A Church in Rogers Park, Chicago
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1. We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.
2. We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.
3. We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.
4. We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus-Israel’s promised Messiah-was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate.
5. We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation.
6. We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.
7. We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.
8. We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.
9. We believe in the personal, bodily and premillennial return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission.
10. We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen.
Courtesy of EFCA
We want to be known for what we promote when we gather to feast. In a beautiful but broken city, we want to be known for having worthy values flowing out of what we love.
Jesus is the focus of the word of God, and we know Him and love Him only because we have the Holy Spirit inspired words of scripture (Matthew 5:17-20, Luke 24:25-27).
Jesus’ work makes possible our prayers to God as Father, praying like Jesus did. Our response of faith and love in Jesus is to pray, dependent upon the Holy Spirit (Galatians 4:4-6, Romans 8:26-27, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
If anyone abides in Christ, they will bear much fruit (John 15:18), and this fruit comes through the Holy Spirit and abiding in Him (Galatians 5:16-17, 22-26) and rejecting the works of the flesh (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21)
The people of God are to serve one another (Galatians 5:13) and to use the specific gifts given to them for the building up of the church (1 Corinthians 12:12-31)
The people of God are to gather (Acts 2:42-47, Hebrews 12:23-25,) and to strengthen each other’s lives (Ephesians 4:14-16, 25-27), to rely on one another and to work together,for the proclaiming of Jesus and the showing of Jesus to our city (John 17:20-26). Love must be concrete and the church is the concrete expression of the Gospel’s power to the world (John 13:35).
We are to give sacrificially of our resources, time, energy, and hopes to see the people of God built up (2 Corinthians 9:6-15, Galatians 6:10, Acts 2:44-45) and the mission of God move forward. Disciples trust God enough to be free from viewing anything that he or she gives as their own, but rather as kind gifts to steward in allegiance to God’s Kingdom.
Loving the city means that we believe that our good is related to the good of the city, and we invest with our time, resources, and skills for the good of the city (Jeremiah 29:49, Luke 6:31).
The best way to serve Chicago is to be involved where people are involved, like in sports teams, after school programs, social services, regular events, or just by attending “third places” like bars or coffee shops in our neighborhoods on a regular basis (Acts 17, Acts 18:24)
Proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ is essential to our identity (2 Corinthians 5:17-20) and our distinctiveness as a people (Acts 17:6).
The Gospel, the message of God making peace with humanity through Jesus, is the victory of God over our greatest enemies; sin, death, and Satan. We seek to make the Gospel central in our life together. Our mission is defined by it. Our desires are bound up with it. Our growth is impossible without it. We want above everything else to be known for growing and reaching out through the power of the Gospel. Our meals will be full of people celebrating the Gospel.
The Gospel is about how Jesus makes different people one, one in Him. It is not enough to be “nice” to those that are different or be tolerant of our differences. The work of God compels appreciation of and learning from those that are different from ourselves. We want to reflect the desire of Christ for difference in His body by reflecting the differences in our neighborhood. We want young and old, male and female, poor and rich, educated and non-educated, white, black, asian, and Hispanic to embrace each other at Agapé Chicago Our meals will be full of people that apart from Jesus would never eat together.
The Gospel declares that Jesus now rules heaven and earth. Thus people are all to learn from Jesus and teach others to obey Jesus in everything. All Christian are disciples and ought lead others to know and obey Jesus. Discipleship is an all of life endeavor whereby we obey everything Jesus commanded in every sphere of our lives. When we multiply disciples, everything that makes disciples will multiply Our friendships, our roots groups, our Agapé Communities, our influence, and even churches multiply. When we multiply disciples, healthier churches will multiply as well.