These three values are central to our identity as a church.
The word gospel means "good news." And the reason the gospel is good news is because of God's marvelous grace toward sinners. Grace is something we don't earn (Eph 2:1-10) but we desperately need (Romans 3:23). Though every human being is made in the image of God (Gen 1:27) and is therefore of incalculable worth and dignity, because of the Fall (Gen 3:1-24) we are all broken, guilty and inclined to sinning against a holy and righteous God. We celebrate God's grace because instead of immediately punishing us for our rebellion, God made a way for us to be reconciled to him. God took the initiative to save us while we were dead in our transgressions and sins (Gen 3:15, Eph 2:1-2). While we spurned God, Christ died in our place (Romans 5:10), so that whoever believes in Jesus is cleansed from his or her sins, granted eternal life, and made a child of God.
God's grace to us in Jesus Christ is at the center of our life as a church. As Christians we don't think that we're better than anyone else, because we know that it is only by God's grace that we believe in Jesus. God's grace motivates us in everything we do. We know that God's grace is freely given through faith in Jesus Christ and we know that we could never earn God's favor because of something we do or don't do. Because of God's grace to us we show grace to one another, knowing that we are all imperfect because we are all human. God's grace to us means that we are quick to forgive, love and serve one another regardless of whether we receive the same in return. We desire that you would know God's grace.
God is not silent. He has spoken to us through his word, contained in the Old and New Testaments. For 2,000 years, the church has understood the Holy Scriptures to be the authoritative way that God speaks to us. Through them, God teaches us about himself and his glorious plan to make all things new, to right all wrongs, to bring us into communion with himself. They teach us about how Christ came to earth, lived a righteous and perfect life, and died on the cross to save sinners. And they teach us how we are to live in response to his glorious grace.
At FBC, we proclaim God's truth through the preaching of his word. We study God's truth in midweek Bible studies. We pray together according to God's truth and we encourage each other with his truth. We sing together, proclaiming his truth in song and share his truth with our friends, family and neighbors who do not know Jesus. We recognize that sometimes the truth of God's word challenges our own cherished beliefs and values, and so we are always striving to align our hearts and lives to the standards of God's truth.
One beautiful consequence of the Gospel is that it creates unity among diversity. Recognizing that we are all sinners in need of God's grace means that we see ourselves as needy sinners at the foot of the cross, where the ground is level. Our church is diverse in background and gifting, but unified in that we are all unworthy recipients of God's grace. The things that normally divide people--Race, politics, social status, wealth--do not divide us. We are unified because Christ has broken down the dividing wall of hostility (Eph 2:13-16), taking rebellious sinners and uniting us to himself. He has joined us together, and made us into members of the household of God. We believe that Christ has called us to self-sacrificial love for one another (John 13:35), and we strive to love each other as Christ has loved us.
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