When considering the work of the church, every church is marked by convictions that help to shape the vision, direction, and overall ministry of that church. These convictions should be deeply shaped by God’s Word as it gives direction and purpose to the ministry of the church. In fact, God’s Word and the primacy and power of the Word in the life of the church is the foundational conviction that ought to shape the emphasis, direction, and ministry of the church.
From Genesis through Revelation, the power of God in creating and sustaining His people is fueled by His Word—both His spoken and written words, which are now given to us in totality through the Bible. Just as God spoke creation into existence (Genesis 1) and He sustains His creation by His Word (Hebrews 1:3). God speaks new birth into sinners through them hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:14-17) and He strengthens and sustains His people through His Word (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
With the Word of God as the source of the power of God in His Church, the following statement can help to understand the focus and ministry direction of the FBC Scituate replant:
Christ establishes and builds His church through His Word by the power of the Holy Spirit as a testament of the glory of God made visible before the world.
- Christ establishes and builds His church…: The church is founded upon and belongs to Christ, and He promises to build His church as a witness to the world that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:13-20). The root of the church’s witness to the world is that Christ is the Son of the living God and salvation is found in His name and in no other.
- Through His Word by the power of the Holy Spirit…: Christ builds His church through sinners hearing His Word and having their eyes opened to their need to be reconciled to God through Christ’s saving work. Once sinners are born again, they are sanctified and grown in the church family together as they are shaped and matured by continually submitting themselves under the authority and power of the Word of God as it is active in the ministry of the church (preaching, teaching, discipling, etc.).
- As a testament of the glory of God made visible before the world.: As the church grows in love for God, in love for one another, and in application of the gospel to lives and homes, the church becomes a visual example of the power of God before the watching world. One key aspect of the witness of the church before the world is the strange, unworldly love of the church family for one another. The call of the church upon unbelievers is to come and taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8) and the church makes the Word of God known, trusting that it will accomplish its divine purposes (Isaiah 55:10-11).