What We Believe and Value
Our church is committed to gospel transformation.
In fact, our motto is:
Transformed people, transforming life, transforming the world.
Transformation is a key Bible word, one that hints (but not subtly!) at change, conversion and metamorphosis. In the Bible, such change isn't driven by personal moral or religious efforts, but is empowered by God's Spirit through the gospel. He activates change in people, not through guilt and law, but through grace. This change is only possible because Christ already put to death on his cross the old life of sin and death, and burst open the tomb in his resurrection to inaugurate new life, resurrection life, eternal life for all who trust Christ.
What We Value
1. The Transforming Gospel: the power behind everything we believe and do.
Personal transformation: The gospel is not just information, but a bold announcement that the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ—proclaimed as grace—provides the power to heal and forgive, and to change human hearts and lives.
Cultural transformation: The gospel not only changes people, but challenges the value systems of this world; those changed by grace produce culture that reflects life lived the way it is supposed to be lived before the face of God.
Social transformation: The gospel wipes out categories that people use to divide the human race (race, economics, politics), and creates one people united in Jesus Christ by grace, for life with dignity, value and purpose in the world.
2. The City: the divinely appointed ministry target for our church’s ministry.
The place we serve: In love, Jesus came to serve, not to be served. We are saved by God’s gracious call to love and serve Jacksonville and seek its blessing.
The hope we have: The church exists for the city, not the city for the church. Our purpose is to bring the gospel to the people of the city, to impact life on its streets and in its homes, and to bring change to the values it embraces.
The global city: Our gaze is not limited but expands to the broader “city” of this world, whom we would help to reach through strategic partnerships with other church planting gospel movements.
3. The Church: a gathering of people being transformed by the gospel.
An authentic community: The gospel enables people to be honest about sins and weakness because their hope lies not in their own religious traditions or moral performance but in Christ alone. This authentic fellowship is experienced in dynamic relationships of trust and love in a world that is losing such community.
On a mission: The church is the one institution which exists ultimately for the sake of its non-members. Each ministry of the church exists to enable members to pursue purposeful relationships with nonbelievers as they live life for Christ.
Through multiplication: The most effective way to reach a city with the gospel is to plant highly relational small groups and congregations in its various communities.
What We Believe
Christ Church is a member of the Presbyterian Church in America, a family of local churches whose core beliefs are summarized in the 17th Century Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. Below is a synopsis of some of the more important articles of our faith:
1. The Bible is the Word of God and teaches us unfailing truth about God, ourselves and our world.
2. There is one eternal, perfect God who exists in three persons: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All three persons of the Trinity are active in the world, take part in our lives, and are to be loved and worshipped.
3. Man was created sinless, but fell from that perfection when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. Because Adam represented all humanity, and because we disobey ourselves and choose to seek independence from God (the root of all sin), we are sinners in need of God's mercy. All creation bears the mark of our sin: it is restless and longing for rest.
4. Rather than leaving us to experience the just penalty of our sin, God chose, out of the depths of His love and mercy, to bring His children back into relationship with Him. The Father accomplished this salvation by sending Jesus to live a perfect life, and then die as a substitute for us, bearing the penalty for our sin on the cross. The Holy Spirit works in our hearts to show us our need for Christ, to give us faith to believe in Him, to enable us to do good works, and to assure us of God's love.
5. We are forgiven and brought back into relationship with God only through faith in what Christ did for us through His life and death. The church is the living fellowship of people who have been graciously saved through faith in Christ.
6. Because salvation is God's work and not ours, God will keep us secure in His love to the end, and will surely set right all that human sin has made wrong.
7. God has saved us in order that we might enjoy Him and live for His glory. God desires that we live holy and obedient lives, not to earn His favor, but rather to show Him our love and gratitude.
8. In life, the loving community of believers reflects the joy of heaven to come. At death, believers’ souls immediately pass into God’s joyous presence. Hell is the place of God’s righteous justice, where those who die without Christ live eternally apart from God and any trace of His goodness.
9. Baptism is a sign of God's covenant promises to His people, and should be administered to all who place their trust in Christ, as well as their children.
10. Jesus Christ will return to earth at a future time that is not known to any human. Bringing history to a close, he will complete the eternal plan of God by bringing final and complete rest to his people and to his creation.