The foundation of our identity
The good news about Jesus is that he lived a perfect life on our behalf, and that he died a sacrificial death in our place. Because of Christ’s work, we have been given a new identity in him. This means that we see every area of life and every act of obedience as an outflow of an identity we already have, not a way of earning an identity through our works. Because of Jesus we are:
God saved us to glorify and enjoy him forever.
In our fallen condition we have all worshipped—given our hearts to—things, people, or ideas instead of God. The essence of Christianity is that, through Jesus Christ, our worship has been rightly redirected towards God, the only deserving object of our affection and love. As the Holy Spirit applies the gospel to our hearts, we begin to view every part of our life as a living act of worship, a response to God’s grace to us in Christ. We worship God not only as individuals and a scattered communities, but also as the gathered Body of Christ on Sundays through hearing God’s Word preached, singing, praying, and receiving the Lord’s Table as a community of Christ followers.
God sends us out to be witnesses who proclaim the good news about Jesus.
God’s grace makes us into a new community and sends us out on a mission to make disciples. During his earthly ministry, Jesus delighted to take part in the will and mission of his Father. As followers of Christ who have been brought into relationship with the Father, it is now our delight to participate in God’s mission to make disciples. As we internalize the gospel, we are compelled to humbly and intentionally engage people who are far from God with the message of salvation through Christ. As more people come to to know and follow Jesus, our response will be to multiply churches throughout our city and the world.
God has adopted us into a family that is a counter-cultural community.
Our adoption into God’s family compels us to be a people who are concerned about the ultimate good and flourishing of our brothers and sisters in the Lord. Through the gospel of grace, our hearts and lives are turned outward, and we are being weaved into a community marked by sacrificial love, radical reconciliation, and selfless service. Since the Body of Christ—the family of God—is the primary place to apply the gospel and practice living in response to it, we make it a priority to be engaged in community that is shaped by the gospel, and we make it a priority to be involved in the natural rhythms of each other’s lives.
God calls us to be stewards who wisely invest our resources and influence for the good of all people.
Although the created order has been deeply corrupted by sin, God is on a mission to redeem, renew, and restore creation. Through the work of his Son and the presence of his Spirit, God is making all things new in Christ. As the Church, we are called to steward all of our resources for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. More than simply giving money to a local church expression, we see our other resources—time, relationships, spirituality, vocation, etc.—as something to be stewarded and invested for the glory of God and the good of others. The mission of God changes how we think about every kind of vocation.
God redeemed us to be servants do acts of grace and mercy.
The heart of the gospel is that Jesus Christ served us and poured out his life on our behalf to redeem us from the power of sin. When the Holy Spirit applies this message to our hearts, we become people whose lived are defined by acts of grace and mercy. God’s concern is for people’s holistic wellbeing and flourishing, so we do more than just preach the message of Christ; we pattern our lives after him, seeking the end of poverty, hunger, injustice, and oppression. Following in the footsteps of Jesus, the Church lovingly seeks the welfare of our neighbors, whether they are followers of Christ or not.
We live out these core identities in our own personal life, in the context of community, and in our civic life. A downloadable version of this material can be found here: Core Identities