If this is your first time, “Welcome to Cornerstone Houston!” Sundays are a special time for us to consistently gather together, and our purpose is to be the Church every day of the week.
Gather. Grow. Glorify.
Gathering people in Houston, TX and growing together in life in order to be glorifying Jesus Christ, our Cornerstone.
Today we’ve grown accustomed to associating “the church” with the building that a particular church inhabits on Sundays and during the week. And, it is true that a church’s meeting space does determine a lot of what the church is able to do in terms of programming. Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings and thereafter they shape us.” But the church is not a building. And yet, architectural imagery is crucial to understanding what the church is!
One way the Old Testament uses the word “house” is in the literal sense to refer to the literal tabernacle, tent the Israelites built at Mt. Sinai and then carried around in the wilderness. It was their meeting place with God; it’s where they kept the ten commandments and the ark of the covenant. The tabernacle was God’s mobile house, literally. Later, the Old Testament uses the word “house” to refer to the permanent home of God, the Jewish temple built by Solomon in Jerusalem. That temple was God’s palace. So one way the Old Testament uses the word “house” is to refer to the physical, literal structure made out of physical materials, the tabernacle-temple-house.
The other way the Old Testament uses the word “house” is in the metaphorical sense to refer to the “house of Israel,” that is, God’s people as a nation; God’s covenant community. So there is the tabernacle-temple-house and the people-house.
And, the point, the design of the physical tabernacle-temple-house is to function as a symbol of the people-house which is the true residence of God. So God dwells in the tabernacle and temple as a symbol of the fact that he dwells in the midst of his people.
In the New Testament, John the Apostle picks up on this architectural imagery and uses the Greek term for tabernacle to describe how God dwelt (literally “tabernacled”) with us in the person of Jesus. No longer is the tabernacle a tent in the desert (John 1:14). Now, God has taken humanity upon himself in the incarnation and now dwells among us.
And since we are all united to Jesus Christ by faith we are also the continuation and extension of the body of Christ. God has dwelt definitively in his incarnate Son but because we are also united to Jesus God dwells in us too. So we are being built up as a temple with Christ himself being the chief cornerstone.
Paul the Apostle in his Letter to the Ephesians also picks up on this architectural imagery that the church is the temple in which God dwells. “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19-22),
Our church is NOT the Cornerstone! Jesus is the Cornerstone. We are one church defined and built on him who is our foundation.
We Are Christian
Cornerstone affirms, together with all three major branches of Christianity and all orthodox Christians throughout history, the Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Definition of Chalcedon, believing them to be faithful expressions of what Scripture teaches about who God is, what he has done, and what he is doing and will do in the world. You can read these creedal statements at the links below.
We Are Protestant
Cornerstone affirms the principles of the Protestant Reformation, also known as the Five Solas of the Reformation: Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, accomplished by the finished work of Christ alone, and authoritatively communicated to us through Scripture alone, all to God's glory alone. You can read a fuller explanation at the link below.
We Are Reformed & Presbyterian
Among Protestants, we believe the best expression of what Scripture teaches is to be found in what we call the Westminster Standards. Our leadership take vows to uphold and teach the doctrine contained in these standards, so this is the fullest and most accurate statement of our faith. Also, our church is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.
Our Purpose & Plan.
The "why" of the church
Gathering people in Houston and growing together in life in order to be glorifying Jesus Christ.
GATHERING - GROWING - GLORIFYING
The what, the so what, the how, the when, the where, and the who of the church.
Practices (What will accomplish the purpose of the church?)
- Word (the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament)
- Worship (prayer and sacrament)
Goals (So what do we expect to see if we are accomplishing the purpose of the church?)
- Fruitfulness: conversions, Christian character, good deeds
- Biblical world and life view
- Fellowship and Service
- Evangelism and Missions
- Worship (corporate and individual)
Presuppositions (How will we approach accomplishing the purpose of the church?)
- Individual: there is both great commonality and diversity among individuals
- Demographical: our ability to minister is affected by the character of the city
- Pedagogical: there is a common learning process among all peoples
- Theological: our ministry is carried out from a specific perspective that is for all peoples
- Providential: God is at work accomplishing his purpose of the church in the world
Avenues (Where and When will we accomplish the purpose of the church?)
- Large Groups: community; gathering and binding the whole group together
- Small Groups: friendship; relating an individual to other individuals
- One on Ones: intimacy; personal conversation is where much of ministry happens organically
- *these avenues are both planned and unplanned
Participants (Who is accomplishing the purpose of the church?)
- God the Father the Architect-Builder, the Son the Cornerstone, and the Spirit the Paradigm and Power
- God’s People-House the Church through fellowship, worship, and the Word