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.
"And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone's opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” But, knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why put me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him, “Caesar's.” Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” And they marveled at him."
–Mark 12:13-17 ESV
The leaders of the day work across the aisle to trap Jesus in a thorny question about Caesar and taxes. A lot is at stake in Jesus' answer: a simple no puts him at odds with the authorities, while a simple yes makes it seem like his talk about God's kingdom won't change anything in the real world. But Jesus' answer challenges our allegiances in this world while bringing hope for real change. We are called to walk in the world respectfully, but with God as our ultimate authority.
Jesus challenges the Pharisees and Herodians on their hypocritical question. Are your questions about the Christian life motivated by a desire to keep Jesus at a distance, or by a desire to follow Jesus more closely?
Many people in Jesus' day thought that the right government was the solution to the world's biggest problems. What are some other forces in today's world that people think will solve our problems?
Jesus says that we owe God our ultimate allegiance, over every other philosophy and power in the world. What are some philosophies and powers that might challenge your allegiance to God?
What makes Jesus' kingdom different from Rome? Why does it offer us more hope than the other forces that want our allegiance? How do those differences color the way we live as citizens of God's kingdom in the world today?
Brian serves the church by overseeing preaching and Sunday morning services at Cornerstone.
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