“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39)
Love the Lord
Worship: As we gather for corporate worship on the Lord’s Day, we believe that Scripture alone should structure the service. Corporate worship is the purpose of redemption, and God reveals to His redeemed people how He wants us to worship Him when we gather. In worship we read the Word, preach the Word, pray the Word, sing the Word, and see the Word (in baptism and the Lord’s Supper).
Read the Bible: Scripture is regularly read in the public gathering of God’s people (1 Timothy 4:13). Reading Scripture aloud in worship shows the value we place on God’s Word. It says we are eager to hear the Word of the Lord—we desire it (Psalm 19:10). Our life is dependent on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
Preach the Bible: The preaching of God’s Word is God’s ordained method for communicating the gospel to sinners (Romans 10:14-17). On the Emmaus Road, Jesus said that all the Scriptures are ultimately about him (Luke 24:27, 45-47). We desire to preach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) as we proclaim Christ from all the Scriptures.
Pray the Bible: We are called by God to be a people of prayer (1 Timothy 2:1). It is Scripture that teaches us how to pray God’s Word back to him in prayers of adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. We are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), which means we are to be a praying people on Sunday morning and throughout the week among God’s people, in our families, and individually.
Sing the Bible: As we worship, we sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to the glory of God (Ephesians 5:19). God’s Word builds the church through the Holy Spirit, and we want to sing songs that bring glory to God and that edify His people with lyrics that are filled with Scripture. Our desire is to sing God-centered, Gospel-saturated songs as we worship.
See the Bible: The sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper are the visible gospel. They are pictures that represent the spiritual realities of the Gospel. The picture in baptism is that as water washes away dirt, so the blood of Christ washes away our sins. Baptism shows us our need for cleansing, which comes by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. As we participate in the Lord’s Supper each month, the bread and the wine portray Christ’s broken body and shed blood for the remission of all our sins (Luke 22:19-20). In the sacraments, the word of God’s promise is spoken to us in tangible form—we touch and taste the bread and wine; we feel the waters of baptism. They are means of grace instituted by Jesus himself, and they build our hope and assurance by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Love the Flock
Jesus told the twelve disciples that the world would know that they were His disciples by their love for one another (John 13:34-35). The same goes for the church. Selfless, humble, Christ-like love is to be the signature of the Christian. We need to be deliberately cultivating a culture of Christian love and concern amongst our brothers and sisters. The church is to be filled with relationships rooted in the gospel that are mutually encouraging and helping others to grow spiritually.
Growing in love for one another and in concern for the corporate good of the church is pivotal to the growth and health of the church. Instead of relying on programs, we seek to disciple the flock. We desire to teach people by word and deed to initiate personal conversations and relationships with other members of the church to do them good spiritually. We entrust ourselves to the transforming power of the Gospel to change our hearts and build a community of Christians characterized by selfless love and genuine concern for others.
Love the Lost
The church has been given the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). We are called to bring the gospel to every tribe, tongue, and nation (Revelation 5:9). It is our desire to see the nations come to worship the Triune God and to enjoy him forever.
Our Christ-like love for one another is also designed by God to be attractive to unbelievers. We pray that the local church would be known as a genuine, distinctively, loving Christian community in the surrounding neighborhoods. One goal of the church that is built on distinctively Christian love is to display God’s glory to our neighborhoods, cities, and the world.
Many of these thoughts have been quoted from Mark Dever, The Deliberate Church.