What Does GCJ Believe re Salvation?

When it comes to the doctrine of Salvation, Grace Communion Jamaica (GCJ) believes the same as Grace Communion International (GCI), as stated in their study guide, WE BELIEVE.   The following statements, questions and answers (except for some sections in italics) are taken from the study guide.


From The GCI Statement of Beliefs:

  • Salvation is the restoration of human fellowship with God and the deliverance of the entire creation from the bondage of sin and death. Salvation is given by the grace of God and experienced through faith in Jesus Christ, not earned by personal merit or good works. God calls on every person to enter that divine fellowship, which has been secured for humanity in Jesus Christ and is embodied by him as the beloved of the Father at the Father’s right hand.

From GCI’s WE BELIEVE document:

14.5  What is salvation? 

It is the restoration of human communion with God and the deliverance of the entire creation from the bondage of sin and death.

In saving us, God grants us …

  • reconciliation with him,
  • forgiveness of sins,
  • adoption into his family,
  • citizenship in his kingdom,
  • union with him in Christ,
  • new life in the Spirit and
  • the promise of eternal life.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17-19   17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.   18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;  19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
  • Colossians 1:13-14   13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
  • Galatians 4:4-7    But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.  Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
  • Ephesians 2:19-21   19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
  • Romans 6:3-5   Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
  • Titus 3:4-6  But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
  • John 3:16  16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


14.6  Why is salvation needed? 

Ever since the first human beings, the human race has rebelled and distrusted the perfect goodness and holy love of the triune God and therefore alienated themselves from their Creator and rejected the fellowship they were created to have with him as their God.

As a result, the human race has:

  • … cut itself off from the source of its life and existence, resulting in physical death and subjecting itself to eternal spiritual death.
  • … promoted a lie about the nature and character of the triune God their maker, bearing false witness to God’s name and reputation by rejecting his faithfulness, goodness, grace and holiness.
  • … undermined and at times even attempted to destroy the faith, hope and love for God and so stop the good, right and life-giving worship of the triune God by others, thereby incurring spiritual guilt and shame before God, which only God himself can remedy and has done so in the atoning work of Christ.
  • … exposed itself to being manipulated by and enslaved to the power of sin from which it cannot free itself, leading to the corruption, warping and twisting of human nature itself, which it cannot undo.
  • … experienced disharmony between the human soul, mind and body, leading to broken and even destructive and evil relationships between parents and children, between men and women, between nations and ethnic groups, and between human beings and the natural environment.


14.7  How are people saved? 

Salvation is accomplished for us through the life and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Salvation is freely given to us by the grace of our triune God.

It is personally received and experienced through faith in Jesus, enabled by the ministry of the Spirit.

It is not earned by good works or through personal merit.

  • Romans 8:21-23  21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.  23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
  • Romans 6:18-23  18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.   20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.  21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.  22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.  23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:9  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • 1 Timothy 2:3-6 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
  • Matthew 3:17 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
  • Colossians 3:1  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
  • Ephesians 2:4-10 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
  • For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.


14.8  Is there any way of salvation other than through Jesus Christ? 

No.  The apostle Peter said of Jesus that “salvation is found in no one else” (Acts 4:12).

Jesus is the only one who can save us from our damaged and twisted nature and reconcile us to God so that we can live according to God’s ultimate purposes for human beings.

He is the only one who can enable us to share in God’s eternal life, free from the power of evil and its consequence, which is death. (1 Timothy 2:5)

  • Acts 4:12   12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
  • 1 Timothy 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;


14.9  Will all people be saved?  

All who call upon the Lord will be saved. No one who seeks after God will be turned away.

God’s work of atonement was accomplished for the benefit of all.

Jesus is Lord and Savior over all persons, though Scripture does not say that all people will necessarily receive the salvation that is theirs in Christ, or that none will irreversibly reject the ministry of the Holy Spirit to unite them to Christ.

Salvation is the fruit of a relationship with the triune God — a gift that is complete in Jesus … and that must, through the work of the Spirit, be personally received in order for its benefits, especially eternal life in eternal communion with God, to be fully enjoyed.

