Who We Are

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Did you know that God commands us to seek our happiness?

God created us to know and delight in His goodness and truth and beauty and wisdom and justice. We were created to affirm and display the greatness of God with our lives. We do that best when we are deeply delighted in all that He is and all that He promises to do. This kind of happiness glorifies God and gives us pleasure.

God created us for His glory. “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth ... whom I created for My glory.” (Isaiah 43:6-7)

If God made us for His glory, it is clear that every person should live for His glory. So our first obligation is to show God’s value by being satisfied with all that He is for us. This is the essence of what it means to love God.

“Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’” (Matthew 22:37).

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His” (Psalm 100:1-3).

This is what it means to trust God and to be thankful. And this is the root of all true obedience, especially loving others.

But instead of being people who glorify God by their love, trust and thankfulness, the Bible makes some very alarming statements about humanity:

“The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.” (Genesis 6:5)

Jesus said this, “What comes out of a man is what makes him unclean. For from within, out of men’s hearts come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and foolishness. All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean.” (Mark 7:20-23)

“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away; they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)

This is the biblical description of humanity’s sinful condition and why it is we experience pain and suffering at the hands of people—as well as the heartache and damage we cause. Every person has failed to glorify God as we should.

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

What does it mean to fall short of the glory of God? It means that none of us has trusted and treasured God the way we should. We have not been satisfied with His greatness and walked in His ways. We have sought our satisfaction in other things and treated them as more valuable than God, which is the essence of idolatry

“For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles” (Romans 1:21-23).

Since sin came into the world, we have all rejected having God as our all-satisfying treasure.

“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts” (Ephesians 2:3).

This is an appalling offense to the greatness of God.

All of us are subject to God’s just condemnation.

“The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).

We have all belittled the glory of God. How? By preferring other things above Him. By our ingratitude, distrust, and disobedience. So, God is just in shutting us out from the enjoyment of His glory forever,

“They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

The word ‘hell’ is used in the New Testament twelve times—eleven times by Jesus Himself. It is not a myth created by dismal and angry preachers. It is a solemn warning from the Son of God who died to rescue sinners from its curse. We ignore the warning at great risk to ourselves. If the Bible stopped here in its analysis of the human condition, we would be doomed to a hopeless future

“remember that at that time you were separated from Christ . . . without hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).
God sent His only son Jesus to provide forgiveness for sin, eternal life and joy

“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15).

The good news is that Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, died for sinners like us. He chose to receive the punishment that our sins demanded. Because of His great love, Jesus died in our place. And God raised Him physically from the dead to validate the saving power of His death and to open the gates of eternal life and joy. This means that God can acquit guilty sinners and still be just,

“God presented Jesus as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the One who justifies those who have faith in Jesus” (Romans 3:25-26).

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).
The benefits purchased by the death of Christ belong to those who repent and trust Him

“Repent, therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19).

“Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).

“Repent” means to turn from all the deceitful promises of sin. “Believing faith” means trusting in and being satisfied with all that God promises to be for us in Jesus. Believing faith changes us from the inside out. We experience what the Bible calls ‘new birth.’ This miracle is evident to everyone because of our changed actions that follow.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

We cannot earn our salvation. We cannot merit it by any good or noble action on our part.

“Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness” (Romans 4:4-5).

It is by the grace and mercy of God through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ that we are saved

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Romans 2:8-9).

It is a free gift.

“We are justified freely by His grace through redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).

We will have it if we cherish it above all things

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought the field” (Matthew 13:44).

When we, like this man, realize the great salvation that God has accomplished through His Son and we desire Him with all our hearts, God’s aim in creation is accomplished: He is glorified in us and we are satisfied in Him—forever!
What Should You Do?

If you desire the kind of gladness that comes from being forgiven, from being made right with God, and from being satisfied with all that God is for you in Jesus, then God is at work in your life. Here are some ways to respond to that work: Turn from the deceitful promises of sin that your conscience consistently tells you are wrong. Call upon Jesus to save you from guilt and punishment and bondage to sin.

“All who call upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).

Start banking your hope on all that God is for you is for you in Jesus. Break the power of sin’s promises by faith in the superior satisfaction of God’s promises.

“They cried to You and were saved, in You they trusted and were not disappointed.” (Psalm 22:5)

Begin reading your Bible to find His precious and very great promises, which can set you free.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:3-4).

Find a Christian church and begin to worship and grow together with other people who are being changed and who treasure Christ above all things.

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed (changed) into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

“You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

Parkside Church is committed to the growing interest across our country to unite families in worship and church life.

Statistics bear out the tragic results of moving away from the model of the whole family learning and worshipping together.

We are confident that inspiring and equipping parents to make their homes the hub of their child’s faith training and uniting the family together at church is Biblical and will have far reaching and lasting spiritual benefits in the lives of children.

God has designed parents to be His instruments for transmitting authentic and joyful faith in Jesus Christ to the next generation. We believe God will bless our marriages and our children as we do just that.

Yes, we know this is challenging for parents with young children or older children who have not been trained to sit quietly. But we assure you that you are not alone as you transition and train your young family. We are here with excellent resources to help you and extra arms to assist you!

We have a quiet room off the lobby that televises the service if a child becomes disruptive in the sanctuary. This gives parents a place to remind their children of their expectations.

