On Friday, I posted about the environments we create. But of course, these environments are meaningless if they have any other purpose than people encountering Jesus.
Sometimes people get confused by the statement “encountering Jesus” because I do not mean it in the “I met Jesus in 1978 and he changed me right then and there” sense that most evangelicals use it. I believe the Bible is plain that our lives are defined by continually encountering Jesus. It is not enough to just one day be confronted by sin and “get saved” by praying a prayer to Jesus. I have seen too much carnality explained away and excused by yet another profession of faith and an “I wasn’t saved then”.
Here’s the reality.
We are defined and transformed by encountering Jesus three ways:
I Encounter Jesus as My Savior
I enter into a relationship with Jesus, accepting his gift of grace and joining the journey of restoration to God our Father. I embrace Jesus’ teachings and submit to them. I declare this commitment to Jesus by repenting of my sin and being baptized by immersion.
We Encounter Jesus as My Master
As I journey with other disciples of Jesus, I enter into koinonia or “community” with them and with our Lord Jesus. I celebrate this community in worship and ministry, partnering with other believers to accomplish Jesus’ agenda of love, peace and service.
We Encounter Jesus as Our Model
Knowing Jesus’ teachings on loving our neighbor, I sacrifice of my own prosperity and resources to love others. I commit to serve and love with no agenda but Jesus’. I go beyond verbal and intellectual consent and intertwine my existence with Jesus’ vision.
Coming Up Tomorrow
We will get into how these three encounters will produce and are evidenced by a four-part journey together.