Our Spiritual Virtues.

The Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8, is God's assignment for the church. The task of reaching the world with the name of Christ is bigger than any individual. It is even bigger than the collective group of believers. This task requires the power of God. Thankfully, that which God calls us to, He also empowers us to do. As we continue to grow spiritually, God does the work to accomplish His eternal mission.

Many churches become distracted by lesser missions. As a result, their spiritual effectiveness plateaus and dies. The responsibility falls to the pastor and leaders to remind the church of her ultimate mission. This is why our pastor is taking the first few weeks of the year to remind Grace Church of who we are and what we do.

Jesus Builds His Church

Matthew 16:18 records Christ's promise to build His church. With omnipotent intentionality, God Incarnate puts the full weight of who He is behind this promise. Every believer can expect Jesus to build His church through them personally.

Acts 2:47 shows the Lord fulfilling His promise. He is best able to build His church in an active and healthy environment. Thus Paul tells the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:28 to care for the church as God's precious possession. Their leadership must position the church to be used by Christ.

Our Biblical Virtues

Three years ago, many members of Grace participated in a planning process to help discern where God is leading our church in the next 16 years. They began by identifying our character as a church. This is the list of what our church values most:

  • The Glory of God – God's character matters most.
  • Disciple-Making
  • Evangelism
  • Unity – The church's unity is sourced in the Spirit of God and maintained by the saints (Ephesians 4:1-6).
  • Prayer – Luke 18:1-8
  • Love – 2 John 6

View these virtues and our 2030 plans at gcmlegacy.com.

The character of a church is found in her members (Ephesians 2:19-22, Hebrews 3:6). Each person contributes to the church's identity and priorities. Have you determined to be a person oriented around the Great Commission?

Application Points

  • Jesus builds His church through each believer in a local body. How did He build His church through you in 2016? How are you planning to let Him do so in 2017?
  • The church is made up of individual believers. She will not accomplish her divine mission unless each person participates. Have you become distracted by temporary things? Fix your eyes on what matters eternally. God has placed you into His family for eternal reasons. Your life needs to be centered around God, His Word, His church, and His purpose. Everything else is ancillary to that. Why were you born and reborn in Christ? What are you doing with your life? Don't waste it! If you've been distracted, repent and get back about the business of eternal things.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Ephesians 3:20-21 – God is able to accomplish His mission through the church.
  • Hebrews 10:25 – Don't be distracted by what is not eternal.
A Hymn to Encourage: "The Church's One Foundation"

The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
she is his new creation by water and the Word.
From heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died.

Elect from every nation, yet one o’er all the earth;
her charter of salvation: one Lord, one faith, one birth.
One holy name she blesses, partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses, with every grace endued.

Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation of peace forevermore,
till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.

Quotes to Ponder

"The true church will never fail for it is based upon a Rock."

— T.S. Eliot

"The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of. Our attention would have been on God."

— C.S. Lewis

"What the church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men [and women] whom the Holy Spirit can use – men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Spirit does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men – men of prayer."

— E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker)