The mission statement of Faith Baptist Church is “Savouring and Spreading the Glory of Christ.” This is the foundation of everything we do as a church.
The Scripture is clear that God’s glory is why He does everything; for instance, He saved us not to give us a fire escape from hell but “to the praise of the glory of his grace” (Eph. 1:6). All things are “of him, and through him, and to him” (Rom. 11:36). Everything that exists in the universe; everything that has ever occurred in the history of mankind; everything is “of him” – He is the ultimate cause as the Creator of the world. Everything is “through him” – He is the one upholding the universe and binding every atom together (Heb. 1:3).
And the glory of God shines brightest in the cross of Jesus Christ. His atoning death was for the glory of God. His death was “[t]o declare [God’s] righteousness for the remission of sins that are past” (Rom. 3:25). At the most horrible moment of human history – when mankind killed God – the justice and mercy of God shone with a terrible, awesome brightness.
God is so just that He will punish sin – He will not withhold punishment even from His dearly beloved Son when He bore our sins upon His back. What horrible, stern, inescapable justness and righteousness! But God is so merciful that, in order to spare us the agony of justice, God the Son suffered the rejection, the Hell, the wrath of God the Father. What unimaginable, beautiful, sacrificial mercy and grace!
Therefore, we don’t simply glorify God but God in Christ. Do you want to see the love of God? Look no further than the cross. Is it the holiness of God you desire to behold? Gaze at the Crucified Son of God. The centre of God’s glory, its hottest, brightest, most terrible, loveliest glow is at Calvary.
Our response to God’s glory is twofold: savouring and spreading. God reveals Himself to us in the Scripture, as He did to Samuel in I Samuel 3:21. God reveals His glory to you in the person of Jesus Christ through His written, inspired, inerrant Word. The pages of the Bible are not just ink on paper; they are a verbal portrait of God.
And when you see God’s glory; when a verse of Scripture describing the love, the power, the grace of God, leaps off the page in beauty; your heart, Christians, responds with delight. And this is right and proper; delighting in God’s glory glorifies Him more than if we merely saw His glory without emotion. We are commanded, after all, to “rejoice in the Lord” (Phil. 4:4); how can not rejoice when in God’s presence is “fullness of joy”; when at his right hand “there are pleasures forevermore”? (Psalm 16:11)
Then spreading flows naturally out of savouring. Spreading is the natural culmination of savouring. If we truly savour God’s glory in Christ, then we will spread it. Both responses are two sides of the same coin – and that coin is called “praise.” Therefore, our church’s mission statement can be summarized in one word: praise.
Psalm 63:1-5 is a great example of savouring and spreading the glory of Christ. It says, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips.”
This is what I want to happen in my life when I study the Scriptures and when I preach them, and this is what I want to happen in the hearts of the people who hear me preach.
Now, because the glory of Christ is revealed in the Bible, the Bible will be the centre of our worship here at Faith Baptist Church. II Timothy 4:1-2 says, “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
It is God’s Word that is the ultimate authority for everything we believe and practice. Therefore, every sermon must be anchored in God’s Word, clearly for the listeners and consciously for the preacher.
My preaching on Sunday mornings and Sunday nights will be expositional. That is, it will be based on a passage of Scripture, not only as its starting point but as its substance. The main point of the passage becomes the main point of the sermon. The passage does not become merely a canvas on which the preacher paints what he thinks the passage says, or worse, his own opinions! The points of the sermon and the theme of the sermon must clearly be anchored in the text, and this must be clear for the listeners. Otherwise, the authority of the sermon ceases to be God’s Word and becomes the preacher.
Much preaching, even in independent Baptist churches, frequently fails in this way. The Bible is not allowed to present its own message, and the authors of Scripture are not allowed to dictate what is preached by what they were trying to get across; rather, the preacher only lightly touches the text, imposing his own “3 ways to have a happy marriage” or nicely, perfectly alliterated outline which bends and twists the message of the text, upon the text.
We desire to glorify God together as a church family in preaching the Word, hearing and obeying the Word, thus savouring the glory of Christ; we also desire to spread His glory into our community by sharing the Word in evangelism and by living others-centred lives, like the life of Christ, through His Holy Spirit.
Pastor Brent Karding