We believe that Jesus Christ is the focal point of all human existence, history, and the Revelation of God in His Word (Luke 24:13-35; John 5:39; Ephesians 1:10; Colossians 1:16). He must be the supreme focus of our lives as Christians and our life together as a church (Colossians 1:18). This foundational truth means that we must interpret the entire Bible in light of Jesus Christ but it also means that we must interpret everything in our lives in light of Jesus Christ and His promised Kingdom (1 Corinthians 2:2; Revelation 5:9-10).
Christians do not get saved by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then move on to other things. The Good News of Jesus Christ is the key to every aspect of our lives (job, marriage, present, future, relationships, growth, identity, morality . . . everything). Many Christians and churches do not deny the Gospel but they move it from its central place. We never move on from the gospel, we simply grow in deeper understanding of its profound truth. We must preach the Gospel to ourselves and one another every day.
Sovereignty of God
To state that God is sovereign (has absolute rule and authority) is simply to state that He is God. Our hope is not found in the weakness of God or the fact that He cares but like us cannot do anything about the difficulties of life. No, our hope is bound up in His promises because He is sovereign over all things. Our difficulty understanding why a sovereign God allows certain things does not change the fact that He is sovereign. We delight in the fact that not one molecule in the universe bounces around apart from His sovereign authority and commit our lives to the One who declares that every promise finds its “Yes and Amen!” in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20).
We are committed to the truth that God chose to reveal Himself to us and He caused His self-revelation to be written down. In the Scriptures, we have the perfect, inerrant Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16). If God were to speak audibly what He wants us to know He would say nothing more, nothing less, and nothing different that what He has provided in His Word. Therefore, expository preaching (verse-by-verse through the Bible) is demanded by the very nature of His Word. To preach verse-by-verse through the Bible honors His Word, feeds His people the whole counsel of God, and demands the preacher keeps proclaiming God on God’s own terms. Effective expository preaching also magnifies Christ since the entire Bible is about Him (Hebrews 1:1-2).
The church is not simply a group of people who meet in the same building once or twice a week to have personal devotions. Rather, it is a community of believers, family, the household of God, a group of people adopted by God, transformed by His grace, united by faith to Christ and to one another (Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23; Colossians 1:18-23). The church is the outpost of the Kingdom of Christ on earth and repudiates the radical, self-focused individualism of our culture (Acts 2:45; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15). We loudly confess that we need Jesus and that we need each other. This reality means that we do not simply tolerate ethnic, cultural, and age diversity-we delight in it recognizing that God’s glory in Christ is proclaimed when the outer distinctions are torn down by the transforming Gospel of Christ (Ephesians 2:11-22; Revelation 5:9; 7:9). God’s redemptive plan and purposes are multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-generational and must be championed and treasured in His church.
We are committed to living out the implications of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the place God has placed us (Jeremiah 29:7). We reject any approach that teaches morality and ethics in the church as though it can be rightly understood apart from Jesus Christ and His gospel. Nevertheless, the Gospel does not simply clarify how to avoid hell and final judgment; it speaks to all of the issues of life. We are committed to having a culture of adoption because we have been spiritually adopted by His sovereign grace (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5). We oppose the evil of abortion because we preach eternal life and to fail to defend innocent life would betray that Gospel message (Psalm 72:12-14; 139:14-16; Proverbs 8:36; Matthew 25:40; Luke 1:31-35; 41-44; James 4:2). We care for the poor because though we were spiritually poor He made us rich (Isaiah 10:1-2; 2 Corinthians 8:9) and though we were spiritually naked He clothed us (Isaiah 61:10; Zechariah 3:4; Revelation 3:5). This is but a small sample of present cultural issues in which faithfulness to the Gospel demands we speak and the future will present a plethora of new ones. We cannot preach a Gospel of the righteousness of God (Matthew 5:13-16; Romans 1:17; Romans 3:19-26; Romans 4:1-8) and ignore unrighteousness in our midst.