THE GOSPEL IS FOR ALL OF LIFE:
The Gospel of Jesus affects everything it touches. It recreates hearts, it restores relationships, and it brings new life. It’s not effective only for salvation but it’s effective for growing in holiness. The Gospel is the true Story of God that culminates in Jesus Christ. He lived the life we should have lived and died the death we deserve to die in order to restore a broken, hopeless humanity to God, our Father. This is the story of how He saves sinners and will eventually make everything sad come untrue. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is powerful for All of Life.
WE CHERISH GOD'S WORD, THE BIBLE:
The Bible is the Word of God Himself, to us. It was written by men as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit over the course of fifteen hundred years. Authored in multiple languages from three continents, it's pure and without error in its original language and essential for all of life. It makes the simple wise and helps the blind to see. The Bible teaches us who God is, who we are, what He loves, what He expects of us, and what He has done for us. There are many stories in the Scriptures that together tell one Grand Story: The plan of God to redeem and restore mankind through Jesus Christ. There is no higher authority than the sixty-six books written by forty authors contained in the Christian Bible. It is complete and final in authority and we cherish it as our greatest earthly possession.
WE LIVE IN COMMUNITY WITH ONE ANOTHER:
God has always lived in perfect, unified community with Himself; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Equal, yet distinct, they love One Another flawlessly and without conditions. Genesis tells the story of how God created men and women in His Image - to be like Him and take our cues from Him. This means that both men and women are created possessing and valuing some of the attributes of God. Attributes like knowledge, love, kindness, justice, wrath, joy, gentleness, affection and creativity. God has wired us to be together and compliment one another just like He compliments Himself: Father, Son and Spirit. We thrive when we serve one another, love one another, remind one another of Jesus, and are true to one another. When we dwell in loving, sacrificial community, it's a living and visible declaration of who God is and what He is like.
WE CULTIVATE BEAUTY AND RESTORATION:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. From nothing at all, He created mountains and seas, vegetation and soil, the beasts of the earth and the birds of the skies. He created night and day. He carefully and attentively created man and woman, the very pinnacle of His Creation. The Bible says He "formed the man of dust from the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life." He's a masterful Creator and He has fashioned men and women in His image. He commanded our first parents to "be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it." This is referred to as the "cultural mandate." Here He's instructing us to steward, care, build, and create. Like Him we craft and form things with our heads, our hearts, and our hands. We make music, we paint, and we innovate. We build houses, we have families, we plant gardens, and we seek the welfare of our cities. As God's image bearing people, we labor to restore what is broken and bring about things that are not in order to cultivate beauty in all realms of life.
WE ARE FOR THE HOPELESS, THE HELPLESS, AND THE HURTING:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and He saves the crushed in Spirit. The Spirit of the Lord anointed Jesus to proclaim Good News to the poor. He sent Jesus to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind. The Lord is mindful of mankind and provides for our needs. As His image bearers we are called to represent Him and His faithful love, compassion, generosity, and deep care. We are His offspring and in Him we live and move and have our being. When we care for the hopeless, the helpless, and the hurting with both the salve of the Gospel and provision for physical needs, we are rightly representing our compassionate God.
WE MAKE DISCIPLES, DEPLOY LEADERS, AND ESTABLISH CHURCHES:
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Jesus gave the Disciples a specific mission: To make disciples of the nations. As the early church joyfully obeyed this commandment, all kinds of hell lost its grip. People were healed spiritually, physically, and emotionally. They were made whole. No one had lack of food and of core goods.
The Spirit of God was poured out on those who trusted Jesus' work on their behalf. With the explosion of new spirit-filled disciples, leaders were needed to organize and continue to faithfully pass on the message that they had received, "that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time..."
This simple message was turning the world upside down. As it was proclaimed faithfully, disciples were formed. As disciples were formed and began to multiply, leaders and shepherds were needed. Finally, as disciples and leaders spread out across the face of the earth, new churches - God's people - sprang up. We are joyfully continuing in this great comission by proclaiming the message we also received. May the Gospel of Jesus Christ multiply itself through His Spirit and His Church, bearing burdens and drawing the nations to Him in worship and adoration.