Glenvista Baptist Church Our Values
To explain what we mean by ‘family’ it would be necessary to say a word about the ‘nuclear family’. The Bible places great emphasis on family values. So, not only is it parents’ responsibility to ensure that their children are exposed to the Word of God on Sundays; it is also their responsibility before God to lead their children in biblical truth during the remainder of the week. In Deuteronomy 6:7–9 Israel was instructed to do the following with the commandments of God: ‘You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates’.
In the New Testament Paul instructs both children and parents to obey the Lord in the family unit. He says in Ephesians 6:1–4, ‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honour your father and mother (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land”. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord’.
Clearly God values family and so should we as God’s children. We cannot merely leave it in the hands of others Sunday to Sunday. We must be active in leading our children to Christ by God’s grace and enabling on a day-to-day basis. As parents, we – not the pastor or the Sunday school teacher – are their primary influence when it comes to shepherding them to follow God.
Here at Glenvista Baptist Church we would similarly want to be known for our unity amongst each other. Too many churches today are split as a result of disunity. Often some of these factions are caused over nonsensical matters; things which are not worthy of such repercussions.
We take the Bible seriously when it exhorts us to dwell in unity. In Psalm 133 David writes these beautiful words to show us the importance of unity among the brethren:
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is
When brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
On the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon,
Which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For the LORD has commanded the
blessing, life forevermore.”
In the New Testament Paul urges that we be ‘eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace’ (Ephesians 4:3). This means that rather than seeking our own way, we should strive for unity in the church.
This greatest commandment, which was re-emphasised by our Lord in Matthew 22:37–40, is what God still expects of His children. The magnum opus on love, 1 Corinthians 13, details for us what love looks like. Upon reading this chapter we will come to the realisation that every characteristic of love that Paul mentions is something that was present in the Lord Jesus Christ.
In short then, making provision for love is a non-negotiable. God made His love known to us when Christ came into the world. When we look at His character we should be motivated to emulate Him in our walk before Him (1 Corinthians 11:1).
The way we interpret the Word of God remains a very important aspect of our worship. The epistles are full of exhortations for us to remain true to the instructions that were passed on to us from the Lord Jesus and from the apostles.
It is because of a deviation from healthy biblical interpretation that so many churches have gone astray. We see in Acts 2 that the church devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles. This is something that God still expects from us today.
In 1 Timothy 4:16 Paul warns the young Timothy: ‘Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers’. By this Paul was instructing Timothy to remain doctrinally pure. Some might say doctrine is not important, but clearly it is. We can only worship God accurately when we know exactly what He expects of us.