God’s Gospel shaping God’s Community as we engage with God’s World
The gospel is the heart of what we believe. It is God’s news about Jesus, for all people, for all of life:
- news about Jesus: The gospel is the grand announcement that Jesus died and rose to defeat sin, death and evil in order to make all things new.
- for all people: God wants to be rightly known and honoured by everyone. This can only happen as people hear and believe the gospel. We therefore share the gospel with all who will listen, regardless of their culture, moral standing or religion.
- for all of life: The gospel doesn’t simply start us off on the Christian life – it teaches us how to live as citizens of God’s community in His world, as we shall see below. This means that we keep preaching it to ourselves, not just to others.
… shaping God’s Community…
God’s Spirit uses the gospel to shape what we believe, and in the process, He changes who we are:
- we are now Learners: We once pursued independence from God, but now we want to live under His teaching. This is why we study the Bible, relying on God’s Spirit to give us understanding. We learn from each other and from the teaching of godly leaders.
- we are now Family: Previously under God’s judgment because of our sin, we are now pardoned and adopted as His dear children. We long for our Father to be held in high regard and for others to be included in his family. Our adoption unites us as brothers and sisters, regardless of age, personality, or culture. We care deeply for each other and are closely involved in each other’s lives. We consult each other when facing major decisions. We will not limit church life to weekly meetings, nor will we let conflict continue unresolved.
- we are now Servants: God frees us from self-centredness. We now see all of life as joy-filled service to Him. We begin to serve others, just as Jesus did. God has equipped each of us to play a unique part in meeting the needs of his community and his world. We cultivate a lifestyle of generosity to show that we worship Jesus and not the idols of comfort, wealth, and success.
… as we engage with God’s World.
The gospel is God’s plan to restore all of creation to its original “good”. As God renews his community, he sends us into the world as agents in multiplying his family and caretakers of society and our environment. This is how we relate to the world:
- Living out: We pray and work against injustice and poverty in our city. We also care for the environment. Finally, we are committed to our city’s cultural and artistic enrichment in honour of the God of truth, goodness and beauty.
- Inviting in: We practise hospitality with those outside the church. We encourage them to live alongside us and observe how the gospel affects our patterns of living, relating, working, and worshipping. We look to be honest about our beliefs and our failings.