What is the gospel?
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The Gospel is both remarkably simple and elaborately complex.

But this is our take on it:

 

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The Story of God, the World and You


As Glen Scrivener has explained so well, through his 321 videos - humankind has chosen from the beginning to be our own god, to set our own rules and to determine our own path. This is “sin” at its fundamental root.  Sin hasn’t simply removed us from relationship with God, it’s brought death to creation as a whole.  God—as a just God—demanded payment. But because God is LOVE, He chose to make the payment Himself rather than extracting it from us! (Romans 5.8) In Jesus Christ, all the penalties and debts of our sin that stood between us and God are fully and totally paid for. His death paid for the sins of the world and after dying, He rose from the dead, conquering death. Because Jesus paid for our sins, sin and death no longer have the final word.  God has not simply removed a penalty from us. He has begun to undo the curse of death that everything and everyone is under. One day the dead will rise, the earth and heavens will be renewed, and God will live forever in the midst of his people on the earth.

What is the Church?
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The church is everyone who believes in Jesus

There is no simple answer for this but here is how we see it

 

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Roswell Community Church is one local manifestation of God’s global Church.

 

Once someone comes to faith in him, they are given the Church as part of their new life, their new family.

 
 
 

  • The Church is the people of God—the called out ones—who, beginning with Abraham, were chosen by the Creator from among the nations to be his covenant people.
  • The Church is the Bride of Christ, his treasured possession whom he purchased from death and slavery to make his own.
  • The Church is a community of saints, who reflect the divine image of Trinitarian life by relating to one another in deference to the needs and desires of the other.
  • The Church is the light of the World, a city on a hill that is meant to live in such a way so that all who see it are drawn towards the God who has called people out of darkness and into his marvelous light.
  • The Church is the Good News-Givers of the world, who declare with their works and with their words the Gospel of what Jesus has accomplished for the whole creation.
  • The Church is the Body of Christ, which works together to heal and build-up one another into becoming reflections of Christ on the earth.
  • The Church is those who submit themselves to the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures, which reveal the love of God and his purposes in the world.
  • The Church is heaven’s citizenry, who live in the midst of a broken world but see it as their calling and privilege to bring the culture and heart of their home country—God’s kingdom—into the kingdom of this world.
  • The Church is a people who live sacramental lives—declaring the new birth in baptism and receiving, remembering, and rejoicing in Christ’s work on the cross through communion.

 

The Church is all of these things and more. At Roswell we embrace, with a healthy dose of humility, all of these wonderful and transcendent truths and we see ourselves as a small part of a much larger and ancient story. This is why if you come to Roswell you’ll hear words and witness practices that anchor us in the many centuries of our rich history. For us, Church isn’t a building, a program, or even an institution. It is a people who have been made alive through Jesus, who gather together around word and sacrament to worship God and, through the Spirit, bear one another’s burdens. We hope you will come and experience the Church at Roswell Community.

 
 
Roswell Beliefs
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  Confession of Faith         

We believe that our only hope is that we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore, our desired goal is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. The following “We Believes” are the foundation of that “only hope” and “desired goal.”

 

THE Triune god [+]

We believe in one God, eternally existing in three equally, but unique, divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who know, love, and glorify one another. This one true and living God is infinitely perfect both in his love and in his holiness. He is the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, and is therefore worthy to receive all glory and adoration. Immortal and eternal, he perfectly and exhaustively knows the end from the beginning, sustains and sovereignly rules over all things, and providentially brings about his eternal good purposes to redeem a people for himself and restore his fallen creation, to the praise of his glorious grace.


THE FALL [+]

We believe that Adam, made in the image of God, distorted that image and forfeited his original blessedness—for himself and all his progeny—by falling into sin through Satan’s temptation. As a result, human beings are alienated from God, corrupted in every aspect of their being (e.g., physically, mentally, volitionally, emotionally, spiritually) and condemned finally and irrevocably to death—apart from God’s own gracious intervention. The supreme need of all human beings is to be reconciled to the God under whose just and holy wrath we stand; the only hope of all human beings is the undeserved love of this same God, who alone can rescue us and restore us to himself.


the redemption of Christ [+]

We believe that, moved by love and in obedience to his Father, the eternal Son became human: the Word became flesh, fully God and fully human being, one Person in two natures. The man Jesus, the promised Messiah of Israel, was conceived through the miraculous agency of the Holy Spirit, and was born of the virgin Mary. He perfectly obeyed his heavenly Father, lived a sinless life, performed miraculous signs, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead on the third day, and ascended into heaven. As the mediatorial King, he is seated at the right hand of God the Father, exercising in heaven and on earth all of God’s sovereignty, and is our High Priest and righteous Advocate. We believe that by his incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension, Jesus Christ acted as our representative and substitute. He did this so that in him we might become the righteousness of God: on the cross he canceled sin, propitiated God, and, by bearing the full penalty of our sins, reconciled to God all those who believe. By his resurrection Christ Jesus was vindicated by his Father, broke the power of death and defeated Satan who once had power over it, and brought everlasting life to all his people; by his ascension he has been forever exalted as Lord and has prepared a place for us to be with him. We believe that salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved. Because God chose the lowly things of this world, the despised things, the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, no human being can ever boast before him—Christ Jesus has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.


