OUR VISION

At Refuge Church we desire to see the diverse people of Atlanta become family through the gospel.

 

OUR MISSION

Refuge Church will REACH people with the gospel, BUILD them up as the church, and RELEASE them on mission.

One Gospel: Three Aspects

There is only one gospel, but it has three vital aspects – Kingdom, Cross, Grace. The gospel both forms and fuels the church.

Gospel of God’s Kingdom

The Kingdom of God is the place where what God wants done gets done.  The Kingdom of God is the reign of God in the hearts and lives of people who love Him. To live in the Kingdom of God is to see that Jesus is our good King and all of his mandates are for our joy. Living this way can be thought of simply as life with God. This is a life that isn’t just a “some day” life, but it’s a life that is available to God’s people today.  The gospel announces that life with God has come near to us and is once again available to all who put their faith in Jesus. Unlike any other way of living, God’s Kingdom calls us to a life that is truly worth everything we have.

What is the Kingdom of God? The kingdom of God is life with God under the rule of God.  Simply put, the Kingdom of God is the good life with Jesus under the rulership of King Jesus.  The gospel of God’s kingdom announces that life with God has come near to us and is once again available to all who put their faith in Jesus.  As kingdom citizens, we see that all of God’s commands and instructions are for our joy and they are leading us toward life.  (Matthew 24:14; Mark 1:14-15; Romans 14:17)

Key Texts

  • His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation. (Daniel 4:3)
  • This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)
  • “The time has come,” he said. “ the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)
  • For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)

Outline:

Life with God is Announced by Jesus (Luke 4:14-21)

  • Jesus is the fulfiller of God’s Kingdom (Luke 4:21; 1 Corinthians 1:20)
  • Jesus is the Ruler of God’s Kingdom (Luke 1:32-33)
  • Jesus is the Redeemer of God’s Kingdom (Galatians 4:4-5)
  • Jesus is the Giver of God’s Kingdom (Luke 12:32)

Life with God is Available through Faith in Jesus (Mark 1:14-15)

  • Jesus calls us to life that is “worth all and requires all” (Mathew 13:44)
  • Jesus offers life to anyone and everyone (Luke 4:43)
  • Jesus does for us what we could never do for ourselves (Luke 18:27)

Life with God starts from within and works its way out (Romans 14:17)

  • It’s not a matter of religion or morality (Philippians 3:8-9)
  • It’s not a matter of changing society (Philippians 3:8-9)

Synonyms for Kingdom

  • In Matthew, Mark, and Luke = Kingdom of God
  • In John’s Gospel = Eternal Life
  • In Paul = Union with Christ

Gospel of God’s Cross

The gospel of God’s cross is the good news that, through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we have been made right with God. “ e Cross” is short- hand for everything Jesus accomplished in his life, death and resurrection. In his life, Jesus lived the life of perfect obedience that we fail to live. In his death, Jesus received the punishment for sin you and I deserve. In his resurrection, Jesus destroyed the controlling power of sin in our lives. Jesus has not only received the punishment that all people deserve, he has also freed his people from slavery to sin and clothed them in his perfect right standing with God. The invitation back into life with God surely goes out to all the Earth, but the only way we can enter into that life is through the cross of Jesus.

What is the gospel of God’s Cross? The gospel of God’s cross announces that, through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we have been made right with God.  (Isaiah 53:4; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; Galatians 6:14)

Key Texts

  • But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4)
  • For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
  • May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14)

Outline

The Cross Promised

  • The Promise of Suffering (Mark 8:30-33)
  • The Promise of Resurrection and Glory (Mark 9:31-32)

The Cross Experienced

  • The Crucifixion (Mark 10:32-34; 15:25-41)
  • The Resurrection (Mark 16:1-6)

The Cross Explained (1 Peter 3:18)

Jesus is our Redemption (Mark 10:45; Titus 2:14)

  • Propitiation – God’s wrath is satisfied – our sins have been fully paid for – (1 John 2:2)
  • Expiation – All our sins have been taken away – (Psalm 103:12)
  • Summary – Jesus blood is enough to pay for my sins and take them away!


