The Mission: To Establish Mature Churches

We believe there is a body of teaching, passed down by Christ to the Apostles, that every disciple of Jesus must embrace and observe. This teaching, recorded in the inerrant Scriptures, includes the core message of the gospel, which one must believe to be saved, as well as the way of life that is to be lived out by every church. For this reason, we believe our divine commission is to proclaim the gospel of Christ to the nations and to establish believers in the teaching of Christ so that the glory and manifold wisdom of God can be seen through the expansion and strengthening of the church (Luke 24:48; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8; Ephesians 3:7-13).


The Gospel: Kerygma (“The Proclamation”)

The first century church often referred to the gospel as the Kerygma, which means “proclamation or announcement.” We use this biblical term because it reminds us that we have an urgent message of good news to “proclaim.” We believe that Jesus and His work are the central essence of the Kerygma. The following are specific and inalienable core truths of this saving message:

1. Jesus is the prophesied Messiah.
Jewish prophets of the Old Testament spoke and wrote of the coming Messiah. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise to bless the nations through the lineage of David, in the form of a New Covenant, in which there would be forgiveness of sins and a placing of God’s Spirit within men.

2. Jesus is the divine Son of God who came to earth as a sinless man.
Jesus was born of a virgin, through the power of the Holy Spirit, as fully God and fully man. He lived in intimate fellowship with and complete obedience to the Father. While being sinless in His divinity, Jesus humbly bound Himself to the limitations of humanity, enabling Him to sympathize with our weaknesses.

3. Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and rose from the grave on the third day.
The Bible teaches that every person sins and that the consequence for doing so is separation from God and eternal punishment in Hell. But God, being rich in mercy, sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sin so that we could have a relationship with Him. Because Jesus died on the cross in our place, was buried, and then rose from the grave three days later, sin and death have been defeated; and our faith is secure.

4. Jesus ascended into heaven and now sits at the right hand of the Father as Lord of all.
Jesus has authority over all things. He is worthy of our worship, and our desire is to live a spirit-empowered life in full obedience to Him.

5. Jesus will come again to judge the earth, establish His kingdom, and reign forever.
One day, the spiritual battle of this world will come to an end. Satan’s defeat will be final; mankind will be judged; and those who have been redeemed through the work of Christ will reign with Him in a new eternal kingdom on earth.

6. Those who embrace this message and repent will receive forgiveness of sin, the Holy Spirit as a pledge, and the assurance of eternal life.
The Scriptures teach that those who believe in their hearts and confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord are saved. A person who confesses Jesus as Lord is declaring from a repentant heart that Jesus is now the King of their life. Consequently, we then enter into a relationship with God. The Holy Spirit indwells and empowers us to live for Him and for His glory, and we gain intimate access to Him through prayer.

(Galatians 1:1-5; Acts 10:34-43; 1 Corinthians 15:1-6; Romans 1:1-7; 16,17; 3:23; 4:24-25; 6:23; 10:9,10; Ephesians 1:1-3:21 (esp. 1:7-13; 2:8-10; 3:7-13); Colossians 1:9-14; 1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:1-5)



The Way of Life: Didache (“The Teaching”)

Establishing churches in the teaching of Christ is essential. When Jesus delivered the Great Commission to His disciples, He was very clear in His instruction to them to make disciples (followers). He commissioned them to proclaim the gospel (Kerygma) to the nations, immediately baptize those who believe into the body of Christ, and teach them to obey and live according to all that He commanded. The Apostles’ faithfulness to Christ and their reliance upon the Holy Spirit resulted in the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to build and strengthen His Church (Matthew 16:13-20). Today, the church is to carry out the same mission of making disciples and strengthening them in “The Teaching” (Didache) of Jesus just as He and His Apostles did. The following is a summary of the fundamental principles that define the way of life for every Spirit-empowered disciple of Jesus.

1. Disciples of Jesus are to live for Christ.
The Scriptures instruct us to lay aside our old way of life and renew our mind through the study of God’s Word so that we can live in accordance to His will as an act of spiritual worship to Christ.
(Romans 12:1-2; 13:11-14; Colossians 3:1-17; Ephesians 4:22-24)

2. Disciples of Jesus are to be characterized by divine virtues.
Those who belong to Christ are to be filled with qualities such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, compassion, hope, meekness, and humility, which are only possible through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
(Galatians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:12; 1 Peter 1:1-11)

3. Disciples of Jesus are to order their households properly.
God established the institution of marriage to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman. The roles within this union are distinct yet complementary, whereby the husband lovingly leads the home with the support and help of the wife. Together, they are to train up and nurture their children to carry on a legacy for Christ. In so doing, children have a responsibility to honor their parents and to care for them when they become advanced in age.
(Genesis 2:18-25; Ephesians 5:22-23; 6:1; Colossians 3:13-21; 1 Peter 3:1-7; 1 Timothy 5:1-16)

4. Disciples of Jesus are to love and appreciate the role of the church.
Under the authority of Christ, the church’s role is central and preeminent in God’s plan for this age. As God’s household, it stands as the pillar and support of the truth; and we long to see it established and ordered according to the sound doctrine received from the Apostles. This means that the local church, being a family, is to be lead by biblically-qualified leaders who lovingly shepherd, establish, and equip the flock. In addition, older and more mature believers are to teach and train up the younger, who humbly seek to grow in their faith. We are devoted to meeting together regularly in large public gatherings as well as in homes for instruction, mutual ministry, prayer, the Lord’s Supper, and worship of Christ.
(1 Timothy 3:14-16; Titus 1:5; Colossians 1:24-29; Ephesians 3:8-10)

5. Disciples of Jesus are to understand their giftedness and participate in the work of ministry.
Every believer is to be equipped to do the work of ministry. This includes understanding our spiritual giftedness, unique design, and specific skill sets in order to maximize our effectiveness in “one-another” ministry, build up the church, and carry out the mission of Christ.
(1 Peter 4:10; Romans 12:3-16; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; Ephesians 4:11-16)

6. Disciples of Jesus are to pursue unity and peace within the church.
Our relationships within the church are to be characterized by love, brotherhood, mutual acceptance, and respect. Christ-centered unity must be continually and diligently pursued in a spirit of humility, forgiveness, and peace.
(Romans 12:9-10; Colossians 3:13-16; Philippians 2:1-4; Ephesians 4:1-6)

7. Disciples of Jesus are to exhibit a fruitful witness in the community.
Our relationships in the world are to be marked by a respect for authority and a loving concern toward our neighbors and those in need. We are to live peaceably, work hard at an honest vocation, and be a positive contributor to society. Our desire is to shine the light of Christ among men that they may ultimately embrace the gospel and join us in glorifying our Father in heaven.
(Romans 13:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12; Titus 2:14; 3:1; 14)

8. Disciples of Jesus are to lead responsible, disciplined, and accountable lives.
The Scriptures call us to live wisely, making the most of our time because the days are evil and our time is short. We need to prayerfully keep on the alert and remain in constant fellowship with Christ and His church in order to remain accountable in overcoming the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil. When people fall into sin, those who are spiritual are to confront, exhort, and encourage them toward a spirit of repentance that they may be restored for the glory of Christ.
(1 Peter 5:6-11; Ephesians 5:1-21; 6:10-18; 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15)