The Apostle Paul wrote in his first letter to the Church at Corinth, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)
What is it about these words that prompted the Apostle Paul to write that when all is said and done, faith, hope and love will remain? It’s the question that got us thinking about how Sunridge can make the biggest contribution in our city, community and around the globe. With the mission to Help People Find and Follow Jesus given to us by Jesus himself (Matthew 28:19-20), we contemplated, prayed, and discussed how Sunridge would pursue our mission. It seemed to us that the key was found in what would “remain: faith, hope and love.” It was the desire to stand firm through life’s ups and downs and to leave a legacy that would stand the test of time, that we are moving forward with the following vision:
Continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith. (Colossians 2:6-7)
Saving faith is just a starting point, but it is THE starting point. Faith is meant to grow and deepen as we pursue God. It is only through a deeply rooted faith that we can remain standing through the storms of life.
Deepening faith includes:
- Cultivating a heart that allows faith’s roots to sink deep. Psalm 1; Matthew 13:3-8; Hebrews 10:22
- Keeping Jesus Christ as the focus of our faith. Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 3:10
- Don’t go it alone. Acts 2:42-47; 1Thessalonians 3:2; 5:11
- Making a personal investment to deepen faith. 2Peter 1:5-8
Sunridge will be a church that cultivates deep faith.
Hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel. (Col 1:5)
Faith alone is not enough; we also need hope. We cannot survive without hope. Hope is like oxygen to our souls. It’s the light at the end of a tunnel. The gospel is the source of our hope. It gives us hope for eternity, and also a new perspective on today. (Psalm 33:20)
Bringing hope includes:
- Recognizing that hope is transferrable. 2Corinthians 1:4
- Hope always includes the gospel but is more than the gospel. Luke 9:12; 12:23; James 2:16
- Hope is a style – a perspective, an attitude – that colors everything we think, say, and do.
- Hope is what makes a church meaningful to a community. 1Thessalonians 1:3 & 8.
Sunridge will bring hope to the people and places that need it.
Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us. Ephesians 5:2
“Love is the greatest of all” can mean the hugest, loudest, widest, or most important quality Paul lists. Without love, our accomplishments are meaningless.1Corinthians 13:1-3. Jesus said he came to show us a new way, the way of love. He said that love is the defining quality of his followers. (John 13:34-35)
Living love includes:
- Accepting God’s love for us. Ephesians 3:17-19.
- Recognizing that loved people will love. John 15:9-12
- The kind of love God calls us to live is costly, sincere, forbearing, truthful, ever-growing, deep, and resilient. John 15:13; Romans 12:9; Ephesians 4:2; Ephesians 4:15; 2Thessalonians 1:3; 1Peter 4:8; 1Corinthians 13:8
Sunridge will live love as our highest calling.
*For more on how faith, hope and love are affecting Sunridge, see the teaching series “Resilient.” (January 2017)