Evangelism & Discipleship

Optimism Out of Control, Evangelism and DiscipleshipRecently I was asked, "What are the practical effects of believing that Jesus is the Savior of all mankind."  My friend does not believe that Jesus is the savior of all, but was simply trying to understand why this is such an important point.  I then realized that my book was missing an important chapter on application.  My friend's point is well taken.  If there are no practical applications of a truth or even a theory yet to be proved as truth, then its value is quite limited.

However, in this case, the fact that Jesus is the Savior of all mankind is the most practical, useful, purposeful, glorious truth in the entire world.  This truth has the grandest impacts on your personal well-being and your relationship to every other person on the planet as well as creation itself.  Believing the truth about God's grace for mankind will pull your head out of the sand and turn your life right side up!  You will be able to receive your proper title as God's child and be a true brother or sister to your neighbor.

Students of the Bible may well note that the book of Ephesians is divided into two parts.  The first half teaches the reader truth about God's love for mankind and, in particular, the church.  Careful observers have noted that there is not even one imperative statement in the entire first half of the book.  There is not one instruction to action, but only teaching the truth about God's love for us.

The second half, however, focuses entirely on the actions and behaviors required of Jesus' followers.  God's Word in Ephesians can be neatly divided into two chapters titled: Belief and Practice.  However, my book is lopsided on theory and theology, so hopefully I learn a lesson from Ephesians and promote Christian action.  My favorite verse on practical obedience is I John 3:18 (WEB), "My little children, let’s not love in word only, or with the tongue only, but in deed and truth."

If you believe that Jesus loves and forgave you because he also loves and forgave all mankind, then we have important work to do!  Love with actions and truth just like Jesus!

In the following pages of application I quote many Bible verses.  No doubt you will be familiar with most of them.  My goal in quoting them to you is not to simply serve the same meal again, but to invite you to chew on the Scripture with the seasoning that Jesus is truly the Savior of all mankind.