors to preach and teach the whole counsel of God. Therefore, our consistent mode of preaching is verse-by-verse, expositional preaching of God's Word. We seek for our preaching to be centered in the person, work, and glory of Christ, as we believe all Scripture is.

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The Scriptures call for a plurality of men called elders to oversee, guide, and serve the church. Currently, Sovereign Grace has one elder: Mark Fuss, our Pastor-Teacher. We believe there is God-ordained wisdom in the company of many, so we pray that the Lord will raise up other men to serve Him in this position.

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Members of Sovereign Grace covenant together under God to encourage one another to love God and each other, seeking to edify one another by using their gifts; assisting one another by providing for needs; and together serving the church and community-at-large. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35). This is an important element of our corporate witness.

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