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Posts Tagged ‘core belief’

restore-logo-and-tagThe first homework assignment for this session on theology is match our church’s belief statement with a variety of areas (big ideas in theology). Here’s a brief review of what I found.

The Summary Statement: 
Our Core Beliefs are intended to be a basis of fellowship. There will always be peripheral doctrines that committed Christians disagree upon, but the core beliefs of Christianity are non-negotiable. Below is a list of our core beliefs: The Bible is the Inspired Word of God There is one true God Jesus Christ is the Son of God The Fall of Man The Salvation of Man The Ordinances of the Church The Church and Its Mission The Holy Spirit The Final Judgment.

Areas this statement addresses:

The Bible: The inspired Word of God, infallible and the authoritative rule of faith and conduct for mankind.

The Nature & Character of God: One true God, called by many different names because of the different dimensions of His personality. God is super-dimensional and eternally self-existent (Jn. 8:54-59). God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. He is the creator of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1&2). While God is one, He has revealed Himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).

The Reality of Sin: The Fall of Humankind brought sin into the world; Humankind was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26). However, by a voluntary act of the will, humans disobeyed God (Genesis 3:6). Disobedience had repercussions: humankind was excommunicated from the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23), a curse was pronounced (Genesis 3:14-19), the process of physical death began (Genesis 2:17), and humankind died spiritually (Romans 5:12-19). Sin separated humankind from God (Ephesians 2:11-18) and left humans in a fallen or sinful condition (Romans 3:23).

The Nature of Jesus: The Son of God, Jesus Christ, is the second person of the Trinity, eternal. The Scripture declares his virgin birth (Matthew 1:18-23); His sinless life (Hebrews 7:26 & I Peter 2:22 & I John 3:4,5); His miracles (Acts 2:22 & 10:37-38); His substitutionary death on the cross (II Corinthians 5:21 & I Peter 2:24 & I Corinthians 15:4); His bodily resurrection from the dead (Matthew 28:1-6 & I Corinthians 15:4); His exaltation to the right hand of God (Acts 1:9,11 & Philippians 2:9-11).

Salvation: The only means of salvation is Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12 & John 14:6). He died on the cross to pay the penalty of our sins (I Peter 2:24). He offers each of us a pardon for our sins (Hebrews 9:26) and wants us to become children of God (John 1:12). More here.

Person & Work of the Holy Spirit: The second “person” of the Trinity. Our “salvation” includes our becoming the Temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor 6:19); The nine fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) are the by-product of a Spirit-filled life and evidence of spiritual maturity. The nine gifts of the Spirit are different manifestations of the Spirit to build up the body (I Cor. 12:1-11). We are instructed to diligently seek the gifts (I Cor. 12:31, 14:1), but they must be exercised in an orderly way (I Cor. 14:26-33) in the context of love (I Cor. 13:1-13).

The Church: The Church is the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:12-27) and has a three-fold purpose: To evangelize the world (Acts 1:8 & Mark 16:15-16), to worship God (I Cor. 12:13), and to equip for ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16 & I Cor. 12:28, 14:12).

Our Purpose: To be in fellowship with God and one another. The mission of Restore Church: We exist so that people far from God will be raised to life in Christ.  Our mission will be unleashed by: Meeting people where they are. Connecting people to life changing relationships. Serving people with no strings attached. Fulfilling the mission of God will not only result in new ministries or programs, but a movement of disciple makers, impacting the world.

Sometimes people think, because our church traditions appear loosey-goosey or outside the norm of traditional Sunday services, that this church is not rooted or grounded. But clearly, much thought has gone into the bedrock theology of Restore Church.

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But it’s not very effective, this promise about the desire of the heart if you don’t know what it is. So many people suffer from this basic malaise. What do I want? What does God want me to want? What should I want? And on and on and on.

desire of the heartTake delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart. [Psalm 37:4; NIV]

The desire of the heart is serious business. This is core belief and core longing. This is essential to the day and the tomorrow. This desire keeps us going. No cliches will do. We can’t say, “oh, I desire Jesus” and all that. In this context, that is a given. With the Christ IN our hearts, what do we desire?

I have been writing a lot lately and I was sliced at the knees at one of the comments I received from a knowledgeable critic: what does your character really want (whether she knows it or not, you, the author, must know). And there it was, back again. For this issue has been tiptoeing around my soul for years.

The first time I took the enneagram, I was shocked at my results for my “number” indicated I was a bit shallow. How could that be? I always believed myself a thinker, a smart cookie who sought out the deeper things of God, living, and loving. But I had to face some difficult truth, I am really a scattered soul. I have dabbled in so many arenas from acting to photography to writing to library maven to arts management to exercise queen to organizational specialist to prophetess to prayer warrior to church matriarch . . . well, the list goes on. But where is the real desire?

When I did identify a strong desire, one that has done a lot of the driving, it made my blood run cold. It’s a self-serving desire, one that is not compatible with a life in Christ, yet rooted deeply.

My current manuscript, The Saving of Phoebe Clay, will test the depth of this desire and what it can do or not do. It’s time to unmask. For it is only in the unmasking that change can begin.

And in the meantime, as I pull the anchor from this old desire, I may flounder but I will keep this thought as near as I can:

God is our [my] refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we [I] will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam

    and the mountains quake with their surging. [Psalm 47:1-3, NIV]

 

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