What is worship? Westminster Shorter Catechism Question 1: What is the chief end of man? “To glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”1 Corinthians 10:31. God’s glory demands hearts and minds eager to praise His glory and mighty works! We believe that worship is the heart of our new lives as a Christian.
Unfortunately, we have entered the “entertainment era” of the church age. People don’t want to be taught. People want to smile, laugh, drink their coffee, hear a “feel-good” message and be on their way. Teaching is NOT just informative, but when rooted and empowered by the Holy Spirit, it is transformative. God’s people will always be LIFETIME LEARNERS of his WORD. We must aim for being active learners, not only hearers who remain unaffected, untouched, and unmoved by His word. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like”James 1:22-24. What do we teach with? We will teach from the BIBLE and the BIBLE ALONE here at New Covenant because that is ALL you need. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success”Joshua 1:8.
By worshiping God fully and reading His Word, it’s time to reach the lost, unsure, or uninformed. Jesus tells us in Matthew 28 with the Great Commission that we are to: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Leave the baptizing part up to Pastor Seth when the time comes! Our main focus in the church is to REACH OUT to others and invite them into God’s church here at New Covenant! Let’s work together to spread the joy that is found in Christ and evangelize not only in our community, to all ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). We nurture others, we support them, encourage, and minister to people’s spiritual, emotional, and physical needs in the context of personal relationships! Doing this is a JOY and HONOR. “The seventy-two returned with joy”Luke 10:17.
The Seven Core Values of New Covenant
We are a gospel church.
In order to join New Covenant, you must be a “born again” Christian. In order for you to be a true believer, you must embrace these 3 essential truths: 1. You must believe the bad news about yourself: o God is just and righteous, therefore, our sin must be dealt with (Romans 6:23). o You are a sinner on 2 accounts: Born that way (Romans 5:12). Actively sin now (Romans 3:23, Ephesians 2:1-10). 2. You must believe the good news about Christ (the gospel): o The Bible teaches that Jesus is the Son of God, both fully man and God at the same time (John 1:1-14, Colossians 2:9). Jesus is Christ, our Savior, rescuer, Mediator, the Messiah sent to save God’s people from their fallen condition and bring them back into a restored relationship with God. This is not something YOU initiated, but only something Jesus initiated (Isaiah 53, Acts 2:36). o Jesus lived a perfect life of obedience to His Father and died on the Cross as a substitute for sinners that we may receive eternal life IF we believe in His name. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”2 Corinthians 5:21 3. You must have an active faith in Christ: o You are given a new life and identity lasting for all eternity! You become a new creation in Christ, literally a new person! You are justified and adopted into the family of God and You must RESPOND to the gospel if you truly believe! (John 1:12; 6:47, Romans 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 8:12-17, Ephesians 1:1-10, 2 Corinthians 5:17, 1 John 5:11-12, James 2)
We are a reformed church.
Reformed is a term that emerged from the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation was a reclaiming of the centrality of the Bible and the gospel of grace found in Jesus. We believe in the 5 Sola’s of the Reformation: o Sola Scriptura = The Bible Alone (2 Timothy 3:16-17) o Sola Gratia = Through Grace Alone (Grace is a free gift. Salvation is by God’s action, not our own). o Sola Fide = Through Faith Alone (Faith is also a free gift from God as we read in Ephesians 2:8-10. We receive it with an empty hand, as the hymn Rock of Ages, “Nothing in our hands we bring, simply to the cross we cling.”) o Sola Christos = Through Christ Alone (It is only through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection that we are saved from sin and death and promised eternal life.) o Soli Deo Gloria = To God alone be the Glory (“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31). “Reformed” Theology today is often known as Calvinism which came out of Geneva, Switzerland. We believe in the 5 points of Calvinism: T – Total Depravity U – Unconditional Election L – Limited Atonement I – Irresistible Grace P – Perseverance of the Saints
We are a Bible church.
We believe the Bible is Inerrant, Sufficient, Clear, Authoritative, and Necessary. It teaches us: o The sovereignty of God in all things. o The doctrine of God’s free grace towards us as sinners through a Redeemer only found in his Son, Jesus. o The calling of God to serve him as our cultural mandate. “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”Philippians 2:12-13
We are a God-centered church.
We believe that God is: o Sovereign over ALL things. Psalm 139 says that “nothing escapes his notice.” God is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent; omni meaning “all”. o Knowable. Romans 1 teaches that everyone knows that there is a God. He has been implanted into our minds. We also see/know him through Creation (Psalm 19:1-2). Unfortunately, many choose to suppress these truths (Romans 1:18-25). o A pure spirit. There is no physical description or definition of God found anywhere in the Bible. We know that he is a spirit because Scripture only refers to him in that way (John 4:24). o Infinitely perfect. God has never changed, there has never been any variation in him whatsoever, he is the giver all of all things (James 1:17, Malachi 3:6). He doesn’t operate out of emotion like humans are only capable of doing. He doesn’t age or make mistakes, thus in regards to humans and everything we experience and how we change, etc., God is “simple”, yet infinitely complex! o Personal. All throughout the Old Testament and New Testament we see God wanting to be with his people. Examples are the Ark of the Covenant, theophany, and the Incarnation of Christ.
We are an "ordinary means of grace" church.
There are means and methods in which God reveals and gives us his grace on a daily, ordinary level. We believe these are seen and given in 4 ways: o God’s Word o Sacraments: The Lord’s Supper and Baptism A sacrament is “a holy ordinance instituted by Christ, in which, by perceptible signs, Christ and the benefits of the new covenant are represented, sealed, and applied to believer.” The sacraments are an obligation for all who claim God’s promises. o Prayer o Worship
We are a serving church.
As Church participants and members, we believe in becoming more: committed, dedicated, excited, faithful, loyal, motivated, and zealous for the Lord! We also serve by giving back to the Lord every Sunday morning during the “Tithes and Offerings” portion of the service. o The Bible is full of examples of God being the most generous God there is and since He is the provider of all things, one of the ways we worship and adore him is by giving back to Him. Acts 20:35 tells us that “in all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” o Jesus himself says in Matthew 6 that he provides for the birds of the air, so why wouldn’t he provide for his children made in his image? We tithe and give back to the Lord because he provides for us exponentially, in ways we will never fully understand or realize.
We are a caring church.
We believe in church discipline. As part of its exercise of biblical authority, the Session is sometimes called upon to administer church discipline. This is done when the sin of one of the church’s members brings extreme harm to others and shame on the name of Christ (Matthew 18:15-20). The purpose of church discipline is to vindicate the honor of Christ and to reclaim the sinner. Church discipline should never be something a church deems “fun” or “looks forward to”, but a process that edifies everyone involved.