Why "Mercy Fellowship"? We hope our name is both inspiring to those who call us home and inviting to those who have not yet gathered with us. Our name also communicates what we believe about the Gospel, God, Jesus, and ourselves. Specfically:
In the Bible, the concept of "Mercy" is not getting the just consequence we have earned as a result of our sin, it can also be as simple as extending or experiencing "kindness". Specifically:
- MERCY is CORE to the Gospel and a demonstrated part of God's CHARACTER | Ephesians 2:1-10 explains because of sin we are spiritually dead, we all deserve "justice" and are destined for wrath. That is NOT Good News! BUT God, (Ephesians 2:4 says) being rich in MERCY, because of His love for us, made us alive together with Christ. He shows us immeasurable grace because of His KINDNESS to us in Jesus Christ.
- MERCY is CONTINUOUSLY given to us from God | Lamentations 3:22-23 says God's love is steadfast and his MERCY never ends, in fact it is "new every morning".
- MERCY is desired by CHRIST | Jesus tells us in Matthew 9:13 "Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire MERCY and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."
- MERCY is our CALL | In Micah 6:8 we are called to seek justice, love MERCY, and walk humbly with God.
- MERCY is our COMFORT | Psalms 23:6 is a balm to a weary soul when it sings, "Surely goodness and MERCY shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever."
- MERCY WINS! | We all deserve justice and alone are defeated and condemned in our sin but James 2:13 simply tells us "MERCY triumphs over judgement."
FELLOWSHIP (Koinoia in Greek)
A "Fellowship" is a group of people brought together for a purpose. In the New Testament God's people, the church, were defined and described as a partnership for the Gospel because of the Gospel. Everyone was invited to experience this community and encouraged to actively participate rather than passively consume. In the Bible we see:
- FELLOWSHIP defined the early church, leading to a love of one another, awe of God, and fruitful mission for God | Acts 2:42-47 "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the FELLOWSHIP, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved."
- We are called to FELLOWSHIP with Christ | 1 Cor 1:9 "God is faithful, through whom you were called into FELLOWSHIP with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."
- FELLOWSHIP (Koinoia) is shared in communion | 1 Cor 10:16 "Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing (FELLOWSHIP) in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing (FELLOWSHIP) in the body of Christ?"
- FELLOWSHIP drives us to participate for a purpose | 2 Cor 8:4 "begging us with much urging for the favor of participation (FELLOWSHIP) in the support of the saints," and Phil 1:5 "in view of your participation (FELLOWSHIP) in the gospel from the first day until now."
- FELLOWSHIP is Holy Spirit Empowered | 2 Cor 13:14 "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.
- FELLOWSHIP pleases the LORD | Hebrews 13:16 "And do not neglect doing good and sharing (FELLOWSHIP), for with such sacrifices God is pleased."
- FELLOWSHIP binds us with CHRIST and one another | 1 John 1:6-7 "If we say that we have FELLOWSHIP with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have FELLOWSHIP with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin."
How we understand and talk about our identity matters because who we are impacts how we think and what we do. At Mercy Fellowship WE ARE:
"Saved by Jesus' Work."
Doctrine of Gospel Salvation | Jesus is the Hero of our Story!
"Changed by Jesus' Grace."
Describes Gospel Transformation | Jesus made and is making us New!
"Living on Jesus' Mission."
Defines Gospel Purpose | Jesus gave us life so we live for Him!
Mercy Fellowship exists to make Disciples of Jesus Christ who Love God and Love People.
Our Identity implies our mission, but if we are "Living on Jesus' Mission" we need to know what Jesus has said we are to do. Jesus has given us clarity that
- We EMBRACE the Great Commission | We read in Matthew 28:18-20 "And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Here we see Jesus' authority instructing us to go about our lives making disciples, practicing baptism, and teaching disciples to observe (live out) what He commanded. This begs the question.. What did He command?
- We EMBODY the Great Commandment | Jesus says in Luke 10:27 "And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” This can be grade school simple to understand (Love God and Love People) but grad school difficult to live and apply. Loving God has comprehensive implications for how we think, what we are devoted to, our emotional health, and how we steward our body, time, talent and treasure. Loving people as yourself requires great curiosity to grow in self knowledge and great compassion to maintain a life focused on others.
Mercifully we don't pursue this mission alone with our limited strength and abilities. God has encouraged, empowered, and equipped us (individually and collectively) with the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. We have great comfort and confidence in the Gospel advancing that even the gates of Hell cannot and will not prevail against Christ's church as we simply...