Our Identity + Our Mission: Restored to Restore
We are saved by Jesus and sent by Jesus.
Why do we exist? The pursuit of an answer to this universal WHY question reveals our deep need for meaning in life. We wrongly, but naturally, attempt to find our ultimate purpose in what we do as individuals and as the church. In truth, what we do is a product of who we are. Answering the WHY question, therefore, must begin with considering the WHO question. As Christians, we believe that only when we understand who we are in Christ will we ever understand what we are to do for Christ.
We are restored.
By grace, through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ, we are restored to who God created us to be. Trusting in Jesus’ death on the cross means finding our identity in Jesus’ life—we are “born again.” The Bible teaches that: if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2Corinthians 5.17). Through faith in Jesus:
- I am restored to relationship with God.
- I am restored to relationship with others.
- I am restored to relationship with self.
- I am restored to relationship with the world.
We are restored to restore.
God restores His people to bring restoration to the world. The Bible teaches that:
18 All this (our restoration) is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2Corinth. 5.18-20).
Made in the image of God, men were designed to reflect God’s greatness. When men rebelled, the image of God in them was shattered by sin. Even though the image remained recognizable, it reflected an incomplete picture of God. In Christ, that image is restored. Slowly, by His Spirit, God repairs what was shattered and slowly, by His Spirit, men begin to reflect God again through how they live. This process begins in the heart of the individual, works itself out in community of fellow believers, and overflows into a broken world.
In addition to being a picture of restoration—a display of God’s glory—we are a tool for restoration. If the purpose of all of creation is to display the glory of God, then our mission must be to join the work of Restoration that God began.