Grace Bible Fellowship’s Vision
God’s greatest passion is the display and praise of His glory—the greatness and beauty of His being (Isaiah 48:9-11; Habakkuk 2:14; Romans 11:33-36; etc.). If we love God with all our heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37), we will love what God loves. As a result, His greatest passion will be our greatest passion and His joy will be our joy (see for example: Psalm 73:25; Matthew 13:44; Philippians 3:7-8) and everything we do will be aimed at spreading a passion for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31; etc.).
God’s passion to make much of Himself in us and our longing for the profound joy of a lasting, loving relationship with God is the context in which we can most clearly see the reason or purpose for GBF’s existence. To state our purpose explicitly…
GBF exists to be a Christ-treasuring community, formed and sent by the gospel, on mission to the world, through the power of the Holy Spirit, for the glory of God.
To treasure Christ is to see Jesus as He really is, as He’s revealed in the Bible, and to center our lives around Him. We cannot do that for ourselves. Conversion requires a powerful work of the Spirit giving dead sinners (Ephesians 2:1-3; Titus 3:3) life by changing the moral condition of their nature, giving them spiritual understanding of the gospel, and a joyful trust in Jesus as their great Rescuer who rescued them by virtue of His perfect life, His wrath-absorbing death and His victorious resurrection (Matthew 13:44; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Titus 3:4-7).
To treasure Christ is to live out a radical change in what we value, like the Apostle Paul: “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ,” (Philippians 3:7-8). To treasure Christ is to cherish and pursue Him above everyone and everything else in life, including life itself.
Obeying Our Mission
The Lord Jesus has commissioned His church to make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:16-20). He said “as we are going” we are to make disciples. That assumes movement on our part—movement into the home front (our neighborhoods and communities) and movement out to the frontiers of the kingdom (where the gospel has never penetrated). And He said that disciple making entails “teaching them all that I have commanded you.” In other words, disciple making is not just about truth taught but also about truth obeyed. That is why discipleship is not a solo effort but a group effort. It is done in the context of gospel-centered community.
Living in Community
In giving us life and bringing us to faith in Christ, the Spirit caused us to be born into God’s family (John 1:12-13; 3:3-8; Titus 3:4-7; Ephesians 2:18-19). To live in genuine community with one another is to open up ourselves to one another for the purpose of building one another up and maturing into Jesus Christ. That means opening our hearts and lives not only to people we like but also to difficult people (Romans 15:1-3). Genuine community at its core has a desire to mature and a desire to bring others along.
Depending on the Spirit
Forming a Christ-treasuring community out of God-hating sinners and spreading the glory of God throughout a spiritually darkened world are the special works of the Spirit of God (John 16:7-11; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Titus 3:3-6; etc.). So we go in the power of the Spirit (John 15:26-27; Acts 1:8). The moment the Spirit made us children of God, we were drawn into irreconcilable war on sin. And we walk by the Spirit in order to be strengthened and enabled to kill the sinful deeds of our flesh (Romans 8:4-15; 2 Corinthians 3:18). So in every aspect of our life and vision, we live in utter dependence upon the powerful work of the omnipotent Spirit.
Centering on the Gospel
What does it mean to be centered on the gospel? It means that in everything we do as a church we want to rejoice in the perfect life, the wrath-absorbing death, and the victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is because we are convinced that we not only enter the kingdom by the gospel, but we also grow by the gospel (Galatians 3:1-3; 2:20). We never outgrow it; we never leave it behind. In short, the gospel is necessary for both our justification and our sanctification (Romans 8:1-4). We talk about and do many different things, but all of that has to be viewed through the lens of the gospel. Otherwise all those things become weights we cannot bear. God is about God, particularly His glory in the grace and gospel of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14; Romans 16:27; Revelation 1:5-6; etc.). So we want gospel-centered worship, gospel-centered community, gospel-centered service, and gospel-centered mission.
Pursuing the Glory of God
As we have seen, God’s passion is to uphold and display His glory (Isaiah 48:9-11; Romans 11:33-36; etc.). We were made and saved to be in His company, to see and treasure and praise His beauty and greatness (John 17:24; etc.)—and that’s our deepest longing. So our ultimate purpose is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever (1 Corinthians 10:31; etc.)—and that’s what drives us in everything we do. God is about God, and His mission is to make much of Himself in us—and that’s our great hope!
This is GBF’s vision. It’s how we view the purpose of our existence and how we fit into what God is doing. When people ask about GBF, we want them to know that we are all about the surpassing value of knowing Christ, the power and glory of the gospel, and a passion for spreading the glory of God.