Our Core Values, along with other important characteristics like our theological distinctives, purpose, vision, and goals make up the DNA of Ryde Baptist Church. It is these things that define us, drive us, and shape us as a community of Christ.
A Jesus-focused church
Jesus founded the church, commissioned the church, and leads the church. The church is His. Therefore as a church we centre all that we do in Jesus. Hopefully you will notice this Christ-centric nature in our objectives.
Jesus is the message we proclaim and Jesus is the one we seek to emulate. In fact we see the church more as an organism rather than an organisation. We are the body of Christ. Christ is present in us as individuals and in us as His body – the church. He is also the head of the church. When making all decisions at any level in the church, it is Christ’s will and direction we seek. He is not only the historical Jesus we study in the bible, but He is the living present Jesus we relate to by the Holy Spirit.
The church is also described as the bride of Christ. We are His people. Treasured and loved by Him. And by His sacrificial love He has made a way for us to be right with God. He is not just the way to be with God, but also the truth and the life. Jesus is the truth of God and the source of spiritual life. As a Christ-centred church we embrace the way that Jesus leads, we trust in His truth and through Him we have abundant life.
Positive Presentation of the Gospel
Hopefully you will also notice the positive perspective from which we proclaim and live out the Christian life – The Gospel message is GOOD NEWS. Our philosophy as preachers and teachers here at Ryde Baptist Church, is to present the gospel and disciple people in positive terms without neglecting the truths of Gods judgement, sin and repentance.
Many teachers and preachers engender fear, which is not God’s will. This is often done from good motives – a genuine zeal for God, and His ways, however, their good word is often hijacked by Satan who is the god of fear and hopelessness. Therefore, teaching in positive terms is essential to an accurate presentation of the Gospel.
We endeavor to communicate positive messages with hope, love and confidence in Christ Jesus. And hope, love and confidence in Christ Jesus should be evident in the life and response of those who hear our messages. In fact evidence of the whole fruit of the Spirit should be seen. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This fruit should be evident in our teachers’ lives, our teachers’ messages and evident in the lives of those who come under our teaching.
What the Bible says, God says
God speaks today by various means, primarily through the Bible. The deep mystery of Jesus being fully human and also fully God is mirrored in the way the bible is written. Though penned by the hands of humans, it is inspired in a way which makes it completely divine – it is God’s own words. The Apostle Paul speaks of the scriptures as “God breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16), that is to say that they came to be by God’s Spirit (Breath).
The Christian faith is anchored in God’s actions in history and it is through the Bible, first and foremost that God makes known who He is, what He has done, and what He is going to do.
Through its many authors, styles, and genres, the bible communicates the truths of God in a way that should be revered as God’s authoritative instruction and the most reliable revelation available to us of God’s character, actions, and promises.
The climax of God’s revelation is found in the person of Jesus, who explained the Old Testament scripture to be speaking of himself (John 5; Luke 24). And who the author to the Hebrews spoke of saying “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son,” (Hebrews 1:1-2). The written word reveals the incarnate word (Jesus). And the authority of Scripture is ultimately found in it’s author who chooses to reveal himself in words through the Scriptures and in person through His Son, in the world through His creation, and in the church by the Holy Spirit.
As God’s word, the bible not only reveals to us the good news of Jesus, but is our primary source for teaching, instruction, and testing truths. 2 Timothy 3:15-16 describes the functions of Scripture in the church, “you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
We have assurance that the Scriptures originated from God and contain His truth. Jesus himself viewed the (Old Testament) Scriptures as His Father’s written word. This is affirmed in the Apostles’ teaching, where both Jesus teaching and the Apostles’ teaching about Jesus were regarded as God’s authoritative word.
A Centre for Worship
Part of our objective is to be a centre for worship. This involves, but is not limited to, our church services. Worship incorporates all of life, and our purpose as believers and as a church community ultimately is to glorify God. Worship, therefore, is a lifestyle that willingly seeks to glorify God by an intentional response to God’s calling, God’s works, or God Himself with an attitude of thanksgiving.
Worship is the central purpose of the coming kingdom. We were created to worship, our salvation enables us to worship, and all that we do for Christ and His kingdom is an act of worship. Therefore, worship should permeate every aspect of a believer’s life. It should be the ambition that drives every ministry.
As a centre for worship we endeavour to create a place where worship can be corporately expressed in a significant way in our gatherings as well as encouraging and facilitating lifestyles of worship beyond the walls of our building.
Committed to One Another
Throughout scripture there is a recurring theme of God creating, calling, and redeeming a people for Himself. The climax of this theme is found in Jesus who redeemed for Himself a people, a Kingdom. The church is the outward expression of this kingdom. Therefore our relationship with Jesus as individuals is practised in the context of relationships in the Christian community – that is being God’s people. Though we are individuals, together we make up the one body and each member is connected through Christ.
Jesus said that we would be identified as His disciples by our love for each other. And Jesus Himself exemplified what it is to love. Therefore we are to be committed to each other and follow Jesus’ example as we forgive, disciple, care for, nurture, serve, and challenge each other.
Where there are disagreements among us, we resolve them with love and seek to let the peace of Christ adjudicate as we seek the wisdom of His word. Where discipline is required, again we follow the example and teaching of Jesus who is the head of the Church. Christ also sustains our growth as His message dwells richly in our midst through inspired teaching and preaching of Scripture.
From the beginning, God designed family to be the central structure for relationships in society and we value and seek to support and enrich families within our church and community.
All are One in Jesus
The Kingdom of God is made up of a diverse range of people with one thing in common, Jesus Christ. And He who binds us together is greater than what differentiates us.
As a church we place great value in diversity and embrace people of all ages and from many different racial, social, and cultural backgrounds, and this is reflected in our diverse and dynamic church family.
The good news of Jesus is God’s gracious gift of eternal life for all who would repent and believe. Therefore it is our hope and desire that as many people as possible are gladly received by our community so that they may hear the good news, see the reality of the living Jesus in our community, and have the opportunity to respond. For, as Galatians 3:28 declares, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
We desire to welcome as many people as possible into the Kingdom of God and therefore we seek to welcome all to our church.
Evangelism Through Relationship
Evangelism, or sharing the good news of salvation in Jesus, is fundamental to our church objective to preach the gospel and promote evangelism and missions.
There are many methods of evangelism that may be effective in different circumstances, but all of us are called to share the good news with our friends, family, and colleagues with both word and action. In such situations conversation is better than confrontation, and the life of a spirit filled and faithful believer will speak volumes to those who witness their lifestyle.
When Andrew was introduced to Jesus in John 1:40, he went to get his brother Simon (Peter), told him about Jesus, and then brought him to Jesus. Just a few verses later Jesus calls Phillip to follow Him, and Phillip finds his friend Nathanael and tells him the good news, and he too believes.
This is the pattern that we want to see in our church. As people encounter Jesus and have their lives transformed by Him, they can’t help but tell others. And the rich spiritual life that Jesus has given each believer should be contagious.
The primary method of evangelism then is relational. Close relationship gives credibility to the message where the good news of Jesus can be seen in the life of a believer as they share the reason for their hope with those who trust and respect them.