Growing in Christ
to Glorify God and Enjoy Him for Ever
As a church our mission must always start and end with Jesus Christ. He is the one that turns us from being enemies of God into children of God. It is only through His death and resurrection that we can have eternal life. It is because of Jesus that the church exists. Yet as a church we are called not just to start with Jesus, but to continue with Him - to grow in Christ. Jesus says, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, NIV) At St. Luke’s, then, we want our mission to be rooted in Christ. We want to share with others the wonderful good news about Jesus that through faith in Him they too can become children of God and have eternal life. More than that we want Jesus to be the supreme example for our lives as we learn to serve each other and the world. The Bible as God’s written word is foundational to our growth in Christ as it teaches us about Jesus and how he calls us to live in response to all He has done for us. Last, but not least, prayer is central to all we do as we recognise that we can only grow with the help of Christ.
Growing in Christ is our mission, but it is also a means to greater aims. Firstly, we want to grow in Christ that we might glorify God. Jesus says, “This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:8, NIV) The church exists not to show how great it is, but to show how great God is. In all we do and say at St. Luke’s we want to show those in Ramsgate the wonderful love and power of God. As the Bible says, “Live such good lives among the pagans that…, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (1 Peter 2:12, NIV)
But, secondly, God’s glory is our joy. Jesus says, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11, NIV) As we grow into a more obedient church both Jesus’ joy and our joy increase. In Christ, we have the ultimate gift, we are children of God and are set to inherit eternal life. Nothing can be better. The more we grow in Christ, the more our confidence in this great fact grows and so our joy grows despite the frustrations and difficulties life throws at us. The Bible says: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-- kept in heaven for you, ... In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.” (1 Peter 1:3-6, NIV) What is more, unlike all the other pleasures and joys in life, this is a joy that will never end. It is an eternal joy, because it is a joy rooted in God and His promise of eternal life.
Through all we say and do at St. Luke’s then this is our mission: Growing in Christ, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.