the kingdom of god [+]

We believe that the kingdom of God, already present but not fully realized, is the exercise of God’s sovereignty in the world toward the eventual redemption of all creation. The kingdom of God is a conquering power that plunders Satan’s dark kingdom and rescues, regenerates and renovates, through repentance and faith, those who believe. Thus, those who have been saved by the grace of God through union with Christ by faith and through regeneration by the Holy Spirit enter the kingdom of God and delight in the blessings of the new covenant: the forgiveness of sins, the inward transformation that awakens a desire to glorify, trust, and obey God, the empowering by the Holy Spirit to live as the new creations we have become, and thus reflecting our new citizenship in the kingdom, and the prospect of the glory yet to be revealed. Good works constitute indispensable evidence of saving grace. Living as salt in a world that is decaying and light in a world that is dark, believers should neither withdraw into seclusion from the world, nor become indistinguishable from it. Recognizing whose created order this is, and because we are citizens ofGod’s kingdom, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, doing good to all, especially to those who belong to the household of God.


restoration of all things [+]

We believe in the personal, glorious, and bodily return of our Lord Jesus Christ with his holy angels, when he will exercise his role as final Judge, and his kingdom and eternal plan will be consummated. We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust—the unjust to judgment and eternal conscious punishment in hell, as our Lord himself taught, and the just to eternal blessedness in the presence of him who sits on the throne and of the Lamb, in the new heaven and the new earth, the home of righteousness. On that day the Church will be presented faultless before God by the obedience, suffering and triumph of Christ, all sin purged and its wretched effects forever banished. God will be all in all and his people will be enthralled by the immediacy of his indescribable holiness, and everything will be to the praise of his glorious grace.


REVELAtION [+]

God has graciously disclosed his existence and power in the created order, and has supremely revealed himself to fallen human beings in the person of his Son, the incarnate Word. Moreover, this God is a speaking God who by his Spirit has graciously disclosed himself in human words: we believe that God has inspired the words preserved in the Scriptures, the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, which are both record and means of his saving work in the world. These writings alone constitute the verbally inspired Word of God, which is utterly authoritative and without error in the original writings, complete in its revelation of his will for salvation, sufficient for all that God requires us to believe and do, and final in its authority over every domain of knowledge to which it speaks. We confess that both our finitude and our sinfulness preclude the possibility of knowing God’s truth exhaustively, but we affirm that, enlightened by the Spirit of God, we can know God’s revealed truth truly. The Bible is to be believed, as God’s instruction, in all that it teaches; obeyed, as God’s command, in all that it requires; and trusted, as God’s pledge, in all that it promises. As God’s people hear, believe, and do the Word, they are equipped as disciples of Christ and witnesses to the gospel.


the plan of god [+]

We believe that from all eternity God determined in grace to save a great multitude of guilty sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation, and to this end foreknew and chose them. We believe that God justifies and sanctifies those who by grace have faith in Jesus, and that he will one day glorify them—all to the praise of his glorious grace. In love God commands and implores all people to repent and believe, having set his saving love on those he has chosen and having ordained Christ to be their Redeemer.


the justification of sinners [+]

We believe that Christ, by his voluntary obedience and death, fully discharged the debt of all those who are justified. By his sacrifice, he bore in our stead the punishment due us for our sins, making a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice on our behalf. By his perfect obedience he satisfied the just demands of God on our behalf, since by faith alone that perfect obedience is credited to all who trust in Christ alone for their acceptance with God. The believer is accepted by the Father in Christ as Christ Himself is accepted, being made one with Him forever. The believer is, at the point of salvation, in possession of every spiritual blessing and absolutely complete in Christ. We are perfect in our standing before God even though in this life we will never attain perfection in our behavior. Inasmuch as Christ was given by the Father for us, and his obedience and punishment were accepted in place of our own, freely and not for anything in us, this justification is solely of free grace, in order that both the exact justice and the rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners. We believe that a zeal for personal and public obedience flows from this free justification.


god's new people, the church [+]

We believe that God’s kingdom includes the Church, his new covenant people, who have already come to the heavenly Jerusalem; they are already seated with Christ in the heavenlies. This universal Church is manifest in local churches of which Christ is the only Head; thus each “local church” is, in fact, the church, the household of God, the assembly of the living God, and the pillar and foundation of the truth. The establishment of local churches is assumed in the New Testament scriptures. A plurality of biblically qualified men, called elders, are instructed to serve the local assembly under the authority of Christ as servants to Christ and are given authority by Him to lead and shepherd the local church. The Church is the body of Christ, the apple of his eye, graven on his hands, and he has pledged himself to her forever. The Church is distinguished by her gospel message, her sacred ordinances, her discipline, her great mission, and, above all, by her love for God, and by her members’ love for one another and for the world. Crucially, this gospel we cherish has both personal and corporate dimensions, neither of which may properly be overlooked. Christ Jesus is our peace: he has not only brought about peace with God, but also peace between alienated peoples. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both Jew and Gentile to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. The Church serves as a sign of God’s future new world when its members live for the service of one another and their neighbors, rather than for self-focus. The Church is the corporate dwelling place of God’s Spirit, and the continuing witness to God in the world.