  • Hebrews 10:31  31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
  • Romans 11:32  32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
  • Matthew 18:12-14 12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?  13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.   14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
  • Ephesians 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
  • 1 Timothy 2:3-4   For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
  • John 3:17-18  17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
  • Ezekiel 18:32   32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:  15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.


14.10  Through salvation, do humans eventually become God?   

No.  Though ultimate salvation does not make us God (or parts of God), it does give us a full sharing in the sanctified and glorified humanity of Jesus Christ.

We remain human, becoming fully and truly human as Jesus was and still is.

Through the incarnate Son of God, we enjoy union and communion with the whole of God, while remaining fully human.


Why do we need to be saved?

  • Without the ministry of the Holy Spirit, humans do not trust wholeheartedly in God as Lord who alone is worthy of worship.
  • By nature, we do not welcome being God’s creatures, nor do we embrace God’s design for human life and the wisdom of following his ways.
  • We do not implicitly trust in God’s goodness and judgments about what is evil.
  • We do not freely receive God’s grace, as our dependence upon him offends our pride of self-sufficiency.
  • We do not gratefully receive all of his blessings, including daily lifelong communion with God and a share of God’s own goodness and rightness, justice and mercy to pass on to others.
  • God must work individually in our lives through his Son and by his Spirit to give us renewed hearts, minds and wills, set us free from bondage to our self-will, our prideful commitment to autonomy, and our distrust and unbelief in God our creator and redeemer.


Will all be saved? 

  • The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to set all free with the freedom won for them in Jesus Christ.
  • But the biblical warnings require us to take seriously the almost impossible possibility that some people might somehow refuse the freedom the Spirit brings to them to surrender to the grace of God in Jesus Christ and receive all the benefits of living in a good and right worship relationship with God in which we receive his forgiveness by faith and accept his free gift of salvation daily and so live under his lordship.
  • The limits to salvation, whatever they may be, are known only to God. Three truths above all are certain:
      1. God is a holy God who is not to be trifled with,
      2. no one will be saved except by grace alone, and
      3. no judge could possibly be more gracious than our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
  • If some do manage to resist the Holy Spirit and reject God’s forgiveness and grace stored up for them in Jesus Christ, it will not be due to any lack or limits to God’s gracious provision made for all.

Below is a GCI article that address the topic of Salvation:



Salvation is a rescue operation. To understand salvation, we need to know what the problem was, what God did about it, and how we respond to it.

When God made humans, he made them “in his own image” (Genesis 1:26-27). We are in some way like God himself. That’s because God has something special in mind for us. But as we all know, humans can be rather ungodly as well. Humans are noble and crude at the same time. We can have high ideals, and yet be barbaric.

In other words, we are not the way we are supposed to be. Even though we have messed ourselves up, God still considers us to be made in his image (Genesis 9:6). The potential is still there for us to be like God. This is why he has done something to rescue us, to save us, to restore the relationship he had with us.

God wants to give us eternal life, free from pain, on good terms with God and with each other. He wants our intelligence, creativity and power to be used for good. He wants us to be like he is, to be even better than the first humans were. This is salvation.

The center of the plan

We need to be rescued. And God has done this — but he did it in a way that no human would have expected. The Son of God became a human, lived a perfect life, and we killed him. And that, says God, is the salvation we need. What irony! We are saved by a victim! Our Creator became flesh so he could die for us. But God raised him back to life, and through Jesus, he promises to resurrect us, too.

In the death and resurrection of Jesus, the death and salvation of humanity is represented and made possible. His death is what our failures deserve, and as our Creator, he paid for all our failures. Though he did not deserve death, he willingly died for our sins, on our behalf.

Jesus Christ died for us, and was raised for us (Romans 4:25). Our old self died with him, and a new person is brought back to life with him (Romans 6:3-4). In one sacrifice, Jesus atoned “for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). The payment has already been made; the question now is how we are to receive the benefits. We participate in the plan through repentance and faith.


Jesus came to call people to repentance (Luke 5:32). Peter told people to repent and turn to God for forgiveness (Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19). Paul said people “must turn to God in repentance” (Acts 20:21). Repentance means to turn away from sin and toward God. Paul told the Athenians that God overlooked idolatry done in ignorance, but “now commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). They should stop their idolatry.

