We commit to live this blessed life of discipleship together as a congregation according to the pattern established by the first Christian church (Acts 2:42-47).
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.“ (Acts 2:42)
The Apostle’s Teaching
We are devoted to maturing and deepening in this blessed life of discipleship. Jesus is our Lord, so we will depend on him for salvation and follow His example for how to live. We will strive to learn from Jesus how to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) Therefore: We commit to spending regular time in God’s word with our brothers and sisters in Christ, learning, discussing and encouraging one another as we follow Jesus.
We are devoted to our life together. We are united through our baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
In the Name of the Father
As children of God, we have a new family – our brothers and sisters in Christ. We live in total dependence on our Father who gives us life and everything we have. “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as He had need.” (Acts 2:44-45). We are devoted to selfless generosity for those in need. Since everything we have is God’s, we will consider every excess as a joyful opportunity to assist those who lack. Therefore: We commit to provide for our brothers and sisters in Christ, serve those outside of the Kingdom of God and to contribute to the collective mission of our congregation.
In the Name of the Son
We are forgiven through Jesus’ death and resurrection and are prepared to forgive one another in the name of Christ. “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13) We are devoted to love one another. We will not stand by while a brother or sister in Christ travels down the path toward unrepentant sin. Therefore: We will speak the truth in love with one another. When we sin against one another, we will humbly seek repentance so that we may forgive one another as we have been forgiven through Christ.
In the Name of the Holy Spirit
God has given us a new Spirit to replace our sinful spirit of selfishness. This Holy Spirit sets us apart from the world even as we are in the midst of it. Together, we are God’s Kingdom on the earth, the living representatives of His truth and His grace. “Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.” (Acts 2:46) We are devoted to spending time together. Being set apart for God’s purpose is not easy. There are many temptations and pitfalls when we are left alone. We need each other. Therefore: We will build a deep and meaningful network of friendships within the congregation so that we may strengthen one another in our vocations, together shining the light of Christ in this dark world.
We are devoted to meaningful, intimate expressions of worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus told us to “Do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19) When we gather together to hear God’s word, pray, praise, and receive the Lord’s Supper, we are strengthened and unified for the mission God has given us. “They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts…” (Acts 2:46) Therefore: We commit to worship God regularly with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We are devoted to persistent conversational prayer. We will pattern our prayers according to the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13):
- We will thank and praise our loving, nurturing and protecting Father whose purpose is above all other things.
- We will ask our Father to bless our fellow brothers and sisters in the Kingdom and we will pray that the Holy Spirit will bring others to faith in Jesus.
- We will seek our Father’s perfect righteousness in the midst of this broken world.
- We will completely trust our Father for His provision and pray that the abundance be shared with those in need.
- We will plead for God’s forgiveness through Christ and release our desire for revenge, forgiving others as we have been forgiven.
- We will praise the Holy Spirit for every opportunity He gives to avoid sin, and rejoice in our victory over the devil through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Therefore: We will be bold to request prayer for our needs and the needs of others. We will intentionally take time for dedicated prayer, preferably with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We will devote our entire lives, personally and collectively, to the fulfillment of Jesus’ Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Authorized by God through our baptism, and sent by him, we will be disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus as we go through life. By the grace of God, when disciples are made we will guide them to be baptized in the Triune name of God and we will personally ensure they are taught the commands of Jesus for their life of discipleship. “…praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46) Therefore: We will boldly live this blessed life of discipleship in the midst of those who do not believe and who are not baptized. We hope to joyfully demonstrate to them our faith in Jesus, bring them to baptism and welcome them as brothers and sisters in Christ.