We believe that the Gospel is at the center of all that Mercyview is. This Gospel can be seen in three ways:
1. The Gospel is one thing (1 Corinthians 15:3-8): When we use the word Gospel, we mean the historic Gospel of Jesus Christ crucified and resurrected. But the Gospel is more than a collection of facts to be believed — it is the good and true story that Jesus died and rose to defeat sin, death and evil in order to make all things new. We believe that the good news of the Gospel demands a response and that the response of a fallen humanity is to place their faith and trust in the Jesus of this grand story.
2. The Gospel does more than one thing (Galatians 2:11-14): Many assume that the Gospel is only what a sojourner must believe in order to be restored into right relationship with God–a spiritual transaction at the moment of the conversion. But the Gospel isn’t the first step in a stairway of truths, it is more like the hub of a wheel of truths. In other words, God’s plan isn’t to steer us beyond the Gospel but to move us more deeply into it. So the Gospel is the key to a sojourner’s salvation and also the key to a Christian’s sanctification.
3. The Gospel affects everything (2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Matthew 25:31-40): We believe that though the gospel is good news to place our faith and trust in, it cannot remain a set of beliefs if it is truly believed. In other words, true gospel belief will always lead to good works. If our alienation from God is healed, our other alienations will begin to be healed within and around us. Gospel-wakened people are agents of reconciliation when we use our gifts and resources to alleviate spiritual, psychological, social, and physical suffering, because of the hope and love the gospel brings. A gospel-centered church will be active in the work of mercy, justice, and cultural renewal, praying and working against the effects of sin so that God’s will might be done “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Community began in eternity past. God, who has always existed, has always existed in community — Father, Son and Spirit — so God is the ground and starting place for community. Additionally, a central theme that runs through the Bible is that God created a people who belong to Him. He is not merely saving individuals; He is a building a new community in which He is the central participant. The development of a community lies at the heart of God’s covenant promise to be our God and us His people.
So why is community so central to us? When we are born into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, we are not just born into any community. We are born into a very specific kind of association with one another: partners in the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12). The forgiveness we have received is not just a personal pardon in a verticalized relationship with God but is also a new relationship with one another and is the foundation for God’s Mission in the world.
We believe the mission of the church is, in reality, a continuation of Christ’s earthly ministry: to contend for and contextualize the faith. We are a community sent on a mission together; to keep on doing the ministry of Jesus so that all people and all creation might experience the reconciliation of God.
Like Jesus, we have been sent to proclaim the good news. We have the privilege of announcing to people that Jesus died for their sins so that they might be reconciled to God and therefore live forever under God’s reign. But also like Jesus, we have been sent to enact the good news. Not only are we to proclaim what Christ has done for us, but also we are to live out that good news in our daily lives. We believe that as we tell people that God loves them so much that He sent His Son to save them, we must also love them with a divinely-inspired love (John 3:16; Ephesians 5:1-2). We proclaim the new order of God’s kingdom and express that order by loving the unlovely, caring for the poor, and seeking justice for the oppressed (Matt 25:31-47; Luke 6:27; James 1:27; 1 John 3:17).