The Gospel is central to the life of Grace.
The Gospel is both
the Gospel of Grace of new life through Jesus
but at the same time
the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
The Gospel changes everything. (This is our central value from which the others flow.)
• The Gospel is God’s explosive power that changes everything (Romans 1:16).
• We minister with great hope and confidence.
• We preach the gospel to both believers and unbelievers.
• We motivate with grace and not guilt.
The Gospel changes lives.
• Religion makes nice people; the Gospel makes new people. Religion reforms you on the outside; the Gospel transforms you from the inside out.
• Religion says; “If you live a good life, then God will love you,” leading to a deadly combination of pride and despair. The Gospel says, “None of us are good. In fact we are far worse than we think (humility), but through Jesus Christ we are far more loved than we ever dared dream (confidence).”
• Because we are “in Christ”, we are given a new identity. We are now sons of God the Father, and joined to a new family.
• Because Christ is in us we have new life, new power -- we can live in a new way.
The Gospel brings a new way of relating.
• We experience forgiveness and reconciliation with God and thus deep healing of hurts.
• We are able to forgive others and experience healing in our relationships.
• We are to be peacemakers calling others to reconciliation.
The Gospel summons us to mission.
• Jesus makes us a people for others such that non-Christians are expected, welcomed, and respected with all their questions, struggles and doubts.
• The gospel enables us to overcome our apathy (because of Gospel joy), our pride (because of gospel grace), and our fear (because of Gospel love).
• We, like Jesus, are to serve those who are without God and without hope so we relate to others with humility. We take a process approach, not a crisis approach.
• We realize unbelievers will be “looking on and listening in” wherever we are together as a body or as individuals. There are no "in house" moments.
• We, like Jesus, are to incarnate the gospel in word and deeds.
• We, like Jesus, are to go to those who may reject us.
•Bottom line: The gospel makes us a community where Christians can bring their nor-Christian friends because they need to hear the gospel as we do, in an authenticate way among people who are on a journey of learning to follow Christ.
The Gospel creates new community.
• The family of God, the body of Christ, the new Israel, a temple of living stones, a royal priesthood, a new humanity. These New Testament descriptions tell us that the early Christians understood themselves primarily as a community, rather than as individuals.
• Jesus called the Twelve to form a new community, centered on and empowered by the gospel.
• In community we preach the gospel to one another. We never outgrow our need to hear and deepen in the message of the gospel. It is the power to change us.
• In community, we devote ourselves to each other and can be increasingly honest with each other about our faults, because the gospel creates deep honesty in us. We are finally free to struggle.
• In community we find the connection and satisfaction that our culture says can only be found in pursuing life on our own terms.
The Gospel energizes a movement mentality.
• The gospel is dynamic, always spreading, always reaching out.
• The gospel gives us confidence to believe that God is always at work, and will not be thwarted in the advance of His Kingdom.
• The gospel gives us compassion to see neighborhoods and other cities reached with the unique message of the gospel, in a context that embodies the core values of our church.
• New gospel-centered churches are needed, to reach the cities and nations of the world.
• Because the church is the primary agent of God’s kingdom, planting churches is a high priority. By proliferating churches centered on the gospel we can play a significant role in mending the world and testifying to our hope of Jesus’ return when he will set all things right.
• Bottom line: We will seek to work with others to advance the kingdom of God both in North America and around the globe.
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15
The Gospel leads us to worship our Redeemer and Creator.
• We are a worshiping community who are renewed weekly by our encounter with the Triune God.
• In worship we experience the beauty, glory, and majesty of the Creator and Redeemer, which results in our being transformed.
• As we worship we are set free by the gospel from the idols that control.
• As we taste the goodness and love of God we surrender anew to him with lives of grateful obedience.
The Gospel drives us to be connectional and multi-generational.
• The gospel is the story of God entering into Covenant with us, where God, in his great and totally unearned love, commits himself to us. In turn, it is this covenant relationship which forms us into a gospel community. The covenant community is one that spans the generations (even down through the ages). This means we are passionate about reaching our children with the gospel.
• This also means we are connectional, that we will deliberately partner with other like-minded gospel-centered churches to show and tell the gospel.
• We also recognize that the covenant community is broad and diverse. We will seek to find ways to affirm our basic unity with the broader community of the church.
The Gospel makes us for the world.
• The gospel is the gospel of “the Kingdom of God”, which means that we affirm Jesus is Lord over every human endeavor, whether in the academy, the marketplace, or public square.
• The gospel is good news for the poor and oppressed. Therefore, without a concern for the poor and for justice issues, we are not a gospel-driven church, because it is the gospel of the Kingdom (Luke 4:18-19).
• We are called to both “tell” and “show” the gospel. This means we will seek to create an environment where the gospel can be understood, and also an environment where people are discovering the joy of living out their gospel commitments.
• We do not involve ourselves in evangelism simply for the impact it will have on non-Christians. It is not that evangelism flows out of social concern, nor that social concern is good for evangelistic purposes…rather, evangelism IS social concern, social concern IS evangelism, and cannot be defined apart from it, if we define the purposes of God in a gospel-driven and wholistic manner.
• The Gospel calls us to be passionate about both justice and mercy.