By looking at several key encounters between Jesus and his followers on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, we’ll see what he was about and what he intends to do in and through us.
STEPHEN FEITH is the Founding/Lead Pastor of Madison Church. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Uprising: An Ancient Prophet’s Sacred Words for Modern Activists, and has had articles published in Outreach Magazine. Stephen holds a Master of Arts in Missional Church Movements from Wheaton College. He and his wife, Megan, live in Madison with their children, Oliver and Elijah.
Our relationship with Jesus begins by responding to God’s offer of salvation by believing in Jesus for forgiveness of sin, eternal life, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The response includes repenting of our old way of life and accepting our new call to follow Jesus. It includes the public act of baptism where we follow Jesus’s example and demonstrate our commitment to him by being immersed as an act of our own will.
Jesus chose a group of twelve men to be in his inner circle of relationships. He spent lots of time with these men, shared important conversations and events with them, and just lived daily life with them. We are committed to the type of genuine biblical community the first Christians practiced. This is best lived out in the context of small groups. We actively participate in these groups and serve as catalysts to connect others into them.
Jesus endorsed the practice of tithing (giving God the first 10% of everything we have). But he went further in challenging us to live financially generous lives. He cautioned against storing up wealth, challenged us to be wise stewards of what we’ve been given, and commended radical generosity. We seek to align ourselves with these biblical principles by living financially generous lives, starting with a tithe and moving toward a life of radical generosity.
We believe there’s one divine being who has existed eternally. He exists and reveals himself to humankind in three distinct, but equally divine, persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
God created humans to live in relationship with him. However, the first man and woman were deceived by Satan and rebelled. They chose to be wrongfully independent from God. All of us are deceived by Satan, and also rebel against God. This rebellion results in condemnation under God’s judgment and would cause us to spend eternity in hell. Furthermore, there’s nothing we can do on our own to reestablish our relationship with God.
Our inability to reestablish our relationship with God leaves us dependent on God’s mercy. God graciously provided the means to reconcile this relationship through faith in Jesus Christ. Our relationship is reestablished when we make a commitment to accept Jesus as God’s son and our Savior and Lord. We demonstrate our commitment privately by faith (acting upon our belief that God has the power to save us) and repentance (turning back to God and depending on him to control our lives). At the same time, we publicly express our commitment by confessing our acceptance of God’s salvation and submitting ourselves in baptism.
We believe that Jesus is the eternal divine Son of God. Although he lived a sinless life, he allowed himself to be executed by crucifixion. However, as prophesied, he rose from the dead three days after his execution.
Once our relationship is reestablished with God, we naturally want to spend time with him and know him better. The process of spiritual development motivates us to seek ways to serve God and prepares us to spend eternity in fellowship with him.
The third person of God is the Holy Spirit. Christians are entitled to, should expect, and ought to seek the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This was the normal experience of all in the Early Church. His indwelling presence gives spiritual life to believers and distinguishes us as children of God. The Holy Spirit guides us in applying God’s principles, and equips us with power and gifts for the purpose of building up God’s kingdom.
The Bible speaks of the Church as Jesus’ body. It compares it to a living organism, where Jesus is the head. He gives each Christian special functions to perform for the good of the body. To remain healthy, the body’s members must work together. Each part contributes to the growth and maturity of the body. For this reason, it is important for Christian to regularly gather together for the purposes of growing spiritually and giving back.
Deliverance from sickness is provided for by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and is the privilege of all believers. Divine healing is an integral part of the Gospel.
God divinely inspired human authors to write the sixty-six books of the Bible. He communicated through these writers the values, principles, and ideals which please him and are in our best interests. We believe the Bible is entirely accurate, complete, and reliable.
You can make a difference with your visit when you fill out a Connection Card during any of our online or in-person gatherings. We’ll make a $5 donation on your behalf to one of our partner non-profit organizations. The best part? We’ll let you choose which one in a follow up email.
We host a free lunch immediately after the gathering on the first Sunday of the month for newcomers. No registration is required, childcare is provided, and vegan options are available. One of our pastors will be there with other leaders to connect. It would be great if you could stop by, too!