Who god is

We believe that God is a beautiful Trinity.

God is not static, but dynamic, filled with life and beauty in deep relationship. God is one God in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These three persons know one another, love one another, act in harmony with one another and glorify one another. (Mark 1:9-11; John 17:4-5) Because the Father, Son and Spirit are always loving and serving one another, God is full of infinite joy.

We believe that God is a passionate Creator.

Out of great love, God created the world and everything in it. (Genesis 1-2; Nehemiah 9:6; Revelation 4:11) God is endlessly creative, as evidenced by the diversity and beauty of creation, most amazingly expressed in the creation of humanity.

We believe that God is a faithful Provider.

Not only does God create; God also sustains and holds things together (Colossians 1:15-17), faithfully providing for those in need. We believe in God as a loving Heavenly Father who wants to give good gifts to God’s children (Luke 11:13; Luke 12:32)

We believe that God is a loving Presence.

God is Spirit (John 4:24) and though invisible, makes God’s presence known. We believe that God’s presence guides us, fills us, teaches us and helps us in times of need. (Exodus 33:14; Psalm 50:15; John 16:13)

We believe that God is a grace-filled Redeemer.

God loves humanity so much that God would send Jesus into the world to be sacrifice for our sins. (John 3:16) Only by grace have we been saved, not because we are worthy in ourselves or have done anything to merit approval before God. (Ephesians 2:4-9)

We believe that God is a persistent Seeker.

God is a missionary God. At God’s heart is the impulse to reach out and embrace, to seek out and to save those who are broken and lost. Our understanding of the missionary nature of God and the church flows from the "sending" language of scripture. Abraham was sent by God to a foreign land. Isaiah was asked by God, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" (Isaiah 6) Jesus was sent by God on a mission. "For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me." (John 6:38)

We believe that God is an empowering Sender.

God sent his Son, filled with the Spirit (Matthew 3:13-17), into the world to be our redeemer. (1 John 4:9) Through Jesus, God sent his followers out to preach, teach, heal and bless (Luke 10:1-9) God has poured out the Spirit on the church in order to accomplish the church’s mission. Jesus commissioned the disciples: "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." (John 20:21)


What god has done

God created the world and everything in it.

(Genesis 1:1-27) Everything belongs to God. (Psalm 24:1) Because this is true, we don’t have to be in control of the world. We can enjoy life, work with purpose and love one another.

God entrusted to humanity the stewardship of the earth.

(Genesis 1:28-31) Because this is true, we have responsibility to live in such a way that cares for creation and brings honor to what God has created.

God established order and intended design for all of creation.

(Genesis 2:4-25; Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1:3-14) Because this is true, there are boundaries for how we should live which are meant to bring good to our lives. Life is a discovery of who we are and why we have been created.

God continued to love and pursue relationship with humanity when the design was broken by humanity’s rebellion.

Humanity turned away from God and did not trust in God’s goodness and love. (Colossians 1:14; Galatians 3:13-14) We were created to share in God’s glory, but “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Still, God pursues us in unfailing love and faithfulness (Psalm 139). Because this is true, while every human is “broken” in our relationship with God, our relationship with one another and our relationship with creation, God desires to heal these relationships and restore us.

God entered into our human experience through Jesus.

Jesus is God’s answer to human brokenness. Born to the Virgin Mary (Matthew 1:18-25), He grew up, taught, healed, and blessed, revealing what life is like in the Kingdom of God. Then suffered on our behalf, dying on the cross. Jesus gave his life as a sacrifice for all of humanity’s sin, reversing the effects of our rebellion. Because this is true, we can be restored to the intended design for which we have been created.

God raised up Jesus from the grave, defeating sin, death and despair.

(Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:6-7; John 20:1-18) Because this is true, we can experience victory through life’s struggles and defeats, knowing that ultimately we share in Christ’s power and life.

 

God poured out the Spirit on the church.

(Acts 2:1-13) Because this is true, we are no longer condemned, but a new creation. The Holy Spirit, which has made us alive in Christ, now lives in us, His church, and gives us access to the power of God to overcome sin, despair and the fear of death. God gives spiritual gifts through the Spirit in order to carry out God’s work on earth. (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30; Ephesians 4:11)

God sent the church out with a mission of disciple-making.

(Matthew 28:18-20) Because this is true, we are sent and empowered by the Spirit for the mission of making disciples, helping others to know the good news of Jesus, be baptized and learn how to obey his commands.

God has promised that one day Jesus would return to set everything right.

That day will mark the end to the sin, suffering, evil and brokenness of the world. (Matthew 24:44; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; 2 Peter 3:10) Because this is true, we can have hope as we endure suffering and work for a more peaceful and just world. One day Jesus will be the judge of the living and the dead (1 Peter 4:1-8; 2 Timothy 4:1), and all those who put their trust in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection will enjoy being in God’s presence forever in the new heaven and the new earth. Because this is true, we don’t sit as the judge of anyone.

