Why Bridgeway?

I occasionally get asked the question, "What does your name mean?" Some people wonder if we named the church BRIDGEWAY because Sarasota has a lot of bridges. That's not the reason, but it is a good illustration of what BRIDGEWAY represents. Everyone knows that a bridge is designed to close a gap and help us get somewhere that would otherwise be impossible - or at least very difficult - for us to go. But before I can fully explain what BRIDGEWAY means I need to tell you a story. It's a story about life, a big problem and a wonderful solution.

THE GOSPEL

Life began with God. He created the world and everything in it to reflect His truth, beauty and goodness. And God chose to create mankind in His own image and entrusted them to rule over the earth. Adam and Eve were given ultimate purpose - to fill the earth with God’s image by creating life and community. Man was created to worship God and enjoy Him forever. (Gen. 1-2) But…

What God had declared “very good” was ruined. When tempted, Adam and Eve rebelled against God and their divine purpose in order to seek their own glory. The result of Adam’s sin was death. All of creation was corrupted by sin and all of mankind inherited a sinful nature. Man is born spiritually dead, enslaved to sin, guilty before a holy God, unable to restore himself and separated from God forever. This is very bad news. (Gen. 3:1-19, Rom. 3:23, Eph. 2:1-3) But…

God promised to send a Redeemer to rescue sinful man and crush the evil one. In His great love and mercy, God sent Jesus as a substitute to save sinners and restore broken humanity. He lived a perfect life, the life we could never live. He died a gruesome death, the death we deserved because of our sin. He rose from the dead, victorious over sin and death. And now, through faith in Jesus, sinful man is made new. This is the gospel, which removes God’s wrath, reverses the effects of sin and bridges the gap of separation that once existed between God and man. This is very good news. (Gen. 3:15, Eph. 2:4-9, 1 Cor. 15:55-57, Rom. 6:9-11, 1 John 2:1-2, 1 Tim. 2:5) And…

God is gathering a people who will worship Him and represent Him to the world. As people are saved by His grace they are forgiven of their sins, filled with the Holy Spirit, given a new identity in Christ and adopted into the family of God – the church. This community follows Jesus in working out the gospel in their lives together and proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ to their families, community and city. Jesus is renewing all things beginning with the hearts of men and women. (1 Peter 2:9-10, Acts 2:42-47, Eph. 2:12-22) And…

Jesus has called us to join Him in His mission of restoration. There are many, blinded by sin, who do not know who Jesus is or how desperately they need Him. Some ignore Him, some reject Him but many simply misunderstand Him. Jesus said “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). One day soon, whether they know Him or not, all people will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. As we eagerly anticipate that day our mission is to call people to Jesus now. This is the essence of our vision: a gospel-centered church in Sarasota, Florida.

OUR NAME

The gospel is where we get our name. Because of the great gap that sin had created between God and man it was necessary for us to have a mediator to represent both God and man; someone who could bridge the gap. That someone is Jesus. He came to earth as both fully God and fully man. He fulfilled the law perfectly yet He took our sin upon Himself. He was nailed to a cross and, like us, was separated from the Father. He bore the full fury of the wrath of God and died the sinner's death in our place, paying the penalty for our sin.

There is only One who was able to bridge the gap between God’s holiness and our sinfulness. There is only one way to be forgiven of our sin and restored to God. Jesus is the Way. This is amazing grace, and makes us want to worship Him and tell everyone about Him. At BRIDGEWAY we’re all about Jesus.