Even though vision is about seeing the future, the vision for Grace Church begins by looking backwards. Every goal and purpose we hope to accomplish as a group of believers is grounded by what Christ has already done on the cross. The mission for Grace Church can only materialize because Christ has accomplished His mission.
Christ came to bridge the sin-chasm between God and us. He lived a life of perfect obedience, died on a cross as a substitute for sin, and rose from the dead to prove that he had conquered sin, sickness, Satan, and death. This historic accomplishment is known as the Gospel (or ‘good news’) and it’s the central message of the Bible.
All who place their trust in Christ’s work for themselves through repentance and faith will be saved from the consequences of their sins. Amazingly, we also receive the promise of eternal life with God Himself! This hope is secure because the cross of Christ will never change – it continues to hold out the promise of salvation for anyone who believes.
The gospel makes disciples out of sinners – and the vision of Grace Church is to be a community of disciples who are growing in gospel maturity. As we grow in our knowledge of Christ, we are ever growing in our affection for Him. This love overflows into a growing life of service and holiness. This begins in the church and moves outward into the community with the life-giving message of the gospel.
That’s what it means to be a disciple in Grace Church: Displaying the glory of God by treasuring, living, and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.
1. Treasuring Christ
One of the defining marks of true discipleship is the new affection that comes from the new birth (John 3). Apart from any supernatural work of God, we have no desire for God (Rom. 3:10-12). We are dead in our sins and trespasses (Eph 2:1). We are hostile toward God (Rom. 8:7) and enemies of God (Rom 5:10).
But as the Spirit opens our eyes, our hearts and minds are filled with the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:6). There’s nothing that we want to be more passionate about than Jesus Christ because nothing else compares to Him. We want to know Him through His Word, experience Him through His Spirit, and enjoy Him in our worship. As we devote ourselves to Him and His glory, will be changed into His very likeness (2 Cor 3:18)
2. Living for Christ
While all of the gospel promises are received inwardly, discipleship must lived out. In God’s wisdom, His glory is displayed as Christians walk out their faith together in local communities. That’s why we gather together as members of a local church. We’re not just a social club; we are bound together by our common faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ. It’s in this community that the glory of Christ shines as His gospel compels us to love God and love each other.
We behold the glory of Christ together and are changed (2 Cor 3:18) We grow in fellowship together (Acts 2:42). We serve the King Jesus together. We encourage and pray for one another (Col 4:2). We bear each other’s burdens (Gal 6:1). We are the walking picture of the body of Christ – all members working together for the common good of each other (Eph 4:15). In this way, we demonstrate our love for Christ through our commitment to our fellow saints (John 13:34-35).
3. Proclaiming Christ
The overflow of our love for Christ and love for the church is our love for the unbelieving people in our city. We must not stop the Gospel’s power behind the walls of the church – we must go and reach those who stand in opposition to the unstoppable goodness of God (2 Cor 5:17-20).
This is why Christ came. His mission was to seek and save the lost, and to open the eyes of the blind, and to free the prisoner from the chains of sin (Luke 4:18-21). And we have the honor of helping Him accomplish what he began. We have been called out of the world to be ambassadors, entrusted with the Gospel (2 Cor 5:17-20).
Our goal is to saturate Northwest Phoenix with the life transforming news of Jesus – sin has been forgiven and God desires to reconcile our offenses through the cross of Jesus Christ! It’s our prayer that many will come to believe and join with us in treasuring. living, and proclaiming Christ. May His gospel affect the whole city, beginning with us!