Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, he was buried and he was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians15:3,4)
God has put all things under the authority of Jesus Christ and has made Christ head of the Church, which is His Body. (Matthew 28:18, Colossians 1:18).
Jesus proclaims this authority in John 14:6: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” We affirm that Jesus is the unique Savior and hope of the world. Through Jesus, God compassionately and miraculously intervenes in a fallen world and rescues His people by bringing justice with mercy, true judgment with true forgiveness.
Acknowledgment that Jesus is our Lord and Savior unites and binds together all those who make this confession.
When we affirm that Jesus is our Master, with the authority and power over every aspect of our lives, we are changed. Jesus rules over our relationships, the way we spend our time and money, our bodies, our thoughts -- our very being is in Christ.
Jesus asserts that he has authority; he is the leader who gives commands that should be followed wholeheartedly. These commands lead to the life God intended us to live. We learn, all too often the hard way, that not knowing, ignoring or disobeying Jesus’ commands causes pain, suffering and separation.
God, the Author and Creator of life, has given us a richly multi-layered narrative of his ongoing redeeming work in the world. The Bible emerged from real people, in real places at real times exploring and experiencing God. In the process, they were part of God’s Big Story of restoring, redeeming and transforming the world. Through God’s Spirit, their story becomes our story, and the authority of Scripture comes alive at this time, in this place, in us. Thus, we become part of God’s Big Story.
All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that everyone who belongs to God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16)
Jesus’ life was saturated in God’s word. He knew, recited, explained and obeyed Scripture. God’s word clarified his mission, kept him from temptation, informed his decisions, inspired his teaching, silenced his critics and ultimately enabled him to withstand suffering. As followers of Jesus, we saturate our lives in Scripture and rely on God’s word to guide us through life.1
The Truth revealed in the Scriptures is timeless and eternal. Like a gem, every time it turns, the light refracts and you see something new. Jesus encourages and challenges us to constantly learn and experience new truths from Scripture.2
1 Bryan Wilkerson, Grace Chapel, Lexington, MA
2 Rob Bell, Mars Hill Bible Church, Grand Rapids, MI
God calls us to love him, obey him, fear him, live according to his will and worship him with all our hearts and souls. (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)
Jesus invites us, “Come, follow me.” He chooses us and sees us, not for what we are but for what we can be. At the moment Peter acknowledged Jesus as the Christ, Jesus told Peter, “By the time I’m through with you, Simon son of John, people are not going to call you Simon any more. Instead they are going to call you Peter, the rock and you will build my church.” (Matthew 16:17,18). Despite all of Peter’s human weaknesses, Jesus never lost sight of what Peter could and would do, through the power of God’s Spirit, to build the church. Just as with Peter, Jesus has faith that we can be like him, that we can and will accomplish his work in the world. (John 15:16)
Just as Jesus offered himself (Philippians 2), we are called to submit our lives to God for the sake of the world. It is the privilege of every follower of Jesus to be called into ministry, described as “the priesthood of all believers” by Protestant reformers. Jesus makes this call completely clear in John 14:12: “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.”
We are called as servants of Christ, set apart for service to build up the Body of believers and to witness to the world. God equips us for ministry with spiritual gifts. “Each one is given a manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:7), not for our own benefit. There is nothing more exhilarating and fulfilling than using the gifts given to us by God to do the good works he prepared in advance for us to do as a community of believers (Ephesians 2:10). This is where we find purpose for our lives.