Paul, the Apostle, wrote in his letter to the Galatians that his great fear for them was that crafty and deceitful men would turn them away from the simplicity of Christian living.
We here at Crestview strive to maintain the Fellowship of God’s family, made alive by the blood of Jesus Christ, and live according to the simplicity of the Gospel.
The Gospel or “good news” is the message that God is offering Grace as a free gift to all who will believe Him. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, Who voluntarily died upon a cross and offered His life as payment for all our debt of sin. He then resurrected His Son on the third day bringing new life out of death.
It is this new life that God offers to all who believe. And when we realize that this story of Jesus Christ is true, two things must happen:
First, we must repent. This means we must change our minds! This is the literal meaning of the Greek word translated “repent”. We must turn away from our sinful nature and turn ourselves toward
God’s nature. This means we cease choosing “I want what I want”, which is our selfish nature, and choose “I give what you need”, which is God’s loving nature. This repentance, or turning away, from our own selfishness toward God’s love continues each and every day of our Christian life, helped by God’s Grace and the Holy Spirit and our own daily surrender to God’s Word.
Second, we must be baptized. Since Grace is a gift and free to all who believe, it cannot be given on the basis of anything we do trying to earn or deserve it! That’s why Paul wrote: “But if it is by grace,
it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.” (Rom. 11:6 ) That is why baptism, which is immersion in water, is absolutely essential to our receiving the gift of Grace. Baptism is the only command given in the Gospel which is not something we do, but instead is something done to us! Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection was not something He did, but something done to Him! We surrender ourselves to another, who baptizes us into Jesus’ death and raises us up into His New Life. When we are raised up in baptism we are given, according to God’s promise, forgiveness of all our debt of sin and the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, which indwells every baptized believer.
Third, we live our Christian lives, not according to the way others treat us, but according to the way God has treated us. With love and kindness and patience and mercy. The purpose of Crestview Church of Christ is to show God’s nature to the world, just as Jesus showed His Father’s nature to His generation. It is just that simple. The church is the Body of Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, striving
to show the Father’s nature to a sinful world. That is the simplicity of living as a Christian!