An ongoing theme in the New Testament and Early Church was the strengthening and establishment of believers in the faith.
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages. – Romans 16:25 (ESV)
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. – 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (ESV)
The Early Church saw establishment in the faith as the initial, ongoing, and active process of being encouraged in their relationship with God as his people.
As churches, we want to orient people towards this ongoing journey with God. Below are the main themes we encourage people to explore together in mutual discipleship, as a family (or group of friends), and a church family.
THE WITH-GOD LIFE
• Discipleship as Apprenticeship to Jesus | Establishing, or confirming, a solid conversion to life with God through ongoing apprenticeship to Christ. (Lk. 8:4-15 & Phil. 3:7-14) Are we loving Jesus and taking on his life?
• Church as Family | Enfolding our lives into the people of God as local families of faith. (Eph. 2:19-22) Are we growing in our identity of being loved by God as his family?
• Mission as Household | Developing our “households” as outposts of the Kingdom in search of persons of peace. (1 Pt. 2:1-12 & Lk. 10:2-6) Is God’s blessing in our life pouring over into our spheres of influence?
• True Life as Knowing God | Growing in being loved and known by God in every aspect of our thinking and living. (Jn. 17:3) How is God leading us towards true life, and away from illusions of life?
LIFE AS GOD’S PEOPLE
• Relationships as Redemptive Love | Cultivating redemptive relationships that proclaim our trust in God through love. (Jn. 13:34-35) Is there an increasingly redemptive spirit of love in all our relationships?
• Family as a Lifestyle of Teaching | Passing on the life and teachings of Christ in familial relationships and everyday life. (Deut. 6:4-9 & Eph. 6:4) Are we attentive to God and sharing his goodness with others in our everyday life?
• Vocation as Lifework | Discerning, with others and the Spirit, the good that God has planned for us to do in blessing our “neighbors” and city. (Eph. 2:10 & Jer. 29:5-7) Are we devoted to the good work of the Spirit through us in all the spheres of our life?
• Legacy as Kingdom Living | Envisioning a heritage of dependence on and collaboration with God for his eternal purposes. (Matt. 6:33) Are we investing in the growth of God’s kingdom?