Paul was concerned that some of the Corinthian Christians might not repent of their sexual sins (2 Corinthians 12:21). For these people, repentance would mean a willingness to stop their immorality. Paul preached that people should “prove their repentance by their deeds” (Acts 26:20). We change our attitude and our behavior.

Part of our doctrinal foundation is “repentance from acts that lead to death” (Hebrews 6:1). But this does not mean perfect behavior — Christians are not perfect (1 John 1:8). Repentance means not that we arrive at our goal, but that we begin traveling in the right direction.

No longer do we please ourselves, but we live to please Christ (2 Corinthians 5:15; 1 Corinthians 6:20). Paul tells us, “Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness” (Romans 6:19).


However, simply telling people to repent is not going to rescue them from their failures. Humans have been told to obey for thousands of years, but they still need to be rescued. Something more is needed, and that is Christ. But we do not experience the blessing of forgiveness if we don’t believe that Christ has done this for us. We need faith, or belief. The New Testament says much more about faith than it does (about) repentance — the words for faith occur more than eight times as often.

Everyone who believes in Jesus is forgiven (Acts 10:43). “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). The gospel “is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). Christians are known as believers, not as repenters. Belief is the defining characteristic.

Does this mean that we are to accept certain facts? The Greek word can mean that kind of belief, but more often it conveys the sense of trust. When Paul encourages us to believe in Jesus Christ, he is not emphasizing facts. (The devil knows the facts about Jesus, but he isn’t saved.)

When we believe in Jesus Christ, we trust him. We know he is faithful and trustworthy. We can count on him to take care of us, to give us what he promises. We can trust him to rescue us from humanity’s worst problems. When we turn to him for salvation, we admit that we need help, and that he can provide it.

Our faith does not save us — our faith must be in him, not something else. We commit ourselves to him, and he saves us. When we trust in Christ, we quit trying to save ourselves. Although we try to have good behavior, we do not think our efforts are saving us (diligent effort never made anyone perfect). Nor do we despair when our efforts fail. That’s because we are trusting in Christ, not in ourselves, for our salvation. Our confidence is in him, not in our success or failure.

Faith is what motivates repentance. When we trust Jesus as our Savior, when we realize that God loves us so much that he sent his Son to die for us, when we know that he wants the best for us, then we become willing to live for him and please him. We make a choice — we give up the pointless and frustrating life we used to have, and accept his purpose and direction for what life is supposed to be.

Faith is the internal change that makes all the difference. Our faith doesn’t earn anything or add anything to what Jesus has earned for us. Faith is simply the willingness to respond to what he has done. We are like slaves working in the clay pits, and Christ announces, “I have purchased your freedom.” We are free to stay in the pits, or we can trust him and leave. The redemption has been done; our part is to accept it and act on it.


Salvation is God’s gift to us, given by his grace, his generosity. We can’t earn it, no matter what we do. “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). Even our faith is a gift of God. Even if we obey perfectly from now on, we do not deserve a reward (Luke 17:10).

We were created for good works (Ephesians 2:10), but good works cannot save us. They follow salvation, but they cannot earn it. As Paul says, if salvation could be achieved by law-keeping, then Christ died for nothing (Galatians 2:21). Grace does not give us permission to sin, but grace is given to us when we sin (Romans 6:15; 1 John 1:9). Whatever good works we do, we thank God for doing them in us (Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:13).

God “has saved us and called us to a holy life — not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace” (2 Timothy 1:9). “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy” (Titus 3:5).

Grace is the heart of the gospel: We are saved by God’s gift, not by our works. The gospel is “the message of his grace” (Acts 14:3; Acts 20:24). “It is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved” (Acts 15:11). “We are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). We would be hopelessly in sin and condemnation, except for grace.

Our salvation depends on what Christ has done. He is the Savior, the one who rescues us. We cannot brag about our obedience, or our faith, because they are always defective. The only thing we can be proud of is what Christ has done (2 Corinthians 10:17-18) — and he did it for everyone, not just us.


The Bible explains salvation in many ways: ransom, redemption, forgiveness, reconciliation, adoption, justification, etc.  That is because people understand their problem in different ways.  For those who feel dirty, Christ offers cleansing. For those who feel enslaved, he offers redemption, or purchase. For those who feel guilt, he gives forgiveness.

