“When He said, ‘A New Covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete.” (Hebrews 8:13a)
Because of what Jesus has done, New Covenant believers are no longer under the Old Covenant and its laws. But the world system and religion are all about getting us to perform “right” and would tell us that it’s all about what we “do,” rather than who we “are” under the New Covenant of grace. So, it’s easy to go back to embracing the Old Covenant performance based laws and commands. Our experience tells us that our value and the rewards we receive are based on our performance. That’s because we live in the world system. But, in God’s Kingdom, which is where Christians are truly citizens, when we try to “balance law and grace,” and focus on needing to “be obedient” and perform correctly to be right with God, we “nullify the grace of God” and effectively make Christ’s death worthless in our lives. Then our lives reflect a lack of peace and joy that is very much like the unbeliever’s–we enter into a striving.
“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” (Galatians 2:21)
We at Abundant Life refuse to “nullify the grace of God” by trying to balance law and Grace.
Experiential: We are called to be a place in which people will grow in both knowledge and the experience of God. We seek to provide opportunities to not only learn about Him through the teaching of His word, the Bible, but to be a place where people will experience Him in very real and tangible ways, coming to a revelation of the fullness of His nature.
Attraction Rather than Promotion: We seek to be a voice in the darkness of this world, drawing people to a loving God, where they may come to know Him, accept His gift of grace demonstrated through the completed work of Jesus Christ, experience adoption as sons and daughters of the Father, and the infilling presence of the Holy Spirit.
Worship: We view every aspect of our lives as an act of worship and seek to walk in his Spirit and presence at all times, worshipping Him in spirit and in truth. Our goal is to position ourselves to be open to the intimacy that God longs for us to come into, and to experience His presence in tangible ways. We recognize corporate worship as part of the unity of believers which allows for the manifest presence and glory of God.
New Covenant: We choose to operate in the fullness of the New Covenant established by Jesus Christ. We claim our inheritance as sons and daughters and the Abrahamic promises. We refuse to submit to the bondage of the Law, rather embracing the claim that God already sees us as righteous and the promise of the power of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to lead us to holiness and freedom from the bondage of sin.
Non-judgmental: We seek to become a place for people to come into and experience His unconditional love and acceptance. We recognize that we are equal under His grace and mercy and refuse to judge one another as good, bad, inferior, or superior. We refuse to use the Law to intimidate people into efforts to attain righteousness, but accept our righteousness as a gift. We live in the hope of holiness attained, not through spiritual disciplines, but through the power of the Holy Spirit living within us.
Kingdom Focus: We seek to operate only within the revealed knowledge of God’s will. We will be active participants in bringing His will to pass on this earth as it is in heaven. Our mission is not to grow programs or a church organization, but to advance the Church in taking ground in the battle for the Kingdom and to see “His Kingdom come.” We do not see salvation as the goal or destination, but rather as part of the journey to experiencing the fullness of God’s love.
Mission: We believe that a vital part of spiritual growth includes being incarnational in our vision. This will create an incarnational community which will impact the region, state, nation and ultimately the world. We will not allow societal and political pressures to detract us from our Kingdom focus and mission. Rather, we view such activities from the Kingdom perspective and choose to fight the battles surrounding such issues in the spiritual realm we are called to.
Program of Spiritual Growth: We seek to provide opportunities to position ourselves to encounter the Holy Spirit in tangible ways. We seek to provide opportunities to participate in a program of spiritual growth whereby we learn to walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, learning to hear His voice and operate in his power, allowing the love of God to flow through him and us, touching the lives of others.
Generational Mentoring: We believe that Jesus instituted the model for the Church as one of mentoring and discipleship. We seek to pass on the wisdom of the mature to the next generation of believers as their divine inheritance. Along with sound bible based teaching we seek that revelation be imparted through spiritual mothers and fathers. As such, we recognize not only teachers, but distinctly different mentors or spiritual fathers and mothers.
Focus and Priorities: We will evaluate proposed activities, programs, structure, and infrastructure according to their ability to advance the Kingdom of God. We will seek to not encumber the Church with superfluous activities and structures that detract us from our primary mission and establish ‘busyness’ as a way of life.
Giving: Our giving is based on 2 Corinthians 9, as the Holy Spirit leads, not based on the tithe.
The Church: The Church of Jesus Christ is his Bride. We believe that we have entered into an a season of revolution, not just a reformation. In this revolution, the Bride will be made ready for the return of Jesus Christ. She will be beautiful! WE are the Church. Let’s be beautiful.