What is the Gospel?
The gospel is the good news of God overcoming death with life. It’s the single story that all of the Bible speaks, the story of God and his relationship to humanity, and it’s marked by four major movements: creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. At the epicenter of that gospel story is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It goes like this:
God created us and created us for a purpose – to know him and worship him. But at some point we have all made the choice to turn from him, seeking our joy and purpose apart from God. God calls this sin. And because God is perfect, holy in every way, he has declared that any sin against him is punishable by death – eternal separation from him.
But God wants us and wants a relationship with us. So he sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth. Christ lived the perfect life that we couldn’t live ourselves, then went to the cross to die the death that we deserved to die because of our sin. The Son of Man became the sin of man. But after three days he was raised from the dead, defeating the power of sin once and for all. After establishing his church, he ascended into heaven where he now sits on his rightful throne. And one day he will return to restore all of creation to perfection. Now for those who place the weight of their lives on Jesus being the Son of God, believing that he has done everything necessary to save them, there is eternal life. Through Jesus we can now know God and be restored to right relationship with him, the very purpose for which we were created.
We believe that this gospel message has several implications for the Church:
The gospel is the hope for believers and unbelievers
John 15.9; Ephesians 2.1-10; Romans 6.23; John 3.16-17
The good news of the gospel, the report about the work of Christ on our behalf, is that salvation has been accomplished for us. The gospel is the only hope for unbelievers to find salvation, and it’s the the centerpiece for believers to focus their lives around. Therefore, we center all ministries of Mercy Church on the gospel.
The gospel creates a new community
1 Peter 2.9-10; Hebrews 10.19-25; Acts 2.42-46
The gospel creates a new people that bind themselves to one another, encouraging one another in their identity in Christ and spurring one another to love and good deeds (1 Peter 2.9-10; Hebrews 10.19-25; Acts 2.42-47). We will gather together weekly to worship God publicly where we will preach and respond to the gospel in a way that is accessible to believers and unbelievers alike (1 Corinthians 14.24). We will rehearse and live the gospel intentionally together in smaller groups. As believers, we will covenant together as members to practice church life under the authority of Christ and leadership of our elders. Because we believe many will belong to us in some ways before they believe, we will be intentionally inclusive of non-Christians into the web of relationships forming in our church.
The gospel sends
Romans 10.14-15; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1.8
God has chosen the Church as his plan-A for the world to hear the gospel. When the gospel saves us, the gospel sends us. Jesus told his disciples, “As the father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). We believe God is sending Mercy Church to Charlotte, NC. Therefore, we will strive to be a sent community living as fishers of men (Luke 5:10-11) by taking the gospel to our workplace, our neighborhoods, and to the whole city.
We believe that the church is God’s plan A to bring salvation to the ends of the earth and to make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20). As a result, Mercy Church will support missions, send missionaries, and plant churches for the glory of God.
The gospel reconciles
Galatians 3.28; 1 Corinthians 12:12; 1 Peter 2.9-10
We are in a unique moment in our nation’s history. The façade of racial reconciliation is beginning to wipe away and we are left again with the only true hope. Galatians 3:28 says that as Christians we are one in Christ. Mercy Church will seek to live and hold high the reconciling power of the gospel through active unity among the cultures represented in Charlotte. We believe the gospel carries the only true power for cultural reconciliation and, by God’s grace, Mercy Church will intentionally and actively seek to welcome people of all cultural backgrounds into the body of Christ.