What West Loop UBF Believes
We began having Sunday Worship Services at West Loop on Jan 4th, 2008. Our foundational belief is that the Gospel is central and crucial to the life of the church. We believe that a church where the gospel is preached and proclaimed produces a gospel church and a gospel community, and enables the gospel to be lived out and expressed in every area of our lives as a Christian.
The Centrality of the Gospel
Our prayer is that the gospel may be central and foundational to everything that we think, feel, decide and do, either in church, or in our homes, or in the world--wherever we are. What is the gospel? The gospel is the grace of God (Acts 20:24), the message of the cross (1 Cor 1:18), or Christ crucified (1 Cor 1:23, 2:2), which Paul regards as of paramount and of utmost importance (1 Cor 15:3-4). Why? Because only the gospel is the power of God for salvation (Rom 1:16; 1 Cor 1:18). There is no other power for salvation and authentic transformation other than the gospel and the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12).
No one else can save anyone. No man, no matter how spiritual, holy, gentle, kind, faithful, compassionate, experienced, eloquent, charismatic, likable, fatherly, motherly, Christ-like, etc, can ever lead to the salvation of any other person (1 Cor 3:6-7). Even Jesus, the perfect One in every way, could only save those whom the Father drew to him (John 6:37, 44). How then might we articulate and communicate the gospel? Briefly, the gospel is never ever what we do. Rather, the gospel is always what God has done for us through Christ. The gospel is never do, but DONE. The gospel is never do, but BE.
The Power of the Gospel
How is the gospel heard? The gospel is always only heard through the Word and by the work of the Holy Spirit working simultaneously in a sinner's heart (Rom 10:14; 1 Cor 2:13-14). One without the other does not work. The Holy Spirit cannot work without the Word of the gospel being proclaimed. The Word cannot work when the Holy Spirit is not working either in the preacher or in the hearer. We need the Word, the Spirit, and the Gospel. Then supernatural miracles and revivals happen, all by the sovereign workings of God.
Many have a fear of grace. I have heard from Christians that those who mainly hear the message of God's grace, or who receive "too much grace" become do-nothing Christians. We disagree. The so-called "do-nothing Christians" are like that because they have not understood or embraced the manifold implications of God's grace on their own lives.
A Gospel Community
The only solution to despondency and pride is the gospel. Until the gospel is heard through the Word and by the Spirit, we will either be "do-nothing Christians" or self-righteous Pharisee-like Christians who think that they are better or more worthy and deserving than others. Only the gospel is able to effectively take away despondency and hubris. Only the gospel is able to humble us from being a Pharisee, and at the same time give us boldness and confidence to get out of bed!
Because of "the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24), we pray that we may be transformed by the Trinity. Because of "the gospel of the grace of God" we pray that we may be moved and motivated by the marvelous majesty and mystery of Christ. Because of "the gospel of the grace of God" we pray that we may be a gospel church and a gospel community.