The following is an excerpt from our Partners Class book. If you are new to City Life or have never taken a Partners Class we invite you to join us as we explore the basics of City Life Church: the Gospel, Community, and Mission. We want to share with you our story: how we started, what we believe, how we live, and where we are going. We also want to hear your story and invite you to join us in renewing the city of Austin socially, spiritually, and culturally with the Gospel of Jesus. We offer our Partners Class several times each year. You can find upcoming dates for the class and register here.
All Christians have 3 Gospel identities: Because the gospel converts us three times—to Christ, Church, and his Mission— those three conversions create three primary identities in the disciple of Christ: Servant, Family, Missionary.
Servant: Cultvating Christ-like character by following Jesus.
As servants of Christ we submit to Jesus as Lord. All other masters are unmerciful. Jesus is a better master. Jesus was also the model servant (Isa 53; Phil 2:5-11) whose submission to the Father rescued us from merciless masters and graciously placed us in the service of the Lord (Matt. 20:25-28; 25:31-46; John 13:1-17; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Peter 2:16). All those who follow Jesus are called to serve in the same humility. For us this means joyfully submitting to Jesus as Lord, to the leaders he has placed over us, and to each other as we also serve whomever God brings into our lives. Jeff Vanderstelt helpfully summarizes the life of a servant as: “We do whatever He leads us to do, whenever He tells us and wherever He wants us to do it.”
Family: Caring for one another.
As sons of the Father we enjoy and share God’s love with one another. God adopts us into his family because of his great love for us in Christ. By faith in Jesus we are God’s children (John 1:11-13) who are fully accepted and loved apart from any good behavior. The gospel reminds us that we don’t have to seek approval from [God or others] because are approved by him through faith in Christ (Rom 8; Gal 3:25). He delights in us as father delights in his very own children.
Missionary: Sharing and Showing Jesus.
As missionaries we are sent by the Spirit to share and show the gospel of Jesus. The Spirit fills and sends every believer into the world to participate in the ministry of reconciliation by making good culture, redeeming social ill, and sharing a whole gospel (John 1:14; 20:21; Colossians 1:19; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21). Jesus said: “As the Father sent me I am sending you”, and breathed the Holy Spirit on them and commissioned his disciples to be his witnesses. The Spirit that witnessed Jesus death and resurrection would testify to the gospel in and through them (John 14:16; 16:7). We are sent as his missionaries by the Spirit (Matt. 3:16-4:1; John 20:21).