God has revealed who God is through the Bible.

Through the Bible, we learn who God is, what God has done, who we are and what we are called to do. We believe that the written Word of God is living and active (Hebrews 4:12) and through it God helps us to hear and know the “eternal” Word, Jesus Christ, who was present at the beginning of creation as God spoke the world into being. (Genesis 1:3-26) We believe that God has spoken most fully to us through Jesus. (Hebrews 1:1-2) “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) Jesus continues to speak and His followers know His voice. (John 10:27)


WHo We are

We are created in the image of God.

We have been fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image. (Genesis 1:27; Psalm 139:14) Because this is true, we can love ourselves and learn to see ourselves as God does.

We are broken.

The image of God in us remains, but we have been broken and separated from God. (Genesis 3:22; Ephesians 2:1-3; ; Romans 5:12; Psalm 14:2-3) Because this is true, we don’t have to act like we are perfect or judge others for their imperfections.

 We are redeemed.

We believe that the gospel is the power of God for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:16) We have been saved for the purpose of glorifying God and to participate in the mission of God to make disciples of Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:17; John 8:36) Because this is true, we can live as free people, no longer slaves to our sins.

We are family.

God is gathering a family, one that would love one another and learn together how to love God with all of our hearts. (John 1:12; 1 John 3:1-2; Ephesians 2:19-22) Because this is true, we can be assured of our place in the world, no longer afraid or alone.

 We are servants.

We are servants of the King. (Mark 10:45; Philippians 2:5-8) Just as Jesus did not come into the world to be served, but to serve others, so now are we called to serve others rather than serving ourselves. Because this is true, we find our purpose in laying down our lives to serve others.

We are priests.

God has made each person a priest, someone who can help others to connect with God in a deep and loving relationship. (1 Peter 2:9) Because this is true, we are called to holy (set-apart) lives, working in the world for God’s kingdom and in service to others. (2 Corinthians 7:1)

We are missionaries.

Each of us has a mission to fulfill and a people to reach. (Romans 8:28) Some are called to go, while others are called to stay, but we are all called (John 20:21; Matthew 28:18-20) We all have different gifts that have been given according to what God calls us to do. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11) Because this is true, we work together to complement one another’s gifts and seek to be faithful missionaries for Christ in the places where we live, work and play.


What God Has Called Us to Do

We believe that God’s intention is to use ordinary, everyday people to demonstrate God’s amazing power and glory.

God has a mission to set things right in a broken world, to redeem and restore it. Mission flows directly from the nature and purposes of a missionary God. It is God's mission and the church is an instrument created by God and sent into the world to accomplish the mission.

We are a people called and sent by God to participate in his redemptive mission of the world. The nature of the church is missionary- rooted in the very nature of God. We don't gather to serve ourselves or to consume religious things; we gather to be equipped and then to be sent out into the world. We gather for the sake of others, then are sent out in the power of the Spirit to be everyday missionaries.

We believe that each person is called to be a missionary of God’s love.

We are called as missionaries to tell the world about the Trinitarian God who is Creator, Provider, Presence, Redeemer, Seeker and Sender.

A missionary is not just someone who goes overseas, although God does call some people to far-off places. God is looking for men and women who will pray, strategize, reach out and lay down their lives for others in the everyday places of life. This is our definition of an everyday missionary:

Everyday missionaries are those who love God with their whole hearts, are being transformed together by the love of Jesus, and who are sent by the Spirit to love others in places where they live, work and play.

Together we are fulfilling the mission:

Building Everyday People Into Everyday Missionaries for Jesus Christ.

Everyday people are from every ethnic group, rich and poor, educated and uneducated. Anyone can become an everyday missionary. We believe that God wants to transform ordinary people into extraordinary servants of Jesus Christ.

Everyday missionaries find their identify first and foremost in Christ. We have been created by God and given stewardship over God’s gifts. We are broken people who have experienced the grace and wholeness of God’s love. We have been redeemed in order to be a family of priests, servants and missionaries.  Together we are called to equip one another to fulfill this purpose in organic ways.

We believe that as God works through us, we’ll see our community transformed to reflect the Kingdom of God.

 We exist to be a blessing for the world. God continues to call together a diverse, Spirit-filled group of believers who will live out the missionary life through the local Body of Christ known as Cliff Temple. Our center of ministry is in Oak Cliff, but our members extend throughout the Dallas metroplex, serving in their own neighborhoods and workplaces. We are a local and global church, connected to the worldwide Body of Christ.

When our mission is fulfilled, rooted in our theological vision, this is what we believe we will see:

We will become a multi-cultural, multiplying movement of disciples who love and serve their neighbors as they become like Jesus Christ.

Got questions? Email Pastor Brent McDougal (brent@clifftemple.org) to start a conversation.