The critical requirement of every heart is not to better one’s quality of life, nor is it love and acceptance of a community. It’s not selfless service, clarity of mind through religious practice, or the improvement of the moral disposition of our culture. The most basic need of every person is salvation from sin, or redemption.
We have all rebelled against God. We have rejected Him and His good and perfect will and have desired to follow our own way. As a result, we have sent the whole world into a tailspin of corruption and decay. The evidence of our Fall could not be more apparent. Lives are filled with death and destruction, sin and suffering. Our only true hope and relief from despair is a restoration to God through redemption in Jesus Christ. The only way the world will change is through the heart-transforming power of the Gospel. This is our soul’s fundamental desire, our most basic need.
Our purpose is to proclaim the truth of the Gospel to a dying world. Our goal is not simply to show people how to be more moral or more religious, or how to live their best lives now (though by God’s grace, these will all be by-products of it). Our mission is to make salvation through Christ known in our city, in our country, and throughout the world.
The only way our hearts can be restored to God is through faith in the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. We are saved because He exchanged His perfect, infinite life for our sinful, finite souls. His blood frees us from our sin, and His resurrection guarantees that believers will be with God for all eternity.
Salvation is both a point in life and a process that continues throughout life. Though we are declared righteous in Christ, salvation is a progression in which we grow in holiness and Christ-likeness. God intended that this process be lived out in a community in which believers regularly encourage and exhort one another, helping each other to apply the Gospel to all areas of life. The church is a gospel community in which we minister and are ministered to so that we all might grow to maturity in Christ. We are all in this process together.
When we truly recognize our salvation in Christ, our response is joy-filled worship. We worship not only in praise and thanksgiving through prayer and song, but in our obedience to the Word of God in every aspect of our lives.
Redemption is also our motivation to missions. We realize that our salvation is a gift from God as well as our stimulus to share it with others. Such lavish grace is worth being shared! The selfless sacrifice of Christ inspires us to sacrificial service. The power of God’s grace, given by the Holy Spirit, enables us to fulfill this mission.