People of Grace2021-07-06T02:13:28+00:00

People of Grace



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DISCLAIMER: The opinions in each blog post do not necessarily represent the views of the other contributors. (In other words, each team member takes full blame for his own ideas.)

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GraceLife Church

General Information about GraceLife Church

The following is only a brief and extremely truncated summary of GraceLife’s doctrinal stances. These have been chosen to display here to highlight certain aspects of GraceLife that are particularly visible during this disturbing period of Canadian history.

For more and expanded information, please visit the GraceLife Church “What We Teach: Our Doctrinal Statement” page (link) and the “Core Principles” page (link) and the “Church Bylaws” page (link).

  • We teach that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man, and thus the 66 books of the Bible given to us by the Holy Spirit constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God (1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
  • We teach that the Word of God is an objective, propositional revelation (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:13), verbally inspired in every word (2 Timothy 3:16), absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God-breathed. We teach the literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture which affirms the belief that the opening chapters of Genesis present creation in six literal days (Genesis 1:31; Exodus 31:17).
  • We teach that the Bible constitutes the only infallible rule of faith and practice (Matthew 5:18; 24:35; John 10:35; 16:12-13; 17:17; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
  • We teach that God spoke in His written Word by a process of dual authorship. The Holy Spirit so superintended the human authors that, through their individual personalities and different styles of writing, they composed and recorded God’s Word to man (2 Peter 1:20-21) without error in the whole or in the part (Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16).
  • We teach that, whereas there may be several applications of any given passage of Scripture, there is but one true interpretation. The meaning of Scripture is to be found as one diligently applies the literal grammatical-historical method of interpretation under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (John 7:17; 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-15; 1 John 2:20).
  • It is the responsibility of believers to ascertain carefully the true intent and meaning of Scripture, recognizing that proper application is binding on all generations. Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it.
  • We teach that salvation is wholly of God by grace on the basis of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the merit of His shed blood, and not on the basis of human merit or works (John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:8-10; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
  • Being a Christian is more than identifying yourself with a particular religion or affirming a certain value system. Being a Christian means you have embraced what the Bible says about God, mankind, and salvation.
  • True faith is always accompanied by repentance from sin. Repentance is agreeing with God that you are sinful, confessing your sins to Him, and making a conscious choice to turn from sin (Luke 13:3,5; 1 Thessalonians 1:9) and pursue Christ (Matthew 11:28-30; John 17:3) and obedience to Him (1 John 2:3).
  • It isn’t enough to believe certain facts about Christ. Even Satan and his demons believe in the true God (James 2:19), but they don’t love and obey Him. True saving faith always responds in obedience (Ephesians 2:10).
  • We teach 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 the one spiritual Body are directed to associate themselves together in local assemblies (1 Corinthians 11:18-20; Hebrews 10:25).
  • We teach 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 (also called bishops, pastors, and pastor teachers; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:11) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-5).
  • We teach the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5).
  • Our fervent desire and steadfast commitment is to have a biblically sound church whereby the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is preached.
  • Our intention is to operate on Scriptural principles and guidelines that control how we function both as individuals and as a church. Our aim is not to please men, nor follow worldly practices; rather, we aim to please our Lord and Master, the Head of the church, Jesus Christ.
  • We believe without reservation that the Scriptures are the word of God. They are inerrant (without error) and infallible (incapable of leading astray). The Scriptures speak with authority in all matters, and our desire is to submit to that authority.
  • We believe that preaching is God’s chosen method of saving the lost and transforming the believer into Christ-likeness. Our intention is to teach the word of God accurately. By rightly dividing the word of truth we will guide our fellow believers and ourselves into sound doctrine and practice. Therefore, the preaching of the word of God is central to our worship of Him.
  • We believe that salvation comes from God alone according to His good pleasure. Only by the grace of God can a sinner be transformed from the corruption, wickedness, and enmity with God that marks unregenerated man. This transformation results in new affections—love for God and hatred of sin. It also results in a new desire to be obedient to God and His word. Because the Holy Spirit indwells genuine believers their lives will be marked by an increasing conformity to the image of Christ.
  • Furthermore, we believe that the church should be kept pure. Therefore we will follow our Lord’s instructions on dealing with sin in the church. We will continue to preach the word of God, evangelize the lost, disciple the faithful, baptize by immersion, and partake of the Lord’s Supper.

James Coates

James Coates is the Pastor-Teacher of GraceLife Church of Edmonton (details below). He is a husband and a father; he is also Pastor, mentor, friend, and dear brother in Christ to everyone in GraceLife Church.

James is a graduate of the Master’s Seminary which is located in Los Angeles, California. James has also graduated from the Master’s Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry in Expository Preaching program, earning him a doctorate in the same.

