Love for others is to be a hallmark trait of Christians, and we believe that our love for others begins with our love for God himself. This is why our commitment is to prioritize knowing God in his Word so that we might fear him, love him, obey him, and love those around us as we ought.
When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, he said this:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37–40)
“Who is my neighbor?” This is the question posed to Jesus in Luke 10:29 right after he explained the Great Commandments. The command to love our neighbors is at the very center of God’s will for our lives. Discipleship is about sharing life in Christ so as to multiply the life of Christ in one another.
Have you ever considered how these two great commands go hand in hand? By His sovereign grace, God has provided for us a cultural context of neighbors, in the church and in the community, with which to influence others for Christ. Initiating those redemptive relationships begins with loving one another.
Disciples of Jesus Christ are made by the persevering proclamation of the Word of God, by the people of God, in prayerful dependence upon the Spirit of God. It is the Word of God that is spoken into and lived before one another, as believers share new life in Christ.
The Apostle Paul noted the great importance of this truth in making disciples in Colossians 1:28 where he announced that, “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.”
Notice Paul proclaimed a Person, not a philosophy. Notice Paul did not just preach the gospel, but the whole counsel of God. And for what reason? That each person would be led to maturity in Christ. Salvation was not the end of the gospel, maturity was.
Everyone is on a pathway or journey in life. From birth to death, our lives are a constant motion of change. Spiritually that process of change is called sanctification and it is the progress of change or transformation in the life of a believer towards maturity in Christ.
It is our solemn hope that we would do everything possible to make Jesus Christ known. He is the Lord of all, and must be proclaimed with priority and power. His perfection and deity, his work on the cross, and his resurrection form the realities that we seek to make known – both in our teaching and in our living.
It is our goal at Bethany Community Fellowship to make spiritually mature followers of Jesus Christ. This requires a committed effort and perseverance on the part of God’s people to proclaim God’s Word to all people, in all places, everywhere. We proclaim Him.
The ultimate act of service was done for us when Jesus died in our place on the cross. And we draw strength from his grace towards us that we might demonstrate grace in service to others.
This reality is perhaps nowhere better described than in 1 John 4:11 – “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
Ministering to “one another” is perhaps the best description of utilizing the spiritual gifts Christ has given to His church. Spiritual gifts, whether ministries or abilities, are given to every believer to be exercised in the church for the common good and edification of the body of Christ. “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Peter 4:10)
The purpose of the church can be understood in terms of its ministry to God, to the community of believers, and to the world. At Bethany Community Fellowship, it is our aim that both the knowledge of God and our desire to exalt Christ lead us to serve others through the power of the Spirit. “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)