Common Ground Disciple Making
by Robert Boyland
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Romans 5:8 - But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
If you've been a follower of Jesus for a while, this verse may roll right off your tongue. If you are a new believer, it may be something you are just now learning. And if you are simply investigating this whole Jesus thing, this verse can potentially change your life!
Romans 5:8 is an amazing verse! In regards to relational discipleship, it levels the playing field. If you are a follower of Jesus, understanding that making disciples is not an option for the believer, this verse gives you common ground with anyone in which you will ever make contact. And similarly, for the person who has not placed their faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, everyone you will come in contact, whether they are a follower or not, has the same common ground. That common ground is simply that we are all sinners in the eyes of GodÖand yet, He still sent His Son to pay the price for our sins because He loves us! With that common ground, we never need to fall back on the excuse that we cannot related to someone else that may appear different from us, when in reality, they are sinners just like us!
You see, with every sin there is a consequence. It is prevalent in our lives every day! You lie, and trust is broken. Get caught speeding and you will likely be paying a fine. Your kid hits another kid and gets put in time out. Isnít it interesting how you donít have to teach a kid how to sin? Itís in their very nature to sin, and itís in ours as well!
In the same way, as God has said, the consequence of sin is death! Only death can eradicate sin! And in typical God fashion, thatís precisely the reason for the amazing gift that God gave us! If you will place your trust (faith) in Jesus, believing that He died for your sin (paid the price of death), took your sin to the grave where it could be eradicated, and rose again to life three days later, claiming victory over the very sin that you (and I) deal with every day, YOU WILL BE SAVED! Saved to spend eternity with God in paradise!
It doesn't end there though. We are saved to make a difference in this life as well! Thatís the beauty of Matthew 28:18-20 where Jesus commissions us (all of us) to go make disciples. We are all in the same boat, sinners deserving death (by Godís standards of perfection), yet by His grace we have been saved because we place our faith and trust in Him! Those around us are sinners as well, so that is where the common ground is formed! Are we willing to let our comfort level hold us back from sharing this incredibly Good News with the people around us? May it never be! Our mission is to go and build relationships with those in our everyday lives - building trust and friendship - and then loving them enough to share with them the only Good News that has the power to save them from an eternity separated from the Creator of everything! That is what relational discipleship looks like when played out in our lives! Relationships are not something we have to do, they are something we get to participate in because our relationship with God extends out to everyone we come in contact with daily! Relationships (with God and with others) are the key to everything!
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