Guiding Principles

Cross of Glory has discerned 5 Guiding Principles to help us live out our mission.  These Principles reflect our lives and our faith in action.  We treasure them like a JEWEL:

Jesus is Lord.

Jesus is the one we turn to for love, grace, salvation, and guidance ever day of our lives.

“Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)

“And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

This congregation confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe. It is the Word of God – made flesh in Jesus Christ, proclaimed throughout history, and written in the Bible – to which we turn for truth, inspiration, and guidance. (Sola Scriptura* – Scripture Alone!) Because Jesus is Lord, our lives have meaning and each day is filled with hope. Life is good – something to celebrate! – because we belong to a good Lord.

 

Everyone is welcome.

In a community where Jesus is Lord, everyone is welcome.  

“For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 3:22-24)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God – not the result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

“Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, ‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’” (Luke 15:1-2)

This congregation exists only by the grace of God. (Sola Gratia* – Grace Alone!) Each of us is a sinner, loved and forgiven by God through the cross of Jesus Christ. We are called, gathered, enlightened, and sanctified (made holy) by God’s grace through faith and not by our own doing. (Sola Fides* – Faith Alone!) This church belongs to Christ. And, therefore, everyone is welcome. Jesus has a special place in his heart and at his table for sinners and all those in need. So does this congregation have a special ministry: reaching out – sharing Christ! – and welcoming the lost, the forsaken, the broken, and all those who are looking for a new beginning.

 

The World needs what we have. 

Every person needs to know and experience the loving welcome of God, the saving grace of Jesus, and the life-giving power of the Spirit.   

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.” (2 Timothy 4:1-5)

Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

This congregation has heard Jesus’ command to share his good news with all the world. That command is preceded by the gift of his unconditional love. We know how blessed we are. We rejoice in the gift of forgiveness, hope, and new life that is ours in Jesus Christ. We know the joy that comes from being loved by him and being a member of his family. But we have also heard the cries of suffering and sorrow that fill our world. We know how badly the world needs hope and meaning and peace. The world needs God – today! We are committed to doing whatever it takes to share the gift we have been given – the love of Christ – with our hurting world.

 

Everyone has something to offer.

God created each of us with special gifts and special resources to bless the world with God’s love and grace

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” (Mark 10:14-15)

This congregation is a community of people, created by God in Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit, called to bear witness to God’s activity in the world. Each member of this community – including children and youth – has an important role to play as, together, we fulfill our mission. We are a “priesthood of all believers.”* Every member is a minister, called and gifted for service in Christ’s name. Our organizational structures, therefore, are permission-giving, encouraging the participation and creativity of all our members. Our members are encouraged to care for and respect one another. And we believe that together, in Christ, all things are possible for us.

 

Love changes everything.

God’s love changes our lives and our world.

“What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:1-4)

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

Jesus said, “You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit…” (John 15:16)

In this congregation, we believe that “we are saved by grace, not by good works, but rather for good works.”* God has rescued us from darkness so that we can bring his light to the world. Loved by God, we are set free to love and care for others. We are free to follow Jesus and to risk living as his disciples. Good works flow spontaneously, out of the joy (hilaritas* – hilarity!) of faith. We never forget that we are forgiven sinners. (Simul iustus et peccator* – At the same time, both saint and sinner.) Our sanctification will be complete only in heaven. Therefore, there is no boasting among us. We are on this journey together, growing in faith, hope, and love as we: Worship, learn, witness, serve, and share.

 

*These phrases date back 500 years to the Reformation and represent ideas which are central to our confessional, Lutheran theology.

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