James has preached well over 400 recorded sermons at GraceLife Church since 2010, not including additional messages which have not been recorded. Over the last decade, Pastor James has served GraceLife Church in innumerable ways outside of his pulpit ministry:

  • Conducting weddings
  • Overseeing memorials
  • Providing oversight and guidance toward several ministries beyond his own teaching role, including men’s, women’s, youth, music, and much more.

Like every Elder and prospective Elder in GraceLife Church, James Coates fulfills each of the biblical requirements for his role. Anyone who spends any length of time with James Coates quickly realizes that his conviction as a Pastor runs deep, and he handles his roles and responsibilities with the utmost integrity and diligence. Why? Because James Coates knows who his Master is and strives to serve that Master, Jesus Christ, with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength as is appropriate.

Qualifications of an Elder:

Each member of the Board of Elders must be an active member of this church and possess the qualifications described in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9. He shall be:

  • (a) Blameless as a steward of God; above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6-7)
  • (b) Husband of one wife; a one-woman man (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6)
  • (c) Temperate, sober, vigilant (1 Timothy 3:2)
  • (d) Sober-minded, prudent (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)
  • (e) Of good behavior; orderly, respectable (1 Timothy 3:2)
  • (f) Given to hospitality (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)
  • (g) Apt to teach; able to teach; he can exhort believers and refute false teaching (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9)
  • (h) Not given to wine (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)
  • (i) Not violent; not pugnacious (1 Timothy 3:3, Titus 1:7)
  • (j) Patient, moderate, forbearing, gentle (1 Timothy 3:3)
  • (k) Not a brawler; uncontentious; not soon angry or quick-tempered (1 Timothy 3:3;Titus 1:7)
  • (l) Not covetous; not a lover of money; not greedy of base gain (1 Timothy 3:3,Titus 1:7)
  • (m) Rules well his own house; his children are faithful, not accused of rebellion to God (1 Timothy 3:4; Titus 1:7)
  • (n) Not a novice; not a new convert (1 Timothy 3:6)
  • (o) Has a good report or reputation with outsiders (1 Timothy 3:7)
  • (p) Not self-willed (Titus 1:7)
  • (q) A lover of good men and things (Titus 1:8)
  • (r) Just, fair (Titus 1:8)
  • (s) Holy, devout (Titus 1:8)
  • (t) Self-controlled (Titus 1:8)

Specific Duties of the Pastor-Teacher

The Pastor-Teacher shall be an ex officio member of all councils and committees, and he shall be responsible to the Board of Elders. The Pastor-Teacher shall arrange for and conduct all public and regular services of the church and shall be responsible for general oversight of the spiritual welfare of the church. In the absence of the Pastor-Teacher, the Board of Elders (or a duly appointed Committee of the Board, per Article VI, Section 17 of these Bylaws, at the sole discretion of the Board), shall be responsible to arrange for the public and regular services of the church.

Why These Sermons Matter

Scripture instructs that everything we do should be for God’s glory. 

God’s Word proclaims the Church is the pillar and support of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15) and it exists to display His manifold wisdom (Eph. 3:10).  The application of that truth and wisdom is not restricted merely to Christians. Though Christians are those who recognize God’s absolute truth as revealed in his Word (Acts 4:19, 5:29), that truth communicates to all people – even to those who do not recognize or share the same belief as Christians (Acts 17:30-31).

Why? Because God’s revelation of himself applies to all of His creation (Rom. 1:18-23).

Scripture also proclaims God’s purpose and plan for all created beings, salvifically believing or not (Isa. 46:8-11). Many professing Christians have considered the Bible simply as a source of personal benefit for their faith in Christ (2 Pet. 2:3). Yet, the Bible is much further encompassing than that.

Scripture speaks to every spectrum of God’s creation, including God’s established purposes for the family, the Church and the government. Therefore, we must ensure we take every necessary step to rightly divide the Word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15) to draw out the full counsel of God (Acts 20:27) on these matters.  Doing so will help us properly understand what God says regarding each of these institutions and will prepare us to authoritatively proclaim (Luke 4:32) what God’s design and purpose are for each. The more care we take to faithfully represent what His Word says, explicitly and implicitly, the more He is glorified in this world and His people.

One facet of Scripture in which many of us lack a thorough, biblical understanding, is God’s role and purpose for government. 

This has led to much confusion in these dark days. We hold out these particular sermons because we believe they help reveal what God’s Word says regarding the government’s authority and the Christian’s relationship towards that authority.

God’s truth has a sanctifying (purifying) work in the life of the believer. Our prayer is that you would grow in your understanding of God’s Word about these matters. We pray you will desire to see God glorified through the proclamation of His Word as we apply its truth more and more to our daily lives.

Playlist of Sermons

Here’s a link to the official public statement of the Elders of GraceLife Church regarding the so-called pandemic and the government response to it:


From Grace Community Church

From Frankfurt Evangelical Reformed Baptist Church