the creation of humanity [+]

We believe that, as the capstone to his creation, God created human beings, male and female, in his own image. Adam and Eve belonged to the created order that God himself declared to be very good, serving as God’s agents to care for, manage, and govern creation, living in holy and devoted fellowship with their Maker. Men and women, equally made in the image of God, enjoy equal access to God by faith in Christ Jesus and are both called to move beyond passive self-indulgence to significant private and public engagement in family, church, and civic life. Adam and Eve were made to complement each other in a one-flesh union that establishes the only normative pattern of sexual relations for men and women, such that marriage ultimately serves as a type of the union between Christ and his church. In God’s wise purposes, men and women are not simply interchangeable, but rather they complement each other in mutually enriching ways. God ordains that they assume distinctive roles which reflect the loving relationship between Christ and the church, the husband exercising headship in a way that displays the caring, sacrificial love of Christ, and the wife submitting to her husband in a way that models the love of the church for her Lord. In the ministry of the church, both men and women are encouraged to serve Christ and to be developed to their full potential in the manifold ministries of the people of God. The distinctive leadership role of preaching and eldership within the church given to qualified men, is grounded in creation, fall, and redemption and must not be sidelined by appeals to cultural developments.


THE gospel [+]

We believe that the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ—God’s very wisdom. Utter folly to the world, even though it is the power of God to those who are being saved, this good news is christological, centering on the cross and resurrection: the gospel is not proclaimed if Christ is not proclaimed, and the authentic Christ has not been proclaimed if his death and resurrection are not central (the message is: “Christ died for our sins . . . [and] was raised”). This good news is biblical (his death and resurrection are according to the Scriptures), theological and salvific (Christ died for our sins, to reconcile us to God), historical (if the saving events did not happen, our faith is worthless, we are still in our sins, and we are to be pitied more than all others), apostolic (the message was entrusted to and transmitted by the apostles, who were witnesses of these saving events), and intensely personal (where it is received, believed, and held firmly, individual persons are saved). The Gospel is also the power of God for our sanctification, i.e. becoming more and more like Jesus Christ in our words, thoughts and actions. Just as the Gospel is the good news that tells us we cannot save ourselves from the penalty of sin, it is also the good news that tells us we cannot save ourselves from the power of sin in our lives. No amount of effort can make us more like Jesus. As we live our lives focussed on Him the Spirit uses that focus to transform us more and more into his likeness. Like our justification, our sanctification is all done for us. That does not mean, however, that we are passive spectators. We are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling for God is working in us both to will and work for his good pleasure.  The Gospel is also the power of God for our glorification. Just as it removes us from the penalty of sin and can give us victory over the power of sin, one day it will remove us from the very presence of sin. When Christ returns we will be given glorified bodies, be ushered into the new heaven and new earth and live in the presence of our God forever, the penalty, power and presence of sin completely removed.


the power of the holy spirit [+]

We believe that this salvation, attested in all Scripture and secured by Jesus Christ, is applied to his people by the Holy Spirit. Sent by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ, and, as the other Paraclete, is present with and in believers. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and by his powerful and mysterious work regenerates spiritually dead sinners, awakening them to repentance and faith, and in him they are baptized into union with the Lord Jesus, such that they are justified before God by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone. By the Spirit's agency, believers are renewed, sanctified, adopted into God's family and placed into the universal body of Christ. They participate in the divine nature and receive his sovereignly distributed gifts to be invested in this world for God’s glory and the good of others. The Holy Spirit is himself the down payment of the promised inheritance,  eternally securing the salvation of the believer. In this age the Holy Spirit indwells, guides, instructs, equips, revives, and empowers believers to be progressively transformed into Christ-like living and service.


Baptism and the lord's supper [+]

We believe that baptism and the Lord’s Supper are ordained by the Lord Jesus himself. The former is connected with entrance into the new covenant community, the Church, the latter with ongoing covenant renewal. Together they are simultaneously God’s pledge to us, divinely ordained means of grace, our public vows of submission to the once crucified and now resurrected Christ, and anticipations of his return and of the consummation of all things.


 

What Membership Looks Like at Roswell

“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”

— Romans 12.4–5

 
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– Becoming a Member at Roswell –

Step One

Read through our Membership Booklet. Get the PDF version here or pick up a hard copy at the Newcomer Table on Sundays.

Step Two

Attend a Membership Class that outlines Mission, Doctrine, and Membership at Roswell Community Church.

Step Three

Sign the Membership Agreement Card and turn it in to a pastor or staff member on Sundays.

Step Four

Meet with an elder  to ask any questions or clarify anything before being formally received into membership.