IMMANUEL EXISTS TO
MAKE DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST
At Immanuel, we recognize that Jesus Christ himself defined the mission of the church in his famous great commission:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 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 28:18b-20 (NRSV)
We do this at Immanuel by what we like to call the "Jesus Creed" -
IMMANUEL MAKES DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST
BY LOVING GOD AND LOVING OTHERS:
28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” - Mark 12:28-31
With these words, Jesus summed up the entirety of the Bible. Far from being a cheap call to to a cheap love, love requires that we give up all for God, just like Jesus did for us (Matthew 16:24-26; Philippians 2:1-11). Being a disciple of Jesus calls us to love God more than any other person or thing in our life, and allowing our love for God to be the filter by which all other loves of our heart are brought through. Such a grand and all encompassing love requires the devotion of our heart, soul, mind and strength to the task, forever altering all of our motivations for living, and the way in which we live.
At Immanuel, we believe that, whenever possible, the most loving thing we can do is to verbally share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others while we are serving them - effectively showing them the Good News through our actions.
Jesus said that they will know who his followers are "by their love for one another" (John 13:35). We are also called to love our neighbor, regardless of their skin color, ethnicity or social status (Luke 10:25-37). Jesus is the ultimate example of loving our neighbor, as even though he had the status and glory of God in the heavenly realms, he set aside such glory and became a man, entering into the lowest social status available in the ancient Roman world. In humility and love he gave himself up for us - and we are to live our lives in such a sacrificial manner for our neighbor, finding true greatness as we serve one another (Philippians 2:1-11, 2 Timothy 4:6, Galatians 5:13; Matthew 23:11).