The value of the Bible:
ONE, the bible is not a book of doctrines; it is alive with God´s presence and wisdom as we seek to practice it.
TWO, there is a balance between ‘doing and teaching’ the Word, the ‘words and works’ of Jesus, and being formed and informed.
THREE, we must avoid extremes and dangers in regard to the use of Scripture.
FOUR, we must allow the Bible to speak for itself.
FIVE, we have an approach to the wholeness of truth that allows us to integrate Biblical and ‘other’ truth.
To become Jesus followers is not to quote the right verses or to necessarily believe the right doctrines, but rather to handle the word of truth responsibily and correctly, and become and do what the Bible really says.
The value of Jesus and the Holy Spirit
ONE, We need to be aware of what type of Trinity we are in fact worshipping:
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit –results in incarnation: the presence, power and freedom of the Father and the Son. The popular alternatives tend to be the following:
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy ‘Church’ -resulting in traditionalism
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy ‘Bible’ –resulting in legalism and fundamentalism
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy ‘Experience’ –resulting in sensationalism
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy ‘Ministry’ –resulting in performance and manipulation
God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy ‘Man’ –resulting in idolatry
TWO, It means learning to love His presence and worship His glory.
THREE, it means a healthy and fearful respect for the Lord’s control and initiative in the Church.
FOUR, we must hear His voice, and be truly filled and led by His Spirit.
FIVE, this value defines leadership within the Church. The Church is not an organization it is an organism, the living body of Christ, of which he is the head.
SIX, it means that leadership is spiritual, enabling people to live under the invisible government of the Spirit.
Lastly, it means balancing creative tensions in authority, leadership, serving and structure.
The value of Relationships and Reality
ONE, relationships are about reality and reality is about relationships. Jesus constantly warned against the 'hypocracy' of the religious -seeking attention, affirmation, and approval through pretending, wearing masks and acting out roles. It also implies that we avoid 'hyping things up', promoting ourselves, exaggerated advertising, having titles, or even claiming big things from God that evidently are not true or do not happen.
TWO, it means that personhood is defined through community. Church really is a community of birth, discovery, growth, equipping and empowerment -through the quality and longevity of our relationships.
THREE, Church, corporate personhood, is defined through relationships. God is love, and by our love for one another will all people recognize and know that we are Jesus' followers.
FOUR, it means understanding relationships – their nature, purpose, how they work – to create the environment of love, acceptance and forgiveness. The goal of relationship is community –defined as intimacy, oneness, wholeness and maturity.
FIVE, our relationships are covenantal, based on God’s love for us. ‘Doing’ should come from belonging and relationship ‘being’. We must not parent people but rather develop adult relationships.
The value of the Individual
The value of the individual, which revolves around personal worth and human dignity, relates Biblically to the creation of the human being, and the issue of law and grace. It comes down to the way we view and treat people, including ourselves.
ONE, we must have a clear understanding and practice of grace and mercy, and thus avoid any elements of legalism.
TWO, it means operating out of the grace of God from our own brokenness and need of Him. The more we see what God's grace and mercy does for us, the more we become aware of the depths of our depravity and darkness. The result is a greater love of God, a clearer vision of human dignity and a passion for its full restoration. We learn that God's strength is actually made perfect in our weaknesses.
THREE, it means upholding the freedom bought for us by Christ on the cross, and being free to enjoy the fullness of God. But freedom must not become a license to sin or for undisciplined living (Gal 5:13).
FOUR, grace means treating each person as a unique individual, made in the image of God, with great dignity and respect.
FIVE, valuing the individual means respecting the unique place of each believer in the Body -honoring the priesthood of believers. The implication is that a 'one-man-show' is unacceptable.
SIX, it means having mercy on the marginalized, showing compassion to the oppressed poor, the broken, the divorced, the orphans and widows.
The value of Healing
ONE, healing, health and wholeness are God’s desire for everyone, whereas sickness, oppression, demons and death are expressions of evil.
TWO, healing is both an act and a process, an expression of God’s compassion on victims of evil. We practice healing by ‘the laying on of hands’ as an ‘elementary principle’ of Christian faith. The motivation should never be for self-glory (‘my healing ministry’), for money, for drawing crowds, or for any other reason other than compassion.
THREE, we create a healing environment through self-disclosure, love, acceptance and forgiveness. Mercy is the spirit and attitude of healing.
FOUR, healing means expecting supernatural signs and wonders by exercising the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit.
FIVE, healing means having a heart for the pain filled world –especially focused in evangelism and social concern.
Venter, Alexander. (2003) Doing Church. Cape Town, South Africa: Vineyard International Publishing. pp. 116-144.
The value of the Kingdom of Heaven
The Kingdom is God's Kingdom, not humanity's. If the Kingdom is the rule of God, then every aspect of the Kingdom must be derived from the character and action of God. The presence of the Kingdom is to be understood from the nature of God's present activity; and the future of the Kingdom is the redemptive manifestation of his kingly rule at the end of the age.
The God of the Kingdom
ONE, The Seeking God: In Jesus, God has taken the initiative to seek out the sinner, to bring the lost into the blessing of his reign.
TWO, The Inviting God: The God who seeks is also the God who invites. Jesus pictured the coming salvation in terms of a banquet or feast to which many guests were invited. Jesus’ demand for repentance was not merely a summons to men and women to forsake their sins and to turn to God; it was rather a call to respond to the divine invitation and was conditioned by this invitation, which was itself nothing less than a gift of God’s Kingdom.
THREE, The Fatherly God: God is seeking out sinners and inviting them to submit themselves to his reign that he might be their Father. Jesus spoke to God like a child and taught his disciples so to speak.
FOUR, The Judging God: Indeed, the very fact that God is seeking love throws humanity into a predicament. People must respond to this overture of love; otherwise a greater condemnation awaits them. When confronted by Jesus a person stands before God and must make a decision. The outcome will either be the salvation of the Kingdom or judgment.
The Kingdom and the Church
ONE, the New Testament does not equate believers with the Kingdom. The first missionaries preached the Kingdom of God, not the church (Acts 8:12; 19:8; 20:25; 28:23; 31. The church is the people of the Kingdom, never that Kingdom itself. Therefore it is not helpful to even say that the church is a “part of the Kingdom,” or that in the eschatological consummation the church and the Kingdom become synonymous.
TWO, the Kingdom creates the church. The dynamic rule of God, present in the mission of Jesus, challenged men and women to response, bringing them into a new fellowship.
THREE, it is the church’s mission to witness to the Kingdom. The church cannot build the Kingdom or become the Kingdom, but the church witnesses to the Kingdom -to
God’s redeeming acts in Christ both past and future. This is illustrated by the commission Jesus gave to the twelve (Mt. 10) and to the seventy (Lk. 10); and it is reinforced by the proclamation of the apostles in the book of Acts.
FOUR, the church is the instrument of the Kingdom. The disciples of Jesus not only proclaimed the good news about the presence of the Kingdom; they were also instruments of the Kingdom in that the works of the Kingdom were performed through them as through Jesus himself. As they went preaching the Kingdom, they too healed the sick and cast out demons (Mt. 10:8; Lk. 10:17).
Ladd, George Eldon. (1993) A Theology of the New Testamnent. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. pp 55-67, 79-88, 103-117