The last couple of blocks have been devoted to offering some remarks about that statement. We must constantly remind ourselves of our identity and purpose in Christ. Let me say again, I am excited about this statement. It is a statement that speaks of our mission, passion and identity.
So, we have talked about who we are -- a covenant community. We have also talked about what we are to do above all other things, bring glory to God. Finally, we talked about how we do that, by living out the gospel of Jesus Christ. All of that is wonderful and true, but the statement does not, and should not, end there. There is a final clause that fills out the statement perfectly. If we bring glory to God by living out the gospel, the next logical question is how do we live out the gospel? Certainly that sounds good, but what do we believe that looks like? The final clause of the sentence answers that very important question.
We do that first of all by passionately sharing His love. I hope you are daily excited about being a slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. When we are excited we are also passionate. When we love someone we should desire to tell others about that person. Think back to when you first fell in love. I remember having to work very hard not to shout to everyone how much I loved Sara (and still do). We have the knowledge of the very cure for death. It is foolishness to keep that inside. We must share good news. Our Outreach Team is committed to offering us opportunities to learn how to share our faith. Additionally, we have excellent online and print resources (The Story Tract) that you can pass on to people you come into contact with. This is a simple way to fulfill this part of our purpose statement. We live out the gospel by sharing the love of Christ. That entails sharing the gospel verbally, but also meeting the physical and emotional needs of the people in our church and in our community.
The second way we live out the gospel is by “growing in His Word.” Scripture is God’s perfect revelation of himself. We simply cannot be faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ, if we are not faithful to Scripture. This is not something we take lightly at Oak Crest. We grow in the word through the preaching and teaching of the word, but also through one on one personal discipleship. Those who have been followers of Christ and students of Scripture should come along side others and grow them up into Christ. This is so important in our current culture. There are so many groups that claim the name Christian, but do not know the gospel. We must be alert and faithful to the Word of God alone. “So that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, in Christ,” (Ephesians 4: 14-15).