Foundational Biblical Truths That Drive Us
JESUS IS KING (MATTHEW 28:18)
There is one God, eternally existent in three Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Deut. 6:4; Luke 3:21-22). Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Dan. 7:13-14; Eph. 1:20-22; Phil. 2:9-11; Rev. 19:16). We proclaim with the prophet Isaiah: “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:7).
HIS PRIMARY AGENDA IS TO ADVANCE THE KINGDOM OF GOD (MATTHEW 6:9-10) …
Christ’s purpose is to establish and advance His Kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven” (Gen. 12:1-3; Matt. 6:9-10; Matt. 6:33; Matt. 9:35; Luke 4:43; Gal. 3:8). This Kingdom comes as a worldwide reality and exists wherever the Lordship of Jesus is acknowledged in repentance, faith and obedience to His revealed will (Isaiah 9:6-7). The Kingdom is a present reality. It offers present hope for substantial healing and restoration, though its fullness is yet to come (Matt. 13:33; Luke 11:20; Luke 16:16; Luke 22:15-26; Rev. 11:15; Rev. 21:1-2, 23-26).
…BY MAKING DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS (MATTHEW 28:19)
We believe the Kingdom advances as individuals hear and accept the Gospel by faith, are spiritually reborn, and experience inward regeneration and transformation, expressed by their obedience to “all I have commanded.” The Gospel is the gateway, the framework and the culmination of discipleship; it is the gateway in that Christ’s death and resurrection secure our salvation. It is the framework in that our relationships with one another and the world are reframed by the Gospel’s power and communicated as we rehearse that Gospel in loving the broken other. It is the culmination of discipleship in that we live under the exalted reign of Christ over His kingdom, proclaim that reign and invite others to join us as His subjects. Nations are discipled as the church makes the Kingdom visible within its culture, by faithfully obeying God’s Word in every area of life and every realm of society, including the family, community, arts, science, media, law, government, education and business (Gen. 1:26-28; Col. 1:18b).
HIS KEY AGENT IN THIS TASK IS THE LOCAL CHURCH (EPHESIANS 3:9-11)
The church (the body and bride of Christ) is God’s principally ordained agent in advancing the Kingdom of God (Matt. 16:18-19; Eph. 1:22-23; Eph. 3:8-11). The present expression of the universal church is the living, worldwide body of redeemed people who have placed their faith in the person and work of Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins, have been adopted as children of God, and have been given the Spirit of God as a pledge of their inheritance (Eph. 2:14-22; 1 Peter 2:9-10).
The local church is an intentional, community-based expression of the universal church. It meets regularly for worship, fellowship, teaching, equipping and deployment for service. Each local church is called to live as the incarnate Body of Christ. As the church follows its Head, the message of the Kingdom becomes credible within the church’s community of service.
Nations are discipled as local churches send their members into every sphere of society. Acting as agents of transformation, these members use their skills and God-given gifts for ministry and service to others (1 Peter 4:10). By lifestyle and intentional action, they promote the reign of Christ in each of their respective spheres (Eph. 4:11-13).
THE MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH MUST BE WHOLISTIC (COLOSSIANS 1:19-20)
God is Lord of all. Therefore, His redemptive concern is comprehensive. He seeks to bring healing and restoration to all things by means of Christ’s shed blood on the cross (Gen. 1:31a; Rom. 8:18-23; Col. 1:19-20). The Kingdom advances as local churches reflect God’s comprehensive, redemptive concern for the whole of creation (Matt. 4:23; Luke 4:18-21). Therefore, the ministry of the local church must be wholistic. It must minister to whole persons: spiritual, physical, social and mental. Further, it must encompass their relationships with God, with others and with creation. Answers to questions such as these should set the agenda for the local church: What would our village look like if Christ were chief? What would our city look like if Christ were mayor? What would our nation look like if Christ were King, President or Prime Minister?
THE MINISTRY OF THE CHURCH MUST BE INCARNATIONAL (JOHN 17:15-19)
The church is the body of Christ, just as Jesus was God in human flesh. The church manifests Christ as it ministers in the midst of the broken world (John 1:14; Rom. 13:14a, Eph. 5:1; Phil. 2:5-8). Christ’s compassion, love, sacrificial service and humble obedience should be clearly reflected as the watching world looks at the church. The Godhead is a community: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Therefore, God’s nature and character are more clearly manifested in the world as the church lives out the Kingdom life in incarnational community (Eph. 4:11-13).
THE LOCAL CHURCH MUST OPERATE INTENTIONALLY FROM THE WORLDVIEW OF THE BIBLE (COLOSSIANS 1:15-18)
The Bible is the inspired, infallible, powerful and authoritative Word of God (John 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). The Bible presents a comprehensive worldview, revealing God’s truth to all peoples about the nature of ultimate reality, the source of evil, the origin and nature of the physical universe, the meaning and purpose of human life, and the goal of history. Christ’s disciples must be transformed by the biblical worldview. They must have their minds renewed by actively putting off false worldviews, distortions of the truth that Satan uses to enslave individuals and nations (Matt. 22:37; Rom. 1:18-23; Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Col. 2:6-8; 1 Peter 1:13). The discipleship of nations requires that Christ’s followers allow the biblical worldview to enlighten every area of their lives and carry it outward into every sphere of society (Isaiah 11:9b; Matt. 28:18-20; John 8:31-32).