Jesus is our Righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21)

  • Justification – God looks at us and says, “Not guilty!”- (Romans 5:9)
  • Imputation – God takes Jesus’ righteousness amount and credits it into the Christians account – (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 4:22-24)


Jesus is our Reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-20)

  • Reconciliation – We are now family with God – Friends and no longer enemies – (Ephesians 2:13, 17)
  • Union – When God the Father looks at us he sees us in the same way he sees Jesus – perfect, holy, blameless – (Colossians 1:20)

Gospel of God’s Grace

We have been invited back into life with God as a result of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Apart from Jesus we remain spiritually dead, unable to do good or desire God.  The grace of God tells us, though, that we are not accepted by God as a result of our performance. The gospel of God’s grace announces that God accepts us and shares his life with us not because we have earned or deserved it but because he gives it to us freely at Christ’s expense. This means that there is nothing we can do to achieve our salvation. It’s a gift that God freely gives us. Looking at all three aspects of the gospel together, then, we declare that life with God is made available to us through the cross of Christ as a pure gift of God’s grace.

What is the gospel of God’s grace?  The Gospel of God’s grace is His outrageous acceptance of us not because we have earned it or deserved it but because he gives it to us freely at Christ’s expense.  (Ephesians 1:4-6, 2:8-9, 2 Timothy 1:9-10; Titus 3:4-7; John 6:44; Luke 15:20-24; Romans 9:16; 2 Corinthians 8:9)

Key Texts

  • I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. (Acts 20:24)
  • For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
  • It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. (Romans 9:16)

Outline

Two Enemies of Grace

  • Performance -“I can earn it”
  • Entitlement – “I deserve it”

Acceptance is Based on Jesus’ Performance not ours – (Mark 2:14-15)

Entitlement Blinds us to Our Need of God’s Grace – (Mark 2:16-17)

The Gospel transforms us into a new people in Christ Jesus.  It is vital to begin with who the church is before we discuss what the church does, because what we do flows from who we are.  The secondary and necessary question is what we do. 

As his church, God says we are:

Worshipers who see every aspect of life as an opportunity to worship God.  A worshiper lives to glorify the Father by the power of the Sprit through the work of the Son.

Servants who have been called, created, and saved to serve God and others, while living justly and mercifully.

Disciples who are life long students of Jesus, creatively seeking to live like Jesus.  A disciple is one who desires to be with Jesus in order to become like Jesus and teaches others to do the same.

Family who are children of God through faith in Jesus Christ and then inconsequence, brothers and sisters of one another, united by the Holy Spirit, who care for one another as a family.

Witnesses who have experienced the gospel and been sent to declare and display the gospel to the whole world.

The gospel invites us into a different way of living and being, not to prove or earn, but to enjoy. What we do as believers will always flow from who we are in Christ. Each of these identities flow from the fact that God has welcomed us into his life through his Son, and each finds its fullest expression and definition in the person of Jesus.

The gospel takes hold of us, transforms us, and we live out new lives in the light of that glorious news.

The gospel not only transforms us, it also compels us to live out who we are where we are.  We desire to constantly release men and women into God’s world to proclaim the gospel in word and deed.  Within this world, we inhabit five dimensions.  God cares about each one and desires to see the gospel transform each one of them – Location, Vocation, Recreation, Restoration, and Multiplication.

Location (Where we live): God has placed each of us in a specific location – a particular home in a particular neighborhood in a particular city. This is no coincidence. Where we live, what our home is like, and what kind of relationships we have with neighbors all matter to God.

Vocation (Where we work): God wants to transform everything through the power of the gospel, including our workplace, whether you’re an accountant or a college student, a full-time parent or a government official, an artist or an athlete.

Recreation (Where we play and rest):  The gospel changes how we rest and play because we see it as an opportunity to declare God’s greatness and enjoy all he has given us.

Restoration (Where there is need and brokenness):  The gospel calls us to enter into this hurting, weary world that is filled with brokenness, and strive to bring about restoration.

Multiplication (Where we multiply):  The gospel brings about new life and so we seek to multiply our ministries, talents, and resources to the ends of the earth.

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. – Habakkuk 2:14