We are confident that God does not call us to do something that He doesn’t also graciously enable us to do. So be encouraged! We stand with you as you seek the Lord and as you lead your precious children to seek Him, too.

Some Outstanding Christian Resources for Parents:

· "Shepherding a Child’s Heart" by Tripp
· "Instructing a Child’s Heart" by Tripp
· "Don’t Make Me Count to Three" by Hubbard
· "Family-Driven Faith" by Baucham
· "A Neglected Grace (Family Worship in the Christian Home)" by Helopoulos

Books to Use with Children:

· "The Jesus Story Book" by Lloyd-Jones (for toddlers to early elementary)
· "The Gospel Story Bible" by Machowski (through elementary)
· "The Bible’s Big Story (in rhyme)" by Hamilton (from toddlers through elementary)
· "Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing" by Lloyd-Jones (a devotional with art by Jago)

The Trinity: We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit; and that these are the same divine essence and are equal in every divine perfection, but that they have different roles.
(Genesis 1:1, 26; John 1:1, 3; Matthew 28:19; John 4:24; Romans 1:19, 20; Ephesians 4:5, 6)

God the Father: We believe in God the Father, an infinite, personal spirit, perfect in holiness, justice, wisdom, power and love. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the affairs of men, that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through Jesus Christ and that He hears and answers the prayers of His children (Luke 10:21, 22; Matthew 23:9; John 3:16; 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Timothy 1:1, 2; 2:5, 6; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6)

God the Son: We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to earth. (Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38; John 1:1; 20:28; Romans 9:5; 8:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:21-23; John 20:30, 31; Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:4; Acts 1:11; Romans 5:6-8; 6:9, 10; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Timothy 3:16)

God the Holy Spirit: We believe in the Holy Spirit sent into the world by God to glorify the Son of God and His divine activity includes convicting the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. We believe that without His work no one would come to faith. We believe that His work in regeneration is not the result of any outward ritual. We believe He indwells everyone who trusts in Christ, and helps them make progress in overcoming sin and in becoming more like Jesus Christ in thought, deed, and love for God the Father. (John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26, 27; 16:7-14; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; Galatians 5:22-26)

The Word of God: We believe that the Bible is God’s written revelation to man, consisting of sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, and is the infallible Word of God, verbally inspired by God, and without error in the original manuscripts. We believe that God’s intentions, revealed in the Bible, are the supreme and final authority in testing all claims about what is true and what is right. In matters not addressed by the Bible, what is true and right is assessed by criteria consistent with the teaching of Scripture. (1 Corinthians 2:7-14; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20, 21; 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:13; 14:37; Mark 13:31; John 8:31, 32; 14:26; 16:13-14; 17:17; 20:31; Acts 20:32; Matthew 22:29, 43-44; 24:35; Numbers 23:19; Proverbs 30:5; Psalm 12:6; Hebrews 6:18; Titus 1:2)

The Human Condition and Salvation: We believe that man was created by God in His own image and for His glory; but that man sinned and fell short of God’s glory, and thus incurred physical and spiritual death. We believe that all human beings are born with a sinful nature, and so are under divine condemnation. We reject justification by any human work, and we believe that only those who trust Jesus Christ as their Savior by virtue of His atoning death on the cross, submitting to Him as Lord, and embracing Him as the supreme Treasure of their lives, are justified, delivered from condemnation, and receive eternal life. We believe that this faith leads to a heartfelt turning from sin. The Christian life involves growth in grace through persevering, Holy Spirit-empowered resolve to reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ every day. (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 3; Genesis 2:17; 3:19; Ecclesiastes 2:11; Matthew 13:44; John 1:13; 3:14; 3:16; 5:24; 5:30; 7:13; 8:12; 10:26; 17:3; Psalm 51:7; Jeremiah 17:9; James 1:14; Romans 3:19; 5:19; Philippians 3:7-8; 1 John 1:9; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Romans 6:11; 8:1; 1 Corinthians 15:1-2; Hebrews 3:12-14; 6:11-12; 10:39; Romans 3:28)

The Church: We believe in one holy, universal Church made up of all who trust Jesus Christ as Savior, Lord and supreme Treasure of their lives. We believe that God calls us to unite with other believers in local churches to help each other to value Christ above all, to praise Him together, to grow in our love and knowledge of Him, to stir each other up to good works, and to spread the Gospel message to the world. We believe that Christians are to be baptized and regularly eat the Lord’s Supper. (Ephesians 1:22-23; Acts 15:36, 41; 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:1; Galatians 1:1-3; Revelation 1:4, 10-11; Hebrews 10:24-25; Matthew 28:19-20; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)

The Last Things: We believe in the personal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth and the establishment of His eternal kingdom. We believe in the resurrection of the body and the final judgment of all people: leading to the eternal happiness in the presence of the Lord of those made righteous through Jesus Christ or leading to the eternal punishment of the wicked in Hell. (Matthew 16:27; Mark 14:62; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; Philippians 3:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 4:5; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 20:11-15).

Progress in Christian Faith

God did not give us His gospel just so we could embrace it and be converted. Actually, He offers it to us every day as a gift that keeps on giving to us everything we need for life and godliness. The wise believer learns this truth early and becomes proficient in extracting available benefits from the gospel each day. We extract these benefits by being absorbed in the gospel, speaking it to ourselves when necessary, and by daring to reckon it true in all we do.

“Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.” - Colossians 1:21-23