Jesus had an intense sense of mission. He knew who He was, why He came, and what He had to do. This mission was transferred to His disciples when He gave them what is called the Great Commission recorded in Matthew 28:18-20: “18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus commissioned His disciples and He empowered them through the Holy Spirit to fulfill it.
This series of blogs is focused on clarifying what Freshwater is doing to fulfill the Great Commission in our context. Over the next few weeks my goal is to bring absolute clarity to: who Freshwater is, why we exist, where we are going, and how we are going to get there. These are exciting times for Freshwater.
1. Who are we? (First level) This question examines Freshwater’s core-beliefs
2. Who are we? (Second level) This question examines our core values.
3. Why does Freshwater exist? This is a question of purpose.
4. What will we do?
5. How will we do it?
6. Where/when are we going?
When all of these questions are compiled and viewed as a whole they create what is called a vision culture. This vision culture is taught, caught, and carried by those who are part of the Freshwater team serving together as volunteers and paid staff.
Who are we? Freshwater’s core-beliefs.
Since every great structure stands on solid footings, our core-beliefs are foundational to who we are as a church. We have 11 core-beliefs that anchor who we are in Christ as a church. These core-beliefs reflect what we believe to be true based on our understanding of the Scriptures as part of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.
1. There is only one God, who is infinitely perfect, existing eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
2. Jesus Christ is true God and true man. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He died upon the cross, the just for the unjust, as a substitutional sacrifice, and all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood. He arose from the dead according to the Scriptures. He is now at the right hand of the Majesty on high as our great High Priest. He will come again to establish His Kingdom for righteousness and peace.
3. The Holy Spirit is a divine person, sent to indwell, guide, teach and empower the believer, and to convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.
4. The Old and New Testaments, inerrant as originally given, were verbally inspired by God and are a complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men. They constitute the divine and only rule of Christian faith and practice.
5. Man was originally created in the image and likeness of God. He fell through disobedience, incurring thereby both physical and spiritual death. All men are born with a sinful nature, are separated from the life of God, and can be saved only through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The prospect of the impenitent and unbelieving person is existence forever in conscious torment, and that of the believer in Christ is everlasting joy and bliss.
6. Salvation has been provided through Jesus Christ for all men, and those who repent and believe in Him are born again of the Holy Spirit, receive the gift of eternal life, and become the children of God.
7. It is the will of God that each believer should be filled with the Holy Spirit and be sanctified wholly, being separated from sin and the world and fully dedicated to the will of God, thereby receiving power for holy living and effective service. This is both a crisis and a progressive experience wrought in the life of the believer subsequent to conversion.
8. Provision is made in the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ for the healing of the mortal body. Prayer for the sick and anointing with oil are taught in the Scriptures and are privileges for the Church in the present age.
9. The church consists of all those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, are redeemed through His blood, and are born again of the Holy Spirit. Christ is the head of the Body, the Church, which has been commissioned by Him to go into all the world as a witness, preaching the gospel to all nations.
10. There shall be a bodily resurrection of the just and of the unjust; for the former, a resurrection unto life; for the latter, a resurrection unto judgment.
11. The Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is imminent and will be personal, visible, and pre-millennial. This is the believer’s hope and is a vital truth that is an incentive to holy living and faithful service.
These 11 statements are the cornerstone upon which Freshwater’s vision culture has been built. In the next blog we will unpack our core-values and explain why they are so significant to our vision culture. After working through these blogs, you will have a solid understanding of the vision culture that exists at Freshwater and recognize your significant role in it. Until next time……