Core Values Statements
While Randy is writing some great overall articles addressing the different core values we hold to as New City, I thought I would put some things out there in the form of Core Value Statements. These “we believe” statements come from our core values classes that we teach at NCF St Louis. They are not (at all) intended to be the final statements of this group- just a starting point for our consideration. Basically, I will post these core value statements we at NCF St Louis have already affirmed around several topics: 1) The centrality of the Gospel of the kingdom- the establishment of the righteousness/justice of God as a gift through faith in Christ; 2) The centrality of Reconciliation in the message of the Gospel of the kingdom; 3) The Nature and Focus of the Kingdom: for the poor, through a demonstration of justice, mercy and humility; 4) The Practical Expression of Humility in the Kingdom- embracing a humle heart and humble circumstances; 5) The need for and nature of Team Ministry in a context of reconciliation; 6) The Certainty of God’s Covenantal promises to fulfill the expansion of the kingdom
I will also put out some theological background articles for each of these areas. In order to get started I thought I would just throw out some of the “we believe” statements arounfd the first two issues (gospel and reconciliation) for folks to ponder and then add articles along the way. Lead us and be merciful to us Lord Jesus!- Barry
The Centrality of the Gospel
We believe the Gospel, the good news of the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is itself God’s power for salvation and the unleashing of his righteousness and love in our lives as his people, and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit to the hurting and broken world; first for the Jew and then for all the nations (Matt 4:23; Rom 1:1-5, 16-17; 8:1-4).
We believe people from every ethnic and social group are invited to receive this salvation and entrance into God’s kingdom as a gift through faith in Jesus the Messiah as the Risen Lord (Rom 10:9,10, Eph 2:8-10, Col 1:13) which involves turning from reliance upon anything else (1 Thess 1:9,10; Phil 3:7-11) and trusting only in Jesus Christ and his atoning death for salvation.
We believe this Gospel comes to us in an ongoing context and relationship of grace (Rom 5:1-2, 20-21; Eph 2:8-10; I Jn 1:9,10), in which Jesus has come to progressively set us free from the power of sin and death and free to become the righteousness of God in this world (2 Cor 5:21, Rom 8:1-4).
We believe this Gospel of grace gives us the freedom to deal honestly with the character of our own sin nature as Christians and the depth and devastation of sin in the world around us (Rom 7; Eph 2:1-10; 1 Jn 1:5-2:2) without fear, because it is our identity with Christ and the righteousness we have in Him as a gift that gives us the ultimate confidence or our standing before God and our hope for the restoration of all things (Rom 5:12-19, 8:18-39).
We believe the Gospel of the kingdom includes a calling to see God’s rule and reign advance in this world (Isa 9:7, 11:1-9, 42:1-4; Psalm 2, Heb 1:1-14) by the present manifestation of God’s kingdom justice, righteousness and redemption (Gen 12:1-3; Mt 28:18-20; Luke 4:18-18; Mt 6:9-13; Col 1:10-14; Rom 5:1-5), through the church (Eph 1:22, 23), the body of Christ, whose members equally share all the privileges and responsibilities of being sons and daughters of God (Gal 3:26-29; 4:4-6).
We believe the Gospel gives us a certainty of hope that we will inherit this eternal kingdom when Jesus returns and all other kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God (1 Cor 15:20-28), because Jesus of Nazareth has been vindicated as the Messiah of God through the resurrection (Acts 2:32-36; Rom 1:1-6, 8:18-25; 2 Pet 3:10-13).
We believe the Gospel alone gives us the confidence to ask for the promise of the Spirit, who will empower us for the outworking of God’s kingdom in this world through an intimate relationship with the Father and the Son (Luke 3:16; 11:12; John 16:5-15; Acts 2:1-4, 16-21, Gal 5:1-6).
Reconciliation: the Center of the Center of the Gospel of the Kingdom We believe that Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection was reconciling us both to God and to one another (Isaiah 49:6, 56:3-7; John 10:11-16; Romans 5:1,2; Gal 3:6-9; Ephesians 2:14-18; I Peter 1:3-5, 2:9-10), and even reconciling the universe back to himself (Col 1:19-20). We believe that justification (the declaration of God putting us in a righteous standing) applies equally to our relationship with God and our relationships with one another (Rom 4:13-17; Gal 3:6-9)
We believe God’s commitment to bring reconciliation among the nations is a central part of the Covenant from Abraham forward (Genesis 12:1-3; 17:12-13; Exodus 12:48-49; 2 Samuel 7:11-13; Psalm 72:1-14; Isa 19:23-25, 55:5) and the climactic work of Christ in reconciling all things to himself needs to be understood as God’s covenantal faithfulness to fulfill this foundational promise (Eph 1:9,10; Col 1:19,20).
We believe the only thing required for full, complete status and membership in the community of God’s people is faith in Christ (Eph 2:19-22), and that all who believe have a new creation identity in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:16-17) that is more defining than ethnicity, gender or social status (Galatians 3:26-29), and that all who believe also have an anointing of the Spirit that gives vision and essential gifting to every member of the body (Acts 2, 1 Cor 12, Rom 12).
We believe this status and gift of reconciliation must be intentionally pursued by the people of God (Phil 2:1,2; 1 Cor 11:17-33; Ephesians 4:1-6; I John 4:7-12) in order to come to a full, healthy expression. On the contrary, it is most often neglected and set aside without intentional commitment (Acts 11:1-3; Galatians 2:11-21). We believe the resulting expression of unity as we work out our reconciliation is the greatest testimony to the world that Jesus has come and accomplished salvation (John 17:20-23).
We believe this reconciliation must take place in a context of covenantal justice, mercy and humility towards one another and particularly the poor – especially the orphan, the widow, and the immigrant/refugee (Deuteronomy 14:28, 29, 15:1-18; Acts 2:42-47, 4:32-35; I Cor 1:27-31; James 1:27; 2:1-10; I John 3:16-20).
We believe that practical reconciliation across ethnic and socio-economic divisions is non-negotiable and absolutely necessary for the church of Christ to be a healthy reflection of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-27), and is necessary for the church to fulfill all God has called her to be as the light of the world (Eph 1:22,23; 2:19-22).