What we believe
There are many things in this world that compete to be at the centre of our lives: relationships, work, money, pleasure, even religion. But when we build our life around these things and make them our focus it leads to confusion, discouragement, and dissatisfaction. We believe that the only way to truly live is to recognize Jesus’ centrality in all things (Colossians 1:15-18). We were created by Jesus and for Jesus and only by living in light of that truth, and making Jesus the centre of our life, do we find purpose.
As John Piper said, "all the planets of your life (commitments, beliefs, aspirations, attitudes, habits, relationships, labor, leisure, thinking, feeling, etc.) are held in orbit by the greatness and gravity and blazing brightness of the supremacy of Jesus Christ at the center of your life. And if he ceases to be the bright, blazing, satisfying beauty at the center of your life, the planets will fly into confusion, and a hundred things will be out of control, and sooner or later they will crash into destruction.”
Our mission is to make Christ central in our lives, in our church, and in the world.
CHRIST CENTRAL IN OUR LIVES
We are called to receive Jesus Christ as our Redeemer, Savior and Lord, and to acknowledge Him as the source of our life, the Rock upon which our whole life is built, and our hope for eternal life.
CHRIST CENTRAL IN OUR CHURCH
We are called to honour Jesus Christ as the Head of Christ Community Church, His person and work being the source of our worship, the foundation of our message, and our union together as His body.
CHRIST CENTRAL IN OUR WORLD
We are called to go and proclaim the message of Christ in our city and beyond, to all nations, so that more people will receive Christ as central in their lives, looking forward to the day when He unites all things in Himself.
1. BEING FRIENDS, ENJOYING GOD TOGETHER
“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends” John 15:10-15
We believe that the church should be marked both by friendship with Jesus and friendship with each other.As we partner together on mission we find comfort, encouragement, support, forgiveness, and can laugh and cry together and enjoy God’s grace even in the midst of great trials. Our friendships extend beyond our local church to other churches in our community and across the nations.
2. BUILDING CHURCHES EMPOWERED BY GOD'S WORD AND SPIRIT
“For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. ” 1 Thessalonians 1:4-5
We believe that the church is a passionate community that is empowered by both God’s Word and His Spirit. As individuals we should live Spirit-filled lives and have the Word of God dwell in us richly. As we come together our desire is to both experience the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit in our meetings, working in us and pouring out His gifts for the common good, and faithfully preach, hear, and submit to the powerful Word of God.
3. ADVANCING THE KINGDOM, TRANSFORMING THE WORLD
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10
“And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him [Jesus]. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.’ Luke 4:17-19
We believe that the church is the vehicle through which the kingdom of God advances. More than just a community of believers, the church is the display of the manifold wisdom of God and a witness to the world that God is here among us, establishing His reign of love, compassion, justice, and truth. Our desire then is to see God glorified, the truth proclaimed, the poor served, the sick healed, the oppressed liberated, cultures transformed and every area of life touched by the gospel until Jesus returns to establish His kingdom fully and forever.
4. REACHING THE NATIONS, MAKING DISCIPLES
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20
“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send me.’ And he said, ‘Go...’.” Isaiah 6:8-9
As a church our vision is to reach people in both our local community and around the world with the Gospel. We are able to carry this out through the nations coming to us and through us going to the nations. We seek to be a church that not only grows numerically and in maturity, but also in diversity. It is our desire to be a multicultural church where people from all tribes, peoples, and languages can worship the Lord together. We seek to be a sending church where leaders are raised up and sent out to Atlantic Canada and beyond to plant strong, healthy churches. In both of these things, it is our prayer that God would give us the grace to make His saving power known among all nations.
“Isaiah heard the voice of heaven. He responded to the voice of heaven. Heaven is still calling. I believe ‘Who will go?’ is still the cry from the heart of heaven as God looks down and sees our needy world. ‘Who will go?’ Will our churches be missional churches? Will we be a missionary people? Will we respond as Isaiah did? This is what the church is on earth for so now let us fulfill our glorious commission and go to plant churches and extend the reign of God in this world until Jesus returns to bring the kingdom of God in all its fullness, to usher in a new heaven and new earth in which righteousness/ justice dwells. Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus!” David Devenish,What On Earth is the Church For?
STATEMENT OF FAITH
1. The Bible
We accept the Bible, including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament, as the written Word of God. The Bible is:
INSPIRED BY GOD
The Bible was written by human authors inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error in the original manuscripts.
The Bible has supreme authority in all matters of faith and conduct.
The Bible is totally sufficient in that it contains all the written words of revelation from God that He intended humanity to have. We believe the Bible is complete and must not be added to, superseded, or changed. The Bible’s purpose isn’t just to inform but to transform. We should not treat the Bible as a textbook to study but as the living, active, life-giving Word of God. The Bible is to be believed as God’s instruction in all that it teaches; obeyed, as God’s command in all that it requires; and, trusted as God’s pledge in all that it promises. As God’s people hear, believe, apply and live according to the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the gospel. (2 Tim 3:15-16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Mark 13:31; John 8:31-32; John 20:31; Acts 20:32; Hebrews 4:12-13)
There is one God, uncreated and eternally existing in three distinct Persons, each of which is fully God: the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. This one true and living God is infinitely perfect in love, power, and holiness. (Gen 1:1, 26; Deut 6:4; John 1:1-3; Matt 28:19; Rom 1:19-20; Eph 4:5-6)
GOD THE FATHER
God the Father is the eternal God and Creator of all things. By His word He both created the world out of nothing and daily sustains all that He has made. He is faithful to all that He has promised, works all things together for good to those who love Him, and hears and answers prayer. In His desire for us to live in fellowship with Him, He graciously gave His Son, Jesus Christ, for our salvation. (Gen 1:1; Matt 23:9; John 3:16; Rom 1:20; 1 Tim 2:5-6; Rom 8:28; Lam 3:22-23)
Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, was always with God and is eternally God. Through Him and for Him all things were created. He is before all things and He holds all things together by the word of His power. Being supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, He is fully God and fully man and the image of the invisible God. He lived a perfect sinless life, performed many miracles, and taught with authority. By dying on the cross in our place, He removed our guilt and reconciled us to God. On the third day, He physically rose from the dead and was later seen by over 500 witnesses. Soon afterwards He ascended into heaven where He sits at the Father’s right hand as Head over the Church. He rules over all, intercedes for His people, and will one day visibly return to earth. (Matt 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1; 20:28; Rom 9:5; 8:46; 2 Cor 5:21; I Pet 2:21-23; John 20:30, 31; Matt 20:28; Eph 1:4; Acts 1:11; Rom 5:6-8; 6:9,10; Heb 7:25; 9:28; 1 Tim 3:16)
The Holy Spirit is eternally God and should be respected and worshipped as God. The Holy Spirit was actively involved in creation. In Old Testament times, the Holy Spirit came upon certain individuals in manifest power for certain periods of time, but later departed (withdrew His manifest power from the individual). The Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus after His return to heaven to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement. He leads us to repentance and unites us to Christ in faith through the new birth. He dwells within believers to comfort, counsel, empower, and lead them and gives them gifts to help them serve God and one another in the church. We believe that all the gifts of the Spirit continue today and are to be used for the building up of the body and the evangelism of the nations. (Gen 1:2; Job 33:4; 1 Sam 16:13-14; Ps. 51:11; John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26, 27; John 16:9-14; Rom 8:9; 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19; Gal 5:22-26; Rom 12:6-8; 1 Cor 12:4-11, 28-31; 1 Pet 4:10-11)
God made humanity - male and female - in His own image. Tempted by Satan, humanity disobeyed God
(sinned) and thereby incurred physical, spiritual and eternal death, which is separation from God. As a consequence, all human beings are sinners by nature and therefore under condemnation. Those who, by God’s grace and through faith, repent and trust Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are regenerated (born again) by the Holy Spirit and become new creations in Christ. Being delivered from sin’s condemnation and dominion, they are now empowered by the Holy Spirit to live godly lives and inherit eternal life. (Gen 1:26; 5:2; Gen 3; Gen 2:17; 3:19; Eccl. 2:11; John 3:14; 5:24; John 5:30; 7:13; 8:12; 10:26; Rom 9:22; 2 Thes 1:9; Rev 19:3, 20; 20:10, 14,15; 21:18; Ps 51:7; Jer 17:9; Jas 1:14; Rom 3:19, 5:19; Prov 28:13; 1 John 1:9; John 3:16; John 1:13; 2 Cor 5:17; Rom 8:1; 1 Pet 1:23; Eph 4:24)
4. The Church
“The church is here for mission, a mission to bring about the rule of God in the world, to start communities of God’s people from all backgrounds in every people group, to serve the world through social action and in their everyday employment, and to extend this to every people group on earth.” David Devenish, What On Earth is the Church For?
