the big picture
“How can we know the way?” Every human being operates from a worldview. As one has defined it, a worldview is any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement, or religion that provides an overarching approach to understanding God, the world, and humanity's relation to God and the world. Some worldviews deny the existence of God, while others deny that we can truly know God. The Christian worldview affirms that God exists and that he has revealed himself through his creation, more specifically through the Bible, and ultimately through “the Way”, Jesus Christ.
We believe the Bible is true and the means by which we can know God and know “the way” to him. The Bible is the great story of God and is best understood when we identify the framework by which it is written. Like a great musical composition, the Bible reveals reality through various movements. The first movement describes the creation of the cosmos and the role of humanity within the cosmos (Genesis 1-2). The second movement tells of humanity’s rebellion against God and the subsequent corruption of his creation (Genesis 3-11).
The third movement introduces us to God’s grace and love. He works toward redeeming this broken world and is making all things new (Genesis 12-Revelation 20). The final movement is found in the last two chapters of Scripture: God promises a new heaven and new earth where every tear is wiped away and death is no more (Revelation 21-22).
the crux of the matter
The climax of God’s story is when God himself becomes one of us and is born to redeem the world. The life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus is the turning point in history. Jesus is more than a great teacher. He is God incarnate, literally, God in the flesh. He simply calls people to repent, believe in him, and be baptized. Through belief we are made right with God, and through baptism we receive his sign of this new covenant relationship. After his ascension into heaven, the Holy Spirit of God was sent to indwell those who are in Christ and to empower the Church to continue proclaiming the Kingdom of God through word and deed.
One purpose: to glorify God
The purpose of Genesis Church is to glorify God. When we reflect back on the account of creation, we see that humans are unique. Only humans were created in the image of God. They were not God but they were “God-like”...or in a word: “godly”. They reflected God and his nature. They were good. They could selflessly “rule” creation. Later God tells Adam to “work” and “keep” his creation. The Hebrew words used here mean literally, “to serve and protect” - a godly attribute, that humans were created to do, and to do well.
Because of humanity’s rebellion against God, we no longer “image” God well. We were created to purely reflect, or glorify, God to all of creation like a mirror. But now that we have turned from God, the glass is shattered. We are broken mirrors which is why God came to restore us. We are born separated from God and soon find that we are at odds with other humans and the creation we were meant to serve and protect. Jesus died in our place that we may live. He was resurrected to show that we too may have eternal life. For those whose faith is in him, there is an ongoing process of restoration to godliness through the Holy Spirit of God.
This process not only happens in our individual lives, but also in the community of those who follow Jesus, the Church. So as individuals and as a community, our purpose is ONE: We are to reflect or glorify God to all of humanity and to all of creation. We believe we do this when we love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength, when we love our neighbors as ourselves, and when we make disciples (teach others) to do likewise. Loving God and loving others is called the “Great Commandment”; making disciples is called the “Great Commission.” Jesus ordered both to us. As one church planter put it, “Obeying the Great Commandment and living the Great Commission produces a Great Community.” Loving God, loving others, and nurturing other followers glorifies God; this is Genesis’ one purpose.