by Greg Pullham
Pastor @ Freedom Christian Community
ONEchurch Executive Team
“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ.” (2 Cor.5:19)
One central belief draws us together in ONEchurch for the transformation of Brantford/Brant – “the centrality of the person and work of Jesus Christ to the redemption of all creation.”
In the beginning, God created all things and pronounced them “good.” His intention was for us to live in relationship of love with him, with each other, and with the creation—experiencing peace and wholeness, enjoying what the Bible calls “life that is truly life” (1 Tim.6:19 NIV) or “more and better life than we ever dreamed of” (Jn.10:10 MSG). But our ancient fore-parents chose to disobey God—pushing him away in favour of our own selfish desires and thwarting his good intention for creation. Ever since then, the world has not been what it is supposed to be.
But there is good news. God is at work making all things right.
God came, in Christ, to reconcile the world to himself — to transform all of life through his wonderful grace. As Jesus traveled and taught and healed, he began to set right all that is wrong with the world and in doing so show us what God wants to do with each one of us and with his creation. When Jesus makes a lame beggar walk and dance, when he gives sight to the blind, when he tells a man to stretch out his shriveled hand and it is fully restored—he is pointing to the transformation that God wants for all of us and our broken lives.
God’s reconciling purposes are for the “whole” world. His heart is not just for personal transformation, but for transformation of entire neighbourhoods, cities, and nations to once again live out his original intent and purpose in creation.
God calls out a people and gives them a mission—to continue Jesus’ ministry and mission – to partner with him in his plan “for the redemption of all creation.” This mission includes displaying before our neighbourhoods, cities, and nations a transformed way of living, and living together, which is the way God always desired. In so doing, we fulfill Jesus’ prayer that the kingdom would come and his will be done on earth as in heaven.
Everywhere we go and in everything we do in “our everyday ordinary life, our sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life” (Rom.12:1 MSG) is to be transformed by the Spirit at work in and through us. As we live in God’s way, fulfilling his mission, we will change everything we touch—just as Jesus did. Our transforming influence ought to bring change to the problems that plague our cities today—poverty, crime, addictions, divorce, violence. And there ought to be a dramatic increase in the things that characterize the transformed life of the kingdom—mercy, justice, and compassion (especially for the poor).
Every area of life is important to God and the subject of his transforming grace. There can be no sacred/secular divide as we seek to carry out the mission. This is why the Community Action Team seeks to be at work in all spheres of life in Brantford/Brant—business, education, government, church, and family.
Transformation – it is what God does. It is the mission he has given his church. It is what he wants to do in us and through us. It’s a big mission. No church has the resources to carry out this mission alone—we need each other.
May God bless us richly as we seek to fulfill his mission, ONEchurch … participating together for the transformation of Brantford and Brant.