The universal church is the living spiritual body of which Jesus is the head and all believers are members. The church is likened to a building, with Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, and the members living stones, being joined together growing into a holy temple, a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. We believe that members of the universal church are to be committed members of a local church. In the context of a local church, believers receive pastoral care, leadership, and the opportunity to use the spiritual gifts that God has given them for His service. Through the ministries found in Ephesians 4 (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) the local church is equipped for service and members are encouraged and enabled to mature and grow in their faith. The central aim of the church is to glorify God through worship, being filled with God’s Spirit, making disciples, and communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost world. (Eph 2:19-22; Acts 1:8; Eph 5:19-21, Eph 4: 11-16; Acts 2:42-27; Heb 10:23-25; Matt 28:18-20)
Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer, in the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism is an external celebration of an internal transformation that has happened through salvation. It shows the work of
Christ—His death, burial, and resurrection—and the believer’s participation in that work by God’s grace. It signifies that their life is linked with Christ and displays their union with His body, the Church. (Matt 3:13-17; Matt 28:18-20; Acts 2:38; Rom 6:3-5; Gal 3:27; 1 Pet 2:4-10)
As with baptism, communion (the Lord’s Supper) is to be observed only by those who have become genuine followers of Christ and members in His body. Communion symbolizes the breaking of Christ’s body and the shedding of His blood on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. It should be observed with an attitude of faith and self-examination, remembering and celebrating the death of Jesus. (1 Cor 11:23-26; Luke 22:19-20; Acts 2:42)
5. Christian Conduct
Every true Christian’s desire is to live for the glory of God and well-being of all people. Not fulfilling the desires of the sinful nature, we are to walk in the Spirit, seeing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Believers should be blameless in conduct before the
world, faithful stewards of their possessions, and should seek for themselves and others to grow and mature in Christ. (2 Cor 10:31; Rom 12:1-3; Heb 12:1-2; John 14:15, 23-24; 1 John 2:3-6; 2 Cor 9:6-9; 1 Cor 4:2; Col 1:9-10)
“...walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Colossians 1:10
6.The Restoration of All Things
One day Jesus will personally and visibly return to earth to fully establish His kingdom. He will resurrect all people from the dead and judge the just and the unjust. Satan, with his hosts, and all those outside of Christ will be separated from God, enduring eternal punishment. But all those in Christ will be given glorious bodies and will eternally live and reign with God in whose presence is fullness of joy, praising the One who makes all things new! (Matt 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Phil 3:20; 1 Thes 4:15; 2 Tim 4:1; Tit 2:13; 1 Cor 4:5; 1 Cor 15; 2 Thes 1:7-10; Rev 20:4-6, 11-15)
UNDERSTANDING GOD’S GRACE
“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:4-8
God’s grace is the foundation of our relationship with Him and so it is central in everything we do and proclaim as a church. God’s grace is His undeserved, transforming favour, given to us in Jesus Christ. Because of our sin we deserve God’s
punishment, but because of Jesus we get His forgiveness. We deserve God’s wrath, but get His love. We deserve death, but get life.
“For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” Romans 6:14
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” Titus 2:11-12
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8
God’s grace not only saves us, it transforms us. God’s grace doesn’t give us a license to sin, instead it breaks sin’s dominion over us and gives us the power to say “No” to sin and “Yes” to life in the Spirit, bearing the fruit of the Spirit and walking in the light as He is in the Light. We are to receive God’s grace daily, as it trains us to turn from sin and enables us to abound in every good work. We are to walk by faith, obeying God and persevering to the end; and it is God's grace that enables us to do so.
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13
God’s grace will never run out. As we live each day in His grace, we look forward and see that there is much more grace yet to come. God’s grace will one day bring us to Himself and completely transform us into the image of His Son. Fixing our eyes on that future grace sets us free from fear of loss and pain and enables us to endure suffering. As a church, we want God’s grace to be the foundation under everything we do. We want to proclaim the free gift of grace found in Jesus Christ, so that no one thinks they are meant to earn God’s love by being good and keeping rules. Whenever we gather together we want to celebrate and express God’s grace on our lives, as His grace is the fuel of our worship. We want to walk each day in His grace and experience its transforming power over sin, abounding in good works and demonstrating in word and deed the good news of God’s grace to those around us.
“Grace sets you free from the fear of condemnation. It prevents the church from being introverted and preoccupied with rulebook religion. Grace assures you that God has fully accepted you, has always loved you and always will. You are
safe and you are free. God’s grace calls you to arise and shine and put on your beautiful garments Not only that, he calls you to go with good news to the nations, catching the evangelistic passion of Charles Wesley’s famous hymn:
Oh, that the world might taste and see
The riches of His grace!
The arms of love that compass me
Would all mankind embrace.
Grace should never lead to passivity, but to outrageous adventure, a lifestyle that baffles those who play safe. It threatens the status quo not only of tentative religion, but also of cynical unbelief. It sets the church free to risk all for the praise of him who freely gave all for us.” Terry Virgo, God’s Lavish Grace