For whom did Jesus die? For first-century Jewish people in their society? For gentiles then also? For those who lived for the next 2,000 years world-wide? For us now? For people in Fort Smith not in Christ? For those in our world who are not in Christ?
Ask the same questions from another perspective. Is Jesus a world Savior or an us Savior? Does he prefer my background and concepts? Since he was never American, never ate hamburgers and fries, never spoke or read English, never went to college, does he prefer another background? Does he have any background preference?
Hopefully, if we took a thin slice of the midsection of a congregation and placed it under a microscope to determine make-up and needs, we would find visitor needs, new convert needs, young Christian needs, growing Christian needs, and mature Christian needs. Hopefully, we would find a diversity of people with a diversity of backgrounds. Hopefully, we would find numerous people being stretched spiritually to meet a complex situation, and people in Christ using an understanding of God to meet that challenge. These Jesus-led, God-directed people of faith have the courage to walk righteously.
A practical question: What is the newly baptized person learning from me? How to safely gossip? How to be bitter and hold grudges? How to get my way correctly? How to exploit people? How to be political in the church? Generally speaking, how to play the religious game to achieve my interests?
Or, how to serve? How to sacrifice? How to encourage? How to be godly even if wronged? How to be committed to a Saviors values? How to be Gods light in an evil world? How to trust in God in hard times? How to endure injustice (which God and Jesus did in Jesus cross) and yet remain spiritually true to Gods character?
Or am I a confusing mixture of both?
Nothing is more powerful than a godly example. Effectiveness in helping others spiritually depends on people holding themselves to a high level of accountability that exists because of a love commitment to God. It exists voluntarily, not by force. Mature congregations are filled with individuals who dare to be Christ-like examples. Spirituality is not a veneer finish only surface deepit is intentional godliness!
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell