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CHBC Connect for February 16, 2024

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God’s Vision for CHBC: 3 Piers, 3 Pillars, and 3 Purposes

3 Purposes: Equip Believers, Exalt Christ, and Extend the Gospel

We define the church by our statement of faith, which says, “A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is an autonomous local congregation of baptized believers, associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the two ordinances of Christ, governed by His laws, exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by His Word, and seeking to extend the gospel to the ends of the earth,” (BF&M 2000). To function according to what is defined, we must equip believers to know God and to know His Word.

            In what we call Jesus’ Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, we read, “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” I have underlined the phrase I want you to focus on as we consider the first of the three purposes of a local church.

            The Lord Jesus Christ governs His church by divine authority (v. 18), which means we must know His laws, His ways, and His word. God has given to the church those who are entrusted to teach in the local church. That begins with those who are pastors/elders/overseers and extends to others who have spiritual gifts for teaching and counseling.

            For the church to be equipped means more than just learning the knowledge of the Scriptures. A person who is equipped to follow Christ experiences a personal relationship with Christ, and walks in daily obedience to the will, ways, and words of Christ. Therefore, each member of a local church is involved in the equipping of all the other members by way of discipleship. Parents are discipling their children by teaching and example. Men and women are discipling one another in the church, equipping the body by shared knowledge and personal experience of what it means to walk with Christ through different seasons of life.

            To completely fulfill the purpose of Equipping Believers is much more than a robust teaching ministry, or Holy Spirit empowered preaching. It is a culture of disciple-making disciples. What has God been teaching you through His word and your personal experiences? Who is in your life right now with whom you can share these insights? What questions do you have about the Bible or about how to follow Jesus in a certain aspect of your life? Who do you see that loves Jesus well, and to whom you could ask these questions? Maybe it is time to invite these people to coffee and begin equipping one another by having a conversation.

By His Grace and For His Glory,

Pastor Mark

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CHBC Connect for February 9, 2024

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God’s Vision for CHBC: 3 Piers, 3 Pillars, and 3 Purposes

3 Pillars: Biblically-Modeled; Mission Minded; Multi-Cultural

Sadly, the world system and modern media have stolen the word diversity to mean an inclusion of ideologies and moralities that remove the beauty of true biblical diversity across the global kingdom of God. While the thinking of the progressive, secular culture embraces an idea of diversity that Christians are often forced to reject, we cannot be tempted into making Christianity a homogenous religion – a religion only for a certain type of person.

Biblical Christianity has always been diverse. While the ancient world subjugated women and lower social status persons, Christianity claimed, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise,” (Gal. 3:28-29). While society in the early world, as in today’s world, gives preference to the powerful, wealthy, and elite, Jesus’ followers were teaching to care for the poor and overlooked, and to guard against show partiality to the wealthy (James 1:27-2:6).

We continue to hear that Christianity in America is on the decline. And in many ways those measurements are accurate. But among African Americans, Latinos, and Asian-Americans, Christianity is growing. It is estimated that by the year 2050, Christianity in places like Sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South America, and China, Christianity will make tremendous strides in gaining ground of the percent of overall population.

Christianity is a multicultural religion. The local expression of Christianity in each local church should reflect that kind of diversity at least to the rate that is seen in the demographics of where that church exists. We are convicted toward multicultural ministry because we want to the local church to express as best as possible the movement of God in our communities, and the ultimate expression of the church in heaven.

By His Grace and For His Glory,

Pastor Mark

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