Why we are here

We believe that God has brought us together to delight in him; displaying the glory of Jesus in the power of the Spirit, through word, service and community, to the peoples of East Oxford, Oxford and the world.


The Bible background

We believe that God gives his people two great privileges and tasks:

  1. The first is to pursue a relationship with him above all other things. When asked which commandment was the greatest Jesus said that the "first and greatest commandment" was

    Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37)

    The Psalmists often spoke of this:

    Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    (Psalm 73:25)

    One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:
    that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple
    . (Psalm 27:4)

    Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. (Psalm 63:3)

    In the Garden of Eden the man and the woman enjoyed a face to face relationship with God but this was marred by sin (Genesis 3:8, 23). The death of Jesus for our sin was to restore that relationship.

    For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. (1 Peter 3:18)

    When Christ returns we will delight in the eternal sunshine of God's presence forever (Revelation 21:22-24) but in the meantime as fully forgiven sinners, Christians can enjoy God, basking in his love, taking pleasure in his perfections, and marvelling at his final great work of salvation and revelation in Jesus.

    For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)

    So we believe that God has brought us together to delight in him.
     
  2. Our second great privilege and task is to reflect the character of God in his world. In explaining the greatest commandment Jesus said that there was a second commandment which is like the first. It is to:

    'Love your neighbour as yourself' (Matthew 22:39)

    To love God is to imitate him, particularly in his magnificent love for his world, demonstrated in Jesus. As we delight in God we are transformed into the likeness of Jesus by the Spirit.

    And we, who with unveiled faces all contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

    So we expect our delight in God to result in the glory of Jesus being displayed through word, service and community. In God's plan, our faithful words, sacrificial service and loving community are all designed to work together as a witness to the world of the glory of Jesus.

We believe that God has brought us together to delight in him; displaying the glory of Jesus in the power of the Spirit, through word, service and community, to the peoples of East Oxford, Oxford and the world.