WORD & SPIRIT
As a church, we are passionate and unashamed to follow Jesus' example in every way. We believe that scripture clearly illustrates the great calling of every believer is to live in response to the life Jesus presented as a model, and to re-present Him to the world. The life of Jesus perfectly revealed the heart of the Father, and gave us a clear path to follow. Regardless of our experiences, we must let His standard set our course in all of life and ministry. Jesus was the Word made flesh and was full of grace and truth (John 1:14). Yet, it was the filling and continual resting upon of the Holy Spirit that enabled and empowered His ministry (Luke 4:18-19). It is for this reason we are passionate about the combination of the Word & Spirit at all times.
We believe it is not only possible to value both the Word & Spirit, but it is imperative that we do so. We are passionate about rightly teaching God's truth from God's Word, while at the same time eagerly desiring the gifts. We believe that the Holy Spirit is not a doctrine to be studied, but a Person to love, worship, and submit to. As we look to the Scriptures, we believe that all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, are intended to be used today in the same manner they were used in the early church as seen in the life of Jesus and in the book of Acts. At the same time, we also see in Scripture that God has given us commands to use the gifts in an orderly way, and we are excited about continuing to develop a culture of sound doctrine and freedom in the Spirit within our local body.
Author and theologian R.T. Kendall beautifully describes the need for an inseparable partnership of the Word & Spirit in the following quote:
“Our premiss is this. It seems to us that there has been a ‘silent divorce’ in the church, speaking generally, between the Word and the Spirit. When there is a divorce, some children stay with the mother, some stay with the father. In this divorce, there are those on the ‘word’ side and those on the ‘Spirit’ side. What is the difference?
Take those of us who represent the Word. Our message is this: we must earnestly contend for the faith ‘once delivered unto the saints’ (Jude 3), we need get back to expository preaching, sound doctrine such as justification by faith, the sovereignty of God and the internal testimony of the Spirit as taught by men like Martin Luther, John Calvin and Jonathan Edwards. What is wrong with this emphasis? Nothing. It is exactly right.
Take those whose emphasis has been on the Holy Spirit. What is the message? We need to rediscover the power that was manifested in the Book of Acts, there needs to be a demonstration of signs, wonders and miracles; we need to see the gifts of the Spirit operating in the church – that the world will once again take notice of the church so that people are left without excuse. What is wrong with this emphasis? Nothing. It is exactly right.
We believe that the need of the hour is not one or the other – but both! It is our view that this simultaneous combination will result in spontaneous combustion! And then, but almost certainly only then, will the world be shaken once again by the message of the church.”