For people who feel alienated and put at a distance, he offers reconciliation and friendship. For those who feel worthless, he gives an assurance of value. For people who don’t feel like they belong, he describes salvation as adoption and inheritance. For those who are aimless, he gives purpose and direction. For those who are tired, he offers rest. For the fearful, he gives hope. For the anxious, he offers peace. Salvation is all this, and more.

Let’s look at justification. The Greek word is often a courtroom term. People who are justified are declared “not guilty.” They are exonerated, cleared, acquitted, declared OK. When God justifies us, he says that our sins will not be counted against us. They are removed from the record.

When we accept that Jesus died for us, when we acknowledge that we need a Savior, when we acknowledge that our sin deserves punishment and that Jesus bore the punishment of our sins for us, then we have faith, and God assures us that we are forgiven.

No one can be justified, or declared righteous, by observing the law (Romans 3:20), because the law does not save. It is only a standard that we fail to meet, and by that measurement, all of us fall short (Romans 3:23). God “justifies those who have faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:26). We are “justified by faith apart from observing the law” (Romans 3:28).

To illustrate justification by faith, Paul uses the example of Abraham, who “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3, quoting Genesis 15:6). Because Abraham trusted God, God counted him as righteous. This was long before the law was given, showing that justification is a gift of God, received by faith, not earned by law-keeping.

Justification is more than forgiveness, more than removing our debts. Justification means counting us as righteous, as having done something right. Our righteousness is not from our own works, but from Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30). It is through the obedience of Christ, Paul says, that believers are made righteous (Romans 5:19).

Paul even says that God “justifies the wicked” (Romans 4:5). God will consider a sinner righteous (and therefore accepted on the day of judgment) if the sinner trusts God. A person who trusts God will no longer want to be wicked, but this is a result and not a cause of salvation. People are “not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ” (Galatians 2:16).

A new start

Some people come to faith suddenly. Something clicks in their brain, a light goes on, and they accept Jesus as their Savior. Other people come to faith in a more gradual way, slowly realizing that they do trust in Christ and not in themselves for their salvation.

Either way, the Bible describes this as a new birth. When we have faith in Christ, we are born anew as children of God (John 1:12-13; Galatians 3:26; 1 John 5:1). The Holy Spirit begins to live within us (John 14:17), and God begins a new creation in us (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15). The old self dies, and a new person is being created (Ephesians 4:22-24) — God is changing us.

In Jesus Christ, and as we have faith in him, God is undoing the results of humanity’s sin. As the Holy Spirit works within us, a new humanity is being formed. The Bible doesn’t say exactly how this happens; it just says that it is being done. The process begins in this life and is finished in the next.

The goal is to make us more like Jesus Christ. He is the image of God in perfection (2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3), and we must be transformed into his likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 4:19; Ephesians 4:13; Colossians 3:10). We are to be like him in spirit — in love, joy, peace, humility and other godly qualities. That’s what the Holy Spirit does in us. He is restoring the image of God.

Salvation is also described as reconciliation — the repair of our relationship with God (Romans 5:10-11; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:20-22). No longer do we resist or ignore God — we love him. We are changed from enemies to friends. And even more than friends — God says that he adopts us as his own children (Romans 8:15; Ephesians 1:5). We are in his family, with rights, responsibilities and a glorious inheritance (Romans 8:16-17; Galatians 3:29; Ephesians 1:18; Colossians 1:12).

Eventually there will be no more pain and sorrow (Revelation 21:4), which means that no one will be making mistakes. Sin will be no more, and death will be no more (1 Corinthians 15:26). That goal may seem a long way off when we look at ourselves now, but the journey (just like any other journey) begins with a single step — the step of accepting Christ as Savior. Christ will complete the work he begins in us (Philippians 1:6).

And in the future, we will be even more like Christ (1 Corinthians 15:49; 1 John 3:2). We will be immortal, incorruptible, glorious and sinless. Our spiritual bodies will have supernatural powers. We will have a vitality, intelligence, creativity, power and love far beyond what we know now.  The image of God, once tarnished by sin, will be restored even better than it was before.

Author: Michael Morrison




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