Gospel Unity

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)
We live in a world of fractures and divides. And while some of these divides involve generational pains and hurts that seem to be irreversible, we believe in the uniting power of the gospel. Our hope and dream is that Christ Our Redeemer would be a place where gospel-centeredness would permeate into these very fractures. We believe that it is not only a possibility but the responsibility for the church to be the community of reconciliation.

In Ephesians 2:14, the apostle Paul writes of something he calls “the wall of hostility.” And this was a literal wall that divided Jew from Gentile within the first century temple grounds. Though literal in existence, this wall represented a much greater barrier than a mere physical divider separating Jew and Gentile. As we face in our culture today, there was ethnic, social, and cultural division that created tension — a tension that was so high strung that if Gentiles were to trespass into the inner courts of the temple, they would do so at the peril of their own lives. What tore down this “wall of hostility” was when both Jew and Gentile witnessed another entering into the tension, not just at the peril of His life but at the certain cost of it. For it was and is the uniting power of the gospel that brings people and groups of differences together.

In Jesus, the gospel narrative gives us the power to reconcile previous narratives of angst and division and hatred. For in Jesus, we are given the narrative of peace — a peace we often view as the mere absence of conflict, of danger, of animosity. But through the words of Cornelius Plantinga, true biblical peace — shalom (“peace” in Hebrew) — is not just the absence of but also the fullness of. In his words, it’s simply “the way things are supposed to be” in “the flourishing of life”. For at the beginning, middle, and end of the Bible are two trees — the Tree of Life and the cross (also known as the tree). And both trees necessitate the commitment and presence of Jesus — for absolving and for watering. For peace is not just the absence of conflict and tension, but it’s the fullness of the presence of Christ in the flourishing of life in true gospel community.

And we’d love to invite you into this pursuit of peace in our community.

There will surely be tension and conflict, but our desire is to dive into that tension together with the steady hand of Jesus guiding us. It’s our belief that the gospel unites. It’s also our conviction that the gospel grows and flourishes. And as imperfect as we are, we believe that this transformative power is at work within our community when centered upon the story of the tree.