Healthy congregations understand that Jesus is the way people approach God (John 14:6; Hebrews 1:1, 2; 4:14-16). The Christians in such congregations understand one of Gods intents in Jesus (resurrected to be Lord and Christ) was to provide all people access to God. He is Lord because it was Gods intent that he conquer everything opposing God (1 Corinthians 15:25-28). God placed all divine authority in the resurrected Jesus (Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:20-23).
Jesus is the Christ by Gods intent. Jesus is the fulfillment of Gods promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:3; Galatians 3:8, 16). (Christ is the Greek word for the Hebrew Messiah.) Jesus is the anointed by God to bring Gods gift to our physical world (Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:31-33; John 3:16; Romans 5:8). He gives us immediate access to God (Hebrews 6:19, 20; 10:19-21) by allowing us to go where no one before us went. The resurrected Jesus is seated (mission accomplished!) at Gods right hand (the place of prominence) to intercede for us (Romans 8:33, 34). As Christians, we have a quality of representation with God that is unequaled and cannot be surpassed (Hebrews 8:1, 2).
Our confidence is in a Savior--not an institution, not a building, not a person or group of persons (humans), not a prominent historical figure, not an apostle, nor in a human perspective. We trust the One who died for us, who was raised for us, who intercedes for us, and who (by Gods appointment) is the Lord given to lead us to God.
Healthy congregations listen to Jesus, learn from Jesus, follow Jesus, and let Jesus show them Gods purposes and intents. Instead of being defensive of human ideas and desires, we are willing to learn. Instead of concluding we know everything to be known about Gods will, we are open to Gods guidance in Jesus Christ. Instead of turning people away from God, we encourage those who seek God. We never stop seeking Gods wisdom placed in Jesus.
We call ourselves Christians because we want to be like Jesus. We shine as lights in a dark world to attract people to Jesus and to glorify God (Matthew 5:16). Such people make healthy congregations. Lives and behavior are determined by Jesus, not people.
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell