As a ministry that seeks to operate in the unity that Christ desired for the Church, we have devoted ourselves to keeping Christ at the center. Within Stello, there are many different personal doctrinal interpretations and styles of worship, but there is one God, one Gospel, and one Body.
Who is God?
Father, Son, and Spirit - Creator, Savior, and Lord
In the beginning, God, being three persons yet one God, created the heavens and the earth and declared it to be good. Why? Because He is good and what He does is good. He created mankind in His image with the intention of relationship. After mankind chose to disobey and fall into sin, God had already determined that He would bring His children into salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus, fully God and fully human, came with the intent to make relationship with God possible through His atoning blood sacrifice on the cross, for those who would accept His sacrifice and believe Him. With His resurrection, He proclaimed His authority over sin and death. It is by His stripes, that mankind finds healing and salvation. Upon returning to the throne of Heaven, He sent the Spirit of the Living God, the Holy Spirit, to make His living place inside redeemed and reconciled men and women- Christians. The Holy Spirit is the fullness of God at work within Christians. He leads, molds, transforms, instructs, and helps Christians operate in their God given identity as royal, priestly Children.
God is King, God is Father, God is creator, God is sustainer. He is Lord. He is healer. He is just. He is loving. He is holy. He is good. He is everpresent. He is all knowing. He is sovereign. He is all powerful. His is perfect. He is worthy. He is God..
Who are we?
Created for relationship, separated by sin, redeemed by grace.
We are His workmanship, created in His image. When God created the heavens and earth, He created mankind to live with Him in this created space. There we walked and talked with God without any sin, shame, or fear. When Adam and Eve chose to reject God's instruction, they chose sin and created a divide between mankind and God. And sin became the reality and nature of all humanity from that day forward. This sin separates all humanity from our perfect and holy God. Because mankind was created for relationship with Him, Jesus came to take the punishment of sin, death, so humanity could experience life with God. Because of Christ's sacrifice, those who accept that sacrifice have been adopted, our slate wiped clean, our sins forgiven, and our access to Him restored. God delights in us and desires to use us to bring others into relationship with Him and accomplish His Kingdom purposes on earth. God dwells within Christians, enabling us to live as children of God with full access to His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. He has given us spiritual tools, gifts of His grace, to minister to the Church and operate in His love. These gifts include teaching, hospitality, leadership, pastoring, healing, tongues, wisdom, administration, prophesy, serving, apostleship, and more. When we die, those who have acknowledged their need for Jesus and surrendered their lives to Him will live with God in heaven. Those who have not chosen Jesus while on earth will continue in separation from God in hell.
What is the Gospel?
The Good News, the message of the Kingdom.
When Adam and Eve embraced disobedience, the consequence was a nature of sin and it's ultimate result of death.This curse did not only extend to Adam and Eve but to all of humanity throughout all generations. Sin is rebellion against the authority and person of God. We are born into a state of rebellion and man cannot break this nature apart from God. God, being full of love and rich in mercy, lavished His love on us, while we were still sinners. He chose to die on a cross, bearing not only the punishment of sin, death, but also all of God' wrath. Because the Father poured out all of His wrath upon Jesus, the propitiation, for our sins, Christians are now able to experience the fullness of His love without fear of punishment. This gift of grace is extended to those who accept the perfect work of Jesus Christ on Calvary. No other sacrifice, no other effort, no other savior will do. He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him. When we recognize our need for Christ and surrender our lives to Him, we are not only forgiven, but adopted. We are brought into right standing before God, never to be changed, because of the complete work of Jesus. Jesus is our righteousness. As His children, we have full access to the Kingdom of God; we are co-heirs with Jesus. All that was ours became His and all that is His becomes ours. We have freedom from the power of sin, we are filled with Spirit, being made into the likeness of Jesus, we are invited to be a part of God's mission to accomplish the will of heaven on earth until He comes again and completes this work- making all things new.
Why are we here?
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done- for Your glory.
When we become Christians, we are made right with God and have full access to Him- we are in full relationship without fear or shame. So why does God not just take people to Heaven right then? Because we have work to do. As His Children, we are a part of the family business. And our Daddy's business is about the Kingdom. God is King and all of creation was meant to operate in worship of Him. Though we may have found joy in relationship with God, many have not, and Satan, the enemy of God, is intent on stealing from, killing, and destroying as much of God's creation as possible. We, by the power of the Spirit of Christ within us, come in His name as He seeks to bring people Home. We share the good news of the Kingdom- the love of Jesus and the hope of salvation. Bottom line, we're here to point people to Jesus and do as He asks us to do.
While we worship and enjoy relationship with God here and now and while we look forward to Christ's return and our life with Him in eternity, we keep our eyes towards Him and our hands at work loving others with the love of Jesus. That might involve sharing the Gospel with our words, demonstrating the Gospel with our actions, and living out the call Jesus gave the disciples by bringing hope and healing to the very ends of the earth. He has given us the ministry of reconciliation, and so we do just that!
How do we hear God?
His Word and His Spirit
The Bible is the Word of God, inspired by His Spirit. It is far more than just a historical religious document or good book of moral standards. It was authored by God so that man would know His heart and His voice and not wander from the Truth. The Bible, penned by men, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is infallible. Everything God needed to reveal about Himself is revealed in the Bible. We do not await additional revelations or accept additional scriptures, but we immerse ourselves in the living and active Word of God that the Spirit enables us to understand and apply.
By the Spirit, we are able to discern how to apply the Truth God has communicated through Scripture. While the Spirit leads us throughout life, reminding us of God's heart and giving wisdom and knowledge, He will not add to Scripture or alter the message of the Bible. Any word we receive that differs from the Gospel in the Word (Bible) is not of the Word (Jesus). The Spirit speaks to us personally and through the prophetic words of His people. But how do you know whether you heard God or if it was just a voice in your head or some one else's strong opinion? It will echo Scripture and follow the patterns and the heart of God outlines in the Bible. It will not contradict who He has revealed Himself to be in the Word. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever and we learn His heart and His promises by reading His letters of love captured in our Bible.