The Church’s mission is to spiritually prepare individuals for the Kingdom of God. If we are going to be effective in this mission then there are core principles that we are going to have to hold onto.
A. A High View of God
The church must be committed to a high view of God. An appropriately high view of God is the starting point of all wisdom (Prov 9:10), and when the church has this view of God then all other aspects of church life and theology fall into their proper places.
In order to have a high view of God we have to Know who and what God is. So, what is God. The Shorter Catechism answers that question for us:
God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom, power. Holiness, justice, goodness, and truth,
This means that an appropriately high view of God must include (but is not limited to:)
o His wisdom (Rom 11:33).
o God’s sovereignty (Dan 4:17),
o His holiness (Isa 6:3),
o His righteousness/justice (Rom 3:24-26),
o His goodness (Ps 34:8),
o His Truth (Exodus 34:6)
Apart from a high view of God the church will inevitably tolerate sin and focus her attention on pleasing men rather than glorifying God. This is why the church must be committed to a God-centered ministry, and this requires a high view of God. When the church draws near to God in this way then God will most assuredly draw near to the church (James 4:8-10)
B. The Authority and Sufficiency of Scripture
The church must be committed to the authority and sufficiency of Scripture. If the church has a high view of God then by implication it should have a high view of God’s word. Every word contained in the 66 books of the bible has been breathed out by God (2 Tim 3:16). This makes it authoritative and
sufficient. The authority of Scripture means that it must be believed and obeyed. Whatever it says the church must do! The bible must never be trivialized, marginalized, or disobeyed. Every word that God has provided is necessary to feed and lead the church (Matt 4:4).The sufficiency of Scripture means that God’s word is the only standard necessary for the faith and practice of the church. It is relevant to deal with every conceivable situation. It may not specifically address every situation, but it does provide the principles by which we can faithfully follow God in every situation. Additionally, God’s word has been proven true. It always accomplishes it’s purpose (Isa 55:11). It is always effective for the work of ministry (2 Tim 3:16-17). Apart from a commitment to the authority and sufficiency of scripture the church will not be guided by God. Personal experience and contemporary wisdom will replace the word of
God as the driving force of ministry. In the end, when the church is not committed to God’s word it can never live up to God’s standards. Thus, the church must be committed to the authority and sufficiency of Scripture.
In addition to these 2 core principles I would add:
3. The Need for Sound Doctrine
4. The Significance of a Holy Church
5. The Priority of Biblical Leadership
We will delve deeper into these principles in the days to come…
[Sermon Audio for this material can be accessed HERE]