Every church you walk into has a “DNA.” Unfortunately some DNA has been spiritual modified and manipulated. But according to the New Testament we see what a Biblical church’s DNA ought look like.
At Grace Community Church we have 3 Distinctives that comprise our DNA. The first is simple…We are a Christ Exalting Church.
Here is what we mean:
We Aim to be Christ-Exalting: Our goal is to be a Christ Exalting church. In all that the Church seeks to accomplish in the community the overall mission is the exaltation of Jesus Christ. This means that our worship is geared towards making much of Jesus. We believe that Jesus Christ is the only Lord and Savior of the world. He has redeemed us for His glory. Thus, it is our aim to make much of Jesus as we devote our lives to Him in faithful obedience. We exist to make known His death and resurrection to our community and among the nations.
Now this should be the goal of every True Church. But at GCC we want to be explicit about Jesus and His work. We aren’t ashamed about His death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven (Rom 1:16). We believe this distinctive is found in Colossians 1:28-29. From that text we find 3 driving applications.
First, as a Christ Exalting Church We Proclaim Him
The gospel of Jesus Christ is to be announced. This is a verbal declaration! Before the gospel can be demonstrated through actions, it has to be declared by our mouth. We believe that Jesus rules over all things because He is Redeemer. He reveals God’s nature because He is God. Jesus ranks over all things because He created everything (Col 1:15-20). As a Christ Exalting Church we proclaim Him and Him alone. According to Colossians 1:28, we warn unbelievers and teach believers through the gospel. We do this with wisdom. The great Reformer Martin Luther once stated that the church is a “Mouth-House”, meaning that the church declares a message of Good News. We cannot help but speak about Him. At GCC we will not compromise the gospel message.
Second, as a Christ Exalting Church We Grow in Maturity
Again taking our truth from Colossian 1:28, the purpose of proclaiming Jesus is growing in maturity. The gospel leads to maturity in believers. Mature mean “complete or perfect.” The theological meaning has to do with our spiritual maturity – growing in Christ. We are not yet fully mature in Christ (that will come in the end), rather at this moment we are growing up in Him. As we proclaim Jesus, we grow into maturity. The gospel not only saves us but also sustains us. At GCC we reject stagnate Christianity. We don’t want a cultural form of Church. Rather we want to “real deal” of Christ and His Word. We do this because of the gospel we have received and embraced.
Third, as a Christ Exalting Church We Labor in His Strength
In a church culture where the latest church growth method is being used, we choose to embrace the laborious task of gospel ministry. The word “labor” probably refers to the slow and patience work of a farmer who is laboring and struggling to plow the ground in hopes of a fruitful harvest. Gospel work is difficult – proclaiming and living the gospel is a joy but it is laborious. The reality is we wrestle not with flesh and blood but against spiritual forces. The temptation is to labor in our own strength. But according to Colossians 1:29 we labor in God’s strength. It is God working in us, producing the spiritual energy to labor faithfully for His Glory! Get this – the same power that raised Christ from the dead works in us to labor faithfully to complete our gospel mission.
This first distinctive is our lofty goal. We aim to be a Christ exalting church because this is what the New Testament teaches. We labor because of Him. We mature because of Him. We preach because of Him. It is in our DNA.