Our congregation is very intentional about seeking faithfulness in the specific calling that God has given to our church. We see that calling has having five basic elements, each of which is listed in the picture above. The Resurrection is #1 a Gospel-Centered Church, #2 Trusting God in #3 Worship, #4 Training, and #5 Mission.
- Gospel-Centered Church - Jesus is offering Himself as the whole point of our church and lives. We accept!
- Trusting God - Centering on Jesus means trusting Him for the power he promises to provide us...
- Worship - to become wholehearted, satisfied, genuine lovers of God,
- Training - and to become and wholehearted disciples of Jesus, who train other disciples along the way,
- Mission - and to become humble, self-giving missionaries to the people and world around us.
The left-to-right flow illustrated in the picture above shows how these five elements relate to each another. When our church focuses on trusting in Jesus (Trusting God, by Centering on the Gospel), God gives us the power to life a transformed life of loving God (Worship), becoming mature like Jesus (Training), and loving other people (Mission).
Trusting God's future promises is the channel through which the power of the Gospel produces the supernatural transformation God has promised.
Our calling is to make this great truth known by living it out daily, with Jesus, as a family.
1. A Gospel-Centered Church
Jesus is the point of everything (Colossians 1:15-20).
It would also be true, of course, to say that God is the point of everything (Romans 11:36). But God has most clearly made himself known through Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-3a), who is himself God (John 1:1, 14), and is the only way we can ever come to know God (John 1:18; John 14:6-7). And we were made to know God (John 17:3).
So knowing Jesus well is the single most important thing a person (or a church!) can ever do.
He deserves our fullest attention (Mark 9:7). He deserves the best of our thinking (1 Peter 1:13). He deserves for us to listen to what he says (Luke 10:39), and to then respond to him (Luke 6:46). He deserves for us to enjoy Him (Matthew 13:44), more than anything or anyone else (Luke 14:26). He deserves our whole heart (Mark 12:30)!
When we say we are a Gospel-Centered Church, we are saying that all we are and do is about Jesus, who is the Good News of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 2:2).
We want to have lives built on him (Matthew 7:24-25). We want to have the eternal life he offers freely through his death and resurrection in our place (John 5:24). Finally, being Gospel-Centered means that we want search ever deeper into the simply truths of the Gospel, to see that we are responding to Jesus in all the ways he desires for us. And this includes picking up the reins of Jesus’s calling for Jesus’s church: to trust him as he leads us into a complete transformation of ourselves and his world (Matthew 28:18-20).
2. Trusting God (Living the Future Now)
Gospel-believing Christians know that we are only saved by grace, through faith, in Christ, for good works. We're not saved by doing good things (our works). We're saved by trusting Jesus' work on our behalf.
What does this "by grace, through faith" really mean, though? It means that we hear God speaking promises to us, in the Bible, and we believe he's telling us something true and best. We believe that what God says is completely right, and completely what we need. When we believe the promise of the Gospel, we are in that moment saved. And yes, grace means this gift is completely free! We believe that what God says to us, and wants for us, is Good News.
But there's more! One of the least known, most important truths God has for us is that:
The same faith that saves us, changes us. The same faith that justifies, sanctifies.
God's Word is filled with promises to us about how is going to transform people. In the age to come, God is going to actually make all believers perfect, which means we will become completely mature human beings. We will be mature in our thinking, in our behavior, and in our relationships (with God and other people, too). We will be mature in love. And while we won't reach full maturity in this present life, God wants us to reach for it anyway!
At the Resurrection, we call this reaching towards God's promises (by grace, through faith) Living the Future Now.
Living the Future Now means that we look with the eyes of our heart to who God is promising to make us, and in the very act of believing him, the power to increasingly be that person comes to us. God changes us, by grace, through faith. We trust God. The same faith that saves us, changes us. If you are a Christian (you trust God for the gift of salvation), then you have the power to change (you trust God for the gift of a transformed life). Trusting God's future promises is the channel through which the power of the Gospel produces the supernatural transformation God has promised.
In other words, Jesus wants us to learn to apply the Gospel. We take the free gift he is giving us, and use it for its intended purposes!
There are three areas of transformation where God promises incredible changes in our lives, in this life, as we trust him. In all three cases, God wants to fix our relationships.
- Our relationship with him (Worship)
- Our relationships with other Christians (Training)
- Our relationships with the lost world around us (Mission)
(As a church, we pray daily that God will help us in these three areas. We pray because prayer is is about trusting God. He is faithful and he will surely do it!)
So how do we live the future now in Worship?
So how do we live the future now in Training?
So how do we live the future now in Mission?