The Gospel of Jesus Christ is central to everything we do and are at The Anchor. That is why we have a cross at the center of our logo! The cross represents God's plan for rescuing rebellious human beings. There are at least four parts to God's rescue story...just as there are four points on the cross. They are Creation, Sin (aka: The Fall), Redemption, and Consummation.
The first book of the Bible (Genesis) says that God created the world and that it was perfect. He made Adam and Eve, the first humans in history, and they had a perfect relationship with Him. Everything was great until they decided to reject and rebel against God. They committed the first rebellion (sin) against God and human beings have been rebelling against God ever since.
Rebellion (sin) is repulsive to God. He cannot ignore it or just look the other way. God is absolutely perfect and our rebellion makes it (almost...see below) impossible for God to have a relationship with us. Even so, God still treasures us. We don't deserve it, but He chooses to love us anyway! That is why Jesus came. Jesus is God's son! He came to earth, lived a perfect life, and died on a cross in order to pay the penalty for all the sins we have ever committed. He redeemed us! He paid a price we could not pay so that our relationship with Him could be restored! Jesus proved His claims and demonstrated His power over sin and death by coming back to life three days later.
People that turn away from their rebellion and accept God's offer of forgiveness can have peace and friendship with Him. More than that, we can be adopted into His family! He becomes our Heavenly Father and we become His children. There is no other way into God's family. We cannot earn it. The debt it too great and we are too rebellious. Jesus is the only way.
Jesus is in Heaven right now. However, He is coming back soon. God's plan for rescuing the world will be complete. Everything will be made right again. We call that "consummation." However, it is not the end of the story. In a way, it is just the beginning. The Bible says that everyone who is part of God's family will spend eternity with Him in Heaven. Everyone who rejects His offer of forgiveness and embraces their rebellious heart will spend eternity in Hell.
Seeking, Treasuring, and Proclaiming
People sometimes think following Jesus is boring or is simply obeying a list of rules. We believe Christianity is an upward spiral of seeking, treasuring, and proclaiming. We get these principles from Matthew 13:44-46.
Christianity always starts with what God has done for us, not the other way around (notice the downward arrow in the logo). That way we can’t boast of our accomplishments or try to earn God’s favor. God comes looking for us, even though we are full of sin. He treasures those that accept His offer of forgiveness and adopts us into His family. He proclaims His love, grace, kindness, and mercy to us through Jesus Christ and the sacrifice that He made on the cross.
Meanwhile, God has opened the way for us to have a growing relationship with Him. That's why we have an upward arrow in the center of the logo. We can (and should) seek Him by spending time with Him, reading His Bible, praying to Him, loving Him, and obeying Him. We can (and should) treasure Him above anything else because He is more precious than everything else put together. We can (and should) joyfully proclaim His preciousness by worshiping Him with all of our hearts. Something amazing happens when we start to treasure God in this way. We start to think and act more like Jesus! We start to rebel less. We start to love more. And God gets the credit because He is the one that makes it all happen in our hearts.
Christianity doesn’t just transform our relationship with God. It transforms our relationship with other people as well. That is depicted by the horizontal components in our logo. We treasure others by seeking them out, loving them, serving them, and telling them about the wonderful news of Jesus Christ. We want to help people, just like Jesus did. However, our ultimate goal is to help them find their greatest joy and satisfaction in everything that God has done for them on their behalf.
Circles of Responsibility
There are a lot of commandments in the Bible. They are all important. After all, obeying God is one of the ways that we demonstrate that our relationship with God is real. However, we need make sure that our priorities match God's priorities. His first priority for us is to make sure that our relationship with God is healthy since He is the one who leads, guides, and transforms our hearts. We cannot have a healthy Christian life without "abiding" (John 15) in Him. Then we have to make sure that our family’s relationship with God is healthy. This is particularly important for parents. We are also called to love our friends and neighbors, to love other Christians, and to love people that believe differently than we do. At The Anchor, we call these principles the Five F’s: Faith, Family, Fold, Flock, and Field. Ideally, we should do a great job in all five areas at the same time. Sometimes, though, it is necessary to focus on our core priorities. Each "F" builds on the one before and ensures that we have a solid foundation for serving Christ and for serving others exceptionally well.