Igniting passion for Jesus
Jesus: Our vision is all about Jesus
We believe Jesus is the most significant person that ever lived and that his life and death have implications for all of us.
You only need to read the pages of the New Testament to be captivated by him. What he did and what he said are deeply challenging to this day.
But we believe Jesus cannot be limited to the pages of history – he was and is the incarnate son of God – he triumphed over sin and death and is alive today, which means we all need to make our own response to his claims, and that we can all know him personally.
Passion: Igniting passion… for Jesus
Jesus called people to follow him, to be his disciples, and we believe he calls us to do the same. A disciple is someone who is passionate about Jesus, and wants to live as a follower of Jesus – so we want our own passion for Jesus to be ignited. We believe that we can’t do that on our own so we also need to seek to ignite passion for Jesus in each other. And finally we believe we are called not just to be disciples but to make disciples, so we seek to ignite passion for Jesus in those we share our lives with.
Values: The things we are passionate about
St. Matt’s is part of the Church of England and subscribes to the creeds and historic formularies of our denomination.
Our greatest desire is for the presence of God – we have always believed that what we do as a church needs to flow out of God’s activity amongst us.
Because Jesus is alive, we believe he is present by his Spirit when we gather in his name and that the same Holy Spirit is living within us. That means that we can truly say that “Christ is in us”.
We believe we were created to glorify God, and one of the chief ways we can do that is through our worship.
Worship includes how we live our lives as well as what we do when we meet together. In our corporate worship we use a variety of models from very contemporary to fairly traditional. Whatever the style, we want to be passionate and expectant when we worship God together.
We believe that the Bible is God’s living word. That it was written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit and is literally “God breathed”, to quote the Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy. As such, it is authoritative for both what we believe and how we live as Christians.
The teaching of God’s word is at the heart of what we do when we gather to worship him.
When Jesus returned to Heaven he promised us the gift of the Holy Spirit – not just a vague power but the third person of the trinity who was poured out on believers on the day of Pentecost.
We believe that the Holy Spirit lives within every person who puts their trust in Jesus. There are three key things we believe about the Holy Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Jesus living in us we believe:
- That he enables us to have the same relationship Jesus had with his father – the spirit connects with our spirit and causes us to cry Abba Father.
- The work of the spirit is to sanctify us (literally make us Holy) because he wants to make us more like Jesus.
- That the Holy Spirit empowers us to live the Christian life – and to do the same things Jesus and the early believers did as he gives us the gifts of the Spirit.
Just as our vision is built firmly on the foundation of the Great Commission – to go and make disciples – so our values are based on the greatest command – to love God and love our neighbour.
We believe that love lies at the heart of God, that he first loved us, and that our response to that love should be expressed in love for God and love for our each other. God’s love for us is unconditional, generous, and costly and that is the bar he sets for us. This is the sort of love we should aspire to.
Above all things we want St. Matt’s to be characterised by love.
The greatest expression of God’s love for us is the death of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross.
We believe that there is no greater act of love than this… On the cross Jesus took our place and died for our sin, so that our salvation is not based on anything we do – but his sacrifice.
We receive that gift of eternal life by repentance and faith (turning from what we know to be wrong, and putting our trust in what Jesus did on the cross).