WHAT WE BELIEVE
The Franklin Street Church of Christ exists to bring glory to God by making disciples through gospel-centered worship, gospel-centered service and gospel-centered multiplication. We are given the mandate by our Lord:
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
THE MISSION OF GOD
All things exist and are being worked according to God’s divine purpose, pleasure, and plan: “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will,” (Ephesians 1:11), which is the demonstration of His own intrinsic glory. God creates, calls, rescues, redeems, saves, restores, restrains, and grants all to the end that He might be praised. His desire, which He will surely fulfill, is that the knowledge of His glory would cover the earth as the waters do the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). God’s mission is the manifestation of His magnificence. His mission is glory. What is the glory of God?
THE GLORY OF GOD
The glory of God is the gravity that keeps those who see and savor it from spinning off into the spacious trivialities of sin. God’s desire is that He might be known and enjoyed for His nature and character. He seeks to be recognized as supremely valuable, supremely worthy, and supremely splendid. God’s glory is sensed when we feel the reality of His presence, goodness, and superiority. Below are some scriptures that shed light of what requires as it relates to His glory:
“For My name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for My praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.For mine own sake, even for Mine own sake, will I do it: for how should My name be polluted? And I will not give my glory unto another.”
WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?
To explain the gospel fully, it takes a combination of two perspectives: the global work of God to reconcile all things to Himself and the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 it says: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand. By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scripture.”
The gospel is the historical narrative of the triune of God orchestrating the reconciliation and redemption of a broken creation and fallen creatures, from Satan, sin and its effects to the Father and each other though the life, death, burial, and resurrection of the substitutionary Son by the power of the Spirit for God’s glory and the Church’s joy.
We are gospel-centered because the gospel stands at the center of God’s redemptive plan, and in it we worship Him for Who He is and what He has done. Our mission statement intentionally emphasizes the centrality of the gospel in all that we do. We never graduate from or outgrow the gospel. It is the very work of God for salvation from beginning to end. The Scriptures says: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jews first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:16-17)
If the ultimate purpose of God is His glory and if the Church’s underlying purpose is to bring Him glory, why are we “gospel-centered” and not “glory-centered”? We are “gospel-centered” to show the centrality of the gospel in the mission of the Church. In the gospel we see the most vivid and comprehensive demonstration of God’s glory. It is the very manifestation of His glory. In it, we see more clearly the love, justice, wrath, grace, mercy, holiness, and patience of God. We see the humility of the Son, and we experience grace.
We worship a triune God, Who has eternally existed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Scriptures says in 1 John 5:7: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” In identifying the tri-unity of God, we recognize that God is communal. The Godhead has perpetually dwelt in perfect harmony, unity, joy, love, and bliss. Bearing the image of God, mankind is called to reflect this reality. We are called to be communal creatures imaging the community of our Creator.
Though each Christian has a personal relationship with God, that relationship is not individual or private. The Christian faith is not intended to be lived in isolation . We were made for community relationships with God and with each other. This church is not merely a place that we attend, but a people to whom we belong. The Bible calls us members of the body. The Word of God speaks concerning this clearly in 1 Corinthians 12:12-14,18: “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many…But now hath God set the member every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him.” The Bible calls us members of the body with the expectation that we contribute to the body for the glory of God and the good of His people.
Gospel-centered community is a radical call amid a culture of mere attendance and casual involvement. It involves mutual love, care, consistency, and authenticity as we seek to adorn the person and work of Christ with our lives. Where these elements are lacking, we have moved away from a gospel-centered community and into the realm of social clubs.
Gospel-centered community is primarily expressed through our Ministries. Ministries are not perfect and those who participate in them will find them time consuming as well. However, our hope is that each member will find their place in the Kingdom by being involved in a ministry or two, for the glory of God and His Church. The Word of God encourages us in Hebrews 3:13-14: “But exhort one another daily, while it called to day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.”
In John 13:1-20, we read the account of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. This was no regular rabbinical task, but was instead reserved for the lowest of all servants . Here was the anointed King, the eternal Son of God, the blessed Lord, doing the inconceivable. By humbly cleansing the feet of His disciples, Jesus gave an abiding example of service and issued a command for us to follow in His steps. We were saved that we might now serve.
Gospel-centered service is motivated by the reconciling work of God and seeks to extend His grace and mercy to others for His glory and not our own. It is an expression of love and stewardship of grace marked by humility, generosity and hospitality, and empowered by a passion for the glory of