The Gospel Changes Lives
Berni had it all – a wife, two kids, big house, partnership in his own computer company ,and a comfortable income. He’d grow up in a good home. Benefited from a quality education. He had studied to become an army officer at Australia’s elite Duntroon military college in Canberra. He was an effective businessman with little time for a moral path to wealth: ‘ I did what I wanted and trod on whoever I had to,’ he recalls.
Until the year the dam broke in Berni’s life. Whatever could go wrong, did go wrong, and life headed south in a hurry: Business crisis. Marriage collapse. Personal heartache. ‘Being a man who’d had everything – whose life was comfortable and predictable – I was shattered,’ Berni remembers. ‘I was completely lost and alone, in a hotel room in Brisbane at the time. In desperation, I fell down on my knees and prayed. It was simple and uncertain – “God, if you’re really out there, I need you now. Please help me.”’
Needing somewhere to live, a business partner offered a helping hand: ‘He reached out, took me into his home and gave me somewhere to live for a month or so. His wife gave me my first Bible, prayed with me and organised longer-term accommodation with her mother (another Christian). And so it went on – these Christians just seemed to come out of the woodwork to help, to hold me, to support and give me refuge.’
A few months later, Berni was sitting in a church in Wollongong (NSW) listening to a preacher say four life-changing words: “God is calling you.” ‘I went outside later, sat down quietly under a tree on my own and gave my life to Christ. It wasn’t something I planned to do – it just happened. The incessant pain went and I was filled with a joy that I cannot describe.’
People’s lives can be changed by a dramatic event, traumatic news or an enticing culture. But the only kind of life change that allows a person to have a right relationship with God the Father is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christ died for our sins and was raised to life three days later. That’s the gospel.
The gospel offers hope and meaning to our lives. It’s about the fact that God loves us so much that he sent his son Jesus to die for our sins and rise from death to transform us. This means our hope is not in what we do for God, but what God has done for us.
At Wagga Evangelical Church we are God-centered; we exist to bring glory to God. The glory of God is ultimate. The Bible shares the wonderful news that God is glorified through changed lives. Life change is possible through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The gospel informs everything about who we are and what we do. We want to live authentically as imperfect people who have been redeemed by and found purpose in Jesus. In light of all God has done for us, our vision at WWEC is to grow together in Christ, all for the glory of God, and we are committed to helping people meet Jesus and learn what it means to follow him.
We are passionate about living our lives to glorify God. We want everyone to hear the Good News about Jesus Christ so they can come to know him. We are on about growing disciples of Jesus. We do that by sharing God’s word together.
One thing that is central to WWEC is that we are a Bible church. Everything we do is about getting to know God better by learning from his word. We’re on about serving together. Jesus said that he didn’t come to be served but to serve. And he makes the same call on his followers. WWEC is a church where we want every person to use the gifts God has given them to encourage and love and build other people.
Paul encouraged the Ephesians with these words about gifts, that they are given (Ephesians 4:12-16):
‘…to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.’
We must never forget that our whole lives are not about us, but about God. Every decision, every choice, in every moment, in good times and hard times, you have the opportunity to magnify God and put a smile on His face.
Your life is the place where the God of the universe is magnified and glorified. This is what life is about, and what Wagga Wagga Evangelical church is all about.