We exist to declare and display the gospel of Jesus. Every time the people of Emmaus are gathered and everywhere we are sent, our one objective is to make, mature, and multiply disciples of Jesus who make His gospel known. This objective is defined by three things: Creed, Community, and Commission.
The gospel is an announcement of good news about the God of the Bible. The God we worship is one, eternally existing as three persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Deut. 6:4; Matt. 28:19; John 1:1-18; 2 Cor. 13:14).
Infinite in perfection, our God is life in and of himself, self-existent and self-sufficient, timeless and immutable, most holy and most wise. Out of his supreme generosity and goodness, God created the world out of nothing. In him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). In the beginning God made man and woman in his image. Adam and Eve were created for communion with their Creator, made to participate in his everlasting life (Gen. 1:26-28). They were created to love him and be loved by him.
However, by their sinful works, they broke God’s law. Since Adam was our first father, sin entered our world and death through sin so that “death spread to all men because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). As children of Adam, we have rejected God’s love by breaking his law. We have chosen to live in rebellion against him (Gen. 3). Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death.” Every person, though created and valued by God, has sinned against God who is infinite in holiness (Rom. 3:23; 1 John 1:8). Therefore, every person deserves eternal punishment under his righteous judgment.
Yet because of his great love for us, the Father sent his eternally begotten Son to be born of a woman (Heb. 1:5; Gal. 4:4)—our Lord is one person in two natures, true God and true man. Taking the form of a servant, he rescued us from our rebellion, giving us new life in the Spirit (John 7:29; Rom. 8:9). Whereas the first Adam failed to keep God’s law, Christ Jesus, the second Adam, lived a perfect life, fulfilling God’s law so that his righteousness could be credited to us. Whereas the first Adam broke God’s law, the second Adam stood in our place, taking the punishment we deserve by suffering the wrath of God in his life and by his death on the cross (2 Cor. 5:21).
Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead, vindicated and victorious over sin, Satan, and death itself (1 Cor. 15:4, 54-55). He ascended into heaven and reigns at the Father’s right hand as the King of kings and Lord of lords. His kingdom shall have no end (Acts 2:33; Rev. 11:15). Born again by the Spirit, we have received new life in Christ. All those who repent of sin and trust in Jesus alone have been reconciled with God. Justified and adopted by God, we are temples of the Holy Spirit. By God’s sanctifying grace we are transformed from one degree of glory to another. And at the second coming, we will become like Jesus, because we shall see him as he is (1 John 3:2). Today and throughout eternity, our calling is to declare and display the good news of who God is and what God has done.
Creed: We believe in sound doctrine.
The gospel we declare and display depends on a true confession of who God is, what He’s done, and who He calls us to be. In Scripture, God has given to us all that is necessary for life and godliness. As such, the Bible is our highest authority. From it, we learn to know, trust, obey, and teach what God has revealed.
But even though Scripture alone is our highest authority, God never intended for us to open the Scriptures all alone, as if our pilgrimage as Christians is to take place individualistically. All who have been united to Christ have been called into His church. So we open the Scriptures with the church—not only the church of today, but the church across the ages. Therefore we unite around the creeds of the universal church.
If you worship with Emmaus on Sunday mornings, you will often hear us recite The Nicene Creed or The Apostles Creed. This is because creeds consolidate what Scripture teaches in order to confirm and cultivate sound doctrine among the Body of Christ. The word creed simply means 'belief.' So by confessing creeds, we locate our beliefs within the orthodoxy of the Christian church.
Community: We covenant to build gospel culture.
The gospel we declare and display creates a community defined by the love of God. We refer to this as ‘gospel culture.’ One of our deepest convictions is that what the church believes (doctrine) should determine what the church is like (culture).
Often, when the writers of Scripture talk about the culture of the church, love is the dominant theme. For instance, Paul’s list of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 begins with love. This is because “the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13). Gospel culture is defined by love. We love because God first loved us.
Yet this doesn’t happen by accident. No church drifts into gospel culture automatically. Therefore we view meaningful church membership as essential. At Emmaus, gospel culture requires adherence to clear terms and parameters of commitment to God and others, expressed in a written covenant. This is why our members are referred to as ‘covenant members.’
Commission: We pursue kingdom advancement.
The gospel we declare and display tells us that “God so loved the world” (John 3:16). Emmaus has joined God’s mission to reach the world with news of His saving love. Jesus commissioned us to make disciples of all nations. This is God’s plan for spreading the gospel of His kingdom to the ends of the earth.
One thing you’ll notice about Emmaus is that we are a sending church. We do a lot of what we call ‘gospel goodbyes.’ Because of our firm commitment to The Great Commission, we send people all over the world—from New England to the Middle East—to be pastors, church planters, and missionaries. Our prayer is that, having experienced gospel culture at Emmaus, those we send will be a blessing to their future churches and mission fields.
The bottom line? We are a people on mission. As such, we partner with other churches and ministries, plant new churches, care for those in need, and make every effort to reach our city and the nations with the gospel.