It is a simple phrase that communicates our desire for the authority and sufficiency of the Bible to set the direction and govern every aspect of our personal and public lives. We believe that church Life by the Book has the following five characteristics that are draw from Acts2:41-47:
We want to have a regenerate membership rooted in gospel truth and growing in gospel-permeated thinking and living.
We believe that nothing can take the place of the gospel in rescuing and transforming lives from being sinful rebels to holy Christ-like saints. A lifestyle contradictory to what the gospel teaches about God, man, rescue, and sanctification is a practical denial of it. No program, no list of standards, no group can do the supernatural work of the gospel to save to the uttermost those that put their trust in Christ. Because the gospel brings Christ glory in how it transforms people, we will make the gospel central in our preaching, counseling, and lifestyles.
We want to be a people that love, learn, and live God’s Word delighting in its unique transforming power.
We have full confidence in the sufficiency of the Word of God under the Spirit’s power as the means of regeneration and sanctification. We believe that the Bible is God’s Word, and the best way to deliver its truth is as it is presented—in context, with attention to the Divine Author’s intent (Is the message of the sermon the message of the text?). While group therapy, amusements, social activities, psychological formulas, political action, entertaining speeches have their place, they cannot do what the Word applied can do. We want to encourage and equip families to function as the primary discipleship units in the church body, and enable parents to fulfill their biblical mandate to teach God’s Word to their children.
We want to be a people growing together in Christlike character and conduct in order to be serving one another in love.
We desire that the Spirit of God to control all our church life, to bring about genuine spiritual unity, to prompt humble confrontation, confession, correction, and to spur evangelism and discipleship. We want to demonstrate Christ-like humility and to count others more significant than ourselves, to refrain from what harms our relationships to others, and to serve one another in love. Otherwise, our efforts will lack the credibility of divinely empowered living.
We want to be a people that encourage and engage in Christ-centered, zealous, reverent, God-exalting, life-permeating worship in large and small gatherings and in public and private devotion.
We want to worship in a way that expresses loving awe and humble submission to God. We will seek to do this through humble, repentant attitudes that tremble at His Word and exult in His grace displayed in Christ’s redemption. True worship is neither mindless ecstasy nor dull repetitions. Corporate worship ought to engage all our beings—our minds, emotions, wills, actions—rendering to Him the love He deserves with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Our united worship is hypocrisy apart from the devoted submission of our individual lives to Christ. We believe in the vital necessity of corporate prayer.
We desire to be a congregation where everyone is actively engaged in spreading the good news to all people.
We want to create a culture of evangelism, in which every believer understands his role to be light in the darkness wherever he or she goes. We always want to be sowing gospel seeds, rather than depending on a special event or compartmentalized witnessing. Rather, we want telling people about Christ to be a constant feature of our lives. We want all members to be sharing the gospel and discipling others through all their God-given contacts.