City on a Hill seeks to be identified with eight key defining statements.
God has chosen to reveal Himself to us by His word. The Bible is God’s final, infallible revelation of Himself, our world and our place in it. We therefore seek to read, learn, teach and submit to the Scriptures. The Bible is not a truth amongst other truths, but the perfect truth of God. We hold to the Five Solas of the Reformation: Sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone; 2 Timothy 3:10–4:5); Sola Fide (by faith alone; Hebrews 9:1–15); Sola Gratia (by grace alone; Ephesians 2:1–10), Solus Christus (through Christ alone; John 3:1–2) Soli Deo Gloria (glory to God alone; Romans 5:1–11).
The head of the church is Jesus (Ephesians 1:22). He plants the church (Hebrews 3:1), leads the church (Colossians 1:18), loves the church (Ephesians 5), builds the church (Matthew 16:18), rules the church (Colossians 2:9), redeemed the church (Galatians 3:10–14), is present with the church (Matthew 28:18–20) and purifies the church (Ephesians 5). Jesus is to be central in our worship, in our prayers and preaching, in our singing and weeping, in our living and in our dying. We’re committed to being a community where people can know Jesus and make Jesus known.
In addition to bringing people to Christ we also want to be sent out with Christ. We take Jesus seriously when He said, “as the Father has sent me so I send you” (John 20:21).
Mission is therefore not reserved for just a selected few, but a privileged responsibility we all share toward our unreached friends, family, work colleagues and neighbours in this city. Our role is to love, pray and declare. God’s role is to equip us for those tasks, provide opportunities and awaken hearts to the gospel.
Jesus’ disciples were ordinary men and women who left everything to ‘follow Jesus’ (Mark 1:18). In Mark’s gospel alone there are 10 instances of people who were so struck by Jesus’ message and ministry that they left everything and ‘followed Him’. Being a disciple is thus ‘to follow’. And so, as we follow Jesus personally, likewise as the gathered body of Christ, we must be committed to disciple–developing. We are to be disciples of Jesus, who disciple others towards maturity in Christ.
We seek to enter into the lives of men and women in our neighbourhoods and networks. We do this by investing in relationships with both the religious and the rebellious, listening and participating in redeeming aspects of culture.
We also stand as a counter–cultural community. We are light in darkness, a city on a hill. As light, we expose idols, stand against injustice, fight against sins, serve the poor, pursue humility and above all proclaim Christ crucified. We hold to the timeless truths of Scripture, but use timely biblical methods (which are forever–changing depending on culture).
As servants of Christ, we seek to identify areas of social need (e.g. homelessness, addiction, abuse) and respond with compassion and gospel action. Fuelled by the Spirit and following the example of Christ, we seek to love our neighbours sacrificially and holistically (through the provision of relational, social, spiritual, mental, emotional and physical care). We believe that caring for the marginalised is an essential mark of godliness (Micah 6:8). The Bible calls us to do good to all people (Galatians 6:10). ‘Doing good’ includes the giving of practical aid to people who need food, shelter and financial help.
The Holy Spirit is a person (John 16:13) and an equal member of the Trinity (1 Corinthians 3:16). Jesus ministered in the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14) and promised to give the Spirit to His disciples (John 16:7). The promised gift of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1).
All believers are ‘indwelt by the Holy Spirit’ (1 Corinthians 3; Ephesians 1:13). The Spirit convicts (John 16:8–11), renews (John 3; 1 Corinthians 2:14), illuminates (John 14:25), transforms (Galatians 5), gifts (1 Corinthians 12) and empowers us for lives of worship (John 14).