"We exist to GLORIFY GOD through GOSPEL-TRANSFORMED LIVES..."
"Why is this our purpose?"
It's not about you. Even if that stings the pride, it is absolutely true. Even if it goes against every fiber of our being, it's still true. We have been conditioned to think of everything in reference to self. Ever since humanity came into contact with sin, we have struggled to think of anything without self occupying the center of our perception. That includes how we view religion, in general, and Christianity, in particular. But at the end of the day (and even at the start), it's not about you. Period. Full stop. What then is it about? It's about the glory of God.
Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul:
"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! 'For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?' 'Or who has given a gift to Him that he might be repaid?' For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen"
To the Corinthians, Paul wrote,
"whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
(1 Corinthians 10:31)
Clearly, then, it's not just the "spiritual" activities in our lives that God means for us to do for His glory. It's every activity in our lives. Eat to the glory of God. Drink to the glory of God. Whatever you find yourself doing, do it to the glory of God. Your doing was meant to glorify Him. All our doing should have that conscious aim, both individually and as a local church (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Psalm 22:23; 29:1-2; Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 4:16; John 21:19).
Yet for us to live our lives in a way that magnifies the glory of God requires that God's Spirit transforms us so that we increasingly take on the character of our Lord, Jesus Christ. True transformation is the product the Holy Spirit using the Gospel to shape our lives, conforming us increasingly to the mold of Christ's likeness (to learn more about the Gospel, click HERE). This is how we are able to glorify God. And this reminds us how essential the Gospel is, not just at the point of conversion but every step along the way in the Christian life. Our church is filled with people who believe that they exist to glorify God and who, therefore, strive to saturate themselves in the Gospel daily. We are imperfect. Very imperfect. Yet we're comforted by the glorious hope and grace we find in the New Testament:
"And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ...to the glory and praise of God."
(Philippians 1:6, 11)
"We do this by ACTIVELY EMBRACING three GCs: GOSPEL-CENTRALITY, the GREAT COMMISSION, and the GREAT COMMANDMENTS."
"Want to Know More?"
The "3 GCs."
That's a phrase we throw around a lot at Southern Oaks, but it's far more than just a slogan to us. It's short-hand for three non-negotiables at our church: Gospel-Centrality, the Great Commission, and the Great Commandments. We actively embrace all three of these. What does that mean? It means we don't want to merely affirm their importance from the pews. We aim higher than that. We actively strive to live them out and embody what they represent, individually and as a church. Our goal is for all of our activities to have the Gospel at their center and all our ministries to equip us to live out, or provide opportunities to engage in, the Great Commission and Great Commandments to the glory of God.