CityLight Hamburg is a free evangelical church that belongs to the Calvary Chapel worldwide family. However, we primarily see ourselves as part of God’s whole church. That’s why it’s important for us to be connected to the other churches in Hamburg. We do this through the network “Gemeinsam für Hamburg”. Nevertheless, we believe that God has a special vision and task for each and every church as well as every individual person.
Here is the vision that God has for us:
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.”
Discipleship is a topic often discussed in Christian circles, but rarely lived out. When we look at the mission that Jesus gave us, we see that we are called to make disciples of all nations. We might go as far as to say that the church exists for the purpose of making more disciples. When we read verses geared towards mission work, we recognize four verbs that stand out: 1) go out, 2) makes disciples, 3) baptize, 4) teach.
We make disciples by going out, baptizing and teaching. This means that we live our lives in the light of Jesus and ask ourselves how we can make disciples of the people in our daily lives. God can call some away from their professions, cities, and countries to devote themselves entirely to a task he has called specific people to. Most Christians, however, are called to discipleship in in their local, daily lives. Our goal at CityLight Hamburg is to equip you (Ephesians 4: 11-16) for the task to which God has called you (John 15:16) and sent you (John 20: 21). We believe that it is important to sacrifice our lives for others so that they become disciples of Jesus, who in turn make more followers of Jesus. So join us as we try to accomplish this task together.
We believe that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16- 17). So if we believe in the authority of the Bible, then we must also believe that it is important to consider all of its teachings. Paul told the leaders of the congregation in Ephesus, “… I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house… I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. “(Acts 20: 20-27). For this reason, we systematically teach and preach through the Bible, verse by verse, at CityLight Hamburg. Although some think the Bible is a fairy tale book, we do not believe that the Bible should be just another book in our bookshelf. We believe that the Bible is the Word of God and speaks into our lives in personal and specific ways. In Hebrews 4:12 it says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Even though we study the Word of God together, it is important for each one of us to study it for ourselves. 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” So, if you come to CityLight Hamburg, we invite you to bring your Bible and faithfully expect God to speak to you. He’s just waiting to do so.
The goal of our daily lives is to glorify Jesus in everything we do. In Colossians 1: 16-19 it is quite clear, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.” Unfortunately, we live in a time when everything in our lives revolves around ourselves. But when we think about the topic of worship, it can’t be the case. The idea of worship comes from the basic idea of honoring and praising God because only He is worthy. Revelation 4: 11 says, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” True worship takes place when Christ takes the highest place in our lives; when we raise Him above all else.
Through the history of mankind, humanity has always worshiped something or someone. We were created to worship. The first question of the “Westminster Shorter Catechism” is: “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Every person has this life purpose in common, regardless of where we come from, in which country we live, or what our past looks like. We were created to worship the only true God. The problem is that we perpetually seek to find our satisfaction, our identity, and our value in other things (relationships, work, money, alternative forms of spirituality, etc.), but we are never satisfied. Why? Because apart from God, no one and nothing can satisfy the deep desire of our hearts. We were created for Him (Col 1: 16-19). When you come to CityLight Hamburg, come with the willingness to offer yourselves up in worship to God.
“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” -2 Corinthians 5: 18-21
The gospel. The Greek word is evangelion which simply means “good news”. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news. The Bible teaches us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” -John 3: 16-17
“That is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” -2 Corinthians 5:19-21
This is the good news that are we are called to spread. Today we live in a world where public debates and discussions must be “relevant”, “tolerant” and “politically correct”. But let’s look at the life of Jesus and see how he tries to appease his listeners. Was he worried that he might be hurting them if he told them the truth they had to hear? No! In fact, when he began to preach the gospel, he said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17) The idea of repentance offensive to the natural man, but there is no salvation without repentance. In the book of Acts, we see how Peter and John proclaimed: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20)
So let us agree with Jesus, Peter and John, and also with the Apostle Paul, who said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; For it is the power of God to salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
Finally, the following biblical passage from John 20:21: “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” Jesus was sent by the Father “to seek and save what is lost” (Luke 19:10) We are sent from Jesus to this world to continue the work of the Father, to reconcile the world with himself. (2 Corinthians 5: 18-20)