Cornerstone exists because of Jesus. We are a people who have been transformed by the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God has forgiven us and adopted us into his family. Now, we have a whole new life.
Through the gospel, God redeems us, forgives us, and adopts us into his family. The good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection makes each one of us a new creation and gives us a new identity: children of God. This is why we can never think of the church as an organization or a building. The church is actually a family—God’s family, filled with redeemed sinners that are now his children.
Through the gospel, God forgives us, adopts us into his family, and makes us his disciples. This means that the church is not just any family. We are a family formed by God—and sent out with a purpose.
The church is a family that ministers to one another, cares for one another, and builds one another up. Each member of the family is a child of God who is uniquely gifted to bless the family and to be a light in our city.
Just like a vine grows best with a good trellis, our church family grows best with good programs. Our programs and ministries are tailored to support the community and mission God has given us.
“It is my prayer that we would always seek to know Christ more and more; that we would never grow weary in doing good or complacent in our sanctification, but that we would constantly seek to make Christ the blazing center of our lives.”
In conjunction with our “Letters to a Healthy Church” sermon series, each pastor has written a letter to Cornerstone in a similar style to Paul's pastoral letters. We pray they will be a blessing and encouragement to you.
To my brothers and sisters in Christ at Cornerstone,
God’s grace and peace be to you in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I am consistently amazed at the work of God among us- how He chooses to draw people into His fold; how He strengthens and grows our hearts; how He makes our love abound to the community around us; and How he so gently and lovingly upholds us in our trials and weaknesses. It is such an incredible thing to witness God’s handiwork in and through His Church, and I thank God constantly that He has given my family and me the great gift of being part of His family at Cornerstone.
I want you to be encouraged, brothers and sisters, by some of the ways God is working in and through you:
These are just some of the ways that I have seen God work immediately in our midst, and I am confident He is doing far, far greater.
It is my prayer that we would always seek to know Christ more and more; that we would never grow weary in doing good or complacent in our sanctification, but that we would constantly seek to make Christ the blazing center of our lives. I know this will not be easy, since our natural selves are so readily prone to run toward comfort and stability, but I am sure there is no greater endeavor we could give ourselves to. Christ is surely worth it.
To this end, I want to urge you to be diligent in the following:
1. Be diligent in the discipline of regular, private communion with God. I know how much work God has done in your lives through public gatherings of worship - whether at Cornerstone on Sundays or in community group or in some other form of ministry. These indeed are good things; vital things that God calls us to and uses to edify us (e.g., Heb 10:25). But these forms of worship are not ever meant to be substitutes for time spent privately in the presence of God.
As you mature and grow by the grace of God, don’t ever assume that you have grown beyond the need for conscious, personal communion with our God every day. Rather, devote yourself to the intake of the Word and regular time spent in prayer. If these are things you already regularly do, be on guard to not grow complacent in them, particularly as life gets busier. If you don’t already practice these things, wrestle with your soul until these practices take root in your life. I can assure you that the fight will be worth it.
What a blessing it is that we Christians - who have been united to Christ by His work on our behalf - have unlimited access to God as our Father (Eph 3:12), and are able to boldly draw near to Him to receive His grace (Heb 4:16). This is an absolutely incredible truth, one that I pray we never take for granted.
2. Be diligent in the regular killing of sin in your life. As we grow by God’s grace, a subtle lie can creep into our lives that effectively tells us that there’s no longer any significant sin in us; that we’ve more-or-less grown beyond the major sin issues in life. The lie doesn’t often present itself in an obvious manner, but rather takes effect by slowly-but-steadily numbing us to the reality of sin in our own hearts and lives.
Therefore, be diligent in the fight against this numbing of the heart. Pray fervently for God to expose sin in you, that you may kill it by the power of the Spirit (Rom 8:13); ask God to search your heart to reveal and cleanse you of unknown sins; confess your sins to God and to fellow believers regularly (Jam 5:16). As you do these things, take refuge in the forgiveness and cleansing that is offered in Christ Jesus (e.g., 1 Jhn 1:9). His grace is always sufficient.
Thank you for your constant encouragement in the gospel, and for allowing me to pastor among you. It truly is an honor and a joy.
Christ is all,
Chris is a member of Cornerstone and serves the church as a non-vocational elder.
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