People within the kingdom movement that God is currently raising up generally share the conviction that…
1. We affirm the core doctrines of the historic orthodox Church, including the inspiration and authority of Scripture, the triune nature of God, the deity of Jesus Christ, the creation of the world, the fall of humanity, the need for salvation, the return of Jesus and God’s ultimate victory over evil.
2. Jesus is the full and complete revelation of the character of God. He reveals that God is love (I Jn 4:8) – the kind of self-sacrificial love that was most perfectly revealed when Jesus gave his life for us on the cross (I Jn 3:16).
3. “Salvation” is not about believing in Jesus to escape hell when you die. It is rather about cultivating a loving and submitted relationship with Jesus that allows us to participate in the wholeness of God’s life here and now. “Salvation” thus empowers us to live like Jesus and to become the means by which the wholeness of God’s life brings healing to our broken society as well as to God’s broken creation. We will experience the fullness of our “salvation” when we and the entire creation are reconciled to God by means of the cross (Col 1:20).
4. The kingdom of God advances not by acquiring power over others, as the church has traditionally done, but by humbly serving others, the way Jesus did. We must therefore be careful not to identify God’s kingdom with any political or nationalistic ideologies.
5. The call to be “peacemakers,” to “love our enemies,” and to never retaliate, lies at the center of the Gospel we are called to preach and to live. Hence Jesus said, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven” (Mt 5:45).
6. Living in community with others is a central kingdom value, for, among other things, all believers need trusting relationships with others that include the invitation to speak truth into each other’s lives. However, while offering feedback to people who have invited us to do so is loving, we are guilty of judging others if we give this to people who have not invited us to do so. Rather, whatever sin we think we see in another such person’s eye, we are to consider it a mere dust particle compared to the plank of sin protruding out of our own eyes (Mt 7:1-3; I Tim 1:15-16). Our one responsibility to people with whom we are not in an intimate relationship is to agree with God that they were worth Jesus dying for and to reflect this agreement by how we think about them and act towards them.
7.When Jesus gave up his life for us on the cross, he destroyed every “dividing wall of hostility” that separates people from one another and created “within himself one new humanity” (Eph 2:14, 16). As followers of Jesus, we are called to manifest this one new humanity by investing no significance in ethnic, gender, or class distinctions. Moreover, we are called to manifest this one new humanity by cultivating relationships that cross these divides and by working to bring reconciliation between people groups who are separated by these divides.
8. The Bible is the written word of God that he inspired for the ultimate purpose of pointing to the cross-centered life and ministry Jesus, who is the very “life” of Scripture (Jn 5:39-40; Lk 24:25-27, 45-46). Scripture should therefore be interpreted through the lens of Christ crucified and in ways that ultimately point the crucified Christ. Moreover, Scripture must always be used in ways that exemplify the self-sacrificial love of the crucified Christ. Jesus.
9. We can only follow the example of Jesus’ loving, self-sacrificial life (Eph 5:1-2) if we are continually being filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18), led by the Spirit (Rom 8:14) and empowered by the Spirit (Acts 1:8).
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